State of the League (Week 6)

The NFL has had a busy and exhilarating few weeks of football. One example: off a nearly-successful Super Bowl run, the Carolina Panthers are starting very slowly indeed without their “star” cornerback Josh Norman, who is mostly known for his skill at trash-talking Odell Beckham Jr. on what the cool kids call “a Twitter.” Since then, Norman’s been signed by the Washington football team, where he now gets to play OBJ twice a year.

AFC East

The New England Patriots have been dominant even without Tom Brady behind center. They’re 5-1 through Week 6, losing only to the Buffalo Bills – who, incidentally, have won four straight after firing their offensive coordinator, landing at 4-2 on the week. The New York Jets, on the other hand, are 1-5 after losing to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. The Miami Dolphins are 2-4 after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

AFC North

The Pittsburgh Steelers are holding onto a narrow margin, with a 4-2 record after losing to the Miami Dolphins. The Baltimore Ravens were looking good, but after blowing a fourth-quarter lead to the New York Giants, they landed at the second spot in the AFC North at 3-3. The Cincinnati Bengals have not lived up to the hype after a first-round playoff exit last year; they’re at 3-3 right now and trying to get the train back on the rails. The Cleveland Browns have just been pitiful this year, cycling through five starting quarterbacks this season, four of them for injuries. The bar was already set low, but they’ve somehow snuck in under it.

AFC West

There is a tight race between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, who are both coming into week 7 at 4-2. The San Diego Chargers are the best team, or at least, the best team at losing the game in the fourth quarter. All of San Diego’s losses have come in the fourth, when they allow the other team to creep up on them and blow the game. Their second win came against the Denver Broncos, where they kept Siemian to one yard in the fourth quarter and hit them with a safety. The last drive belonged to the Broncos, who threw a Hail Mary that didn’t quite make it. The Kansas City Chiefs have looked promising this year, but have somehow managed to lose four games with one of the best defenses in the league.

AFC South

These teams are just straight-up terrible. The leader in that division has a 4-2 record, and no, it’s not the Indianapolis Colts. The Houston Texans looked decent this year, besides getting blown out by the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Their comeback against the Colts, when they were 23-9 down in the fourth quarter, was some playoff-caliber stuff. The Texans won the game in overtime, giving them a 4-2 record against the Colts’ shiny new 2-4. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-3 and third in the AFC South, while the Tennessee Titans, at the second spot, are at 3-3. It’s such a tight race that anything could happen, like, say, an illegal forward pass in the playoffs on a kickoff to win the game.

NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys are dominating the division after dropping the first game; they’ve won five straight and Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have both looked amazing. ‘Zek has rushed for 703 yards and looks to break 2,000 rushing yards in his rookie year. The Washington football team is at 4-2 and have not done anything spectacular this season. The Philadelphia Eagles started out red-hot with a hat trick start, but have since dropped to 3-2, while the New York Giants are 3-3 after the season they fired Tom Coughlin and hired some dude with a dope mustache.

NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons are dominating by scoring 33.16 points per game, the most in the league. (I guess that’s why they call it “Hotlanta.”) That’s probably why they’re 4-2 and in first place. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3-2 with Jameis Winston at QB and in second place. The New Orleans Saints are 3-3 and terrible on defense – Drew Brees can throw the ball, sure, but his defense has so far given up 168 points. The Carolina Panthers are having a “sophomore slump” after being in the Super Bowl last year and going 15-1 in the regular season. They are currently 1-5 through Week 6 and still without SuperCam.

NFC West

The Seattle Seahawks look dominant (again) with a 4-1 first place and an unstoppable defense. The Los Angeles Rams are 3-3 and in second, probably because they’re still getting used to the time difference. While the Arizona Cardinals looked to be a Super Bowl contender, so far they are 3-3 and look overrated rather than promising. And then there’s the dead-last 49ers. They are 1-5 and just don’t look like a football team this year, with Kaepernick’s protest being a distraction more than anything.

NFC North

The Minnesota Vikings have taken control of the division with a 5-0 start, helped by stellar defense and an offense that’s still good without Adrian Peterson or Teddy Bridgewater. The Green Bay Packers are at a 3-2 second place despite some explosive offensive performances, probably due to a lack of reciprocity from their defense. The Detroit Lions have looked decent, but they’re still at 3-3 and in third place. And then there’s the Chicago Bears, who have looked very bad this year. The offense has not been able to get the job done and they have already moved on from Jay Cutler to Brian Hoyer, which is the definition of a lose-lose situation.

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