The NFL season has already rounded the quarter pole, and we are starting to see a bit of separation between the contenders and the pretenders. In the AFC, the field appears to be weaker, not to mention all kinds of muddled. Only two teams are over .500, and four teams have only one victory. Let’s take a gander at each division as we head into week seven.
Logjammin’ is the theme here, as all four teams are 3-3. For as many jokes as have been made about the New York Jets, they are the only team with two division wins going into a showdown this weekend against the New England Patriots in Foxborough. The Pats have lost three very tight games, but will still be the favorite as long as The Hoodie is calling the shots and Brady is slingin’ it. Little was expected of the Bills and Dolphins, but both have pulled out a few surprising victories to stay in the race. Will they be able to hang into December?
Baltimore (5-1) has jumped out to a two-game lead thanks to an improved offense and a 4-0 home record. We’ll see how that lead will hold up now that defensive stalwarts Ray Lewis and LaDarius Webb are on the shelf. Perennial divisional power Pittsburgh has fought the injury bug and limped to a 2-3 start, and is just trying to keep its head above water until it can get healthy. Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals were looking good at 3-1, but then dropped games against Miami and Cleveland. Now, this Sunday’s matchup between Cincy and the Steelers will go a long way in seeing who can keep pace with Baltimore. Cleveland (1-5)….well, they got a new owner this week, who quickly showed Mike Holmgren the door.
I haven’t crunched the numbers, but it appears that the Houston Texans (5-1) may have already clinched this division. Once the AFC South punching bag, the Texans hope to run circles around a trio of teams that have gotten off to slow starts. Indianapolis (2-3) is in rebuilding mode, and the Tennessee Titans (2-4) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) don’t seem to be too far behind. While all three have some pieces to build with, it looks unlikely they will be able to match the talent level in Houston, who is just hoping that Aaron Rodgers’ dismantling of their defense was a one-week wonder.
After the first half of Monday Night Football, it looked like the San Diego Chargers were going to be in the driver’s seat. 35 unanswered points later, the Chargers (3-3) and Denver Broncos (3-3) are now tied at the top of this division after the Broncos furious comeback. With its 2-0 divisional record and the head-to-head win, Denver seems to be the early favorite, especially considering their losses have come against Atlanta, Houston, and New England. Oakland (1-4) almost handed Atlanta their first loss on Sunday, but doesn’t seem to quite have the horses for a run.Kansas City (1-5) has the honor of never leading a game in regulation through the first six weeks. Insert Matt Cassell joke here.