NFL Trends: Pittsburgh and Seattle are looking like juggernauts

Ben Rothlisberger and Antonio Brown will cause headaches for defensive coordinators in January
Ben Rothlisberger and Antonio Brown will cause headaches for defensive coordinators in January

They say to win the Super Bowl then you have to get both hot and healthy at the right time and Neil Monnery sees that trait in both Pittsburgh and Seattle.

"Will Peyton Manning be healthy enough to play on Monday night? The Broncos hope so otherwise they might not even make the play-offs, let alone secure that opening weekend bye!"

Trending Up

Seattle Seahawks

Have you noticed how great the Seattle Seahawks offense has been since Marshawn Lynch got hurt? Russell Wilson is now the man in Seattle and is playing like it. Doug Baldwin is playing out of his mind, ten TDs in his past four games, they are Madden '16 numbers. They are throwing the rock and hitting the deep balls. The O-line is starting to give Wilson time to look deep instead of running for his life. The D was always good but now the O is just as good. No-one wants to play Seattle.

Next up: home v St. Louis


Pittsburgh Steelers

I said they were trending up last week and they keep on moving upwards. They are the Seattle of the AFC. Could it be possible that the two best teams are going to enter the post-season as wildcards? They have a dynamic offense that can score points on anyone. I still have question marks over whether the D can shut good teams down, they let Denver score four TDs in one half before realising that take Brock Osweiler's primary read away and you can shut him down. Yet despite these question marks, they look on course to January and potentially beyond.

Next up: @ Baltimore


Washington

Kirk Cousins is on the verge of leading the Washington NFL franchise to the NFC East title. I want to know how many people foresaw that at the start of the season? I want to meet those people so they can tell me my future, because they must be soothsayers. Washington are solid all round and in all likelihood are set to entertain Seattle in the best wildcard weekend match-up. There's a big game on Boxing Day with a win sealing their passage into the playoffs. They are big underdogs currently on the exchange at 2.568/5 and that looks more than tempting to me.

Next up: @ Philadelphia on Boxing Day


Trending Down

Denver Broncos

This is why you can't just look at stats. Brock Osweiler's numbers on Sunday were good enough to win the game. Yet if you watched the action you'd think differently. He was out of this world in the first half. The Steelers were playing zone defense and not bringing any extra rushers. Osweiler was picking them apart as he kept hitting his primary read. In the second half they brought pressure and played man coverage and he couldn't move the ball. Three second halves on the spin without a single point for Denver. When teams make their adjustments v Osweiler he hasn't learned how to adjust himself. Will Peyton Manning be healthy enough to play on Monday night? The Broncos hope so otherwise they might not even make the play-offs, let alone secure that opening weekend bye!

Next up: home v Cincinnati on Monday Night


Indianapolis Colts

I had the Colts trending down in this spot last week but this week they aren't just trending down, they are plummeting. This will be seen as a lost season for Indianapolis. They couldn't even beat the Houston Texans when the season was on the line at home. Andrew Luck hasn't been healthy and even when he was on the field, he played hurt. I still think they'll bounce back next season but the days of them waltzing away with this division are over. Both Jacksonville and Tennessee are improving and if the Texans could get a QB they will be a good team (Peyton Manning anyone?)

Next up: @ Miami


New York Giants

They lost by three points to an undefeated team and I have them trending down? Call the men in white coats! Well, I'd hold off on that. They were getting smoked by the Panthers then some freak momentum changing plays, OBJ should've been ejected for his ugly helmet to helmet hit on Josh Norman, for which he has been given a one game ban. I think Tom Coughlin goes in the off season, this team had every chance to win this division once Tony Romo got hurt but instead, a Kirk Cousins-led Washington is in all likelihood set to represent the NFC East in January.

Next up: @ Minnesota


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