Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) November 07, 2013
As the NFL regular season turns the mid-season corner, the drama continues to intensify – much to the delight of the fans in the stands.
In Kansas City, last year’s dismal 2-14 Chiefs are now 9-0. Following their bye week however, they play Peyton Manning and the 7-1 Denver Broncos in two of their next three games.
After nine weeks of NFL football, 25 teams have lost at least three games. Adding to the fun, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t the only team on the hot seat. Six other teams face some serious challenges in their playoff runs as well.
For example, the 8-1 Seattle Seahawks have the best record in the NFC, but with three key players missing time on their offensive line, they’ve proven vulnerable with a 10.2 percent sack rate, the third-worst in the league.
The Denver Broncos, led by the impressive Peyton Manning, are also vulnerable on the front line and some pundits predict it may cost the team the playoffs. Denver faces tough pass rushing teams Indianapolis and Kansas City.
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Other top teams facing challenges include the New England Patriots. At 7-2, the team appears bound for their 11th AFC East title in 13 years. The problem is injuries. Four key players are already out for the season, two others are on injured reserve and top gun Tom Brady has hand and shoulder issues.
The New Orleans Saints, at 6-2, have a powerful offense. Drew Brees has 21 TD passes, second only to Peyton Manning. The problem is the defense, which is allowing 4.9 yards per carry, the second worst rate in the league. Upcoming opponents Seattle and San Francisco, two of the best rushing teams, may keep the Saints out of the post season.
The San Francisco 49ers, also at 6-2, face challenges with the sport’s lowest rate of passing plays. While their running game ranks at the top in the league, the passing weakness could prevent the team from overcoming late-game deficits both before and possibly during the playoffs.
Finally, another 6-2 team, the Indianapolis Colts have had big wins against Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. Analysts point to their penchant for the running game, which has not been effective for the team, leaving them vulnerable in tight games.
Other teams are attracting attention as well. The Jets, after an exciting win over the high-powered Saints, are making a run for respect. The Panthers, who started the regular season ranked at 23, have jumped to 12 after four straight wins. The Titans, who opened at 27, have fought their way up to 16. And the Lions, who began the season ranked 21, are now ranked 10.
In terms of this week’s Power Rankings provided by espn.go, the top 10 teams heading into Week 10 are the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
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