NFL Mid-Term Elections for the Playoffs
Ethan Epley ’16
The playoffs are approaching faster than you think. Here’s a list of those who will be voted in and out based on the season so far…
Houston Texans: I’m voting the Texans out (reluctantly) based on a lack of offensive performance. While Mallett had a good showing against the Browns, the Texans haven’t guaranteed that he is the new starter. Under Fitzpatrick, the offense had a hard time scoring touchdowns, often having to settle for field goals.
Tennessee Titans: I’m voting out the Titans based on two things. #1 is their sub-par defense that doesn’t seem to be able to stop high scoring opponents. #2 is that they are starting Zach Mettenberger. I’m still not sure how he is going to do considering he is a rookie which makes him unpredictable. Mettenberger votes this team out of the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles hasn’t been good because he throws way too many interceptions. The team has basically no weapons and their defense is terrible. Their team in general votes them out of the playoffs.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers and the offense has struggled to put up tons of points like they were doing earlier in the season.
Oakland Raiders: They’re 0-10.
Cleveland Browns: Even with the second best record in their division, the Browns have struggled against some teams. Their defense, or lack thereof, is what votes them out.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Despite a good offense, they have been lackluster against really good teams. Big Ben’s inconsistency is what votes them out.
New York Jets: The New York Jets are in a less than ideal situation currently. Not only are they 2-8, Geno Smith who has been there starter has been benched indefinitely for Michael Vick. Vick has struggled almost as much as Geno this season which makes him an unreliable quarterback option. The Jets turnover tendency is what votes them out.
Buffalo Bills: Despite being 5-5, the Bills are behind the surprisingly good Dolphins and Tom Brady and the Patriots. That alone shuts them out of playoff contention.
Washington Redksins: RGIII has not had a great year, especially after missing a few weeks with an injury. Because of RGIII, the Redskins are voted out of the playoffs.
New York Giants: In Week 11, Eli Manning threw 5 interceptions. With that turnover rate there is no way they will have any chance of beating good teams. Eli’s inconsistency and epic failure at times votes them out.
Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater has tried to hold it together in Minnesota since he started but they haven’t seemed to be able to have a strong offense capable of putting up big points. The Vikings offensive abilities votes them out of the playoffs.
Chicago Bears: Talk about potential that didn’t pan out. Unfortunately for the rest of the team, Cutler hasn’t had many great performances, often putting up several picks a game. The sad part is that Chicago has a super talented team with the likes of Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Martellus Bennett, but they haven’t been able to overcome the huge amount of points the defense allows. Chicago’s defense is what votes the Bears out of the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: At 2-8 they have one of the worst records in the league. Josh McCown hasn’t had great offensive luck since he doesn’t have many weapons other than Vincent Jackson. Their record votes them out of the playoffs.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton has unfortunately been inconsistent all year. As a result the Panthers have had a hard time winning games despite the presence of rookie Kelvin Benjamin. Their record of 3-7 and Cam’s interception rate votes them out.
St. Louis Rams: Despite beating two of last year’s Super Bowl teams, the Rams are in arguably the hardest divisions in football. The Cardinals, 49ers, and Seahawks all have better records and teams. Their division votes them out of the playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks: For whatever reason the Super Bowl champs have lost 4 games, including one to the Rams. If not for Russell Wilson and Beast Mode their offense would be a total mess. Their inconsistent and struggling offense votes them out.
New Orleans Saints: Unfortunately the Saints played too many games away this season which turned out to severely hurt them. For whatever reason they can’t win on the road which has led to their underwhelming 4-6 record. Their inability to play on the road votes them out.
Baltimore Ravens: Flacco has had a good showing in the league this season becoming second in the AFC North behind the Bengals. Their defense votes them out of the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers: Despite being a strong team, Kaepernick and the 49ers have struggled with injuries and suspensions on the defense. In addition, dropping a game to division rival Rams didn’t help their record. Their suffering defense and special teams players vote them out of the playoffs.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady has been on fire, absolutely destroying the competition with star performances from Gronk, Edelman, and the strong defense. The Pats are easily Super Bowl contenders this year I don’t see how the Patriots won’t continue to steamroll their way to a playoff spot. The overall well-roundedness of the entire team votes them into the playoffs.
Denver Broncos: After somehow dropping a game to the Rams, Peyton Manning should rebound back to his usual glory. With star receivers like Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, and Julius Thomas, Peyton has numerous weapons to take advantage of. The receiving core and quarterback of this team votes them into the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals still have the best record in the league even with the loss of starting qb Carson Palmer. Drew Stanton has done well beating the Lions and the Rams. With a strong defense led by superstar cornerback Patrick Peterson, this team has weapons on both sides. Another well-rounded team, the Cardinals overall team quality votes them into the playoffs.
Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford and the Lions have had a good showing this year with a 7-4 record this year. With the return of Megatron, the Lions should have an even easier time winning. With the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL, the Lions have been good at keeping opponents from scoring a lot of points. Megatron’s potential for future huge games and the defense’s continued success votes this team into the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins: A big surprise this year has been the Dolphins. Tannehill turned around his performance and started playing well. In addition, Brent Grimes and the Dolphins defense has managed to force many turnovers over the past weeks. The defensive ability of the Dolphins votes them into the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals: If Andy Dalton can keep it together this team has a great chance of doing well and making it to the playoffs. With AJ Green and breakout wide receiver star Mohamed Sanu, the Bengals have more than enough talent to have success. The offensive capability of this team mixed with a strong defense votes this team into the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs: With Jamaal Charles, the potential for success heightens every performance. With a fantastic running game and strong defense this team can definitely have further season and playoff success. Jamaal Charles votes this team into the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck has put up historic numbers for the season. Also with excellent playmaking from T.Y. Hilton this team is a strong offensive threat. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense votes this team into the playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys: Despite his back injury Tony Romo wasted little time in returning to winning. A mediocre team last year, the Cowboys have been anything but this year. An impressive defense that blew away expectations and Dez Bryant being awesome votes this team into the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles: Despite having to deal with Mark Sanchez for a few weeks, the Eagles should be able to recover when Foles comes back. With breakout wide receiver Jeremy Maclin having an amazing season and strong special teams showing almost every week, the offensive capability of this team votes them into the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers has had one of the best seasons of his life. His immense talent helps wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have great games consistently. This powerhouse offense votes this team into the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons: Despite not even having a positive record, the Falcons lead their division. Once again this season the Falcons have fallen behind expectations as they continue to struggle on the defensive side. Their position in the division votes them into the playoffs.