As a regular fixture on GuysNation, I pose questions about the current state of the NFL to some of our regular contributors and then present the dueling positions to you.

Have you heard the war of words involving Chris Cooley / Tony Romo and the media? If so, what do you think of the situation?

Nathan: I think it’s pretty funny. I mean Romo did choke as Cooley said. A Cooley-Romo cage fight would make for great TV.

COLLINS: HA!, Better yet did you catch DEION SANDERS talking about how sick the fans are in Dallas are of Romo!  Cooley I understand, but former boys (Deion says he’s no fan) ripping the man up is hilarious.  I own Romo in our FF league, but who knows for how long ;).   I like what Cooley said, and I’m generally all about the drama, I like that he revels in the downfall of the boys…and I liked his defense of himself as well. I don’t like that the league doesn’t let these guys tear loose on the field and certainly don’t mind that they might say something that hurts someone’s feelings.  I just hope he doesn’t draw some bullshit fine.

JB:  I’ve listened to a bit of the coverage, but based on what I have heard, I can only shake my head.  Cooley was playing to a radio audience, and frankly, it was a bit refreshing.  Cooley is having a good time watching a rival go down in flames?  Good for him and there’s nothing wrong with a little rivalry and the boys in DC having a little competitive fire.  They’ll just have to back it up when Dallas and DC match up.

Turner: I saw it on NFL 32 the other day. Personally I agree with some of the things that he had to say, but Im a bit curious by the amount of shit talking going on in the NFL this year. Every week there’s some war of words between teams. I enjoy it. It’s kind of that behind the scenes stuff that Vinny Mac wanted to do with the XFL. It keeps it interesting, and people continually put there shoes in their mouths for running them and being wrong (aka Rob Ryan with his comment about Calvin Johnson last week).

Mark C: I have heard about the comments from Cooley.  I have not heard if Romo commented.  This has been going on for years.  It is the Dallas vs Redskins rivalry and smack talk should be expected.  Work it out on the field.  Lighten up world!

Rob: I heard it live as he was talking about it the first time, and when he elaborated on it. I don’t see anything wrong with Cooley saying that he was happy to see that Romo choked against the Lions, because that’s exactly what happened. I think it’s great that the rivalry is getting more heat to it, and I’m not surprised it came from a Redskins loyalist like #47. I think the response by various members of the media is rediculous, especially Boomer Esiason. For the most part, it doesn’t even sound like they listened to what was said or how it was said, they just read about the situation (or were told about it) and they formed a snap decision and went with it. Lazy journalism, if you ask me. I loved Cooley’s response on his website (Reigniting a Rivalry) and I hope he and Skip Bayless get the opportunity to speak on ESPN about the situation, given how Skip and Stephen A Smith had their debate on it.

Are NFL rivalries a way of the past?

COLLINS: No way, still alive and kicking…were you not entertained by the Redskins/Cowboys game this year??? It was close…and had potential.  Chris Cooley thinks their is still a rivalry, HA HA!    This one is still alive as are some others.  Just because Indy and the Pats aren’t gonna be playing each other for anything doesn’t mean that others aren’t going.

JB:  I think rivalries in a grand-long-term sense between to generally competitive teams are rather hard to come by in today’s NFL.  With player turnover and how many times teams seem to rise and fall so quickly, I’m not sure many rivalries really establish, especially with out of divisional foes.  This isn’t like the Steelers / Raiders of the 70s when the AFC playoffs were so hotly contested between those two powerhouses.

Nathan: They still mean something. There’s Ravens-Steelers, Packers-Bears, any NFC East matchup. Though NFL rivalries are no where near as intense as college football.

Mark C: No.  I think there are many rivalries still strong as they have always been.

Rob: Given the way players flip around the league in free agency, I think rivalries were diminished for a while, but two factors make me think rivalries will start to pick back up again: Twitter will make the comments by the players more prevalent and visible; with the restructuring of contracts and some players switching teams before they can really build loyalty, someone might be bitter that their team didn’t resign them and want to play harder for the rival to make a statement against their old team

Favorite NFL rivalries – past or present?

COLLINS: COLTS/PATS: OK, so not gonna be anything but sad this year, but before, MVP bowl is always tense…Painter Bowl, not so much.
GIANTS/EAGLES; Cmon, these guys hate each other….  painful to watch sometimes.  You have to know that FLY EAGLES FLY makes GIANTS fans in the stands want to blow their motherlovin brains out.
JETS/PATRIOTS:  More important recently…and very fun to watch.  I love watching the Jets, and hate the Pats (Not the players)
STEELERS/RAVENS: I love to watch teams from run down industrial cities battle each other, its the way conflict should be settled.  And just because for some reason the Steelers blow goats this year. (Zoo reference Rob) doesn’t mean its dead forever.
STEELERS/BROWNS: I can’t really get that excited about this one, never have liked
Cleveland, they’ve never been up to it in my lifetime, maybe last year and this year with the Juggernaut running against the Steelers in their softness this time will be entertaining.
BEARS/PACKERS: The NFL’s oldest should be interesting this year, still alive and well if Emo boy can keep his sheet together this year. 🙂

JB:  My absolute favorite rivalry bar none is the Steelers and the Ravens.  It’s one of the few current rivalries to last feverishly and competitively for over a decade, and the games are usually so close, so dramatic, and so physical, it’s just the kind of football I love to see.

Nathan: 49ers-Cowboys. Doesn’t mean as much these days, but back in the 80s and 90s it was great. The fact they faced each other so often in the playoffs adds to it.

Turner: Bears/ Packers, Denver/ Oakland, New England/New York

Mark C: Dallas vs Washington – i grew up a Dallas fan and love the Washington games.

Rob: Obviously Washington / Dallas, and as a fan of Peyton Manning since his first year in the NFL (thanks to Fantasy Football and also having Marvin Harrison and liking the style of Tony Dungy) I really got interested in the Colts / Patriots rivalry. The Steelers / Ravens rivalry is another one I enjoy watching – especially because I don’t care which team wins, I just like to see the great games.

Any NFL rivalries you hope to see?

JB:  As far as rivalries go that I’d like to see?  I’d love the whole NFC North to really become competitive again and close.  The rise of Detroit really has me excited for some Det/GB and Det/Chi games – and frankly I can use a good Det to make Thanksgiving football worthwhile.  Also, I’d love for either Bills or the Jets to become a real rival with NE on a consistent basis.  It’s felt like you could just hand NE the division every year for how long?

Turner: Detroit and Green bay sort of have a rivalry so i would like to see this turn into a full blown feud due to the success by both clubs. Thanksgiving may be a good stepping stone to that.

Rob: I always thought it would be natural for their to be a rivalry between Houston and Tennessee, given that the Houston fans lost their team for a while. I’d like to see the Kansas City / Oakland rivalry kick back up because it would mean that those teams were both in the mix again – since I like the long-standing franchises. If I were the NFL I would do a little restructuring of the divisions, or at least setup the schedule to always include an additional “rivalry” game, because that’s where some extra revenue could come from, making certain games more meaningful than they might’ve been before.

A quarter of the way through the season, which team do you think has the best chance of continuing their success and making the playoffs? Buffalo Bills (3-1), Houston Texans (3-1), Tennessee Titans (3-1), Washington Redskins (3-1), New York Giants (3-1), Detroit Lions (4-0), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1), San Francisco 49ers (3-1)?

COLLINS: I like the Bills to rebound, Texas keeps rolling, and the Lions keep it going.  everyone else, MEH….I’d love for Washington to keep it going, but with Grossman at the helm, I think it’ll have its bumps. I love the man, he handed Indy a Super Bowl, what’s not to like…oh…wait you were serious.

JB:  That’s really some tough choices there, but I have to go with SF.  Alex Smith has REALLY improved, the defense is playing well, and frankly they have a 3-1 opening on the division and the next closest team is 1-3.  They are +19 in scoring, Az is -1, and the rest are -39 (Seattle) and -67 (St. Louis).  I like the Texans, Titans, NYG, Lions, and Bills as teams, but all of those teams are still fighting for the division, when SF could actually lock it up by playing slightly better than mediocre.

Nathan: Texans. They have the offense to do it of course and a decent defense, plus the Colts have been written off by pundits, so they have the path clear, they just need to keep doing what they do best.

Turner: Lions…. partly because their fricken 4-0, and partly because I’m a homer, but also becayse they look fricken awesome this year. I also think it’s a given that Houston and the 49ers will win their divisions and make the playoffs.

Mark C: Detroit stands a good chance.  Looking at their schedule, I would say they could do it.  I don’t think Washington and the Giants will both be there; my guess is one of them will self destruct by the end of the season.  I think Houston stands a good chance especially looking at the rest of their season.

Rob: In all reality, it’s probably San Francisco because there’s really not another good team in their division, whereas most of those other teams have two other divisional opponents who are heavily vying for those spots.

Which team has the better odds to hit 5-0, Detroit or Green Bay?

COLLINS: Uh…I like the lions to continue to do well, but GREEN BABY all the way for that…too many weapons.

Nathan: You’d think Green Bay but they have to face the Falcons and the Lions take on the Bears. I’d still say the Packers given their offense.

Turner: Detroit. They are facing the bears, meanwhile the pack has the falcons who were picked to win the superbowl… So, though I think BOTH will go 5-0, I think the lions have a better shot at it.

Mark C: Green Bay has the better shot at hitting 5-0 since they are playing Atlanta today.  Detroit has a hard game ahead of them with Chicago.

Rob: I think the Bears have tons of trouble protecting Jay Cutler, and that will be the key to the Lions winning. The Falcons could step it up this weekend playing in Atlanta, so look for Detroit to have the better odds… though they both might end up at 5-0.

Which teams are most likely to hit 0-6 in a few weeks: St Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and/or the Miami Dolphins?

COLLINS: The Colts could possibly beat the Chiefs…but really have one of the top 5-6 hardest schedules, so it doesn’t look pretty, so probably dolphins continue to flounder….Rams are on a bye, so they’ll try real hard not to lose any players, or drop any balls….but come week six, they get their ass spanked by Green Bay, so they will sleep with the fishes (yes Dolphins are mammals, i know).  Vikings will eek out the Cardinals, so they’ll have some separation.

JB:  Of the winless teams, I think St. Louis is the most likely to hit 0-6 … they have GB and Dallas coming up, and just have serious health and injury issues.  I think Miami over the long haul is worse off as a team, but St. Louis I think has the toughest road to go to avoid 0-6 and the least amount of healthy talent.

Nathan: Has to be the Rams. The next two weeks they have to travel to Green Bay AND Dallas.

Turner: With Henne out? Miami!

Mark C: All of them stand a good chance of going 0-6.

Rob: I’ll definitely agree with Turner on that one. Who’s their starting QB going to be? Whomever starts, I don’t think they will have had enough time to prepare, and this week is going to continue the downward roll of the Dolphins.

Sink Or Swim. Listed below are the 2-2 teams. Each Dueling Perspective contributor let me know whether they thought the team will finish the season BELOW 8 wins (SINK) or ABOVE 8 wins (swim). I tallied up the results, and I picked one or two comments for each team to present an argument either way.

New York Jets: SWIM (3-2)

JB: SINK – They can’t run, they can’t stop the run.

Rob: They’ve got a strong defense and their offense has the pieces in place to be good enough to win any given Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals – SINK (0-5)

COLLINS: Sink, do not pass go, go directly to Jail Benson…and their hopes as well.

JB: SINK – I like Dalton.  I like Green.  Yet, these are still The Bengals.

Rob: Sink – A tough division and young offensive players means the defense won’t be able to carry them further, especially as other teams start to figure out how to pick apart their schemes.

Cleveland Browns – SINK (1-5)

JB: SINK – So much improvement that I can see 7-9, but they still don’t have the playmakers to open up the offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers – SWIM (4-1-1)

Nathan: SWIM, they do face the Bengals and Browns twice each

Mark C: Push – Pittsburgh are not playing very inspired football this year.  I don’t think they will blow that many games but they will only have a mediocre year.

Oakland Raiders – SWIM (3-1)

COLLINS: Swim, better stay healthy McFadden, otherwise its Jason Campbell to the rescue…

JB: SWIM – Weak division, and Jason Campbell is competent enough to allow McFadden to shine.

Dallas Cowboys – PUSH (2-2-2)

JB: PUSH – Talented, but just not cohesive enough to overtake NYG.

Nathan: SINK, they could just as easily PUSH, but they haven’t been playing to their full potential

Mark C: Swim – if Romo shows up. So far they have been hit or miss (thus the 2-2 record)  Romo showed that he can lead this team, but he has to be consistent and keep his head.

Chicago Bears – SINK (2-3-1)

JB: SINK – Detroit has leaped over Chicago as the second best team in the division.

Mark C: Swim – Their defense is strong, I think they will have a decent year.

Rob: SINK – I see some major issues coming on offense.

Atlanta Falcons – SINK (0-2-4)

COLLINS: Sink, these birds suck.

JB: PUSH – Underachieving D and O line mean Falcons fall back with the Panthers and Bucs behind the Saints.

Pick Winners:

Philadelphia @ Buffalo

COLLINS: BUFFALO, because Philly needs to hit rock bottom and lose one more game before turning it around.

JB: Buffalo – Just because I want to see the full on panic in Philadelphia that the “Dream Team is Dead Too” in the wake of the Phillies choking

Nathan:  Philly

Turner: Buffalo

Mark C: Buffalo – at home playing strong

Rob: Buffalo

Oakland @ Houston

COLLINS: Houston

JB: Oakland – Johnson is out, and the Raiders are getting healthy at the CB position – plus unlike the Steelers, the Raiders can keep their QB upright.

Nathan: Houston

Turner: Oakland

Mark C: Houston – they are on a tear and I don’t see Oakland getting in their way

Rob: Houston

Kansas City @ Indianapolis

COLLINS: I’ll take Indy by a field goal!

JB: Indianapolis – Painter to Garcon is likely enough

Nathan: Indy

Turner: Kansas City

Mark C: Kansas City – I really think Indianapolis is going to continue to struggle

Rob: Kansas City

New York Jets @ New England

COLLINS: Patriots win, in a heartbreaker.

JB: New England – Steven Ridley is the new NYJ problem.

Nathan: New England

Turner: New England

Mark C: Jets – or so I hope.  Not a fan of NE and I think people know they can be beat.

Rob: New England

Green Bay @ Atlanta

COLLINS: Green Bay all day.

JB: Green Bay – GB D steps up this game.

Nathan: Green Bay

Turner: Green Bay

Mark C: Green Bay – Rolling along and I don’t think Atlanta is that strong a team.

Rob: Green Bay

Chicago @ Detroit

COLLINS: Detroit lasts to fight another day.

JB: Detroit – Makes a Monday Night Statement

Nathan: Detroit

Turner: Detroit

Mark C: Detroit – This game will be hard to call but fun to watch Monday night.

Rob: Detroit

Let’s also give the readers some perspective on who the perspectives are coming from:

Top 3 favorite NFL teams

COLLINS: Top 3,  COLTS, EAGLES, JETS.  Indy is my hometown, I lived in Philly and love the evil that the city can exude when it gets angry and I like the swagger of the Jets, and love Ladanian Tomlinson’s heart to keep playing, and as well as he does.  I’m Midwest boy who just kept moving East, so its a good thing Bermuda doesn’t have a team.

JB: Growing up 90 mins from downtown Pittsburgh, it’s inevitable that I would be a huge Steeler fan.  Unfortunately I wasn’t around to witness or experience any of the 1970s greatness, so I thought I would be stuck without ever seeing them return to greatness after suffering through a QB named ‘Bubby’ and watching Neil O’Donnell crush my kid dreams against the Cowboys.  I feel very fortunate to have been a fan through the more recent success. My other favorite teams would be the Bills – just because I’ve always felt for them after the SB losses, and frankly, Buffalo is another blue collar city like Pittsburgh and I’ve felt at home when I’ve been there.  My current “third” favorite now is Detroit.  I just have loved seeing the team try and rebuild and restore pride to the team and city, and I love Suh’s motor on defense – the ferocity and intensity is great.  As a kid I actually like the Colts too – mostly because of getting Marshall Faulk’s autograph on a rookie card and getting a wrist band signed that Tom Tupa wore in practice.

Nathan: 49’ers are the hometown team, I got started with the Colts because I went to college in Indiana, and I’ve always liked the Ravens defense

Turner: 1. Detroit- Grew up in  Michigan, and have watched them be mediocre my whole life.
2. New England- Needed an East Coast team when I was in school, and all my friends were from Boston, and Tom Brady was from Michigan, and when i found that out… it was an easy decision.
3. Denver & Houston- I don’t know why… I just like their team.

Mark C: Buffalo Bills – Grew up in Rochester New York and I went to my first NFL game there; watching OJ Simpson run down the field vs Colts
Dallas Cowboys – Started liking them when I was little
Baltimore Ravens – Local team – hope they do well except for when they play Buffalo or Dallas

Rob: My hometown Washington Redskins, of whom I’m a life-long fan. The Colts, whom I’ve cheered for since Manning’s rookie season, my loyalty partially because of how Tony Dungy does his business. The Lions, who I’ve grown to love because of how they’ve fought tooth-and-nail for the past decade and have ALMOST been a good team all along. I love their defense and their offense gets more stout each season as injuries allow.

Any NFL teams you HATE?

COLLINS: PATRIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (I actually like a lot of the players, Welker, Gronkowski, Woodhead, BJGE, and I can almost tolerate Brady now) But I hate the man running the team, I hate everything else about the team.  I’m playing them in Madden 12 now so I can move the team to Virginia at the end of the year!!!!

JB: I absolutely hate:  The Ravens (but more of a respect hate), The Patriots (LOATHE), and The Cowboys (Detest).  I think it’s the attitudes of both of the later franchises, and the cheating of the Patriots that really grinds my gears on those teams.

Turner: Green Bay, Minnesota, Chicago, Oakland

Mark C: Washington – I am a Dallas fan – enough said
Philadelphia – I was born there, but grew to hate all of their teams.  No I don’t know why other than they are in Dallas’ division
New England – Again, all Boston teams
Pittsburgh – Dallas fan of the 70s and their smug fans.

Rob: I’ve always hated the Dallas Cowboys. I started disliking the Patriots when Tom Brady started seeming arrogant and the Patriots kept beating the Colts. I dislike the Eagles and Giants about equally.

How many fantasy football teams do you run this season?

COLLINS: 3 leagues (2 from work) and one from GuysNation.   GO LUSTY SLOTHS AND LICENTIOUS LEMURS!!!

JB: I have toned it down a bit this year and only have 9 fantasy teams.

Nathan: Two, one of which is in the GuysNation league

Turner: 3

Mark C: 2. I’m busy in the fall and can’t manage more than that.

Rob: I also only run two teams. One from a dynasty league for the past 6 years, and the other is the GuysNation league.