The Super Bowl race is wide open.
League parity has left the NFL without any true juggernauts, which is making for tight playoff races.
Here’s how some of the weekend action went down.
The Broncos’ sputtering offense tried to correct itself by replacing Quarterback Trevor Siemian with the man he was backing up only two years ago, Brock Osweiler. After a disastrous season with the Texans, Osweiler is back with the team that drafted him, and the results weren’t good. Denver’s offense continued to be ineffective, but the most troubling sign for the team is the staunch defense finally collapsed under the burden of trying to carry the team. Denver got routed 51-23 at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, who currently have the best record in football. These are clearly two divergent teams; Philly has their young star at quarterback in Carson Wentz, and Denver has nothing but question marks at the most important position.
CHIEFS LOW ON ARROWHEADS
Denver’s division rival has begun to recede toward the pack. Early on, the Chiefs looked like world-beaters, but they’ve now lost three of their last four after falling to the Dallas Cowboys 28-17. Quarterback Alex Smith has a reputation as a game manager, and he was unable to muster enough offense to keep pace with the efficient Dallas offense. As for the Cowboys, “suspended” runningback Ezekiel Elliott played another game as he fights the six-game punishment handed down from the league. The legal ground for his claim to overturn the suspension is shaky at best, so it appears he’s only delaying the inevitable. If the Elliott saga doesn’t resolve itself soon, he could miss time in the playoffs.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
The city of Houston is still imbibing on their classic World Series victory, but the town’s football team is reeling after the loss of rookie star quarterback DeShaun Watson. The first-year signal caller made the Houston attack explosive, something that had been lacking for years. Without Watson, the Houston offense went back to business as usual in a disappointing 20-14 home loss to the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts. With Watson and superstar Defensive End JJ Watt gone for the season, the Texans are fully in “wait til next year” mode.
In a shocking role reversal, the Washington Redskins defeated the Seattle Seahawks 17-14 in Seattle very late in the 4th quarter. These type of improbable comeback victories have become commonplace for the Seahawks, especially when they’re at home. Conversely, late-game collapses by the Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins have become a beltway staple. However, anything can happen on any given Sunday, and the Redskins drove down the field with under two minutes left and scored the game-winning touchdown. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks even had one more chance to pull off one of their patented miracles, but the comeback attempt fell short. The loss drops Seattle to second in the NFC West.
NEW YORK’S STOCK BOTTOMS OUT
It appears to be the end for the Giants. After a spate of injuries and tough losses, the team has cratered at 1-7. Worse than their record, the team exhibited a total lack of effort in a 51-17 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The calls for General Manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo to be shown the door have reached a fever pitch. Making matters worse, quarterback Eli Manning is on his last legs. He’ll be 37 by season’s end and his best days are clearly behind him. The Giants need a full rebuild. The only question is when will they officially pull the plug. A lot of things went wrong in their embarrassing loss to the Rams, but the Giants’ abject misery can be summed up in one play:
3rd & 33? Just the way we drew it up. @JaredGoff16 ➡️ @robertwoods for the 52-yard TD!! https://t.co/agvG4juXan