There was controversy to end the game, that much we know. How much controversy exactly? Well, for one that depends on what team you were supporting last night. Patriots fans saw a flag that was rightfully thrown because they believe it was clear pass interference on Gronkowski during a game-deciding pass. Panthers fans saw a flag that was thrown, discussed by the officials and deemed not a penalty after all. From a neutral standpoint it wasn’t great to see the officials throw a flag and then completely go back on the decision. That does happen every now and then. It’s not very common but what is less common is when it the flag is revoked at the end of a game after a play that directly decides the outcome. Is this as big of a controversy as the Packers-Seahawks ending? No but there’s reason for discussion. Regardless of the controversy at the end of the game, the Panthers played a great game and very much deserved to come out on top last night. Huge win for Cam Newton, who continues to make the highlight reel while at the same time having the poise of an experienced quarterback. Remember when it seemed like Ron Rivera had the hottest coaching seat in the league? Now it’s six straight wins with no signs of slowing down. The last couple of weeks have proven that the Panthers are a real contender. The Patriots leave with a bitter taste in the mouth but last night’s game can’t linger too long in New England. Yes, they’re at home but it’s against Denver, who has just come off their biggest win of the season. How do the Patriots bounce back at home after last night’s game? Will we see another classic Brady-Manning game? First let’s see how the best teams in the league stack up as of today.
Record wise, the top three teams would be the Seahawks, Broncos and Chiefs. Seattle is the only team with 10 wins right now because of their schedule (on bye this week) so they’re naturally the best team in the league right now. As long as Seattle has the best record and is playing at home, there’s no reason to make anyone else a favorite going up against them. But if one team could have a legitimate shot at beating them, who would that be? Well Denver has proven that it can handle an elite defense and win without having to simply outscore the opponent. So they’re coming in second and i’m putting the Chiefs right behind them. After a shaky start to the game, Kansas City held their own in a hostile environment. Their offense has some questions but it should be different when they’re at home and Denver is the one in the hostile environment. With all due respect to Brady and co, the last two spots belong to the Saints and Panthers. The Saints didn’t look unbeatable at home for once but their road questions still linger. The Falcons on Thursday shouldn’t be much trouble but after that, visiting Seattle and then at home against Carolina is a tough two game slate. Panthers round up the top five teams in the league. They’re the hottest team in the league I don’t see them slipping anytime soon with the Dolphins and Bucs being their next two opponents.View All Photos ›