We are at the point of the season, past Halloween into November, when it's time to ask the question that I love to ask at this time of the year.
Is any NFL team really that good?
Just this past week, we saw the undefeated Arizona Cardinals lose at home to an undermanned Green Bay Packers team. We had the Cincinnati Bengals, who were the top seed in the AFC entering the weekend, losing to the New York Jets and a backup quarterback in Mike White, who lit them up for over 400 yards passing.
The Tennessee Titans took over the top seed in the AFC by beating the Indianapolis Colts on the road Sunday, but now they are likely without running back Derrick Henry for the rest of the season because of a foot injury.
Again, I ask the question: Is anybody any good?
That's what November and December are all about. The contenders will emerge and the pretenders will fall off, either by bad play or bad luck.
The Packers are now in the top spot of my Power Rankings, thanks to the road victory over the Cardinals last Thursday. They did so with a running game and good defense, not exactly what we've come to expect from the Packers in recent years.
Green Bay plays at Kansas City, who won on Monday night against the Giants and looked better on defense in doing so, on the road this week in a game that matches Patrick Mahomes against Aaron Rodgers, although neither is putting up the gaudy numbers of past seasons.
Even so, it's a game that could mean a change at the top if the Chiefs were to win. That might be a theme of the season the rest of the way. The teams that do take over the top spot might not be there for long for a reason:
Right now, nobody is really that good.
|They went to Arizona and beat an undefeated team without Davante Adams and others. That's the sign of a good team. The defense is getting better by the week.
|They dominated the Texans, which we expected, but face a tough AFC South team Sunday night in the Titans. The offense is really cooking right now and adding Von Miller to the defense is a good thing.
|They didn't look great against the Dolphins, but found a way to rally in the second half. The offense looked lethargic at times, which can't happen against good teams.
|The health of Kyler Murray bears watching after he got banged up last week. The run defense has to be better going forward.
|They basically locked up the division halfway through the season by beating the Colts, which is a good thing since Derrick Henry is likely gone for the year. Now comes a real proving game against the Rams.
|Winning the way they did against Tampa Bay is a testament to Sean Payton's coaching. Give defensive coordinator Dennis Allen his due as well. Both will need to be better without Jameis Winston.
|The defense just isn't good enough right now. When they let Trevor Siemian beat them, there are issues.
|Winning on the road with a backup quarterback against a good team is why they are a real Super Bowl threat. The defense is getting better by the week.
|They come off their bye with a tough home game against the Vikings. The offense was just OK the two games before the bye, so they need to get it going.
|At 5-2, they lead the AFC West as they come off their bye. Now they face a long road trip to play the Giants.
|They just can't handle prosperity. After blowing out the Ravens, how can they lose to the Jets? The defense wasn't good.
|Once again, the offense looked clunky in beating the Giants. That has to change. Patrick Mahomes doesn't look like himself.
|They have turned things around in a big way. The defense, as expected, is leading the way. But the offense is getting better.
|Winning on the road against the Chargers is an impressive victory. The defense came up big as Bill Belichick showed off his coaching acumen again.
|Losing two in a row is not a good look for this team. Justin Herbert has to pick up his play, but the offensive design isn't helping him.
|The offense wasn't good against the Cowboys. They just seemed too predictable. That has to change.
|At 4-4, this team is in last place in the division. That's hard to believe considering the expectations before the season.
|By losing to the Titans, they essentially are playing for a wild-card. The division looks to be lost. Leading 14-0, they should win that game.
|The defense came up big against the Falcons, which they might need to do again with the possibility they won't have Sam Darnold this week because of a concussion. P.J. Walker will face a challenge against the Pats if he starts.
|Jimmy Garoppolo played well against the Bears, showing that he should be the guy at quarterback. They looked like the 49ers we expected to see in that game as they ready for a big division game against the Cardinals.
|That was a season-saving victory over the Jaguars. Now they get a bye and might get Russell Wilson back after that.
|The defense played well against Washington, but the offense continues to flounder. They have to throw it better.
|With Calvin Ridley stepping away, their offense is limited. That puts more pressure on Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts. They do get to face a backup quarterback with the Saints this week.
|They looked like a good team against the Lions. But it's hardly looked like that for much this season. The defense was dominant. The Chargers will be a challenge this week.
|Justin Fields is getting better - at least running it. That's progress behind a bad line. He faces a tough Steelers team this week.
|The defense played a heck of a game against the Chiefs, but it wasn't enough. They didn't do enough on offense against a bad Chiefs defense.
|The defense finally shows up some and the offense does nothing against Denver. They have to solve the quarterback position going forward.
|Mike White was outstanding in beating the Bengals. That's a good thing, but what's it say about the way Zach Wilson was playing?
|Coming off the bye, they were back to playing a sloppy brand of football. That's on the coaches. Urban Meyer has to be better.
|This season is done. They can talk all they want about Deshaun Watson, but it wouldn't matter anyway. They are one of the biggest flops of the season.
|When do they put Tyrod Taylor back in the lineup? It probably doesn't matter who plays quarterback, but they have a winnable game against the Dolphins this week.
|So much for the idea that they were competing each week. It was awful against the Eagles. The talent just isn't there.