The NFL Power Rankings have reached the halfway point of the longest NFL season. But instead of looking back at the past, they are looking forward and making strong predictions about what lies ahead. We are putting our reputations on the line, and we are forecasting the future with incredible accuracy (fingers crossed).
You want to find out what your team's final record is? Below, we'll give you the final record for some teams. Take note Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks fans. We will tell you which players to pay attention from a statistical perspective, whether they are rookies like Mac Jones or Steelers running back Najee Hamilton, or veterans like Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams. We will be predicting long playoff runs for the Buffalo Bills and premature season endings for Kansas City Chiefs. If you are a Carolina Panthers fan, we'll also be discussing how hot-seat scenarios will unfold. We are taking a huge step forward and will be laying out the final nine week and beyond.
How we rank our Power Rankings. Our power panel, which includes more than 80 TV personalities, editors and writers evaluates how teams perform throughout the season.
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
Previous ranking: 2
Bold prediction for the second half: The Cardinals will finish 15-2
Arizona is currently 8-1, but there are two more challenging games: one against Dallas and one against the Rams on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals will lose one of these games. They proved Sunday against the 49ers they don't need their stars in order to win. This puts the rest the league on notice. DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray will both be back from injuries after a good midseason rest. The bye is in three weeks. Arizona will be ready for a big run down the stretch, and into the playoffs. -- Josh Weinfuss
Previous ranking: 8
Bold prediction for the second half: Kevin Byard will record double-digit interceptions.
The Titans defense is on fire with interceptions in six of their last six games. In each of his two previous games, Byard has recorded interceptions. Byard is right in the zone, as evidenced by the fact that both of his latest interceptions were made through in-play adjustments. The pressure placed on Tennessee's quarterbacks by the front four makes them make poor throws that can lead to interceptions. Combining Byard's ability find the ball with the pressures and plenty of opportunities, especially against teams like the Dolphins, Texans, and Jaguars will lead to a lot of interceptions. Turron Davenport
Previous ranking: 1
Bold prediction for the second half: The Packers will finish with a top five defense.
In Sunday's defeat to the Chiefs, Coach Matt LaFleur stated that the Packers' defense displayed "championship-level effort" and "championship level execution". This is a positive sign that the defense that let the Packers down in two NFC title games may finally be an asset and not a liability. Rob Demovsky
Previous ranking: 3
Bold prediction for the second half: WR Cooper Kupp will be named NFL Offensive Player and of the Year.
The Rams' receivers knew they were in for a great season after the addition of Matthew Stafford. But few people could have predicted Cooper Kupp, a fifth-year receiver, would lead the NFL with 1,019 receiving yardage and 10 receiving touchdowns. Kupp has been Stafford's favorite target. He has proven that not only can he add yards after a catch, but that he is also able to reach wide open for deep and intermediate passes. Kupp's Week 9 performance of 11 catches for 95 yards made him the fourth NFL player to surpass 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. This was the first time since Jerry Rice. -- Lindsey Thiry
Previous ranking: 4
Bold prediction for the second half: The Bucs will not lose in the regular season again and will finish second in the NFC.
For their remaining 10 games, the Bucs' opponents are a total of 30-42. Two of these teams, the New Orleans Saints (.500) and the Buffalo Bills (.500), are still in play. Both will be playing at home. The Los Angeles Rams (7-2) and Arizona Cardinals (8-1) still need to face each other. In addition, the Rams have to play the Green Bay Packers (7-2), Baltimore Ravens (6-2), and Seattle Seahawks (3-5), which are getting Russell Wilson back. Although the Cardinals have an easier path than L.A. they still need to play the Seahawks twice as well as the Dallas Cowboys (6-2). If the Buccaneers can stay healthy and reduce penalties, they have the opportunity to reach a first-round bye. -- Jenna Laine
Previous ranking: 7
Bold prediction for the second half: Lamar Jackson will rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 5,000 yards in the passing game.
Jackson has a pace of 4,694 passing yards, and 1,275 rushing yards. He will need to catch it through the air. It will not be easy. Six of Jackson's nine final games will be against teams that rank in top half of league pass defense. The Ravens' greatest playmakers are the passing game, with tight end Mark Andrews, and receivers Marquise Brown and Rashod bateman. Jackson won't be scrambling for yards; he will need to throw the ball to beat the Rams or Packers down the stretch. -- Jamison Hensley
play 1:34 Why isn’t Lamar Jackson the MVP front-runner Ryan Clark and Dan Orlovsky would like to see Lamar Jackson recognized as an MVP candidate.
Previous ranking: 5
Bold prediction for the second half: Dak Prescott will be in the top three for MVP voting.
Let's not get too excited about what happened to the Broncos. He had thrown at minimum three touchdown passes in his last four games. He was the NFL's leader in completion percentage, and was enjoying his best season. He has no reason to doubt he can get there again. He stated that he felt the same way in 2018 at Indianapolis. In the next two games, he had five touchdown passes with no interceptions and completed 68%. He also won a playoff match that season. Prescott has at least five more premium or prime-time games to go before he can secure his place in the MVP race. -- Todd Archer
Previous ranking: 6
Bold prediction for the second half: The Bills will represent AFC in Super Bowl.
This wouldn't have been a bold prediction a few weeks back. However, after seeing the Bills' offense struggle against the Jaguars, there are serious questions about Buffalo moving forward. While there are many areas that need to be addressed, this team is still one of the best in the AFC. While the offensive line will be healthier, there are still half a year to improve. The Bills are likely to heat up down the stretch. Three of the last four games of the season will be at home. -- Alaina Getzenberg
Previous ranking: 12
Bold prediction for the second half: The Chargers will fix their defense and reach the playoffs.
Justin Herbert, Quarterback, had two minor hiccups in the season. I think he is over those. He's going to keep challenging non-believers, as the schedule is clear. One veteran observer said, "He's just no human." After two poor performances against New England and Baltimore (51%) and 56% respectively, Herbert completed 84.2%. He is determined and ready to go for it in the second half of this season. A little defensive improvement can make all the difference. Shelley Smith
Previous ranking: 16
Bold prediction for the second half: Myles Garrett will be awarded the Defensive Player Award.
Garrett was one of the NFL's most dominating players over the past few seasons, but he was thrown off-guard in November. It was due to COVID-19. It was the helmet swing that resulted in a season-ending suspension. Garrett, who is the league's leader with 12 sacks, will continue to surge down the stretch and be the NFL's champion in sacks. This will give Cleveland its first ever Defensive Player Award. Jake Trotter
play 1:06 Dan Orlovsky - Baker Mayfield is a better quarterback without OBJ Dan Orlovsky explains what he saw in Baker Mayfield with Odell Beckham Jr. not on the field.
Previous ranking: 10
Bold prediction for the second half: DE Marcus Davenport will finally experience a breakout stretch.
Injuries and inconsistent production have plagued the Saints' 2018 first-round selection. Davenport has displayed glimpses of his dominant potential when he is healthy, especially in the summer. He is poised for a second half run that will see him go bonkers for the Saints, who will heavily rely on his defense to keep their playoff hopes alive. Davenport has recorded two sacks this season in four games. Over the remaining nine games, he will have at most six more. Mike Triplett
Previous ranking: 13
Bold prediction for the second half: QB Mac Jones will throw 25 touchdown passes.
Jones has accumulated 10 TD passes in nine games. He will need to increase his pace in the last eight games. To reach the mark, Jones will need to average two per week. This is a leap of faith. It is possible, especially considering how close the running game has been to the goal line. Jones appears to have found a target in Hunter Henry, with five touchdowns in the last six games. The passing game should grow as the season progresses. -- Mike Reiss
Previous ranking: 15
Bold prediction for the second half: The Chiefs won't make it to the playoffs.
Six consecutive postseason appearances by the Chiefs will bring an end to their streak and they will be crowned AFC West champions for the fifth time in a row. It is difficult to believe that a team with an offensive ineptness like none other in Patrick Mahomes’ career could realistically make it to the playoffs with this finishing schedule. It would be amazing if Mahomes could suddenly make things right and lead the Chiefs to the postseason. Don't be too optimistic. -- Adam Teicher
Play 1:29 Clark: Patrick Mahomes is Broken Ryan Clark and Dan Orlovsky both agree that Patrick Mahomes must play football differently.
Previous ranking: 14
Bold prediction for the second half: RB Najee will surpass 1,000 rushing yards.
Harris had 541 yards rushing at the halfway point of the season. However, the run game has steadily increased to be a constant threat over the last few games. Harris stated that he started the season with some benchmarks in mind, but after the disappointing 1-3 start, his focus switched to winning. Steelers are aware that a balanced offense is key to their success. That means Harris must continue to be fed the ball. Harris, if he is healthy, will be the Steelers' first rookie to surpass 1,000 yards since Franco Harris in 1972. -- Brooke Pryor
Previous ranking: 18
Bold prediction for the second half: Jonathon Cooper, a rookie LB, will lead the Broncos' sacks efforts this season.
Bradley Chubb was placed on injured reserve in September, and Von Miller was traded Nov. 1. Cooper has now made his first two career starts in Broncos' last two matches. In Sunday's win over the Cowboys, Cooper became the seventh round pick. Cooper's already impressive resume of rush moves has made him a threat to opposing offenses. What was the last rookie to be in the top 10 for sacks? Miller in 2011. In 2011.
Previous ranking: 9
Bold prediction for the second half: WR Tee Heyggins will receive 1,000 receiving yards.
Higgins was unable to play the full season due to a shoulder injury, but he is slowly gaining the form he showed at the end 2020. Although he is still learning how to target, he has become a key piece of the offense. In the last eight games, expect Bengals QB Joe Burrow more to Higgins. This should give Higgins 569 yards receiving to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the first-time in his career. -- Ben Baby
Previous ranking: 11
Bold prediction for the second half: WR DeSean Jack will be a positive spark.
This isn't the first time we've seen it. The Raiders hire a flashy vet to help them get to the next level, but it's all just a waste of time. Marshawn Lynch didn't ruin the locker room chemistry, but he did alter it. The roster and the coaching staff couldn't handle it. Antonio Brown was just a wrecking ball and it destroyed a season. Jackson realizes that this is his final stop, and is required for a specific purpose: To be a vertical threat to keep defenses in check. The sooner Jackson connects with Derek Carr the better. You wanted bold. -- Paul Gutierrez
Previous ranking: 25
Bold prediction for the second half: TE Kyle Pitts will surpass 1,100 receiving yards.
Pitts is currently on pace to reach 1,160 yards. This would break the 60-year-old NFL record for tight end receiving yards. As a pass catcher, he has made big strides and should break Mike Ditka's record if he is healthy. -- Michael Rothstein
Previous ranking: 22
Bold prediction for the second half: NFL's leading rusher, RB Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor is still 116 yards behind Tennessee's Derrick Henry, but Henry could miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury. In four of the six previous games, Taylor has rushed at least 107 yards, including 172 yards against New York Jets in Week 9 Taylor showed he was stronger in 2020 after rushing for 741 yards in the last five games of his rookie season. As they attempt to stay in playoff contention, the Colts will continue to rely on Taylor. Mike Wells
Previous ranking: 19
Bold prediction for the second half: The Vikings will make a coaching switch.
Things cannot stay the same. After two consecutive losses to the Packers and Chargers, Mike Zimmer's contract expires with two years. This is the only time that Vikings owners have to let go of him. To further highlight their ineligibility in the NFC North, a loss to Minnesota's divisional rival in Week 11 could push ownership to make a move. Zimmer may make a last-ditch effort at repairing the ship and saving his job by changing offensive playcallers. He could also hand Klint Kubicak's duties over to Kennedy Polamalu, running backs coach. This seems less likely than the former considering the fact that Zimmer is leaving his sixth offensive coordinator since 2016. Courtney Cronin
Myles Garrett, Mike Zimmer and Justin Herbert ESPN
Previous ranking: 21
Bold prediction for the second half: The Seahawks will end the regular season with nine victories.
Nine wins would be the tie-breaker for Russell Wilson's fewest wins, but it would still mark a remarkable turnaround from Seahawks 2-5 start. It could also be enough to get into the NFC's last playoff spot. To finish at 9-8, the Seahawks will need to win 6-3 from the remaining games. They currently sit at 3-5. They may be favorites in Washington, San Francisco and Houston as well as Chicago, Chicago, Detroit, and Chicago. They would need to win Green Bay, the Rams, or one of two Arizona games if they win all of those. With Wilson returning and Aaron Rodgers uncertain, Sunday's Green Bay game looks more winnable that it did two weeks ago. -- Brady Henderson
Previous ranking: 17
Bold prediction for the second half: WR Deebo Sam surpasses 1,500 receiving yards.
Jerry Rice was the only player to ever surpass 1,500 receiving yards in a single season in franchise history. Samuel, who has 882 yards in eight games, is well on his way to surpassing that mark. Samuel is able to perform in all eight games despite a recent calf injury. With a 17th game scheduled, Rice should also join him in an exclusive club that will help him earn his first Pro Bowl berth. -- Nick Wagoner
Previous ranking: 24
Bold prediction for the second half: The Eagles will be the league's leader in rushing
Philadelphia is currently ranked fifth with 1,229 yards of rushing, despite very few carries from the running backs in the first quarter. Since then, Coach Nick Sirianni has shifted to a more ground-based offensive strategy. What is the result? Over the past two weeks, the Eagles have run for 412 yards and six touchdowns. While that was against two bad run defenses in the Lions or Chargers, the Eagles have run for 412 rush yards with six touchdowns over the last two weeks. Combine the newfound commitment and run with quarterback Jalenhurts' performance as a rusher (494 yard, five TDs), and you have a group that is capable of challenging top-ranked Browns (1.442 rushing yards). Tim McManus
Previous ranking: 20
Bold prediction for the second half: QB Sam Darnold will be benched.
It doesn't feel like a prediction, but it is based on Darnold throwing ten interceptions in the six previous games, five of which were losses. It's more than the mistakes. The offense has only scored one touchdown in their last three games. Darnold's return to poor decisions that led to the New York Jets trading him to Carolina and moving forward with rookie Zach Wilson seems to confirm his fate. -- David Newton
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Previous ranking: 23
Bold prediction for the second half: Justin Fields, QB, will pass for more than 300 yards in just three games.
The Bears are known for their poor passing defense. Fields may be able to throw the ball more efficiently, however. Fields is improving every week and getting better acquainted with the offensive weapons. Fields will finish the year strongly, even if it is difficult for the Bears to reach the playoffs. Jeff Dickerson
Previous ranking: 26
Bold prediction for the second half: QB Daniel Jones doubles the number of TD passes.
With just eight touchdown passes in nine games, the numbers for the Giants' quarterback don't look good. He isn't playing poorly, though. He has actually been quite solid, even though he is playing with an injury-ravaged support cast. Even though it is only one game, the touchdowns will be in the second half. Jones will throw 16 touchdown passes during the second half to complete the 24-game season. This is partly because Jones has a better arsenal of weapons and more help. -- Jordan Raanan
Previous ranking: 27
Bold prediction for the second half: Washington will finish with a record of 5-12.
After a disappointing 5-2 season last year, this record will be a disappointment. They will not be favored in any more than two games this season, as they still face Tampa Bay, Seattle (with Russell Wilson most probable), Las Vegas, and two vs. Dallas. Rivera's teams usually improve in the second half -- his career record is 42-30 for a complete second half. Rivera's teams posted four wins in the second half of five games that were below.500 during the first half. A difficult schedule and poor quarterback play make it difficult for the team to turn things around. John Keim
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Previous ranking: 29
Bold prediction for the second half: Jamal Agnew will score a TD in five different ways.
Agnew has already scored touchdowns as a kickoff returner, a missed field goal, and as a receiver. Agnew will need to add a running touchdown and punt return touchdown. Agnew is the Jaguars' most explosive player and his impact on the offense is growing. Agnew was able to get the ball in a Jet sweep against Buffalo, and he now has three carries. The Jaguars will be using him creatively to spark an offense that averages just 17.5 points per week. Mike DiRocco
Previous ranking: 28
Bold prediction for the second half: RB Michael Carter will surpass 1,300 yards from scrimmage.
Carter will be the Jets' first running back to run over 1,300 yards from scrimmage since Thomas Jones (2007). He is currently running at a pace of 1,256 yards. Carter's role is steadily growing week by week. There are every reason to believe Carter could exceed 1,300 yards -- provided he stays healthy. -- Rich Cimini
Previous ranking: 30
Bold prediction for the second half: WR Jaylen Wade will be the second rookie to catch more than 100 passes in NFL history.
Waddle's production, both in terms of targets and receptions, has been a great success. He logged six or more targets in each of Miami's nine playoff games. Although he hasn't gotten the yards, he is still the Dolphins' most reliable receiver. He will continue to be so in an offense that throws at the fifth highest rate in the NFL. Waddle has 112 catches and 992 yards, on 156 targets. Marcel Louis-Jacques
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Previous ranking: 31
Bold prediction for the second half: The Texans will pick No. 2, in the NFL draft.
Although the Lions are the worst team in the NFL, they are only half a game worse than Houston at this point in the season. They also play in a more difficult division. Houston is now a likely loser to the Dolphins. Houston will be facing the New York Jets in Week 12, or Jacksonville in Week 15. The No. 3 pick of the Texans was taken last year by Laremy Tunsil. As part of the 2019 trade, the No. 3 pick was sent to Miami by Laremy Tunsil, left tackle. -- Sarah Barshop
Previous ranking: 32
Bold prediction for the second half: The Lions will win a match.
Detroit last won a game on Dec. 6, 2020. Things have been a lot worse since then. This includes the preseason in 2021, where they lost all three games before going 0-8 in regular season. Although it seems that history could repeat itself with another lossless season like 2008's 0-16 squad, I can assure you that the Lions will win one game. Although the odds of this happening are slim, I believe they will at least win one in the end of the year. It could be against the Atlanta Falcons or Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. Eric Woodyard