Who Are The True NFL Contenders? The Legit Ones?
Philadelphia Eagles (6-1): Legit. The Philadelphia Eagles are showing what they are made of this year. Carson Wentz is on a tear. They have the number 2 offense in the NFC, scoring 199 points this season.
Their defense is ranked 8th in the NFC by only giving up 146 points this year. They are really shining with total net points of +53. That puts them in 2nd in the NFC. The most important number is the wins. They have more wins than any other team in the NFL. They are on a 5-game win streak and will continue to produce.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3): Legit. Look for this team to only go up from here. They are leading the NFL in sacks with 33. That’s a huge stat. If a defense can disrupt a quarterback early, then they have the game. As long as this defense keeps rolling, the sky is the limit for Jacksonville, not to mention the fact that they just acquired the services of DT Marcell Dareus via trade.
The offense has stepped up considerably since last year. A common complaint of the Jags in years past is the offense is too slow starting. This year the team has been much faster and has the highest net points in the AFC with 73. That puts them at number 2 in the NFL in that statistical category. They are definitely a team to watch out for.
Los Angeles Rams (5-2): Legit. The Los Angeles Rams have the highest net points in the NFL at +74. The team is doing very well being led by Jared Goff at quarterback and Todd Gurley at running back. Their offense has posted 212 points this year which also has them as first in the NFL. The defense has only given up 138 points this year which puts them in 5th place in the NFC. The team has adapted very well, and they continue to improve. They are on a 2-game win streak. Let’s see if they can continue to carry this momentum through the rest of the year.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2): Legit. The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing very well right now. Their offense is really beginning to pick up with the production of Le’Veon Bell picking up. The Steelers have a net point total of +31.
The defense has been the leading cause of this because they have only allowed 116 points against. The offense has scored 147 points, but look for that to grow. Ben Roethlisberger has endorsed the rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Martavis Bryant hasn’t. Luckily Big Ben still has two credible targets with Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown.
Miami Dolphins (4-3): Phony. The Miami Dolphins have somehow come out on top with a winning record. They are easily the worst team with a winning record right now. There is the potential for Matt Moore to be exactly what the team needs to get the offense going. As of right now though, they have scored the least amount of points in the NFL, 92. They have a really strong defense but will need some help from the offense if they want a shot at making the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers (4-3): Phony. The Green Bay Packers were phony for a different reason last week. I thought Aaron Rodgers would have helped lead them to a much better record. Now that he is out with a shoulder injury, the Packers are in trouble. Of the key offensive positions, the number one is the quarterback. After that is the offensive line. The net points are only at a +3. The offense has put up 164 points and the defense has allowed 161. Expect the offense to drop significantly now that Rodgers is out. The team is only going to get worse from here.
San Francisco 49ers (0-7): Phony. This is a very bold statement here, but I think that the San Francisco 49ers are a better team than their record shows. They have very poor net points at -63. The defense has allowed 186 points and the offense has only put up 123. The reason I think they are better is based on the past games. The Dallas Cowboys beat them by 30 and the Carolina Panthers won by 20. Every other team is less than a touchdown away from a win. Look at it like this. The Seattle Seahawks only scored 12 points to win 12-9. The Los Angeles Rams only won by 2 points. The Arizona Cardinals only one by 3, same as the Indianapolis Colts. And the Washington Redskins only won by 2 points. That’s 3 games decided by a field goal and 2 games lost by less than a field goal. They have potential to be much better.
Oakland Raiders (3-4): Phony. The Oakland Raiders are a better team than their record shows easily. They showed it last week when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs. They have a net score of -1. That’s pretty close, but they have put up 155 points this year. The defense has allowed 156. With Derek Carr playing as well as he did last week, there is the potential for him to get back to gunslinging and scoring a lot. The defense has given up 10 fewer points than the New England Patriots, which is a reason for concern. If the Raiders improve defensively, they could win a lot more for the rest of the year.