NFL closing in on halfway point

NFL closing in on halfway point
October 26
05:00 2017

The NFL is probably the hardest sport to predict prior to the season.  With injuries, unforeseen star players and parity the NFL is the one sport where you routinely see a team go from worst to first and vice versa.  Earlier this year I made my NFL predictions and there were some hits and misses.

One of the most glaring misses for my preseason predictions was that the New York Giants would win the NFC East.  Boy, was I wrong on that one.   Not only are they last in the division but they lost their first five games of the season.  They did bounce back with a good win against the Denver Broncos last week but lost once again to the Seahawks on Sunday to bring their record to 1-6.

I think I may have missed on every prediction for divisional winners in the entire NFC.  Along with the Giants to win the East I picked the Packers, Panthers and Seahawks to also win their respective divisions.

With Aaron Rodgers hurt, that cancels Green Bay’s chances to win the division.  The Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings are looking to take full advantage of the Packers injury situation.  Even the Bears with a rookie quarterback are still sitting at 3-4 on the year.
The Panthers have been up and down all season but could wind up winning the NFC South but losing to the Bears on Sunday didn’t help their chances.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been a total disappointment this season.

The Seahawks are now 4-2 but must fight off a scrappy Rams squad that has exceeded expectations thus far this season.  The emergence of second year quarterback Jared Goff has put the Rams in a good situation along with opening up holes for star running back Todd Gurley.
Through seven weeks of the season the Philadelphia Eagles look to be the class of the NFC.  They sit at 5-1 and will face off against divisional foe the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.  Should they win this game they will take a strangle hold on the division and be the front runner for home field advantage during the playoffs.

The Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints are two of the surprise teams so far this year.  Both teams sit in first place in their respective divisions.  The Vikings have dealt with a myriad of injuries at key positions like quarterback, running back and receiver yet they continue to win.  The Saints have Drew Brees and can never be counted out.

With their loss to the Patriots on Sunday Night Football the Atlanta Falcons play has been head scratching.  They seem to have a “Super Bowl hangover” that they can’t shake as of now.
My AFC division predictions have been pretty accurate thus far.  Currently three of the four division leaders were the teams I predicted to win prior to the season starting.

The Patriots currently lead the AFC East following a shaky start to the season but are closely followed by the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins who both have a 4-2 record, only one game behind the Patriots for the division lead.

Overcoming some internal issues they were dealing with, the Pittsburgh Steelers sit atop the AFC North.  Baltimore and Cincinnati are both two games behind but the Steelers seem to be well on their way to another division title.
The AFC South is still up in the air from week to week.  Currently the Titans are on top but are tied with the surprise Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-3.  The Houston Texans are close behind at 3-3 with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson getting better each game.

With the promise the Raiders showed in 2016 I felt they were ready to make the next step in 2017.  A slow start and a back injury to quarterback Derek Carr has slowed them somewhat to start this year.  The Kansas City Chiefs lead the division at 5-2 but looks vulnerable after losing two straight games.

With more than half the season yet still to be played once again the NFL playoff picture is still very cloudy for both conferences.  It should be an interesting finish to the season, especially in the NFC.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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