Jaime needed another week to get a grip on the NFL season. See where she ranks the gridiron's best and worst teams.
I was all ready to write my midseason NFL report last week, but when Monday came around everything was still so up in the air. I felt that there were at least 10 teams whose fates had yet to be decided. I needed another week.
So here we are a week later, and everything seems a little less hazy; week 10 was a big one in the NFL. I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on where things go from here, so I’m ready to call a few shots, make a few predictions and put my good name on the line. Here we go… The AFC Is it just me or have the tides turned? The AFC used to be the powerhouse conference, but this year they are definitely overshadowed by a whole handful of teams from the NFC. The only real team I see leaving anyone shaking in their boots in this conference is: Best Team: The Houston Texans These guys are Super Bowl bound, and it’s about time. I feel like they have paid their dues with years of bad football and it’s finally Houston’s time in the spotlight. After beating the then 7-1 Bears last night, at home, in the rain, these guys look like the best team in the NFL. What’s more is that their second-half schedule is a breeze: they get the Colts twice, the Titans, the Lions, the Vikings, the lowly Jaguars and the Pats, who could give them a problem but it probably won’t matter. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see these guys at 14-2 by the end of the season and Super Bowl bound for sure. Worst Team: The Kansas City Chiefs I don’t even really know what to say; the Chiefs have yet to have a regulation lead in nine games. NINE GAMES! And not once have they held a lead! The only team they’ve beaten is the Saints, a loss that probably ruined New Orleans’ season, so not only are the Chiefs responsible for their own terrible fortune, I think they can be held personally responsible for the Saints’ poor season as well. Team on the Fence: The Miami Dolphins This was a toss-up between the Dolphins and the Chargers. Both needed wins yesterday; both lost. But the Dolphins really needed it. They needed that win to keep pace in the AFC East where the Pats were only 5-3. But the Pats won and the Dolphins lost, so now they’re 4-5 but they should be 6-2 or even 7-1; they’ve lost three games in overtime by only a field goal. Three measly points. Ugh. Damn Dolphins. The NFC Okay. Clearly there are a lot of good teams in this conference: the Bears, the Packers, the ’Niners. I’m willing to wager that all three of them are playoff bound, but I think we have to give credit where credit is due and say the best team through nine games is: Best Team: The Atlanta Falcons Based on what we’ve already seen, the Falcons at 8-1 are clearly tops in the NFC. But unlike their counterpart Texans, I’m not willing to say they’re going to the Super Bowl quite yet. They’re good, definitely playoff good, but maybe not the best team they’ve ever had. In ’98 they went 14-2 and I don’t know if I see them repeating that this year; they’ve still got to get through the surprisingly good Bucs twice, the Giants and the Saints again, so it might be a bit of a stretch to peg them for 14 wins. Still, best team in the first half for sure. Worst Team: The Carolina Panthers No player in NFL history has passed for over 5000 yards, scored over 25 TDs through the air, over 15 on the ground and rushed for at least 1000 yards through his first two seasons save Cam Newton. His numbers are unprecedented, but the only one that really matters in 2012 is two. Two wins. That’s all he’s got through nine games, and while I feel bad for him, I feel worse for Jimmy Clausen, who took so much shit as a rookie but is looking better than Cam right about now. Team on the Fence: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers This was another toss-up. The Cardinals? They lost. They’re done. It’s all downhill for them. The Saints? Even with a win yesterday, I think the season is already too far gone and the NFC too darn good for them to crawl back for a playoff spot. That leaves the Bucs, who won, and at 5-4 could find their way to a wild card spot if Doug Martin and Josh Freeman keep playing like they have been. Good job, boys. Jaime’s Fantasy Update Another week, another win. I’m on fire these days, torching the infamous Edmondson Spoilers 91-84 in week 10 despite Reggie Bush being benched in the first quarter and accumulating exactly zero fantasy points.