Peyton Manning’s Broncos on Verge of Becoming Legitimate Contenders in Wide Open AFC (Podcast)

Peyton Manning's Broncos on Verge of Becoming Legitimate Contenders in Wide Open AFC (Podcast)It seems like just yesterday Patriots fans were looking at the schedule wondering where exactly the team's blemishes would come from. But now, with six weeks of football in the books, some panic is starting to set in.

Talks of 16-0 are long gone, and losses to Baltimore, Arizona and Seattle have Patriots fans searching for answers. New England's secondary looked awful once again on Sunday against the Seahawks, and there doesn't appear to be a simple solution to the ongoing defensive woes.

NESN.com NFL insider Luke Hughes caught up with assistant editor Ricky Doyle to discuss the Patriots' disappointing West Coast loss. And while it appears New England still has enough talent to walk away with the AFC East crown, the Pats hardly look like they're among the AFC's elite.

The Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans also took a hit this past weekend, though. The Ravens lost stud cornerback Lardarius Webb and team leader Ray Lewis to season-ending injuries, and the Texans got smoked by the Packers on national TV. All of this leads to a rather unpredictable future, which just goes to show the parity that exists in today's NFL.

Hughes and Doyle also took a look at Peyton Manning's big performance, the status of the Broncos and Chargers in the wake of Denver's come-from-behind victory on Monday and what to look for in Week 7.

Listen in the player below, or subscribe on iTunes to listen there.

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