NFL Mid-Season Power Rankings

The halfway point of the 2011 NFL season has come and gone. Each team has played at least eight games and four (Steelers, Texans, Colts and Saints) have already played nine. With the playoff picture starting to become just a tad clearer, it is interesting to see where each team ranks thus far through the season. So, with that said, here are the NFL power rankings heading into the second half of the season.

The Bottom Ten:

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9): Peyton Manning should get MVP votes despite not having played a single snap this year. For some reason, the Colts seem to have gotten a pass by the media because he is out, though. How about the other fifty two players?

31. St. Louis Rams (1-7): Sam Bradford has yet to win a game this season. In their defense, the Rams had a tough first-half schedule. They could win three or four more to end the season.

30. Miami Dolphins (1-7): The Dolphins finally got their first win last Sunday in a blowout victory over the Chiefs. With Washington coming up, they could make it two in a row. They have been in games this season but bad teams find ways to lose games.

29. Arizona Cardinals (2-6): Kevin Kolb has been a disappointment and there really is not much there on offense besides Larry Fitzgerald. To be fair, they have had some close losses, especially early on.

28. Washington Redskins (3-5): If it were not for their three early victories, the Redskins would be lower on the list. Their offense is dreadful, they have key injuries and their quarterback situation is a mess.

27. Seattle Seahawks (2-6): They have beaten the Giants on the road and nearly upset the Falcons. They do not score enough but they could be a pain the rest of the way.

26. Carolina Panthers (2-6): Cam Newton has had a great rookie season and has helped resurrect Steve Smith’s career. They have kept most of their games close and could upset the NFC playoff picture a little down the stretch as they face Tampa Bay twice, Atlanta and New Orleans.

25. Minnesota Vikings (2-6): The Vikings are probably not as bad as their record indicates but, like with the Dolphins, bad teams find ways to lose. Christian Ponder has looked pretty decent.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6): The Jaguars have always been an odd team under Jack Del Rio. Just when you think he is in danger of losing his job, they pull out an upset win over the Ravens. If they had even a below average offense, their record would be better.

23. Cleveland Browns (3-5): Despite their three wins, the Browns are in bad shape. Colt McCoy has totally regressed and Peyton Hillis has become a huge problem both on and off the field.

The Ordinary:

22. Denver Broncos (3-5): “Tebow Time” lives on at least for another week. The Broncos have a pretty difficult schedule the rest of the way and may not win another one.

21. Oakland Raiders (4-4): They have had two bad losses in a row and might make it three this weekend. It is too bad Jason Campbell got hurt because they looked much better under him than they have with Carson Palmer.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4): The Chiefs have looked like the worst team in the league three times this year: week one, week two and last week. That was just a terrible loss to the Dolphins. Their second half schedule is difficult.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5): After winning two in a row, the Eagles looked like they were going to be on a roll…and then they faced the Bears. After they face the Cardinals this week, they have to face the Giants and Patriots in back to back weeks. They must go at least 2-1 in that stretch.

18. Tennessee Titans (4-4): The Titans started off well but have lost some important games recently. Chris Johnson looks like he may finally be turning a corner but it could be too little, too late for Tennessee.

17. San Diego Chargers (4-4): Philip Rivers, my pick for MVP before the season started, has had a terrible year. He is turning the ball over left and right. They have to get back on track tomorrow night against Oakland.

16. Dallas Cowboys (4-4): The Cowboys are still in the hunt in the NFC East and have winnable games over the next four weeks: Buffalo, @Washington, Miami, @Arizona. They cannot afford to lose any of those before they face the Giants twice. Unfortunately for them, they have not been a team to take care of business when they should.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4): The Buccaneers have had a difficult middle of the season schedule but with the Saints and Falcons already ahead of them in the division, they cannot afford to keep losing. Josh Freeman has quietly had a poor season.

On the Cusp:

14. Atlanta Falcons (5-3): I do not think they are as good as their record shows but you are what your record is. Their defense has been surprisingly pretty solid. This Sunday’s game against the Saints is huge.

13. Chicago Bears (5-3): The Bears have come on strong and are dangerous. If they can beat the Lions at home on Sunday, they will leapfrog into the top ten.

12. Buffalo Bills (5-3): After getting dominated at home against the Jets, people are starting to drop off the bandwagon. They need to beat the Cowboys in Dallas or else they will start to fall behind in the AFC playoff hunt.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2): Give credit to Andy Dalton and A.J. Green as they have played great for rookies. The Bengals have not really played anybody all season so their record may be a mirage. They have huge games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the next two weeks. We will find out if they are for real then.

10. New York Jets (5-3): After three losses in a row, the Jets have won three big games in a row. Mark Sanchez still makes too many mistakes but their defense, led by Revis, has played very well. With the Patriots reeling, Sunday night is their time to strike.

9. Houston Texans (6-3): The Texans have been winning games that they should which is something that they have never done in years past. With star wide-out Andre Johnson about ready to return, the Texans are a shoe-in to win the weak AFC South and are dangerous.

The Top Eight:

8. New England Patriots (5-3): The Patriots are struggling and their mid-season problems could get even worse with a loss to the Jets on Sunday night. Luckily for them, their back-half schedule is not too tough. What a complete waste Haynesworth was and #85 has been.

7. New Orleans Saints (6-3): Over the last four weeks, the Saints have lost, won, lost and won. They are a team in need of the bye in order to get smaller things straightened out. Sunday’s game in Atlanta is obviously critical to the division.

6. Detroit Lions (6-2): The bye probably came at a great time for the Lions as they went in feeling good with a blowout win over the Broncos after two tough losses. They cannot afford to get too cocky, though, with a pretty tough second half schedule and the Bears lurking.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3): Despite what they may say, the Steelers probably do not want to see the Ravens again this year. They need to bounce back and beat the Bengals in Cincinnati before heading for the bye.

4. New York Giants (6-2): The Giants are coming off a huge victory against the Patriots as they make their way through their brutal rest of the way schedule. With a win over the 49ers on Sunday, they would move themselves up to number two.

3. San Francisco 49ers (7-1): I am not so sure they are this good. They are not asking Alex Smith to do much of anything at all but that can only last for so long. Needless to say, a win over the Giants would be big.

2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2): The Ravens are coming off an emotional win over the Steelers. The last time that happened, they got blown out by the Titans. They simply cannot afford to look past the Seahawks in Seattle this Sunday.

1. Green Bay Packers (8-0): Is there really even a debate?

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out my week 10 picks later on.


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