NFL Mid-Season Report

Jim Rosen

As the NFL reaches mid-season, it’s time to look ahead and see who will make the playoffs.

AFC East

In looking at what could have been one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, the AFC East is turning out to be a two-headed monster in the Jets and Patriots. While the Bills have played some tough games, they are currently halfway to a completely defeated season. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are a talented team but they have fallen prey to a tough opening schedule and seem to have all but slipped out of the division race. In the end, I think the Jets are just slightly better than the Patriots and will sneak out with the Division title, with the Patriots snatching up the Wild Card slot.

Winner – New York Jets

Wild Card – New England Patriots

AFC North

The AFC North also holds two tremendous football teams at the top of its standings. With the Ravens and Steelers both playing terrific football, this will be a division race to keep an eye on. While the Browns pulled out an impressive win over the Patriots last week, they simply cannot keep up with Baltimore and Pittsburgh. And the Bengals? Well, I’m just surprised they didn’t sign Randy Moss to really make those games of “500” super competitive in practice. Overall, the Ravens simply have a better offense and will pull out an extremely close division race.

Winner – Baltimore Ravens

AFC South

The AFC South is a very interesting division, as there really is no clear-cut favorite. Tennessee is a solid football team that could be very scary with the addition of Randy Moss. Indianapolis, as always, will stay competitive throughout the year as long as they have Peyton leading the charge. And the Texans are well on their way to becoming a relevant football team. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson playing on the same team is supposed to happen in fantasy leagues, not in the actual NFL. Hey, even Jacksonville has managed to go .500 so far. In the end, it’s tough to bet against Peyton Manning but Tennessee earns the top playoff spot with a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way and a new receiving threat to balance out Chris Johnson. The Colts escape with a wild card bid.

Winner – Tennessee Titans

Wild Card – Indianapolis Colts

AFC West

There must be something in the water out west because while the AFC West isn’t as bad as the NFC West, it’s pretty close. With three truly mediocre teams, excluding the Broncos, who are just bad, this division is up for grabs. While the Raiders have been surprisingly good (for the Raiders) this year, they are still too inconsistent to win a division title.

The Chiefs and the Chargers, on the other hand, will battle for the top spot. The Chiefs seem to finally have a legitimately decent football team while the Chargers, as per the Chargers, have heated up after a poor start to the season. While the Chiefs have a bright future ahead of them, the Chargers, with the addition of Vincent Jackson, will squeak out the win in this division.

Winner – San Diego Chargers

NFC East

The NFC East has been, by far, the most interesting division in the NFL this year, and not just because the Cowboys are in it. With the big injury to Tony Romo, and the recent firing of Wade Phillips, the Cowboys have completely fallen apart. Jason Garrett, welcome to head coaching life in the NFL! Besides the Cowboys, we’ve also had the Mike Shanahan debacle in Washington. While I respect Shanahan, there’s something fishy about his leadership of

the Redskins.

With that said, the two real teams in the NFC East, the Giants and the Eagles, have quite the race up ahead of them. While the Giants are the better team, the Eagles have momentum with the comeback of Michael Vick and two games against the Cowboys ahead of them. That being said, the Giants pull this one out, as, with the exception of Weeks Two and Three, they have been arguably the best team in

the NFC.

Winner – New York Giants

Wild Card – Philadelphia Eagles

NFC North

In the North, we have the Packers and Bears fighting it out. While the Lions have played some tough games this year, as last week’s game against the Jets showed, they simply don’t know how to win games yet. And then there’s “Childress vs. The World” going on in Minnesota. Seriously, what happened to the Vikings? They were one interception away from the Super Bowl last year and now their season is already over. Man, the NFL is weird sometimes. So that leaves us with the Packers and the Bears. I really just don’t see Jay Cutler leading the Bears to a division title. So that leaves us with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers alone in first place.

Winner – Green Bay Packers

NFC South

Similar to the AFC South, this division is wide open right now. While Carolina never had a chance, Atlanta, New Orleans and even Tampa Bay all have a shot to win this one. It’s a pretty tough pick. As much as Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay are a great story, I don’t see them beating out these two seasoned teams. When it all comes down to it, the week sixteen winner between Atlanta and New Orleans is going to take the division. And as hard as it is to say, Atlanta beats the Super Bowl Champs at home and takes the division.

Winner – Atlanta Falcons

Wild Card – New Orleans Saints

NFC West

…and drum roll please, the NFC West! It’s hard to even think about any of these teams making the playoffs. Even though Seattle and St. Louis have fought hard all season, do they really deserve to win a division title? San Francisco, with their delusional predictions to make the playoffs, is out and Arizona isn’t much better. And while the Seahawks have somehow won four games, so has St. Louis who, with Sam Bradford, have a bright future. As crazy as it sounds, your St. Louis Rams will win the

NFC West.

Winner – St. Louis Rams