It is amazing to see the Indianapolis Colts struggling this year (6-6) after so many years of winning twelve games or more. Peyton Manning has a very un-Peyton like 11 interceptions in three games. I am not a huge Colts fan, but I still have a hard time seeing the Colts and Manning continuing their current slide....and the Tennessee Titans, who are struggling even worse, may be just what the doctor ordered for them this week. And all of this to say, I can't imagine anyone outside of northern Florida who would have said that the Jaguars would be leading the AFC South at his point of the season...especially with a 7-5 record.
Just when we thought the San Diego Chargers were getting on their typical late season roll, they are upset by the Oakland Raiders. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the lowly Broncos (bummer for Josh McDaniels), so they now have a two game lead in the AFC West with two games left to play. If the Chargers are going to somehow pull a rabbit out of their hat, they have no better opportunity than this Sunday when they face the Chiefs. If they lose, they will likely be out of the race with only three games left after this week. (Special note -- can one really ever count the Chargers out? If we remember right, they Charged from several games behind last season to overtake the Broncos on the last weekend, so...)
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons seem to have cemented themselves as the leaders for home field advantage for the playoffs. Of course, it is still awfully early to be making this call, but they have really been playing well of late, and it is going to take a couple of significant losses for each of them to fall from their lofty perches. (Was that just the kiss of death? Probably not. :-) Yet, as a New Orleans Saints fan, I hope that they will exact revenge for an early season defeat to the Falcons that should not have taken place (once again, we remember that kicker, Garrett Hartley, missed a twenty-something yard field goal as time ran out that would have sealed the win for the Saints). I have to say, though, that until someone unseats the defending champs, I am liking their chances, as they are on a winning streak of their own. The team that could and should unseat the Saints? New England just throttled fellow 9-2 team, the New York Jets 45-3...and they might be a good bet. Speculation is fun, but with a quarter of the season to go, many things can still change, so buckle your chin straps and hang on...