1. Tom Brady
Since his two-interception performance in an embarrassing loss to the Chiefs in week four, Brady has thrown for 14 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. This past week Brady made the biggest statement yet, completing 30 of 35 passes including five touchdowns. Brady’s favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, appears plenty healthy as he caught all nine balls throw his way, with three resulting in scores. Brady’s spectacular play has the Patriots comfortably back in first place with a record of 6-2. He has caught fire at just the right time, as next weekend we will all be treated to another round of Peyton Manning vs. Brady when the Broncos visit the Patriots. Weeks ago there many were expressing creeping concerns about his longevity, but after this past showing many are wondering just how far Brady can carry the Patriots this year.
2. Arizona Cardinals
Recently, physicists made progress in their efforts to keep materials hot enough to sustain nuclear fusion. They performed the experiments in the presence of the Arizona Cardinals, since there is nothing hotter right now. Sure, there are other 6-1 teams in the NFL, but have any managed to make do without their starting quarterback for much of the season? Third-stringer Logan Thomas played in the Cardinals only loss against the Broncos, and now that Carson Palmer is healthy this team should continue to prove that they belong. Following an impressive comeback win over the high flying Eagles, the Cardinals look to showcase their abilities next week against Dallas, another team at the top of the NFC.
3. Ben Roethlisberger
I think somebody turned the clocks back a week early in Pittsburgh. The Steelers had been struggling at times this year, with only a 4-3 record heading into this past Sunday’s matchup with the red-hot Colts. Andrew Luck has been playing incredibly this season, but on Sunday Big Ben decided to remind the second year star exactly which of them holds two Super Bowl rings. Roethlisberger completed an astounding 40 of 49 passes for a career high 522 yards and a boggling 6 touchdowns一both franchise records. Roethlisberger’s Steelers might still not be among the elite in the AFC, but Sunday he reminded us all why he has won two rings and should still be in the conversation for elite quarterbacks.
1. Geno Smith
If you ever throw more interceptions than completions then you know you had a pretty rough Sunday. After throwing his third interception of the game after only 10 minutes, New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith was benched for backup Michael Vick. At this point in his career Smith has been given so many chances after brutal failures that I truly think that the end is coming soon for him. At least when the Jets had Mark Sanchez they could justify keeping him because he technically “led” the team to two AFC Championship games. What Has Geno done for the Jets? Anything? One of the most difficult things in the NFL is admitting you screwed up when you thought you had a franchise quarterback, and I don’t think the Jets can stay in denial for much longer.
Last week a Google Executive broke several records after skydiving from the edge of space. On Sunday, the Chicago Bears attempted to break his records with their continued plummet into mediocrity after their 23-51 loss to the New England Patriots. The Bears were in dire straights last weekend after reported locker room turmoil and needed a strong showing against the Patriots, and they had the exact opposite. The Bears allowed the Patriots to score three touchdowns in under a minute late in the second quarter to completely blow open the game. Tom Brady was surgical and deadly, showing the Bears everything that Jay Cutler is not. The Bears now head into a much needed bye week before taking on the prolific offense of the Green Bay Packers on national TV.
3. Lamarr Houston/Sammy Watkins
Both of these players land on the Cold List for boneheaded plays that they will probably never live down. Houston, the Bears defensive end, was forced out of the blowout against the Patriots after suffering a torn ACL. The worst part is the injury occurred when Houston was celebrating a sack, which would be embarrassing enough. However, the sack occurred with under five minutes remaining in what was a 30-point game against backup Jimmy Garoppolo. Meanwhile, Sammy Watkins pulled a classic infamous goof when he slowed up before reaching the end zone to celebrate a long touchdown reception. Except he never made it to the end zone because a Jet’s defensive player pulled down the showboating rookie inside the five yard line. Embarrassing plays for both Houston and Watkins.