At the midway point of the season, we have learned Adrian Peterson's ACL is just fine, Andrew Luck was the right choice at #1 in the draft, and the Bears defense is playing defense and forcing turnovers like it's 2006. Here are my Power Rankings at the midway point of the season
1.) Atlanta Falcons- 8-0-The defense is improved and the offense has taken a step forward, in conjunction with the ascension of possible league MVP Matt Ryan, who has led his team in close games, blowouts and all contests in between. Sad thing is, for the Falcons, a good regular season won't cut it, this team will be judged on it's playoff performance.
2.) Chicago Bears- 7-1-The defense is playing at a championship level and has forced a ridiculous 28 turnovers in the team's first 8 games. They also rank 3rd in the league in sacks with 25. The depth on the defensive line makes them a scary team with the potential to win a Super Bowl. Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall also is looking as good as advertised. Once the rest of the offense begins to play with some consistency, this team will definitely be in the Super Bowl, book it.
3.) Green Bay Packers-6-3- The early season breakdown of Aaron Rodgers was greatly exaggerated. He has bounced back in a big way, starting with his 6 touchdown assault of the Texans in week 6 against the then-top-ranked defense. He is now at 25 touchdown passes and the offense is starting to look like it did during the Super Bowl run and the following regular season. The league should be scared, the Pack is back!
4.) Houston Texans-7-1-The Texans defense and rushing attack is allowing the team to have consistent success winning games. This week they and the Bears will provide a stiff test for each team.
5.) San Francisco 49ers 6-2- The Niners defense and running game are as dynamic as ever. The rushing offense especially is being run with such creativity and effectiveness. The offense could be the one drawback for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Will Alex Smith be able to carry the team when the defense has an inevitable bad day? Who knows, but that question could very well determine the Niners' season, especially if that bad day by the D comes in the playoffs.