In the AFC, there’s the Patriots and the Chiefs … and then everybody else.
In the NFC, there’s just everybody else.
Entering Week 5, New England (5/2 odds) and Kansas City (7/2) are the overwhelming favorites to win the Super Bowl, according to Vegas oddsmakers.
After them, nine teams from the NFC have the next-best odds: Cowboys (10/1), Saints (12/1), Bears (14/1), Rams (16/1), Packers (16/1), Eagles (16/1), Seahawks (20/1), Vikings (25/1) and 49ers (25/1).
In other words, the NFC appears wide open — and The Times’ Ten this week reflects that.
1. New England Patriots
New England’s defense has given up one — one! — touchdown in four games.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs looked vulnerable in Detroit; that they showed they can win in the fourth quarter on the road just makes them even scarier.
3. New Orleans Saints
The Seahawks’ loss at home to Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints doesn’t look so bad after all.
4. Dallas Cowboys
After one loss, former Boise State star Kellen Moore under fire as Cowboys’ play-caller.
5. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay goes to Dallas for the game of the week. Pick here is the Packers.
6. Los Angeles Rams
Will we look back on the Rams’ puzzling loss to Tampa Bay as an aberration or the start of their slide from the NFC mountaintop?
7. Baltimore Ravens
Earl Thomas’ hamstrings should be just fine, thank you, for Sunday’s visit to Pittsburgh.
8. Chicago Bears
Ahead of Khalil Mack’s return to Oakland, how about these numbers from NFL’s Next Gen Stats: Since his trade to Chicago, Mack alone has 82 QB pressures on 558 pass rushes (14.7%). Over that same period, the Raiders have 80 QB pressures on 523 pass rushes when they do not blitz (15.3%).
9. Seattle Seahawks
You could probably make a decent case to rank the Hawks as high as No. 6 here … and as low as, what, 18? Point being: Seahawks have played one quality opponent through four weeks, and they didn’t play well at all against the Saints. We should learn a lot Thursday night.
10. San Francisco 49ers
Niners, at 3-0, make their debut in the Times’ Ten coming off a bye week. Much like the Seahawks, San Francisco has had a relatively easy road so far. We’ll know more in the next two weeks after games against the Browns (Monday night) and Rams.