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-by Bo Marchionte, Contributing Writer; Image: Houston Texans quarterback soars for touchdown. (Image Source: Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
We break down the NFL in tiers, continuing with tier 3 of the playoff contenders:
Tier 3: Time to Prove It
Halfway through the season and it is time to make the move towards the playoffs or fade away
Houston Texans (6-3; 1st in the AFC South)
Coming off their bye week at 4-3, the Texans had to squeeze by a competitive Oakland Raiders team for their fifth win of the season, which they followed up with a blowout over the Jacksonville Jaguars to move into first place. Still, J.J. Watt is out for the season with a pectoral injury and there is no Jadeveon Clowney (traded to Seattle) to pick up the slack. The Texans rank ninth in the league in points per game (26.5) and that number may need to increase as the season progresses without Watt.
Buffalo Bills (6-2; 2nd in the AFC East)
Last year, the Carolina Panthers won six of their first eight games (6-2). They would then proceed to lose seven out of their next eight games (1-7) to finish 7-9. That’s part of the reason that I’m extremely cautious about giving Buffalo more love. New England hasn’t beat a quality team all year, but they have beaten the hell out of every team for nearly two decades, they get the benefit of doubt. Buffalo is not on the same level and until updates are made in Week 12, we will see how the Bills perform down the stretch.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-4; 2nd in the NFC East)
Quarterback Carson Wentz has played his ass off! Despite the win/loss record and no enormous statistical games, he is playing with a fearless competitive spirit. But, the results aren’t there, the offense has lost DeSean Jackson, and the Nick Foles legacy will always linger over Wentz’s head in Philly. That locker room must have pockets where that group of players felt Foles was the right man to lead them. Do not be surprised, twenty years from now if there will be a 30-for-30, exploiting the friction that was created with the success of Foles while Wentz was hurt. With all that, the Eagles can still win the NFC East.
To read more from Bo Marchionte at College2Pro.com, click here.
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