NFL Midseason Report

It’s incredible how quickly we all came to accept the NFL again after the lockout this past summer.  After a crazy week of free agency, we could finally sit down and watch the most popular sport in America, which amazingly is still gaining fans daily.  Finally, we are at the halfway point of another dramatic, action packed NFL season.  There have been many surprises, the most prominent being the 6-2 Detroit Lions who have not had a winning season since 2000 and are only a couple of years removed from going 0-16.  The lethal combo of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson has fueled an explosive offense for Detroit and has fans very excited not only for the future, but for the rest of this season as well.  Another major surprise is the 5-2 Buffalo Bills, who are leading an AFC East that was supposed to be dominated by the New York Jets and New England Patriots.  Granted, the Patriots have the same record as the Bills, and the Jets are only one game behind, but the Bills were not even supposed to contend this season.  The Bills are led by their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard grad, and halfback Fred Jackson, who is the fourth leading rusher in the league.  Buffalo does have a daunting schedule ahead though, so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their success.  Other surprise teams include the 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals and the 6-1 San Francisco 49ers.  The Bengals play in a tough AFC North division though and still have to play both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers twice while the 49ers have a comfortable four game lead in the NFC West and will probably win that division.

Matthew Stafford has led the Lions to a surprising 6-2 record.

Another major storyline in the NFL this year is the “Suck for Luck” campaign. This consists of the worst teams this year including the winless Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins and the one-win St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals losing at will to ultimately get the number 1 draft selection and draft quarterback Andrew Luck out of Stanford. Luck is the most highly touted draft prospect since Peyton Manning and has had draft pundits drooling over his size, athleticism, intelligence, and arm strength for a couple of years now.  Coincidentally, Peyton Manning has a direct effect on the “Suck for Luck” campaign because he is out indefinitely with a neck injury.  This has caused the Colts to start perennial journeyman Kerry Collins and backup Curtis Painter all season, which has led to them to an 0-8 start and a shot at landing Andrew Luck.

Another major storyline is the ongoing saga of the “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles.  The Eagles went out and signed many free agents over the shortened free agency period, including 4 time All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.  However, they did not live up to the lofty expectations placed upon them, starting 1-4 and blowing leads to the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles seem to have found a rhythm lately though, winning two in a row including a 34-7 drubbing of the rival Dallas Cowboys.

At the halfway point of the season, there are still many questions to be answered: Are the Lions and Bills for real?  Can the New York Jets, who have been kind of disappointing so far, keep pace?  Does anybody want to win the AFC West or South (Hello guys, there’s a playoff birth for whoever wins the division)? Can the Green Bay Packers go 16-0?  All of these questions and many more look like they are going to set up an incredible second half that is sure to go down to the wire, all leading up to that fateful day in Indianapolis on February 5, Super Bowl XLVI.

-Giuseppe Bonaddio, Sports Correspondent 

Posted by on November 4, 2011. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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