With nine weeks of games in the books, we are officially in the middle of the 18-week 2022 NFL season.

The Philadelphia Eagles (8-0) have the best record in the league and are number one in the NFC at the start of Week 10, not far behind the Minnesota Vikings (7-1) and Dallas Cowboys (6-2) and New York Giants. (6-2) among those who think big.

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The AFC picture is more confused, with just seven teams at the top of the conference separated by one game: Buffalo Bills (6-2), Kansas City Chiefs (6-2), Baltimore Ravens (6-3), Miami Dolphins (6-3),” New York Jets (5-3), Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) and Tennessee Titans (5-3).

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As we look forward to the second half of the season, Sportzshala asked NFL team reporters to share their thoughts on what they know—and what they don’t know—about their teams midway through the season, and offered an additional element to readers and fans. watch as the second half begins.

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AFC VOSTOK

Buffalo Bills (6-2)

What do we know: The Bills have looked like one of the best teams in the NFL, but they have some issues to work out in the AFC East’s competition. Overall, the defensive line has improved from last season, but stopping a run has become a problem (over 170 yards in each of the last two games). On the other hand, when quarterback Josh Allen is turned on and supported by something like a running game, this offense has shown him to be unstoppable.

What we don’t know yet: Over the past six quarters, Allen has completed 47.9% of his passes and never landed on four interceptions. Prior to this segment, he made a total of four interceptions. A big part of the Bills success will depend on Allen being able to make the right decisions and stay on top of the offense. Another issue is the return of defender Tre’Davius ​​White. With White’s imminent return, how will he act and what will he provide in defense?

Major injuries to look out for: Allen is currently being treated for an injury to his right elbow, especially the ulnar collateral ligament and associated nerves. The entire offense revolves around him as he has 23 of the team’s 25 offensive touchdowns, either passing or running. Allen is also the team’s top rusher (392 yards). If he misses some time, and Kees Keenum replaces him, then the violation will change significantly. — Alaina Getzenberg


Miami Dolphins (6-3)

What do we know: Tua Tagovailoa lived up to all the off-season hype. The Dolphins won every game he finished and were the driving force behind most of them, including back-to-back games in weeks 8 and 9 with at least 300 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He leads the NFL in quarterback rating and excels at driving the ball down the field, leading the league in yards per try and third in yards per try.

What we don’t know yet: While their offense was among the best in the league in the first half of the season, the Dolphins’ defense fluctuated between statistically mediocre and below average. They traded on deadline for pass rusher Bradley Chubb, but we don’t yet know if that defense can regain its season-old form. Miami ranks 29th in expected scoring on defense, 25th in scoring, 23rd in yards allowed per game, and 27th in third-down defense.

Major injuries to look out for: Cornerback Byron Jones has not participated in any football activities since last year’s season finale. During the off-season, Achilles surgery placed him on a physically unable to compete list, from which he has yet to return. Undrafted rookie Kader Koho was the surprise player of the year in place of Jones, but Jones’ return will give momentum to the Dolphins’ exhausted minor. Just don’t expect it in the next two or three weeks. — Marcel Louis Jacques


New England Patriots (5-4)

What do we know: Matthew Judon is a leading contender for the NFL’s top defenseman with a league-record 11.5 sacks and is interested in avoiding the same season-end slump he had in 2021. Led by Judon’s strong performance, the Patriots are a team defined by the defense and special forces units as the Mack Jones-led offensive has yet to break out.

What we don’t know yet: Is the offensive coaching setup solid with Matt Patricia as the playcoller and Joe Judge as the quarterbacks coach? After the offseason of McJones making the jump into Year 2 and rising to the franchise’s quarterback level, that still hasn’t happened.

Circle this upcoming game: The Patriots wrap up their bye in week 10 and play three games in 12 days – November 20 against the New York Jets (6-3), then Thanksgiving November 24 against the Minnesota Vikings (7-1) before next Thursday. game on December 1 against the Buffalo Bills (6-2). We’ll learn a lot more about the Patriots after the three-game stretch. — Mike Reiss


New York Jets (6-3)

What do we know: The Jets are a very good defensive team and this will allow them to compete with the so-called elite teams. They have at least one run in every game and have kept four of their last six opponents within 200 yards of a pass. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and cornerback D.J. Reid are enjoying years of careers, and Sauce Gardner is a candidate for the NFL’s best defensive end. It’s a resilient team – 3-3 on a double-digit deficit compared to 3-40 in the previous four seasons.

What we don’t know yet: Quarterback Zach Wilson still isn’t good enough to lead the offense for four quarters, so it’s fair to wonder how they’d handle a shootout-type game. They have plenty of playmakers, especially with budding wide receiver Garrett Wilson warming up but need to be managed due to his error proneness. He needs a ground game; they are 6-0, scoring rushing touchdowns.

Major injuries to look out for: Wide receiver Cory Davis (knee), who missed two games, is expected to return in Week 11. When he does, who will drop out of the wide receiver rotation? How will this affect chemistry? According to coach Robert Saleh, Denzel Mims played well enough to earn a regular role. Someone has to be superfluous, and it could be Elijah Moore, whose production has disappeared. Curiously, he has never caught the ball since his request for a trade. — Rich Jiminy

AFK NORTH

Baltimore Ravens (6-3)

What do we know: Lamar Jackson and the Ravens handled the ball almost uncontrollably. Baltimore rushed for over 150 yards in eight consecutive games, the longest single-season streak since the 1985 Chicago Bears. The offensive line has been so dominant that five players have gained over 100 yards this season. Jackson remains elusive with 26 runs of 10 or more yards (second in the NFL).

What we don’t know yet: Can Baltimore win if Jackson has to throw the ball? Jackson is fourth with 16 touchdown passes, but he is 18th in passing yards with 1,768 yards. This season, he has lacked consistency in getting into the receivers. In the past five games, Jackson has completed less than 60% of his passes four times and has averaged 175 passing yards. Part of the decline in performance is due to injuries to players playing in skill positions. But Jackson wasn’t sharp either. His 19.3% off-target percentage is the seventh worst in the league.

Circle this upcoming game: The Ravens end the regular season at the Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) and it looks like this is the game that will decide the AFC North. The Browns (3-5) struggled with suspended quarterback Deshawn Watson, while the Steelers (2-6) lost without Ben Roethlisberger. This division is a two-team race between Baltimore and Cincinnati that together have won three of the last four AFC North titles. However, the Ravens need to turn history around after losing seven of their last 10 games in Cincinnati. — Jamison Hensley


Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)

What do we know: The Bengals were a very difficult team. They started 2-0 before rallying to win five of their next seven games. This included three wins against the bad division NFC South. What made Cincinnati the AFC champions last year – timely offense and solid defense – is also the foundation of this year’s team.

What we don’t know yet: If the Bengals can withstand the upcoming playoff showdown. Bengalis have the second strongest remaining chart, according to Sportzshala Analytics. With Cincinnati trailing Baltimore in the AFC North lead and the Ravens facing a much softer schedule (24th toughest SOS), a wild card spot could be the Bengals’ best chance. to return to the postseason.

Major injuries to look out for: The timing of the return of wide receiver Jamarr Chase will be critical to Cincinnati’s chances of making the playoffs. Chase has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL since he entered the league in 2021. When he is on the field, he forces the opposing defense to adjust their schemes accordingly. The Chase is a key asset to quarterback Joe Barrow and an offense looking to remain one of the NFL’s most effective divisions. — Ben Baby


Cleveland Browns (3-5)

What do we know: The Browns boast one of the fastest offenses in the NFL. Nick Chubb ranks second in the league in rushing (841 yards), averaging a whopping 5.64 yards per carry with a league-leading 10 rushing touchdowns. Kareem Hunt, who stayed with the Browns after the trade deadline, remains one of the NFL’s top backup defensemen. And the offensive line, led by Pro Bowl defenseman Joel Bitonio, continues to dominate the line of scrimmage.

What we don’t know yet: How good is this Browns defense? Due to a series of poor performances early in the season, the Browns are only 27th in defensive performance. But Cleveland also posted their best record of the year, shutting out Joe Burrow and the Bengals completely on Monday Night Football. The talent is there, and it’s headlined by All-Pro pass rusher Miles Garrett. If the Browns can find consistency, especially…