NFC Overview: Week 6

Week 5 brought us upsets, blowouts, and nail biters.  There are now only two undefeated teams, four winless teams and 10 teams in the league with a record of 3-2. The NFC became even more uncertain in some divisions, but it seems that we may have found the team to beat in the conference.   Find out below where each team is trending, and if they will be competing on wildcard weekend.  

NFC NORTH

1. Green Bay Packers (4-1)

Aaron Rodgers owns Dallas.  He was 4-0 when playing the Cowboys on the road coming into Sunday, and this one was never really close.  The Packers sprinted out to a 31-3 lead before coasting in the second half.  Although the score indicates a closer game, you never felt that the Cowboys had a chance.  The Packers proved that they are a top 3 team in the conference.  Next week is a big divisional matchup on Monday Night Football as they host the Lions

2. Detroit Lions (2-1-1)

The Lions moved into second place during their bye week thanks to the Bears’ loss.  This Lions’ team has looked competitive in every game, and some people are considering them legitimate contenders for the division title.  Right now it looks like the NFC North will go through Green Bay, but a Lions’ win on Monday night would change everything.

3. Chicago Bears (3-2)

Sunday was a tough loss for the Bears in London.  They came out flat and the Raiders took advantage, putting up 17 points in the first half, exposing the Bears’ defense along the way.  The third quarter belonged to the Bears who scored three touchdowns and took the lead.  In the end, the Raiders put together a 93-yard drive for the winning score late in the fourth.  The Bears head into the bye week with many injuries and are hoping to get back Mitchell Trubisky for a big game against the Saints in two weeks

4. Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

The Vikings responded well to the criticism they received during last week.  They threw the ball well and took care of the Giants to remain just a game back of the Packers. Next up is a tough game at home against the Eagles who seem to have found their identity in the past few games.  A win at home could loom large for wild card tiebreakers later in the season.  Although the passing game looked corrected, Stefon Diggs still might not be sure if he wants to be in Minnesota.  Check out his reaction to being asked: “Do you want to be in Minnesota?”source

NFC WEST

1. San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

The 49ers look for real.  They beat up on the Browns on Monday night forcing four turnovers and rushing for over 200 yards.  Although the Browns certainly have their own issues, the 49ers embarrassed a team that put up 40 points last week in Baltimore.  Now, the 49ers have a target on their back and will get everyone’s best shot.  Week 6 takes the ‘Niners to L.A. for a big divisional game against a Rams team looking for a bounce-back win after back to back losses.

2. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)

The Seahawks and Rams put on the best Thursday night game of the season.  Russel Wilson looked unstoppable and the Seattle defense came up with a big interception to seal the game late in the fourth. This game also contained an early “play of the year” candidate in Russel Wilson’s Touchdown throw to Tyler Lockett during the second quarter (see below).  At 4-1, the Seahawks look like an elite contender in the NFC.  This week the Seahawks travel to play the Browns who haven’t lived up to their preseason hype just yet.

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3. Los Angeles Rams (3-2)

The Rams have lost two in a row and are not looking like last year’s 13-3 division winners.  Jared Goff is having a terrible start and Todd Gurley doesn’t seem like he will ever reach the level he did last year.  The defense looks uncertain on every drive and they have now given up 85 points in the last two games.  With the NFC West looking this good, the Rams need to straighten things out to remain in wild-card contention.  A win against the 49ers this Sunday would put them right back into the mix for the division crown, but that’s easier said than done against this ‘Niners’ team.

4. Arizona Cardinals (1-3-1)

Winless no more! The Cardinals won the battle of the worsts with the Bengals and secured their first victory of the season 26-23.  Kyler Murray rushed for a touchdown and the defense did just enough to hold off Cincinnati.  Now the Cardinals come home to host the abysmal Falcons for a chance to start a nice win streak.

NFC EAST

1.Dallas Cowboys (3-2)

The Cowboys got dominated by the Packers.  Sure they showed some life in the second half, but they never had a chance.  Dak Prescott had another forgettable performance when facing a good team, and just like that the Cowboys and the Eagles have drawn even.  After a trip to New York to face the Jets, the Cowboys will host the Eagles in two weeks on Sunday Night Football.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)

The Eagles quietly took care of the Jets and improved to 3-2.  The Eagles look to have found themselves and are gaining a lot of momentum before their first showdown with the Cowboys in two weeks.  Standing in between that is a tricky road game in Minnesota where the Vikings are 2-0 this year. 

3. New York Giants (2-3)

Although this Giants’ loss proves that they aren’t quite playoff competitive yet, they still show great signs of growth.  Week 5 will be a forgettable one, but with Saquon Barkley’s return on the horizon, the Giants could definitely upset some teams who are overlooking them down the road.  That first chance for a huge upset will come this week on Thursday Night Football against the undefeated Patriots in Foxborough.

 4. Washington Redskins (0-5)

The deed is done! Gruden is gone!  The only problem is the Redskins are still winless and now without a head coach.  Whatever they do, they need to find someone interested in developing Dwayne Haskins while the team continues to lose.  It’s looking like the Redskins and Dolphins are leading the charge for next year’s number one pick…and how convenient that they play each other this week.  Don’t miss the tank bowl!!

NFC SOUTH

1.New Orleans Saints (4-1)

Teddy Bridgewater is 3-0 as the Saints’ starter and as it stands right now, they look like one of the top teams in the conference, even without Drew Brees.  This week the Saints head to Jacksonville to take on Gardener Minshew and the Jaguars. The Saints are the team to beat in the conference, and considering the lack of competition in this division, it looks like the Saints could have the South clinched by December.

2. Carolina Panthers (3-2)

 The Panthers put together a nice win against the Jaguars last week and are back above .500. Cam Newton continues to remain on the sideline and has already been ruled out for Week 6. With a win this week, the Panthers would remain just one game back of the Saints, while virtually erasing any chance the Bucs had of winning the division crown.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

The Bucs put up a good fight in New Orleans last Sunday but ultimately fell short against the Saints.  This is a tough game to swallow as the Bucs are now two games behind for the division lead.  This week, the Bucs head to London for another big divisional matchup with the Panthers whom they have already beaten this season.  A win would draw them even with the Panthers, and keep them within shouting distance of the Saints. A loss might derail any slim playoff hopes the Bucs still have.

5. Atlanta Falcons (1-4)

The Falcons continue to lose. The offense put up 32 points, but giving up 53 points will never win a game in the NFL.  Clearly, the Falcons are the biggest disappointment of the season thus far.  Many thought they could compete with the Saints, but even with the weapons the Falcons have, they remain in the basement of the NFC.  Week 6 takes the Falcons out to Arizona where they should have a good chance to get back in the win column.  With each week, their win against the Eagles in Week 2 looks even more surprising.

NFC POWER RANKINGS (Week 4 Ranking)

  1. New Orleans Saints (1)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (6)
  3. Green Bay Packers(3)
  4. San Francisco 49ers (8)
  5. Detroit Lions (7)
  6. Los Angeles Rams (2)
  7. Chicago Bears (4)
  8. Dallas Cowboys (5)
  9. Philadelphia Eagles (9)
  10. Minnesota Vikings (12)
  11. Carolina Panthers (13)
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11)
  13. New York Giants (10)
  14. Atlanta Falcons (14)
  15. Arizona Cardinals (15)
  16. Washington Redskins (16)
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