–The Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals are two of the most disappointing teams in the league this year. Both were touted as Super Bowl contenders but the Bills are 5-5 and the Bengals 5-4 after they both lost on a field goal on the final play to the Broncos and Texans even though they were both home and favored. A lot of survivor pools were thinned out by those two games. The Bills lost after they gave Denver a second shot at a game winning field goal when they had 12 men on the field after first one was missed. The Bills offense continued to sputter and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was fired on Monday. They both may have to fight for wild card spots.
–This is the year parity continues to run wild. Six games, including the Texans and Broncos wins, were decided on a field goal on the final play. After 10 weeks, every team but the 8-1 Eagles and 7-2 Chiefs and Lions have at least three losses. And every team except the 1-8 Panthers and the 2-7 Patriots and 2-8 Giants have at least three wins. So the rest of the teams have at least an outside shot at getting a wild card spot if they get on a roll.
–In the NFC, the Eagles, Lions and the 6-3 49ers and Cowboys seem to have the best shot at getting to the NFC title game. In the AFC, it is a different story. The race is wide open. The Chiefs, who had a bye last week, haven’t looked as dominant as they have in recent years and the 7-3 Ravens, who were being called the best team in football a week ago, blew a two touchdown fourth period lead and lost to the 6-3 Browns. The 6-3 Jaguars still lead the AFC South but had won five in a row before being crushed by the 49ers. The Steelers are 6-3 but have been outgained by in every game, which is not a formula for winning in the playoffs. The Dolphins are 6-3 but haven’t beaten a contender. There are eight teams at 5-5, 5-4 or 4-5. Only the 3-6 Titans and 2-7 Patriots appear to be longshots.
–A surprise team could be the Houston Texans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. They beat the Bengals and Joe Burrow to go to 5-4. They are a game behind the 6-3 Jaguars, beat them in the first game and play them in two weeks. If they win the rematch, they could win the AFC South division title since they have an easier schedule the rest of the way than the Jaguars have. Stroud has a shot at becoming the first rookie MVP since Jim Brown.
The Vikings are another team to watch. Their season seemed over when Kirk Cousins was lost for the season. But Josh Dobbs has come in and won two straight and the Vikings are 6-4 after the win over the Saints. Even though they are two games behind the Lions, they have a wild card shot.
–Bill Belichick must be wondering why he didn’t retire when Tom Brady left. Or convinced Brady to stay. Things keep getting worse for him and the picture of him rubbing his face in what looked like frustration made all the highlight shows. The team is 2-8 after losing to the Colts and Gardner Minshew in Germany. Belichick used to own backup quarterbacks like Minshew but no longer. Nobody knows what his future, but it may not be coaching the Patriots.