WHOOOOAAAA LIVIN' ON A PRAAAAAYER.
Yeah, I just went there.
Remember when I wrote that entry way back in August when the NFL season was just starting? Boy, did time fly. Several weeks and numerous fines later, we're at the halfway point in the season. I know, you're thinking that I should have done this during Week 8, but people, there's a thing called a bye week. Some people don't technically hit the middle of the season during Week 8. Philosophical reasoning aside, we've seen loads of ups and downs on the gridiron, and we've witnessed some pretty excellent catches and brutal hits.
Why don't we get a glimpse of what our boys have been doing for the past nine weeks!
[WARNING: There are no stats mentioned in this thing. This is all merely opinion, as this whole entire blog is, basically.]
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
New York Giants (6-2) - I will admit, these guys surprised me a little bit. I didn't think they were going to work together in their first few games, but after Week 1, they showed some promise. After this past brutalization against the Seahawks, you can start calling them a threat. Little brother Eli won't let Peyton keep him down, that's for sure.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) - Wait a minute, what? I have no idea how they're actually pulling wins out here. Oh, that's right, they still have Michael Vick. Kevin Kolb hasn't warmed up to the leadership role yet, and fans are still scratching their heads on whether they like Sean McDermott's defensive line or not. I heart Sav Rocca and David Akers. They literally kick butt.
Washington Redskins (4-4) - Here's the scoop: it sounds like Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan are in a really rocky relationship and they're not quite on the same page. They were for like, a game, and now it seems like the team as a whole goes hot and cold. There could still be hope. Playing the Eagles in Week 10 could be a deciding factor.
Dallas Cowboys (1-7) - Let's just state this and get this out of the way now--The Dallas Cowboys: the best team on paper. These guys would probably all work really well together on a fantasy team, but not here. With Romo out, there are bound to be more problems. I don't care if they just fired Wade Phillips. These guys are screwed.
Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Good God, they flexed their muscles last game, didn't they? Let's not kid, it was against Dallas, but still. I like what they have to offer, and they get the job done. The only thing that makes me nervous is their defensive line and a hint of receiving. Aaron Rodgers has a good enough offensive line this year that his rating is still high and his sack amount is about average. I like cheese.
Chicago Bears (5-3) - I don't know how I'm going to get away with saying this, but I'm really not all that impressed with Da Bears this year. They honestly haven't been playing very strong teams, and a lot of their wins have been either out of luck/penalty bashing, or just getting out by the skin of their teeth. I mean, their schedule looks so-so from here on out, but I'm not expecting anything special from them if they make it to the playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings (3-5) - Time for a math lesson: Brett Favre + Brad Childress = MASSIVE DRAMA; it seems like a really bad sitcom where you just can't stand the main characters as a couple. In other words, it's like the show Friends on meth. After getting rid of Randy Moss after four games and having managerial controversies from all ends, it looks like a massive roller coaster ride will be ahead during the rest of the season.
Detroit Lions (2-6) - What can I say? Doesn't this happen often enough to you guys? I mean, you're riding a 24-game losing streak away from your home field, and you guys have been tossed around for the past ten years or so. Is it going to stop? It could. The whole "coming up short" saying should be your tagline. Help them, Obi Wan Barry Sanders, you're their only hope. Oh wait, he's retired.
Atlanta Falcons (6-2) - I like these guys. Don't let their statistics that compare with the rest of the league fool you. Matt Ryan is doing exceptionally well, and the rest of the offense supplies a really good running game. In turn, the defense specializes in stopping that kind of run. They've had their ups and downs as a whole, but this second half is going to be a huge factor on whether they can really make it all the way this year.
(Editor's Note: I know that was sort of a Tim McCarver-ism mainly because winning and losing determines a spot in the postseason, but it stays here so you can laugh at my poor writing skills.)
New Orleans Saints (6-3) - They're playing typical "Who Dat" ball, that's for sure. They're still embracing the heavy passing game from Drew Brees, and the defense just looks absolutely sick. C'mon, they're tops in pass yardage allowed. They have fun games coming up. Expect these guys to be going head to head with ATL for the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3) - They're about average as average can get. You can blame injury upon misfortunes, I guess, but with the heated competition above them, it's going to be tough to get some stepping stool to overcome the bigger names. Do they still have a chance? Survey says: Yes.
Carolina Panthers (1-7) - See, this is what happens when you get rid of a veteran QB like Jake Delhomme. You experience an offensive meltdown of epic proportions to the point where you're in the basement in most of the offensive categories. Sure, he wasn't the number one reason why it happened, but it could've been a catalyst that started this whole fiasco. After this is all over, John Fox, watch out for your job.
St. Louis Rams (4-4) - Whooaaa!! Welcome to the top! After the past two or three seasons, Rams fans were getting a little scared that the kind of success that was received during the Vermeil/Warner era was never going to come back. But it looks like Sam Bradford and Steve Spagnuolo are trying to start their own little thing. I hope it works out fast...they're going to have a bumpy road to ride on in their second half of the season. If you want motivation, win it for Kurt Warner since he was voted off Dancing with the Stars last night.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) - I can tell that they like playing at home... But aside from that, they really like to be inconsistent, that's for sure. They could kill the 49ers one week, but then get killed by the Denver Broncos the next week. That's no good. Matt Hasslebeck, I don't like your sister-in-law either.
Arizona Cardinals (3-5) - Fact: Your offense and QB are sub-par. This is why your offensive coordinator was fired a few weeks in. Fact: Your defense and special teams are practically saving you from a completely disastrous season. Fact: Jay Feely is still the man. Anyway, the offense will have to start crack-a-lackin' if you even want to think about making it to the top of the division or the wild card. If you want any more motivation, win a few for Kurt Warner too.
San Francisco 49ers (2-6) - I remember when you guys were always at the top with Steve Young and Jerry Rice. Now...yeah. Other guys. Although Alex Smith is playing a half decent game, we can't really say the same thing for the rest of the team. Keep on trucking, Mike Singletary. Brian Westbrook, I miss you.
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
New York Jets (6-2) - I'm going to start using a new line here: The Jets "are riding on the luck train." Okay, Mark Sanchez looks alright and LaDanian Tomlinson looks fantastic as he should, but everything else seems really lucky and hit-or-miss on the offensive line. I love your defense though. That could be the main thing keeping you up top in such a offense-heavy schedule coming up for you.
New England Patriots (6-2) - Well, here are the Patriots just being the Patriots. Thing is, what boggles my mind is that they get their job done in such short time. I don't know whether it's through turnovers or Tom Brady and the endless Hail Mary play. PS, the special teams like to get a lot of work.
Miami Dolphins (4-4) - "How about those Dolphins?" These guys had a nasty first half schedule and pretty much surived the grit of complete humiliation. That deserves some merit, at least. Chad Henne isn't delivering like most Dolphin fins [I made a funny there] would want him to with the way his QB rating looks. Sure, defense wins games for the most part, but you have to score some points too and keep the crowds in their places. Things could look up if they start to like the endzone a little more this second half. Here's an upside to everything: at least people are showing up to the games. I made another funny. Take that, Florida Marlins.
Buffalo Bills (0-8) - Let's be honest, every sports league needs a basement team, and the Bills are that team. They haven't been to the playoffs in a really long time, and even the personnel change this past year hasn't helped them in the least bit. The division they're in just won't let them win those tight games, I guess. Guys, just work to get at least 2 wins this year. At this rate, I'm not sure if that could be possible with the schedule that you have.
Baltimore Ravens (6-2) - I'll admit, Baltimore isn't that bad. The big issue to me is that it seems as if one line doesn't work in unison with the other lines each week. For example, it's like the offensive line takes a vacation one week while the other two lines kick butt heavily during that game. They've survived close games, and Joe Flacco is keeping his reputation as a good QB. What's gonna work? Teeeeeeamwork.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) - Even without Ben Roethlisberger during the first four weeks or so, this team has been meshing very well and are proving contention in the AFC. The games that were lost contained costly mistakes, but it doesn't seem like Mike Tomlin dwells on them for all that long. Although they nearly lost their lead completely this Monday against Cincy, they're looking to take sole possession of first place next week against Tommy Boy and the Patriots.
Cleveland Browns (3-6) - You know that whole joke of "taking the Browns to the Super Bowl?" Oh, nothing. I just figured that I would ask if you knew. I wasn't going to use it here for that particular purpose. Anyway, although Jake Delhomme is gracing his fine Super Bowl-experienced presence on the team, it really isn't coming in handy all that much. We'll see how that happens when they have a relatively sub-.500 team schedule coming up.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) - Here we go again with another good team on paper. Behind the QB Palmer Bros., nothing has been going right for them, even with T.O.Cho as wide receivers. These guys have been very short of complete comebacks as of late, but first, they should really fix the fact that they're falling behind way too much. One thing's for sure, they have a "fun" looking schedule coming up. Who Dey? Nothing right now...
Tennessee Titans (5-3) - Holy crap exploding offense, Batman. You like to score points. However, I don't think it's just Vince Young and the rest of his buddies doing all of the work. The defense is also well-rounded, which is also a good sign for this awakening team. Now that Randy Moss hass been thrown into the mix, we're going to be seeing a lot of offensive tricks. Isn't that right, Mr. Chuck Cecil?
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) - I can't stress this enough--two words: Peyton Manning. He's just that good. They're near the top in pass yards as usual. Injuries can be a problem, especially when you're playing the Eagles and their defense can't handle runs. Anyway, their schedule is about average, so this will definitely be showing versatility and energy conservation for the Colts. They'll be going head to head with the Titans for the next couple of weeks.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) - When I first saw them, I really wasn't all that impressed with their offensive tactics. The whole team can be very hot and cold and sometimes can't find the "clutch button" when most necessary. The running game is very good, but can the defense stop that stuff? Uhh, get back to me on that one. The workload is going to be heavy in the second half, so buckle up, Jags. One last thing, your mascot knows how to catch a field goal really well.
Houston Texans (4-4) - Man, I had so much faith in these guys, especially after taking down Indy and the 'Skins in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. Then they became human after an awesome performance going back from preseason. The defense isn't what it should be at all, and if they're way off the page when the offense is doing their job, there's going to be some massive problems. So much for the all-Texas Super Bowl, Hank Hill.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) - Matt Cassel and the gang know how to get the guys up the field, but can they capitalize? Can they all work together in unison? Most of the time. Now that they have a hot silver flame up their behinds, things could get ugly real quick. They have a below-average looking team setup coming along in the second half, so cockiness might try to creep up when least expected. Get at 'em, "chefs!"
Oakland Raiders (5-4) - Oakland's offense...oh man. Remember when I said the Titans had an explosive offense? How about a 59-14 embarrassment from a few weeks back? Right. These guys will be giving the Chiefs a real problem since they've come alive after a couple of minor setbacks. I'd like to see these guys back in the playoff picture yet again.
San Diego Chargers (4-5) - Don't let the stats fool you. They're close to the top in just about everything, but injuries are just about killing them from every end of the spectrum. It's a real shame. They had good stuff in the palms of their hands last year, and now they're stuck in the middle of so many teams just angry at each other. They're kind of like the voice of reason in the group of friends that gets stuck in the unnecessary drama and gets tossed around even though they're good-hearted and have good intentions. Let's feel sorry for the Bolts for a little bit. ... ... Okay, that's enough. Get well soon, men.
Denver Broncos (2-6) - Trust me, Don Martindale might not have an idea what he's doing back there with the defense because there are so many problems with the defense stopping runs. What, does nobody like the idea of running on this team at all? There's nothing wrong with Kyle Orton's lead at QB (or Tim Tebow's cheerleading) and if they can't stop the next few teams, problems are going to surface in the manager sector.
Wow. That was fun. I never thought I would write so much about football, but I did it. Hope you enjoyed it, and check out the next installment once 2011 rolls around.