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NFL Week 10 Divisional Outlook
NFC East -
The New York Giants led the division by two games over the Dallas Cowboys following an impressive win in Foxboro. Eli Manning has been playing very well in the first half of the season and it will be interesting to see how he does in the second half where he and the Giants have a tendency to fall off. The Giants also have a very tough next four games as they will face off against the 49ers, Eagles, Saints, Packers and Cowboys. The Eagles will be facing off tonight against the Bears on Monday Night football and if they win they will then be second in the division, only two games back with the best record against the division. The Cowboys will also be in second place on the division but Miles Austin's injury could hurt their chances moving forward. The Redskins season is essentially over as they cannot move the ball down field.
NFC North -
The Green Bay Packers are sitting pretty as the only undefeated team in the NFL, and the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Packers do have problems on the defensive side of the ball with their thirty-first ranked pass defense but the Packers pass offense is virtually unstoppable with all of their weapons and Aaron Rodgers playing at an extremely high level. The Packers have the highest point differential in the NFL, thanks to their high flying offense. The Detroit Lions surprisingly have the second highest point differential in the NFL, and are one of the NFL's bright spots as their offense is playing well under a healthy Matthew Stafford (knock on wood). The Bears will be a middle of the pack kind of team in this division until the fix the offensive line. The other important thing is to resign Matt Forte. This team would struggle significantly to win a game without Matt Forte. At this point he is a top back in the league and deserves to get paid. The Vikings are playing better with Ponder under center, but still are outclassed by most teams in the NFL.
NFC South -
The NFC South is a talented division but filled with teams that ultimately cannot compete for a Super Bowl as they don't have enough on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons have a talented offense but they don't have any play makers on the defensive side of the ball. They added Ray Edwards to help John Abraham but the pass rush still has not improved the way that they wish it could. The Saints have an extremely talented offense but suffer from the same issues as the Falcons. The injury to Tracy Porter could severely hurt them down the line. The Buccaneers are a good young team, but being a good young team has it's drawbacks. Them and the Panthers are a team to look out for in a couple of years. The Panthers have what looks to be the most talented quarterback the franchise has ever had in Cam Newton.
It is feasible that the 49ers could take a break for the rest of the season and still come out on top of the division as they have built themselves quite the lead in the division. The Niners have even managed to become one of the top teams in the NFL this season under rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Niners always had talent, but never seemed to put it together. Now it is evident that coaching all along has been the biggest issue. The Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals all have pieces but then they are missing a handful of other pieces and that is why they are all some of the worst teams in the NFL.
Finally, the AFC East has some parity. The Patriots have been the top dogs of this division for a long time now and it seems their hold is slowly but surely slipping. The Jets and Bills are both right there with the Patriots at 5-3 for the top spot in the division. The Patriots struggles against defending the pass are ultimately costing them in big games against the biggest of opponents. The Jets started off in a hole, but have managed to dig themselves out of it and look to be one of the top teams in the AFC currently. The Bills could be a top team in the AFC as well if it wasn't for their low ranked defense. The Dolphins are still playing for some Luck coming their way.
AFC South -
The Colts for the past decade have reigned supreme on this division, and due to Peyton's injury the Colt's outlook on their team has turned sour. It is evident now that Peyton Manning may just be the single most important player to his respective team in the league. As he went down, the team fell to become one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Texans have capitalized on the weakened division and despite some injuries to their stars they have played through. The loss of Andre Johnson and Mario Williams, the two most important players on each side of the ball, could have potentially ended their season but Arian Foster and the new look defense has put the Texans in the mix as one of the best teams in the AFC. The Titans could have potentially provided a challenge to the Texans if it was not for the injury to Kenny Britt and the lackluster performance by Chris Johnson this season. It is not surprising at all to hear that the Titans are considering cutting Johnson at the end of the year to avoid paying him a majority of his new pay raise.
AFC North -
The Ravens got a huge monkey off their back by defeating the Steelers twice now on the season. The two wins are important for them as it gives them a better chance of at least having a home game come playoff time. The Ravens since drafting Flacco have made the playoffs consistently, but only to play on the road. The two wins also provide a huge boost to confidence to the entire team and most importantly Joe Flacco. He has been to frequently criticized by the fans, and the media for his play but he is still a gamer. The Steelers continue to struggle defending the pass when they are spread out as the Packers did to them in the Super Bowl.The Bengals are proving to be one of the most surprising teams in the NFL, but they have had an easy schedule up to now. They have yet to play the Steelers or the Ravens and those games will be huge tests for this young up and coming team. The Browns are once again the bottom feeders of the division as they struggle to move the ball on offense.
AFC West -
Mediocrity. That's the best word to describe this division. When you take a look at each team's roster you'd think that the Chargers would be the clear cut top team of the division but they continue to shoot themselves in their foot with turnover after turnover. They could have potentially beaten the Packers if it weren't for the fact that Philip Rivers spotted the Packers two interception returns for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Chiefs and Raiders all have talent but can't seem to put it all together due to certain injuries. The Broncos have played better under Tim Teboew, but are still ultimately inconsistent week to week.