It wasn’t supposed to be like this for either Cincinnati or Denver. Things were supposed to be better. The Bengals were supposed to be improved coming off of a 6-9-1 showing in 2016, ready to compete in the AFC North.
The Raiders and Patriots will probably play one of the best games on the NFL slate this week although the scene will be in Mexico City. Oakland's already played a game there, beating the Texans 27-20 back in 2016. Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio credited the atmosphere in Azteca Stadium with making it very unfriendly for Houston last season.
On paper, the Buffalo Bills are a playoff team at the moment. If the season ended today, they would be the second wild card in the AFC, and no one chasing them even has a winning record. So why is first-year head coach Sean McDermott benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman?
On the surface, it looks like not much has changed for the new England Patriots over the course of the first half of the season. They lead the NFL in total offense, and it’s a good thing they do, because their defense ranks dead last. It’s up to Tom Brady and company to outscore opponents, right?
Before the season, this looked like one of the worst games on the always-mediocre Thursday night schedule. Most would have agreed with you if you predicted that the Bills and Jets wouldn’t combine to win eight games in the entire season.
The Week 8 finale tonight features two division rivals on different, yet for the moment, similar paths. The Broncos (3-3) started out the 2017 campaign with hard-fought, AFC West wins over the Raiders and Chargers that paired nicely with a 25-point home victory against the Cowboys.
This season’s Thursday night NFL slate has produced a couple of surprisingly high-scoring thrillers already this season. No one saw the Rams and 49ers combining for 80 points in September, and the Raiders needed all 60 minutes and a couple of untimed downs to beat the Chiefs 31–30 last week.
Good football teams aren’t supposed to lose after a bye week. Good teams aren’t supposed to lose to the worst team in the league. And good teams darn sure aren’t supposed to lose after a bye week to the worst team in the league.