Time for the 2-minute drill at the end of the first half of the NFL season.
We’ve reached the 2-minute warning of the first half of the NFL season. So far, one would be hard-pressed to say their is a clear favorite to win the Super Bowl.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles may sit atop of the NFL, but have yet to establish themselves as powerhouses. Teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills have been pleasant surprises, but their early season success might not last heading into the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders were believed to be primed to take the next step towards title contention, but have stumbled through the first half of the season. Then there are the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, who are in a race for the number 1 pick in the NFL Draft and might not win a game this year.
There’s enough time left in the first half of the NFL season for these teams to score and get themselves on the track towards Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52, but they’ll need to execute the two minute drill to perfection in order to do so.
Last Week: 5-9
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (Thursday Night Football)
The Raiders have fallen well short of their Super Bowl expectations, and the once dynamic offense has struggled under the guidance of first year offensive coordinator Todd Downing. This is a must win game for the silver and black, but with the Chiefs coming to town off an embarrassing home loss, it may be time for the Raiders to make off-season plans starting in early January.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay QB James Winston is ailing, and the Buccaneers haven’t taken the next step as many thought they would. It might be time to start taking the Bills seriously.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
Bears RB Jordan Howard gave us a blast from the past with his 36 carries for 167 yards performance against the Ravens. But the Bears seem to only be beating AFC North teams this year, with their only other win coming against the Steelers. Last time I checked, the Panther play in the NFC South.
Lock of the Week: Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Well Cleveland, you still have LeBron.
Lock of the Week Winner: Titans
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers
The Packers season is all but finished with QB Aaron Rodgers out for most of if not the rest of the season due to a broken collarbone. The once putrid Saints defense seems to be finding their grove, and that’s without QB Drew Bree’s playing exceptionally well.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
The AFC South is a battle of ineptitude at this point, and it doesn’t look like Colts AB Andrew Luck is coming back this season due to a shoulder injury. Jacoby Brissett has done a fine job fillinf in for Luck, and the Jaguars should strongly consider making a play for Brissett if they want to be considered true contenders.
Upset of the Week: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
Saints head coach Sean Payton owes RB Adrian Peterson an apology. He still has plenty in the tank, running for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries last week in a win over the Bucs. The more of the load Peterson can take off of QB Carson Palmer’s shoulders, the better off the Cardinals will be.
Upset of the Week Winner: Cardinals
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Somehow, both of these teams are still in the race for the AFC East division title heading into Week 7. In a division that’s currently wide open, both of these teams need to win in order to keep pace for the division crown.
Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings
A golden opportunity has arisen for the Vikings now that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is out. And the Ravens lost to Mitchell Trubisky at home last week. Yikes.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
The C. J. Beathard era is officially underway in San Francisco (* Santa Clara, because Jed York*). It doesn’t matter who plays at QB for the 49ers, they stink. The Cowboys may be going through more twists and turns than The Young and the Restless with the Ezekiel Elliott soap opera, but they will to thrive off of dysfunction this week against a team that could be staring at an 0-11 record before their first winnable game.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
You can’t quite get a grip on the Steelers. One week they look like Super Bowl contenders, the next week they look like pretenders. Bet on the former this week in a heated divisional match-up at home.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are on a winning streak, and the Broncos laid an egg last week on Sunday Night Football. Which of these teams show up is as unpredictable as to what President Donald Trump will tweet next.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
The Giants finally got their first win of the season sans WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall against a good Broncos defense. They won’t have the same luck this week against the legion of boom.
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football)
Just in case a Patriots fan or Mark Wahlberg hasn’t reminded you, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl 51 against the Patriots. Last week, just ahead of their Super Bowl 51 re-match, the Falcons blew a 17-0 lead against the Dolphins. If that isn’t an ominous sign of what’s to come, then what is?
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
The NFC East is always a brutal division, and this week features a key match-up that will put the winner in good playoff standing. The Redskins need this game more to avoid being 0-2 in the division, QB Carson Wentz has the Eagles flying high, and they’re going to be tough to ground.