We have reached the halfway point of the longest NFL season ever. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Okay, I’ll stop.
Below is a list of every NFL team and my brief thoughts – snapshots, if you will – on each one. This is how I view them; you may see them differently. That’s fine.
Here are my NFL midseason snapshots:
Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
There is something I don’t trust about them. I think their playoff demise will be as a result of their opponent running the ball, killing the clock, and keeping the Cardinals’ offence on the sidelines.
Atlanta Falcons (3-4)
They are a prime candidate to draft a quarterback in the Top 10 of next year’s draft.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
If Odell Beckham Jr. leaves the Browns (update: he will be released on Monday), Baltimore would be a good spot for him. Lamar Jackson could use another weapon, even if it’s used as a decoy at times.
Buffalo Bills (5-2)
I would not want to face the Bills in the playoffs. They know they’re good enough to win the AFC and definitely haven’t forgotten how last season ended. I worry about home games in Buffalo in the winter and what that means for the special teams aspect of the game.
Carolina Panthers (4-4)
Sam Darnold was leading the league in rushing touchdowns after Week 4. And then, something happened. Could it be as simple as, Christina McCaffrey got hurt? McCaffrey is back this week, so we’ll see if Darnold can return to his early-season form.
Chicago Bears (3-5)
It feels like they don’t know how to properly use the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.
Cincinatti Bengals (5-3)
Joe Burrow is the real deal and will be a perennial MVP candidate for years to come.
Cleveland Browns (4-4)
Their one-two punch in the backfield is phenomenal. However, I am still not sold on the idea that Baker Mayfield is going to lead this team to a Super Bowl. That pre-season talk never made sense to me.
Dallas Cowboys (6-1)
I think the Cowboys are the best team in the NFL right now. You can’t stop their offence. As far as I’m concerned, the NFC will be won by the Cowboys, Buccaneers, or Rams. Everyone other team is just preparing to be disappointed.
Denver Broncos (4-4)
Being in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future should keep this front office up at night. Keep drafting quarterbacks until you find a superstar.
Detroit Lions (0-8)
D’Andre Swift is great, the all-grey uniforms are not. I think Jared Goff is better than what he’s shown.
Green Bay Packers (7-1)
The Packers are a good football team, but I see them as the NFL’s version of the, “This is fine” meme where it’s evident that everything is not fine.
Houston Texans (1-7)
The Texans have found themselves back in, “keep drafting quarterbacks until you find a superstar” mode a lot sooner than they ever would have thought. Personally, I’m still trying to understand the DeAndre Hopkins trade for March 2020.
Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
They’re staring a 9-8 season right in the face, unless they find a way to beat the Bills, Buccaneers, or Cardinals.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
The Jaguars have their franchise quarterback in place. The next 2-3 drafts will determine if they can build a team around him.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
The defence hasn’t been good. They could use another “threat” on offence to take some double teams off of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Odell Beckham Jr. would be a good fit. It looks like Patrick Mahomes tries to turn every play into a highlight, when he doesn’t need to.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
I’ve come to realize that the “Raider Way” just means they’re operating as if it’s 20 years ago. They currently lead the AFC West, but I don’t see them winning it. I like the Chargers and Chiefs more.
Los Angeles Chargers (4-3)
Justin Herbert is a future MVP. Desean Jackson would be a good fit here. I’m a big fan of their new head coach, Brandon Staley.
Los Angeles Rams (7-1)
The Rams are a force to be reckoned with and no one should be surprised that Matthew Stafford has been exceptional. I love how aggressive they are in trading away draft picks for big pieces. They know they can lure any player to LA (and a team coached by Sean McVay) in free agency; they don’t need the picks right now.
Miami Dolphins (1-7)
I have never been 100% sold on Tua Tagavailoa, but that’s just me. I don’t think it’s a good sign for his future in Miami that the team was so interested in possibly acquiring Deshaun Watson. They ultimately didn’t, but the damage has been done.
Minnesota Vikings (3-4)
Three of the Vikings’ four losses have come by 4 points or less. The other loss was by 7 points. The Vikings are right there, but they’ve put themselves behind the eight ball and have a tough schedule in the second half of the season.
New England Patriots (4-4)
The Patriots have the third best point differential in the AFC and a pretty friendly schedule the rest of the way. Don’t be surprised if they sneak into the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Jameis Winston is done for the season and I don’t trust their other quarterback options. They have a two-game cushion on the Vikings and 49ers in the standings; it’ll be a fight down the stretch for the last playoff spot.
New York Giants (2-6)
I feel like Daniel Jones’ career could go the way of Marcus Mariota. Start for a few years, but ultimately turn into a really good backup quarterback (who could probably still be a starter on 3-4 other teams). He’s still only 24-years-old, but New York isn’t a patient city. The second half of the season could dictate his future.
New York Jets (2-6)
For starters, their uniform is an exact replica of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL, yet they somehow look more childish. The Jets weren’t going to be good this year, but you can see pieces falling into place. I don’t want to compare them to the Bengals, but the Bengals put their pieces in place and are now looking pretty good. We’ll see if the Jets can follow that same trajectory.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
The Eagles need to force feed the ball to their best players. Find a way to get the ball in the hands of DeVonta Smith 10 times a game and see what he can do with it. Also, get Miles Sanders involved. Don’t do the defence a favour and allow them to not worry about him.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
The “Aaron Rodgers will be a Steeler next season” rumours are there. I don’t even know if I should call them rumours. It’s more, “media discourse”. Here’s a thought: if the 49ers don’t make the playoffs this season and decide to go with Trey Lance next year, Jimmy Garoppolo would be a fine option in Pittsburgh.
San Francisco 49ers (3-4)
The NFC West is unrelenting. The 49ers aren’t catching the Cardinals or Rams, but will be in the mix for one of the final two playoff spots with the Saints, Panthers, and Vikings.
Seattle Seahawks (3-4)
I could see them claiming Odell Beckham Jr. off waivers and trying to use his acquisition and the return of Russell Wilson as a springboard for a second-half resurgence. I don’t think it would be enough to make the playoffs, though.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
It’s Tom Brady’s NFL and the rest of us are just living in it.
Tennessee Titans (6-2)
Derrick Henry could be lost for the season and the Titans insist they aren’t going to change their identity – running the ball. It would be a great story to see Adrian Peterson step in and “turn back the clock”, but I think the Titans are a bit over-confident in their “identity” getting them through the rest of the season.
Washington Football Team (2-6)
There were those who absolutely hated “Football Team” as a name when it was first introduced. Now, those same people have come around to say they should keep it. Meanwhile, I liked it initially – with the mindset that it was only temporary – and now I can’t wait for them to be named anything else. I’d love to see Terry McLaurin play with a Top 10 quarterback some day.