Halfway home folks. Feels like just yesterday we were all anxiously awaiting kickoff, with shimmers of hope in our eyes. Some teams prevailed, others have fallen flat on their faces. Without further ado here are my unsubstantiated, completely opinion based, midseason power rankings. Lets start at the top…
1) New England Patriots (7-1)
Tom Brady continues to defy reality. Since returning from his 4 game suspension to start the season, he’s only completed 98 of 134 pass attempts, thrown for 1319 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Modest numbers from a guy who some were saying should be worried about Jimmy Garappolo taking his job. The Patriots are firmly planted at the top, and with what has been an overall sloppy year of play in the NFL, the Patriots look as sharp as ever.
2) Oakland Raiders (7-2)
Coming off of their most impressive win of the year against the reigning Super Bowl Champs, Denver Broncos, the Raiders have shown that they are not a team to be taken lightly. Derek Carr has taken a huge step forward in his third year with his two outside weapons Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. A high powered offense, needs a little help on the defensive side, but looks poised to make a solid run through the post season.
3) Dallas Cowboys (7-1)
I’m not going to lie. As much as Dak impressed in the preseason, I kept telling myself the same, “It’s just the preseason”. When Tony went down I thought this team was destined for a 8-8 finish behind Zeke and one of the best offensive lines in the league. Well, I was wrong. Dak has been rock solid throwing 12 touchdowns to only 2 picks. As long as this team has the ball and they can just keep feeding Zeke, (891 yards, 7 TD) who has an absurd Y/A of 5.0, they will continue to win games. Elliot came in with all the hype in the world, and he has somehow surpassed every expectation. I flipped between Oakland and Dallas at 2/3 for a while, but I came to this conclusion based on Oaklands win against Denver. It’s real close though.
4) Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
Has Matty Ice proved his haters wrong yet? He leads the NFL in passing yards at 2980, touchdowns at 23, and is third in picks thrown out of QB’s who have started every game with 4. The 9th year QB also has one of the most exciting WR’s in the NFL as his main weapon in Julio Jones. And with a backfield tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, the Falcons can keep up with anybody on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, they’ll have trouble with other high powered offenses. But they should keep winning and find themselves in the post season comfortably, possibly an NFC title bout with the Cowboys?
5) Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
The Chiefs have quietly found themselves in good spot for either a wildcard spot, or a possible AFC West title. Say what you will about Andy Reid, but he’ll get the most out of anyone who plays for him. Minus that awful game against the Steelers, they have been consistently solid defensively. Alex Smith continues to prove his worth as a game manager, with a rotating cast of running backs behind him. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Jamaal Charles seems to be removed from the days of being an elite running back. But Spencer Ware has stepped up in a big way, and has gotten the job done.
6) Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1)
Russel Wilson has looked mediocre at best. His ankle has hobbled him for the entire season. But he looks to be getting healthy again. And as long as he has Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett, and Doug Baldwin to catch his passes, he should be able to get the job done more weeks than not. Not to mention, the defense continues to keep them in games, ranked third in the NFL with 16.8 points allowed per game. They don’t have a running game right now, but maybe when Thomas Rawls comes back, that will change for them. Right now, the Seahawks are in a good position to lock down a playoff spot in a week NFC West.
7) Denver Broncos (6-3)
Coming into the season, everyone knew what the Denver Broncos were. A top 3 defense, with an offense that was going to struggle. The defense had lived up to the hype, that is until the Raiders, a pass first offense, bludgeoned them for 218 yards on the ground. And the offense so far has been inconsistent at best. The lack of a true game managing quarterback has really hurt the returning champs. Siemian has thrown 5 picks and has a 59.7% completion percentage. They’ll need to find their run game again, and the loss of CJ Anderson certainly doesn’t help.
8) Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1)
Yeah the record doesn’t look that great, but the Bengals have had one of the tougher first half schedules in the NFL. AJ Green is a game changer and is having a typical year. As long as Andy Dalton can continue to get him the ball, the Bengals should find some more wins with a lighter schedule in the second half.
9) Miami Dolphins (4-4)
Have the Miami Dolphins found lightning in a bottle in Jay Ajayi? Since becoming the official featured back, he’s racked off 529 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Dolphins 3 game winning streak. The real crime here is that the Dolphins can’t find a way to get the ball into Jarvis Landry’s hands. But if that means limiting Tannheill’s involvement in the offense, then I’m sure they wont mind too much. As long as they continue to use the ground and pound strategy, the “Fins” could certainly sneak into a wildcard spot.
10) Minnesota Vikings (5-3)
3 weeks ago, the Vikings could have easily been in the 2 or 3 spot on this list. But here they are with a 3 game losing streak going into week 10. The offense has suffered with all the injuries to the line. Bradford looks uncomfortable, and the run game has become a non factor. Last weeks loss to the Lions doesn’t help their position either. That game was won, and they handed it right back to Detroit. I still like the defense, and hopefully for Vikings fans, Alex Boone passes the concussion protocol soon.
And that’s 1-10. Agree? Disagree? Let me know on the SportsGuru App. Or write a comment down below. I’ll have 10-20, and 20-32 in the coming days.