NFL Mid-Season Rankings: Who is primed for a deep playoff run?

Updated: May 18

*Ratings Updated As Of Week 12

As we head into the final stretch of the NFL Season, let's take a look at each NFL team ranked by the Marked PPM Projection System.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 27

As of week 12 the steelers are 11-0 and on pace for the first undefeated regular season since Tom Brady’s Patriots in 2007. The pass rushing ability of the Steelers has allowed them to discomfort any team they've faced thus far. On the offensive side, the Steelers maintain a balance of skill through all positions. With an above average offensive line, 38 year old Ben Rothlisberger is able to sit back and gunsling to a young core of wide receivers including Juju Smith Schuster, Dionte Johnson, and Chase Claypool. While the Steelers hold themselves as the number one ranking, they have a road of uncertainty ahead of them. Most people discrediting the Steelers season heavily mention the strength of their schedule as the best team they've matched up against is the 6-5 Ravens . More recently Bud Dupree is facing a season ending injury, considering how important he was to this pass rushing defense its not unlikely to think this will heavily impact the Steelers chances at an undefeated season. Regardless, the Steelers are number one and have clinched a playoff position.

2. Kansas City Chiefs: 26.15

Coming off a superbowl win and phenomenal season, the Chiefs look to repeat. A high powered Andy Reid offense seems to be the perfect fit for generational talents like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill. As of week 12 the Chiefs are 10-1 with one loss to the Raiders. Despite the loss there wasn't much bad to say about the Chiefs performance, it was a fantastic game in which the Raiders just played better. With defensive studs like Frank Clark, Chris Jones, and Tyrann Matheiu the Chiefs defense is able to hold their own. With Patrick Mahomes being the lead candidate for MVP and the Chiefs lacking in weaknesses, I wouldn't be surprised if they repeated and last season's super bowl win was the beginning of a dynasty.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 25.51

Tom Brady’s move to Florida seems to be what the Bucs needed all along. Sitting at a 7-5 record the Buccaneers continue to push for the playoffs. An offense in which any wide receiver can produce a 100 yard game has proven enough for the Bucs to gain 7 wins. While their defense is ranked middle of the pack in 13, the buccaneers should attribute this to their skill in opponents. This team's path to superbowl is rough but their matchups in the regular season allow them to game plan adequately and work to Tom Brady's best attribute in preparation.

4. Los Angeles Rams: 20.07

The Rams defense once again proves to be a powerhouse in which most teams struggle with. Through week 12 the Rams are 7-4 with losses to the 49ers twice, the Dolphins, and the Bills. A defense that consists of Aaron Donald, debatably one of the best defensive players of all time, and an elite cornerback in Jalen Ramsey the Rams continue to dominate. Despite a questionable offense led by Jared Goff the Rams find themselves in good positioning for the playoffs. Some obstacles the Rams could face in the coming weeks is being able to pace with high scoring offenses.

5. New Orleans Saints: 16.28

The Saints continue to march towards the playoffs with an impressive 9-2 record. Despite obstacles of Michael Thomas’ absence for most the season, and the more recent injury of veteran Drew Brees the Saints continue to win. The defense deserves a lot of credit, specifically Cameron Jordan. Jordan continues to solidify himself a top defensive end in this league week after week disrupting offenses. Due to Brees’ injury the saints offense has pivoted. Instead of slants and dump offs to Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, the Saints new approach is a RPO offense oriented around the ultimate swiss army knife Taysom Hill. While this offense seems to be working the playoffs could prove to be a challenge. Without Drew Brees, this team could have a hard time on their path to the super bowl.

6. Green Bay Packers: 16.18

This Packers team has shocked a lot of NFL fans with their productivity. Despite a lackluster defense, Matt Leflaur’s new offense has brought this team to an impressive 8-3 record. The aggressiveness of Green Bay’s offense mixed with a trio of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davonte Adams is outpacing most opponents they matchup with. With Aaron Rodgers in the MVP race, and the team being at the top of their division it’ll be interesting to see what they can do in the playoffs.

7. Tennessee Titans: 10.07

The Titans continue to strive for a better season than they had previously. After making an impressive playoff push last year the Titans are currently 8-3 looking to make it all the way. Tennessee’s defense remains mostly the same as last season performing solid amongst offenses in the league, but the offense is what the Titans remain to rely on. With Derrick Henry looking to finish with another phenomenal season, the offense has also been involving the pass. Receivers in AJ Brown and Corey Davis are emerging to be enough to lead this teams passing attack, and a young tight end in Jonnu Smith is also contributing. The Titans could pan out to be an interesting team in the playoffs.

8. Seattle Seahawks: 9.29

Could this be the year Russell Wilson finally wins the MVP? The Seahawks offense is looking better than ever. With DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as the main receivers in the passing attack the Seahawks leave defenses with their hands full, not to mention a solid running back in Chris Carson. With an 8-3 record the Seahawks must improve on their defense. The acquisition of Jammal Adams proves not to be enough to elevate this defense to the next level. Without the defense stepping up, I can’t see this team performing well in the playoffs against high powered offenses.

9. Arizona Cardinals: 8.48

Wow. Kyler Murray Right? The performance this young QB has shown this season is phenomenal. It looks like Deandre Hopkins was the missing piece of the puzzle to evolve this offense into what we’ve seen thus far. But, the Cardinals share the Seahawks struggle in having a great offense but a less than mediocre defense. The Cardinals defense has been lackluster contributing to the team's record of 6-5. While this is a very exciting team to watch it's unclear how much longer we will be watching them.

10. Indianapolis Colts: 7.69

The Colts have personally been the most surprising team the season in my opinion. The defense has stepped up and emerged as one of the best in the league. Some would say the strength of the opponent has contributed to the Colts 7-4 record thus far, and I'd say it's definitely plausible. The Phil Rivers led offense has proved to be just enough to get the Colts where they currently stand. If the Colts were to make the playoffs I don't think it's unlikely that they'd progress past the first round, but a super bowl win? I don't think so.

11. Minnesota Vikings: 7.07

The Vikings have had an interesting season. While Dalvin Cook is proving himself as a top running back in the league, Adam Theilen and Justin Jefferson are also proving their capabilities as talented wide receivers the only problem is, Kirk Cousins; his inability to be consistent throughout the season puts this team at a disadvantage. While the defense presents great run stopping ability, their secondary lacks. Their 5-6 record gives opportunity to a playoff push, but even if they make it I can’t see them progressing past the first round.

(12) Buffalo Bills: 6.78

The Bills have proved to be another exciting team to watch this season. Josh Allen’s progression as a starting QB has propelled this team's offense to one of the best in the league. Also the addition of Stefon Diggs has done wonders for this team as he shows his ability to be the #1 target and a dominant receiver in this league. An impressive defense is the backbone of this Buffalo team specifically an elite secondary led by Tre'davious White. An 8-3 record represents the productivity of the Bills this season and a glimpse into what they can achieve in the playoffs.

(13) Carolina Panthers: 2.96

The Panthers season has been better than expected with the absence of Christian Mccaffrey. With a 4-8 record it looks like Carolina will be missing the playoffs, this performance can be attributed to their lackluster defense. While the season was disappointing for Panther fans, there were some bright spots. Teddy Bridgewater did pretty good with the talent he had and led this team to the best of his ability. Some gems that emerged from Mccaffrey’s absence were Mike Davis and Curtis Samuel. Mike Davis showed that he could be a workhorse, and started on a handful of teams in the league. While Curtis Samuel proved to be a playmaker, representing a Cordarrelle Patterson esk role. With improvement to their defense and a healthy CMC the panthers could make a case for the playoffs next season.

(14) Las Vegas Raiders: 2.07

The Raiders have been very controversial this season in the sense: are they good or not? Derek Carr seems to be performing well this year and Darren Waller has established himself as a top tight end in the league. The rest of the Raiders offense is up in the air, Josh Jacobs has yet to establish consistency along with a receiver core of Henry Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow, and Nelson Agholor. I haven’t mentioned the defense, because there's not much to mention. The Raiders defense is either mediocre or below average depending on the opponent. Their 6-5 record represents the uncertainty of the team with their highpoint of handing the Chiefs their only loss.

(15) Baltimore Ravens: 2

I think it's safe to say Lamar Jackson is regressing. The former MVP has brought this team to a 6-5 record. Their run heavy offense has been stuffed for the most part this season. This could be due to their loss in offensive line talent or, bluntly, because Lamar cannot pass accurately. While Baltimore’s defense has performed at a high level this season, their offense can match on their side of the ball. Baltimore is attempting to make a playoff push, but whether they do or don't their season has overall been a dissapointment.

(16) Atlanta Falcons: -.58

I really do feel bad for Falcons fans. This season has been filled with blown leads and bad performances which is shown in the firing of their head coach. While the offense has talent in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, Todd Gurley, it just isn't enough. Atlanta’s defense isn't that bad either, but I wouldn't say it's good. The Falcons are currently 4-7 and will miss the playoffs after appearing in the Super Bowl 4 years ago, and we all know what happened there.

(17) Miami Dolphins: -1.91

Tua Time? The Dolphins currently have a 7-4 record which can mostly be attributed to the defense. In the beginning of the season Ryan Fitzpatrick started and set up Miami in the position to throw their young quarterback into the fire. While Tua started 3 games after Fitzpatricks 6 game stint, the starting position has been given back to Fitzpatrick. This season is weird for the Dolphins, at least in my perspective as they silently make a push for the playoffs. I also would not be surprised if they let Tua start a couple more games of the regular season.

(18) Los Angeles Chargers: -3.24

If you're a chargers fan you have had a rollercoaster of emotions this season. Expecting Tyrod Taylor as your quarterback heading into the season and week 2 receiving Justin Herbert who just might win offensive rookie of the year is insane. Disregarding that, every single game has been close. The Chargers 3-8 record does not represent what this team has done this season. With the loss of Austin Ekeler and previously mentioned Tyrod Taylor, through week 12 the Chargers have not lost a game by more than 10; this includes a 3 point overtime loss to the Chiefs, a 3 point overtime loss to the Saints, and a 7 point loss to the Buccaneers. The Chargers won’t make the playoffs, but next season could be very promising for this team especially with the talent they’ve established this season, and what they’ll receive in the draft.

(19) Chicago Bears: -4.73

The bears haven't been doing much, there just kind of...there. After Trubisky went 2-0 for this team they made the switch to Nick Foles, who proceeded to go 3-5. While the Bears defense holds most of the equity of this team, this offense was expected to do more. A season ending injury to Tarik Cohen and an uncertainty in Allen Robinson fit perfectly into this “meh” offense. The Bears will miss the playoffs and strive for a more concrete gameplan and team next season.

(20) Washington Football Team: -8.4

New Name New Team? The WFT has a shot to make the playoffs this season with a 4-7 record… I know right. The lack of competitiveness in the NFC East had led to a dogfight between below average teams for a shot at the playoffs. There's not much to praise about The Football Team given their record, but their defense would definitely serve as the better side of the ball for this team. With the best offensive weapons in Terry Mclaurin and Antonio Gibson the WFT doesn't have much to write home about. And with Alex Smith as quarterback it is impossible to watch this team play without holding your breath everytime the pocket collapses. If they make the playoffs I cannot, in no way, or scenario, see them making it past the first round.

(21) San Francisco 49ers: -8.62

The team we saw in the Super Bowl just a year ago has greatly changed. Injuries on both sides of the ball have handicapped this team to a 5-6 record. Despite injuries across the board, the offense has been completely dismantled. With Injuries to: Jimmy Garopollo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert, and recurring injuries to other influential players the 49ers just can’t hit a stride. They won't make the playoffs but hope to have a full healthy roster next season to reclaim what they've lost.

(22) Cleveland Browns: -10

This could be it, this could be it. After all those seasons of clowning the Browns and their fan base they hold a 8-3 record through week 12. After Odell Beckham was injured and declared his season was over most people counted this team out. The consistency Baker Mayfield has shown this season has greatly impacted this team, along with the best running back duo in the league consisting of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The defense has been performing above average while not limiting scoring but making big plays. Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward are proving themselves as key factors to game plan against in this league. The Browns look like they will make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, surprising most football fans across the country and diminishing the ‘Browns curse’

(23) New England Patriots: -10.97

It might be time for Belichick to hang up the hoodie. With the loss of Tom Brady the Patriots brought in Cam Newton. While interesting and seemed promising to most Patriots fans, it's just not working out well. Their defense has performed well, as the Patriots defense tends to, but their offense just seems to be stuck in mud. New England missed James White and Julian Edelman for most of the season who are key role players in this offense, but even with White’s return their offense just doesn't seem viable in the current state of the league. The Patriots are 5-6, they're not bad but they won't make the playoffs. If Belichick does decide to return for another season I could see a lot of changes being made to this team.

(24) Houston Texans: -13.25

Despite Deshaun Watson proving he is worth the value of his recent contract, the Texans have very little to celebrate about. The Texans like the Falcons also fired their head coach during the season; this act tends to show the lack of confidence in the organization regarding the team's ability to turn the season around. While the offense contained weapons like Will Fuller, Brandin Cooks, Duke and David Johnson, and a veteran Randall Cobb they just couldn't mesh. The defense also underperformed this season as they ranked as one of the worst in the league. With a 4-7 record the Texans will not make the playoffs and look to rebuild their defense and surround Deshaun Watson with the weapons he needs.

(25) Philadelphia Eagles: -16.28

I still cannot believe the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, that had to have been a fluke right? Since the Eagles championship win in 2018 the team has rapidly declined to the point where they sit at a 3-7-1 record fighting for playoff position in previously mentioned terrible NFC East. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact weaknesses of this team due the fact as a whole, they're just not good. You could make the argument the lack of talent in the receiver core, and the injury to Zach Ertz has greatly impacted this team but I’d disagree. If you're going to blame someone on offense it would undoubtedly be Carson Wentz as his performance continues to be below average. On the defensive side they have studs like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, but it's just not enough. The Eagles might make the playoffs, they might not. Who cares, they stink.

(26) Denver Broncos: -17

The Broncos season has been unnotable, boring in a sense of the word. The Broncos seem like they are just going through the motions. As Drew Lock seems to be gaining some confidence and learning the ins and outs of the league it is to no avail. The team has dealt with their fair share of injuries on the offensive side and defensive, most notable being Von Miller. Denver’s 4-7 and wont make the playoffs, and continue to figure out their offense during the offseason similar to previous years.

(27) New York Giants: -19.83

The Giants continue the trend of embarrassment to New York and New Jersey teams, or do they? With an injury to Saquon Barkley the Giants were put at a disadvantage early on in the season. Throughout the weeks Daniel Jones has lessened his turnover ratio and the Giants game plan has become more stable. They also quietly have been having a great season defensively with players like James Bradberry and Blake Martinez. The Giants are 4-7 and look to beat out the Football Team and make the playoffs. Without a playoff appearance the only memories of the Giants this season will be Daniel Jones tripping in open field, and the injury to Saquon Barkley.

(28) Jacksonville Jaguars: -22.82

Not much to say about the Jags considering it's pretty obvious that they are tanking. Jacksonville’s 1-10 and have had 3 different quarterbacks this season. The defense on average lets up 30 points a game, so respectively they are not good. And the offense while having talent in rookie James Robinson and DJ chark, lacks a QB so there's not much there. They’ll obviously miss the playoffs and hopefully draft a solid QB to turn this team around next season.

(29) Detroit Lions: -23.36

I said I felt bad for Falcons fans, I really feel bad for Lions fans. Despite their attempts to remain competitive, the Lions remain to fall flat. Their defense ranks amongst the Texans as the worst in the league and their offense is skewed. With injuries to key players circulating throughout weeks the Lions haven't been able to solidify a game plan. The Lions are 4-7 and have a longshot at the playoffs, but I believe they're already focused on next season.

(30) Dallas Cowboys: -25.13

The headline of this season for the Cowboys is the injury to Dak Prescott. Previous to his injury the Cowboys were 2-3 while Dak was having a great season, the team didn't look great but good enough to clinch the NFC East. The post Dak era for the Cowboys has not been good. Andy Dalton's attempt at quarterbacking this has proven unsuccessful along with a disappointing season from Ezekiel Elliot. The Cowboys are 3-8 and probably won't make the playoffs, hopefully Dak can return next season healthy and replicate the great season he was having.

(31) Cincinnati Bengals: 27.1

The Bengals face the same fate as the Cowboys in injury to their QB. Joe Burrow was having a great rookie season until he was met with a season ending injury. This could've been because of the incapability for the Bengals offensive line to block, seriously they are awful. The Bengals defense isn't very good, they're not the worst but they are close to it. With an injured Joe Mixon and Joe Burrow the Bengals don't have much left on offense besides a mediocre receiver core. The Bengals will miss the playoffs standing at 2-8-1 and should strive to figure out a way to protect Burrow next season.

(32) New York Jets: -28.58

The Jets have drafted Trevor Lawerence with the first pick in the draft...not yet at least. The Jets have had an abysmal season thus far continuing the headline of the Jets being terrible. Sam Darnold has started most games of the season despite the few he was injured, which in that case Joe Flacco started. There are so few positives of this Jets team that it’d be easier just to say they are bad at every aspect in the game. The Jets are 0-11 and look to continue a successful tank for Trevor Lawerence. Hopefully with a new QB this team could win a game.

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