AFC North

The Burning 7: It’s DEFCON 1 In Kansas City

This is the Burning 7. Three-quarters of the season is now complete. What a year it has been and we still have another full month of NFL football to go. Despite the player protests, the infighting with owners and everything in between, real football fans have been blessed with honestly a tremendous and competitive season that still hangs in the balance for a number of teams.
Yes, we have your usuals: Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers, etc. But there are new kids on the block trying to stake claim to enter the Super Bowl division.  
One more month left. 
Meanwhile here are the seven things that I observed during Week 13.   
1. The Chiefs have officially imploded
The Kansas City Chiefs have officially imploded. Losers of five of their last six games and four losses in a row, the team is hanging on by a thread with a 6-6 record and another month of football ahead. To add salt to the wound, KC is currently deadlocked in a three-way tie with now both the Los Angeles Chargers and the all of a sudden resurgent Oakland Raiders. Blame can be placed anywhere on this collapse and finger have been thrown everywhere but in all honesty, Alex Smith is not the problem here. It is time to place the finger squarely on head coach Andy Reid. Should he be on the hot seat? No one is suggesting that he be fired at season’s end but who knows how these next four weeks end up. We may have a new conversation on Reid’s job security, who happens to be one of the better coaches the league has had in the last two decades.

2. Case Keenum deserves MVP chatter now
It’s not sexy. He won’t win it and I’m ok with that. Yet the sample is large enough. Case Keenum, in my opinion, has to garner at the very least some chatter in the MVP discussion for the 2017 season. I am not suggesting you go out and vote for him. Clearly, Carson Wentz, Tom Brady, and even Russell Wilson have better arguments at this time. But consider this for a second. I want you to draw up a top-five MVP list right now. Tell me who you would suggest after those three guys I mentioned. Good luck with that.
3. Aaron Rodgers could spoil the entire postseason party
The Atlanta Falcons losing vs. Minnesota on Sunday not only hurt their own postseason chances but also officially put Aaron Rodgers in play for a possible late-season Green Bay Packers playoff run. Green Bay honestly shouldn’t have to play him next week either considering their next opponent is winless Cleveland (who will go 0-16). But the NFC South will beat each other up in the coming weeks with their own inter-division matchups. The door is now cracked open for the baddest man in all of football to take over. And he just might do it.
4. I still don’t know what to make of the Baltimore Ravens
I’m not suggesting anyone should fear the Baltimore Ravens because quite frankly any team lead by Joe Flacco at quarterback in 2017 should not put any fright into you. But let’s be clear. Their defense is playing at such a high level and for the moment the Ravens have a stranglehold on the last AFC Wild Card spot. They’re the team no one really wants to play at the moment.
5. Russell Wilson is elite. Deal with it.
Russell Wilson is an elite quarterback in this league. The argument is over. He is carrying this Seahawks team on his back. If somehow Seattle makes the postseason in the next month there has to be extremely strong consideration for Wilson as MVP of the league.

6. The Giants cannot wait anymore. Time to show Ben McAdoo the door ASAP!
While the Giants were “competitive” in their loss to the Raiders on Sunday, regardless of what Eli Manning said about coach Ben McAdoo and him not wanting him fired, the backlash is too strong and this cannot hang over this franchise for another month. Time for McAdoo to be shown the door.
7. The Los Angeles Rams are dangerous and are only getting better. 
Here is where I am so impressed with the Los Angeles Rams. Two weeks ago after a surprising 7-2 start, they get humbled at Minnesota 24-7. Then rather than implode from within the Rams bounce back with two wins over the red-hot New Orleans Saints who was riding an eight-game win streak at the time. Then avoid the trap game scenario with a win over the division rival Arizona Cardinals. The Rams are functioning like a top tier NFL franchise and there is no question they could be the scariest team of all in the NFC postseason.

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