We’re officially halfway through the year of the longest season in NFL history and while some teams have broken away from the pact, the NFL remains very much wide open.
22-32: No chance at the playoffs
22. Denver Broncos- Any hope for this team walked right out do the door along with arguably the best player in franchise history, Von Miller.
23. Washington Football Team- Certainly this isn’t how head coach Ron Rivera thought this season would go, but then again he probably didn’t think the defense would be this bad either.
24. Carolina Panthers- This offense hasn’t been the same since CMC went down and Sam Darnold has reverted back to his New York Jets form, which is a bottom 5 starting QB in the league
25. Miami Dolphins- As the team continues to lose, the Deshaun Watson rumors get hotter and hotter. Whatever they decide to do with their WB situation ( which they’ve handled very poorly), I really hope they keep head coach Brain Flores.
26. New York Jets- Credit to Saleh and company who got their most impressive win of the season. Only negative is, it wasn’t with their 2nd overall pick Zach Wilson, it was with his back up Mike White who became the first Jet to throw for 400 yards since 2000 (Vinny Testaverde)
27. Philadelphia Eagles- Eagles for the 2nd time this year, ran over a much inferior team in a dominant display although where they face good competition, they end up being the ones rolled over.
28. Chicago Bears- this team had way more problems than just QB. This offensive line is abysmal and the defense has given up 30+ points in back to back weeks. The entire roster is in need of a rebuild and the coaching staff could probably use one too
29. New York Giants- poor Daniel Jones, such a talented QB who’s career is being wasted by Joe Judge and Jason Garrett
30. Jacksonville Jaguars- another immensely talented QB being wasted by a joke of a coaching staff and a lackluster roster surrounding him.
31. Detroit Lions- I love Dan Campbell as a coach and this team has some talented players (Swift and Sewell namely), but other than that, this team is horrible.
32. Houston Texans- Many predicted them to be the worst team in the league. So far, many people are right.
16-21: The “Thank God there’s a 7th playoff spot” Teams
16. Indianapolis Colts- I was ready to right this team off but after an impressive win in San Francisco and now with the Titans being decimated from losing their best player for potentially the rest of the season, this team can realistically snatch a playoff spot. They will need Carson Wentz to stop consistently making stupid decisions though.
17. Minnesota Vikings- Losing at home to a team that rested their starting QB is pretty embarrassing, but i still have hope for this Vikings team. Although losing leading pass rusher Danielle Hunter will hurt and they need Kirk Cousins to go back to the way he was playing in the beginning of the season.
18. San Francisco 49ers- No one expected this team to struggle this much but here we are. The pass defense has been atrocious and Jimmy Garrapolo has not looked like a man who doesn’t want to lose his starting job. Kyle Shannahan will need to right the ship if he wants to get his team back in the playoffs.
19. Kansas City Chiefs- If you thought it was surprising to see San Francisco here, then you’ll be shocked to see the 2 time defending AFC champs here. Well, that’s what happens when you sport arguably the worst defense in the league and an underwhelming offense led by a superstar QB who can’t take what the defense gives him.
20. Atlanta Falcons- I’m slowly liking this Falcons team the more and more I see them. Sure they are only 3-4 but they have 2 close losses plus a blowout to a Philly team that they could easily beat right now. Don’t sleep on this team.
21. Seattle Seahawks- This team’s main objective his keeping hanging on until Russ comes to the save the day but this team is very intriguing in the sense that the defense has stepped up big time, bigger than I thought they would. ￼
7-15: Not exactly true Super Bowl Contenders, but don’t count them out come January
7. Cincinnati Bengals- This team is so close to becoming a full fledge contender but playing down to competition ( see: losing to the mike white led-jets) isn’t going to make me confident in this team’s chances.
8. Baltimore Ravens- Another team that I’m on the cusp of declaring a true super bowl contender, the thrashing that they received from Cincinnati proved to me that this team isn’t quite there yet.
9. Los Angeles Chargers- 4 weeks ago, they wouldn’t been at the TOP of the contenders list, but after 2 underwhelming performances against the Patriots and Falcons, this team has serious issues they need to fix before taking that step.
10. Tennessee Titans- Another team that will impress you with huge wins over the Chiefs and Bills but then turnaround and lose to the New York. Now they may be without the best RB in football for a while, potentially the entire season.
11. New Orleans- Now this is a team who was going to be in the below week, but I should’ve known better than to bet against Sean Payton. Even with the lost of Jameis Winston, this is a dangerous team.
12. Las Vegas Raiders- Even without dismissed coach John Gruden, the Raiders look good, Derek Carr and Maxx Crosby in particular. This team may mess around and win the West.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers- This is the definition of a team you don’t want to face in the first round of the playoffs. The defense still is very good and they haven’t even received strong play from studs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Devin Bush. The offense does just enough too to assist their defense.
14. Patriots- I decided to move this team up into this tier after keeping it close with Dallas and beating The Chargers. Mac Jones has looked decent and the defense is swarming. Plus, who wants to bet against Bill Belichick?
15. Browns- Not often in this day and age do you see an offense holding backs the defense but that’s what’s going on here in Cleveland. Cleveland has sustained their elite running game but the pass offense is a sad sight to watch with offensive “stars” OBJ and Baker Mayfield struggle to connect on the field.
1-6: The True Contenders
1. A team with arguably the MVP, the best WR in football, and the best defense in the NFL that just added a 3 time first team all pro? Yea not much to say, easily the best team in the league.
2. Green Bay Packers- This team has looked good and just beat the last undefeated team in the league without their WR1. With that being sad, this could be just another year where Green Bay gets to the playoffs and shoot themselves in the foot all the way back to their homes, or it could a new team that is ready to get A-Rod back in the Super Bowl.
3. Arizona Cardinals- Even though they were knocked from the unbeatens, this team is a true contender and still could end the season with the #1 seed, forcing the road to the super bowl to go through Arizona.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The defending champs haven’t been perfect, but they are pretty easily a legit contender although they must stay healthy. Can’t be very good teams when you’re having to start 5th and 6th round defensive backs in the secondary.
5. Buffalo Bills- This a team I’m very conflicted on. Sure they have an MVP candidate at RB and they looked good against the Titans in losing effort and a blowout of the Chiefs. But is this a team that could still be playing football in February.
6. Dallas Cowboys- The last edition of the Super Bowl Contenders but just as much of a contender as anyone else on this list. The defense looks unstoppable and led by young studs, Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons, the defense is doing just enough to win the game for them.