In this season of parity or mediocrity – take your pick – there are four teams that appear to be the class of the field – unbeaten Philadelphia and Dallas, Buffalo and Kansas City.
All four won this weekend to set the table for the best Sunday of action so far this season.
The 4-1 Bills will play the 4-1 Chiefs in the CBS late game and the 4-1 Cowboys will play 5-0 Eagles on Sunday night.
The two winners will be the frontrunners to get the top seed in each conference.
The Chiefs had the biggest scare Monday night against a division rival, Las Vegas. The game should have gone into overtime, but Raiders coach Josh McDaniels went for two with about four minutes left. The Raiders didn’t make it and lost 30-29.
In the other three games, the Cowboys beat the Rams, 22-10, the Eagles edged the Cardinals 20-17 and the Bills clobbered the Steelers, 38-3.
Besides the Chiefs, Bills and Cowboys, only two other teams have just one loss, the surprising Vikings and Giants who are both 4-1. The Vikings beat the bears 29-22 and the Giants upset the struggling Packers, 27-22. But the Vikings and Giants have to prove they are contenders, not pretenders.
There are six teams with one win – Raiders, Steelers, Commanders, Lions, Panthers and Texans. The Texans were the only one of the six to win Sunday as they beat the Jaguars for the ninth time in a row. They were the only winless team going into the weekend.
One of the one win teams, the Panthers, fired head coach Matt Rhule on Monday. The firing wasn’t a surprise, but the fact the Rhule was hired and given a seven year $62 million contract in the first place was the real surprise. It shows that billionaire owner David Pepper appears to have no idea how to run a franchise. . Rhule can now play golf and collect around $40 million for the next four years and 12 games. But he will likely return to the college ranks as the latest college coach to flop in the NFL. Assistant Steve Wilki, who was fired after going 3-13 in his one year as the Cardinals coach, will take over as the interim. He has joined the Brian Flores discrimination suit for his abrupt firing by the Cardinals.
While there are now six teams with one or fewer losses and six with one win, the other 20 teams are 3-2 or 2-3 except for 2-2-1 Indianapolis.
Two of the three 2-3 teams are last year’s two Super Bowl teams, the Rams and Bengals. But they came in with the odds against them. A team hasn’t repeated as Super Bowl champion since the 2003-04 Patriots and a Super Bowl loser has won it the following year only once since 1972 when the perfect Dolphins did it. Neither the Rams not the Bengals are looking super after five games.