Tuesday 17 October 2017 / 04:58 PM

RACE FOR DIVISION TITLES HEATS UP

Week 10 shook up some division pretty dramatically. The NFL landscape continues to change, and the powers are slowly being shifted. We could be looking at entirely different conferences at the end of the season, so let’s do a momentary check-up.

American Football Conference (AFC)

AFC East – New England Patriots

The Patriots’ loss to the Seahawks still didn’t change much and they still lead the AFC East with a 7-2 record, but the Dolphins are on the charge in second with a 5-4 record. Both are actually tied within the division with a 2-1 record. The Patriots will likely cement themselves as number one, but a few upsets could make all the difference. The Pats have three division games in the next few weeks, as do the Dolphins. The rivals will face off on January 1st, and the Dolphins surprisingly tend to beat the Patriots from time to time. The New Year’s showdown could be a very interesting game if the Dolphins can keep this momentum, because even though the Patriots have been shunted slightly, it’s still business as usual for Brady and co. The Bills (4-5) and Jets (3-7) are bringing up the rear.

AFC North – Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens and Steelers were Super Bowl-caliber teams in recent years, yet both are struggling big time this season. The Steelers just lost to the Cowboys, and the Ravens were handed a victory against the Browns. The Ravens (5-4) lead and have a 3-0 division record, while the Steelers (4-5) are 1-1 in division games. The Bengals (3-5-1) are third and the Browns are chilling at last with a .000 record; poor Cleveland.

AFC South – Houston Texans

This one could be a toss-up between the Texans (6-3), Titans (5-5), and Colts (4-5) in the next few weeks. Overall, this is a pretty mediocre division that is likely to get blown out in the playoffs, but it’s still worth mentioning.

AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs

This is a more interesting scramble than the AFC South. The Raiders (7-2) were on their bye week and the Chiefs’ (7-2) win over the Panthers snuck them into the first place. The Chiefs will face the Broncos in two weeks, and the Raiders in four weeks. Plenty could change – and the 2016 Super Bowl champs Denver (7-3) can still come back. I want to see Oakland make this conference theirs. The Chargers (4-6) have been competitive but are last in the division.

 

National Football Conference (NFC)

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys

The Dak and Zeke offense is killing it. Dallas’ underdog win against the Steelers put them at 8-1 – the best record in the NFL. They don’t have the Patriots on their schedule for 2016 or ’17, but that’s the game I’d be interested in watching. Maybe we’ll get a Patriots-Cowboys Super Bowl. The narrative alone is enough to make this a Super Bowl worth watching. Rookie Prescott with the underdog Cowboys against the legendary Tom Brady on the edge of retirement and the infamous Patriots. We’re sure to be getting more comparisons now that the Cowboys just took the best record in the NFL. The Giants (6-3), Redskins (5-3-1) and Eagles (5-4) appear to be making up the numbers, though the NFC East is the only division where every team is remotely close to .500.

NFC North – Detroit Lions

The Lions (5-4) are virtually tied with the Vikings (5-4) in everything but conference percentage. The Lions are 4-1 in their last five games, while the Vikings, Packers (4-5) and Bears (2-7) are 1-4 in their last five games in a wildly swinging division. This could be anyone’s in the next few weeks, but it seems like the Lions are really running away with it.

NFC South – Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons (6-4) are losing momentum quickly, and the Buccaneers (4-5) may be able to instigate a takeover. I’m very surprised at the Carolina Panthers (3-6) being at last place, but they just haven’t been playing good football. I wouldn’t count them out yet since their record isn’t the worst in the league, but they should be on high alert if they want any hope of making the playoffs. The Saints (4-5) are the NFC South’s sleeper.

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks stole the show last Sunday against the Patriots, and are leading the division with a 6-2 record. The Cardinals (4-4-1) and Rams (4-5) are slowly gathering speed behind them, but if the Seahawks can play every game like Sunday (minus the obvious blunders), then they should keep the No.1 spot with ease. The hapless 49ers are 1-8.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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