5. Seattle Seahawks (8)
Seattle certainly dominated the battle, but they lost the war. In the win over the Panthers, the Seahawks lost Earl Thomas to a broken leg—an injury that has the best free safety in the game contemplating retirement. This defense starts with Thomas, and won’t be the same dominant unit going forward.
6. Denver Broncos (9)
Paxton Lynch earned his first career win despite that fact that he only threw for 104 yards. The Broncos defense has the tools to be every bit of dominant as it was a year ago en route to a Super Bowl Championship. The Broncos Super Bowl hopes now rest on the left foot of starting quarterback Trevor Siemian. If he is unable to get healthy, it is going to be a stretch for this team to make the playoffs, let alone win a Super Bowl.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10)
It is hard to imagine the Steelers not winning the division at this point with the way the offense is humming now. There are just too many weapons: Big Ben, LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown. Each one of those has a case to be the best in the NFL at their respected positions.
8. Atlanta Falcons (5)
Seattle, San Diego, and now Kansas City. The Falcons are simply giving too many of these games away when they are in control. The interception on the two-point conversion was inexcusable. It may have cost Matt Ryan the MVP, and the Falcons a top-two seed in the NFC. If they aren’t careful, Tampa Bay is going to take their playoff spot altogether.