While one team fell from the undefeated ranks, and another continued in its path of perfection, two teams furthered their upward ascension. The San Diego Chargers doubled down, adding two more wins to extend its winning streak to 10. In the NFC, the Eagles ran their streak to 5, clinching a playoff berth along the way.
The New Orleans Saints were soundly defeated by a Dallas Cowboys team motivated to change its recent late season trend of futility. Along the way, they provided a glimmer of hope to other NFC hopefuls by making the Saints look a little less invincible. The win also restored faith amongst its fan base and positioned the Cowboys for a shot at winning the NFC East if they can win out.
Besides the Saints, the Vikings came back to the pack as well after falling badly for the second time in three games. This time they lost to a struggling Panthers team and had problems on both sides of the ball. Additonal warning alarms were sounded when an ongoing tension between Brett Favre and Brad Childress became publicized after the contest. Although both parties claim to have things patched up, the underlying power tug-o-war surely could surface as the team heads into a post season that now seems a little more treacherous.
The rest of the NFC hopefuls include Arizona, Green Bay and the surging New York Giants. With memories of last year's post season run still present in many minds, the Cardinals can not be discounted despite a disappointingly inconsistent season. Although they lost to the Steelers on the final play in possibly the game of the year, the Packers have the ingredients to be a force in the playoffs. And, many are still not writing off the Giants who have looked unstoppable on offense for the 2 1/2 games.
In the AFC, the undefeated Colts appear poised to run the table depenedent upon their level of caution. They surely are keeping their eyes on the Chargers, who have been their nemisis in years past. None of the other AFC teams appear to have the consistency or balance to threaten either team.
- Colts (14-0)- Poised for undefeated season if regulars play
- Saints (13-1)-Cowboys needed the game a little more
- Chargers (12-3)- Two more wins makes 10 straight
- Vikings (11-3)-Lost 2 of 3 with Favre and Childress feuding
- Eagles (10-4)-Offense leads team to 5th straight win
- Packers (9-5)-Looking strong despite Steelers last gasp win
- Cowboys(9-5)-Confidence soaring after big win in N'Awlins
- Bengals (9-5)- Last second loss pales to loss of Henry
- Cardinals (9-5)-Clinched division, but still up and down
- Giants (8-6)-Offense rolling keeps them as media darlings
- Patriots (9-5)-Playoff worthy, but have holes
- Ravens (8-6)- 79-10 past two weeks, is it them or opponent
- Broncos (8-6)-Hanging on for playoff spot after 6-0 start
- Dolphins (7-7)- Tough loss, but still in contention
- Jacksonville (7-7)-Two tough losses could put them out of race