We are back after some time off and hope you enjoyed our midseason report cards for all 32 teams.
But it wasn't a good time for many of the last season's playoff participants. Of the 11 teams on the list that played last week, seven of those clubs lost, including all four defending division winners in the NFC.
All told, five of the 12 teams don't possess a winning record with seven weeks to play. But things have a habit of changing pretty fast in this league.
Hence, here is the weekly look and ranking of how last season's postseason field is faring in 2013. Feel free to add your own thoughts…
12. Minnesota Vikings (2-7)
Nine games into 2013 and Leslie Frazer's team has not only totaled more starting quarterbacks (3) than wins this season, the Vikings won't be matching or surpassing that 10-6 record of a year ago. Minnesota comes off a 34-27 comeback win over the Washington Redskins but now heads to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seahawks and possibly old teammate Percy Harvin. In any case, the Vikings could bear watching here if Adrian Peterson can take advantage of Seattle's spotty run defense…
11. Atlanta Falcons (2-7)
Following last week's 33-10 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Falcons are now in danger of suffering through their first losing season under the regime of general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan. Atlanta is in the midst of its second three-game losing streak of the season and during this current skid, Smith's team has been outscored by a combined 94-33 count. The team's inability to run as well as stop the run has been one of many factors that have derailed these Falcons…
10. Washington Redskins (3-6)
Mike Shanahan's club remains in the thick of the very thin NFC East but no doubt they would love to have last Thursday night's 34-27 loss at Minnesota back. Washington squandered a 27-14 third-quarter lead in the contest and wasted a terrific outing by running back Alfred Morris, who is proving to be more than a one-hit wonder. But one has to wonder about a team allowing 31.8 points per game this season…
9. Houston Texans (2-7)
For the third year in a row, the Texans have made team history. But after winning 10 games and a division title in 2011 and 12 games in 2012, both franchise records, Houston has dropped seven in a row in 2013, the longest single-season losing streak in team annals. Last Sunday, the Texans lost their fourth game in as many tries vs. an NFC West opponent. This week, the Oakland Raiders come to town and we'll see if the league's top-ranked defensive unit can make enough plays to get a much-needed win…
8. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
A week after a disappointing road loss to the Cleveland Browns, the defending champions posted a huge overtime win over the first-place Cincinnati Bengals. Still, quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense in general was supposed to be the team's strength these days. But only three teams in the league have gained fewer total yards per game and only the Falcons and Jaguars have done a worse job running the football. The Ravens head to the Windy City this weekend looking to get back to the .500 mark…
7. Green Bay Packers (5-4)
Just when it looked like the two-time defending NFC North champions were putting all the pieces together, they not only lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers indefinitely but their lead in the division. This Sunday vs. the New York Giants, Scott Tolzien will be Green Bay's third different starting quarterback in as many games. But what head coach Mike McCarthy really needs this week is a big-time effort from a defense that is getting healthier but has not been nearly as opportunistic (eight takeaways) as in recent seasons…
6. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
How quickly things have changed. Granted, the Bengals are still in first place in the AFC North but a pair of consecutive overtime losses has whittled the team's advantage in the division considerably. Both the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns are just one game out in the loss column and Cincinnati faces its intrastate rival this Sunday at home, where Marvin Lewis' team has won five games in a row. Now if quarterback Andy Dalton can avoid another three interception performance again…
5. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
It was a strange week in the AFC South as the Jacksonville Jaguars not only got their first victory of the season, they were the only team in the entire division to win on Sunday. Of course, that includes the Colts as Chuck Pagano's first-place team never knew what hit them at home against the St. Louis Rams, 38-8. It was a forgettable day for quarterback Andrew Luck, who had just as many turnovers on Sunday (4) as he did in the first eight games of the season. A short week for the Colts, who battle the Tennessee Titans in Nashville Thursday night…
4. San Francisco 49ers (6-3)
After five straight wins in which they scored at least 31 points, Jim Harbaugh's club was stonewalled at home against the red-hot Carolina Panthers, 10-9. That means in six victories this season, the 49ers have scored 208 points and in losses to the Seattle Seahawks, Colts and Panthers, San Francisco has totaled 19 points. And things don't get any easier this week as Harbaugh's club returns to the Superdome, the scene of a 31-21 win last season over the New Orleans Saints as well as their Super Bowl XLVII loss to the Ravens…
3. New England Patriots (7-2)
Tom Brady and company have had an extra week to savor that 55-point outing and 24-point win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bill Belichick's defense ranks 21st in the league in total defense but is allowing only 19.4 points per outing. The Patriots get a big test this week as they head south to Carolina to battle one of the hottest teams in the league in the Panthers. Six days later on a Sunday night at Foxborough, Brady and old friend Peyton Manning renew acquaintances once again.
2. Denver Broncos (8-1)
This is the stretch that many fans have been waiting for. Over the next three weeks, the Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs, visit the New England Patriots (both of those games in prime time) and then travel to Arrowhead Stadium. Quarterback Peyton Manning has thrown 33 touchdown passes this season. The Chiefs' offense has produced 16 touchdowns in nine games. Different strokes for different folks but it is imperative that the Broncos hold serve at home this week against their undefeated division rival.
1. Seattle Seahawks (9-1)
Last week, Pete Carroll's club raised its road record to 5-1 this season by pushing around the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks have now won five straight games and are 14-1 in their last 15 regular-season contests. Running back Marshawn Lynch is the workhorse for the league's second-ranked ground game while the Seattle defense is giving up the third-fewest total yards per game in the NFL. Quarterback Russell Wilson has does his best to stay out of harm's way, which is more than can be said for opponents facing the "Legion of Boom."
Russell S. Baxter has been covering the NFL for 30-plus years on all platforms. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and is blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.
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