We are now officially past the halfway mark of the season. What are some possibilities for the final stretch of the season?
1. Somebody other than Cooper Kupp leads the league in receiving TDs
Cooper Kupp’s dominance as Matthew Stafford’s right-hand man has been a treat to watch this year. He’s on pace to shatter his personal records and the targets just keep coming. Kupp has been racking up targets so far and he’s been making the most of his opportunities. He’s amassed 90+ receiving yards in nine games this season.
I believe Kupp will end up leading the league in receiving yards. But somebody else will take home the TD crown come the end of the season. His three real competitors are Mike Evans, DK Metcalf, and Tyreek Hill. Evans is chomping at the bit with nine. The latter two of the three have eight TD grabs.
Evans will continue to be Tom Brady’s go-to red-zone threat, with 11 targets inside the 20 this season. DK Metcalf was able to bring in four touchdowns from backup Geno Smith. But now Russell Wilson is back and Metcalf is sure to see an increase in targets going forward.
Tyreek Hill has shown his explosive speed downfield before. With two red-zone scores against the Raiders, he’s proving he can be more than just a deep ball threat. Now with the Chiefs’ offense finding their footing, Hill is in for a big final seven games.
2. Dak Prescott wins CPOTY, Cowboys reach NFC Championship
Before his injury in Week 5 last season, Dak Prescott was on pace to throw for 5,939 yards. He is one of the main reasons that the Cowboys lead the league in total offense. Gaining 433.9 yards per game and 31.6 points per game. Continuing his success into the new year, the Cowboys’ offense is firing on all cylinders.
CeeDee Lamb is quickly turning into one of the top young wideouts in the game. The Dallas offense is loaded with weapons such as Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and Dallas Schultz. Now that you add Michael Gallup back from Injury Reserve into the fold, Jerry Jones should be excited about his teams’ potential finish.
On the other side of the ball, Trevon Diggs is doing everything in his power to make a run for Defensive Player of the Year. Snagging eight interceptions in nine games. Micah Parsons is building a case for DROTY as well. Tied for fourth in the league with 11 tackles for loss. The Cowboys’ defense is peaking at the right time.
3. Titans finish 6-1 down the stretch
Ryan Tannehill is just finding a way to win games. This is a different Tannehill than we saw in Miami. He only led the Dolphins to one winning season in the six seasons he was in South Beach. He was gifted with Derrick Henry when he arrived in Tennessee and now he’s winning without him. In a season derailed with injuries across the board, they seem to be getting it done.
Henry is presumably done for the season, but he could potentially make a return for the playoffs. AJ Brown and Julio Jones have been switching off injury tent visits. It hasn’t been ideal for the Titans. But somehow they’ve gotten it done.
As for the rest of the season outlook, they have the easiest remaining schedule in the league. They draw matchups with the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Texans twice. Overall their remaining opponents post a .346 winning percentage. The two toughest matchups are two teams on the rise, in the Patriots and the now healthy 49ers.
4. Rams don’t make it out of the first round
After trading for Matthew Stafford in the offseason, the Rams made it known they’re ready to win now. They’re expected to make a deep run in the playoffs with hopes to hoist the Lombardi. But after two straight losses, they might not be as complete as you think. Although, trading for Von Miller and signing Odell Beckham Jr created some buzz.
The offense is now down Robert Woods, who has been a nice compliment to Cooper Kupp the past three seasons. Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee will have to step up to fill the hole Woods left. Until Beckham Jr is caught up to speed within the offense.
When your defense is headlined by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey you’re sure to win a fair share of games relying on that side of the ball. But the NFC is loaded with talent this season. Dallas and Tampa Bay each boast point per game averages north of 30 points. The Rams will have their hands full with whoever they draw in their first-round matchup.
5. The Chiefs make it back to the AFC Championship Game
The Kansas City Chiefs will make it back to the AFC Championship Game to play for the Clark Hunt Trophy. But this time it won’t be in front of Hunt and company at their home stadium. The Chiefs showed with their dominant 41-14 victory in prime time over the Raiders that the offense is back.
Now that you throw in second-year back Clyde Edwards-Helaire back into the mix the sky is the limit for the Chiefs offense. Since his absence, they’ve established getting the backs involved in the passing game more. Something that should help him upon his return.
Especially since the defense is finally putting the pieces of the puzzle back together. With Chris Jones moving back inside and Frank Clark looking like a man who has something to prove. At the same time, L’Jarius Sneed is slowly molding into one of the top playmakers on this defense. The Chiefs have enough pieces to win games in January and they’ll be a tough team to knockout.