We're at the season's midway point, and we'll be handing out midseason superlatives here at Around The NFL all week. Next up: Biggest disappointments.
What happened to Kaepernick?
Where is Colin Kaepernick? I mean, the realColin Kaepernick. I know there's a guy who matches Kap's description sitting on the Niners' bench right now, but he is clearly an impostor, a rogue, a cog in a greater conspiracy. The real Colin Kaepernick was one of the game's most electrifying young talents. He nearly won a Super Bowl in his first season as starter, then beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau the following January. Kaepernick had a cannon for a right arm, ran like a cheetah and gave the Bengals nightmares for passing on him to select Andy Dalton in the 2011 draft. To the captors of the real Colin: Please release him. His fans are worried. He has a family ... and Dr. Dre-related business obligations. Free him now or risk further wrath from a fired Jim Tomsula. -- Dan Hanzus
Ravens betray their reputation
The Ravens deserve all the credit they earned over the past decade, operating as an annual beast in the AFC North. It starts with the outstanding work of general manager Ozzie Newsome, a candidate for executive of the century and one of the game's premier team-builders. The Ravens, though, haven't looked ready for prime time in 2015, disappointing fans with a talent-poor offense and one of the worst secondaries league-wide. We were reluctant to "fork" the Ravens because their past DNA suggests a team ready to overcome any slow start. Baltimore's ugly record, though, is no mirage. The Ravens are headed for a potential top-five pick -- a selection Ozzie will surely nail -- but after coming within two games of the Super Bowl last winter, this autumn is a shambles. -- Marc Sessler
Lions leave no room for enthusiasm
Coming off an 11-5 playoff season, optimism bubbled in Detroit. Keeping with their long, tormented history, the Lions fell flat. Matthew Stafford has been terrible -- something Jim Caldwell was hired to fix. The offensive line is a series of swinging doors. They fired their offensive coordinator midseason and looked worse afterwards. The defense couldn't stop a Lingerie Football team. From awful offseason moves to the lack of in-game coaching adjustments, it's been a total failure in the Motor City in 2015. Unless Martha Firestone Ford sweeps out the staff, including the entire front office -- general manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand -- there will be no reason for enthusiasm anytime soon in Detroit. -- Kevin Patra
Luck's struggles have Colts tied with Texans
We spent the offseason penning endless accolades to the Colts' allegedly dynamic offense, soon to be known as the "Greatest Shoe on Earth." Andrew Luck was replacing liabilities such as Trent Richardson and an injury-ravaged Reggie Wayne with NFL legends Frank Gore and Andre Johnson -- not to mention speedy first-round pick Phillip Dorsett.
Instead, Luck has been a broken, backsliding quarterback, winning just one of six starts. Among the game's most fun players to watch over the past three years, Luck now inspires only pity and bewilderment. Far from the Super Bowl contenders they were billed as, the Colts have yet to win a game outside the wretched AFC South. The season has gone so sideways that perennial division winners have fallen into a first-place tie with a Texans outfit that has more quarterback changes than victories at midseason. It remains to be seen if the Colts' decision to fire offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will somehow revive Luck's season. -- Chris Wesseling
Philly's slow start erases offseason promise
The Eagles might still make the playoffs and Sam Bradford might still click as their quarterback, but for the moment, we're left with an uncertain, muddled mess on offense in Philadelphia. For those of us who bought in to Chip Kelly's vision hook, line and sinker -- like me -- this was nowhere near the start we envisioned. I was hoping to see Sam Bradford among the league's top 10 quarterbacks in passing yards and touchdowns, finally realizing his potential. I was also expecting either Ryan Mathews or DeMarco Murray to be among the NFL's top 20 running backs. Because of Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles' success in Kelly's offense, it earned the reputation of being quarterback-proof. It made Matt Barkley look good enough to get traded. It made Tim Tebow look like a borderline backup option. But now, we find ourselves back at square one, questioning just about everything Kelly has laid on the table. From the height, weight and speed requirements, to the belief that the power spread is a valid and sustainable scheme in the NFL, what do we know for certain right now? -- Conor Orr
Seattle's fourth-quarter play
Seattle stood atop the conventional wisdom power rankings to start the season. This was a historically good defense that also added Jimmy Graham to their offense. The Seahawks enter midseason at 4-4, and those four wins came against teams with seven combined wins on the season. When Seattle has played a quality NFL team, they are 0-4. And they have crumbled in the fourth quarter in nearly every one. (They put together a big comeback against the Rams before blowing it late.) The team even struggled to close out Matt Cassel and the Cowboys in Dallas.