Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mid-Season Report

We are a little past the halfway mark for the NFL season, so it may be useful to look things over and see what is going on in the league. Granted, for some reason this year I've found that I care less and less about the games, and yet I am drawn to it. I think it has less to do with the quality of the game and more to do with the fact that hockey is still not on.

Perfect No More: Every year there is one team that just keeps on winning. Some times it is a surprise and sometimes it is somewhat expected and most times it's the New England Patriots. This year, the steamroller was the Atlanta Falcons, who were on track to be good this year but few expected it to be perfect-season good. Of course, this came to an end last week against the mediocre New Orleans Saints. The Texans--while they didn't have a winning streak--still has the same record as the Falcons, with an impressive 8-1.

The South Shall Rise Again, But Not This Year: Both South divisions appear to be doing poorly, much like the AFC West was last year. If you snip out the aforementioned Falcons and the Texans (and except the originally-lousy but currently-hot Indianapolis Colts) you have a pretty ugly 16-30. Even Dallas has a losing record.

It's The Year Of The Comeback. Maybe. There was an alarming level of parity in the league this year. If I remember correctly not that long ago at some point in the AFC there were only two winning teams--everyone else was tied or below. Things have started to pull away now, but even still the outliers are much less common. Still, a lot of teams that started off lousy--the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Colts, and the Patriots tin particular--now have solid, if not stunning, records. This is, of course, a good thing, since it keeps things exciting throughout the season.

A Tie! There was a tie last week. That's awesome because it almost never happens.

The Modest Surprises: The Seattle Seahawks are doing surprisingly well, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have a winning record. Due to the various shakeups in staff, there were question marks over the Colts and the Denver Broncos, so I'm not sure if those can be called "surprises" or not, but in either case they are both doing reasonably well.

The Major Disappointments: Some teams that were set up for major successes turn out to be mediocre at best. The Philadelphia Eagles, the golden child last year, are a lowly 3-6. The defending Superbowl champs, the New York Giants, have a solid if unspectacular 6-3 record. The Detroit Lions--having had a relativity stellar two seasons after spending a decade as one of the worst teams in the league's history--has a losing record at the moment.

The Usual Suspects: The St. Louis Rams, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cleveland Browns still suck

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