NFL Midseason report: the best and worst performers this season
It goes without saying that the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions, are on course for another undefeated year. They’re currently up 7-0, with some of the best performing players in the League. Judging by recent performances, there might be no stopping them in their quest to defend their title and have another perfect season.
There are a few other teams that also have a perfect record this year. One of them is the Cincinnati Bengals. Compared to their pre-season ranking of 13th, they’re high-flying at the top of the AFC North. Their flawless record marks their best regular season start in franchise history, although in the last few games they’ve had to stage comebacks to win. Player-wise, the Andy Dalton-led offense has been a standout all year. Can they keep it up? Only time will tell.
At the top of many pre-season prediction rankings were the Green Bay Packers. While they lost one game to the Broncos on Monday, they have won six and are in a safe position at the top of the NFC North with a winning percentage of .857, fifth-best after the 4 teams with perfect 1.000s.
The other team at the top of the pre-season rankings was the Seattle Seahawks, the two-time defending NFC West champions. They’re not doing as well: four wins and four losses make for a .500 percentage. They are currently third in their division, just ahead of the 49ers at .250. Despite this relatively disappointing performance, they’re still in the mix to win both the Conference, with odds at 15-2, and the Super Bowl at 14-1. If they can’t defend their NFC championship, the NFC West title is still within their grasp, with leaders Arizona Cardinals at .750.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans have sunk right to the bottom, where many predicted them to finish, with only the Detroit Lions below them. With one win in seven games, the Titans are not having a great season, with their last game going to the Texans, 6-20. In a similar way, the Lions are doing even worse, in 32nd place in overall League standings, with 1 win in eight games.
Surprising everyone at the moment are the Oakland Raiders. Slated to finish 28th by pre-season rankings, they are currently ninth in the League, fourth in the AFC and second in AFC West. With a winning percentage of .571, they might be a surprise addition to the playoffs.
On to Super Bowl predictions: you’ve got to have the Denver Broncos right up there as it gets to playoff time, with a 1.000 PCT lying top of the League. The odds are also on the Packers, while the Patriots will be right up there too. The preseason favorite Seahawks need to get a move on if they’re to make it.
As we approach what former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson called squeaky bum time, everything is still up for grabs in the NFL with February fast approaching.