Takeaways from NFL Week 10
Alex Smith's career day
Alex Smith's first start in nearly two years was one to remember. He threw for a career-high 390 yards and nearly led a Washington comeback. He still looked like a solid NFL QB and was able to absorb some hits. It's still too early to tell how much of an impact he'll have, but it was great to see Smith out there again and doing well.
D-HOP (not DK) is the next Calvin Johnson
A lot of people have been giving DK Metcalf this honor just because of his similarities in size and speed, but until he makes the catches in triple coverage, DeAndre Hopkins should be considered the next Megatron. Did you see that catch he made on the Hail Mary? Very reminiscent of Calvin against Cincinnati in 2013.
The Colts are the best team in the AFC South
They just beat their best competition in the division pretty handily on the road, and they have one of the best defenses in the league. The offense is starting to find another gear, which they will need in their next two games, and things look like they're starting to click. A win over the Packers this weekend will be huge, and they play Tennessee again in Week 12. If Indy can beat the Titans again, it will pretty much seal the division thanks to the tie breaker. Tennessee, of course, could get on a roll like it did at the end of last season, but I think the Colts are more prepared this time around.
The Raiders are the best competition for the Chiefs in the AFC West.. but it's still not close
Las Vegas is currently in second place in the AFC West and has beaten the two teams behind them-- the Chargers and the Broncos-- in each of the last two weeks. The Raiders are also the only team to beat Kansas City this season. The Chargers have improved with Justin Herbert, but they are so far back that they likely won't catch up, and Denver was absolutely destroyed by the Raiders over the weekend. I don't see KC losing another game in the regular season, but the Raiders are a pretty good bet for 2nd place out west.
The Dolphins could challenge the Bills for the AFC East
I recently said that the Bills have taken over the AFC East from the Patriots, and they have, at least for now. But the Dolphins are right behind them and on a roll. Miami--which trails Buffalo by just half a game--has won five games in a row and has an extremely favorable schedule leading up to a Week 17 matchup in Buffalo. Meanwhile, the Bills have a couple games left where they could slip up. If Miami continues its current tear, that final week matchup could be for the division.
Figuring out the NFC East and NFC West
Just stop...ok? Nobody is going to be able to tell you how this finishes. I mean, in the East, technically everyone still has a chance to win the division, even with three teams that already have seven losses each. The closest team to a clear front-runner is Philly, but the Eagles look like the best team one week, then lose to an inferior division-rival the next-- way too inconsistent to trust. Out west, three teams are currently tied for the division lead at 6-3 going into Thursday night, plus last place San Francisco was just in the Super Bowl last year. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals last night to take over first place from the Cardinals, but the race is far from over. The Cardinals and Rams play each other twice, and each team still has at least one game remaining against San Francisco. The teams all have similarly favorable schedules down the stretch, so this will likely come down to the final game of the season.