- Arizona Cardinals (9-2)
Last Week: 3
The Cards got a division win on the road without their top two offensive players. The defense stepped up allowing the Seahawks to convert just 2 of 10 third downs. The Cards also more than doubled the Seahawks in time of possession. If the Cards can get Murray and Hopkins healthy during their bye, they will be well-positioned for the stretch run.
- Green Bay Packers (8-3)
Last Week: 1
The Packers had a chance the beat a Vikings team desperate to save their season, but they could not pull it off. The Packers defense could not get off the field allowing the Vikings to convert 9 of 13 third downs. Things don’t get easier this week with the rested Rams coming to town.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
Last Week: 7
Tampa won the way you should at home against the Giants. This week’s trip to Indy will be more challenging. Tampa’s rugged rush defense will be put to the test against the league’s leading rusher, Jonathan Taylor.
- Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
Last Week: 7
The Rams needed the bye to figure out how best to add their new pieces to their rotation. Despite the gaudy record, the Rams are only 5th in the conference. Things will get very tense in LA if the Rams lose this week in Green Bay.
- New England Patriots (7-4)
Last Week: 8
The Patriots don’t seem to have enough to win the conference, but we were just thinking about how they probably can’t win the division. Here they sit again – in first in the AFC East with the league’s longest winning streak (5 games). Two games against the Bills over the next four weeks will decide the division winner.
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Last Week: 9
The Chief’s defense has been resurrected. They have allowed 17 points or fewer in each of their last six games. You can’t beat this team with less than 20 points. The conference seems reluctant to take the mantle from KC, so two home wins in their next two games should have the Chiefs back on top.
- Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
Last Week: 4
The Cowboy offense has been throttled in two of their last three games. The Cowboys need answers quickly if they want to be more than an also-ran in the NFC. After the Thanksgiving home game against the Raiders, Dallas plays its next three straight on the road.
- Tennessee Titans (8-3)
Last Week: 2
The Titans were a no-show on their home field Sunday against the Texans. Now they travel to New England and may very well fall from the conference’s top spot before the weekend is over. The Titans allowed less than 200 yards Sunday, but they lost the turnover battle 5-0. If they aren’t at their best Sunday, this could be the start of a tailspin.
- Minnesota Vikings (5-5)
Last Week: 10
The Vikings saved their season Sunday in a must-win against their bitter rivals, the Packers. The Vikings didn’t turn the ball over, and they converted on 9 of 13 third-down attempts. The Vikings have no room for error as 7 NFC teams sit at 5-5 or 4-6 thus far.
- Buffalo Bills (6-4)
Last Week: 5
The Bills have managed to surrender what appeared to be a lead-pipe lock hold on the division. The Bills may be the league’s most disappointing team through ten games. They get a visit from the Patriots in two weeks, and they will need to win not only for the division standings but for their own mental states.