We are over the half way point now and most of my pre season division picks are looking pretty good, but a couple are in peril, including my hometown San Diego Chargers.
AFC EAST: New England (6-3) First Place. NE has won 3 games in a row, while the rest of the division is falling apart. The Patriots should easily win this division, even though they got off to a less than stellar start, going 3-3.
AFC NORTH: Baltimore (7-2) First Place. The Ravens are holding things together despite the loss of Ray Lewis, the long time leader of the Ravens D. Baltimore has developed a powerful offense that is capable of compensating for a defense that is not as dominant as it once was. Pittsburgh trails the Ravens by only one game, but they just lost star QB Ben Rothlisberger due to a rib injury he suffered in their last game. I don’t think the Steelers can keep up with the Ravens if Big Ben is out more than few games.
AFC SOUTH: Houston (8-1) First Place. The Texans continue to be one the hottest teams in the league. They continue to excel on both sides of the ball and they should win the division. The upstart Colts, currently riding a 4 game win steak behind the spectacular play of Rookie QB Andrew Luck are putting a little pressure on the Texans, but they are 6-3 and I don’t think they will be able to challenge the Texans for the division lead.
AFC WEST: San Diego (4-5) Second Place. Very disappointing to see the Chargers sitting in 2nd place after they got off to such a promising start. They play the first place Denver Broncos (6-3) next and that game is critical to San Diego. It is make or break time for the Bolts. If they go to Denver and beat the red hot Bronos (4 game winning steak) they still have a chance to take the division, but if they lose they are finished. There is lot riding on this game.
NFC EAST: New York (6-4) First Place. The Giants are in first, but they look like they are going in the wrong direct, having dropped their last two games. Fortunately for NY the rest of the teams in the division have had bigger problems and they all under .500. Philly and Washington, both at 3-6, look like they are finished. Dallas is hanging in there at 4-5. I still think the Giants will win the division, but they certainly don’t look like a Super Bowl Champ right now. If they don’t improve coming down the stretch they are headed for an early exit in the playoffs.
NFC NORTH: Green Bay (6-3) Second Place. The Packers have now won 4 games in a row and now trail Chicago (7-2) by only one game. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has looked like a real MVP candidate during the win streak. With 7 games left to play the Packers have the time they need to overtake the Chicago Bears and I expect them to do so.
NFC SOUTH: Atlanta (8-1) First Place. The Falcons finally dropped a game, in a narrow loss to New Orleans last Sunday. However, they Falcons have demonstrated that they are no fluke this year and appear to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. If they secure home field advantage during the playoffs they will very difficult to beat.
NFC WEST: San Francisco (6-2-1) First Place. The 49ers are in a commanding position at this point, but Seattle is still in the running with a record of 6-4. The 49ers defense remains one of the best in the league and should carry them to a division title.