NFL Midseason Report

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens- After a disappointing year last year, Baltimore has gotten off to a decent start with a 6-4 record. However, that 6-4 record is tied for last place in the AFC North.

Prediction: 8-8; miss the playoffs

Cincinnati Bengals- Fresh off another playoff loss, the Bengals started hot, winning their first three games. Since their bye week in week 4, Cincy has cooled off. Going 3-3-1 still has them in 1st place.

Prediction: 8-7-1; miss the playoffs

Cleveland Browns- After the Johnny Manziel hoopla, the Browns have competed well in the North, with a 6-4 record. With Brian Hoyer at the helm, Cleveland is praying for a playoff spot. They aren’t too far away from that chance.

Prediction: 9-7, AFC North champions; 4th seed

Pittsburgh Steelers- Arguably the AFC’s most inconsistent team, the Fighting Big Ben’s have beaten Baltimore, Carolina and Indianapolis, but lost to Tampa Bay and the New York Jets. At 7-4, the Steelers are tied for last in the division.

Prediction: 10-6; miss the playoffs

AFC South

Houston Texans- At a mediocre 5-5, the Texans are still alive for the division title, thanks to the horrendous divisional opponents, the Jaguars and Titans. With trouble at the quarterback position, it looks like this team will be building for next season.

Prediction: 7-9; miss the playoffs

Indianapolis Colts- With Andrew Luck and the AFC’s best offense in terms of yardage, the Colts are riding high at a comfortable 6-4. With no real pressure in the division, Indianapolis needn’t worry about whether they will see a home game in January.

Prediction: 11-5; AFC South champions; 3rd seed 

Jacksonville Jaguars- Same team, different season for the Jags. For what seems like forever, the Jags have been one of the worst franchises in sports. At 1-9, Jacksonville should start praying for the #1 overall pick this upcoming Spring.

Prediction: 2-14; miss the playoffs 

Tennessee Titans- Another AFC South team with quarterback issues; it looks like Tennessee’s season is pretty much over. What else can you say? Besides the opening week win against the Chiefs, this team has stunk all year, now at 2-8.

Prediction: 3-13; miss the playoffs

AFC East

Buffalo Bills- Kyle Orton has resurrected Buffalo. E.J. Manuel wasn’t doing enough on offense, and Orton came in and started winning games. However, Orton will prove to not be enough to lead the Bills to the playoffs, just barely.

Prediction: 9-7; miss the playoffs 

Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill seems to have finally found his place in the NFL. Playing more confident than ever, he has lead the Dolphins to a respectable 6-4 record. The Dolphins have games against the Broncos and Patriots, but the rest of their schedule looks beatable. The Dolphins will barely slide into the playoffs.

Prediction: 10-6; make the playoffs; 6th seed 

New England Patriots- It seems like the tandem of Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will never fail. Another typical year for the two and their Patriots, with a 8-2 record and a clear path to the playoffs.

Prediction: 12-4; make the playoffs; 1st seed

New York Jets- Looks like the Percy Harvin trade did what most expected: nothing at all. The Jets still stink and Rex Ryan will lose his job at the end of the season. This team just has no direction at all, offensively, defensively, in the front office, etc. No playoffs for you.

Prediction: 3-13; miss the playoffs

AFC West

Denver Broncos- Like Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots, Peyton Manning and making the playoffs come synonymously. After another great start for the 7-3 Broncos, Manning and his high-octane offense will cruise in the second half to another playoff berth.

Prediction: 12-4; make the playoffs; 2nd seed

Kansas City Chiefs- At 7-3, Chiefs fans are all asking “What the heck happened in Week 1?” Winners of 3 straight, the Chiefs are riding high with a physical defense and and opportunistic offense. The Chiefs will make the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.

Prediction: 10-6; make the playoffs; 5th seed

Oakland Raiders- What can one say about the Raiders? The laughing stock of the NFL is having another horrendous year, starting off 0-10. With a brutal schedule to end the year, the Raiders and their horribly behaved fans will suffer in the second ever 0-16 season.

Prediction: 0-16; MISS the playoffs 

San Diego Chargers- The 6-4 Chargers got off to a roaring start, but have since simmered down. With an average offense and defense, it is hard to see San Diego making the playoffs this year. Maybe next year, Philip.

Prediction: 8-8; miss the playoffs

NFC North

Chicago Bears- With all of their offensive talent, the Bears should be winning games and scoring a lot of points, right? Wrong. The Bears have struggled all year averaging 21.5 points per game, good for 19th in the NFL. Quarterback Jay Cutler needs to get it turned around or the Bears are in major trouble.

Prediction: 7-9; miss the playoffs

Detroit Lions- With an absolutely dominating defense, the Lions are in 1st in the NFC North. They still have a long way to go in the season, and their last game of the year at Lambeau Field could decide their season. Regardless, it looks like the NFL’s best defense will lead the Lions to the playoffs.

Prediction: 11-5; make the playoffs; 3rd seed

Green Bay Packers- With Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers, it seems like Green Bay is a shoe-in for the playoffs. Dominating other potential playoff teams is always a good sign, and the Pack has shown signs that their offense can lead the way.

Prediction: 11-5; make the playoffs; 5th seed

Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings are another bottom tier team with quarterback issues. Matt Cassel started the season, but after throwing too many interceptions. Christian Ponder relieved him. Ponder fell flat on his face, so now the team is in rookie Teddy Bridgewater’s hands. He has performed adequately thus far. The Vikings will be looking forward to next year.

Prediction: 6-10; miss the playoffs

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons- For the second season in a row, the Falcons have disappointed their fans. Shockingly, with a 4-6 record, the Falcons are tied for first place. Something has to give in the NFC South, and it looks like the Falcons have too hard of a schedule to make the playoffs.

Prediction: 5-11; miss the playoffs

Carolina Panthers-  Fans in the Carolinas are starting to question if the former Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton, can ever be the quarterback they thought he would be. He makes mistake after mistake, is never 100% healthy, and does not look like a true leader of their offense. Their defense is good enough to win the division, but their offense will hold them back this year.

Prediction: 4-11-1; miss the playoffs

New Orleans Saints- The team everyone thought would take the NFC South crown this year is struggling mightily. The Saints are beating the teams they are supposed to but seem to not be able to beat any team with a playoff pulse. However, with Drew Brees leading the Saints, it looks like the Saints will make the playoffs, yet again.

Prediction: 8-8; make the playoffs; 4th seed

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs have talent at their skill positions, led by Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but their quarterback and defense are weak. That never bodes well for any NFL team, and the Bucs do not seem to be the exception. A high draft pick is in their future.

Prediction: 2-14; miss the playoffs

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys, like any other year, are a total mess. They can’t seem to figure out that DeMarco Murray should have the ball in his hands the majority of plays on offense. With two games left against the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles, they have a chance to win the East. But it is not very likely.

Prediction: 9-7; miss the playoffs

New York Giants- If only the Giants could wish their way into the playoffs, then Eli Manning would probably lead them to another Super Bowl. Unfortunately for them, that is not possible. Another average year for Manning and the Giants.

Prediction: 6-10; miss the playoffs

Philadelphia Eagles- Chip Kelly has the Eagles offense soaring (no pun intended). LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles are elite playmakers who can hide the fact that their quarterback isn’t elite. With a relatively easy schedule, the Eagles will find themselves with a bye in Week 1 of the playoffs.

Prediction: 12-4; make the playoffs; 2nd seed

Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III? Kirk Cousins? Colt McCoy? Jay Gruden and his offensive staff need to figure out who they are going to play the rest of the year. It looked like RGIII would step back into his job comfortably after his injury, but the success of McCoy has some ‘Skins fans calling for Colt to start. Either way, no playoffs for the Redskins.

Prediction: 3-13; miss the playoffs

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals- With a stingy defense, an efficient offense and a three game lead in the NFC West with six games to go, the 9-1 Cardinals look like divisional champions. However, the Cards have four divisional games left, and any couple of losses could result in a major collapse. Drew Stanton and the Cards defense better keep it rolling because the 49ers and Seahawks are on their tail.

Prediction: 12-4; make the playoffs; 1st seed

San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers offense possesses no true playmakers and their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has struggled because of it. Not to say they can’t make the playoffs, but it is hard to see where the scoring can come from on offense to beat teams. The 49ers, because of their hard schedule and porous offense, miss the playoffs.

Prediction: 9-7; miss the playoffs 

Seattle Seahawks- After a brutally physical loss to the Chiefs, the Seahawks have games against Arizona (2x), San Francisco (2x) and Philadelphia. Although it looks as their schedule could keep them out of the playoffs, it also looks as if they can help themselves tremendously by winning these games. The Seahawks will win four of six to land the last Wild Card spot in the NFC.

Prediction: 10-6; make the playoffs; 6th seed

St. Louis Rams- If only the Rams had a quarterback. This team has looked poised to make a playoff run in every facet except quarterback play. They have a solid running game, good playmakers and an average defense that can make plays when they need to. It might be time to look for another quarterback and say goodbye to Sam Bradford.

Prediction: 7-9; miss the playoffs



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