Mid-season NFL Power Rankings

Midway through this season we have learned little about what teams will be in the season capping tournament.  Some teams have truly shined, but those teams number very few.  Following is a composite ranking put together by myself and friends Anthony Crowell and Colin Burns-Gilbert.  Hopefully you enjoy the read.

 

1. Atlanta Falcons – The Atlanta Falcons own the only unblemished record in the league. Their defense has been better than expected after losing MLB Curtis Lofton to the rival New Orleans Saints. – arc

2. Houston Texans – Besides an aberration against a Green Bay team desperate for a win; Houston has been playing phenomenally.  As long as they can figure out how to adjust to life without Brian Cushing they should be in this season’s Superbowl. – sjm

3. New York Giants – The Giants tend to play to their opponents level. This makes most of their games closer than they really should be.  The way to beat the Giants is to go after their nickel and dime corners along with their linebacking corps as evidenced by TE Jason Witten’s 18 receptions for 167 yards. – arc

4. Chicago Bears – If the Bears offensive line can come together and put out a consistent effort Chicago could have one of the most balanced offensive units in the league.  Once rookie Alshon Jeffery comes back from a hand injury we will see exactly how great this team can be. – sjm

5. Green Bay Packers – The Packers have 3 losses but I still believe that they are a better team than their record implies.  Many injuries to the Packers roster conjures up memories of a year not so long ago…they won the Super Bowl. – arc

6. San Francisco 49ers – Have shown some definite inconsistencies on offense along with some holes in the defense that were not there last year.  My guess is come playoff time this group will shine and possibly be in the championshp game. – sjm

7. New England Patriots – The offense is great. The defense is not.  The positive for Patriots is that they have the best turnover ratio in the AFC at +13, which is tied with the Giants. – arc

8. Denver Broncos – With the tough portion of their schedule out of the way expect this team to take firm control of the AFC West lead.  Peyton Manning is once again elevating the level of play of everyone else around him, new city-same story. – sjm

9. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens would be higher if healthy but the help they may be getting from DE/OLB Terrell Suggs may just be enough to keep them in the playoff hunt in the weak AFC. Ray Rice needs the ball early and often in games with the play-action pass being utilized off of their great run game. – arc

10. Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Ben has been relatively turnover free which bodes well for the Steelers. The defense will get better as the season goes on giving players a chance to get healthy.  The defense is run by the great Dick LeBeau, Hall of Fame coach, can dial up blitzes with the best of them to confuse the opposing quarterback. – arc

11. Seattle Seahawks – Many people were confused when Seattle drafted Russell Wilson in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft.  They had just signed highly-coveted Matt Flynn and Wilson was deemed by many to be too short to have success in the NFL.  Well sitting at .500 midway through the season and some favorable games left on the schedule, Wilson looks to be succeeding just fine to me. – sjm

12. Philadelphia Eagles – I am not buying into the early season struggles of QB Michael Vick.  I think the second half of the season will be much better for their defense. – arc

13. Indianapolis Colts – The answer to Colts fans prayers came via the first pick of the draft and his name is Andrew Luck.  He can make all of the throws and is deceptively elusive.  They probably won’t be a playoff team this season, but find some more defensive pieces and a solid running back and this team could challenge Houston in an otherwise weak AFC South. – sjm

14. Washington Redskins – QB Robert Griffin III has been outstanding. RB Alfred Morris has been as equally impressive. The defense has really let them down. – arc

15. Miami Dolphins – New coach, new offensive coordinator, new rookie quarterback means a learning curve.  After the Jets game it looks like this team has passed that curve.  Their defense can play suffocating at times and can help make up for an offense that has trouble putting points up.  They won’t make the playoffs this year, but they are laying a good foundation. – sjm

16. San Diego Chargers – QB Philip Rivers is very frustrating to watch. His throwing motion is very unorthodox and makes it seem like he is never on target.  However, I have watched many games and that is not the case. He can be a very good quarterback.  The running game needs to get going for him to utilize the play-action pass which makes any quarterback more efficient. The defense has been a pleasant surprise. – arc

17. Minnesota Vikings – After playing through the easiest half of their schedule we will get to see what this team is really made of.  Christian Ponder looks like he is still learning but does show flashes and Adrian Peterson is still one of the best in the league and makes defensive players look silly.  Percy Harvin playing on a consistent basis is a great thing to see here. – sjm

18. Dallas Cowboys – Their defense is good. The shutdown corners on the outside paired with the great pass rush from the defensive line make that defense. The linebackers will have to step up with in the absence of MLB Sean Lee.  The Cowboys are the worst team in the NFC in the turnover ratio. – arc

19. Detroit Lions – When watching this team the thing I notice most is all of the dropped passes, many by Madden Cover player Calvin Johnson.  They have played close in a lot of their games, winning and losing efforts, and a consistent running game could be the difference for this team being in the playoffs. – sjm

20. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals made the playoffs last season.  The defense has not been as good as it was last season. QB Andy Dalton needs to make better decisions with the football with 10 interceptions already at the halfway point. – arc

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Josh Freeman has gotten back to what I think he can be. He has 14 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. The defense has been forcing turnovers and the offense has capitalized. They could push for the playoffs with a fairly easy schedule down the stretch. – arc

22. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Fitzpatrick has highly disappointed and needs to be replaced.  Their high-powered run game has been slowed down by injuries recently and their defense has not picked up the slack.  What looked to be a promising young team before the season started has quickly turned into a sad story. – sjm

23. New Orleans Saints – The offseason turmoil and suspensions has decimated this team from the top down.  Their offense, even without Jimmy Graham, has been clicking.  The defensive unit is one of the worst in the league.  They just lost Darren Sproles for at least a few weeks and I do not think they can come close to the playoffs. – sjm

24. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders have won some and lost some. If RB Darren McFadden does not have a great game, the Raiders will not likely win. – arc

25. Cleveland Browns – Their defense has been good enough to put the offense in position to win games.  The offense has been bad enough to let down a stellar defensive unit.  Brandon Weeden is showing promise, as well as the rest of the young offensive play makers.  However; that will not make a difference this season. – sjm

26. St. Louis Rams – The Rams lost WR Danny Amendola for a few games and have not won any of them.  The defense is getting better but they are at least a year away from being a playoff team. – arc

27. Tennessee Titans – No matter who plays quarterback for them they probably will not win many games this season.  Their defense is the worst in the league and their offensive line plays well only every few games.  Tennessee may not finish last in the AFC South only because of our 31st ranked team. – sjm

28. New York Jets – The Jets are in shambles. CB Darrelle Revis is on IR.  The offense has no playmakers.  The defense no longer can stop the run, which used to be their calling card. – arc

29. Carolina Panthers – Is this a sophomore slump or comeback of the year?  Cam Newton is playing below the bar he set as a rookie and it is affecting the entire team.  Their defense is sub-par and their running backs do not get a chance to get into any sort of rhythm with all of the shuffling that goes on. – sjm

30. Arizona Cardinals – Good thing the Cardinals won their first 4 games.  They might not win 2 more games this season. The quarterback play is not very good, no matter who plays. The RB’s that have tried to run this season have not found any room to find open field. The defense is their one saving grace. They may have to win those 2 games on their own. – arc

31. Jacksonville Jaguars – I had the privilege of watching in person the pasting of this team courtesy of the Chicago Bears.  They have troubles on offense, defense and special teams.  They will be at the bottom of the league for a while, and may soon be playing their home games in a different city. – sjm

32. Kansas City Chiefs – The defense is struggling, the offense is sputtering.  The team started QB Brady Quinn. That is all that really needs to be said. – arc

About millerhour

I will probably write about a lot of things nobody cares to read. There is also a good chance I do not update this very often.
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