NFL Midseason Storylines
By Brody Edgerton, Staff Writer
As we reach the halfway point of the NFL season, it is starting to become clear which teams are for real, and which teams are out of it and will soon be looking to next season.
Up to this point, it’s hard to argue that any other team in the league has been better than the Los Angeles Rams. Last season, they had one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL, with arguably the best running back in the league in Todd Gurley. Jared Goff is taking the next step and developing into a confident veteran with a well-rounded receiving corp.
This offseason, the Rams took it to the next level. On offense they added Brandin Cooks, and on defense they made huge additions with Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh. So far, they are still undefeated at 7-0, and I see them finishing the season at worst with a 14-2 record, with the best chances to win the Super Bowl.
You could also argue that the Chiefs will be contenders late in the year, seeing how hot their offense is with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. They were the only other undefeated team besides the Rams, until they lost a close game to the Patriots in Week 6. The Chiefs already had a very dangerous offense with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce headlining the stat sheet, but the development of Mahomes into a very good quarterback with the potential to be at the elite level has taken the team from playoff hopefuls to serious contenders for the Super Bowl.
While the Colts haven’t had the best start to the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a late season push for the playoffs. Their defense has been showing promise of being a solid performing group, and the offense is picking up with Marlon Mack developing, and Andrew Luck returning from injury. Add that to a remaining schedule that has them matching up with the Raiders, Giants, and Cowboys, I could see them realistically finishing the season on a high note and, depending on how they perform in the difficult games, potentially earning a spot in the Wildcard game.
This season has been full of surprises for many fans across the league, for better or for worse. One surprise that sticks out is how tough the Ravens are this season. Their current record of 4-3 does not reflect that, but they could have something special going. Their defense has been formidable, and their passing game has seen a great improvement over what they have had in recent years. Many people see them as Super Bowl contenders, which I don’t fully agree with, but I see them making it to the playoffs and making it difficult for teams to beat them.
One team that has both surprised me and not surprised me this season is the Cleveland Browns. One could argue that they had the best offseason of any team in the league, bringing in talent at several positions of need and making themselves tough on paper. I didn’t think they had the best draft ever either, considering they had two top-five picks, but they have both proven to be worth their weight (the jury is still out on Baker Mayfield for me).