NFL Midseason Report: A Look Across the League


Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs find themselves atop the AFC West. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The first 12 weeks of the 2022 NFL season have come and gone, and a lot has been learned about the 32 teams in the league. There have been some massive surprises as well as some massive disappointments to start the year in both conferences.

The AFC East has been the strongest and most consistent division in the conference. The Miami Dolphins at 8-3 hold the division tiebreaker over the rival Buffalo Bills. After some quarterback controversy in the middle of the season with Tua Tagovalioa having a series of concussions, the Dolphins have cemented themselves as true contenders. The Bills have had some key victories over the Chiefs and Ravens. However, injuries could prevent the preseason Super Bowl favorites from accomplishing their goal. The New York Jets are one of the surprise teams of the season, boasting an impressive 7-4 record. Carried by its young stars on defense and possibly finding a solution at quarterback with Mike White, the Jets will look to continue to turn heads during the stretch run of the season. Last are the New England Patriots at 6-5. Second-year quarterback Mac Jones has regressed, but head coach Bill Belichick has had his defense looking like one of the best in the league at times, making them a potential seventh seed sneak into the playoffs. 

After a 2021 season that had each of the AFC North teams putting up eight in the wins column, it has not been the same competitive division this year. It has been another up-and-down season for the Ravens, with one week having them looking like a Super Bowl contender and Lamar Jackson a potential MVP, and the next not being able to consistently put offensive drives together. This roller coaster has landed them at 7-4 and atop the division, for now. Right on their heels are last year’s AFC champion Bengals, also with a 7-4 record, but without the tiebreaker. The early offensive line struggles have died down, allowing star Joe Burrow to flourish once again. Along with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase coming back from injury, the Bengals are in a prime position to steal the division and make another deep run. Both the Browns and Steelers lie at the bottom of the division looking towards next year.  

The AFC South looks about the same as it has the last few years. The Tennessee Titans hold the top record at 7-4, holding the keys to their own destiny. After an 0-2 start to the season, the Titans rattled off seven wins in their last nine games on the backs of running back Derrick Henry. Midseason hire Jeff Saturday has the Indianapolis Colts settled at the number two spot in the division at 4-6-1, in a clear rebuilding year. In the back end of the division are the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans at 4-7 and 1-9-1, still struggling to find an identity. 

The AFC West has been nowhere close to the juggernaut division that it was hyped up to be at the start of the season. Patrick Mahomes has his Kansas City Chiefs in a comfortable position at the top with a 9-2 record, the best in the entire AFC. The Los Angeles Chargers have been mediocre, finding themselves at 6-5 and second in the division. The two disappointments have been the Las Vegas Raiders and Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos which see them riding the back of the bus in the division.

The NFC East has been the best division in all of football. At the lead of that division are the Philadelphia Eagles with a 10-1 record. Undefeated up until their week 10 loss to the Commanders, the Eagles have looked like the best team almost every week. Right behind them are the Dallas Cowboys at 8-3; their defense was able to carry them to wins when Dak Prescott was out. Since his return, the Cowboys have looked like one of the better teams in football and a potential threat to the Eagles. Third in the division are the New York Football Giants at 7-4. Some early season one-score wins have put the Giants in a prime position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Last but certainly not least in the division are the Washington Commanders with a 7-5 record. Holding a record that would be first in the NFC South, the Commanders led by Taylor Heinicke hope to sneak into the playoffs or potentially even leap to the top of the division. 

The NFC North this season has finally seen the downfall of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. After a Thanksgiving defeat of the Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings are in front at 9-2. The purple and gold have looked like contenders for much of the season with their only two losses coming to the Eagles and Cowboys, but with the division in their grasp, they hope to put themselves in prime position for a playoff push. Sitting second in the division is the Detroit Lions at 4-7. Head coach Dan Campbell has improved his team since last season’s three wins but still is a ways away from contention. Third and fourth in the division are the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears at 4-8 and 3-9, respectively. Aaron Rodgers clearly does not own the division anymore as the Packers are spiraling after losing five in a row midseason. Justin Fields has been the lone bright spot for the Bears this season as he looks like someone that can be built around.

The NFC South has been absolutely abysmal this year, with no one in the division holding a winning record after 12 weeks. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in first with a 5-6 record after a disappointing loss to the Browns this past weekend. Age has finally caught up with Brady, but the rest of the division is just as bad leaving his team in first once again. The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers are all in contention for the number one spot as the Falcons are just half a game back at 5-7, with the Saints and Panthers both at 4-8. 

The NFC West has almost been as disappointing as the AFC West. With the mid-season acquisition of Christian McCaffrey, the San Francisco 49ers are in first with a 7-4 record. The Seattle Seahawks and the surprising emergence of Geno Smith find their team in second with a 6-5 record, while the Arizona Cardinals and last season’s Super Bowl winners Los Angeles Rams round out the bottom with 4-8 and 3-8 records.