NFL Goes Awol: Hash Marks

Hash Marks, or one line statements, about each team by division.

AFC West

Kansas City is undefeated heading into another matchup with an inexperienced QB at Buffalo, then they get a bye which translates to two weeks to prepare for Denver.

Denver is averaging nearly 43 points per game, and the x-factor for their Super Bowl aspirations is running back Knowshon Moreno.

San Diego got to focus on defensive issues during the bye, however the offense should be salivating for the matchup at Washington.

Oakland has a top-10 defense with the 5th best ground game, an old-school recipe for success with a Tebow-esque belief in Terrelle Pryor.

AFC East

New England’s O-line gets banged up as the skill positions get healthy, now the 5th ranked pass defense has to focus on stopping the run.

The Jets still tout the 6th-ranked D, but we all know they need the ground game to produce with a rookie QB at the helm.

Miami won at tic-toe-toe (3 straight wins) before losing at connect four (4 straight losses), the defense gets linebacker Dannelle Ellerbe back while the offense needs to make tight end Charles Clay a focal point.

Buffalo needs their starting quarterback like any team does, however the other side of the ball isn’t doing much aside from rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.

AFC North

Cincinnati is on a four-game winning streak, the defense has played just as exceptional as signal-caller Andy Dalton.

Baltimore is struggling as expected, the offense is nothing to talk about but the prideful defense lingers just outside the upper echelon.

Cleveland is giving it everything they have defensively, while the coaching staff is trying to squeeze every point possible out of an offense with a carousel at QB.

Pittsburgh needs both units to focus on one thing, the run game, they still have time to right the ship with guys that know how to win.

AFC South

Indianapolis scores almost 27 points per game while halting opponents to under 19, they need Trent Richardson to thrive, especially in the absence of Reggie Wayne.

Tennessee hopes the offense finds the rhythm they were building before Jake Locker’s injury, where as the defense is limiting teams to 20 points but not containing the run like playoff teams usually need to do.

Houston is sticking with rookie Case Keenum who fumbled but didn’t throw an interception last week, interesting move for a contending team but give it time before writing them off. For all we know Keenum could make them more than stale, or Matt Schaub might come back and snap out of that mental funk.

Jacksonville will not lose this week courtesy of a bye, and hey they have two weeks to gameplan for the rival Titans for their first win.

NFC West

Seattle can afford to have lapses or an off game, they are that damn good and I actually watch their games just for the defense.

San Francisco is keeping it simple on offense and leaning on the strength of their defense, question is will Colin Kaepernick be a weapon or a liability?

Arizona is a dark horse team in the NFC, the defense is hard not to like and eventually Bruce Arians will get Carson Palmer to put points on the board.

St. Louis is going to grind the season out, but what we know for sure is the defense keeps getting stronger by the week.

NFC East

Dallas has pulled the reigns on Tony Romo but it’s not going to work without DeMarco Murray, Sean Lee has been the bright spot in a bipolar defense.

Philadelphia needs some help at safety to round out a top-10 D against the run, and Chip Kelly needs a healthy quarterback to show his offense translates pretty well.

Washington was smart to draft Kirk cousins after RGIII, but either way they need to utilize tight end Jordan Reed and both running backs to keep the struggling defense off the field as much as possible.

The Giants win back-to-back games heading into a bye week by reigning in Eli Manning and stacking up against the run.

NFC North

Green Bay’s ability to stop the run has forced opponents to rush, and that gives the keys to Aaron Rodgers that finally has a formidable rushing attack to balance out the offense.

Detroit looks great on offense when Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson are good to go, they desperately need the D-line to anchor a swiss-cheese defense.

Chicago is 2nd in the league in scoring, and they should be OK in the playoff picture if Jay Cutler doesn’t miss many games because the defense can only get healthier.

Minnesota is baffling because they have some talent, and if the QB picture gains some clarity they could spoil some rivals down the road, positively speaking of course.

NFC South

New Orleans is probably playing their best football in the Sean Payton era, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is an example of one team’s trash is another team’s treasure (respectfully).

Carolina’s getting consistency from both ends at the same time, they can make a serious playoff push if they keep the C-word up.

Atlanta has been hampered with injuries like no other, it’s time for Matt Ryan to lead in a way that makes his teammates better on both sides of the ball by taking his play to another level.

Tampa Bay is getting  a look at rookie Mike Glennon before next year’s draft full of QBs, at least they know they have the talent everywhere else until that puzzle piece is found.