Well, we’re at the halfway point of the NFL season, and it has definitely been one of the strangest yet. The play hasn’t suffered, but there have been plenty of surprises, some of which will be addressed in this blog.
For starters, ALL HAIL THE TENNESSEE TITANS!! By no means am I a Tennessee fan, but what they are doing right now is remarkable. After last night’s thrashing of the Colts, the Titans are sitting at the top of the AFC South at 7-0. They have a GREAT defense, monster running game, featuring USC Great White and ECU’s finest Chris Johnson, and steady quarterback play. The only negative is The Electrifying Vince Young is watching from the sidelines, but with the way Kerry Collins is managing the offense, even I have to admit it’s hard to replace him right now. There has definitely been a changing of the guard in this division, and for one man in particular (the man who owns this site), he can’t be feeling too good right now.
The Steelers are holding steady in the AFC North, the Broncos are leading the West, and in the AFC East, the Patriots are still holding it down, despite the fact they are without The Great Tom Brady. They are currently tied with the Bills, at 5-2. Right now, this division is too close to call. The Jets aren’t too far off at 4-3, and the Dolphins aren’t far off either, at 3-4. It should be an interesting race to the finish.
On the NFC side, it’s hard to really make a case of anyone being dominant, except for MAYBE the New York Giants. I’m supposed to hate them, since I’m a rabid Cowboys fan, but they’re going to be tough to beat down the stretch. They are still 6-1, despite losing two starters on the line (Strahan to FOX, and Osi to injury), but their depth is so ridiculous that they haven’t missed a beat. Plaxico Burress is busy making a run for the Diva of the League, and they are still clicking on offense, thanks to Eli Manning, a monster running game, and an underrated receiving corps. The Redskins are right on their heels in this division, along with my Cowboys and the Eagles. I still think the NFC East is the most competitive division in football, BY FAR, and this year proves it even more. Another division that’s been pretty damn good, from top-to-bottom, has been the NFC South. All the teams are over .500, and even with Carolina on top, I’m not prepared to say they are going to finish there. I have my money on the Saints getting it together, and taking it down the stretch. Arizona is making me look like a soothsayer right now, since they’re on top of the NFC West, and since everyone else in that division is trash, it’s pretty much theirs to lose. I gotta give a quick shout-out to one-half of The Arizona Connection, Anquan Boldin, for coming back from that monstrous hit a few weeks ago, and catching two TDs in his first game back. The NFC North is pretty much a train wreck, so we’ll just leave it at the Bears being on top.
We’ll let Ed take care of mid-season MVP candidates (that’s right, I’m putting’ you on the spot), and I’ll wrap this up with my Fall from Grace section. This is a section I wish I didn’t have to have, but there have been so many underachievers that it’s completely necessary. First off, we have the whole damn Cincinnati Bengals franchise. Hell, we’ll throw the Chiefs in there for good measure. Look, the reason I take this so hard is because there are players on this team that are VERY GOOD, but for whatever reason, their play has been beyond poor; hell, in the words of my old high school football coach, it’s been piss-poor. Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson (remember, I do not call him Ocho Cinco, due to his non-existent play this season), the defense…I mean, hell. No one on this team has been worth a damn all season long. The same goes for the Chiefs, and it makes it even worse, since they are led by a man who knows football, Herman Edwards, but there are so many things wrong there that he’s gonna end up having to take the weight for it. Other people who make this list are Eldorado Owens (yes, despite the fact that he plays for my team, he’s still experiencing a fall from grace), The San Diego Chargers, and The Indianapolis Colts.