November 1, 2012 by shivusharma
Now that the NFL season is about halfway through, we have enough information to make some solid assessments about teams and players for the rest of the season. Below I’ve tried to make one key observation for each of the 32 NFL Teams. If I’ve placed an ‘*’ next to the team, it means that I think they are definitely making the playoffs.
New York Giants* – This team has shown great balance on offense. Eli Manning has his fair share of stinky stretches, but always seem to pull it together in the 4th quarter. The secondary may be porous, but their pass rush creates turnovers and keeps them in games. Tom Coughlin has done a tremendous job keeping them motivated after their Super Bowl win.
Philadelphia Eagles– Michael Vick is to blame for some of this team’s struggles, but let’s
not forget that they lost their Right Tackle and Center for the season. That’s a huge blow to an offensive line tasked with protecting Vick. I wish Andy Reid would run the ball with LeSean McCoy more, but I guess old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Also, if you’ve seen any of these Eagles games, it’s clear that Nnamdi Asomugha is not a shutdown corner anymore.
Dallas Cowboys – The talent on this roster doesn’t play up to the level that it should. Dez Bryant still drops way too many passes. Tony Romo throws interceptions in bunches. And Jason Garrett is the worst game manager of all NFL Head Coaches. The Cowboys have some serious bad mojo.
Washington Redskins – RG3 is the truth. With very few weapons at his disposal, he has helped transform the Redskins offense into a lethal entity. The Shanahan’s have done a great job with the running game as well, where Alfred Morris seems to have emerged as a steady producer of positive yards. Had it not been for several misfortunate injuries to key defensive personnel, this team could be making a serious run at the Giants.
Chicago Bears* – who knew that the Tampa 2 defensestill works? Pat yourself on the back if you are fortunate enough to have the Bears D on your fantasy team. They create so many turnovers and scoring plays, it makes Jay Cutler’s life a whole lot easier. The offense still seems very kosher, but if the defense continues to dominate, there is no stopping this team.
Green Bay Packers* – Remember when everyone was freaking out about Aaron Rodgers? Well, I think its pretty safe to say that that was an overreaction. Rodgers is still the best QB in football. It doesn’t matter who he is throwing to, he puts up points in bunches.
Minnesota Vikings – They started off the season strong but have begun to tail off. Their run defense has been exposed over the past few weeks, and Christian Ponder doesn’t seem like much more than a dink and dunk QB. On the bright side, it seems like Adrian Peterson is at least 90% of his pre-surgery self, and Percy Harvin is one of the best receivers in football.
Detroit Lions – Over the past two games, I think this team has been a lot better than their record shows. The Lions had a legit chance to beat the Bears in week 7 had it not been for a butterfingers epidemic in their receiving corps. In week 8, we saw Matthew Stafford light up the vaunted Seattle Seahawks defense, despite Calvin Johnson being blanketed all game long. If the Lions offense can continue to make defenses pay for overloading on Megatron, don’t be surprised if they sneak into the wild card.
Atlanta Falcons* – Their undefeated record speaks for itself. I wasn’t sold on this team before, but after they beat down the Eagles last week, I am a believer. Matt Ryan has improved immensely, but so has the Falcons defense. If they can get anything out of their running game, the Falcons have the tools to make a deep playoff run.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Josh Freeman has been a revelation over the past three weeks, and the emergence of Doug Martin (aka Muscle Hamster) bodes well for this team’s future. I don’t think they have playoff potential because their pass defense is a huge mess, but the Bucs are set up nicely for the future.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints have pretty much the same team as last year, minus their Head Coach. Who said coaching didn’t matter in the NFL? Without the brilliance of Sean Payton, the Saints are going nowhere this year.
Carolina Panthers – If you don’t bust your butt in the off-season you won’t see results
in the regular season. That’s what Cam Newton is experiencing right now. You have to add to your game every chance you get.
San Francisco 49ers*– They are notch above every other team in this division. Alex Smith has proven he can be an above average quarterback, but I’m not convinced this team can play from behind. That isn’t Smith’s fault necessarily, but it will be a problem when they face teams like the Packers, Giants, and Patriots who have quarterbacks that can eviscerate big leads.
Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson has had his ups and downs as a rookie, but has really started to show promise as of late. With their defense and running game, Wilson
just needs to play mistake-free football. By the way, Marshawn Lynch is a beast. It’s good to see that he has maintained his high level of play, even after signing a big contract.
Arizona Cardinals – The defense has been impressive, no doubt, but without an offensive line, this team is just a speed bump to other contenders. They already don’t have quality quarterback play, so finding a way to improve their pass protection is their primary objective. Personally, I don’t see it happening, and wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams pass them up in the division.
St. Louis Rams – Like every team in the NFC West, the Rams have a great defense. It didn’t come to play last week against Tom Brady, but that will happen when you play a pissed-off Patriots team. The Rams are in dire need of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball though. Steven Jackson is no longer a threat, and when Danny Amendola is your best receiver, you aren’t doing something right.