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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

I take my weekly look at the NFL.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

1) Way back on Thursday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers put the AFC on notice that they’re still one of better teams in the league. They smacked the Carolina Panthers around and won 52-21 behind Ben Roethlisberger’s 328 yards and 5 touchdown passes. He only had three incomplete passes on the night.

FYI, they were my preseason pick to win the AFC!

1a) Steeler hold out Le’Veon Bell has until 3pm Central to report otherwise he can’t play this year.

2) The Steelers moved into the AFC’s second seed after the New England Patriots were beat down by the Tennessee Titans, 34-10. The 5-4 Titans have one of the worst offenses in the league, but somehow no team has allowed fewer points than their defense has (16.8 ppg).

If I had 10 guesses to who led the league in that category I don’t think I would have guessed the Titans.

3) The 7-2 Los Angeles Chargers are keeping the pressure on the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. An argument could be made that the Chargers are one of the more complete teams in the NFL right now. They have a balanced offense and a solid defense and if they hot down the stretch they could win the AFC.

4) The Oakland Raiders have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

If the season were to end today they would hold the number one pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and that pick they got from the Chicago Bears in the Khalil Mack trade would be the 23rd overall pick.

5) What happened to the Jacksonville Jaguars?

No team had more swag and bravado coming into the year than them, yet they’re last place in their division and their mouthiest player is hinting he’ll leave when his contract expires in a couple years.

6) The Jags just lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 29-26, and in that game this happened...

Quenton Nelson has helped stabilize an offensive line that had usually gotten Andrew Luck creamed on a regular basis, but this year he’s the least sacked QB in the NFL.

7) What’s up with the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles?

Their loss on Sunday Night Football to the Dallas Cowboys dropped them to third in that division, but at 4-5 they’re not that far behind the 6-3 Washington Redskins, who may be the worst division leader in the NFL.

The Redskins have a +1 point differential, which is the worst of all division leaders, and that was in the negative before they beat the Buccaneers 16-3 on Sunday.

8) To illustrate just how weird the 2018 NFL season has been I present Matt Barkley to Dion Dawkins.

Barkley had been out of football until Halloween, but now he’s starting and winning games for the Buffalo Bills.

9) The Monday Night Football game was between two of the worst team sin the NFL, the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, but it wasn’t a bad game, with Eli Manning leading the Giants back for a 27-23 win.

Next week’s MNF game will take place from Mexico City, and it will feature the high powered offenses of the Chiefs and the Rams.

The showdown between Kansas City and Los Angeles has opened with an over/under of 64 points, which marks just the third time this century that an NFL game has been given a total of 60 or more points.

10) The Chicago Bears’ and the Minnesota Vikings will battle it out for the NFC North lead on Sunday Night Football (11/18). Minny is a half game behind the Bears right now, so the winner of this game will control their playoff destiny. This will be the biggest test of Mitchell Trubisky’s career so far, and in case you missed it I gave my thoughts on Trubisky and all the negative chatter surrounding his play of late on my latest podcast.

What are some of your thoughts on the NFL this week?