Will the NFL venture to Upset City for the third consecutive week?
Big upsets have littered the landscape the past two weeks, with four teams entering the week without a winning record (.500 or lower) beating opponents that began the week in first place (or tied for first) in their division.
Week 9: Denver (4-4) defeated Dallas (6-1), 30-16; Jacksonville (1-6) defeated Buffalo (5-2), 9-6; Kansas City (4-4) defeated Green Bay (7-1), 13-7; New York Giants (2-6) defeated Las Vegas (5-2), 23-16.
Week 10: Miami (2-7) defeated Baltimore (6-2), 22-10; Carolina (4-5) defeated Arizona (8-1), 34-10; Minnesota (3-5) defeated Los Angeles Chargers (5-3), 27-20; Washington (2-6) defeated Tampa Bay (6-2), 29-19.
Obviously, there were some extenuating circumstances, such as Aaron Rodgers being out in Week 9 and Kyler Murray not facing Carolina this past Sunday. But those caveats simply underscore the razor-thin edge each team walks. One injury or issue can threaten to sink a team in 2021.
The biggest lesson we’ve learned through 10 weeks this season is that every team is flawed in its own way. No one is breaking away from the pack, and aside from a handful of clubs, few are out of the race as we rumble toward Thanksgiving.
The NFL prides itself on parity. Since the days of legendary Commissioner Bert Bell, the league has strived for parity in all forms. The more teams with a chance to win the championship, the more popular the game becomes. Thus far, 2021 is playing out like a paritiest’s dream.
Week 11 could bring us more upsets galore.
This week, six of the eight division leaders are facing teams with a win percentage of .500 or lower: Buffalo (6-3) vs. Indianapolis (5-5); Baltimore (6-3) at Chicago (3-6); Tennessee (8-2) vs. Houston (1-8); Green Bay (8-2) at Minnesota (4-5); Arizona (8-2) at Seattle (3-6); Tampa Bay (6-3) vs. New York Giants (3-6).
Expect chaos to continue.
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