Thoughts on the 1st half of the NFL season.

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 9, and previewed all week 10 games including the Browns/Steelers.

AFC East

Patriots – No question Tom Brady is playing at a very high level. The question is will issues in the D backfield cost them a Super Bowl?

Bills – New coaching staff, solid D but the same old problem—No QB.

Jets – No question the D is one of the very best. They have the same issue as the Bills.

Dolphins – The team quit on their former coach and this team is headed for a total rework.

AFC North

Bengals – QB Andy Dalton has played very well but can they win a playoff game? No.

Steelers – Injuries have decimated this team but the D backfield has never been worse.

Ravens – The only thing that will save HC Harbaugh’s job is the super bowl win.

Browns – It is time to blow up the organization again. The sooner they fire GM Ray Farmer the better the 2016 draft will be.

AFC South

Colts – If things weren’t bad enough Andrew Luck is hurt. The D is pathetic and now the QB is 85 years old.

Texans – Once they stopped flipping coins to decide which QB to start the team has started to win. The D has always been solid. The Colts had better watch out.

Jaguars – Blake Bortles is playing well but needs more weapons. The D is a disaster and needs to be upgraded.

Titans – They drafted a QB and have 2 legitimate starters. They need to trade 1 to get more players.

AFC West

Broncos – Peyton Manning has fallen and he can’t get up. He is clearly not the QB he used to be. The D has saved them often but will not get him to a Super Bowl win.

Raiders – HC Jack Del Rio has this team headed in the right direction. He has a QB and a couple of receivers. One more good draft will make this team very dangerous.

Chiefs – It was clear that KC would struggle on O but the D has disintegrated as well. Maybe the pass rushers’ wallets are slowing them down.

Chargers – Any team that has rumors of moving out of town is bound to be hurt. Phillip Rivers has carried this team on his back for years. This year he is getting even less help than in the past.

NFC East

Giants – Eli Manning is struggling without a run game and an O line in flux. The D needs to generate more pressure on the opposing QB but the injury to JPP has made that unlikely.

Eagles – Chip Kelly has made some strange moves collecting 2 RBS and a QB with serious injury histories. The high speed O will kill the D unless they can make 1st downs and hold the ball.

Redskins – This team is a dumpster fire and yet they are looking down at the Cowboys. They have no QB and the run game has gone south. The D has never been good.

Cowboys – Jerry Jones has no one to blame but himself. He thought either Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel could replace Tony Romo and keep the team winning. He was VERY wrong.

NFC North

Packers – The Panthers showed every team how to stop the Pack O—cover the receivers until the D line can sack the QB. The D has fallen off as well in the last 2 losses.

Vikings – The combination of Bridgewater and Peterson have the team in the hunt for a playoff spot. But the D is contributing by holding opponents to 17.5 ppg.

Bears – Cutler will be gone next year. Some coach will think they are the guy that can turn him into an superstar but they will be wrong.

Lions – “With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select…”

NFC South

Panthers – Newton is playing OK but is not an MVP candidate completing just 53.7% with 14TDS but 9 interceptions. The D has been outstanding allowing 20.6 ppg.

Falcons – They were undefeated until the O played road kill. It has always been the D that did them in.

Saints – Brees is doing all he can but has to wonder who’s side the D is on. The DC is a big part of the problem.

Buccaneers – Winston is learning that the NFL is not like the ACC. He will get it but it will take a while. The D needs more players like LB David.

NFC West

Cardinals – This team is a time bomb waiting for Carson Palmer to get hurt again. As long as he is healthy this team is a Super Bowl contender.

Rams – Foles is not the answer at QB but neither was Bradford. They have the RB in Gurley and the D. All they need now is the QB and some bigger WRS.

Seahawks – Russel Wilson has been sacked 85 times in 8 games despite his mobility. The O line is killing their chances to get back to the Super Bowl. The D has also given up leads late in games.

49ers – Kaepernick will be gone at the end of the season. Some coach will think they are the guy that can turn him into a star and they will be right. Ownership will be sorry they let their HC and QB leave.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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