Week Seven 9-Route

Are Fisher’s Titans serious Super Bowl contenders?

After watching Sunday’s games in Week 7, it had me thinking: How many teams are truly in the hunt for the Vince Lombardi Trophy?  Even better, who passes the “eye test” in the up and down NFC?  It’s one of many questions that will be answered in my weekly edition of the 9-Route, where I go around the league and review what was and what wasn’t during Week 7 of the National Football League.

  • The biggest question mark concerning the Tennessee Titans has always been their lack of a clear-cut #1 WR.  It looks like they have found their answer with an exclamation point -Kenny Britt.  With that said, I don’t know if there could be a team in the NFL that I am more impressed with at this moment.  Serious Super Bowl contenders?  I think so.  Could you tell me otherwise?  This team is as tough as they come.  I liked what I saw during the team’s comeback against a good Eagles club.  Nothing rattles them.  You thought the Steelers were the prime model and shining example for toughness in the NFL, think again.
  • Darren McFadden, when healthy, gives Oakland that “Adrian Peterson” dimension to their offense.  Coming out of Arkansas, I thought he could be as good if not even better than Peterson.  McFadden has the potential to be an MVP in this league, this season.  Now, we are finally starting to see the “real” McFadden, the one who “stood up” in Denver on Sunday.
  • So, are we going to continue to bash the Patriots defense?  They aren’t that good, they are so bad they won’t even make the Playoffs.  Never underestimate a Bill Belichick-coached team.  Also, Tom Brady is back to winning games without playing his best.  Now these are the Patriots that I know and love to root for.  Did you know they have the best record in the NFL?  Neither did I.
  • Should I lose all hope for the Bengals?  No.  They outscored supposedly the “NFC’s best team”, the Atlanta Falcons, 22-0 in the Georgia Dome, they have four games left within the AFC North, including two with Pittsburgh, and they are too talented to give up on them this early.  I could see them sneaking in as a Wild Card team.  Why not?  The current state of the defense.
  • Roddy White is officially in the class of Andre Johnson, replacing Larry Fitzgerald.  Take him away from the Falcons, it would be the same as taking away Johnson from the Texans.  He could be the NFL’s best WR.  In the NFC, there’s no doubt.  Matty Ice to Roddy is suddenly becoming the best QB-WR connection in the league.  The thing I like about White is he gets the job done quietly, just like Andre.
  • Are the Washington Redskins one of the top three teams in the NFC?  I have to say yes.  You got the Giants of course, the Falcons, and who else?  The Bucs?  I mean, Washington passes the “eye test” because they can win the “ugly” game.  If I had to choose, I would say the best teams are in the NFC East; especially when Vick returns.  I’d go 1. Giants  2. Redskins  3. Eagles.  Atlanta has to prove to me they can win a big game outdoors.  Who knows, they may not have to answer me if they can get home field advantage in the Playoffs like New Orleans and Minnesota did last season.
  • The Chiefs are good enough to make the Playoffs, however, are they good enough to advance in the Playoffs in a loaded AFC?  I’d feel better if they were in the NFC.  Charles-Jones are as good as they get in terms of 1-2 punches at RB, Cassel to Bowe is emerging as a legitimate threat, and the defense covers a lot of ground.  Not only their play on the field, but how about the coaches on the sideline?  Haley-Weis-Crennel are making a big difference, it’s so evident that it’s hard not to recognize amidst the team’s miraculous turnaround.  Name me a more impactful coaching staff that has more to do with a team’s success than this trio in Kansas City?
  • It took Ryan Fitzpatrick to have the Ravens secondary problems return front and center.  Ed Reed returned with two picks, still, it didn’t matter.  Why should I believe this is a Super Bowl contender with all the solid teams in the AFC?  How much stock should I take into this game?  It’s the defense, not the offense, that I’m concerning with in Baltimore.  Nonetheless, this is the team that gave the Jets and the Steelers their only losses.  They are still worthy contenders for the Lombardi.  Plus, with Reed back, you have to think this team is better than the one that lost to Pittsburgh in the ’08 AFC Championship game.
  • Randy Moss: When will you join your teammates?  Percy Harvin is playing out of his mind, Adrian Peterson is doing what he does, yet, Favre is looking for his “Sidney Rice” in Moss -and he hasn’t answered the call.  If Moss plays like he should and is capable of, it will take a lot off of Favre’s shoulders.  But even if the offense gets more efficient, the defense still could prevent this team from overcoming its 2-4 start.  If the Bucs are doing more with less, than the Vikings are certainly doing less with more.

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