Blog Entry

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:10 pm
 
1.) New Orleans (13-0) [no change]
 It's possible that the Saints are just making things exciting for themselves.  Either that, or something is up with them as they've had more than a few close shaves in recent weeks.  It might be something to worry about if they were playing a good team this coming Saturday.  Instead, they have the Cowboys in full swoon.  If it's as competitive as New Orleans' recent games have been, I'll be pleased.

2.) Indianapolis (13-0) [no change]
 Peyton Manning threw 3 INT's and won.  Does that say more about him and his team, or the team they were facing (at home)?  At this point it might be saying more about Denver, though they certainly were trying hard.  Indy pulled out another win, though, and stay in second place where they've been for quite awhile.  They take on the Jaguars on Thursday in a game where some starters will get rested.  I'm not sure where I come down in that debate; obviously, I've seen what happens to teams that rested and I saw what happened two years ago when the Patriots went for broke and failed.  I'm not certain that momentum really means anything, especially when you have Manning running the offense.  As long as he's right, the Colts will continue to win.  Even when he throws two or three picks, the Colts STILL win.

3.) San Diego (10-3) [no change]
 The Chargers are the third-best team, despite being down in the standings to Minnesota.  Sure, they had a couple bad losses (and a bad win in Oakland the first Monday night of the season), but they've won eight in a row and are well-prepared for their playoff push.  It has to be AFC Championship or bust for the Chargers, especially with Cincinnati looking beatable.  The Chargers also have favorable recent history with the Colts; I'm not a complete believer in San Diego just yet.  Nor am I going to go out on a limb and say that the Chargers would definitely beat the Colts in Indianapolis.  Let's just say that the odds are on San Diego's side, and the Colts might want to hope for someone else knocking them off before they head to Indy.

4.) Minnesota (11-2) [+5]
 Adrian Peterson produced one of those games that fantasy owners go nuts for.  Brett Favre was back to his efficient form of every game besides the one in Arizona, and the defense was tough as usual.  I figured Cincinnati would put up a better fight, but Minnesota was prepared in every way to take them out.  They likely won't catch the Saints for home-field, but they've got the #2 seed locked up for the playoffs unless something really bad happens.

5.) Green Bay (9-4) [no change]
 Somehow, the Packers have maneuvered themselves into a very favorable position for the playoffs.  Of course, they won't win their division, which means they have to go on the road, but they're still doing better than most other teams in the NFC.  Aaron Rodgers had a mediocre game in Chicago, and outside of Ryan Grant the rest of the offense was pretty moribund.  The Packers still have Pittsburgh and Arizona on their schedule, which could mean two more tough tests (though with the way both teams have played lately, it's a toss-up).

6.) Philadelphia (9-4) [no change]
 Philadelphia leads the NFC East with their win and Dallas' loss.  But the division title isn't theirs just yet.  They still have to go to Dallas in the final week of the season (and Dallas fans know how having the last game be against the Eagles doesn't really work out).  I think the one thing the Eagles' win says is that the Giants are all but eliminated as playoff contenders.  Dallas and Philly showed that their defense still isn't where it needs to be.  And the Eagles won thanks to big plays and a long 4th quarter drive that was made out of grit and efficiency.  The Eagles' defense might not be the best, but with their offense, it's hard to see how they don't make the NFC Championship Game.

7.) Cincinnati (9-4) [-3]
 The Bengals were one of the bigger disappointments in Week 14.  They couldn't get it going on offense and were fairly abysmal on defense.  Dirty little secret: When they're not playing the AFC North, they're not very good.  They swept their division, but are 3-4 in games outside of it.  Cincy has also been pretty inconsistent too.  Despite that, they're in decent shape, as they'll be hosting a Wild Card game with an excellent chance of advancing.  The teams below them aren't much better than the Bengals, if at all.  They'll likely be in a position where one or two playoff wins is expected, and a first-round loss is indefensible.

8.) New England (8-5)
 Speaking of disappointments...oh wait, the Patriots won this week.  It wasn't the best game for Brady and co., but I'm sure they'll take it.  In fact, it might provide some needed motivation for the coming weeks.  The AFC East looks more wide open than it did a couple weeks ago, with the Pats sliding and the Dolphins and Jets coming on, for the most part.  I would still pick the Pats to win the division, though; they have the better team, and more importantly the best QB of the contenders.  If their defense shapes up even slightly, they could be in a comparable position to Philadelphia in the NFC.

9.) Denver (8-5) [-2]
 The Broncos had a tough matchup going in, so it's not surprising that they lost.  What may have been surprising was the emphasis they put on the passing game, and how well Kyle Orton dealt with the increased workload.  He and Brandon Marshall have some chemistry, to be sure, as Marshall set an NFL record for receptions in a single game that was previously held by Terrell Owens.  I wasn't expecting that kind of performance from Orton or Marshall, to be honest.  The loss does hurt, but the rapport between QB and WR bodes well for the future; during the Broncos' midseason swoon, their offense was worse than moribund, particularly in the passing game.  So if Orton can keep it up, their chances of taking one in the playoffs go way up.  I wouldn't put any money on it, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

10.) Arizona (8-5) [-2]
 Finally this week we have the once again disappointing Arizona Cardinals, who couldn't stand their own prosperity (again, it must be said) and laid an egg in San Francisco.  Division rivalry aside, that was a game that Arizona should have won, and they should have won it by about 20-25 points.  I guess that because it is a rivalry, SF was ready for them and had the proper motivation to run their gameplan.  Whatever the case may be, Arizona stunk, and look like near-total frauds after convincingly making Minnesota their pinata last week.  I think Arizona wins the toothless NFC West, but I'm not all that sure.  The schedule is not terribly difficult; they play Detroit, St. Louis, and Green Bay.  So they should be 11-5 when all is said and done (though Green Bay might be up for their game), and 10-6 at worst.  Of course, that assumes that they don't do anything mind numbingly stupid against the two bad opponents remaining.  After yesterday's game, who knows what will happen.
Category: NFL
Comments

Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2009 4:44 am
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

Not bad but I think Phily would thump Green Bay. I also like Arizona ahead of Denver and maybe New England as well.



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2009 9:48 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

this is really good and well analuzed
the only thing i might switch is the colts and saints because of the fact the colts have beat more teams on the list than the saints have
but overall pretty nice



Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2009 10:45 am
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

How do you have the Saints ahead of the Colts? Strength of schedule, Colts play more difficult schedule




Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2009 10:39 am
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

O my God, it hurts my eyes to read that your an idiot "dey did beat dem",




Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 9:29 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

Good point, sirbed.  The only reason I didn't do that is because I didn't want to "punish" San Diego by moving them down.

Honestly, I'm surprised that I even got featured.  I can't complain; it's a nice surprise.



Since: Feb 24, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 7:19 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

Good blog post big red. I would have Minnesota over San Diego for now although the Chargers are playing some really good football. I look forward to reading your power rankings next week.



Since: Nov 15, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 6:03 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 14

i disagree with dis
philly should b 5
n denver should b ahead of new england dey did beat dem
n minnesota shld be 3 not san diego


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