We have the AFC North—Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, Browns—with each team posting a record above .500. And then there is the surprisingly, awful NFC South that sent two teams playoffs last season in the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.
No team in the NFC South has a winning record. The Panthers and Saints are both 3-4, a deep and talented Atlanta Falcons team in 2-6 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-6. The season is still young, especially for New Orleans with Drew Brees under center.
But sending a team to the playoffs with a .500 record or worse is an embarrassment, but if you win your division, you in, but it appears no team in this division wants to win.
Brooks: 7-8; Overall: 74-46
Perez: 13-2; Overall: 83-37
Wooten: 11-4; Overall: 65-40
|Week 9 Matchups||Brooks||Perez|
|NO @ CAR||NO||NO|
|TB @ CLE||CLE||CLE|
|PHI @ HOU||PHI||PHI|
|NYJ @ KC||KC||KC|
|JAX @ CIN||CIN||CIN|
|ARI @ DAL||ARI||ARI|
|WSH @ MIN||WSH||WSH|
|STL @ SF||SF||SF|
|DEN @ NE||DEN||DEN|
|OAK @ SEA||SEA||SEA|
|BAL @ PIT||PIT||PIT|
|IND @ NYG||IND||IND|
|SD @ MIA||SD||SD|
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
The two future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks have faced each other 16 times, dating back to Manning’s Indianapolis Colts days. The last time these two titanic quarterbacks met, Manning toppled his prolific counterpart in a 26-16 victory in the AFC Championship.
Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots went into the offseason with a mindset to derail Manning’s explosive offense by signing cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.
The Broncos added defensive stalwarts of their own in CB Aqib Talib, safety TJ Ward and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware who have all gelled.
Denver also added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders who has excelled with Manning as his quarterback. Sanders is fresh off a nine catch, 120 yard, three touchdown performance against San Diego.
According to ESPN Stats&Information, Manning and Brady Manning each went 4-0 in October with their teams winning by roughly 18 points per game (Broncos +18.5, Patriots +17.8). They each completed 100 passes and had the top two QBRs in the league, while throwing 14 touchdowns.
The debate of who is the top quarterback of the century between Brady and Manning won’t come to a conclusion even after they retire, but on Sunday, Manning will come out on top on the road in Foxboro.
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Giants
That 51-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers had nothing to do with Luck.
No seriously, it had nothing to do with Andrew Luck. Ben Roethlisberger delivered the Colts defense one of the most masterful games in NFL history with 522 yards and six touchdowns.
In fact, Roethlisberger is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards two times in his career.
Luck too had himself a game with 400 yards passing with four touchdowns through the air, but he also added two interceptions. Like Roethlisberger, Luck faces another two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback from the 2004 NFL draft in Eli Manning.
The Giants have loss two straight after reeling off a three game winning streak. They’ve lost their star in Victor Cruz for the season and have a brutal schedule the rest of the way with San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas next in line. If New York (3-4), doesn’t pick up a win against Luck and the Colts Sunday, the Giants might be in for a downward spiral the rest of the way.
Eddie P’s Philosophical Take
Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys
The Arizona Cardinals have the best record in the NFC at 6-1. They will look to keep it that way by going into Arlington, TX and pouncing on the Cowboys.
The Cards have a strong defense and a more than capable offense. Carson Palmer has three dangerous targets in receivers Michael Floyd, rookie John Brown, and the still lethal Larry Fitzgerald. Running back Andre Ellington ain’t too shabby either.
The Cowboys are among the conference’s top teams as well. Running back DeMarco Murray is a total beast, but he’s going up against a stingy run defense. Quarterback Tony Romo is also coming off a back injury, and nobody knows how well he will perform.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
I’ve clamored about top quarterbacks battling it out before. I’m dead serious this time – Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are thee top signal callers of this generation.
Plain and simply, the Broncos have a few more offensive weapons than the Patriots. Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders. Who do the Patriots have, Rob Gronkowski?
Broncos got this.