The absurdly premature 2010 playoff picture: Week 10

November 17, 2010

• Kind of hard to deny the Patriots after that performance on Sunday night. That was the old stuff, and quite frankly, I'm confused as to where that defensive performance came from. I don't know if it was something they know in particular about the Steelers, or if it's something they can reproduce on a weekly basis. I just know that it was the best performance I'd seen in the league this season. For about 24 hours, anyway.

• That refers, of course, to when the Eagles trumped them on Monday night. Granted, Philly's competition was quite a bit softer, but their dominance was also a little bit more pronounced. When Michael Vick(notes) was drafted, we didn't toss around words like "superstar" or "Pro Bowler" -- we tossed around words like "revolutionary" and "once-in-a-lifetime." It took longer than expected, with some unusual detours along the way, and I don't know if it's sustainable ... but at long last, on Monday night, there it was.

• The contenders for the second first-round bye spot in the AFC were Baltimore and Indy. Indy was pushed down because it has the toughest schedule of the three, and Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh was nearly a dead heat at this point. When in doubt, I go with the better quarterback, and, despite Sunday night, it's still easily Roethlisberger over Flacco.

• It was a nice Sunday for the Chargers, who, while enjoying their bye week, advanced to just one game back of Oakland and Kansas City.

• Back to the NFC, just for the record, I'm not down on the Giants. The loss to the Cowboys concerns me not a hitch. I still like the Saints to go on a run, though, and once again, when in doubt, I go with the better quarterback. Vick > Eli.

• I'm still not considering the Bears for anything. I am reluctantly starting to open myself to the possibility that I might have to start considering them, though.

• People have complained that there are no dominant teams in the NFL right now, but I'm not sure I buy that. And what would dominance through 10 weeks mean, anyway? If someone's going to get hot, and it's going to mean something, it's going to be happening, oh, right about now. And even if no one emerges as a clear favorite to get to the Super Bowl, why is that a problem? All four Wild Card teams, at least in my projection, are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Is that not a good thing? Are you not entertained?