Entering the mid-season stage of the season many NFL Teams are looking to contend while others are seemingly already looking towards draft season to see how they can improve their roster. Going from 32 to 1 we will find out what stage each of the teams is at and why.
32. Detroit Lions(0-6)
There is no surprise here, the Lions despite having a good degree of talent on their roster and putting up a fight multiple times throughout this season they remain the only winless team in the NFL through six weeks. Dan Campbell is a solid head coach who should be nowhere near the hot seat this offseason as the Lions look to get a better quarterback and improve this disappointing defense. Good signs for this team in the future as they will get back key pieces starting next year in promising receiver Quintez Cephus, and young corner Jeff Okudah.
31. Miami Dolphins(1-5)
Perhaps the most disappointing team of the season the Dolphins just aren’t the same team we saw last year. This defense who was towards the top of the league last season hasn’t held a team under 20 points since the season opener against the Patriots. Coming off of a bad loss against who many saw as the worst team in the NFL the Dolphins are now among the worst teams in the NFL without a doubt. Signs seem to be pointing up as Tua looked good in his return from his injury, as well as receiving options Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki are coming off of good performances. However, the lack of running game for this team is holding the offense back and they just haven’t been able to produce points at the rate their defense is giving them up.
30. Houston Texans(1-5)
The Texans are in a very weird situation. Their defense has been good and generating turnovers that being said their offense is what holds them back. On the heels of losing starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, rookie quarterback Davis Mills was thrust into playing very early. Alike every other rookie quarterback his success has also matched his struggles. The Texans were outmatched 31-3 this past week by the Colts who seem to be a revenge tour to prove everyone right about claiming they are just victims of a very hard start to the year. The only reason the Texans are ahead of the Dolphins is that they are passing some expectations and Tyrod Taylor’s return is looming.
29. New York Giants(1-5)
The Giants are semi-talented teams derailed by injuries, their lone win this season was an upset against the New Orleans Saints but they are coming off of a complete decimation from the far superior Rams. Once healthy the Giants will climb the rankings and be out of the gutter of the NFL.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars(1-5)
The Jags are coming off of a nail-biting win in London, and despite all of the controversy surrounding their head coach the team came together and got their first win of the season. Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes which is what you want out of your number one pick. Despite what we would all call lackluster coaching the Jags have been in-game multiple times this season and have pieces to be a solid team moving forward, although all of this lies on Urban Meyers’ shoulders to put it together.
27. New York Jets(1-4)
The Jets started out this season very badly however they have a win against the Titans and then played the Falcons closely nearly amounting to a great comeback. Zach Wilson has had his growing pains but as he grows and develops so does this offense and they seem to be taking a step forward.
26. Washington Football Team(2-4)
Washington came into this season with a firm identity, that being defense, but sadly that identity hasn’t been true. If anything it has become their weakness despite missing their starting quarterback, giving up a league-high 186 points through 6 weeks. The best players on this team namely Terry McLaurin has been great this season, but Chase Young had a terrible start to the season and now is on the up and up having two straight games with a sack. Until this defense improves Washington’s offense will not be able to keep them in games and they will continue to struggle.
25. Denver Broncos(3-3)
Denver has a good start to the season, starting 3-0. However, they beat up on teams who lie behind them in these rankings for a reason. Since playing adequate competition the Broncos have slumped to 3-3 losing three straight games and rumors of trades are swirling. The offense appears to be better than we thought as the running game is causing defenses to suck down thus opening throwing lanes for Teddy Bridgewater to get the ball to a great stable of talented receiving options. Alike the Washington Football Team the Broncos’ defense has been their issue, a lack of turnover production namely.
24. Seattle Seahawks(2-4)
Seattle is a good team, BUT without Russell Wilson, they truly have no chance. His connection with Tyler Lockett has carried this offense but now with Geno Smith that connection is no more. His productivity has been close to zero since the change. The true reason they fall so far is their defense. They have given no reason to believe in them at the current moment, giving up constant big plays and barely being able to hold a paperback. Pete Carroll is the lone bright spot for this team.
23. Atlanta Falcons(2-3)
The Falcons are an injury-plagued team with talent on the offensive side of the ball. However, that talent has either been lacking production or spent a majority of the season on the sideline. Multiple times this season the Falcons have been without their top two receiving options in Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, however, rookie standout Kyle Pitts appears to be everything he was thought to be and Cordarrelle Patterson is having one of the most efficient scoring seasons in recent memory. Their defense leaves much to be desired as their safety duo is among the worst in the league and paired with a lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks their only true strength on that side of the ball is their linebacking core. As the Falcons get their weapons back and as Arthur Smith gets more reps as an NFL head coach they should climb these rankings.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers(3-3)
Pittsburgh is a team that has no great wins and no great losses, people will point out the win against the Bills but that has proven since to just be a week 1 lapse on the Bills part. The Steelers’ defense has been solid for the Steelers, the lack of turnovers generated is their lone flaw. The offense is concerning Big Ben appears to be shaking the rust off as the past few weeks the offense has opened up very slightly, but as the wear continues my confidence in the Steelers begins to waver.
21. Philadelphia Eagles(2-4)
The Eagles are a headache, that is their best description. They have talented young stars in DeVonta Smith and Miles Sanders but their inability to get them involved in the offense holds them back. Miles Sanders is arguably the best player on this entire team as he has rushed for positive yards in a staggering 98.2% of his carries this season. Yet his touches only seem to diminish week by week. Coming off of a strong second-half effort to make the former super bowl champion Buccaneers sweat a little, the Eagles need to emphasize getting their best players more involved. The defense is good besides their linebacking core but second-year pro-Davion Taylor seems to be bringing some life to this otherwise deflated group. This group like the Jaguars who lay far behind them will have to have better coaching and play calling moving forward to have their seasons amount to any degree of success.
2o. New England Patriots(2-4)
The Patriots are not a bad team, they have come off of two very hard-fought close losses to great NFL teams that will be competing come playoff time. Outside of a week, one skid to the Dolphins the Patriots has played as expected. They dominate the time of possession, run the ball, play good defense, and keep games close. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones has been very efficient in his small sample size but the offense does need to open up more and spread the ball to give Damien Harris some larger running lanes. So far a majority of their game plan has been check-downs and an inside zone running scheme that sucks defenses up, adding in more play-action and field spreading will cause this already efficient offense to go to the next level.
19. Chicago Bears(3-3)
The Bears are here because of coaching and nothing else. The offense is limited by Matt Nagy as he doesn’t trust Justin Fields just yet. They have fallen victim to a few injuries but this defense outside of corner play is still elite. Once Justin Fields gains control and command of this offense they will progressively move up, again it is all reliant on coaching.
18. San Francisco 49ers(2-3)
San Fran has been tormented by the injury bug for years, season after season, week after week. You could call them cursed and I just might believe it. They do manage to find themselves coming off of a bye where they can get healthy after both of their quarterbacks went down with injuries. The 49ers have managed to stay in games because of their hard-nosed defense and run game, head coach Kyle Shanahan will always be a premier play-caller in the NFL as long as he is around the 49ers will be a playoff-caliber team.
17. Minnesota Vikings(3-3)
Minnesota has been in every game they have played for better or worse. They are 3-1 in their last four and were a missed field goal away from having a winning record. The offense is still high-powered and potent running through Dalvin Cook (when healthy), both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are having good years. Not to mention Kirk Cousins is taking care of the ball. The defense has been surprising as Danielle Hunter has been a premier edge rusher to pair with elite play from Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith. They truthfully are a kicker away from being a playoff team.
16. Indianapolis Colts(2-4)
The Colts are another team that is a victim of both injuries and a very harsh schedule. With that being said they are coming off of two wins in three weeks and have kept all but two games within a 10 point spread. This defense is great on the backend but needs more production out of its edge rushers to get off the field in more opportune situations. The biggest factor in all of this is that Carson Wentz looks good, he has taken care of the ball and been a game manager who can make all the throws he is needed to. Coming off of a season where it appeared all they needed was a quarterback to be real contenders the colts look to be on their way.
15. Cleveland Browns(3-3)
The Browns are riddled with injuries, they will head into Thursday night without their top two running backs, Jarvis Landry is still on IR, Baker Mayfield has a possible season-ending injury but is deciding to play through it. This is a super bowl caliber team when healthy but they are decimated with injuries coming off a route from the Arizona Cardinals.
14. Carolina Panthers(3-3)
Another team that came out of the gates red-hot playing exceptional defense and pairing with a solid and efficient offense. However, since then their play calling has gotten stale and their bell-cow back who runs their offense Christian McCaffrey has landed on IR for a second straight year. Not to mention Sam Darnold who had quite the stretch of rushing touchdowns appears to be the Sam Darnold of old we got accustomed to seeing in a Jets uniform. The only reason they land this high is that their defense has the potential of winning games by itself, and I expect the offense to get out of this rather shocking slump.
13. New Orleans Saints(3-2)
Sean Payton. That is it, his coaching has once again surprised most. A defense that on paper looks like one of the worst in the league is playing towards the top, and Jameis Winston hasn’t thrown 10 interceptions yet. A feat I thought I may never see. The Saints did have a horrendous loss to the Giants a few weeks back but coming off of a bye expect nothing less than great play from a Saints team led by one of if not the best coaches in the NFL.
12. Las Vegas Raiders(4-2)
The Raiders started great, 3-0, and appeared to be the shock of the season. Then disaster struck, coach John Gruden resigned due to the inexcusable field issues. However, the team rallied and got a big divisional win this past week against the Broncos. If the Raiders can use this as fuel to the fire and Derrick Carr continues to play like a top 10 quarterback they are easily a playoff-caliber team.
11. Kansas City Chiefs(3-3)
“How can a team who is last in their division be right outside the top ten?” Just relax the Chiefs’ struggles make sense, they have had the hardest schedule in the NFL to begin this season. A few mistakes have cost them games. Overall the Chiefs have one of the best offenses in the NFL headlined by the best quarterback in today’s game. Their defense has done this before and the simple swap of Juan Thornhill playing over Daniel Sorensen could fix a lot of their problems on the back end.
10. Cincinnati Bengals(4-2)
The Bengals have had some scares this season, twice already Joe Burrow has suffered injuries that raised some red flags as well as key pieces like Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon missing time. Despite the setbacks, the Bengals sit at a 4-2 record and have lost their two games by a combined six points. Truth be told this offense is so high powered it appears to keep them in any game and if this stretch continues expect the Bengals to be playing into January.
9. Tennessee Titans(4-2)
The Titans have a good record, but their two losses stick out like sore thumbs. Complete domination from the Cardinals in week 1 has left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, and then to drop a must-win game against the Jets. Tennessee is coming off of a hard-fought win against one of the best teams in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs to find the answers somewhere and while signs are pointing in the right direction as AJ Brown appears to have had his revival game much is still to be seemed out of this Titans team with loads of questions.
8. Los Angeles Chargers(4-2)
Has the Chargers had gone in and beat the Ravens they would have found themselves much higher but instead they put up all-time lows since Justin Herbert has become their starting quarterback and in a matchup that could be one we see come January the Chargers just faltered. This game however is most certainly an outlier and I don’t expect to see a game of this caliber again by the Chargers this season. They head into week 7 on a bye and have time to recuperate and game plan moving forward.
7. Green Bay Packers(5-1)
The Packers have done nothing wrong since week 1. They have shown up and more importantly, Aaron Rodgers has answered any questions left on the table about this season. The defense still has its problems with getting any degree of pass rush along with Jaire Alexander missing possibly the rest of the season. Truth be told the Packers deserve to be higher but the amount of sheer top-end talent in the NFL is so abundant they catch the short end of the stick.
6. Buffalo Bills(4-2)
The Bills are the only team in the top 7 coming off a loss and are ranked higher than a team that just beat them with the same record, you may ask “why”? The reason being is that this is a stand-alone occurrence. It took multiple empty red-zone trips for the Bills and a Derrick Henry god game for the Titans to steal this one away. I don’t expect the Bills to be this inefficient in the RedZone again, it’s just not who they are. Moving forward they have one of if not the easiest three-game stretch out of any team this whole season, where they should walk away 7-2.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(5-1)
The Bucs are coming off a near collapse held together by a great game from Leonard Fournette. His ability to run and drain the clock may have single-handedly won the Buccaneers this game. However other than a loss to the otherworldly Rams the Buccaneers have been nothing short of great.
4. Baltimore Ravens(5-1)
The Ravens have a case to be the best and hottest team in the NFL right now, other than a Week 1 loss to the Raiders on the heels of losing numerous starters to season-ending injuries the Ravens have been nothing short of perfect. Riding an MVP caliber year from quarterback Lamar Jackson this offense has been lethal, and still managing to find themselves at 5-1 despite playing a top 5 schedule in strength. The only reason they land at four is because of the questions surrounding their defense which has surrendered over 25 points three times this season, and more injuries keep adding on they are now shallow at the corner position and have just lost star-left tackle, Ronnie Stanley, for the year.
3. Dallas Cowboys(5-1)
The Cowboys’ offense has been nothing short of magnificent, Kellen Moore will be in line for a head coaching job within the next few seasons if not this offseason. Dak looks to be in form and Zeke looks lean and explosive. The defense however scares me. Yes, they have the likely defensive player of the year in Trevor Diggs but the pass rush hasn’t been there and the defense is just flat out giving up to many points. Outside of Diggs this defense has only seven takeaways and would be dead neutral without his production in turnover differential. His production is unsustainable and even with it, this defense looks bad. Luckily for the Cowboys, Demarcus Lawrence should be returning soon which should give the Cowboys a much-needed boost on that defensive line.
2. Los Angeles Rams(5-1)
I would in all likelihood call this an unofficial bye week for the Rams. The Giants came into this matchup missing every key component of their offense besides Daniel Jones and they lost even more throughout the game. However, credit to the Rams for going in and doing what needed to be done. The Rams offense outside of the Cardinals game has been unstoppable, pair that with elite defensive talent and sound fundamentals with a great coaching staff and you have the makings for an elite football team. That many still consider the super bowl favorites.
1. Arizona Cardinals(6-0)
Ah Frazier, the last undefeated team in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals have been on a rampage throughout the first six weeks, riding the back of MVP front-runner Kyler Murray to the league’s best offense, and a steady defense that is second in the league in points allowed per game. Outside of the week 5 hiccup against the 49ers Arizona has given no reason to not be the number one team in the NFL at this point. However, they still due have issues to address namely being able to stop the running game. Outside of the Titans game week 1 and this last week against the Browns, Arizona has given up at least 100 yards on the ground against every team they have played. That and Kyler Murray’s aggressive style sometimes leading to interceptions are the only flaws this team has to this point. Heading into week seven against the Houston Texans, Arizona should be heading into week eight against the Green Bay Packers undefeated.