The regular season is just window dressing now.
Green Bay and New England.
Those are the only names we need to know right now for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Califronia next January.
Barring injuries to either star side's quarterback (Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady), it's going to be one of those teams that wins the Super Bowl.
I know they were the chalk before the season, but rightfully so.
There's nothing to indicate that it won't be either of those two teams that wins the Super Bowl.
I loved Arizona before the season and still do, but that was to make the Super Bowl, not win it. I think they're capable of beating Green Bay and going to Santa Clara and thought so before the season, but it's much easier to think it will be Rodgers rather than Cardinal quarterback Carson Palmer that will win that game. They're the wildcard for the season.
Forget about Dallas with quarterback Tony Romo out until Thanksgiving. I've never been high on him to get over the hump to win a Super Bowl.
The Seattle Seahawks have been to two straight Super Bowls and the year they won in 2013 I expected it a year earlier. They're not going back. Those players are more focused on themselves and contracts than winning.
I don't care how well Carolina and Atlanta are playing now, they're not going to beat the best teams in the playoffs.
In the AFC, New England doesn't have any challengers at this point. I thought Pittsburgh and Baltimore were the best hopes to top the Patriots. But the Ravens are struggling, and with the Steelers without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for two months due to a knee injury, they may not even make the playoffs.
Despite the hot start at 5-0 by Cincinnati, you can never depend upon them in the playoffs. Andrew Luck is hurt and a shadow for himself in Indianapolis, and Peyton Manning hasn't looked good in a couple of years, and with his arm strength as weak as it is, he's ready for retirement in Denver even though the team is undefeated.
The Broncos are winning ugly.
What's the biggest surprise of the season so far? I think it's that my Chicago Bears are 2-3 and tied for the last spot of the playoffs. I expected the Bears to win five or six games this year, and it's exciting to see they're better than I thought. I'm also surprised Detroit is winless, but then again they've been the worst franchise in the NFL over the last 50 years.
No one should be surprised that Seattle is struggling. It's hard to maintain excellence after going to two Super Bowls in a row.
Baltimore is the biggest surprise in the AFC, with only one win so far, but they've lost a lot of close games. And with other teams struggling, a lot of underwater teams at this point can make the playoffs.
Everyone has to be surprised with the New York Jets at 3-1, but how long can that last?
Nope. I think Green Bay and New England fans can make plans for their Super Bowl parties. Only injuries will keep that from happening.
Maybe it will come down to a goal line play like the Seahawks and Patriots in Super Bowl 49, and the Patriots have the edge.
Green Bay looks great, but they've done their best work when they are the underdogs rather than the favorites. They won the Super Bowl in 2010 as the sixth seed who almost didn't qualify for the playoffs.
That's not going to happen this year unless Rodgers misses a lot of time.
That's the only thing we can't predict in the NFL. The season always comes down to who's the healthiest.