Each Monday, we’ll look at 3 teams that are rising, sinking, and floating in our Football Relativity comparison. We’ll update the full comparison tomorrow.
Rise – Cincinnati Bengals – I went to the Wake Forest/Florida State game Saturday with my wife and met my friend Carl there. During the game, I made the comment that I included in last week’s Football Relativity post about how the Bengals might be the team most able to give the Saints trouble. He scoffed at Cincy’s Super Bowl chances, and I did too, but with the proviso that the Bengals could show just how real they were by beating the Steelers. The Bengals did exactly that, and I’m not scoffing anymore. Ochocinco doesn’t have to bribe me to get me to say that the Bengals are legit contenders. They now control their own destiny to get a first-round bye, and they are good enough offensively and defensively to do exactly that. Count me on the bandwagon.
Sink – Atlanta Falcons – There is no shame in losing to the Panthers right now. Carolina is playing better, especially at home. But the Falcons are showing a tendency of losing road games to anyone who’s decent, and that has now identified them as a team that’s not good yet. Atlanta will still get 9 or 10 wins and will probably make the playoffs, but they aren’t really a postseason threat because they would have to win on the road, and they just can’t do so.
Float – New England Patriots – The Pats lost a heartbreaker in Indy, in large part because Bill Belichick did what he often does by going for it on fourth down in his own end. But we won’t penalize the Pats in our comparison for proving they can play with Indy. Despite having three losses, New England is still an incredibly dangerous opponent that no playoff team would want to host.