It was an ugly game, but it was enough for the Philadelphia Eagles to take the lead in the NFC East. It's hardly a commanding lead, though. Chip Kelly's team has a tough assignment next week on the road against the Carolina Panthers. These two teams face off again in Week 17, a game that might just end up deciding the division winner.
The Giants aren't out of the race after Monday's ugly loss. They'll play host to the Cowboys and new replacement quarterback Matt Cassel next week, which gives them a chance to get back on top of the standings ... for a week anyway. For Dallas, that game will be a chance to snap a three-game losing streak and tread water while they wait for Tony Romo to get healthy.
Panthers own the NFC South
Thanks to Cam Newton and Drew Brees, the Carolina Panthers have a chance to take control of the NFC South.
After Brees led the New Orleans Saints to a 31-21 upset of the previously unbeaten Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night, Newton threw for 169 yards in the fourth quarter to give Carolina a 27-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
That gives the 5-0 Panthers a half-game lead over 5-1 Atlanta with three straight home games coming up. Granted, one of those games is against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers, but FiveThirtyEight now gives them a 62 percent chance of winning the division, up from 39 percent after Week 5. Carolina is also up to a 92 percent chance of making the playoffs, second in the NFC to Green Bay's 97 percent.
Calvin Johnson is an optimist
After the Detroit Lions picked up their first victory of the season, beating the Chicago Bears 37-34 in an ugly overtime game, Johnson might have gotten a little too excited.
"This is a huge win for us, especially since it was against a divisional opponent," said Johnson, who had 166 yards receiving and a touchdown. "Now we're in decent shape in our division."
As Johnson was saying that, the Packers were in the process of beating the San Diego Chargers 27-20 to move to 6-0. With the Minnesota Vikings also winning, the Lions are five games behind Green Bay, 2.5 games behind the Vikings and still a game behind the Bears. On the bright side, they do have the tiebreaker against Chicago!
The Denver Broncos just keep winning
Every week, Peyton Manning throws some terrible passes, including an interception or two, and the critics are ready to write off both he and the Broncos. The problem is that, once again, Manning and the Broncos did just enough to beat the Cleveland Browns 26-23 in overtime and improve to 6-0.
With the Chargers losing to Green Bay and the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Vikings, Denver already has a 3.5-game lead over the Oakland Raiders, who took over second place in the division by having a bye while everyone around them lost. The Broncos now have a 94 percent chance of winning the division -- the highest in the NFL.
At this pace, the Broncos might be able to rest Manning for the entire month of December before he has to worry about playing in the postseason.
Landry Jones keeps the AFC North interesting
No, that wasn't East Dillon High's Landry Clarke playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was former Oklahoma Sooner Landry Jones. The 26-year-old made his NFL debut when Mike Vick got hurt, and led the Steelers to a come-from-behind 25-13 upset of the Arizona Cardinals.
The surprising win keeps 4-2 Pittsburgh within two games of the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals, who beat the Buffalo Bills 34-21. The Steelers can get even closer next week, if they can keep a quarterback healthy long enough to beat the Chiefs while the Bengals are on a bye.
|AFC East Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|New England Patriots||5||0||183||103||80||1-0||4-0|
|New York Jets||4||1||129||75||54||1-0||3-0|
|AFC North Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|AFC South Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|AFC West Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|San Diego Chargers||2||4||136||161||-25||0-0||1-2|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1||5||127||159||-32||0-1||1-2|
|NFC East Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|New York Giants||3||3||139||136||3||1-2||2-3|
|NFC North Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|Green Bay Packers||6||0||164||101||63||1-0||4-0|
|NFC South Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||3||110||148||-38||1-1||1-1|
|New Orleans Saints||2||4||134||164||-30||1-2||2-4|
|NFC West Team||W||L||PF||PA||Pnt differential||Div||Conf|
|St. Louis Rams||2||3||84||113||-29||2-0||2-2|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||4||100||160||-60||0-1||1-3|