SAM FARMER / ON THE NFL

NFL Week 8: Everybody's OK, but is that all there is?

There's 7-0 Atlanta, and there's everyone else. All but a few NFL teams have at least three wins, so how can anyone predict what will happen from week to week?

Nearing the midway point of the NFL season, this much can be said with conviction:

The Atlanta Falcons are a perfect 7-0.

And the rest of the NFL picture is a perfect mess.

More than 80% of the league's teams have at least three victories, and it's almost impossible to predict who will be competitive from week to week.

For instance, a week after playing the Patriots tough in New England, the New York Jets flopped at home against Miami on Sunday with a 30-9 loss — and the Dolphins played with backup quarterback Matt Moore.

San Diego, a Super Bowl pick of some, lost at Cleveland, 7-6. It was the second time this season the Chargers failed to score a touchdown, something they hadn't done twice in a season since their 1-15 disaster in 2000.

In Green Bay, one-win Jacksonville gave the Packers a scare before losing by nine, even though the Jaguars were without Maurice Jones-Drew, their best player.

"It's good to be on this side of an ugly win," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "The way we played on offense, especially the last couple of weeks, the expectations were we were going to come out and maybe blow them out. But we didn't start fast, we didn't have enough juice early on and didn't play well enough on offense to get that done."

Chicago is 6-1, tied with Houston for the league's second-best record . . . yet the Bears were nearly knocked off at home by one-win Carolina. The Bears won on the final play, 23-22, and only after outscoring the Panthers in the fourth quarter, 16-3.

Earlier this season, the Panthers almost beat the Falcons in Atlanta. Emphasis on almost.

"Not heartbreaking," Carolina receiver Steve Smith said Sunday of yet another near-miss. "Tiresome, monotonous, a few guys in here are perturbed and [angry], but we're beyond heartbreak. We're just getting upset."

The latest Panthers defeat came in the wake of the club's firing general manager Marty Hurney, so the franchise is trying to make big changes.

So is Philadelphia, which recently fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. History was on the Eagles' side Sunday, as Coach Andy Reid had never lost a game immediately following the bye week. His Eagles were 13-0 in those situations.

Now, they're 13-1, after losing at home to Atlanta, 30-17.

Philadelphia gained five yards in the first quarter and didn't force a punt until the end of the fourth.

Todd Bowles, the new defensive coordinator, is as frustrated as anyone.

"You don't go from the outhouse to the penthouse in one week," Bowles said. "Right now, we're in the damn outhouse."

The chants of "Fire Andy!" reverberated through Lincoln Financial Field, and #FireAndy was trending on Twitter. Meanwhile, one end-of-his-rope Eagles fan held up a sign with a suggestion: "Fire Castillo Again?"

In a confusing season like this, hey, it's worth a try.

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