The calendar flipped to November today and it's amazing what we thought we knew about the NFL before the season began, or even a month ago, that is not the case as we look at the league today.
The latest example of that was the Vikings' performance on Monday Night Football. Three weeks ago Minnesota was the last remaining unbeaten in the league at 5-0 entering its bye week. Since then, the Vikes have lost all momentum losing 21-10 at Philadelphia and 20-10 last night in Chicago. Now at 5-2, it's hard to know what to make of the Vikings and their suspect offensive line moving forward.
Other preseason favorites like Carolina and Arizona were battling it out just to get their seasons on track Sunday, while a team like the Titans is all of a sudden in the mix in the AFC South.
With that said, here are my top five teams currently in the NFL, and where I'd rank the Titans right now.
People thought Tom Brady would come back from his Deflategate suspension ready to prove a point and he's done exactly that. At 38 years old, Brady looks like he's taken his game to even another level, throwing 12 touchdowns with no interceptions in the four games since his return. The Pats are 7-1 and in control of the AFC East after a 41-25 win at Buffalo Sunday. Things are so good, they even traded away Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins for a draft pick Monday. Poor Collins -- he wakes up in the morning in first place and ends the day playing for the winless Browns.
Dak Prescott is making it harder and harder for Jerry Jones to go back to Tony Romo at quarterback when he's healthy. Prescott threw for 287 yards and two more touchdowns in Dallas's Sunday night victory over the rival Eagles and looks more and more like the future of the franchise. The Cowboys are now 6-1 and a full two games up on the rest of the NFC East with the rookie from Mississippi State piloting the offense.
Speaking of quarterbacks, I'm not sure how many people realize this but Derek Carr is a top five quarterback in the NFL. The third-year QB has thrown for more than 2300 yards with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions in Oakland's 6-2 start. With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as weapons at receiver, the Raiders possess one of the most difficult to defend passing offenses in the league.
We'll find out just how good Carr and Oakland are this week when they host 6-2 Denver on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos defense remains Super Bowl quality led by Von Miller and that ferocious pass rush. A healthy Aqib Talib and Chris Harris gives Denver one of the best shutdown cornerback duos in football as well, making Sunday such an intriguing matchup.
Seattle hasn't won the past two weeks, but still sits at 4-2-1 and on top of the NFC West. The offensive line and inconsistent offensive production is a concern, but the Legion of Boom defense is still one of the best in football and I don't see another challenger emerging in the division.
Tennessee moves back into the top 20 after a 36-22 smackdown of the Jaguars Thursday night. DeMarco Murray topped 100 yards rushing for the third time in five games and Marcus Mariota has now thrown 10 touchdowns against just one interception as the Titans have gone 3-1 the last four weeks. Couple that with a defense that has 22 sacks behind one of the best pass rushing combinations in the league and the Titans are 4-4 for the first time in five seasons. Meaningful football is headed back to middle Tennessee in the second half of the NFL season, starting with a huge road trip to San Diego Sunday (3:25pm on Newschannel 5), where the Titans haven't won since Warren Moon was the quarterback and they were the Oilers in 1990.