We’re at the halfway point now for most teams, 9 games in for some. We’ve seen some surprises, we’ve seen some of the same old same old. With some key matchups still on the horizon, the playoff picture is still fuzzy in most areas. But there are a few teams that look to be surely headed into the postseason with a strong start and no signs of slowing down.
AFC: The Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots are easily the teams to beat in the AFC. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes and Brady meet once again in the AFC Championship game. They put on an epic show on Sunday Night Football a few weeks ago, expect to see it again in January. The Pittsburgh Steelers look to be taking over the AFC North. The Cincinnati Bengals are right behind them, but with a tough schedule ahead. I look for them to fade. The Baltimore Ravens have been disappointing, to say the least. The Houston Texans, after starting 0-3, have reeled off 6 straight wins. The addition of Demaryius Thomas only makes them stronger. Don’t count out the Los Angeles Chargers though. They have a ton of offense and can light up the scoreboard on anyone. The Bengals and Chargers would be the Wild Card teams as it sits now. I expect that to change.
NFC: Yesterday afternoon we saw what many think will be the NFC Championship matchup. The Los Angeles Rams saw their perfect season end at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. What a great game that was. These are 2 teams that we can count on seeing play in January. The Washington Redskins sit atop the NFC East with the Eagles right behind them. The Chicago Bears lead the North, but the Minnesota Vikings may have something to say before it’s all said and done. With the Carolina Panthers playing as well as they are, the Saints have no room for error. This should be a tight race all season. There are a few other teams that could make a difference in the NFC as well. If the Green Bay Packers figure things out, Aaron Rodgers can lead them on a run that could change things in the North. The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks are also teams that could make a run. With another half season to go, nothing is in stone yet.
As far as the MVP race goes, it looks to be a 2-man race. Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley are the standouts here. Both of these guys are having outstanding seasons for their respective clubs. This will be a great MVP race down the stretch. I can see other players putting themselves into the mix too. Tom Brady should never be counted out. Cam Newton, Melvin Gordon, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees, and more are out there making plays and winning games. Mahomes and Gurley are the front runners, but anything can happen over the next 8 weeks.
This has been a fun season, plethora of targeting calls aside. We can only hope that the second half is just as entertaining. Stay tuned, good luck in your fantasy leagues, and settle in for 2 more months of football.