I usually like to find a common theme among the four "additional" teams I cover on this site. At worst, I'll try to make it applicable to at least three of them. However, as the 2007 NFL Season rolls on, it's pretty clear that these four teams are all heading in totally opposite directions. With eight games to go, the fate of these teams isn't quite sealed. However, they're clearly on the verge of finalizing their destiny if they don't change their ways.
The first team I'd like to cover is the Bengals. They're on the verge of becoming a complete and utter mess. Coach Marvin Lewis has some serious work cut out for him if he intends on getting his players' heads on straight. The Bengals have more issues that Lindsey Lohan at this moment, which is the kiss of death for an NFL team.
Next up is the Panthers. They're on the verge of watching their season slip away. The NFC South was clearly up for grabs this season. However, a slew of injuries have prevented Carolina from running away with the division. So far, they've been able to maintain control of the top spot, but they'll have to improve their game if they hope to avoid being overtaken by a surging team in their rearview mirror.
The Saints are a team on the verge of staging a miraculous comeback. After beginning the year 0-4, New Orleans has managed to pull within one game of the Panthers. With eight games left to go, that's a far-from-impossible deficit to overcome. Against all odds, the Saints may just be the playoff team everyone predicted them to be.
Finally, the Jaguars are on the verge of becoming a legitimate "powerhouse" team. The Patriots and the Colts are clearly the class of the AFC and the NFL in general. However, Pittsburgh and San Diego have each had their lapses, leaving the door open for the Jags to become the #3 team in the conference. Their only two losses have come within the division, and if they can somehow avenge them, Jacksonville will have made a very strong case for themselves as one of the league's elite.
The Packers have the talent to take the division, but should they slip up, don't count out Detroit.
The Saints are marching, while the 1st and 2nd place Panthers and Buccs are reeling with injuries. New Orleans might just have another comeback in them.
Where did the G-Men come from? They've bounced back from an 0-2 start with six straight victories and have helped the East become the premiere division in the NFC.
If it weren't for the fact that one of these teams has to make the playoffs by default, it's likely that none of them would be there. We've got a definite "tallest midget at the circus" competition in full swing here.
The wild card decision was a tough one. I had to give the rejuvenated Giants a spot, but the Panthers, Redskins, and Lions were all a potential pick to fill the last spot. At the end of the day, the Lions get to play the Bears and the Vikings, while the other two face tougher inter-division competition. That could very well be the difference.
How about those Browns? It's Pittsburgh's division to lose, but it's nice to see a team who's winning games nobody expected them to by playing hard.
There's no denying that the division is going to Indy. However, the Jaguars have been a force to be reckoned with as well. I think they'll maintain their lead against the inconsistent Titans, while the Texans' Cinderella story is put on hold for another year.
The Dolphins lone prayer to avoid a 0-16 season? Week 13 at home vs. the putrid Jets.
Looks like the Chargers have come back to life. The Chiefs may be friskier than anyone expected, but San Diego should role to the division title from here on out.
It broke my heart to deny the Browns, but the Texans are simply the better team.
Saints over Lions, Giants over Seahawks
Cowboys over Giants, Packers over Saints
Packers over Cowboys
Steelers over Titans, Jaguars over Chargers
Patriots over Jaguars, Colts over Steelers
Patriots over Colts
Patriots over Packers
Can you imagine the hype of this game? Every writer's man-crush, Brett Favre in his final game vs. the hated Patriots! I can't wait to get some Super Bowl XXXI revenge and play the role of the ultimate villain!