1. The Carolina Panthers Will Finish 16-0

This one is pretty easy. Their final three games are against the Giants, Falcons, and Buccaneers, all teams with losing records, but for the first time all season, I truly believe that 16-0 is more likely to happen than not.

Outside of Russell Wilson, Cam Newton has been the NFL’s best quarterback since November 1st. Since that day, he has a touchdown to interception ratio of 19-3 and has thrown for 1,787 yards. The offense leads the NFL in points per game with an average of 31.6 points. Their defense allows the third least amount of yards per game (307.8).

A prolific offense, an outstanding defense, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL combined with an easy remaining schedule and you got yourself the NFL’s first 16-0 team since 2007.

 

  1. The Seahawks Are Going To Be Just Fine

Yes, they lost Thomas Rawls for the season, but I am telling you right now, the Seattle Seahawks are going to be fine, and it’s all because of Russell Wilson.

Yesterday Wilson finished with five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a completion percentage well over 70 percent. With that performance, Wilson became the first player in NFL history to have four straight games of three touchdowns with zero interceptions while completing over 70 percent of their passes.

Wilson is playing the best football of his career right now, and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. He looks poised in the pocket; more comfortable than I have ever seen him before. His deep ball, which has always been deadly, is even better now than it was a year ago. He has continuity with Doug Baldwin, his new faviorte receiver.

Speaking of Baldwin, he has been one of the most consistent pass catchers in terms of not dropping the ball. Yesterday was his first drop in three seasons.

Wilson has the ability to carry this team. He is going to put this team on his back and carry them come January.

 

  1. The Bengals Are In Trouble

According to ESPN, Andy Dalton is likely to miss the rest of the regular season, and that means bad news for the Bengals. I’ve been high on the Bengals all season long. Dalton was playing at an MVP caliber level this season, and it showed on the field, but now, with the news that Dalton is likely done for the season, the future looks bleak.

AJ McCarron looked, well like you would expect a backup quarterback to look. He made poor decisions with the football, overthrew wide-open receivers, and made costly mistakes.

With a trip to Denver in two weeks, a bye week in the playoffs is likely at stake, and with Andy Dalton behind center, I’m sorry to say, but the Bengals have no shot at securing a top two seed in the AFC.

 

  1. The AFC South Is The Worst Division In The NFL

This year’s iteration AFC South is among the worst divisions in the history of the NFL, and yet it’s still one of the most intriguing narratives of the season. With three games left to play the Jaguars, Colts, and Texans, despite all being under .500 still have a shot to win the division. As bad they all are, each team has something exciting to watch about them. The Jaguars have a high-powered offense. The Texans have J.J Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, and the Colts have a quarterback returning from injury, who might very well save the season. As bad as the division has been, I’m so intrigued with these three teams that watching AFC South games has become one of my favorite things to do on Sundays.

 

  1. The AFC Once Again Belongs To New England

I said two weeks ago, and I said it last week; New England is going to be fine, and they showed it last night beating the Texans 27-6. Their win combined with losses by both the Broncos and Bengals put New England back in the AFC’s driver’s seat, something I do not think they will give up again.

The Patriots offense looked much better this week than it had the previous two and that is largely in part of the health of their superstar Tight End Rob Gronowski. With him in the lineup the offense is completely different. He is a complete game changer. He provides Tom Brady with a reliable pass catcher, who unlike Amendola, is actually a legitimate red zone target. Gronkowki frees up space for the Patriots’ other receivers. With a healthy Gronkowski I can’t see any team stopping this Patriots’ offense. Combine that with the fact that their front seven is the best it has been in the last few years, and you can almost guarantee that the Patriots will be representing the AFC in Super Bowl 50.

Sean Mason

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

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