Updated: Nov 25, 2021
The Chargers pulled out a tough victory against the Steelers. The game really shouldn't have been as close as it was. Still, the Chargers controlled the entire game and were able to score nearly at will. Most importantly, the Chargers were able to shut down Najee Harris, and if they can stop the run, the Chargers will be a force.
The Colts absolutely demolished the Bills. The Bills were exposed as an offense and defense. The Colts defense should have been destroyed through the air, but they were much improved. They held Josh Allen in check all game. Even though the Bills were the ones coming off the bye, the Colts were the ones who adjusted. The Colts have focused more on their running game, and it is paying off. It's playing to the strength of their defense and increasing Wentz's efficiency. The Colts stock is rising.
The Titans are really only here because of their record. They lost to the Texans. If that wasn't bad enough, every star on the team is hurt, except Ryan Tannehill, who threw four picks. I hope the Titans can keep their improbable run going, but they can't throw well or run well. They just got rid of Adrian Peterson, and now they face the Patriots, who are on a defensive tear. The outlook isn't great for the Titans.
The Patriots look to be peaking right now. The defense is back to where it was before Brady left. The offense is efficient. They are bullying teams right now and forcing them to play the Patriots way. It looks almost inevitable that the Patriots will make it back to the playoffs. The only chink in their armor is the fact that Mac Jones can't throw for over twenty yards. He did once, in the Atlanta game, and was picked off. However, much like moving Brady off his spot, defenses have to be able to make him do it first.
The Chiefs have pulled a 180. When they began to struggle, everyone pointed how bad the defense was playing. Now that the defense looks so good, people aren't paying attention to the offensive struggles. The Chiefs are back. They will not win the same way they used to against good teams, but they will keep stacking W's. They have a defense that can keep games close, one of the best QB coach combinations, and weapons to bail them out in tough spots.
The Ravens won the heartbreaker against the Bears without Lamar Jackson. They have a lot of injuries, which caused a lot of inconsistency. But after the bad losses after all the injuries, what happened? Ravens are 7-3 at the top of the toughest division in football. They have the potential to go far in the playoffs.
The Cowboys collapsed in the most significant moment of the season. Some things were out of the Cowboys control. The receiving core was really hurt, and Zeke got hurt mid-game. However, this is another game where Dak specifically didn't show up. Dak needs to be showing every game, win or lose. The Cowboys defense, though, looked great. They basically shut down the Chiefs offense. However, the Cowboys have time to get healthy because of how well they have done so far.
The Bucs came back from the bye and thrashed the Giants. The Bucs have answered the critics and didn't just beat the Giants, they blew them out and maintained control on both sides of the ball. The Bucs made the corrections on the bye. They are playing smarter, more methodical football. They are running the ball, managing the clock, taking what the defense gives them, and that's how they will win.
The Packers just lost to the Vikings. Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins exposed the Packers defense. The offense was fine. But let's be honest, the defense cemented this team as Super Bowl contenders because Rodgers is always going to be a beast, regardless. However, the Packers are still in a great position, and it's going to take more than one game to knock them off the pedestal.
Cardinals beat the Seahawks with their backups, and so their stars are getting an extended bye and not even losing their position. Even though all the injuries, the Cardinals are still the number one team in football. They are still the team to beat, and if anything, the injuries have shown how talented the coaches and roster are.
2. Justin Herbert
Herbert wasn't the first choice for MVP, and he still isn't. But, he has been a steady eddy of the elite QBs and crept into the conversation. Anyone who has ever seen Herbert play knows how talented he is. However, what's impressed me was how unshakeable he is. He threw for nearly 400 yards and had three touchdowns. He has been producing at a high level all year with no terrible games.
1. Tom Brady
Tom Brady has taken the lead in the MVP race. Tom has been in the conversation all year. However, he struggled in the past few games. In the Giants game, Tom reclaimed the throne. He threw for two touchdowns and three hundred yards, and didn't even have to finish the game.
3. Justin Fields
Justin Fields didn't finish his game against the Ravens, due to injury, and probably won't play the Lions. However, Justin appeared to take a step back this week. It's perplexing because, before the bye, he looked to be going in the right direction. However, the only reason the Bears were in the game with the Ravens was because of Andy Dalton.
2. Trevor Lawrence
The 49ers completely rolled Lawrence. However, to Lawrence's credit, he didn't have any interceptions, but he also couldn't do much.
1. Mac Jones
Mac Jones is leading the Rookie of the Year conversation easily. He has the best team, and he is doing an outstanding job of staying in his lane, doing what he does best, and not costing his team.