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Football's Good Old Days

Mill Woods

Posted on October 8, 2018 22:05

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Some people wax nostalgic about dynasties of the past. Not me. After five weeks, the NFL is still providing drama in virtually every division. These are the good old days! I love it that we are now seeing teams like the Cleveland Browns giving their fans something to cheer about. There has never been such parity in NFL history (or in any other sports league), and there have never been so many cities excited about their football team.

Welcome to the National Parity League, where no team can take anyone for granted any more.  That may spell stress for fans of some of the perennial contenders, but for fans like me who appreciate a lot of teams, it just spells F-U-N.  This is the way every professional sport should be.  

There was excitement all around the league last weekend, but the three biggest games were: 1) the Vikings' close win over the Eagles; 2) the Chiefs' surprising blowout of the Jaguars; and 3) the Browns' exciting overtime win against the Ravens.  Because of those outcomes - and several other exciting games as well - almost all of the division races tightened.

That big win by the Vikings put them solidly back in that four-way horse race in the NFC North.  The defending-champion Eagles not only lost that tough game to the Vikings, they also lost playmaker Jay Ajayi for the season.  I think the NFC East is going to be a much tighter race than it was a year ago, and I do not expect the Eagles to get the number one seed.

The Browns' heart-attack special against the Ravens really knotted things up in the red hot AFC North, which I think is now the NFL's strongest division. In Week Six, we get another must-see NFC North showdown: the Steelers visiting the rejuvenated, first-place Bengals.

Across the NFL, most teams are just a game or two out of first place.  Another game that could have a playoff feel is the Ravens-Titans bout - a match of two excellent defenses.  And I can't say enough about that showdown between the undefeated Chiefs and the Patriots.  My head will be spinning, as I try to watch them all.

Last week, I went 11-4 on my game picks.  That's a playoff-caliber record.  Here are the Week Six matches - and my picks.

1. Eagles at Giants                Eagles

2. Bucs at Falcons                 Falcons
3. Panthers at Redskins         Panthers
4. Seahawks at Raiders         Raiders
5. Colts at Jets                     Jets
6. Cardinals at Vikings          Vikings
7. Steelers at Bengals           Bengals
8. Chargers at Browns          Browns
9. Bills at Texans                  Texans
10. Bears at Dolphins            Dolphins
11. Rams at Broncos             Rams
12. Ravens at Titans             Titans
13. Jaguars at Cowboys        Jaguars
14. Chiefs at Patriots            Patriots
15. 49ers at Packers             Packers

A reminder to those fans who expect their teams to win: extreme parity is the hallmark of these 'good old days'.  If the uncertainty stresses you out, have a cold beer or two, remember that it is a game - and enjoy!  

Mill Woods

Posted on October 8, 2018 22:05

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