Mid Season NFL Top Five Teams
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0):
The Steelers did squeak by a beat down Cowboys team, but undefeated is undefeated. Their defense is fifth in the NFL, allowing just 20.1 points per game. T.J. Watt, Stephon Tuitt, and Bud Dupree have an astounding 19 sacks already, which is more than half of the teams in the league. All together, Pittburgh has an NFL-leading 32 sacks. The defense as a whole has taken the ball from opposing offenses 15 times, second to only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers are averaging the fifth most points per game (29.4) in the league. Their wide receiver trio of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson is one of the best in the game. Not to mention James Connor or Ben Roethlisberger at RB and QB, both of whom have been incredibly solid this year. Big Ben currently has the third best QB rating of his career,
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1):
Travis Kelce is third in the league in receiving yards. Tyreek Hill leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is fourth in the league in rushing yards. Patrick Mahomes has 21 touchdowns compared to just 1 interception. This offense, as predicted, is simply unbelievable. They really don't even need to run the ball when they don't want to. In addition, compared to the rest of the players at his position (especially with George Kittle being out), Travis Kelce is the most dominant player in the game, and that is just a fact.
The Chiefs defense might allow a decent amount of yards per game, but just like their offense, their best trait is turnovers. They have taken the ball away from opposing offenses 14 times this year, which ties them for fourth in the league. That, combined with only four turnovers on offense this season is a recipe for success.
3. New Orleans Saints (6-2):
Through eight games, Alvin Kamara has an NFL leading 1,036 total yards. He is a legitimate MVP contender. The Saints moved to 6-2 this past weekend after demolishing The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-3. They have done that even with superstar wideout Michael Thomas playing in just two games and having eight receptions for 68 yards and no touchdowns. As evidenced by their victory over the Bucs (Thomas' first game back since week 1), Thomas adds a lot to this offense even if he isn't lighting up the stat sheet.
On defense, Trey Hendrickson has been a nice surprise, as the former third round pick already has 7.5 sacks. The Saints defense doesn't force many turnovers, but they also don't allow many yards. Their 25 points per game allowed sits them right above the league average. New Orleans has now won five straight games, and although many of those have been nail-biters, two wins versus Tampa Bay could prove to be crucial down the road in terms of tie breakers.
4. Baltimore Ravens (6-2):
Lamar Jackson's 25-5 record tied Dan Marino for the best start to a career by a QB. This year though, he currently sits 27th in the league in passing yards. Playing like that will win you games, but it is not going to win you tough games, as evidenced by the Ravens two losses to the Chiefs and Steelers. They are the best rushing team in the league, and I feel like a broken record saying this, but they need more balance if they want to be able to succeed in the postseason. They have some good weapons -- Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews -- but they just aren't using them enough. The fact is, Lamar needs to be better.
This defense definitely has the capability to win some games for Baltimore. They have given up just 17.8 points per game, which ranks them first in the NFL. One of the things that makes them so dangerous is their depth on the defensive line. Thirteen players on the Ravens have gotten at least half a sack this year. In total, they have 24 sacks, sixth most in the league.
5. Buffalo Bills (7-2):
No longer are the days where Sean McDermott's defenses carry his offense. This offense is flat out explosive, and it all starts with Josh Allen. He is already only 500 yards and a touchdown away from his passing totals from last season. Last season the Bills relied on their rushing game, this year that is not the case. A large reason for that is Stefon Diggs, who leads the league in receiving yards. Overall this is a strong offense, but they still need to prove it night in and night out.
The other side of the ball for Buffalo has been disappointing. Last season they trailed only the Patriots in points allowed. This year, they have given up the fourteenth most points per game. They are still getting to the QB and taking the ball away at a good clip, but consistency has been a major issue. They are also blitzing at a high rate (36%), which has allowed a lot of passing yards against. They've also had a tough time stopping the run, especially in the red zone. The bottom line for the Bills is that they have a lot of potential, but will need to put together strong performances from both sides of the ball to win in the postseason.