The Patriots, Broncos and Bengals are 6-0 (won-lost) in the AFC, and the Panthers and Packers are undefeated in the NFC. Chances are the Super Bowl teams may come from these five teams; getting off to a good start is really a prerequisite to being in the big game.
Here’s a look at how the five unbeaten teams are succeeding: Denver is winning with defence and not with Peyton Manning; the Patriots win because of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick; the Bengals are the most complete team of them all; Green Bay wins with Aaron Rodgers and a solid D, and the Panthers might be undefeated but haven’t defeated a team above .500 and the jury is still out on them.
If you’re a betting man, the safe money would be on a Patriots-Packers’ Super Bowl, but the season is only eight weeks old. You can guarantee a number of these teams will go in a slump, and a key injury here or there can really impact a team. Stay tuned!
Stat of the week
Bills quarterback EJ Manuel became the first starting quarterback in NFL history to lose a regular-season game in three different countries. Manuel lost in Canada, when the Bills played Atlanta in Toronto; lost last Sunday to Jacksonville in the United Kingdom (London), and obviously has lost many games in the U.S.
Are you kidding me?
It’s not even halfway through the season, and NFL kickers have missed 27 extra points from the longer distance of 32 yards.
St. Louis is a team that’s a different beast at home, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Rams’ D, which is built for the fast indoor turf at home, will give the 49ers’ offence problems all day. Rams win.
The Falcons are just like the Rams – good at home, terrible on the road. Tampa blew a 21-point lead last week, and those are difficult to rebound from, especially back on the road. Atlanta beats the Bucs.
Don’t like Arizona any time on the road, but also don’t like the Browns at home. So what gives? The Cards have a solid offence that will score some points that the Browns’ offence won’t be able to match. Same old Browns – another loss.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
In a battle of undefeated teams, the Packers travel to Denver. The Broncos’ defence will give Rodgers some problems, but can Manning get the offence going at home? The light air of Colorado will help his throws, but his arm strength has diminished to a point that they may need a quarterback change. Who would have dreamt that? Take the Packers on a last-second field goal.
The Vikings are a 4-2 under-the-radar team that has been playing good football. They visit Chicago, which is coming off a bye. The Bears have been inconsistent all year, which doesn’t sit well when you play a consistent team like Minnesota. The Vikings win a close one.
Pittsburgh will have Big Ben back at quarterback, and he makes their offence click. The Bengals are leading the AFC North and can bury the Steelers in the divisional race with a win. The Freak isn’t completely sold on Cincy and winning these big divisional road games when it counts. Antonio Brown will be Antonio Brown with the return of Roethlisberger. Steelers win at home.
Going to try one more time to pick the Raiders in an upset over the Jets.
Derek Carr will face a big test against this Jets’ D that gave Tom Brady trouble last week. However, the long trip out west is never favourable for teams, and guess what?
It’s one day after Halloween in the “Black Hole.”
It will be a scary environment, take Oakland.
Last week: 6-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.