With Week 8 coming to a close, naming the best team in the NFL has become extremely difficult as well as debatable. Personally, as a New York Jets fan my bias doesn’t come into much play in this particular sports piece of The Log. In 2015 at the conclusion of Week 8, it was undeniably clear that the unbeaten Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots were the NFL’s best teams. In 2016, at the conclusion of Week 8, the league contains no unbeaten teams, making it extremely difficult to name the best unit. However, teams that deserve honorable mentions into the category of ‘Best Team Currently in the NFL’, include: the New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys.
Even as a New York Jets fan, it’s hard not to applaud the New England Patriots’ franchise. Heading into Week 8 with six wins and one loss, they faced a depleted Buffalo Bills team without their star running back LeSean McCoy. The Pats obliterated their AFC East rival, 41-25. The Patriots have been firing on all cylinders offensively with the return of Tom Brady. Brady has only only played in 4 games so far this season has an amazing completion percentage of 73.1 % for a total of 1,319 passing yards. Thus far, the Patriots quarterback has 12 touchdown passes without throwing a single interception. Brady has also been the league’s best at converting on third down, as the Patriots’ offense has moved the chains 55.8 percent of the time in this scenario. Along with the addition of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski has returned from injury and has provided well for the Pats offense, recording 22 receptions for 484 yards and 3 touchdowns in 6 games played. LeGarrette Blount, who has seen exponential growth this season, also has played a large role in the Patriots’ offense this season, recording 9 touchdowns heading into week 9, and running for a total of 609 yards. This unique offense is a force to be reckoned with considering its prowess in both the pass and run game. On the opposite side of the ball, the New England Patriots’ defense currently ranks 3rd overall in the league in points allowed per game. The defense of the Patriots has not been flashy or game changing; however, they get the job done and find ways to provide the offense with phenomenal field position.
As the New England Patriots have topped the AFC East, the Dallas Cowboys maintain control of the NFC East with six wins and one loss. This year’s Dallas Cowboys have shocked a lot of people with multiple rookies playing large roles. With early injuries to quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant, it seemed as though the Cowboys would be unable to compete against the league’s top teams. However, the Cowboys responded with a 5 straight victories after losing a week one game against the New York Giants, an NFC East rival. Dak Prescott has proved to be more than a 4th round draft pick, completing 144 passes for 1,773 yards, 9 touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions. Additionally, the rookie first round pick Ezekiel Elliot has taken the Cowboys run offense to the top of the league with a total of 799 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Overall, the Cowboys have proved to be an elite team through week 8, and with Dez Bryant returning Dak currently has a tier 1 receiver to throw the ball to as well as the league’s best running back in the backfield. Keep an eye out for this Cowboys offense because they are dynamic, young, and fun to watch.
As a fantasy football team owner, I can personally tell you that these two teams who top the league right now contain some of the best players in the NFL. Playing them against them week in and week out and screaming at my phone when Ezekiel Elliot runs for 100+ yards and 2 touchdowns, or when Rob Gronkowski catches 10 passes for 100+ yard and a touchdown is a painful from a fantasy back, to the Pat’s consistent running back, both teams possess high level, fun to watch players and I really hope we see these two in February. Currently, my quick prediction on a matchup between these two top teams would be a New England Patriots victory. The current form of these two teams would undoubtedly result in an exciting finish. However, due to the fact that Tom Brady remains on the Patriot’s roster, I expect the Vince Lombardi Trophy to return to Foxborough this winter.