You don’t have to agree with me, their play says it all. The Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys are in a class by themselves at the moment. You can point to the New England Patriots and maybe the Atlanta Falcons or the Seattle Seahawks as possible replacements but I don’t see either one putting a stop to the Cowboys or Raiders.
I get what you may be saying that the season is not over and anything can happen, but, how can you argue what has already happened so far this season?
The Raiders and Cowboys are the surprises of the NFL so far. Both teams are leading their divisions when no one expected them to. The Cowboys are 7-1 with an offense led by two rookies. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have turned what would’ve been a rebuilding year into a possible Super Bowl appearance. The Cowboys currently lead the NFC in rushing, 11th in passing yards, 7th in passing yards allowed and 3rd in rushing yards allowed per game. The Cowboys do not need Prescott to put up Drew Bress type numbers. What they need for him to do is manage the game.
The playoffs are a given unless they have one of those Tony Romo-led collapses that have plagued them throughout his career. I just don’t see that happening with a remaining schedule that includes Ravens, Lions, Bucs, and Vikings. It’s the playoffs that matter and there is not a team I’ve seen besides the Eagles that might put a scare into the Cowboys. The Seahawks have a shot but they seem to be all over the place, not as consistent as they have been over the years. The Falcons are explosive but once the hard-hitting of the playoffs start, we will see their true colors.
The Raiders are 7-2 and fighting the Patriots for that top spot in the AFC. Their offense is led by Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. They are explosive. The Raiders currently rank 1st in Passing yards and 3rd in rushing yards per game in the AFC. On the defensive side is where the work must be done. They are currently 15th in both passing and rushing yards allowed per game. If the defense can continue to get the timely stops as they have the first half of the season, all they need to worry about are the Patriots and Tom Brady.
Everything still must go through New England but the Raiders have no worries there. The Pats are tough but these Raiders are serious contenders for the throne. Once the defense gets their act together and they are able to shore up at least the run defense side of the coin, not even the Pats will be a match. As for their remaining schedule, much like the Cowboys, there are no real threats. It’s highly unlikely we will see a total meltdown over the last weeks like previous seasons. They are a more mature and gold-orientated bunch.
A showdown in Houston seems destined for these two-storied franchises.