Are you in, or are you out ... or can you even tell the difference anymore?
By: Jimbo X
New England Patriots (10-0)
Season Point Differential: (+141)
Neither Tom Terrific or the Gronk had to play particularly well - Brady went 1-1 on TDs-to-INTs and had 277 passing yards while the League's best tight end had only 37 receiving yards and no scores - to best Buffalo on Monday night. Give no-name James White the game ball in the Pats' 20-13 victory, as he posted both a rushing and receiving touchdown to keep New England undefeated.
Arizona Cardinals (8-2)
Season Point Differential: (+120)
The Cards bested Cincy on a last-second field goal, in what turned out to be a 34-31 Sunday night slugfest. Carson Palmer continues to impress, as he wrapped up the contest with 317 yards and four TD passes to four separate receivers. Those two interceptions, though...
Season Point Differential: (+108)
Cam Newton looked downright superhuman in the Panthers' 44-16 win over the Skins. Going 21-for-34, he finished the game with 246 yards, zero interceptions and FIVE touchdowns (all of which, it should be noted, landed in the mitts of different receivers.) Lost in the stellar performance, however, is the equally impressive play by Carolina's defenders, who limited Washington to just 221 total yards on the day (including an embarrassingly low 14 yards rushing.)
Cincinnati Bengals (8-2)
Cincinnati Bengals (8-2)
Season Point Differential: (+80)
Kansas City Chiefs (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (+59)
Don't look now, but the Chiefs have slowly transformed into an offensive and defensive juggernaut over the last few weeks. In their 33-3 dismantling of hated divisional foes San Diego over the weekend, the KC run game posted three scores and 153 yards, while limiting the Chargers rushing attack to just 52 yards. Although Alex Smith lobbed not touchdowns, he nonetheless went 20-for-25 on pass attempts, ultimately collecting 253 yards at the final whistle.
Green Bay Packers (7-3)
Season Point Differential: (+51)
After two tough losses, the Packers bounced back in a big way, reclaiming the top slot in the NFC North via a 30-13 ass-kicking of arch-rivals Minnesota. Although A-Rod only went 16 for 34 on pass attempts, at least two of those wound up in the end zone; while Green Bay didn't do much to stop the Vikings' passing attack, they did do a fairly good job stopping their rushing attack, limiting their foes to only 94 yards and a solo A.P. TD on the ground.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)
Season Point Differential: (+45)
The Steelers had a bye on Sunday, as they gear up for a Super Bowl XL rematch against the Seahawks this weekend. Averaging 384.9 yards per game, they possess the League's sixth-best offense at this juncture in the season; allowing 371.4 yards per contest, they have the 23rd ranked defense in the NFL.
Denver Broncos (8-2)
Season Point Differential: (+39)
No Peyton, no probem! Back-up QB Brock Osweiler actually played quite well in Denver's 17-15 win against Chicago, as he threw two touchdown passes and racked up 250 yards (which evens out to just 219, once you factor in those five sacks, though.) The run game definitely gave Denver an advantage in this one; their combined backs put up 102 yards, while the Broncos' D limited Chicago to just 86 yards on the turf.
THE PLAYOFF HOPEFULS
Atlanta Falcons (6-4)
Season Point Differential: (+36)
Things are not looking good for Falcons fans at this point. After a quick 5-0 start, Atlanta has fallen to a 6-4 record, with their latest loss being a 24-21 heartbreaker against the Colts. Matt Ryan, as often the case, was a mixed bag; while he tossed three touchdown passes for 280 yards, he also lobbed three costly interceptions, including a pick six to D'Qwell Jackson.
Seattle Seahawks (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (+36)
Russell Wilson had his best game in a long time, as he lobbed three touchdown passes for 260 yards in Seattle's 29-13 win over San Fran.The real star of the show, however, had to have been back Thomas Rawls, who posted 209 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. Uh, Beast Mode-who, guys?
Minnesota Vikings (7-3)
Season Point Differential: (+27)
Despite his TD run, Adrian Peterson wasn't much of a factor in the Vikes' 30-13 loss to the Packers over the weekend. AP finished the game with 45 yards on 13 carries, while Terry Bridgewater passed for 296 yards and a single TD. Alas, Mr. Bridgewater also got slammed all evening long; at the the final count, the Packers defense sacked him no less than six times, for a cumulative -48 yards.
New York Jets (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (+36)
In the Jets. 24-17 loss to the Texans, Ryan Fitzpatrick had one touchdown, two interceptions and 216 yards on 19 completions (though you can roll back his yardage to just 197, factoring in the lost ground due to sacks.) Proving yet again that teams who can run the ball can run the entire game, New York finished the contest with 70 yards on 21 carries, while Houston posted 123 yards on 37 runs.
New York Giants (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (+30)
The Giants took the week off, as they next do battle with divisional foes Washington on Sunday. Averaging 356.9 yards per game, they have the League's 14th-ranked offense; allowing 420.9 yards, however, the also have the second worst defense in pro football.
Buffalo Bills (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (+17)
The Bills made it tough for the Pats to hit pay-dirt - in fact, they were pretty much the only team so far this season to neutralize Gronkowski as a deep threat - but even with T-Mobile playing well, Buffalo just couldn't get their offense rolling. Hence, their 20-13 Monday night defeat.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (0)
There are demoralizing losses, and then there is the 45-17 hurtin' the Bucs put on the Eagles. With Mark Sanchez going two-for-three in the TD-to-INT ratio, he wrapped up the game with 261 passing yards; alas, their run defense absolutely tanked, allowing Tampa Bay back Doug Martin to absolutely mow down the field for 235 yards on 27 carries. And that STILL wasn't the worst defensive aspect of the game, because...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (-18)
...holy shit, did Jameis Winston look like an absolute pimp against Philly on Sunday. While going 19 for 29 on pass attempts for 246 yards is in and of itself quite impressive, that ain't shit compared to the former FSU star lobbing FIVE touchdown passes to five separate receivers. Throw in Doug Martin's 235-yard day, and folks, we might just have an emerging offensive powerhouse on our hands...
THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Oakland Raiders (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-19)
For some inexplicable reason, the Raiders' offense decided to go into hibernation on Sunday, as the formerly-explosive Derek Carr racked up a paltry 169 yards on 13 completions, sans anything even remotely resembling a touchdown in an 18-13 loss to the Lions. The run game sucked as well, as the Raiders' rushers combined for a piss poor 50 yard total.
Houston Texans (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (-20)
How about them Texans? The two-headed tandem of T.J. Yates and Cecil Shorts III had three touchdown passes and a cumulative 241 yards in Houston's 24-17 win over the Jets. DeAndre Hopkins looked especially impressive: on five receptions, he racked up 118 yards and two trips to the end zone.
St. Louis Rams (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-20)
Going 12 for 26 for 136 yards and a solo TD, Case Keenum had a day to forget in the Rams' 16-13 loss to Baltimore. While Todd Gurley looked all right (66 yards and a TD on 25 carries), nobody else on the offensive side of the ball seemed to get things going for St. Louis. The defense fared even worse, letting the lackluster Ravens' O combine for 388 total yards.
Baltimore Ravens (3-7)
Season Point Differential: (-23)
It is the definition of a Pyrrhic victory; although Baltimore did indeed win Sunday's contest against St. Louis, the 16-13 victory came with a heavy cost - the loss of QB Joe Flacco for the rest of the season. Starting for Baltimore this Sunday? None other than Matt "Pick Six" Schaub ... so yeah, right about now is a good time to start drinking, Ravens' faithful.
Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Season Point Differential: (-24)
With the ageless Matt Hasselback filling in for Andrew Luck, the Colts bounced back to beat the Falcons 24-21 over the weekend. Going two-for-two on the TD-to-INT ratio, the former Seahawks gunslinger finished the game with 213 yards; meanwhile, former Packer Ahmad Bradshaw put 14 points on the board, while the Colts' D kept Atlanta's top-tier rushing attack at only 100 yards and no scores.
Washington Redskins (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-32)
There is really not a lot of solace the 'Skins can take in their 44-16 throttling at the hands of Cam Newton and the Panthers. With just 14 rushing yards - and passing game that evens out to only 172 yards once you factor in the five times Kirk Cousins got sacked - the offense undeniably looked lackluster ... and that's WITHOUT taking into consideration the team's four fumbles, either.
Chicago Bears (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-37)
Going 18-for-32 with no touchdowns, Jay Cutler played fairly mediocre against the Broncos in their 17-15 loss. Though Bears receivers racked up plenty of yardage (Marquess Wilson alone had 102 yards on four receptions), those impressive metrics don't really add up to a hill of beans unless they convert into points; only back Jeremy Langford, who had 25 yards on 13 carries, got anywhere close to an end zone for Chi-Town.
Dallas Cowboys (3-7)
Season Point Differential: (-38)
In his return, Tony Romo went 18 for 28, with 227 yards and a two-TD/two-INT split. But much more importantly, he led the Cowboys to their first substantial win of the season, as they bested Miami 24-14. Oh, and Darren McFadden had 129 yards on 29 carries ... raise your hand if you thought this dude would have more yards than Latavius Murray this past week?
ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE DRAFT
Miami Dolphins (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-44)
Woo howdy, did the Fins play like shit on Sunday. In their 24-14 loss to Dallas, Ryan Tannehill threw for 188 yards (just 140, accounting for the -48 yards in sacks, though), while the Dolphins backs chalked up a low 70 yards on 14 carries.
Tennessee Titans (2-8)
Season Point Differential: (-51)
With 22 completions and 231 yards, Titans' QB Marcus Mariota couldn't do much in his team's 19-13 loss to the Jags (although he did have a scrambling touchdown, if that means anything ... which it doesn't.) Delanie Walker, however, did have some pretty decent stats - on eight receptions, he finished the game with 109 yards, but no trips to the end zone.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (- 57)
Blake Bortles went one-for-one in touchdowns-to-interceptions thrown, which apparently was good enough to give the Jaguars the 19-13 win over Tennessee. With 21 completions, he finished the affair with 242 yards - his top target, Allen Robinson, concluded the contest with an impressive 113 yards on five receptions.
New Orleans Saints (4-6)
Season Point Differential: (-60)
Following a bye, the Saints visit Houston next week for a clash against the Texans. The proverbial Harvey Dent of the National Football League, the Saints are a complete contradiction, stats-wise. Averaging 414.5 yards per game, they have the second best offensive numbers in the NFL - alas, ALLOWING 424.3 yards per contest, they also possess the absolute worst defense in professional football.
San Diego Chargers (2-8)
Season Point Differential: (-69)
Unfortunately for Philip Rivers, the only touchdown pass he threw in San Diego's 33-3 drubbing was to KC defender Justin Houston, who promptly returned the pigskin for six points on the board. At the final horn, San Diego barely had 200 total offensive yards - factoring in yardage lost to sacks, they posted 149 passing and only 52 rushing.
Detroit Lions (3-7)
Season Point Differential: (-89)
Hold the phone, fellas, the DETROIT SUPER LIONS are the winners of back-to-back contests! In their 18-13 win over the Raiders, Matt Stafford posted 282 yards on 22 completions, while Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick united for over 230 yards (but no end zone visitations, strangely enough.)
Cleveland Browns (2-8)
Season Point Differential: (-91)
Next week's Cleveland/Baltimore contest features two teams with a combined win-loss record of 5-15; if you're fearful of an ISIS attack over the weekend, I'd recommend attending that game, since nobody in their right mind would pay money to be there.
San Francisco 49ers (3-7)
Season Point Differential: (-113)
Yeah, looks like THE BLAINE GABBERT just didn't have it in him to work two miracles back-to-back. In the Niners' 29-13 loss to the Seahawks, he had 264 passing yards (plus 22 on the ground) with only a single TD throw. The run game numbers tell you everything you need to know about why San Fran dropped this 'un: while the 49ers finished the game with 59 yards on 16 carries, the Seahawks posted 255 on 40 rushes.