This weekend marked the approximate halfway point of the NFL season. Here are some of my thoughts on what has transpired.
1. The Patriots, not the Broncos or Seahawks, could be the team to beat. Tom Brady and a great pass defense have brought New England back to common territory, a top the AFC. The team is clicking on all cylinders, and just dismantled the Broncos.
2. Peyton will have to get home field advantage in the AFC to reach the super bowl again. My faith in him beating the Patriots or another AFC team on the road in the winter is minimal, just looking back in history. He is a different quarterback in the confines of Denver.
3. The NFC is up for grabs. The Seahawks are a shadow of the team that won the Super bowl last year. With off the field issues and other disputes, this team is very beatable. However, there is no team that is clearly better in the NFC, in my opinion. So far, the Cardinals would be my favorite to win, but I think the Packers and Cowboys could make a run. Also, the 49ers could improve and make a run at the right time.
4. This has been quite a year for quarterbacks so far. There has been your standard horrific play from the QB position for many teams. However, many have shined. Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady have all put up amazing numbers. There have also been many great single game performances from some mid-tier QBs, including Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and Ryan Tannehill. Philip Rivers has seen a bounce back year as well.
5. The second half of this season is shaping up to be a great show. With no dominant teams, and many equal teams close to the top, the races for division winner and conference home field advantage should be fun to watch. I see many winners not being decided until the last week of the season, which always brings more excitement.