If the NFL playoffs were beginning next weekend, the Eagles and Saints would be the top seeds in the NFC with the Steelers and Patriots getting first-round byes in the AFC.
Those four teams have emerged as obvious championship contenders, but they’re not alone. While the Eagles improved to an NFL-best 8-1 record with a 51-23 throttling of the Broncos on Sunday, the Rams (6-2) and Panthers (6-3) joined the Steelers (6-2), Patriots (6-2), Vikings (6-2) and Chiefs (6-3) as teams with at least six wins after nine weeks.
(And now he’s dealing with an un-Packers-like issue off the field.) Jamaal Williams had promise but got banged up early, and Devante Mays blew his chance Sunday with an early fumble. That’s a lot of focus on one position not to find an answer when the Packers need it most.
They at least should be more of a challenge to a Saints defense that has performed well against some … questionable opposition the last three weeks (Brett Hundley, Mitchell Trubisky, an injured Jameis Winston/Ryan Fitzpatrick).
Denver finally appears to get a stop as Brady throws a pass to James White on third down that loses 3 yards, but Denver has too many men on the field on the ensuing punt and is called for the penalty, giving the Patriots a first down.
Touchdown, Patriots. Denver’s defense has no answers for New England. The Patriots march down the field and score on an 8-yard run by Dion Lewis to increase their lead to 34-16. The Broncos only had 10 defenders on the field when Lewis ran it in.
Facing a third-and-14, Tevin Coleman catches a pass, bounces off a defender and gains 15 yards to keep Atlanta’s drive alive.