Going into week 9, many teams are halfway through their schedule. It’s time to start looking at the potential playoff picture and know exactly who is on top in the NFL. Some teams are finally showing up, some teams are starting to disappear. These five teams have been the most consistent up to this point.
1. New England Patriots
I know that nobody wants to hear it but you have to admit, these guys are good. We all knew that Tom Brady would come back with vengence, but goodness. He can’t be stopped. Being a Patriots fan myself, I won’t complain but I can’t help but feel bad for the other 31 teams. TB12’s “Kill Them All” tour has lived up to its name through 4 games. Everyone is anxious for Brady’s bad year to come but that will have to wait.
A 4-0 record, 12 TD’s, 1300+ yards, and 0 INTs is something to marvel about. The unbelievable thing is that this isn’t even the best team Brady has had around him. Of course, he has Gronk but his ability to involve second option players is the reason they are the best in the NFL.
2. Dallas Cowboys
“Wow.” is the one thing I continue to find myself saying when talking about the Cowboys. When a franchise QB goes down, two rookies are depended on to run the offense, and a team still has a 6-1 record, “wow” is the only thing you can say. After losing their first game to the New York Giants, I considered this yet another mediocre season for the Cowboys. Now through 8 weeks, they are the best in the NFC and those two rookies are looking pretty good. By pretty good I mean very good. By very good I mean unstoppable. You get the point.
I don’t see these guys making a run to the Super Bowl but I know they are restoring hope in Dallas. Romo is history, Cowboys have blown my mind so far, and these guys are number 2.
3. Atlanta Falcons
Offense has been the story for this team so far. Not much else. I guess they don’t need much else because they’re sitting pretty at the top of the NFC South. In a division with little competition, I can see Atlanta easily getting a playoff spot and possibly even making a run at the title as long as the offensive production continues. Matt Ryan has been especially fun to watch while he picks apart defenses and racks up the points on fantasy.
The Falcons nabbed this spot on my list due to the ability to beat high quality teams, who may not have the best records in the NFL, but good teams nonetheless. The Panthers, Packers, and Broncos have all been victims of this year’s number one offense. Slowing these guys down will be a dauting task. Number 3 it is.
4. Oakland Raiders
This is yet another team to crack the top 5 with a potent offense. However, it has been their ability to win close games that has propelled them to a 6-2 record. They face a division opponent this week in the Denver Broncos. I expect this offense to carry them past the banged up reigning champs. If they want to secure a spot on my top 5 for the future, it’s a must win.
Derek Carr has been exceptional and is really playing like a potential MVP. Each week this team’s success looks less and less like a fluke. The only concern I have about this team is the fact that the defense is among the worst in the league in points surrenderd. If Raiders fans want hope going into the stretch, the defense needs to show up. If that happens, they are a potential top 3 team. But for now, they get 4th.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Over a stretch of their last 15 regular season games, they are 13-2. This kind of success doesn’t go unnoticed in my book. Despite the temporary loss of Alex Smith to a concussion, I am confident that Nick Foles will come in with poise and continue their winning ways. Once Alex Smith is healthy, this team could really do some damage. Honestly, this is the only team I fear in the AFC to beat my Pats in a potential playoff meeting. They’re hot. The hottest in the NFL. Sure, they’re in the number 5 spot, but they could easily move up.