This week's Friday edition of our NFL Google+ hangout -- "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and Mark Thompson of "Mark and Brian" radio fame -- included a discussion on the Minnesota Vikings being routed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night:
"That was really surprising," Farmer said. "Especially losing to a team that had lost 10 in a row on the road. This Vikings team looked like the team that would be the surprise of the season. So to see them get routed is just more evidence that we won't know much about these teams until the second half of the season.
"Arizona started 4-0, then they lost three in a row and, with their upcoming schedule, they could be 4-6."
"It's really the teams that win in November and December that can separate themselves. It's like the NBA.
"You tune in to the an NBA game in the last two minutes to see what happens. The NFL season is a lot like that."
"The teams I am going to trust are the teams that have good quarterbacks. I'm talking Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger. These are the teams that can step on the gas in the second half."