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-by Bo Marchionte, Contributing Writer; Image: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. (Image Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
We break down the NFL in tiers, continuing with tier 2:
Tier 1: Trying to Be Elite
These teams have the talent but have failed to execute their talents the way the teams above have
Dallas Cowboys – Their last two games have shown how the Cowboys are built for success. Zeke Elliott with 20-plus carries (22) and 111 yards rushing in their win over the Philadelphia Eagles (37-10), which he followed up against the New York Giants with 139 yards on 23 carries, is the recipe for success for Jerry Jones to get another Super Bowl title. This league is caught up trying to force the pass when it is not available. The defense is solid and might be good enough to win. They were in the real-contenders category early on, but losing three-straight games showed some major flaws.
Seattle Seahawks – All the teams in Tier 1 have great teams. How many have a Russell Wilson-type talent under center? Wilson could elevate his team above their overall talent. Seattle is playing great football and have their running game in full stride with Chris Carson. Pete Carroll may not get his Seahawks in first place in the NFC West, but he’ll likely get them into the Wildcard slot. I feel they are a better football team than the Rams at this juncture of the season.
Los Angeles Rams – They are not going to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl again, let’s just get that out in the open. This team had a real pulse to it last season and it feed off the talents of running back Todd Gurley. He’s simply not the same player and their offensive line is not good, which hampers an effective run game that also dampens the ability to get Jared Goff going for big plays. They are good enough to beat anyone, but I doubt they are good enough to beat quality teams in succession.
Indianapolis Colts – Sitting quietly at 5-3, the Colts are ‘Plain Jane’ compared to the other pretty girls on this list. Jacoby Brissett continues his impressive season, with an awesome 14-touchdowns-to-three-interceptions ratio. Naysayers can point to close games and argue that it easily could have went the other way. They have outscored opponents by just five points. I’d argue the close games for a young team like the Colts, builds up their confidence and character in crucial moments. A bigger problem could be Brissett’s health.
Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback. Is he the worst? Nope. Is he on the same level as Tom Brady? Not even close. Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Lewis and company terrorized opponents and his job was simply not to lose the game. The Vikings defense is not in the same zip code as that defense, which means Cousins is going to be asked to do more than Dilfer to get Minnesota to the promised land, which is possible, which is why the Vikes are just below the top tier.
To read more from Bo Marchionte at College2Pro.com, click here.
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