The Bengals, Panthers, and Patriots each find themselves sitting pretty at 8-0 each atop their respective divisions. Being an unbeaten team through week 8 is no easy task as this is the first time in league history that 3 teams have a record of 8-0. The question at this point is who will be the first to fall, or will any of them fall for that matter?
Bengals: With the competition being down a bit in the AFC north, notably struggles for Baltimore and the Big Ben-less Steelers, the Bengals are capitalizing on opportunities every week and are stringing together victories. Andy Dalton is en fuego with that new fireball hair, but has he really changed? The AFC north is matching up against the NFC west this year (what I personally believe is the division in football, but that’s not saying much cause the NFL is so bad a whole this season) and I can see the Bengals offense come to a screeching halt when facing the Honey Badger and the Arizona D in week 11. Then they have to face the Rams the following week who have the future at running back, a man named Todd Gurley. Honestly, wouldn’t be surprised if Cincinnati drops both these games because they are the worst of the remaining unbeatens, still think they will scamper away with the division, but will lose early in the playoffs.
Panthers: THE PANTHERS ARE FOR REAL. Even without Kelvin Benjamin the Panthers are still coming up with impressive victories, notably over the Packers. Newton on the offensive side on the ball and Kuechly on the defensive, Carolina is lead by two young MVP candidates and look like the frontrunner for the NFC at this point. Defense wins championships and Carolina brings the heat defensively, and with Newton healthy this offense is quite dynamic. This lethal combo can make the Panthers a Super Bowl team this year and potentially years to come. Watch out.
Patriots: The Revenge Tour keeps on rollin’ for the Pats. At this point the best question to ask is do they go for the undefeated season or rest their guys once they clinch first place in the AFC? Injuries are seemingly the only thing that can defeat the Patriots at this point. Brady/ Belichick 2016 look like the best duo for both the Lombardi trophy and the Presidency right now, we will see how that pans out though. I can see a rematch on the horizon and history repeating itself with New England topping Carolina in Super Bowl 50 to cap off a statement season for Brady and company.