it was almost like a protection spell had been cast to ward off the Bengals from stepping foot in the end zone.

The Panthers have gotten over the proverbial Super Bowl hangover that plagued them throughout their 6-10 2016 season. Carolina is 4-1 and sitting on top of the division once again, and all but one of those wins is over a team that’s over .500. The Panthers are playing good football right now, and Cam Newton is coming off one of the best games of his career.

However, the Falcons are more recently coming off of a Super Bowl, and so far, have shown no signs of a hangover. Even in their one loss, they still almost managed to beat the Bills in Week 4, despite injuries to Courtney Upshaw, Vic Beasley, Julio Jones, and Mohamed Sanu.

The NFC South is always up for grabs year in and year out, but if the Panthers and Falcons keep going at this rate, the race is going to be as entertaining as it’s ever been. There’s only been one repeat winner of the division, and that’s when Carolina won it in three consecutive seasons from 2013-2015.

In the first two weeks of the season, it was almost like a protection spell had been cast to ward off the Bengals from stepping foot in the end zone. Even when it looked like they had scored, nope, that’s not a touchdown:

After two weeks of winless, touchdown-free football, the Bengals fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor. Since then, the offense has looked revived, especially quarterback Andy Dalton:

We should find out if the offense has truly rebounded on Sunday, when the 1-3 Bengals host the surprising 3-1 Bills. Through the first month of the season, the Buffalo defense ranks No. 1 in DVOA. No team in the league has given up fewer points, either. In their only loss so far this season a 9-3 field goal fest against the Panthers the Bills didn’t surrender any touchdowns. They’ve allowed just four all season.

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Aaron Rodgers could be out for the season.

The Cowboys could be without Ezekiel Elliott. And the Patriots barely beat the Jets. Is it time to panic?

The Browns have followed a 1-15 season with an 0-6 start, and have looked more inept this season than they did in 2016. The complicating factor: There is no easy answer to turn this around from the roster as it’s built. Instead, the Browns are staring at a winless season. — Pat McManamon

Delton, a redshirt sophomore, started his first career game against TCU and could not get untracked. He was 11 of 29 for 146 yards and no touchdowns. A run-first quarterback, he ran for 39 yards on 19 carries.

Alex really struggled, but he had a lot of help in that respect, Snyder said. It wasn’t all his fault.

The Eagles could receive a boost against Washington with the potential return of right tackle Lane Johnson and running back Wendell Smallwood. Both players practiced Tuesday as Johnson cleared concussion protocol and the swelling subsided in Smallwood’s knee.

Second-year quarterback Carson Wentz continued his stellar play against Carolina and improved his season numbers — 126 of 207 for 1,584 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Those statistics have vaulted him into the early conversation for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

(They’re) a very well-coached team. You know what you’re gonna get with Kansas State. You get it every single time. It’s always a challenge, certainly going up there is. So we’re expecting a four-quarter fight with them, and that’s something we’ve got to be ready for.

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