1) The 49ers are for real
The defense is suffocating and the play-calling from Kyle Shanahan was masterful to protect Jimmy G> with his bookend tackles, both sidelined by injuries. The Niners are a physical smash-mouth football team and don’t look now, but they may be the best team in the NFC.
2) The AFC North is terrible
The North has exactly 4 wins out of their division and the Ravens lead the class with a below-average defense and a quarterback who can basically just run. The Steelers are showing some fight after a win in L.A. but the Browns and Bengals have no leadership or coaching. This division could see a champion with a below .500 record when it’s all said and done.
3) Dak Prescott’s contract extension? Not so fast
Remember when the Cowboys were the best team in the NFC? Nobody else does now either. Sure, the Cowboys looked invincible against teams that couldn’t get out of their own way but against the big boys they have been throttled. It’s not just the big boys beating on them now, it’s the freaking Jets! What’s wrong in Dallas? I will tell you, it’s Jason Garrett and until he is gone they will continue to under-achieve.
4) Cam Newton should not get his job back
The Panthers have been winning since Newton left with an injury but the narrative has been that it was because of Christian McCaffrey, not anymore! On Sunday in London, they won because of quarterback Kyle Allen and if Ron Rivera goes back to Cam Newton it will cost him his job by the end of the season.
5) The Broncos are looking like they finally have a Vic Fangio defense
The last two weeks have produced two-straight wins for a once floundering Broncos team. Head Coach Vic Fangio who has one of the brightest defensive minds in all of Football has figured out the personnel and now the Broncos are clicking on defense. The biggest question will be is it too late after an 0-4 start, but being in the weak AFC means the Broncos might have a shot after all.
6) Mariota and Winston are now on borrowed time
Winston, after being solid since a week one meltdown against the 49ers, went full Winston, throwing 5 interceptions in the Bucs loss to the Panthers. Mariota has as much luck scoring as a fat kid in high school It’s time for a change on both teams.
7) DeShaun Watson is better than Patrick Mahomes
I said this all week on the TGT NFL Show I do with Anthony Cervino and people have told me how crazy I am. Nobody is saying anything now. Watson outplayed Mahomes on Sunday and served the entire AFC notice that the Texans are going to have to be dealt with. Watson is playing behind an offensive line that is below average and he still gets it done.
8) Teddy Bridgewater is still undefeated
But the biggest takeaway here is how good the Saints defense has been in Drew Brees’ absence. Just imagine how good this team can be if Brees comes back and plays like he normally does? Bridgewater, for his part, has managed the games he has played in very well and has made plays when the Saints have needed them.
9) The Vikings are an emerging Super Bowl contender
Kirk Cousins stepped up, as did WR Stefon Diggs, as the Vikings physically dominated the battered Eagles on Sunday. The Vikings offense pushed the Eagles defense all over the place but more impressively the Vikings dominated a very good Philadelphia offense.