As the second half of the NFL season begins, here’s how things are shaping up :
Houston (7-1) – Even with the loss of Star linebacker Brian Cushing, the defense is still one of the best. Defensive end J.J. Watt is making a strong push for defensive player of the year. On offense, Arian Foster continues to pound the ball as well as any running back in the league. Tough Week 10 matchup in Chicago should tell a lot about the team.
Pittsburgh (5-3) – Have overcome numerous injuries to the offensive line, and have played much of the season without future Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu. QB Ben Roethlisberger has adjusted well to new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Week 8 matchup with New York Giants may have been a Super Bowl preview.
Denver (5-3) – Peyton Manning is looking more and more comfortable every week, and the back end of the schedule is fairly soft. Champ Bailey and the Broncos defense are now playing much more inspired, knowing they finally have a legit shot at going to the Super Bowl.
Baltimore (6-2) – Ravens’ defense is ranked 26th in the NFL in yards allowed. LB Ray Lewis is done for the year. CB Ladarius Webb is done for the year, LB Terrell Suggs has just come back. Ravens great start should get them into the playoffs, but QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice are really gonna have to make it happen on offense. Stay tuned.
* Don’t overlook New England
Atlanta (8-0) – Falcons started off 3-0, and then fought through, and shook off a lull in their season, as they squeaked out wins over Carolina, Washington, and Oakland before getting back in gear. Nobody is talking about it, but aside from a tough Week 15 tilt against the New York Giants, the thought of a perfect 16-0 season is not too far-fetched.
New York Giants (6-3) – Have been inconsistent in spots, but lead the NFC East, while Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington go through all sorts of inner turmoil. The defending Super Bowl champs look like they are rounding into form, and should be ready willing and able to defend their crown once playoff time begins.
San Francisco (6-2) – Coach Jim Harbaugh has figured out that the key to his team’s success will be strong defense, and a good running game with Frank Gore pounding the ball. They will not reach the promised land, if Alex Smith becomes pass-happy.
Chicago (7-1) – Hard to argue with the overall record, but it still remains to be seen whether the Bears offense can win an important game, without their defense either scoring points, or getting a turnover which sets up the offense on a short field. Come playoff time, good teams will not commit turnovers.
* Don’t overlook Green Bay
With all the great games coming up, you may wish to place a wager. After all, having a little bit of “juice” on the game, makes it a bit more interesting, and adds an element of excitement as well. Protect yourself, there are many options available for betting online, so make sure you choose a credible site. Make an informed decision. Get the best sportsbook reviews right here. Many require minimal opening deposits, and some also provide a “Free play” bonus when you sign up. That said, wager responsibly and enjoy the season. It’s gonna be great.