To say this NFL season has been a hot mess is an understatement. The underdogs have seized the limelight as teams that were picked to be top contenders have fallen by the wayside.

The Oakland Raiders mirror their subpar efforts from a decade ago as they fumble and stumble their way into the AFC West’s fourth position, well below the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos with five losses under the belt.

The same can be attributed to the Dallas Cowboys, who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth as they struggle to maintain momentum in crucial games. They practically handed the Green Bay Packers the game in week five.

And the New York Giants have disappeared. It seems they haven’t showed up to play this season. The only thing giant about them is their losing record.

Aside from the New England Patriots, these teams were supposed to be the sure-fire picks this year. None of them lack talented players, coaches or tactics, but they all seem to be missing the glue. They have seasoned players making college-level mistakes.

There haven’t been drastic changes made to the lineups that would justify the lack of cohesion. The changes that have been made were mostly beneficial to these struggling teams.

Take a team like the Raiders who have every tool in their shed. They have players like Derek Carr, the star quarterback, Marshawn Lynch, an experienced running back and Super Bowl champion, and Khalil Mack, a certified beast of a linebacker, among numerous other exceptional players.

They are a proven powerhouse, yet they fail to hold their ground week after week. We were reminded of their champion-like abilities after their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and their five touchdown replays.

But they once again fell back into their clumsy routine against the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

Then there are the fairy tale teams of both the AFC and the NFC. Here come the Philadelphia Eagles out of nowhere, already matching their seven wins for last season, showing no mercy. And what’s in the water up in Buffalo? The Bills smoked the Raiders and have a 5-2 record matching the Chiefs.

If the NFL inconsistency is a bother, take solace in two consistent truths: The Patriots win and the Cleveland Browns lose.

As for me, I’ll be praying more Hail Mary’s than Aaron Rodgers, hoping that my beloved Cowboys come through with a playoff appearance.

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