SI Staff
Wednesday November 4th, 2015

Back in early September,'s NFL writers and editors made their preseason Super Bowl picks, but looking back on it now, many of us completely missed the target. So, after eight weeks of play in a very unpredictable NFL season (who thought the Bengals and the Panthers would be among the still-undefeated teams at this point?), we're evaluating what we've learned so far this season and updating our picks.

And to take a deeper look at how the season’s second half may unfold,’s Don Banks, Greg Bedard, Chris Burke and Doug Farrar discuss players who are leading the awards races, under-the-radar teams that could reach the playoffs, Coach of the Year candidates and more below.

BURKE: Midseason Sour Rankings | FARRAR: Midseason All-Overrated Team

2015 NFL Midseason Predictions
Defend yourself

Don Banks
vs. vs. At midseason, I have Green Bay over New England in Super Bowl 50, swapping in the steamrolling and undefeated Patriots in place of the woefully underachieving Chargers, who were my preseason choice to win the AFC. I made that pick well before the Tom Brady appeal was over-turned and New England launched its season-long revenge tour. I’ll stick with the Packers to win it all, but the Patriots seem like the obvious choice to be their opponent in Santa Clara.

Greg Bedard
vs. vs. So who's the genius that picked the Ravens to win the Super Bowl? The only thing hurting more than my ego after that is the Ravens' injured reserve. In the AFC, I don't think anybody can knock off the Patriots. In the NFC, I have a hard time not seeing the Cardinals in the Super Bowl, led by a healthy Carson Palmer. That would make for a heck of a matchup, and in the end, Palmer makes the mistakes that Brady doesn't.

Greg Bishop
vs. vs. So much of any NFL season comes down to QB play, and I picked the wrong QBs back in August: Andrew Luck has regressed for the Colts and Sam Bradford and the Eagles’ offense have yet to take flight. So I’ll stick with the right ones now. Tom Brady lifts the Patriots over Peyton Manning and the Broncos to win the AFC, and Aaron Rodgers beats Carson Palmer and the Cardinals in the NFC. Then Brady bests Rodgers for his fifth Super Bowl ring.

Chris Burke
vs. vs. I appreciate y'all letting me participate in this considering my preseason call. Trying to remember why this wasn't my pick in the first place. The Patriots' offense is an absolute nightmare to play against, even with an average line, and the defense hasn't missed a beat despite its personnel losses. I'm feeling less confident in the Green Bay pick. But the NFC feels wide open at the moment, so I'm putting my money on Aaron Rodgers.

Doug Farrar
vs. vs. Since I picked the Eagles to beat the Colts in Super Bowl 50, I appreciate the mulligan. While the Patriots have all the obvious advantages, I see the Panthers as this year's team that nobody wants to play. The defense is stellar, Cam Newton has developed into a legitimate MVP candidate, and Carolina has the most diverse rushing attack in the league. This game would be a worthy one for the Super Bowl's half-century mark.

Michael Beller
vs. vs. I’ve been Cincinnati believer since August, and now I’m going all in. Not only will Andy Dalton and the Bengals break their playoff malaise, but also they’ll beat Tom Brady and the fearsome Patriots, as well as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Why? A potent, balanced offense, Dalton’s maturation (on display in the fourth quarter of the Week 8 win in Pittsburgh) and a resurgent defense, led by a healthy Geno Atkins, Vincent Rey and Adam Jones.

Melissa Jacobs
vs. vs. There's no reason to veer from my preseason picks in terms of teams but I think I'm better off selecting the 2007 Patriots—I mean 2015 Patriots—to hoist the Lombardi Trophy yet again.

Bette Marston
vs. vs. I was fully on the Eagles' bandwagon at the start of the season, but I hang my head as I step off—their offense has too many broken parts to carry them all the way to the Super Bowl. Many of the NFC's top teams seem to be a bit precarious right now, so I'll go the boring route and put my faith in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense to win the division. However my AFC pick stays the same, because let's be real, who can beat the Patriots right now?

Austin Murphy
vs. vs. Unsettled by Green Bay’s pratfall in Denver—Aaron Rodgers was 14-of-22 for 77 yards!?—I’m unloading my Packers stock, but sticking with the NFC to win it all. Comeback Player of the Year Carson Palmer has been masterful and it sure helps to have a running game. But it’s Arizona’s defense—robust and physical up front, bristling with ballhawks in back—that will prevent the Patriots from repeating.

Joan Niesen
vs. vs. Don't I look smart? Neither of my preseason Super Bowl picks has a winning record! So, I'll reverse course: The Patriots are the best team in the NFL in a season in which the majority of the league is just plain mediocre or bad. As for the Packers, despite their walloping at the hands of the Broncos, I still think that with Aaron Rodgers and a solid defense, they're the best team in the NFC. That's enough to earn them a trip to San Francisco.

Amy Parlapiano
vs. vs. I picked the Broncos and Packers to get to Santa Clara in the preseason and I’m proudly standing by it. Denver looked risky early on, but after a statement Week 8 win against (conveniently enough) Green Bay, it looks like it may be the only team in the NFL with a shot at beating New England. Still, as the offensive-juggernaut-Broncos learned the hard way two years ago against the Seahawks, defense wins championships. And this time, they have the best one by far.

Eric Single
vs. vs. I'm going to double down on the preseason pick everyone else has justifiably run from. Philadelphia's defense has been a pleasant surprise and a welcome silver lining during its turbulent first half, and it seems easier for an offense to make midseason adjustments building off a strong defensive foundation than the other way around. As for the Patriots, I'm done betting against the tides. Cue up the Super Bowl XXXIX oral histories.

And, as promised, a discussion between Banks, Bedard, Burke and Farrar (moderated by Melissa Jacobs) about MVP candidates, teams that could sneak into the playoffs, Coach of the Year candidates and more.

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