We’re fast approaching the mid-point of the season and have a pretty good sense where things are going — or do we? I’m still really not sure who’s a contender in the AFC outside of the Bills and Ravens. As for the NFC ... might as well just insert a thousand shrug emojis. I mean, I like the Cowboys, Cardinals and Bucs, but it still feels wide open.
Now, here’s what I’m looking to find out in Week 7.
Can the Chiefs prevail in a “prove it” week?
This has unquestionably been a disappointing year for the Chiefs who have seen the wheels fall off their defense to such a level that their offense can’t keep up. That said, the team is still at 3-3, so it’s not like the season is over.
However, we could be warming up the band unless Kansas City can get back on track. Unexpectedly the AFC West has become one of the most contentious divisions in the NFL, and the Chiefs can’t afford to drop many games.
That raises the stakes of Week 7 against the Titans even more, with Tennessee appearing poised to take the next step and become major players in the AFC. So with both teams needing to make a statement and keep their playoffs hopes on course, who will come out on top?
Can we start taking the Bengals more seriously?
The Bengals have been a delightful surprise this season with Joe Burrow returning and leading Cincinnati to a 4-2 record. The rebuild is moving faster than most expected, but this week that could come to an end against the Ravens.
I’m not expecting a win here for the Bengals, but I want to see how close they’re able to keep this. If they can be competitive it might be time to start looking at a potential wild card spot for the Bengals.
What do we make of Rams vs. Lions?
Prior to the last week I didn’t think there was much bad blood between these teams, but apparently there’s a lot of lingering hurt over the way Jared Goff was traded. I mean, I might be upset too if I went from the Super Bowl to playing for the Lions.
It seems that bad blood is only running in one direction, as you’d expect with the Rams on a heck of a run with Matthew Stafford at the helm. I’m mostly curious to see if there’s any additional angst because of it.
Will the Cardinals ever lose a game?
They’re playing the Texans, so nope ... not yet.
Will the Dolphins have a starting quarterback this weekend?
One of the weirdest twists this week are rumors that the Texans could be preparing a trade that would send Deshaun Watson to the Dolphins, with Miami shipping Tua Tagovailoa to Washington.
So, I’m working off the assumption here that there is ZERO chance the NFL will let Watson play if he’s traded — so that mean Jacoby Brissett would start obviously. But this is far less about the depth chart and more the potential drama if Watson is dealt and potentially asked to start by the Dolphins.
Can the Raiders keep pulling together?
One of the worst incidents of the NFL season, Jon Gruden’s shameful emails leading to his resignation, is now turning into a rallying cry for the Raiders. These are playing who have worked their asses off all year, and had early success, only to see their coach distract the team and derail them for two games.
However, a win in Week 6 against the Broncos showed this team might be back, and prepared to make a statement. I’m interested to see if that can continue with the Eagles.