NFL Notebook Week 9: MVP race, playoff picture, awards and more

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens hugs quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns after the Baltimore Ravens 26-24 win over Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens hugs quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns after the Baltimore Ravens 26-24 win over Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

One Last Thing

We have officially passed the midway point of the 2019 NFL season, and every bone in my body is saying to not think about the playoffs and to enjoy the football we have now. Alas, I couldn’t resist:

AFC

1. New England Patriots – An elite defense paired with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Come on, it’s too easy.

2. Baltimore Ravens –Their win over New England was a statement win. Also, the rest of the schedule is a breeze aside from the Texans, Rams and 49ers.

3. Kansas City Chiefs – Never count out Patrick Mahomes, but it seems like they always have trouble with divisional opponents late in the season.

4. Houston Texans – They also have divisional issues, but Deshaun Watson has been too good to keep out of the postseason.

5. Buffalo Bills – Buffalo is overrated. They’ve only beaten teams with losing records. They’re only facing three more teams with winning records. Despite all that, they could easily go 11-5.

6. Indianapolis Colts – They’re too well-coached on both sides of the ball to not be here, though an injury to Jacoby Brissett could hurt their chances.

NFC

1. New Orleans Saints – Aside from an easier remaining schedule than the 49ers, how can you ignore Sean Payton and Drew Brees? They may be the most complete team in football.

2. San Fransisco 49ers – They’re playing so well, but their remaining schedule is tough. History shows that any team to start 8-0 makes the playoffs, though.

3. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers finally has real help, thanks to a new scheme and a rejuvenated defense. I’d say Green Bay’s remaining games look very easy, but they did just get smacked by the Chargers.

4. Dallas Cowboys – I still don’t get how they lost to the Jets, considering the team’s balance and depth. While they have some tough games left, the NFC East isn’t overly competitive.

5. Seattle Seahawks – The NFC Wild Card is tough to pick, and though they’ve only beaten one team with a winning record, there’s something about them that I can’t shake.

Next. 2019 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 10. dark

6. Los Angeles Rams – It came down to the Rams and the Vikings, with Los Angeles getting the nod due to the team’s slightly easier schedule. In the end, I’d take Sean McVay over Mike Zimmer. Only twice in 10 years has the NFC’s Super Bowl team not returned to the playoffs the next season.