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Which 32 NFL teams are the most and least entertaining at the halfway point of the season?


The midway point of the NFL season might not be a time that yields abundant certainty about where each team is heading, but it gives a good enough indication where every franchise stands.

With Week 10 on the horizon, there's plenty of time for organizations to set a different course and reshape the playoff picture. By now, however, there's a large enough sample size to make some conclusions about each team's identity.

And while there's no accounting for taste, some franchises are more adept than others at commanding observers' attention and rewarding them with some fun.

With that in mind, here's our entirely unscientific ranking of all 32 NFL teams from most to least entertaining:

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1. Miami Dolphins

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Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) jumps in the air and yells as he celebrates wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (11) scoring a touchdown during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

A three-game lull in which the NFL's most prolific offense averaged just over 20 points per contest has put a damper on things, but the Dolphins still deserve the nod for the top spot. Mike McDaniel's group is averaging almost a full yard more per play (7.1) than the next closest team, with explosive gains coming both via the air and ground. Tyreek Hill, meanwhile, is making a strong push to be the first ever wideout to win NFL MVP as he makes more progress toward his goal of becoming the first ever 2,000-yard receiver. And that's to say nothing of a defense that only grows more intriguing with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey back in action after being sidelined by knee surgery. Yes, Miami has to add some substance to its style by producing against winning teams. But with the Dolphins' utilization of "cheat motion" being adapted by opposing offenses throughout the league, it's clear McDaniel and Co. are the cool kids at the table that everyone else is trying to emulate.

2. Baltimore Ravens

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The NFL schedule-makers haven't afforded Charm City many chances to seize the national spotlight. Better start paying attention now, as the Ravens are drumming opponents in their own distinct manner. Don't be misled by the stats, as Lamar Jackson has made a strong MVP bid by dicing defenses in the intermediate to deep range, even as he has been held to under 200 yards passing while being let down by his receivers in some key spots. If Todd Monken's offense really clicks in the second half, watch out. And coordinator Mike Macdonald is getting career bests out of tons of key players on a defense that's swallowing up everything in its path. This team should be appointment viewing down the stretch.

3. San Francisco 49ers

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High placement for a team riding a three-game losing streak? Not if you're willing to write off many of the team's issues as stemming from the absences of offensive tackle Trent Williams and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. The Brock Purdy experience should level out somewhere in between the hyperbolic highs of the early season and lows of the ongoing skid. Yet despite those problems - as well as the sagging defense - the 49ers have still shown a knack for dismantling aspiring contenders (see: Cowboys) and rank second in yards per play (6.3).

4. Philadelphia Eagles

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If comparison is the thief of joy, the Eagles have been robbed of a lot of jubilation this season by constantly having to live up to last year's Super Bowl standard. Nevertheless, it's refreshing to see the Eagles continue to be one of the league's standard-bearers in offensive aggressiveness, "tush push" or otherwise. And even after his record six-game streak of netting at least 125 yards was recently broken, A.J. Brown continues to churn out some of this season's best highlight-reel plays.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

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Sure, this is a far cry from what we've come to expect from Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, with the offense ranked a pedestrian 12th in scoring after five consecutive years of finishing no worse than sixth. But it'd be foolish to write off any improvement down the stretch from this unit, and Mahomes remains a singular talent capable of reeling off seldom-seen highlights with the flick of his wrist. And, in a rarity, the defense is a source of excitement rather than consternation.

6. Detroit Lions

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Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is sure to be one of the hottest names in coaching searches this offseason after crafting a scheme that has Detroit behind only the Dolphins in yards per game (390.6). Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs is building his case as one of the NFL's most dynamics newcomers after tallying 315 yards from scrimmage in the last two games, and tight end Sam LaPorta and defensive back Brian Branch have also made an immediate impact. Ultimately, however, it's difficult to put a Jared Goff-helmed team in the top tier.

7. Dallas Cowboys

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Dan Quinn is doing usual Dan Quinn things, orchestrating a third-ranked defense with swarming tendencies. And Mike McCarthy is doing Mike McCarthy things, inviting queries on why an offense that piles up yards somehow routinely loses its way as soon as it hits the red zone. CeeDee Lamb has stepped up in a major way since the drubbing in San Francisco, making the most of his increased opportunities by recording 30 catches for 466 yards in the last three games. As always, though, the regular season is essentially an extended preseason for a franchise that will always be judged by its playoff performance.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

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Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates a touchdown throw with tight end Drew Sample (89) and other teammates during the second quarter against the Bills at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on Nov. 5, 2023.

Have to ding Cincinnati for an unsightly start when Joe Burrow was injured, as the Bengals rank just 27th in yards per play and are tied with the Raiders for fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards. But during the ongoing four-game win streak, Burrow has completed nearly 76% of his passes and averaged 283.3 yards per game with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. Arrow firmly pointing up once again.

9. Buffalo Bills

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Josh Allen remains one of the NFL's top performers, with the quarterback tying for the league lead in interceptions (nine) while continuing to shoulder a disproportionate load of the offensive burden. There's only so much fun to be had, however, in watching what too often resembles a one-man show, and Buffalo has quickly grown more stale. The pressure is on for offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey to rediscover many of the elements that made this team one of the league's most vexing matchups.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

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The wait continues for the passing attack to break through into the league's elite tier, though Trevor Lawrence is hardly to blame for the problems on that front. Jacksonville's burgeoning defense, however, has taken significant strides while tying for the league lead with 18 takeaways. There's still something captivating brewing here, even if it hasn't fully come together with abundant style points.

11. Seattle Seahawks

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The perennial oddballs of pro football always carry a high entertainment value despite Geno Smith and the formerly high-flying offense appearing to have hit a wall. There's plenty of enjoyment to be had from what Seattle can offer, especially with hard-hitting rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon emerging as an instant star.

12. Houston Texans

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Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud celebrates after scoring a two-point conversion during the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers at NRG Stadium in Houston on Nov. 5, 2023.

Yes, really. The Texans have no prime-time games and play just once outside the 1 p.m. time slot this season. But if you make time to tune in, you'll surely be rewarded. C.J. Stroud is mounting what could go down as one of the best ever seasons for a rookie quarterback, with plenty of panache coming from first-year offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik's scheme.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

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The Bolts might easily belong higher were it not for a finger injury to Justin Herbert that has coincided with one of the worst statistical stretches of the quarterback's young career. Most expected more from Kellen Moore's scheme - particularly from a rushing attack that has been dormant since Week 2 - but there's still time to set things right.

14. Minnesota Vikings

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Perhaps Minnesota will lose some of its luster down the stretch, with Joshua Dobbs charged with the seemingly implausible task of keeping this current wild-card team afloat after Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles. Regardless of what happens, coach Kevin O'Connell and defensive coordinator Brian Flores have clearly conjured a little magic in stringing together a four-game win streak despite rampant challenges. And with All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson on his way back from injured reserve, the passing game might get a much-needed boost.

15. New Orleans Saints

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Derek Carr's integration into the Saints' offense has already featured its fair share of hitches – and not the route. At least the speedy Rashid Shaheed has done his part to animate the attack with his league-leading 19.3 yards per catch. In a division that is shaping up to be every bit as uninspiring as it seemed to be before the season, New Orleans might be the only club with any staying power.

16. Indianapolis Colts

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Might be high for a fairly anonymous team that won't appear in prime time all year and is without its first-round rookie quarterback in Anthony Richardson, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. But first-year coach Shane Steichen has exhibited some creative playcalling to power an offense that ranks seventh in scoring (25.8 points per game).

17. Washington Commanders

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Say this for Sam Howell: He's not boring. When the second-year quarterback hasn't been rocked by defenders – his 44 sacks putting him on a record pace for the most taken by one passer in a season – he's shown off a distinct moxie with his devil-may-care approach, though he's grown more efficient and composed as the Commanders embrace more of the quick passing game. Yet after leaving a sieve of a defense even more vulnerable by trading away Montez Sweat and Chase Young, Washington doesn't seem to have much invested in the rest of this year beyond its development plan.

18. Atlanta Falcons

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Is there a more frustrating watch anywhere else in the NFL? There's enough production to keep this group out of the bottom tier, but a franchise with this level of skill-position talent should be much higher. That, of course, would depend on competent quarterback play and something other than Arthur Smith's inscrutable offensive plan, which frequently has sidelined explosive playmakers in Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts while still finding opportunities for tight end Jonnu Smith to throw a pass and run a jet sweep at the goal line.

19. Cleveland Browns

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Much of this placement is thanks to a sublime defense allowing the fewest yards per game (234.8) of any unit. On the flip side of the equation, the offense is just now getting off the ground after Deshaun Watson returned last week from a shoulder injury by throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns against the moribund Cardinals.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) and safety Damontae Kazee (23) celebrate an interception by cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (24) in the end zone against the Ravens during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on Oct. 8, 2023.

Whether it's a testament to Mike Tomlin's coaching or merely a matter of lucky breaks, Pittsburgh has somehow managed to push to a 5-3 mark while becoming the only team in NFL history to have a winning record after being outgained in each of its first eight games. The viewing experience, however, is a decidedly tough hang. Oft-scrutinized (and memed) offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been at the center of it all, but quarterback Kenny Pickett and his highly erratic ball placement have amplified the problems. Can the Week 9 win in which Pittsburgh rushed for a season-high 166 yards serve as a turning point?

21. Tennessee Titans

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If not for Will Levis' breakout debut, this would be the embodiment of a team fit for a 1 p.m. game. But Mike Vrabel's crew has kept games close – four of five losses coming with a deficit of one score – and should have more sizzle down the stretch after turning the page on the Ryan Tannehill era.

22. Denver Broncos

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Sean Payton has squeezed a level of respectability out of this roster after an 0-3 start, with the breaking of a 16-game skid to the Chiefs serving as notice to the rest of the league that the Broncos shouldn't be buried. That effort just hasn't been particularly enthralling to take in as the offense embraces an efficient but not notably dynamic ground game.

23. Los Angeles Rams

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Puka Nacua's September star turn temporarily distracted many from the Rams' self-acknowledged truth that this is a team in transition. Already fading fast, the Rams need Matthew Stafford to return from a thumb injury after the bye to retain what little relevance they can cling to.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The flame from a 3-1 start has died down to a few scant embers amid a four-game skid. Baker Mayfield might be enough to keep the Buccaneers in the NFC South slog, but he looks ill-equipped to put Tampa Bay over the top during a rapid defensive decline.

25. New York Jets

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Seemed like Aaron Rodgers' arrival might spark a long-awaited football renaissance in New York. Instead, with Rodgers sidelined by a torn Achilles, it's been back to the dark ages - at least offensively, as Zach Wilson and the rest of the offense squander another dominant defense that has defied the odds in keeping this team competitive. Of course, if Rodgers does return later this year, this team would rocket up the rankings.

26. Green Bay Packers

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Even if it can't stay competitive for a full season, one of the NFL's youngest rosters should be providing more reasons for fans to tune in. Yet the error-prone Packers have stumbled their way into a tie for the league lead for penalties, and a lack of support has left little clarity on whether Jordan Love can be the quarterback of the future - though the early returns aren't promising.

27. Chicago Bears

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It's unconscionable that this organization, which finished with the worst record in 2022, somehow was granted four prime-time games. Tyson Bagent is a fun story line, with the Shepherd University product admirably stepping in when Justin Fields dislocated his thumb. The quarterback's four-turnover game against the Saints, however, reinforced that there's only so much one can expect when putting an undrafted Division II rookie behind center.

28. New England Patriots

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Ahead of the team's Germany game Sunday, there's undeniably a schadenfreude factor for many gleefully watching Bill Belichick deal with the most disastrous campaign of his Patriots tenure. Yet there's no argument that the on-field product is worth taking in for anyone except diehard fans. New England is ranked 31st in scoring and lacks any offensive building blocks beyond offensive lineman Mike Onwenu.

29. Las Vegas Raiders

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Maybe Josh McDaniels' firing revitalizes this group, as the Silver and Black showed a heretofore unseen spark under interim coach Antonio Pierce. Still, workmanlike fourth-round rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell doesn't scream excitement as he takes the reins, and there are somehow three more exclusive broadcast windows for this group left on the schedule.

30. Arizona Cardinals

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At least the since-traded Joshua Dobbs helped this team defy initial expectations with a surprisingly competitive early-season run, which included the season's most unfathomable upset in Arizona's takedown of the Cowboys. Those days are long gone, however, replaced by the current outfit that managed just 58 yards against the Browns, the franchise's lowest total since 1955. Kyler Murray's return gives the franchise some measure of hope - and intrigue.

31. Carolina Panthers

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Amid C.J. Stroud setting the bar for rookie signal-callers, the Panthers have had to strip their offense down to the studs to make things workable for Bryce Young. Not much fun watching this team finds its way while the No. 1 pick force-feeds 33-year-old Adam Thielen, who accounts for more than a third of the team's receiving yards.

32. New York Giants

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An absolute pox on prime time. Rampant injuries - 13 players were on IR as of Wednesday - have aggravated Big Blue's issues, but that's not the lone reason this group averages a league-worst 4.1 yards per play and 11.2 points per game. And if the puntfest against the Jets and drubbing by the post-McDaniels Raiders are any indication, things are only going to get worse. Yet there's still two "Monday Night Football" slots on the schedule. Why have newly implemented flex rules if you're not prepared to use them for situations like this?

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