Lets take a spin around the TMFL. As usual, please listen to the music as you read this column. I'll channel my inner Chris Berman as best I can and you guys can all sit back and enjoy. ONTO THE FASTEST 2 MINUTES IN FOOTBALL! (or not) We're midway through the season folks, so its time to talk contender, pretender and bartender. Contenders: NFC Detroit - They are 8-0 and cruising right now. No likes coach Savage but they don't have to, he just wins. Calvin Johnson has been quiet, Ndamukong Suh has been dominant and the Lions are running the ball. 8-0? They may run away with this division. HUAAAAAAAAAAAA New Orleans - Coach Boyette and Drew Brees are a match made in heaven. The Saints defense is uncharacteristically complex but also uncharacteristically good. The Saints have a new identity and Boyette is largely the man behind the transformation. Can they keep it up in the 2nd toughest division in football? Swami Sez they can. Atlanta - The Atlanta Guido's, as they are known in some circles. Coach Capparelli has his world famous Italian Bistro cook every team meal for the team but some are beginning to ask, what's in the food? The high flying Falcons are dangerous in every way and Swami is looking for a deep playoff push from a team that's ready to win right now. St. Louis - Probably the surprise team right now, no one could have predicted the ascent of the St. Louis Rams. Chris Long's future is shrouded in doubt following a PED scandal after his supernatural first half of the season - can the Rams weather the storm and scrutiny? Swami Sez they can! The New York Football Giants - Big Blue has huffed and puffed and blown the damn doors off of the NFC Least. Formerly a proud division, the NFC East has fallen on hard times - maybe in large part to the dominance of the GEEEEEE-MEN. Coach Mayernick will have his hands full with the Steelers this week but THE SCHWAM expects big, big, big things from the Giants. Pretenders: NFC Minnesota - Riding high and mighty are the Minnesota Vikings and coach Tyler Kasperson. When the AP train finally slows down, who's there to pick up the slack? Joe Webb? Not so fast sweetheart. Swami Sez NO SOUP FOR YOU. San Francisco - Some pundits probably picked the 49ers to win the division this year but they have looked nothing short of mediocre. Where's that all world defense? The 49ers must get back on track if they plan on running down the Rams in the second half of the season or all the buzz in the offseason will be about what to do with Alex Smith.... again. Bartenders: NFC Tampa Bay - Coach Bond knew he had a tall task taking over the Buccaneers but I'm not sure he knew what he was getting into in the fierce NFC South. The Buccaneers aren't the NFL's worst but this hometown boy better roll up his sleeves or bend over and find the lube because the future looks grim right now. If he's not careful he'll soon be bagging groceries, selling insurance or working at the local team bar serving drinks. Dallas - One win? Just one? Coach Burgdorff's Cowboys have tripped and fallen over themselves too many times this season. The reverse cowgirls have always been perpetually overrated by pundits and it looks like that may again be the case this season. Swami wonders what might be in the long term plans if the team isn't capable of winning right now.... Philadelphia - Michael Vick? Sayonara. Coach Pleez (and thank you) may be packing his bags soon as well if he doesn't turn around a team that some predicted was ready for a Superbowl run. Certainly things can go wrong but zero wins? Oh man. Philadelphia fans are losing their minds right now. Rumor has it they are sending love letters to Donovan McNabb asking for his return.... just brutal right now in the city of brotherly love. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contenders: AFC Pittsburgh - Coach Rockwell and his nasty Steeler team are off to a hot start and lead the TOUGHEST division in all of football with a 6-1 record. Big Ben has been a little less rapey and a lot more boom shock-a-lock-a. The defense is playing lights out and the rest of the world braces itself for having to listen to another year of annoying Steeler fans talking about how many championships their team has won. Baltimore - The only thing standing in the Ravens way to another Superbowl birth is division rival Pittsburgh. The Ravens have quietly been playing great football, positioning themselves well to make a deep post season run. In fact, no one is talking about the Ravens but the SWAMI IS. Swami Sez the divisional round matchup in the playoffs between the Ravens and Steelers could go down as an all time great. Cincinnati - No ginger has ever led and NFL team to the promised land. Can the soul-less Andy Dalton rewrite NFL history? Swami thinks they have a shot. Coach Michael Timpe was quoted last weekend as saying "I honestly just wanted to play soccer but my Mom told me to grow a pair so I ended up playing football instead. After my knee injury in college coaching just kinda stuck." Tennessee - It was very difficult picking just one team out of the AFC south but Swami tips his cap to coach Rel Graves and his Titans. How do you pick against a guy named Rel? Chris Johnson is as dangerous as they come and the Titans have all the tools to make a run in the AFC. Come playoff time, coach Graves is one of the best. You don't bet against that. Kansas City - SWAMI SHOCKS THE WORLD. You heard it here first folks. The Schwam is picking the 3-5 Chiefs as the lone contender out of the AFC West. Something stinks in this division and outside of the abysmal poor mans Nick Bakay led Chargers and "rickety ol' back" bitching up a storm Dan Finch led Bronco's - its the Oakland Raiders. They're just 4-3 yet they lead the divison. WINTER IS COMIN.... and the Raiders will be hard pressed to survive it. Gang Green - Swami hates picking against his hometown Bills (in multiple ways) but he has to do it. The Jets are playing solid football right now and the Bills are far to inconsistent to make a run at them. The Dolphins have reportedly just hired a new coach, AS HAVE THE PATRIOTS. WHAT? Good lord how do you predict this division? SWAMI SEZ YOU HIT THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE, like Rocky Balboa would do. Pretenders: AFC Houston: Andre Johnson's recent sex scandal not withstanding, this is a playoff caliber team. That being said, pulling an R. Kelly and videotaping golden showers is not exactly good mojo for a playoff push. Swami likes the consistent AFC North just a tad better than the Texans and that is why you'll find Coach Loconsole's team here. Buffalo: Ryan Fitzpatrick you are the weakest link. Goodbye. Just kidding. But seriously you are awful. The only way the Bills get off the roller coaster that is Ryan Fitzpatrick is to part ways. Since they just give him a huge contract Swami doesn't see that happening any time soon.... Bartenders: AFC Cleveland: You had to know Swami was going to slot Cleveland here - if only to enrage their bitter fans and their poor little hearts. Is Brandon Weeden the answer? What are they doing with Colt McCoy? Are they going to put any weapons around Richardson and Weeden? Way too many questions in Cleveland. I think Coach Mason needs a drink.... or two..... or fifty. San Diego: The Schwam never would have guessed that Coach Cheeseman actually does stand-in voiceover work for the world famous Nick Bakay. Unfortunately no one told coach to stick with that job instead of coaching in the NFL, which he clearly lacks the ability for. Zero wins through eight games? Thats a tough pill to swallow. At least there is plenty of fine stock in San Diego to ease the pain.