Statement Sunday created some separation.
Taking a snapshot of the NFL at any point of the season is dangerous, but it sure feels like seven teams have emerged as true Super Bowl contenders. The top seven teams in this week's NFL.com Power Poll was nearly unanimous: 49ers, Texans, Broncos, Patriots, Falcons, Packers, and Seahawks. And then there was a big gap.
The order differed depending on who was doing the ordering. I have New England second, Houston fifth, and Atlanta seventh, for instance. But 11 of our 13 analysts had the same teams in the top seven, with two analysts giving no love to the Seahawks. (I see Seattle as a legitimate title threat.)
Nothing in the NFL ever shocks me, but I'd be surprised if any team outside of that group holds the Lombardi Trophy in February. Giants fans will point out that this is when their team gets going, but the team also missed the playoffs for two straight years before last year's title. Last year's Giants team went 9-7. Do that again, and they should be watching the playoffs at home.@greggrosenthal.