Put A Fork In Them
32. Cleveland Browns (0-8): I thought there was reason for optimism this season. I thought the Browns were moving in a positive direction. I was wrong. It’s the same old Browns. In fact, it seems worse than ever. They just lost the only bright spot in their organization over the last decade, ironman Joe Thomas, and it’s looking more and more likely they will join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to go an entire season winless.
31. San Francisco 49ers (0-8): The Niners join the Browns as the only teams to be winless half way through the season. However, the Niners winless record is a lot better than the Browns winless record. Five of Niners loses have been by three or less. I see the Niners getting their first win before the Browns, but either way it’s going to be another lost season.
30. Indianapolis Colts (2-6): Their only two wins have came against the aforementioned Browns & Niners. Brissett has done a fine job filling in for the injured Luck, but overall this team is a mess. If their ownership is smart they’ll keep Luck out for the rest of the season, and look towards next year’s draft for some help on the offensive line.
29. New York Giants (1-6): This is a lost season for the Giants. The defense will keep them in some games, but their offense is devoid any talent since losing their top three receivers.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5): This year’s sexy pick has disappointed so far. Winston looks like he is regressing, and their defense ranks among the league’s worst.
On Life Support
27. Arizona Cardinals (3-4): First star running back David Johnson went down. Then their starting quarterback, Carson Palmer breaks his arm. Even with a healthy Palmer I didn’t think the Cards were going to make a run at the playoffs. Now that he’s out for the season they don’t have a shot in hell.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4): The Bengals barely sneaked out a win against the 2-5 Colts at home. Mathematically they still have a chance at winning the AFC North, but let’s be realistic, this team just isn’t very good.
25. N.Y. Jets (3-5): After winning three straight the Jets have dropped three straight. What’s worse, is that all three L’s were a result of blown leads. This team isn’t going to make the playoffs, but at least they’ll be competitive, something I didn’t expect going into this season.
The Underachieving AFC West
24. Oakland Raiders (3-5): I thought the Raiders would come back to earth this season after going 12-4 last year, but I never expected them to fall this far. Their offense, which was suppose to be their strength coming into the season, has looked average. Match that with an average defense, and you have a team, that’s well, average.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5): In this unpredictable NFL season their is still one constant – the Chargers will find ways to lose games.
22. Denver Broncos (3-4): In my quarter poll I had the Broncos ranked #2, and even said they had a chance of making the Super Bowl. Since then, they’ve gone 0-3. They’re even rumors that Trevor Siemian will be replaced by Paxton Lynch, or even worse Brock Osweiler. Rough.
So You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance
21. Baltimore Ravens (4-4): The Ravens offense came to life against Miami last Thursday scoring 40 points. Before that game they had been a train wreck. It’s hard to tell what offense we will see the second half of the season. Will we get Joe Flacco of 2013 or will we get Joe Flaccid?
20. Washington Redskins (3-4): The Skins already have three losses in their division. Two losses to the 7-1 Eagles and a loss against a Cowboys team who seems to be hitting their stride. The rest of the schedule doesn’t look very promising and the injuries just keep piling up. Yes, it certainly does seem to be raining shit on the Washington Redskins right now.
19. Chicago Bears (3-4): The Bears are a throwback to a different era. They play tough defense, rely on the ground game, and only throw the ball 10 times a game. For the Bears to win they need to grind out games. Could they grind out enough wins to grab hold of an Aaron Rodgersless NFC North. It’s not inconceivable.
18. Detroit Lions (3-4): The Lions started hot out of the gate. At the quarter mark of the season they were 3-1, and looking like one of the better teams in the NFC. Since that point, they’ve gone 0-3. The Lions could still win the NFC North, but I wouldn’t put my money on it.
17. Green Bay Packers (4-3): The Packers are 4-3, and in second place right now in the NFC North. However, those 4 wins came while Aaron Rodgers was starting. With Rodgers likely out for the year I can’t see them even sniffing the playoffs.
16. Tennessee Titans (4-3): The Titans have been average at best this season and they somehow lead the AFC South. I can’t see this sticking. When it comes down to it, the Titans are just a middle of the road team.
15. Miami Dolphins (4-3): The Dolphins are the biggest illusion of this group. How they have won 4 games this season is anyone’s guess.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3): By far, the hardest team to get a read on this season. One week they look like World beaters the next week they are getting blown out. They have a great defense and strong running game, but they also have Blake Bortles at QB. Then again, anything can happen in the AFC South.
13. Minnesota Vikings (5-2): Yes, The Vikings have one of the best records in the NFL, and yes, they lead the NFC North. With that said, I still don’t trust this team. Their defense is great, but whose their QB going forward? Keenum? Bridgewater? Bradford? Bueller?
12. Atlanta Falcons (4-3): I’m thinking the Super Bowl hangover may be real. The Falcons have looked all out of sorts this year. The high flying offense from last year hasn’t been able to get going. I still think they could get it together and win the NFC South, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them finish .500 either.
11. Carolina Panthers (5-3): The Panthers are 5-3, but they don’t feel like one of the elite teams in the NFL. You never know if you’re going to get good Cam or bad Cam, and their running game is nonexistent. Still, I think the Panthers have the highest ceiling of anyone in the NFC South.
Good Not Great
10. Houston Texans (3-4): I feel like the Texans are better than their 3-4 record. Their losses, other than Jacksonville, have been against the league’s best (New England, Kansas City, Seattle). Two of those games they could have won if not for the heroics of Tom Brady & Russell Wilson. I think the Texans will end up winning the AFC South because they have finally found their Quarterback. Dashaun Watson already looks like an absolute stud.
9. Dallas Cowboys (4-3): The Cowboys seem to be hitting their stride. Their defense is playing better and Ezekiel Elliot is starting to look like he did last season. But how long will it last? The Cowboys offense could take a serious hit if Elliot does end up getting suspended.
8. New Orleans Saints (5-2): After losing their first two games the Saints have won five straight. The most surprising part of this five game winning streak is that they’ve been winning by playing good defense and running the ball. Drew Brees hasn’t even hit his stride yet and their still winning games. If he does, then the Saints should be clear cut favorites to take the NFC South.
7. St. Louis Rams (5-2): What a difference a year makes. Last year, it looked like Goff was the next Ryan Leaf and that Gurley was a one hit wonder. Fans were putting pressure on the organization to fire Jeff Fisher, and wisely they listened. This year the Rams are a whole new team. Both Goff and Gurley look rejuvenated under Sean McVey and the defense is rounding into form.
6. Buffalo Bills (5-2): Are the Buffalo Bills actually good? I think they might be legit. They have one of the best defenses in the league. The rushing game is taken off from where it did last season, and while Tyrod Taylor may not be the best quarterback in the NFL, he’s not going to hurt your team either.
5. Seattle Seahawks (5-2): No rushing game. No offensive line. No problem. Russell Wilson continues to do Russell Wilson things, and as long as he’s under center this team will always be a contender.
4. New England Patriots (6-2): No Edleman. No Hightower. A 32nd ranked defense. No problem. As long as Brady is under center and the Hood is on the sideline this team will always be a contender.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2): It’s looking more and more likely that the Chiefs will take the AFC West. Of course, it seems that this team won’t be taken seriously until they win a playoff game against the Pats or Steelers. Is this the year?
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2): When they look bad, boy do they look bad. However, when the Steelers are firing on all cylinders their almost impossible to stop. When it comes down to it the Steelers are their own worst enemy. As long as they don’t beat themselves they’ll have very good chance at going to their 9th Super Bowl.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (7-1): All season it seems like people keep waiting to see the Eagles fall yet they just keep winning. At this point of the season they are the most complete team in the NFL. Wentz looks like one of the leagues best QB’s in only his second year and the defense is reminiscent of the Eagles defenses in the early 90’s.