We’re now halfway through the 2017 NFL season and we’re beginning to get a clearer picture of who is going to make the postseason.
We know the Eagles will make the playoffs, but which team is the favorite to make it?
We’ll begin with the NFC East.
Philadelphia’s offense is in the midst of a rebuilding process.
Quarterback Carson Wentz is in his first season as a starter, but his career is far from over.
Wentz has been sacked just once in his career, and his passer rating is the lowest of his career.
Wentson’s struggles are likely due to the Eagles defense.
The Eagles ranked 28th in total defense in 2016 and 31st in scoring defense last season.
They also ranked 28rd in scoring offense.
Wentzon is going through his second year of a four-year, $28 million contract.
The team is expecting him to lead the Eagles to a division title, and that would be a nice way to start off the season.
The Eagles’ defense, meanwhile, was a mess last year.
Their secondary allowed an average of 4.7 yards per pass attempt and allowed an NFL-high 39 touchdowns.
In addition, their pass rush allowed a league-high 31 sacks, second-most in the league.
The defense, however, has improved dramatically in 2017.
They are tied for third in the NFL in sacks, with just one in the first eight weeks of the season (Julian Edelman, who has also been dealing with injuries).
Their pass rush has also improved.
In the past two weeks, the Eagles have allowed just three passing touchdowns, which is tied for the third-fewest in the NFC.
Philadelphia also has been able to limit teams’ rushing attempts.
They have allowed an opposing team to score on a season-high six of their last seven games.
The secondary has also given up just two touchdowns in its past four games, with an average efficiency of 4,038 yards allowed per game.
This unit is poised to play in the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia’s defense was a major factor in the Eagles’ Super Bowl chances.
They finished the regular season ranked 10th in rushing defense, and they allowed just 10 rushing touchdowns in 2016.
Philadelphia was ranked 18th in the AFC at the time, but they had the NFL’s third-most passing yards.
The unit also allowed just eight touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in 2017, which was second-fewer than the league average.
The pass rush was a huge factor in this unit’s success, allowing just two passing touchdowns and only one interception in 2017 despite allowing an NFL passer rating of 147.6.
The defensive line had a sack on Sunday, and the secondary was also a big reason why the Eagles held opponents to just two scoring touchdowns in 2017 and the second-lowest in NFL history.
The Jets’ secondary was a liability last year, allowing the most passing yards in the second half of the year.
The group allowed seven passing touchdowns in the final six weeks of 2016, and those were the most of any team in the entire NFL.
The Jets will look to improve on last year’s performance against the Eagles.
The AFC East will feature two teams that have struggled this year.
AFC North rivals New England and Cleveland will both have a shot at making the postseason, and it will be interesting to see how these teams respond.
AFC South rivals Miami and Kansas City will look for a bounce-back season after a down year.
Finally, the AFC West will have two teams with high hopes.
Arizona will be looking to win the NFC West and take the No. 2 seed in the conference.
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a 12-5 campaign, but injuries to key players limited the team’s production.
Arizona finished the season ranked first in the Pac-12 in scoring and second in total offense.
In fact, the Cardinals led the conference in scoring in 2017 with a league high 24.6 points per game and scored 27 touchdowns.
The Cardinals will be hoping to get back to their top form in 2018.
They will need to improve their rushing attack if they are to make any noise in the division.