We are a little past the halfway point in the NFL regular season, which means it’s time to start looking at which teams are legitimate contenders for the Super Bowl, which ones are almost certainly not, and also the Cleveland Browns exist. Probably. Although every team has either six or seven games remaining, there’s enough writing on the wall for us to start paying attention to who might make it to next year’s Super Bowl 52. Here are the top contenders…

New England Patriots

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The Pats are always going to have a shot as long as they have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Sure, their pass defense is horrendous right now, but when you can score on pretty much any team at will, you can afford to drop a few. The biggest downside will be having to hear about it from your friends in Boston.

Philadelphia Eagles

While the Eagles have a long and storied history of choking hard in the playoffs, they’ve played it very conservative this season so far, shoring up needs immediately, sitting players who have even the hint of an injury, and making savvy trades to pick up the slack. Carson Wentz has been nothing short of fantastic, Jay Ajayi wants to prove he can be a starter, and that offensive line is making room for both to do it. Unfortunately, Philly is the only city with fans worse than Boston, so this one could be painful.

Kansas City Chiefs

Unless the Chiefs have one of their classic late season meltdowns, they have a darn good shot at making it happen this season. With Alex Smith trying to shed the “game manager” tag, and young players like Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill burning turf every week, he looks poised to do it. Oh, and that defense looks pretty solid — most of the time. If they can manage to get home field advantage and force the Pats through Arrowhead, it could be on.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are looking to prove that Los Angeles didn’t make a mistake when they became the most hated city in the NFL by stealing two teams away, and they are doing it in style. Todd Gurley has been a monster, Jared Goff has looked like a legitimate passer, and the team has been able to score at will on just about everybody. Sorry, St. Louis.

New Orleans Saints

We never thought we’d say this, but the Saints have a shot at the Big Game thanks to their defense. Nobody has been able to pass on them, and running has been a slog at best. With Drew Brees still helming the offense, and two top producing running backs, this may be the most well-rounded team in the league. Not bad for a team who started out 0-2.

Honorable Mentions

  • The Minnesota Vikings look solid, if a little raw. Maybe not this year, but soon.
  • The Tennessee Titans have some great talent, but they can’t seem to figure out that their best players should be the ones on the field.
  • The Carolina Panthers are beginning to fire on all cylinders after a slow start, and if they can stay healthy they may make some noise
  • The Dallas Cowboys have to prove they can do it without Ezekiel Elliott for a few weeks, but once he’s back, all bets are off