With eight weeks already in the books, it's time to have a look over each team and grade their performances throughout the first half of the NFL season.
New York Jets
Where do you start with the Jets? Heading into this season there was some optimism swirling around New York. With a new head coach in Adam Gase, the acquisition of pro bowl running back LeVeon Bell, quarterback Sam Darnold entering his second season and a defence led by Jamal Adams, playoffs seemed a possibility for the Jets. However, it only took 1 week before things started to fall apart. Quarterback Sam Darnold was diagnosed with Mononucleosis and missed the next 4 games. But even with his return, the Jets has still looked like a defeated football team. Their only win against the Cowboys being far and away their only highlight thus far. In saying that, the Jets do have some favourable matchups in the back half of the season, perhaps they can build toward next season.
With the preseason controversy of Antonio Brown, the Raiders seemed to be heading into this season with very little offensive potency. Quarterback Derek Carr has done an ok job to keep things rolling in head coach Jon Gruden's offense. They've managed a surprise win against the impressive Indianapolis Colts, yet cannot manage to string multiple performances together. Still, Raiders fans would be happy with the 3-4 start. They are a work in progress and seem to be trending upward.
Last weeks victory over the Bills was a season saver for the Eagles. Fractures within the locker room were starting to rear their ugly head, thankfully for the Eagles though, nothing fixes problems quite like winning. Quarterback Carson Wentz has come under fire for his lack of leadership throughout the season, with former players speaking out about the quarterback. His performance against the Bills however was a gutsy one, he displayed great fight to come away with the win for his team. With injured players close to returning, the Eagles would like to maintain some consistency within their starting side for the back half of the season. It's been a slow start, but don't write them off yet.
Losing veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season, in week 2, came as a cruel shock to the Steelers and any sort of playoff hopes seemed to be well and truly buried. Replacement quarterback Mason Rudolph has struggled to get the most out of the offense, only averaging 21.4 points per game. Defensively the Steelers are strong, especially since acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins a few weeks ago. The defence can keep them in most games, but can the offense do the rest?
San Fransisco 49ers
The only other team to be undefeated alongside the New England Patriots at this point of the season. The 49ers have been the biggest surprise packets so far this NFL season. Key pre-season additions of Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and number 2 overall pick in this years draft, Nick Bosa have brought intensity to this 49ers side. Along with this, head coach Kyle Shanahan has been brilliant in his scheming and game planing. The 49ers are very good in all aspects of the game, if injury luck can stay on their side, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can continue to show growth, they will go very close to the Super Bowl.
Led by MVP style play by quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have gotten themselves to 6-2 and remain within touching distance of divisional rivals, San Fransisco. They've managed to win some close games, which is always a sign of a good team. Considering how difficult it is for opposing teams when they play in Seattle, it has been a surprise to see that the Seahawks are undefeated away from home so far this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Jameis Winston experiment is still yet to record a decisive conclusion. At times he can be great, other times he can be very very bad. Head coach Bruce Arians was brought out of retirement to see if he could find the secret to consistent quarterback play for Winston. So far, he is yet to do it. Unfortunately for Winston, he is getting little help from his defence, even with the addition of former Jets head coach, Todd Bowles as co-ordinator.
Mediocrity has been the case for the Titans ever since drafting quarterback Marcus Mariota, so their midseason record of 4-4 is entirely fitting. The Titans did replace Mariota with Ryan Tannehill in the hopes of giving a jolt to the stagnant offense. The Titans defence is underrated, they constantly put in every week, unfortunately for Titans fans, the offense just haven't been able to score enough points.
Dan Snyder, please just sell the team. Everything that is wrong with the Redskins starts from the top. Your fans are begging for a change, your players refuse to play for this organisation, coaches come here to die, do something for the poor folks in Washington. There's not much to say about the on-field performances from the Redskins, the team sometimes puts up a fight, but not nearly regularly enough.