November 25, 2012 by ussportsfanuk
If their current records are to be believed, the Houston Texans (10-1) are the best in the AFC and the Atlanta Falcons (9-1) are the team to beat in the NFC. Are they really the best team in each Conference though?
They are obviously both good Football teams, they haven’t achieved their records by luck. They have, however both had some very close games, in particular the Falcons, against teams who have struggled this season. Three of their wins have been by a combined 9 points against the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, teams who currently have a combined 9-21 record. The Texans meanwhile have scraped past the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions in the last two weeks, with both games going to OT. Worryingly as well for the Texans is that they have given up 68 points in those two games, whereas before their Defense was looking solid.
Ultimately though, no matter if they were close wins or blowouts, a win is a win. Maybe the biggest threat to both these teams and their hopes of being the best in their Conference and a trip to the Super Bowl hopes comes in the shape of other teams who are really beginning to look very good.
In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers have recovered from a slow start and are now top of their division and only 2 wins behind the Falcons. Even closer, just 1.5 games back from the Falcons are the San Francisco 49ers who have been winning games without too many people taking much notice. As for the AFC, the Texans are now trying to keep the New England Patriots at bay. Similar to the Packers, the Patriots had a slow start but they have looked like the Patriots of old in recent weeks, scoring 59 points last week and 49 this week, even without TE Rob Gronkowski. They also looked very impressive against the St Louis Rams when I had the chance to see them at Wembley. The Patriots are now only 2 wins behind the Texans and face them at home in two weeks.
It is probably obvious that both teams best chance of going to the Super Bowl is to remain No.1 in their Conference. Even if that were the case though, there is no guarantee that the Falcons may win their opening playoff game which would most likely be against the New York Giants or Chicago Bears, if the current standings are anything to go by. It is vital though to both the Texans and Falcons to avoid having to go to Gillette Stadium and Lambeau Field in January! Can both teams remain No.1 in their Conference though? It could be doubtful as both have fairly tough schedules and the constantly improving Packers and Patriots are closing on them. The Falcons would expect to beat the Panthers in Week 14 but the rest of their schedule definitely doesn’t guarantee any wins. The Texans meanwhile have 4 of their remaining 5 games against teams in playoff contention and, as previously mentioned, they travel to the Patriots which could be a massive game in deciding who has home field advantage in the AFC.
So, are the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons the best teams in the NFL? I would have to say no as I believe there are better teams who just had slow starts who will not only go on to the Super Bowl but may even take the No.1 spots from the Texans and Falcons before the end of the regular season.