Where is every NFL team going to finish?

This is the midway point in the season, and I’ve decided to write a completely different article from what I had planned (and I won’t delete everything by accident this time). This is an article about how every NFL team will finish in the standings.

Arizona Cardinals

Projected finish: 13-3

PNI1028-spt cards

The Cardinals are one of, if not the most surprising team in the league this year. Everyone expected the fearsome NFC West to be dominated by Super Bowl contenders Seattle and San Francisco, but so far, both of those teams have been lukewarm and not quite as dominant as last year. They both sit at 4-3, while Arizona sits comfortably atop the division with a 6-1 record. If Bruce Arians can keep it up the good coaching, and Carson Palmer can play good, efficient ball without mistakes, we might see the Cardinals rise up to be the first team ever to play in the Super Bowl, winning only their 5th division title since 1965.

(Remaining) Wins: Rams, Lions, Seahawks, Falcons, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers

(Remaining) Losses: Cowboys, Chiefs

Atlanta Falcons

Projected finish: 4-12

Atlanta Falcons v Baltimore Ravens

Boy, remember when the Falcons were 2-1? That was fun. Well, Atlanta has plummeted to five straight losses, including an orchestration-level choke against Detroit that saw their 21-0 halftime lead evaporate. Falcons also allowed the Vikings to explode for 41 points, and the Falcons don’t seem to have very many chances for wins left. They play a tough schedule that looked easy in the pre-season, but now Atlanta must go up against teams like Aaron Rodger’s Packers and the nearly-robotic Cardinals.

Wins: Buccaneers, Panthers

Losses: Cardinals, Packers, Steelers, Saints, Panthers, Browns

Baltimore Ravens

Projected finish: 11-5

Steve Smith

The Ravens are a tough, bruising team in an even more bruising division. Although the Bengals and Steelers are the 1st and 2nd place finishers in my table, the Ravens are a very good team. Steve Smith is dominating the league, despite being 95 years old, and Joe Flacco is playing at a higher level than he did during the Ravens’ recent Super Bowl victory. The defense is playing tough, with rookie C.J. Mosley coming into his own on the defense. In all, the Ravens are a good, winning team, but they don’t have enough to pull out a division title or a playoff berth.

Wins: Steelers, Saints, Titans, Jaguars, Texans, Browns

Losses: Chargers, Dolphins

Buffalo Bills

Projected finish: 10-6

Sammy Watkins

What a difference some fresh talent and a change at quarterback makes. The large price Buffalo payed for Sammy Watkins back in May doesn’t seem so large anymore, as Watkins has emerged as the premier receiver of the rookie class. The Bills aren’t a sexy team, that’s for sure, and they do have Kyle Orton at quarterback, who is fine as a temporary solution, but absolutely not a man who will take you to a deep playoff run. If Buffalo can find a stable quarterback (e.g. not the likes of Orton and the Akili Smith-like E.J. Manuel), we could be seeing a perennial playoff contender emerge in Western New York.

Wins: Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, Browns, Raiders

Losses: Broncos, Packers, Patriots

Carolina Panthers

Projected finish: 7-8-1

Cam Newton

This was kind of a toughie. The strong finish of the Panthers last year, combined with the horrid NFC South makes for an interesting schedule for Carolina. Although they currently sit at 3-4-1, I think the Panthers can eek out 5 more wins and finish a touch above .500 for a small shot at the playoffs thanks to the unusually weak division. Ron Rivera is unlikely to pull out a winning season this year, thanks to the poor offensive line play and luminary receivers with names like Philly Brown. Luke Kuechly is running what seems to be a one-man show on defense, and the Panthers face some tough opponents. I try to reason with myself and say “Give them one more win, come on”, but I just can’t.

Wins: Falcons, Vikings, Buccaneers, Falcons

Losses: Saints, Eagles, Saints, Browns

Chicago Bears

Projected Finish: 6-10

Washington Redskins v Chicago Bears

I guess the losing stench of the Cubs is infectious, other that or it’s just emanating from the depressing Bears. Jay Cutler has been playing terrible, lazy football, while the secondary is being gashed like…well, “the 2014 Bears’ secondary” as people now can say. Matt Forte is on pace to break the season record for receptions by a running back, so that’s a plus, but Cutler and head coach Marc Trestman’s fate seem tied together with a jump rope. In all, the Bears can beat up on Minnesota, but other than that, I only see one other win in their future.

Wins: Vikings, Buccaneers, Vikings 

Losses: Packers, Lions, Cowboys, Saints, Lions

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected finish: 11-4-1

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a tough, smart team who have an honest chance of beating anyone provided they play their best ball. Finally regaining their composure after their embarrassment at the hands of the Patriots, Cincinnati is now out to prove one thing: This isn’t the same old Bungles. Cincinnati has a forgiving schedule in the second half of the season, and can secure a division title with ease if they can beat Pittsburgh.

Wins: Jaguars, Browns, Saints, Texans, Buccaneers, Steelers, Browns

Losses: Broncos, Steelers

Cleveland Browns

Projected finish: 7-9

Brian Hoyer

The Browns have fallen on bad luck more than anything this year. Mike Pettine has done a fabulous coaching job, turning around a perennial 4-win team into a legitimate playoff contender. The problem being, there is a rabid quarterback controversy raging in Cleveland, and they face the misfortune of playing in a dogfight of a division in the AFC North.

Wins: Buccaneers, Texans, Falcons, Panthers

Losses: Bengals, Bills, Colts, Bengals, Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Projected finish: 13-3

Sports Day

The Cowboys are a huge surprise this year, as many expected their defense to doom them to a sub .500 disaster, but the Cowboys have, in essence, switched roles completely with the Falcons. Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant are being compared to this era’s Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. I think that’s complete guff, but that’s just me. The players nowadays are who they are, not legendary Hall of Famers. However, the Cowboys are playing at the level of those early 90’s Dallas teams, and anyone who says they aren’t a legitimate NFC contender is either an Eagles fan or just refusing to accept the facts. Or both.

Wins: Cardinals, Jaguars, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Eagles, Redskins

Losses: Colts

Denver Broncos

Projected finish: 15-1

Peyton Manning Broncos

The Broncos are playing at an otherworldly level right now, after a slightly shaky start with close games against admittedly good teams. Honestly, it’s almost impossible to see the Broncos losing another game to any team besides the Patriots, and I think they can win against them. Unless one of their future opponents pulls off a massive upset, Denver is looking at a 15-1 season.

Wins: Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Chiefs, Bills, Chargers, Bengals, Raiders

Losses: None

Detroit Lions

Projected finish: 11-5

Matthew Stafford

Detroit has finally turned the corner in the eyes of many fans, in Detroit and around the country, and they may be right, but a difficult schedule will test them. The Cardiac Cats are coming off a miraculous comeback against the Falcons, and they have a tremendous confidence to them. Even with some unfortunate injuries, Detroit proved they could win without key players. The Lions have some easy opponents and some tough ones, and even though they might not win their division thanks to the red-hot Packers, the Lions are almost guaranteed a playoff spot.

Wins: Dolphins, Bears, Buccaneers, Vikings, Bears

Losses: Cardinals, Patriots, Packers

Green Bay Packers

Projected finish: 12-4

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has reason to grin, as he’s had an unbelievable season so far that’s propelled him into the MVP conversation. Rodgers has thrown 19 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions, and he can consistently lead the Packers to victory each week. They face some tough opponents, but if Green Bay plays their football, they can beat nearly anyone.

Wins: Bears, Vikings, Patriots, Falcons, Bears, Buccaneers, Lions

Losses: Eagles

Houston Texans

Projected finish: 6-10

Arian Foster

The Texans have definitely showed improvement as of late, which isn’t hard to do considering they lost 14 straight games last year. Although the defense is strong and Arian Foster is carrying the offense, Ryan Fitzpatrick is mistake-prone and is never a solution, whether it be for a franchise quarterback or a temporary duct-tape type situation. The Texans are unsure of which one of those this season is, and I can’t put my faith in them to win many games, especially not with their opponents rising up to the challenge. However, I do pick Tennessee to upset them in their Week 13 matchup.

Wins: Jaguars, Jaguars

Losses: Eagles, Browns, Bengals, Colts, Ravens, Titans

Indianapolis Colts

Projected finish: 13-3

Andrew Luck 2

I’ll be honest with you, I really dislike the Colts. They’re a one man show, with a running back who can’t hang on to the ball, receivers who can’t catch and an aging defense. But hey, they have a good punter, that’s a plus. And they also have Andrew Luck, who is on pace to throw for 44 touchdowns and break 5,000 yards in just his 3rd season in the league. Despite all the other deficiencies, Indianapolis can win against almost anybody, and even though they gave up 51 points against the Steelers, who could have stopped Big Ben that night?

Wins: Everyone left on their schedule

Losses: None

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected finish: 2-14

Blake Bortles

Man, are the Jaguars a mess this season. They’re playing for the future, which makes knocking their play very hard. Blake Bortles can’t stop turning the ball over, Toby Gerhart is playing the worst football I’ve ever seen by a professional running back, and the defense is ranked 25th in the league. Their second half schedule is nearly impossible to win against. Plus, their helmets look like vomit. Other than that, the Jags are doing pretty well. They don’t face anyone the rest of the season that they can beat, except the Titans, but Jacksonville will be a playoff team by 2020, I promise.

Wins: Titans

Losses: Bengals, Cowboys, Colts, Giants, Texans, Ravens, Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected finish: 8-8

Chiefs

Kansas City isn’t as good as everyone says. All but one of their wins have been against either bad teams (St. Louis) or teams having an off day (Miami, New England), and they lost to Tennessee by 16 points. That’s unforgivable. They might have Jamaal Charles and a revitalized Alex Smith, but they won’t finish above .500 this year.

Wins: Jets, Seahawks, Raiders, Raiders

Losses: Bills, Broncos, Cardinals, Steelers, Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Projected finish: 8-8

Jarvis Landry

As a Miami fan, it hurts to say that the Dolphins are going to get brutalized next month. The Dolphins are an incredibly erratic team, with wins over the Patriots, and playoff-esque games against the Raiders and Bears. However, sometimes the team never bothers to show up, like the Kansas City and Buffalo games. If the Dolphins can get a win against the Chargers, I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but it’s unlikely. The Bills will probably get another win, and there’s no chance against Denver. However, we do play New York twice, so there’s a possibility to eek out a 9-7 season if we’re lucky. But for now, the season is down, thanks to a deadly November schedule, in which our next four opponents are a combined 22-9.

Wins: Jets, Ravens, Vikings, Jets

Losses: Chargers, Lions, Bills, Broncos, Patriots

Minnesota Vikings

Projected finish: 5-11

Teddy Bridgewater

The Vikings are a sad mess of a football team, consistently ending up in the “Wins” column in this article so far. The Vikings’ future is hazy, and I can’t see them winning any games against teams that are absolutely dreadful. Teddy Bridgewater looks to be a good, stable quarterback…in a few years. Right now, he’s a sack machine, but that isn’t completely his fault, with a completely dead offensive line and Adrian Peterson being thrown in the pokey. This is simply a rebuilding year for the upper mid-west.

Wins: Redskins, Jets

Losses: Bears, Packers, Panthers, Lions, Dolphins, Bears

New England Patriots

Projected finish: 12-4

Tom Brady

The Patriots are kind of like a tiny, showy frou-frou dog. Everyone looks down on them and loathes them, but everyone knows that if they try to compete against them, they’ll lose. The Patriots sputtered early, and everyone was breaking their legs to jump off the New England bandwagon. Well, they’ve rattled off four straight victories in which Tom Brady hasn’t turned the ball over once. Upcoming is the game of the year, in which Brady and Peyton Manning might be playing against eachother for the final time. New England looks like a sturdy, stable team, and they’ll most likely be sitting atop the AFC East come season’s end.

Wins: Lions, Packers, Chargers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills

Losses: Broncos, Colts

New Orleans Saints

Projected finish: 8-8

Drew Brees

The Saints have been the Dolphins’ NFC counterpart, rocking an opponent one week but not bothering to show up the next. The Saints had to take the Buccaneers to overtime to win, while scoring 44 points against Aaron Rodgers’ machine. New Orleans currently sits at 3-4, and doesn’t really look like a playoff team, much less the Super Bowl pick that everyone fell in love with in the offseason. The Saints play some easy ones, and can reach .500, but I don’t believe they can squeeze out one or two extra wins to advance to the playoffs.

Wins: Panthers, Panthers, Bears, Falcons, Buccaneers

Losses: 49ers, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

New York Giants

Projected finish: 7-9

NFL: Washington Redskins at New York Giants

The New York Giants were in the spotlight at season’s start, and now have faded into virtual disappearance from the league. Coming off a bye, Eli Manning will have to face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offensive onslaught, while having to deal with a shaky offensive line. The G-Men look much sharper and focused this year than they did the last, but still don’t look like they have enough left in the tank for a postseason run.

Wins: Jaguars, Titans, Redskins, Rams

Losses: Colts, Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys, Eagles

New York Jets

Projected finish: 2-14

Jets vs Steelers

Jeez. The Jets are a quivering mess of a football team, with no coaching, direction, quarterbacks, offensive line, or…offense, really. The defense can only take so much, but when the team is this poor in terms of talent, a disaster will take place. See: Jets, New York. Coming off an 8-8 season, the Jets look destined to be in the top three in next year’s draft, on their way to their worst finish since 1996.

Wins: Titans

Losses: Chiefs, Steelers, Bills, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Dolphins

Oakland Raiders

Projected finish: 1-15

Derek Carr 2

So, we go from the second most pitiful team in the league to the most pitiful, the Oakland Raiders. Oakland has no talent on either side of the ball, and are being led by an interim coach. After losing winnable games against Cleveland and San Diego, Oakland virtually has one more chance for a victory: St. Louis. If they lose to the Rams, the Raiders are going 0-16. No question in my mind. For that, Oakland must take advantage of their only opportunity to avoid taking place in a section of the record books they don’t want to be in.

Wins: Rams

Losses: Seahawks, Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, 49ers, Chiefs, Bills, Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles

Projected finish: 10-6

Philadelphia Eagles v Oakland Raiders

I don’t understand all the hype around the Eagles. Someone please tell me what makes this team so special. They have a fast offense, whoop-de-dang-doo, but they don’t look anywhere near as smooth and focused as they were last year. The defense makes the team lose, and often times the offense has trouble pulling its starter cord to rev up again. I guess the excitement stems from having Napoleon Dynamite be your quarterback, but other than that, what’s the excitement? They’re a winning team, but not a standout.

Wins: Texans, Panthers, Titans, Redskins, Giants

Losses: Packers, Cowboys, Seahawks, Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected finish: 11-5

Broethlis Limburger

Wow, what a game Big Ben had. Those bumblebee uniforms did him good. The Steelers passed the litmus test against a very, very good team, but that doesn’t mean they’re among the NFL’s elite. I’ll remind you that Pittsburgh handed Tampa Bay their only win so far, and also lost to the Browns by 21 points. They also had a very nice comeback win against Houston, but that’s all we really think of about their season. The Steelers are (in my mind) the wild card team of the NFC North, and they will finish with a 11-5 record.

Wins: Ravens, Jets, Titans, Saints, Bengals, Falcons

Losses: Chiefs, Bengals

St. Louis Rams

Projected finish: 3-13

Austin Davis

Who thinks St. Louis is going anywhere this year? Seriously, who? The issue may be that St. Louis isn’t a terrible team, everyone is just really good, but I think it’s both. Austin Davis isn’t going to take you anywhere, and to anyone who says he can become the next Brett Favre or Kurt Warner is downright lying to you. The defense is terrible, the running game is stagnant and the team has a tendency to choke away leads, big or small (17-0 against San Francisco, 21-6 against Seattle later became 28-26). The Rams are almost going to win no games in their next 8, and are my pick to supply the Raiders with their lone victory this season.

Wins: Redskins, Raiders

Losses: 49ers, Cardinals, Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Cardinals, Giants, Seahawks

San Diego Chargers

Projected finish: 10-6

NFL: New York Giants at San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have been an impressive team, losing streak aside, as they have a very complete, well-rounded team. Their front four is creating pressure, their pass defense is excellent, Philip Rivers is having a career year, Branden Oliver is running roughshod and Antonio Gates can’t be covered (can he ever?). San Diego has a chance to regain their composure as an AFC contender with a chance to beat the Dolphins in Miami, a place where they haven’t won since 1982. The Chargers play in a competitive division in the AFC West, and will have to fight hard against the Chiefs for the wild card spot. Otherwise, San Diego looks set for a deep playoff run.

Wins: Dolphins, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Chiefs

Losses: Patriots, Broncos, 49ers

San Francisco 49ers

Projected finish: 11-5

Colin Kaepernick

I’ve been unable to shake the fact that the 49ers are only one game over .500 thus far, something many have been unable to do as well. San Francisco is supposed to be the NFC’s trendiest Super Bowl pick, not wavering at a mediocre 4-3! Well, San Fran has a chance to turn its season around with a series of games against opponents who are much weaker than them. The NFC West isn’t as tough as it was last year, but it still has some luster left.

Wins: Rams, Saints, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Seahawks, Chargers

Losses: Seahawks, Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks

Projected finish: 9-7

Russell Wilson

Despite a dominant showing in Week 1 in which the Seahawks destroyed the Packers, the defending champs have struggled to reach above .500 all season long. The Legion of Boom has now become the Legion of Ho-Hum, and the offense has struggled in recent weeks, particularly against an average Panthers defense. If the Seahawks can take advantage of some weak opponents on their schedule, they can finish with a winning campaign, and if the dice fall the right way, a playoff spot.

Wins: Raiders, Giants, 49ers, Eagles, Rams

Losses: Chiefs, Cardinals, 49ers, Cardinals

Tampa Bay Jokeaneers  Buccaneers

Projected finish: 1-15

Lovie Smith

A lot of people will jump on me right away and say that it’s virtually impossible to have two 1-15 teams in the same year, but the Super Bowl teams of 2002 certainly make it look plausible. Lovie Smith is completely out of his depth, the quarterbacks are awful, the running game is one of the worst in the league (averaging less than 3 yards per carry), and the defense is being beaten like a rug, employing a Cover 2 scheme but being unable to rush the passer (only registering 10 sacks all year), giving up 31.9 points per game. The team is completely lost, and if you look at their schedule, the only feasible team they can beat is Washington, which is extremely unlikely. With this, the Yuckaneers will go 1-15, looking more and more like their teams of the mid-80s rather than BleacherReport’s projected NFC South champion. (2013 offseason pick, naturally.)

Wins: None

Losses: Browns, Falcons, Redskins, Bears, Bengals, Lions, Panthers, Packers, Saints

Tennessee Titans

Projected finish: 3-13

Charlie Whitehurst

The Titans entered 2014 as the NFL’s most nondescript team.

They’ve filled that expectation big-time.

The Titans are an absolute mess, with nothing shiny about their team apart from some standout rookie talent (Taylor Lewan, Zack Mettenberger). They form the terrible twins of the AFC South along with the Jaguars, and can’t win to save their lives. In fact, Jacksonville almost beat them in their earlier matchup, but Tennessee blocked their last second field goal. The Titans also blew a 28-3 lead to the Browns, gift-wrapping them the largest road comeback in NFL history.

Tennessee is a hopeless team, but will be knocked down in the draft order due to some truly horrific teams this year.

Wins: Texans

Losses: Ravens, Steelers, Eagles, Giants, Jets, Jaguars, Colts

Washington Redskins

Projected finish: 4-12

Kirk Cousins

The Redskins are back to where they were last year. No talent, no coaching, no hope. Another season to be written off in the nation’s capital. Kirk Cousins filled in nicely…for one game. Robert Griffin III, Ki-Jana Carter’s lost relative, is making a comeback, and I’m just anticipating another injury that will sideline him for another 6 weeks. RG III is a draft bust, plain and simple. Anyone who says otherwise in Washington is simply in denial. He can’t take the team anywhere, and he is nowhere near the player that cut up the league in 2012 after his 7,695 injuries. Washington is chasing its tail this season, and should hope to regain some respect in 2015.

Wins: Buccaneers

Losses: Vikings, 49ers, Colts, Rams, Giants, Eagles, Cowboys

Final Standings

  1. Denver Broncos 15-1
  2. Arizona Cardinals 13-3
  3. Dallas Cowboys 13-3
  4. Indianapolis Colts 13-3
  5. New England Patriots 12-4
  6. Green Bay Packers 12-4
  7. Cincinnati Bengals 11-4-1
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
  9. Detroit Lions 11-5
  10. San Francisco 49ers 11-5
  11. Baltimore Ravens 11-5
  12. San Diego Chargers 10-6
  13. Buffalo Bills 10-6
  14. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6
  15. Seattle Seahawks 9-7
  16. Miami Dolphins 8-8
  17. Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
  18. New Orleans Saints 8-8
  19. Carolina Panthers 7-8-1
  20. Cleveland Browns 7-9
  21. New York Giants 7-9
  22. Houston Texans 6-10
  23. Chicago Bears 6-10
  24. Minnesota Vikings 5-11
  25. Atlanta Falcons 4-12
  26. Washington Redskins 4-12
  27. St. Louis Rams 3-13
  28. Tennessee Titans 3-13
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-14
  30. New York Jets 2-14
  31. Oakland Raiders 1-15
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-15
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