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Conventional Wisdom Takes A Beating (Again)

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Rex Ryan and the Jets defied all the odds and expert predictions in beating the New Orleans Saints. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.
Rex Ryan and the Jets defied all the odds and expert predictions in beating the New Orleans Saints. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Surely, midway through the NFL season, we’ve learned something definitive. There must be something we can hang our hat on. In a world of spinning uncertainty, everyone wants the absolute lock, an Absolute Truth so solid we could head to Vegas and bet a bundle.

Here’s what we thought going into the weekend, at least if you read all the pundits:

The Jets won’t be able to keep up with the Saints. Drew Brees and company will score enough points to force Geno Smith to try too many passes.

Well, no. The Jets defense was stifling, and ground-and-pound proved sound. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets win 26-20.

The Cowboys have found the cure for an ailing team, the Minnesota Vikings. Bet the house on a slaughter.

I was confounded Dallas had so much trouble with the Vikings, especially considering its depleted secondary. I concluded two things: The Vikes played with heart and determination, and Dallas just isn’t that good.

The biggest lock of the day is Seahawks at home against the Bucs.

I wonder how many people in Vegas lost money on this one. Yet the Bucs played tough. In this clash between two former N.C. State quarterbacks, Mike Glennon was better for much of the game.

What did we learn? The Seahawks have some offensive issues, and you can run on them. I like the 49ers in that division.

Eagles-Raiders might be close, but the Raiders have been playing well and the new Philly offense has become a mess.

Surprise, surprise. Nick Foles, who was just cleared to play after a concussion, did a great imitation of Peyton Manning, tossing seven TD passes against a previously stout Oakland defense. I think the Eagles will be in the hunt for the divisional crown.

The NFC East is the worst division. At most one team will win.

Maybe it is, but all three teams in action won: the Cowboys, Eagles and Washington in OT against the Chargers.

Even if the Falcons lose, Matt Ryan will play well.

The Falcons and Vikings are among the league’s biggest disappointments. Both have had injury problems – Atlanta at wide receiver and Minnesota in the secondary – but both have so many issues they can’t very well use excuses. Ryan threw three interceptions against the Panthers in a season that’s turned into a disaster.

Tom Brady will impose his will on most any defense and have no problem scoring against an uncharacteristically weak Steelers unit.

I think we’re on to something here. Brady’s 100 games over .500, which is not bad.