Six games in to the 2014 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles will take a break. Week 7 brings with it the bye, meaning the Birds will return to the field for a stretch of 10 games.
Some would argue the ideal place for a bye is Week 9, evenly dividing your season. I’d disagree. Six or seven games in is a really good spot to be. You have a large enough sample size to figure out what’s working and what to throw out, and enough of the season left in order to put those changes in place.
So, while the Eagles rest, the rest of the NFL plays on. Here is a look at the projected standings through six weeks:
|New England Patriots||4||2|
|New York Jets||1||5|
|San Diego Chargers||3||3|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2||3|
|New York Giants||4||2|
|Green Bay Packers||4||2|
|New Orleans Saints||3||2|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||4|
|St. Louis Rams||3||2|
|San Francisco 49ers||3||3|
And some notes:
- AFC East: Turning in to a two-team race, with Buffalo and New England distancing themselves from the pack. The Bills scored the early win head-to-head last week.
- AFC North: Cincinnati and Baltimore have jumped ahead, but those pesky Pittsburgh Steelers are hanging around. I don’t think they’re title contenders, but they’re dangerous enough to be a pain for most teams all season long.
- AFC South: Maybe one of the worst divisions in football? Indianapolis is leading the way and Houston is a soft 4-2.
- AFC West: Denver remains the class of this otherwise lackluster division, but their schedule is doing them no favors. The Broncos are 3-2 and will be lucky to be above .500 after Week 7.
- NFC East: The Eagles are on top, tied in wins and losses with the Giants, but holding an edge thanks to a head-to-head win last week. I don’t see Washington or Dallas mounting any kind of a challenge.
- NFC North: The Packers, Lions and Bears are battling it out early, while Minnesota can at least look forward to the fact it will host a Super Bowl.
- NFC South: This division is packed tightly, with New Orleans at 3-2 and in first, and Tampa Bay at 2-4 and in last. This is more mediocrity than quality, however, when compared to…
- NFC West: Seattle is our lone unbeaten team and the Arizona Cardinals are hanging tough. St. Louis and San Francisco are fighting hard to keep up. Could both Wild Cards come from this division? It’s very possible.
Now, on with the picks (Tampa Bay is also on a bye)…
Jets @ Patriots: The Jets have been able to pull off some surprises in recent years, but I can’t see it happening this week, not with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady seething after a loss to Buffalo in Week 6. New England 23, New York Jets 13
Falcons @ Ravens: Good football game here. If it was in Atlanta, I might go with the Falcons, but not in Baltimore. Atlanta is a decent team that is going to struggle because their schedule is making them play tough games on the road. If they could somehow get to the playoffs, that’s going to help them. Baltimore 24, Atlanta 23
Titans @ Redskins: Huge game for both teams. A win and they’re 3-4, right in the hunt. A loss and they’re 2-5 and pretty much out of it. Edge to the home team. Washington 20, Tennessee 17
Seahawks @ Rams: The Rams are one of those up-and-coming teams, but they’re not there yet. Seattle 27, St. Louis 16
Browns @ Jaguars: Finally, Jacksonville wins. Pool party for everyone. Jacksonville 16, Cleveland 12
Bengals @ Colts: This is the year the Bengals are putting it all together. Big game on the road and they will deliver. It’s about now that the hype train is departing the Queen City. Cincinnati 28, Indianapolis 21
Vikings @ Bills: Oh, Minnesota. Buffalo 33, Minnesota 17
Dolphins @ Bears: Tough test on the road for Miami. They won’t pass. Chicago 40, Miami 24
Saints @ Lions: This should be another good football game. The Lions in a thriller. Detroit 41, New Orleans 35 (OT)
Panthers @ Packers: Carolina is in the middle of a slide. Green Bay gets them at the right time. Green Bay 26, Carolina 21
Chiefs @ Chargers: Andy Reid and bye weeks. Some things never change. Kansas City 27, San Diego 23
Cardinals @ Raiders: I see Arizona as a legitimate playoff team and legitimate playoff teams win games like this. Arizona 32, Oakland 16
Giants @ Cowboys: It’s getting ugly in Big D. New York Giants 37, Dallas 21
49ers @ Broncos: Do the Broncos have the toughest schedule in the NFL? I think they might. San Francisco loses another and Jim Harbaugh goes on the hot seat. Denver 23, San Francisco 17
Texans @ Steelers: The Texans will enter this game four-point favorites, but will be exposed by a Steeler team that won’t make the playoffs. Pittsburgh 27, Houston 10