Here are five things to love about the NFL from Week 10:
One. The NFC West. The butt of countless jokes about being the NFC Worst, the four teams in the division went 4-0 on Sunday for the first time since realignment lumped the Seahawks in with the 49ers, Cardinals and Rams in 2002. Here’s how it happened: the 49ers beat the 6-2 Giants in San Francisco 27-20; the Seahawks upset the 6-2 Ravens at CenturyLink Field 22-17; the Cardinals went into Philly and beat the Eagles 21-17; and the Rams outlasted the Browns in Cleveland 13-12. Aside from the 8-1 49ers, the other three teams have eight wins between them – with three coming on Sunday; and have combined for three road wins – with two coming on Sunday.
Two. Devin Hester. On one of the pregame shows Sunday, the Bears’ return specialist said, “I don’t know what it’s going to take for a returner to get voted into the Hall of Fame, but I’m going to make sure that it’ll be a hard decision to pass me up.” Then Hester went out and broke a punt return 82 yards for a touchdown in the Bears’ 37-13 romp over the Lions. It was the 12th of his career, adding to his NFL record. One question: Why does anyone punt to this guy anymore?
Three. Remember the Texans. They were supposed to be headed down the proverbial tube without the injury duo of wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams. Instead, the Texans haven’t just won four in a row, they’ve steamrolled opponents: 41-7 over the Titans; 24-14 over the Jaguars; 30-12 over the Browns; and 37-9 over the Buccaneers. They’re 7-3 and running away with the division (AFC South) the Colts used to run away with.
Four. The Broncos winning a game, despite completing only two passes. “Love” might not be the proper term to describe this one, but the Broncos sit in second-place in the AFC West this morning after a 17-10 victory over the Chiefs in a game where they ran the ball 55 times for 244 yards and Tim Tebow was 2 of 8 for 69 yards. Somewhere, Chuck Knox is smiling.
Five. This quote from 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to SI.com’s Peter King after Sunday’s game: “The longer we keep the players from knowing they’re good, the better.”