The NFL season continues to fly by as we’re deep into the bye weeks and division races have begun to take shape. Power rankings show the NFL totem pole but I thought it would be fun to add some color by summarizing each team’s season by using a movie title to describe how things have unfolded with Week 9 now underway. We have 32 teams and 32 movies to review so let’s go. The teams are organized by division in order of record.
CBS Films, 20th Century Fox
New England Patriots (7-1): “A League of Their Own” (1992)
The Patriots aren’t without flaws but since Tom Brady has returned, they’ve looked far and away better than every other team.
Buffalo Bills (4-4): “Rush” (2013)
The Bills’ offensive menu calls for rushing and more rushing as they lead the league with 1,233 yards on the ground and 5.5 yards per tote. But they desperately need a healthy LeSean McCoy.
Cross Creek Pictures
Miami Dolphins (3-4): “Alive” (1993)
Since being left for dead after Week 5, the team has gotten key offensive linemen back, found a bellcow rusher in Jay Ajayi, and has new life with wins over Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
New York Jets (3-5): “Keeping the Faith” (2000)
Deposed and then re-installed starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick lamented after a win that the organization had lost faith in him. Feeling hopeful, Jets fans?
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3): “Big Trouble” (1986)
Backup QB Landry Jones looked serviceable in his start against New England but the Steelers need Big Ben to summon his magical healing powers ASAP.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1): “The Sum of All Fears” (2002)
The Bengals’ best shot a championship (and a playoffs win) in the Marvin Lewis era may be in the rearview mirror.
Baltimore Ravens (3-4): “Killer Elite” (2011)
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I mean I could have but I didn't.
Cleveland Browns (0-8): “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)
Browns fans need some sort of mental sorcery to deal with all the losing and revolving door of quarterbacks.
Houston Texans (5-3): “Things to Do In Denver When You're Dead” (1995)
Brock Osweiler came back to Denver in Week 7 as the QB-non-grata and performed terribly as the Texans are still searching for a win on the road, and perhaps wondering if Osweiler was worth that fat contract.
Tennessee Titans (4-4): “In The Mix” (2005)
“In The Mix” is a real (and very poorly rated) movie starring Usher, Chazz Palminteri and Emmanuelle Chriqui. As for the Titans, they’re just one game back of Houston in the AFC South.
Indianapolis Colts (3-5): “Good Luck Chuck” (2007)
Colts GM Ryan Grigson has not done head coach Chuck Pagano or Andrew Luck many favors.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5): “Apocalypse Now” (1979)
After an embarrassing blowout loss to the Titans in a year in which owner Shad Khan felt the team should compete for a winning record, the Jags have sorely disappointed.
Denver Broncos (6-2): “The Back-up Plan” (2010)
Brock Osweiler, Mark Sanchez, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian. Duck, duck, duck, goose.
Oakland Raiders (6-2): “Glory Road” (2005)
A bazillion penalties, no problem! Derek Carr has carried the team to a highly impressive 5-0 record on the road so far.
Walt Disney Pictures
Kansas City Chiefs (5-2): “Taking Care of Business” (1990)
It’s been a little ugly at times but they’re 5-2.
Buena Vista Pictures
San Diego Chargers (3-5): “Too Late The Hero” (1970)
Imagine if the Chargers hadn’t shot themselves in the foot with that petty Joey Bosa standoff.
Dallas Cowboys (6-1): “Choice of Arms” (1991)
The film “The Boys Are Back” got strong consideration but that’s just a sad movie and it’s hard to turn down a young Gerard Depardieu and this title as the big Tony Romo-Dak Prescott decision approaches.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3): "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012)
Maybe this one's a bit easy given the movie’s plot involving Eagles but it felt appropriate given Philly’s success and then struggles but prevailing positivity about their young quarterback.
New York Giants (4-3): “Brewster’s Millions” (1986)
General manager Jerry Reese went on a major spending spree to rebuild the defense but now the offense can’t get going.
Washington Redskins (4-3-1): “Up and Down” (2004)
Minnesota Vikings (6-2): “In The Line of Fire” (1993)
The backbone of this team is a stellar defense but recently the offense has cratered and Sam Bradford hardly has time to take a three-step drop behind a sieve-like offensive line.
Green Bay Packers (4-3): "Up in the Air" (2009)
Injuries have ravaged the Packers recently and turned them one-dimensional on offense; last week Aaron Rodgers collected 60 rushing yards, 12 more than the team got on 13 carries from a trio of backups and replacements.
Detroit Lions (4-4): “Hope Springs” (2012)
Matthew Stafford has looked impressive this season and some key defenders (Haloti Ngata, Darius Slay) should be returning to action soon.
Chicago Bears (2-6): “The Replacements” (2000)
According to injury tracker Man Games Lost, the Bears have suffered more loss of players due to injury through eight weeks (130) than every team but the Chargers (161).
Atlanta Falcons (6-3): “Deep Impact” (1998)
The Falcons lead the league with 13 offensive plays of 40-plus yard and in plays of 20-plus yards with 42.
New Orleans Saints (3-4): “Bio-Dome” (1996)
The Saints continue to produce lots of points in the Superdome while struggling on the road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5): “Failure to Launch” (2006)
First-year head coach Dirk Koetter’s squad is winless at home in four tries.
Carolina Panthers (2-5): “The Hangover” (2009)
Don't hold your breath for a Super Bowl sequel this year.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1): “The Defense Rests” (1934)
The Seahawks defense may never rest given Seattle’s recent struggles on offense.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1): “Adaptation” (2002)
Suddenly the defense is this team’s strength and the offense is transitioning from a vertical attack to a rushing-oriented unit.
Los Angeles Rams (3-4): “Waiting…” (2005)
For Jared Goff.
Lions Gate Films
San Francisco 49ers (1-6): “The Abyss” (1989)
With no Ed Harris to save them.
20th Century Fox