Only one unbeaten team left.
The GOAT quarterback of all time returned and put everyone on notice.
On other words -- the separation between really good and mediocre is starting to take form.
Six weeks in and we are finally starting to see a mini-playoff picture take shape. Sure there are many questions as to differentiating between contender and pretender but for the time being we can have a blast figure it out.
Last thing -- if you're an opponent of the New England Patriots the next eleven weeks of this season, I feel sorry for you and your fanbase.
1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
LAST WEEK: #2
Congratulations Minnesota. Every week that goes by and every week that you win you continue to prove me right.
I said in August following the Teddy Bridgewater injury that this roster is still a playoff roster with or without Bridgewater. Just needed a capable quarterback. I even defended the Sam Bradford acquisition tooth and nail.
I was correct on that as well.
You have earned this bye week.
2. New England Patriots (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #3
Hey -- in case you didn't hear Tom Brady is back. The Patriots are about to weak havok on the rest of the NFL.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #4
I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the Philly loss two weeks back but one thing is clear -- the Steelers will win the AFC North. Probably with flying colors at this point. Cincy may not even make it to finish line. Baltimore is starting to show their warts.
You're good Pittsburgh. Focus on home-field advantage throughout.
4. Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
LAST WEEK: #5
The Minnesota Vikings have been this year. However if you put a gun to my head and asked me which team do I have the most confidence in from the NFC I'll roll with Seattle.
Their experience is valuable.
Even when they have early season slip ups, they always figure it out. Arizona isn't any good this year and the LA Rams aren't who THEY think they are.
Pete Carroll and the 'Hawks have a clear path to the NFC West title.
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #8
The more I see the Cowboys, the more I am impressed. This has 2014 written over it. Just with a different quarterback which is obviously a whole other discussion we'll get into later.
Can I just say though that I don't think many people are giving head coach Jason Garrett the credit he deserves. First he works for a megalomaniac of an owner in Jerry Jones. Plus he has Dak Prescott playing well above his expectations.
If we are having a serious coach of the year discussion moving forward I want to enter Jason Garrett on my list.
As for the quarterback controversy in Dallas. I already said my piece on yesterday's blog entry.
6. Atlanta Falcons (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #10
I have to give these guys credit. They've shut me up thus far in the young season.
I said alot on yesterday's blog about taking these guys serious. While we have seen this story from Atlanta before as recently as last season, the Falcons defense in Denver showed the ability to win a game in the trenches. The fact that Matt Ryan and Julio Jones didn't deem it necessary to put up 30 plus points tells me that this team has the ability to win in difference phases and different forms.
I want to see this quality of play into November and December before I am completely sold on the Falcons but on this week's rankings they get alot of love from me.
7. Denver Broncos (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #1
Not entirely surprised they lost vs. the Falcons but they looked awful offensively.
Paxton Lynch's first NFL start could not have gotten off to a worst start. I found myself actually questioning whether Trevor Simian is actually the better quarterback of the two.
No time for panic in Denver yet although Oakland --albeit with an atrocious secondary is breathing down their neck.
8. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
LAST WEEK: #7
This is going to sound like blasphemy but I believe there is now a legitimate conversation as to whether Aaron Rodgers is the clear cut best quarterback in the National Football League.
Also -- even at 3-1 the Packers shouldn't scare anyone. Not entirely convinced they're even one of the three or four best teams in the NFC.
Im soft on Green Bay these days.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
LAST WEEK: #6
First blemish on the Carson Wentz train and yet overcame a huge first half deficit and nearly stole one in Detroit.
A tad on the fence on the Eagles overall but I see more positives than negatives a quarter of the year in.
10. Oakland Raiders (4-1)
LAST WEEK: #10
I had to drop them two spots in this week's rankings for two reasons
1. Their secondary while young is atrocious.
2. The Raiders were one of the two teams that didn't cover that I picked in Week 5.
Ok, so the latter might be a little too personal.
That said Derek Carr and Amari Cooper thus far have been the savior of the Raiders season. 4-1 is impressive and maybe I'm being a bit harsh on them but it's only because of the preseason expectations.
That said -- they are a damn good football team with loads of upside.