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  1. #1

    At the Halfway Mark, Who Are the Contenders and Who Are the Pretenders?

    Fun little discussion topic as we get into the meat of Week 10 and the second half of the season.

    Who do you guys think are legitimate Super Bowl Contenders this year, and who looks good but probably won't make it to the big time?

    Me, I think that the NFC is going to come down to the 49ers and the Bears. Atlanta has looked really good, and you can never discount the Packers and the Giants, but my feeling has SF and Chicago. The Niners D has been so good this year, and of course so has that of the Bears.

    Over in the AFC, are the Texans really this good? I still have some doubts, and I think that the bubble may yet burst. There are so many variables in the AFC right now and with the exception of Houston everybody that's presently in the top six has some experience in the playoffs. Big Ben, Peyton, Brady - I don't think they're ready to pass on the torch to Luck or anybody yet. I think that we'll see at least one of Pittsburgh or New England in the AFC Championship, but who they'd face? Beats me.

    Long way to go yet of course, and so much can change in the blink of an eye, but that's my (sort of) predictions.

    What do you guys think?
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  2. #2
    My Bucs are looking good and I think we can make a good run for a wild card spot. In the NFC gotta agree w/ you. I think SF and Chi are the teams to beat. In the AFC, I'm picking Denver to make it to the AFC Championship and knock off Brady and the Pats in a HOF QB rematch. I just can't buy into Houston until they show me they can win a playoff game.
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  3. #3
    yea the 49'ers and Bears looking good. I'm a giants fan, but i just don't think they'll advance far into the playoffs this yr, if they make it. Awfully tough schedule. The pats for the AFC east, easily. If they get home field advantage, watch out. Denver has a nice easy schedule second half, could go 7-1. They have a good D to go with peyton, who seems to be getting back to his old ways .
    Texans and Pitt in the mix also of course. But as the giants have shown twice in the last 5 yrs, we'll see.

  4. #4
    As a Niners fan, that's my concern for the NFC: the Giants. They dealt a beatdown back in Week 6, and of course they won in the NFC title game last year. They may turn out to be the bete noir for San Francisco.

    And of course next week is the huge Monday nighter with Chicago. That's going to be one of those measuring stick games.
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  5. #5
    Based on today's performance 31-6 deficit to the Bengals in the 3rd the Giants are pretenders to the throne,there will be no lucky run like last year,the nfc is going to have the 49'ers going to the Superbowl,the afc will have the Broncos as they seem to get a little better each week.
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  6. #6
    i dont know why everyone assumes that the 49ers are the team to beat in the nfc....i believe that they may be over ranked...great team dont get me wrong but alot of teams can get hot at the end
    packers to me will be the team to beat in the 2nd half of the season
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  7. #7
    Both conferences are really quite wide open at the moment. The Packers I still think have the scariest team. they have a defense that can be good enough and a elite qb. for whatever reason, the falcons don't scare me. they seem to be rather high on themselves right now for having won nothing before. in the afc i would have to say pittsburgh if their defence can stay healthy. houston showed something last night by winning in that crap.

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  8. #8
    Buccaneers have been the best team in the NFL for the last month. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to make a wild card and hopefully make some noise. This is the first year with the new additions and a great draft class. Hell, if we can pull off a sweep of ATL we might win the division. It is too early to make any legit predictions right now, but Tampa Bay is heating up like crazy. If our secondary can get the kinks ironed out we will be a force.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jprt80 View Post
    Buccaneers have been the best team in the NFL for the last month. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to make a wild card and hopefully make some noise. This is the first year with the new additions and a great draft class. Hell, if we can pull off a sweep of ATL we might win the division. It is too early to make any legit predictions right now, but Tampa Bay is heating up like crazy. If our secondary can get the kinks ironed out we will be a force.
    i'm going to disagree. they haven't beaten anyone of note and i don't think they've been better than the 1 loss falcons, the 1 loss texans or even the 2 loss bears. there are a half dozen teams that i'd worry more about before the bucs even enter the conversation. the thought that they even have a chance that the division is a little on the optomistic side. the falcons would have to absolutely collapse in order for that to happen.
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  10. #10
    NFC Contenders - Gotta go with the Packers here. While I am tempted to go Bears, you gotta consider the X-factor of Aaron Rodgers. The Bears have a superb defense, but serious questions at QB and RB which counts them out IMO. You gotta keep the Giants in mind too, they always seems to rise up come late December.

    AFC Contenders - Gonna make a bit of an underdog pick here. The Denver Broncos. They are 6-3, have the #4 ranked offense, #5 ranked defense and 2 of their 3 losses came in weeks 2 and 3 when Peyton Manning was still new in the system and rusty from 1.5 years out of football. In the last 5 games we have seen a more realistic version of what to expect with them going 4-1 and with the offense averaging 31.4 points per game and Peyton averaging 308 yards per game passing and completing 70% or more of his passes. It is possible that the Broncos will finish the season 12-4 or even 13-3.

    Everyone is picking the Texans, but I don't see it. Yes, they are 8-1, but with 4 of those wins being over the Dolphins, Jaguars, Jets and Bills, I am not that impressed. They have a big win over the Broncos (again, with Peyton just in his 3rd game after returning) and looked solid against the Ravens, but they got destroyed by the Packers and nearly lost to the Bears even though the Bears had no running game and Cutler was out after 14 pass attempts.

    NFC Pretenders - I am going with the Seahawks. Their 10th ranked defense is keeping in the game, but their 20th ranked offense will cause them to fall flat down the stretch. 4 of their final 6 games are a game against the Bears and three division rival games against the Cardinals, 49ers and Rams, all tough games. I don't see them winning the NFC West and if they make the playoffs it will probably be as the 6th seed which means a road game against the Packers, 49ers or Giants and a qucik exit from the playoffs.

    AFC Pretenders - Gonna make another surprise pick here...my beloved Steelers. They have no identity and no leadership. Under Mike Tomlin they have gone from a 3-4 smash-mouth defense and a powerhouse running game to a 3-4 defense that is lost and makes few big plays and a pass-happy offense that can't run the ball and rarely has a big day passing. They are inconsistent, they play ugly, they win by getting lucky. Their only saving grace is BigBen's low INT numbers or they would be 3-6 instead of 6-3. Like the Seahawks, if they make the playoffs it will be as a wildcard and they will most likely to have to play a road game in Denver or Baltimore which means a quick exit from the playoffs.

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