This isn’t something we normally have to worry about.

Nothing has gone right for defending NFC champ Atlanta, but the Falcons are nonetheless 4-3 and haven’t played a single division opponent yet. That changes next week with their trip to Charlotte, but they don’t play the Buccaneers until after Thanksgiving, and they don’t play the first-place Saints until Dec. 7.

The Saints have won five in a row since their 0-2 start and need to go just 3-6 the rest of the way in order to surpass their win total of each of the past three seasons. They’re legit. But so is Carolina’s defense, and the Panthers have five home games left. Don’t forget, the Falcons went 6-2 in the second half last season and rode that wave to the Super Bowl.

When we do our preseason predictions, we all know there are few reliables, but the Bills missing the playoffs is a straight-up given. Buffalo has played the past 17 NFL seasons without reaching the playoffs, and in that time has had only two winning seasons. It’s death, taxes and the Bills not making the playoffs.

“When ESPN suspended me for three weeks (two without pay) after a 2014 podcast rant about Roger Goodell during his full-of-s**t apex, I was advised a few weeks later by someone very, very, very, very, very high at ESPN that I should lay off Goodell. And not just because the NFL was ESPN’s most lucrative partner, but because Los Angeles was going to land two NFL franchises soon.

The burden is nothing new for Ball, and neither is the slow start. In his first summer-league game, also against the Clippers, he scored five points on 2 of 15 shooting. Five days later, he put up 36 and 11.

While Houston’s offense is operating at a higher level than any other in the division, the Texans’ high-profile defensive injuries could continue to cause problems.
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