The 2010 NFL season is now entering the second half with every team (bar the Eagles & Redskins who play tonight) having played 9 games, and as expected it is proving to be a very intense season with only a handful of the 32 teams effectively out of the playoff race.
Right now only Carolina and Detroit are effectively out in the NFC following defeats to Tampa who are proving to be the seasons big surprise and Buffalo who grabbed their first win receptively.
Others who’s season is now on life support include preseason fancies Dallas, who despite a great win against the Giants will need to win out to have any chance, and Minnesota who failed miserably to cope with the conditions at Soldier Field. Both will have to win out in tough divisions and hope for plenty of help if they are to make the wild cards.
The NFC West remains wide open thanks to the 49ers OT win, and although Seattle hold a one game lead it would be a brave person who staked the house on them holding out.
Right now Atlanta & Green Bay look the pick of the NFC with Chicago looking like a bit of a dark horse thanks to their revived defense. A win for the Eagles tonight will also push them right into the reckoning, although that is not a foregone conclusion despite the Redskins appearing to have pushed the self destruct button.
In the AFC East preseason favourites the New York Jets are just about justifying their position and their OT win in Cleveland looks good given the Browns hammered New England last week. The Browns could have closed this one out and taken a tie, however to their credit they went for the win and only naive play calling allowed the Jets to snatch the win.
Their big AFC East rivals New England bounced back beating Pittsburgh comfortably to cap an awful week for the AFC North which saw all 4 teams lose. This has put the AFC East in the driving seat for home field advantage. Miami are hanging in there, however with their QB issues its hard to see how they can overhaul either of the top two and they willneed a lot of luck to snatch the second wild card.
The Ravens and Steelers both lost big games , however the other results have left things as they were and right now they both look capable of making the playoffs. The Ravens hold the edge thanks to their win at the Steelers earlier and they look to have a slightly easier run in which should clinch them the division. The Cleveland Browns may have got the bargain of the 2010 draft in Colt McCoy, and it will be no surprise to see them finish close to 8-8 and next season a play off place could be within reach.
The AFC South has a familiar look to it with the Colts despite a spate of injuries currently holding a one game lead and although they have tricky games coming up they should clinch the division if they can beat the Titans in their meetings. The Jags and the Texans are still hanging around but it will be a major surprise if either manage to overhaul the Colts.
The AFC West continues to be the second most dysfunctional division the the NFL with any of the four still in with a chance of taking the title. Despite being 4-5 we still expect the Chargers to come through. They have not had the best of luck so far but with a fairly easy looking run in they could easily end up 9-7 or 10-6 which should take the division.
Buffalo 14, Detroit 12
Chicago 27, Minnesota 13
NY Jets 26, Cleveland 20 (OT)
Tampa Bay 31, Carolina 16
Jacksonville 31, Houston 24
Indianapolis 23, Cincinnati 17
Miami 29, Tennessee 17
Denver 49, Kansas City 29
Dallas 33, NY Giants 20
Seattle 36, Arizona 18
San Francisco 23, St. Louis 20 (OT)
New England 39, Pittsburgh 26
Philadelphia at Washington