Marc's Mailbag - Week 8

Marc Sessler is a writer for's Around the League blog and each Friday he will answer your NFL questions, right up until the Super Bowl.

So, what can we expect from the Rams this weekend? Do they have a chance against the Patriots? Was Sam Bradford worth the top pick? - G.C., London

It's hard for me to believe the Rams are blown away by Bradford. The team's third-year starter just doesn't seem comfortable enough on the field. Bradford has made progress, but think back to that much-celebrated win over the Cardinals in Week 5.  Bradford was just 7-of-21 passing in the game. That included a string of 10 straight incompletions. He's thrown seven touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. Mediocre numbers.

Bradford has a good arm, but he's not making the throws when the pocket collapses around him. He's too inconsistent. Part of that has to do with playing with three different offenses in as many seasons, which no young passer should be subject to.

Let's look at this from a cost perspective: Bradford was the last No. 1 draft pick before the rookie wage skill vastly reduced contracts. The Rams are on the hook for $41.7 million in guaranteed money on a $72 million contract. Bradford isn't playing that brand of football. A win over the Patriots, however, would do wonders for this team and its quarterback.

I’m a longtime Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Why have they had so much trouble running the ball? - Phillip from Leeds

Thanks for your question. Pittsburgh really struggled to run the ball earlier this season. The offensive line has been a mess. They battled injuries last season and that theme continues into 2012. At the same time, no one does a better job of surviving injuries and chaos than the Steelers.

Pittsburgh played without All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert in last week's win over Bengals. It didn't matter. Young Jonathan Dwyer got his first NFL start in place of Rashard Mendenhall and had the best day by a Steelers running back in more than a year. Dwyer is likely to earn another start against the Redskins on Sunday. This could be a trend. Recent reports suggest the Steelers are excited about Dwyer's progress. He's also less expensive than Mendenhall, who's in the final year of his rookie contract.

We could be in for a changing of the guard in Pittsburgh's backfield.

Would American football fans accept the idea of a team located in London? - Tara, Bristol

I hope so. The league is obviously interested in expanding international play. For my money -- and probably for yours -- London is the obvious spot.

People have talked about Mexico or Canada, but the U.K. has a strong fan base and it would be fascinating to see this happen. I think the hang-up here is scheduling. Sending a London team west to play the Raiders equals an epic road trip. Shipping teams to England is a major project. They've done recent studies that show teams suffer in the win-loss column when they travel multiple time zones.

There are ways around this. The London team could have a home base in the States and play a string of consecutive road games before returning home. Mainly East Coast teams could be sent to the U.K., cutting down on travel.

It might take a while for something like this to happen, but London should be at the top of the list.

Why haven't we seen more from Tim Tebow with the Jets? - Travis from Northampton

I'm not sure the Jets know how to use Tebow.

So much was made of Timmy teaming with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to run the Wildcat offense, but seven games into the season, the results are underwhelming.  Tebow has produced just 76 yards on 22 carries out of the subpackage. He's playing only eight snaps per game. One Jets reporter said it best when he called Tebow a $2.1 million decoy.

The Jets want to believe Tebow's mere presence on the roster forces opponents to burn the midnight oil in preparation for this offense. But the joke, right now, is on the Jets.

I thought Rex Ryan was waiting for the New England game last Sunday to wheel out Tebow in all his shining glory, but he barely made an impact. Bill Belichick, meanwhile, would have found a 1,000 ways to use Tebow in that Patriots offense.

I put this one on the Jets. They don't appear creative enough to make the most of Tebow's gifts.

How would you rank the top 5 teams in the league right now? Are the Houston Texans at the top? - William S., London

William, the Texans were impressive against the Ravens, but I have to put the Falcons atop the bunch. They're unbeaten and their offense hasn't been slowed down yet. Here's how I'd rate the five best teams in the NFL:

1. Atlanta Falcons

2. Houston Texans

3. New York Giants

4. San Francisco 49ers

5. Green Bay Packers

I'm tempted to switch out the Packers with the Bears, but Green Bay waxed Chicago earlier this season and Aaron Rodgers is playing his best football of the year. I also believe the Patriots will heat up. I'm not concerned with their 4-3 record. They've done so much experimentation with that offense. New England's secondary is a liability, but Belichick will have his team back in the playoffs again this January.

Enjoy the games -- especially the one at Wembley.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL

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