Another weekend of NFL action is in the books. The 2010 NFL season has parity if nothing else. Just when we think we’ve got things figured out, the Saints lose to Arizona, Houston gets destroyed by the Giants, and the Redskins pull off an overtime win against Green Bay.
|The Ravens more or less dominated the Broncos on Sunday, jumping out to 17-0 lead and the cruising to victory. Ray Rice got going and the offense looked a lot more balanced. The return of Ed Reed after this weekend’s matchup with the Patriots won’t hurt.
|New York Jets
|On a night where Brett Favre set some more individual passing records, the team win went to the Jets in a 29-20 victory on Monday Night Football. New York is looking even better with each passing week, and will hit the road for a winnable game against the Broncos next week.
|Last weekend didn’t tell us much about the Steelers, as they were on their bye. A game against lowly Cleveland should be a cakewalk, but the impact of Ben Roethlisberger’s return will be felt down the road.
|Atlanta rattled off win number four in a row and have a two game lead over division rival New Orleans. They aren’t dazzling teams each week with dominating play, but wins are wins.
|New England Patriots
|Much like their Miami rival, the Patriots made headlines without playing a game this week; the departure of Randy Moss was a huge move, and they just reacquired Super Bowl XXXIX MVP receiver Deion Branch from Seattle. New England fans will be hoping a return to their old-look offense brings good results against the Ravens next week.
|While the 19-9 final score suggests an easy win for Indianapolis, they had to fight to earn a win over the Chiefs. Peyton Manning had a rare game without a touchdown pass, but the Colts ended up on the right side of the final scoreline to end Kansas City’s hopes of a perfect season. The Colts will look to keep pace with the other 3-2 teams in theri division when they visit the Redskins next week.
|Kevin Kolb was much improved this weekend after looking awful coming off the bench following Michael Vick’s injury. He will be a suitable replacement until the starting QB can return, but one can’t help but wonder if a quarterback controversy will arise.
|Multiple personalities continue in Houston, as the Texans were handily beaten 34-10 by the New York Giants. At 3-2 and tied with the other teams in the AFC South, nearly all of the excitement surrounding Houston’s season-opening win over the Colts has subsided to be replaced by concern in their fanbase. Texans faithful will be looking for a win against the Chiefs to go to 4-2 instead of falling to 3-3.
|New Orleans Saints
|A too close game against the Panthers followed up by a loss against a poor Cardinal team is backing up some earlier suspicions that the Saints just don’t have the same magic that they did last year.
|Green Bay Packers
|Green Bay suffered their second loss of the season and even worse, QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion and may miss next weeks game against the Dolphins.
|While the game went back-and-forth, the Titans managed to pick up a 34-27 victory over the Cowboys in Arlington and escape with a huge non-conference win. The Titans have been a surprising team so far this year, and will hope to continue that run with a victory over Jacksonville next Monday night.
|New York Giants
|The Giants took a step in the right direction by hammering the Texans. They’ve yet to play a division game though, and the real tests for them will come against the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles in the second half of the season.
|Kansas City Chiefs
|The dream season came to an end for the Chiefs in Indianapolis as they were dealt their first loss in four games. Next up for Kansas City is a trip to Houston, which means the Chiefs can’t feel too bad about their chances of going 4-1 depending which Texans teams shows up to play. The division is still in the Chiefs’ grasp for now.
|The Dolphins got a week off after an embarrassing loss at home to the rival Patriots, but headlines were made nonetheless when their special teams coach was dismissed after a poor special teams effort. The Dolphins may luck out next week with a chance to play the Packers without Aaron Rodgers, who is dealing with a concussion.
|The Redskins pulled off another win over a suddenly-struggling Green Bay team. There’s no doubt that the Shanahan-McNabb combo has rejuvenated this franchise and its fans, but there are still questions at the offensive skill positions.
|San Diego Chargers
|San Diego has alternated wins and losses to start the season, with losses to the Chiefs, Seahawks and Raiders and wins against the Jaguars and Cardinals. Philip Rivers and the Chargers will hope for a win as they visit the Rams next week; a loss will really put them in a hole with a games against New England looming in Week 7.
|The Bears now sit atop the NFC North alone. Will it last? Only time will tell but with the Packer’s injury problems and the Viking’s offensive struggles, they just might be.
|The Jaguars put together a 36-26 victory over the AFC’s patsy team–the Buffalo Bills–and kept pace with the rest of the division at 3-2. Next week, Jacksonville gets to play host to Monday Night Football as the Titans come to town; the winner of that match-up will be in good shape for the AFC South race.
|Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd had big days statistically for Denver, but the Broncos fell nonetheless to the Ravens by a final score of 31-17. If they played in any division but the AFC West, Denver would be in bad shape for a playoff run already. Thankfully, their division gives them a chance to stay in the race; though having to host the Jets next week won’t be easy.
|Tampa Bay Bucs
|Waiting for the Bucs to collapse? So is everyone else but the Saints seem beatable now and with the following two games against weak teams, the Bucs may actually contend for a playoff spot.
|Carson Palmer threw 3 interceptions on Sunday, and the Bengals continue to struggle. A few more losses and Cincinnati will find themselves well out of the playoff race.
|Writing the Cardinals off after an embarrassment against the Chargers, they come back the next week and pulled off the upset against the Saints. Anomaly? Time will tell.
|For all the talk of playing the Super Bowl at home and the constant hype surrounding this team, the Cowboys have failed to deliver again this year, and are looking up at 3 other solid teams in the division.
|One of the most talented offenses on paper? Check. A high level defense? Check. Discombobulated offense, distractions, and JV mistakes? Check. One of these has to go, and soon if the Vikings want any shot at the post-season.
|St. Louis Rams
|After winning two games in a row and getting people excited, the Rams had a huge letdown game against the Lions and got blown out. If they can stay competitive against the Chargers this week, they might be able to make something of this season.
|Good at home, bad on the road. While it probably won’t happen, looking at their schedule it is conceivable that they’d keep this trend up for the rest of the year and finish with an even record.
|Detroit finally got in the win column after three close games. They aren’t going to make a playoff run, but they certainly will be more competitive than they were last year.
|The Browns hung around against the Atlanta for 3 quarters, but lost yet another close game. They’ll continue to struggle until the get their quarterback issues worked out, and that could take a while.
|Despite a 431 yard passing performance by Philip Rivers, the Raiders hung around long enough in a home game with the Chargers to take home the 35-27 victory. The return of Jason Campbell to starting QB for Oakland paid dividends as the Raiders keep pace in the division and look to build a winning streak with a trip to San Francisco next week.
|San Francisco 49ers
|The 49ers just can’t catch a break. Another week, another close loss. They are currently the third lowest scoring team in the league including teams that have played one game less and still have more points.
|Nothing to see here, folks; another week, another Buffalo loss, this time by a score of 36-26 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The hunt for win #1 continues for Bills fans; the question remains whether or not a win can be found before the season ends. It won’t come next week, which is Buffalo’s “Bye” week.
|It will take more than a bye week to solve Carolina’s problems. It’s very conceivable that the Panthers closest game of the year will have already happened against the Saints (hard to believe).
Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).