So, we're really starting to see where teams will shake out now. While there's still plenty of time to go, some teams are sunk, while others couldn't sink if they tried.
Dallas-Still the class of the NFC, if they beat up the Packers, they'll be running away with the conference.
NYG-They've become consistent, their rematches with each of their division foes will determine their fate. I forsee them missing the playoffs, as the wheels will come off the wagon when they face some quality defenses.
Philly-Guh. Andy Reid's homelife aside, this team is a mess, they have no offensive identities (teams figured out how to stop the screens to Westbrook) and their previously stout defense is in shambles. They will struggle until the end of the season.
Washington-Meh. Still mediocre in every way, their lines are getting old fast, and they have no help from the draft.
Chicago-Griese is slightly better than Grossman, the defense is hurt and porous, say hello to the bottom of the pack.
Detroit-Where did this defense come from? No notable corners or safeties, and yet they are pretty solid, overall. The Martzian offense continues to chug along, even without a good running back. They're dangerous this year.
GB-The Saints of 07, it looks like Favre will go out on a winning note. They aren't even bothering with the run game after they lost Desean Wynn for the season, but at this point, they don't need it. Their front four on defense are tremendous pass rushers. Only Dallas is in their way.
Minnesota-Adrian Peterson is almost (literally) singlehandedly keeping this team alive. Their run defense is stout, the pass D is ok, their passing is Division III-worthy. When Brooks Bollinger is not only a viable option, but actually improves your offense, you need help. A.Pete can't break records every week, they're still heading for a top ten pick, but they have separated themselves from the Fins and Rams.
Atlanta-Byron Leftwich in, Byron Leftwich hurt, Joey Harrington back in, suckitude continues. This team is in near-open revolt against Petrino. Expect a lot of the disgruntled players to go, not the coach. Look for 2010 before this team matters again.
Carolina-Anyone want to play QB? If you do, make sure your medical insurance is paid up, you're going to get hit, and hurt. Let's hope Steve Smith doesn't kill half this team.
New Orleans-They're alive. The offense looks like it did last year, so it's once again masking a miserable D, which to be fair, has also improved a little. In the weak NFC, the 'Aints may wander into the playoffs. Especially if...
Tampa Bay-The Bucs are in transition, both sides of the ball are old, but ole men Garcia and Galloway have the offense looking okay, Ernest Graham is the only answer they have at RB, he's replacement level, Michael Bennett may get some carries soon. The D is starting to come into form, some of the young guys are playing better. They'll battle it out with NO for the division, barring any more injuries.
NFC West a.k.a the worst division in the NFL
Arizona-Leinart is unhappy, Leinart is on IR. Warner is the starter, Warner is hurt, Rattay is signed, Rattay and Warner are both banged up. The defense is still bad. In short, same ol' Cardinals.
Saint Louis-They may not win a game all year. Catastrophic injuries, a clueless coach, and an ambivalent fan base mean this team will coast through the season and be in the top 2 for draft picks. If they can keep Bulger upright, they don't need a QB, so expect some help on the line.
San Francisco-They've regressed in every facet of the game. Gore and Smith are dinged, the defense is worn out, and they are heading for 5-11ville fast.
Seattle-Ever see a team (offensively) get old all at once. Look no further than this team. This a large fork sticking out of Sean Alexander's back. The line does a great Swiss Cheese impersonation, and Matt Hasselback is reenacting the old Joe Montana "Reggie White!" commercial every time he drops back. Sadly, they'll still win this division. The defense is okay, and fairly young.
Buffalo-Better than people give them credit for, they'll hang with anybody, but lack the firepower on both sides of the ball to put anybody away. Marshawn Lynch is already beloved. They are a team on the rise.
Miami-They are NOT a team on the rise. Everyone stinks. Ronnie Brown is on IR, and they traded Chris Chambers, they have 0 offensive weapons, and their entire defense is either old or hurt. If they play St. Louis, we could see a suckfest toiletbowl of epic proportions. I don't expect them to win a game.
New England-After coming back against the Colts, this team is now the unquestioned SB favorite. Their defense will only get better as the year goes on. Barring any injuries, they're the closest thing to unstoppable the NFL has seen since Dallas in the early 90s.
New York Jets-As I thought, they have come crashing back to earth. Here's a hint, they were this bad last year, but a powderpuff schedule and no tape on Mangini let them coast to 10-6. Both of those elements are gone, and we have the mess you see in the Meadowlands. Kellen Clemens is the wave of the future. Give him and the youngsters on the line a year or two, and this team will legitamitely be 10-6.
Baltimore-They're done. McNair needs to retire, the secondary can't stop a pass (plus the two starting corners are hurt) and the Dline and LBs are miffed at how often they're on the field. Willis McGahee is having a decent year, but when your QB won't throw more than 6 yards down the field, you won't score, and you won't win. .500 would be a major accomplishment this year, especially with Ind, NE, SD and Pitt (again) on their schedule, along with rivals Cle and Cincy, who always play the birds tough.
Cincinnatti-They're still in turmoil. The defense is putrid, the offense is stuck in second gear, and Chad Johnson is concussed. At least only one player has been arrested so far this year...
Cleveland-Look out AFC. This team is going to be dangerous for years to come, and that may be without Brady Quinn ever taking the helm. Derek Anderson has developed confidence with Edwards and Winslow, and all of them are under 25. The defense can continue to grow, and Joe Thomas is the new rock at LT. This team will only continue to improve.
Pittsburgh-Every year, one team dominates and comes out of this division, it's the black and gold this year. Ben is healthy and sharp, Santonio Holmes has rounded into nice form, and the defense is reestablishing itself as a steel curtain. They'll beat up anybody they play, we'll see, come playoff time, if they can hinder Indy or NE.
Houston-Injuries are slowing them, but they're mediocre, overall. At this point, that's an improvement.
Indianapolis-A heartbreaking loss to NE, it will either light a fire under them or cause them to go into a tailspin. Knowing Dungy and Manning, it will be the former, and they'll get another shot at NE in December, in the playoffs.
Jacksonville-Another team in turmoil. Their offense stinks, the D is average, and they seem distracted by off-field issues. Stay away from betting on or against them, you don't know who or how they'll show up each week.
Tennessee-Everything bad everyone thought about Vince Young has come into play this year, but they're still winning. The D is one of the best, even without Pacman, and the offense can run the ball fairly well. If Vince stops turning the ball over, and ANY of the receivers ever get open, they'll be a thorn in anyone's side.
Denver-The injury bug has bit them hard. Jay Cutler is banged up, and still learning, but he's showing flashes of talent. If Javon Walker gets healthy and Travis Henry doesn't get suspended, they could be dangerous. But, expect them to be better next year.
Kansas City-They're still bad, but they've managed to contend in almost every game. Damon Huard is playing ok, but now with LJ hurt, their offense will get worse, which does their "not good" defense no favors. They won't win many more games this season.
Oakland-Meh. They played some real teams, and fell apart. They have holes all over the place, but they have a lot of young talent, so they will improve. If Al Davis lets nature take its course, they could be serious contenders in a few years. Expect a 6-10 ceiling for them this year.
San Diego-They've shown signs of life, but Adrian Peterson killed them last week. Chris Chambers needs to assimilate into this offense, and Phillip Rivers needs some therapy, he looks lost. LDT and the defense will try to carry them to a winning record, we'll see if they can.