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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)
October 18th, 2023
The final two unbeaten teams fell in Week 6, with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers suffering close losses on the road, but both remain in the top three in the Super Bowl futures market.Reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, own the second best Super Bowl odds following a 19-8 victory against the lowly Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
Below we examine these three top-tier teams, along with the other top teams in each NFL division.
Record: 5-1Home: 3-0Away: 2-1Current streak: W2Current Super Bowl odds: +900
The top offense in the NFL has been dominant to start the season, but three of their victories came against the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and New York Giants — all 1-5 on the season — and last week’s 42-21 win at home was against the 0-6 Carolina Panthers.
Miami’s only loss thus far was against the 4-2 Buffalo Bills, and the Dolphins were outplayed 48-20. A road contest at Philly in Week 7 on Sunday night will tell us a lot more about Miami's true Super Bowl chances.
Record: 5-1Home: 2-1Away: 3-0Current streak: W5Current Super Bowl odds: +500
Defending Super Bowl champ Kansas City dropped the season opener at home in a one-point defeat to a talented Detroit team, but the Chiefs have since reeled off five straight victories against Jacksonville, Chicago, the New York Jets, Minnesota, and Denver.
Beginning in November, their schedule will get much tougher. They face Miami in Germany before hitting their bye week, then host Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Cincinnati in the latter part of the season.
Patrick Mahomes (second in the odds for NFL MVP) has Travis Kelce at his disposal but the rest of his receiving corps has been lacking. The Chiefs still rank second in passing yards per game, but could use some additional help at receiver, while the defense ranks second in points allowed per game and is top six against the pass.
Another set of power rankings 📈— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 18, 2023
Another set of power rankings 📈
Record: 4-2Home: 1-1Away: 3-1Current streak: W1Current Super Bowl odds: +1800
The AFC North is likely to shake up as the season progresses, but for now Baltimore sits in first place, a game ahead of the Steelers. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati each own three victories, but the Bengals hold the bottom spot with one more loss than the Browns and Steelers.
Cincy got off to a rough start, with a 24-3 loss at Cleveland and a 27-24 defeat at home against Baltimore, as well as a 27-3 loss at Tennessee.
The Bengals are seemingly getting healthier, though, and won two straight against Arizona and Seattle. But coming out of their bye week in Week 7, they get San Francisco, Buffalo, and Houston before a rematch with the Ravens.
Baltimore faces Detroit in Week 7 at home, then squares off with NFC West opponents Arizona and Seattle before Cleveland and Cincy in mid-November.
Record: 4-2Home: 2-2Away: 2-0Current streak: W3Current Super Bowl odds: +2500
The AFC South is another tightly contested division, but the Jaguars should remain on top all season. The only problem, quarterback Trevor Lawrence is dealing with a knee sprain he suffered against Indianapolis in Week 6 and may miss at least Thursday night's road contest in New Orleans.
Nonetheless, Jacksonville's defense has stepped up and has forced more turnovers than any team in the league. The Jags' two losses thus far were at home to Kansas City and Houston, and they took care of business in London, toppling the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 and the Bills 25-20.
The Colts just lost rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson for the season, and Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill is injured as well. Houston — who was projected to finish dead last in the league — has been a huge surprise this season and may be Jacksonville's stiffest competition in the division.
.@Trevorlawrencee is a dangerous man 🥲@dunkindonuts | #DUUUVAL— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 18, 2023
.@Trevorlawrencee is a dangerous man 🥲@dunkindonuts | #DUUUVAL
Record: 5-1Home: 2-0Away: 3-1Current streak: L1Current Super Bowl odds: +800
Last year's Super Bowl runner-up has an excellent shot at earning a second straight division title, but Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts will need to cut back on turnovers. The fourth-year QB has thrown seven touchdown passes against seven interceptions through six games, and he got picked off three times in a 20-14 loss to New York in Week 6.
On defense, the Eagles rank second against the run, but their pass defense has dropped off significantly from last year, when the unit allowed a league-low 179.8 yards per contest. That may pose a problem in Week 7, when the Eagles host Miami, and it doesn't bode well for matchups against Kansas City, Buffalo, or Seattle later this season.
Record: 5-1Home: 3-0Away: 2-1Current streak: L1Current Super Bowl odds: +400
The favorite to win the 2024 Super Bowl, San Francisco is arguably the top team in the league when healthy. Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel both exited Sunday's game with injuries, and offensive momentum halted from there. The Niners ultimately lost 19-17 at Cleveland but had every chance to win it on a last-minute field goal by rookie Jake Moody, who missed wide right.
Up next for SF is a Monday Night Football matchup with Kirk Cousins and Minnesota, then a home date with Cincinnati before the Niners go on bye.
The schedule will get particularly difficult in the second half, as San Francisco faces Jacksonville on the road, Seattle (twice), Philly on the road, and Baltimore on Christmas Day.
15 STRAIGHT FOR @CMC_22 🔥📺 #SFvsCLE on FOX📱 NFL+ // https://t.co/KTh0i4nCVJ pic.twitter.com/bOroUQIXSj— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 15, 2023
15 STRAIGHT FOR @CMC_22 🔥📺 #SFvsCLE on FOX📱 NFL+ // https://t.co/KTh0i4nCVJ pic.twitter.com/bOroUQIXSj
Record: 5-1Home: 2-1Away: 3-0Current streak: W4Current Super Bowl odds: +1300
Yes, the Detroit Lions, long the punching bag of the NFL, are the top team in the NFC North, and may be a formidable threat in the 2024 postseason.
Behind quarterback Jared Goff, the Lions boast the fourth-best passing offense, and they rank just slightly behind Buffalo in points per game (28). The run-stop unit is a terror, allowing 64.7 yards per outing, and no running back has topped the 50-yard mark in a single game this season against the Lions.
Detroit's only loss came against Seattle in overtime, and the team made a statement in Week 1 by handing the 2023 Super Bowl champ a loss on Kansas City's home field.
Record: 3-2Home: 1-2Away: 2-0Current streak: L1Current SB odds: +6500
Much like last season, we could see a team with a losing record come out on top in the NFC South. For now, the Buccaneers are first in the division, with wins at Minnesota and New Orleans, along with a home victory against Chicago. Veteran QB Baker Mayfield has kept the team competitive, but it's more likely New Orleans will end up on top by the end of the season, especially with the Saints drawing the second easiest schedule in the NFL.
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