The NFL season is approximately halfway over. Despite this, some teams’ seasons seem to be over and other teams’ seasons appear to be just getting started.
AFC North: The Baltimore Ravens are first at 7-2 and have been revolutionizing the run game with running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Pittsburgh Steelers are second at 5-4 and remain in the playoff mix even after losing their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in week 2. The Cleveland Browns are in third with a disappointing 3-6 start. Bottoming out the division is the Cincinnati Bengals with the worst record in the NFL at 0-9.
AFC South: The Houston Texans are in first at 6-3 with quarterback Deshaun Watson leading the charge. The Indianapolis Colts are second at 5-4 despite Andrew Luck retiring. The Tennessee Titans are fourth with a record of 5-5. In fourth are the Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-5 but they should get Nick Foles back on Sunday against the Colts after rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew held down the fort for eight games.
AFC East: The New England Patriots are first and look to be the class of the league again at 8-1 with a defense giving up only 7.6 points a game before giving up 37 points in their first loss to the Ravens. The Buffalo Bills are second in the division at 6-3 after losing to the Browns. The Miami Dolphins are third at 2-7 though they have won two in a row after a 0-7 start. The New York Jets sit at fourth with a dismal record of 2-7, their worst start since 2014, only scoring 72 offensive points through eight games before scoring 34 in their win against the Giants.
AFC West: The Chiefs are in first place with a 6-4 record thanks to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes who came back from his knee injury last Sunday in a loss to the Titans. The Oakland Raiders are second at 5-4 in spite of the fact that they went nearly two months without playing a home game. The Los Angeles Chargers are an inadequate 4-6 and have let a lot of games slip away. The Denver Broncos are fourth at 3-6 and have lost quarterback Joe Flacco for the rest of the year.
NFC North: The Green Bay Packers have a first place 8-2 record. The Minnesota Vikings are second at 7-3. In third are the Chicago Bears at 4-5, already losing more games than they did all of last year when they finished 12-4. The Detroit Lions round out the bottom at 3-5-1 and have lost 5 of their last 6 games after starting 2-0-1.
NFC South: The New Orleans Saints are first with a 7-2 record. The Saints have just gotten Drew Brees back after going 5-0 without him. The Carolina Panthers are second at 5-4 going, 5-2 without Cam Newton who was recently put on injured reserve, effectively ending his season. In third are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have dragged their way to a 3-6 record after losing four straight games before winning last week against the Cardinals. In last, the Atlanta Falcons with a 2-7 record have vastly underachieved expectations despite their upset win against the Saints last Sunday.
NFC East: The Dallas Cowboys are first at 5-4. The Philadelphia Eagles are second at 5-4 with inconsistency from one game to another. The New York Giants lie in third at 2-8, throwing rookie quarterback Daniel Jones into the starting position. In last are the Washington Redskins at 1-8.
NFC West: The San Francisco 49ers have earned a surprising and impressive 8-1 record, sitting in first place. The Seattle Seahawks are 8-2 at second and have pulled out a lot of close games. The defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams are in third at 5-4. The Arizona Cardinals are fourth at 3-6-1 but have been close in most of their games.
While the first half of the season is essentially done with, there is still time and room for underperforming teams to improve and excellent teams to fall off. There is plenty of football left to be played.