1. The New England Patriots (6-2, AFC East)- With a compromised receiving corps, the Patriots still find a way to place themselves in familiar territory atop of their division.
2. The Cincinnati Bengals (6-2, AFC North)- Despite a shaky first half to Andy Dalton’s 2013 campaign, the Bengals, with a running back duo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovanni Bernard, a top ten defense (ranked eighth) and reliable play from AJ Green, the Bengals find themselves and their constituents asking “Who Dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?” Stay tuned!
3. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-0, AFC West)- While many expected the presence of Andy Reid to make a difference with Arrow Head’s lead occupants, nobody saw an undefeated mark eight games into the season.
4. The Denver Broncos (7-1, AFC West)- Peyton Manning’s 3.625 touchdowns a game, 29 touchdowns and 119.4 passer rating places him in rare air when it comes to mid-season quarterback production. Can he continue compensating for a penetrable defense in the latter half of the season with this kind of play?
5. The Green Bay Packers (5-2, NFC North)- The one that Aaron Rodgers has lacked in his run as the Packers’ starting quarterback is a reliable, productive running back. Eddie Lacy is gradually becoming that guy. Should he continue trending in the right direction, Green Bay’s offense can only be elevated from there.
6. The Seattle Seahawks (7-1, NFC West)- One can’t help but wonder how formidable Seattle’s offense would be if Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin could stay on the field at the same time. Just as Harvin is returning from a hip injury/surgery, Rice is lost for the season with a torn ACL. Not many teams are able to play their way to the marquee slot in their division. Somehow Seattle did. A lot of credit should be attributed to Seattle’s lightning quick defense and steady play from “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch. Keep his Skittles stash stocked!
7. The San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers has endured some peaks and valleys in the form of inconsistent play from Colin Kaepernick, a marginal season from Anquain Boldin and an abrupt leave of absence from one of the team’s best defenders, Aldon Smith. After suffering consecutive losses in weeks two and three, the Niners have hit their stride and have rattled off a five-game winning streak.
While the aforementioned teams have made some lasting impressions in the first half of the 2013 season, no team is more impressive, yet under appreciated than the Indianapolis Colts.
No, Andrew Luck’s numbers aren’t as gaudy as Mannings. Okay, Trent Richardson has yet to be the yard generating back that Indy’s front office projected upon trading him. True, the Colts’ defense isn’t as overwhelming as Seattle’s. One accomplishment that Indianapolis has over every other team in the league this season is wins over Denver, Seattle and San Francisco. If there was a BCS system in the NFL, the Colts without any argument, should be ranked first on the strength of strength of schedule.
Can the Colts keep up their momentum? Will they warrant themselves a place in the discussion of American Football Conference representatives in Super Bowl 48? At the rate they’re going, they are becoming the team no one wants to see in the postseason.
Until we reach that point of the season, let’s pace ourselves to see what they, and the rest of the teams at work do in week nine. Can you believe we’re halfway through this?
Here we go:
*Bengals over Dolphins
*Chiefs over Bills
*Panthers over Falcons
*Cowboys over Vikings
*Saints over Jets
*Rams over Titans
*Redskins over Chargers- Seriously Skins, this is my birthday weekend!
*Raiders over Eagles
*Seahawks over Buccaneers
*Browns over Ravens
*Patriots over Steelers
*Colts over Texans
*Packers over Bears
Last week say a season high mark for me at 10-3. A winning percentage like that becomes addictive. I’ve gotta get another hit. Until next week, as always, enjoy the games.
By Antoine Hoffman