Behind the Mic: NFL Mid-Season Report Card

As many of you know, I used to make weekly NFL predictions on WZZO. Based on some recent encounters, a number of people took my guesses as gospel. That may have been wise at times and not so wise on other occasions. Thus far, this season is a good example of “win some-lose some”. I have been right 64% of the time this year predicting the winners of all the individual games.

At this point in the season, 18 of the 32 NFL teams have played half of their games and that leaves 14 who still have their bye week remaining. So, even though we are not technically half way through the season for everybody, it seems like a good time to check on my seasonal picks from last August.

 

My Picks

Current Standings

AFC SOUTH Indianapolis
Houston
Jacksonville
Tennessee
Indianapolis (5-3)
Houston (4-4)
Tennessee (2-6)
Jacksonville (1-7) 
AFC EAST New England
Miami
Buffalo
Jets 
New England (6-2)
Buffalo (5-3)
Miami (4-3)
Jets (1-7)
AFC WEST Denver
Kansas City
San Diego
Oakland 
Denver (6-1)
San Diego (5-3)
Kansas City (4-3)
Oakland (0-7)
AFC NORTH Cincinnati
Baltimore
Cleveland
Pittsburgh 
Cincinnati (4-2-1)
Baltimore (5-3)
Pittsburgh (5-3)
Cleveland (4-3)

Overall, this is not so bad so far. Every division predicted winner is correct. There is just nothing eye-opening going on in the AFC. In every instance where my ranking is wrong at the moment, only one game separates some and, for others, a bye keeps a team from possibly being tied with my predicted spot in the standings.

AFC Grade – B+

  My Picks Current Standings
NFC SOUTH New Orleans
Atlanta
Carolina
Tampa Bay
Carolina (3-4-1)
New Orleans (3-4)
Atlanta (2-6)
Tampa Bay (1-6)
NFC NORTH Green Bay
Chicago
Detroit
Minnesota
Detroit (6-2)
Green Bay (5-3)
Chicago (3-5)
Minnesota (3-5)
NFC WEST Seattle
San Francisco
Arizona
St. Louis
Arizona (6-1)
San Francisco (4-3)
Seattle (4-3)
St. Louis (2-5)
NFC EAST Philadelphia
Giants
Dallas
Washington
Dallas (6-2)
Philadelphia (5-2)
Giants (3-4)
Washington (3-5)

My NFC predictions look rather bleak right now. None of my divisional winners is currently in first place. There are plenty of disappointments at the moment led by Seattle, the Giants, Chicago, and Atlanta. Arizona and Detroit seem to be the biggest success stories.

NFC Grade – C-

I still have confidence that, as the second half of the season unfolds, things will change for the better. And please don’t take my predictions as gospel. Stay tuned.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. Anyone who watched the Penn State game on Saturday night had to be amazed at the ineptness of the officiating and replay crews. Ohio State’s crucial first-quarter “interception” was not caught. ABC on every camera angle showed conclusively that the ball was dropped. Yet the replay crew said there was not sufficient evidence to overrule the interception call on the field. Ohio State scored shortly thereafter. The replay is supposed to come from the television production. The equipment supposedly did not work. Add to that, the absence of a “delay of game” penalty on a successful 49-yard field goal. Again replays showed the play clock had expired for about four seconds before the ball was snapped. Does Ohio State even attempt a 54- yard field goal if the flag is thrown? The officials were again inept late in the game with their own clock management that forced Penn State to use their final timeout. The game went overtime and Ohio State won. It was an awful night for the zebras.

2. I’m sure the Lafayette-Lehigh people were hoping that the 150th matchup to be played at Yankee Stadium would have major implications for a Patriot League championship. That will certainly not be the case. Lafayette is 3-5, 1-2 in the league and Lehigh is even worse at 1-6, 0-2 in the League. I have been around the game enough times to realize it does not need much added hype, but it would have been nice for it to have added significance.

3. Congratulations to Easton for winning the first Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South Division championship. The Rovers have all the ingredients (except maybe a kicking game) to do well in Districts and States (if they get there). I, for one, would have liked to see a true EPC champion. Stroudsburg in the North is also undefeated and that would have been an interesting matchup.

4. Speaking of District football playoffs, here are the local teams that have clinched a spot: AAAA – Easton, Whitehall, Freedom, Parkland; AAA – Bethlehem Catholic, Southern Lehigh (and almost certainly Saucon Valley); AA- Northwestern, Palisades (and Palmerton or Northern Lehigh); A- Pius X. Good luck to all of them.

5. On the flip side, #8 Pleasant Valley, #10 Liberty, and #11 Emmaus are all trying to garner the eighth and final spot available in AAAA District playoffs. All, ironically, are underdogs in their games – PV vs Stroudsburg; Liberty vs Freedom; Emmaus vs Parkland. If they all lose, Pleasant Valley is in.

Gary's Picks

(Last Week – 9-6; Seasonal Record – 77-43-1: 64%)
NEW ORLEANS
SAN DIEGO
CINCINNATI
CLEVELAND
WASHINGTON
HOUSTON
KANSAS CITY
ARIZONA
SAN FRANCISCO
DENVER
SEATTLE
BALTIMORE
INDIANAPOLIS

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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