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Mohammad's NFL Midseason Report

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NFL

Expected Winners

New England Patriots (5-1): It seems like every year this team is always in great position, sitting at the top of their division. No matter what kind of players are on this team, it seems like every year Bill Belichick designs his schemes perfectly to fit each player's strengths. Also with a QB like Tom Brady and one of the greatest receivers in the game in Wes Welker, it's hard to imagine this offense not being as dominant as it has been. Even with one of the worst defenses in the League, the Patriots are sitting pretty at the top of their division at 5-1.

Pittsburg Steelers (5-2): Here is another team that always finds a way to be in the top spot midway through the season. With the early injury to Big Ben and the slow start by the Steelers, many thought this was the season where the Age of the Steelers finally caught up to them, but they have shown that their experience can help them win games.

Green Bay Packers (7-0): The defending Super Bowl champions have recently been playing out of their minds. This team has been really good since the finals two season of Bret Favre, but they didn't have the QB play and defensive talent that they currently have. Slowly, Mike McCarthy has assembled a team that has consistently dominated this season. It's hard to imagine anyone beating them in the playoffs this year.

New Orleans Saints (5-2): This team has been struggling lately, but they are still in good position in a fairly strong division. After scoring over 60 points last season on the lowly Saints, it's easy to see how powerful this offense is. They match up really well with a lot of teams, considering they have a beast of a tight end in Jimmy Graham and an all pro QB named Drew Brees, who is one of the best to play the game.

Surprises

San Francisco 49ers (5-1): A surprise at 5-1, this team has turned a lot of heads lately, all thanks to the spectacular play at defense and the great decisions Alex Smith has been making. The biggest change this season, compared to prior years, is that they haven't given Alex Smith too much responsibility. They have extensively relied on the run this year, and the consistent play of Alex Smith's number one target, tight end Vernon Davis, has really helped them score enough points to win close games.

Buffalo Bills (4-2): In the past five seasons, the most games the Buffalo Bill won in a season were seven games, and last season they were a lowly 4-12. So we can easily say that the 4-2 record is possibly the biggest surprise of the season. The teams they have beaten aren't exactly scrubs either: they have beaten the Patriots, who are at the top of their division, and the Oakland Raiders, who are a bit of a surprise themselves, who are tied for the lead of their division. The other two teams being the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are some of the more underrated teams this season.

Oakland Raiders (4-3): This team has played very well this season. Though they still struggle with penalties and consistency, their defense is one of the best in the League, and the offense isn't doing too badly either, thanks mostly to the play of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. One concern for the remainder of the season would be the fact that they lost their starting QB Jason Campbell, who was one of the catalysts for their resurgence. They brought in star QB Carson Palmer to take over, but without knowing the offense too well, Carson's play was erratic. If they can get Palmer into his groove, they may be headed for the playoffs for the first time in a long time.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2): We all knew this team could be good because of the talent they have at defense and some of the offensive players they had, but without Palmer and Chad Ochocinco, a lot of people had their doubts about how this team would come out this season. Little did we know that Andrew Dolton and AJ Green were the secret weapons that would not only keep this team competitive, but would have them win four of six games, and carry them in the hunt for the division lead. If they can make it to the playoffs, this will be a big win for owner Mike Brown, who decided to sit on Carson Palmer for so long.

Author of this article: Mohammad Rizvi
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