We have arrived at the halfway point of the NFL season. Here’s a brief rundown of who are contenders, outsiders and are planning for next season.
Seattle Seahawks (6-1)
They have the likely MVP right now in QB Russell Wilson. While their defense isn’t playing great, once Jamal Adams returns healthy they should get a boost. All signs point to them winning the toughest division in football.
Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
There isn’t a consensus yet, but one thing is for certain. QB Kyler Murray is a game changer. Without him this team is no where near .500.
Green Bay Packers (5-2)
The defense is not playing at an average level lately, but QB Aaron Rodgers is in a rhythm right now with a healthy WR Davante Adams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
Everything is going right for them. QB Tom Brady doesn’t show any signs of his age and is beginning to utilize all of his arsenal on offense. The defense is quickly becoming a solid group.
New Orleans Saints (5-2)
No question they need WR Michael Thomas to contend going forward, but it was nice to see the Saints continue to win games without him. This proves that QB Drew Brees can still lead them without a legitimate number one target.
Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Their latest victory against New England gives them the momentum they need to take control of the AFC East and beyond.
Tennessee Titans (5-2)
With them being in a current slump, that doesn’t take away from what their offense has been doing this season. If the defense can get back up to speed, they’ll still be playing in January.
Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
Their defense is playing at an elite level right now. With QB Philip Rivers beginning to play to expectations, this team is in position for a playoff spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)
Clearly they are the best team in the league right now. I don’t expect them to remain undefeated, but they have a very easy path to clinch that top seed.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
There are flaws beginning to show in the offense once again when they go against a better defense. With that they can still score points in a hurry and that counts for something.
Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
Until they are defeated in the playoffs, they are still the favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Outside Looking In
Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)
This is a good time for them to prove that they are a legitimate playoff team. The defense is underrated and the offense has a nice balanced attack.
Cleveland Browns (5-3)
I’m on the fence about them here. While once RB Nick Chubb returns will be a big boost for them, I don’t like how QB Baker Mayfield is shaping up this season.
Miami Dolphins (4-3)
Based off of what I’m seeing right now, they deserve to be here. While the jury is still out on QB Tua Tagovailoa, it has sparked some interest in a franchise that hasn’t been relevant for quite some time.
Chicago Bears (5-3)
Lets face it, the offense is terrible. Whatever magic head coach Matt Nagy had disappeared after that ‘double doink’ field goal miss in the playoffs a couple years ago. His only saving grace is their defense right now.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)
I only have them here because they currently lead the NFC East. The division is awful and it could change by seasons end who is on top.
Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
They are another flawed team. They have the talent to be a contender, but if they can’t establish the run to avoid QB Jared Goff throwing the ball more than 35 times. Then they are doomed for failure.
Start Planning For Next Year
San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
If not for the endless amounts of injuries they would be a peg higher. Their depth took them as far as it could go.
Washington Redskins (2-5)
While there is optimism playing in a terrible division, there’s no point in getting your hopes up.
Dallas Cowboys (2-6)
I think that moniker of being called ‘America’s Team’ can stop now.
New York Giants (1-7)
The offense clearly needs RB Saquon Barkley to function properly.
Detroit Lions (3-4)
Don’t try to think you can get past Chicago or Green Bay. I’m amazed you’re ahead of Minnesota right now.
Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
I didn’t expect them to be here. I probably should have with the way the defense has been playing all year long.
Carolina Panthers (3-5)
I’m expecting good things to come next year. The defense needs a few more pieces, but otherwise they are playing above expectations. The offense has a lot of weapons to work with.
Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
If they don’t clean house in the offseason with this roster I won’t be shocked. Their owner Arthur Blank is loyal to a fault.
New England Patriots (2-5)
Clearly the experiment with QB Cam Newton didn’t work. It was a 50-50 shot. That doesn’t mean they are headed for dark days. They just won’t be playing in January.
New York Jets (0-8)
Boy would a winless season do wonders for them.
Houston Texans (1-6)
The fact that they are in this position doesn’t shock me. We all saw it coming sooner rather than later.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Will they clean house like they should have done last offseason?
Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)
If there was any doubt about QB Joe Burrow that’s all gone now. The question is can they surround him with a stout offensive line?
Denver Broncos (3-4)
It’s been hit or miss with QB Drew Lock. I think he can be good, but the talent they’ve surrounded him with hasn’t performed up to expectations.
Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)
I feel bad for QB Justin Herbert. Knowing that he has to watch them lose games the way they are and have been doing for many years.