Depending upon whom you ask, it's usually around Week 6 that we begin to learn about specific football teams in the NFL. Unless your team loses in Week 6, in which case, I am sure, it's Week 7, Week 8…etc.
Here then is what we've learned thus far from all 32 squads.
Patriots: Yes, it's the worst division in football by a landslide, but the Patriots are likely headed for a first round playoff bye all the same. A Patriots-Colts AFC Championship Game seems possible, but if it's played in the RCA Dome, can the Pats compete with a weak passing game? That's what Week 7 is for.
Jets: Did you realize the Jets are giving up just four-tenths of a point less than the Oakland Raiders per game on defense?
Bills: Should have beaten Detroit. Should have beaten the Patriots. Should be 4-2 and tied for the division lead.
Dolphins: Nick Saban plus Daunte Culpepper equals Joey Harrington being praised as the answer. Joey. Harrington. THIS is how bad it's gotten in Miami. Thanks, SI.
Colts: Maybe like Peyton Manning's team, maybe.
Jaguars: They're 3-2, but that defense couldn't have looked any better than it did against Pittsburgh. And, it in fact has not since then.
Texans: Poor Mario Williams. In Houston, they're wondering which will have a larger integer: Williams' sack total or number of team wins. Williams is ahead by .5. The race is on.
Titans: In Vince Young's last two games, the Titans won their first against the Redskins, and nearly beat the Colts. Six wins would have been outstanding for this team, and they just might get there.
Ravens: I think Michael Irvin likes them.
Bengals: Has anyone seen Chad Johnson anywhere besides that SportsCenter commercial? Anyone?
Steelers: Just like that, they're alive again.
Browns: Is Romeo Crennel looking for a job come January? Yup.
Denver: No lie. Just as good a defense as the Chicago Bears. Offense should come alive, which might make the Broncos Super Bowl contenders.
San Diego: I know, everyone thinks they're possibly the most balanced team in the AFC, but with Marty Schottenheimer at the helm in January, forget about the Chargers making any sort of playoff impact.
Chiefs: The best part about KC being 2-3 is that we're primed for a new Herm Edwards rift.
Raiders: We all know that Oakland is the worst team in the NFL. But I never really understood how bad the Raiders are until I finally got to watch them last night over the course of four quarters against the Broncos, a 13-3 Denver win. We can end the debate. The Raiders are not winning a game. No way, no how. Who can they beat, the Texans? The Jets? The Cardinals next weekend? Please. Each of those teams will smoke Oakland. 0-16. Cement it. Thanks, Al.
Eagles: I think Ron Jaworski likes them.
Giants: The defense has been terrible, as has the Giants' propensity to fall behind early, but their ability to fight back in games could be a microcosm of what's to come.
Cowboys: On Sundays, a fun team to watch. The other six days, good luck blocking them out of your consciousness.
Redskins: Wha' happened?
Saints: The NFL's best comeback story thus far. For Drew Brees and the team. They're going to make the playoffs, which means we should only be inundated with 14 days or so of uplifting drama from Louisiana.
Panthers: The team that the "Week 6" idea was written for.
Falcons: Can we say it together? Overrated.
Buccaneers: I'm not sure, but I think Phil Simms and Jim Nantz spend Saturday evenings meeting with the coaches and players of the teams whose game they'll be covering the next day. Maybe they should mention a bit more frequently during the game whom they met with "last night." As for the Bucs, they just got their first win yesterday, but any Polish kid at the helm is fine with me.
Bears: Odds-on favorites to win the whole thing. While the offense will slow down in the next month, the defense remains nasty and unforgiving.
Vikings: Coming off the bye week perhaps a little less rested than a year ago.
Packers: Boy, I hope Brett Favre maybe, sort of, I dunno, wants to decide maybe, not sure, on playing another season. Maybe.
Lions: Like anyone in Detroit is paying attention right now.
Seahawks: Deion Branch had two touchdowns Sunday afternoon. Think that will come up this week?
Rams: Dear ESPN,
Re: Terrell Owens. I had three touchdown catches too, and 154 yards to boot. Just saying.
49ers: The Bay Area had to watch the A's get swept by the Tigers in the ALCS. They have to endure the Raiders and this team. Barrys Bonds and Zito might be on their ways out of town. But the San Jose Sharks are 4-1.
Cardinals: I haven't seen a team do so little with so much since Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Top 10 teams:
Fighting for the Super Bowl are...
Bottom 10 teams:
Fighting Oakland for the No. 1 pick are...