NFL 2012 recap – the season so far
Roughly a quarter of the way through the NFL 2012 Season and what do we know? Well, for a start, my August 18 Roar Superbowl Prediction – Ravens v Falcons – is very much alive and kicking.
Now let’s have serious look at the state of play.
Houston are ticking along beautifully at the moment, they are highly competent in every aspect of the game and have a champion running back in Arian Foster. They’re also a team that wins through consistent performances across the board rather than those of a couple of star players. If you had your money on them pre-season you’d be very happy now (alas I didn’t!).
Atlanta are very exciting to watch.
They have the best balanced offence in the competition with a highly skilled and confident young quarterback in Ryan who is starting to realise his potential, a franchise wide receiver (White), a potent deep threat (Jones), a hall of fame tight end (Gonzales) and a top ten running back (Turner). Ok… I might be a tad biased. Question marks remain over the depth of talent on defence though and they’ll need their best defensive personnel available to make a real run at it.
San Francisco are also travelling very well using last year’s formula of not letting Alex Smith do things beyond his skill set combined with an excellent defensive unit.
Baltimore has proven to be much more potent offensively than last season but statistically their defence is performing much worse than it ever has. For me that’s a worry.
They definitely miss Suggs and Ray Lewis isn’t having the impact that he’s had in previous seasons. I’m loathe to write off a champion like Lewis on the evidence of 4 games though, so they stay in the mix.
Don’t get too excited about Minnesota just yet, they’ve definitely improved (particularly Pounder) but they won the last game courtesy of their special teams unit (kick return and punt return TDs). That’s not a formula for long term play off success.
Philadelphia are 3 and 1 and not playing well at all.
But their defence looks more sound than last year and if they’re winning with Michael Vick in such poor form imagine how good they will be when he gets going?
If you’re one of those who believe defence wins championships put some of your hard earned on Chicago. They have the best defensive unit going round at the moment. However if you do back them you’ll be living and dying on the somewhat inconsistent arm and decision making of their quarterback for the rest of year.
And then the teams I’m definitely not writing off yet this year – New England (Brady and Bellicik and probable division winners), the Giants (an excellent squad when all are available), Green Bay (flying under the radar very nicely this year), Denver (Peyton’s still got it even if his fast ball has lost a bit of zip), Pittsburgh (Big Ben and a great defence).
Disappointments? New Orleans and the Jets. New Orleans has suffered from the Bounty Scandal fall out. And the Jets? Maybe bringing Tebow on board wasn’t the smartest move.
An intriguing season continues.