Tag:Steelers
Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:51 am
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 7

In my opening last week, I mentioned that the good teams were starting to separate themselves.  This week showed the separation even more starkly.  Good teams can get lucky and catch breaks, too.  Also, the AFC clearly looks to be the stronger of the two conferences at this point of the season.  Could that change as the season moves on?  Certainly.  But for now, the power teams are heavily skewed toward the AFC.  Let's go!

1.) NY Jets (5-1) [no change]
 It's always nice for me when teams are on a bye and already in the Rankings.  No movement, no thinking, no questioning.  Plus, the Jets are one of the three prospective "great" teams that have shown up so far.  Not to be premature, or anything...because the Jets could come out in Week 8 and lay an egg.  But I have confidence that they'll continue to play well.

2.) New England (5-1) [no change]
 Going into San Diego and playing late is better than playing early.  Still, the Patriots were not at their best.  But as I said above, good teams find a way...even if it means watching a kicker bounce one off the upright after a stupid penalty.  This is another team I have confidence in, though, so I'm sure they'll play at a higher level in the weeks to come.

3.) Pittsburgh (5-1) [no change]
 Some might get hung up on the fact that the Steelers pulled out a victory when they probably didn't deserve it.  They might complain about the call being a fluke, that Miami clearly had possession, and such.  It just fits into my theme of finding ways to win.  And not every win will be pretty.  This one sure wasn't pretty...but there were uglier ones this week as well.

4.) Indianapolis (4-2) [no change]
 The Colts were on a bye, yet they lost Dallas Clark for the season and might be without Austin Collie as well.  Ouch.  That means someone will have to step up in the interim.  Of course, since they have Peyton Manning at QB...it probably won't be as difficult to adjust.  Probably.  We'll see next Monday.

5.) Tennessee (5-2) [no change]
 The Titans owned the 4th quarter against Philadelphia.  Kenny Britt played well with Kerry Collins, and some people might wonder if there's a QB controversy brewing.  This isn't like the Eagles' situation; Vince Young is the Titans' starter.  The situation in Philadelphia is not as clear-cut.  Tennessee now leads the AFC South, and they've got what looks like stiff competition.

6.) Baltimore (5-2) [+1]
 It went into overtime, but the Ravens got the win.  It does concern me that they had to go to OT against Buffalo, of all teams, especially after losing in OT to New England.  Now that Ed Reed has come back, I think the already surprising defense gets better.  The AFC North will probably be a dogfight down the stretch, though the loser probably gets a wild card for their trouble.

7.) Atlanta (5-2) [+1]
 Best team in the NFC?  At the moment, I think so.  Why?  They've played three games against the AFC and are 2-1.  OK, so the two victories are at Cleveland and against Cincinnati, not exactly "elite" teams.  Their lone loss was at Pittsburgh, in overtime.  So it's possible that I've underrated the Falcons.  We'll see in a couple weeks when they take on Baltimore.  If the Falcons win in two weeks and win against Baltimore, they'll be 7-2 and in the driver's seat in their division.

8.) NY Giants (5-2) [-]
 In this case, there's nothing wrong with second-best.  Especially in the NFC.  It's hard to imagine the Giants losing home-field advantage or the NFC East at this point.  If they keep playing like this, 10 wins will come with ease, and they could end up with 12.  Why are they behind Atlanta?  Well, they've played two games against the AFC and lost both.  Granted, they looked better on Monday.  So they're clearly rising.  But are they the best in the NFC?  Not just yet.

9.) Kansas City (4-2) [-]
 A solid win against Jacksonville after outscoring them by a count of 28-7 in the second half.  The Chiefs have one of the easier schedules out there, too.  It would not be shocking to see them end up with 12 or 13 wins.  Matt Cassel appears to be rounding into form; he's got weapons in TE Tony Moeaki and WR Dwayne Bowe.  And he's got a hell of a running game behind him spearheaded by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.  With San Diego and Denver looking pretty pathetic, KC has run with the ball and have a solid lead in the AFC West.  It's still the weakest division in the AFC, but don't be surprised if the Chiefs give teams a run for their money in the playoffs.

10.) Tampa Bay (4-2) [-]
 There are a couple other teams that I could have put here in the 10th spot.  But for some reason I like Tampa Bay; even if they got demolished by the Saints (who in turn got demolished by the CLEVELAND Browns, of all teams), they still had the resiliency to hand the Rams a loss via Josh Freeman's bread-and-butter: the 4th quarter comeback.  Tampa Bay looks like they're for real...but if they can put together some consistent performances in a row, it'd do them better.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 19, 2010 7:06 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 7:14 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 6

As we near the halfway point of the season, some of the good teams are starting to separate themselves, and the division races are becoming clearer.  Well, sort of.  The AFC South, for example, is a three-team crapshoot.  The AFC East could be won by anybody but Buffalo.  Both West divisions are in a horrific state of disarray.  It makes for an exciting season, especially down the stretch, but what I wouldn't give for a couple of these one-loss teams to really take off.  Here we go!

1.) NY Jets (5-1) [+1]
 Best team in the NFL?  Yes, for this week.  They've got the longest current win streak, have only lost by a single point, and just pulled out a road win in a game they could have easily lost.  In a word, real.  Why #1?  Because they've got the most wins.  The two teams just below are nothing to sneeze at either, though.

2.) New England (4-1) [+1]
 An OT victory in hand, the Patriots move up to 2nd this week.  Apparently, Ron Jaworski was right: "No Moss, no problem".  Deion Branch came in and played just like he had never left.  Can that keep going?  Maybe.  But even if it doesn't, Brady has plenty of receivers who can get open and get the ball.  They're narrowly ahead of Pittsburgh because they beat a team I figured was great.  And they might still be.  But for this week, the Pats were just a little better.

3.) Pittsburgh (4-1) [+5]
 Into the breach jump the Steelers again.  With Baltimore's OT loss to the Pats, some real estate at the top opened up.  Also, Ben Roethlisberger re-entered the league with style, putting on a nice beatdown of the Browns.  Clearly, I don't expect much from the Browns, so that's why the Steelers are currently third.  That's not a slight, though; the Steelers are a hell of a team.  And it's looking like everyone will slip up once or twice this season.

4.) Indianapolis (4-2) [+5]
 Another beneficiary of Baltimore's OT loss, Indianapolis shoots up the Rankings to claim the 4th spot after beating the Redskins.  It was closer than I thought it would be.  Peyton Manning is playing well; too bad he can't help the defense.  It's also too bad that they lost to Jacksonville.  A 5-1 record in the 4th spot would look much better than 4-2.

5.) Tennessee (4-2) [+5]
 I had a good feeling about the Titans going into their Monday Night game yesterday.  As it turns out, I was rewarded by seeing one of the bigger beatdowns of the week.  It's nice to be right, I guess.  Though I guess if I was following my own rules about who teams beat vis a vis moving up in the Rankings, I should probably have Philadelphia ahead.  Oh well.

6.) Philadelphia (4-2) [-]
 The Eagles are looking sharp no matter who lines up under center.  In fact, it's probably better for them to have Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb.  We'll see how that situation develops through the season, of course.  Right now, with Vick still recovering and Kolb playing pretty well, it's no tough decision.  But once Vick gets healthy...well, it's a nice problem to have.

7.) Baltimore (4-2) [-6]
 No matter what, a loss leads to a big drop in the Rankings.  Even in OT, to a team that they had beat.  This is not an indictment of Baltimore specifically; notice that Tampa Bay and Kansas City have been bounced out.  I still believe in the Ravens long-term.  But it's obvious at 4-2 that they're not better than the top three as it stands today.  At the end of the season, it could be something else.  We'll see when we get there.  I like the Ravens, though, and I'm confident they'll be a solid playoff team.

8.) Atlanta (4-2) [-4]
 I considered dropping Atlanta out entirely.  But I didn't really see a replacement that looked better at this time.  And I still believe the Falcons are a playoff team, though they might have gotten exposed somewhat against Philly.  But honestly, how many teams are going to throw over the top like that?  How many have the guts AND the personnel?  In the NFC, not that many.  And the ones that do are dealing with a whole bunch of issues (I'm looking at you, Green Bay and Dallas).

9.) Chicago (4-2) [-4]
 Again, I'm really disappointed in Chicago.  This is another team that I considered dropping out entirely, because I just don't trust them.  But who could have replaced them?  Well, omit the 3-2 teams, firstly.  Then take a look at who else is 4-2: Houston, and the NY Giants.  Are either of them trustworthy?  No.  Are either of them BETTER than the Bears?  Well, the Giants certainly have an argument.  I guess this is where my personal bias shows again, since I also can't stand those two.  I'm not a huge fan of Chicago either, obviously.

10.) New Orleans (4-2) [-]
 The other team to re-enter the Rankings this week is the defending champion Saints.  What a surprise to see them go to Tampa and beat up the Bucs in all phases of the game.  To be honest, this is the kind of performance I was expecting since the opening Thursday night against Minnesota...a performance which the Saints have not provided until this past week.  Well, good for them.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 28, 2010 6:14 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 6:48 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 3

Three undefeated teams left, and they take the top spots this week.  A whole lot of 2-1 teams are behind them as the season moves forward.  The only constant is change!  Let's go!

1.) Pittsburgh (3-0) [+2]
 Ben who?  The Steelers are now 3-0 after handing Tampa a nice smooth glass of beatdown; shaken, not stirred.  OK, I didn't see this coming either.  Then again, I had no idea Pittsburgh's defense would be rejuvenated, or that Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons would continue to raise their game to new levels.  Oops.  I feel bad about not picking them to beat Atlanta and Tennessee too.  But here they are at 1, and as long as they keep winning, they're welcome to stay there.

2.) Kansas City (3-0) [+5]
 The Chiefs are a good team.  I think.  At any rate, they're 3-0 and they flat out spanked San Francisco this week, so that makes them worthy of 2nd in the Rankings.  They're winning with defense as well, though Matt Cassel might be turning into something.  And by something, I mean more like a real bonafide QB, and less something like a toad.

3.) Chicago (3-0) [+3]
 They lucked out.  That said, Chicago is the best team in the NFC after three weeks.  So I'm guessing the good far outweighs the bad.

4.) Indianapolis (2-1) [+6]
 Fresh off a beatdown of the Giants, Indy went out to Denver and played "aight".  Good enough to win, but not good enough to let go of all doubts people might have about them.  The defense in particular was messy.  How Kyle Orton throws for over 400 yards is beyond me.  Losing Bob Sanders (again) doesn't mean that much, does it?

5.) Atlanta (2-1) [+4]
 Their OT victory vaults the Falcons up and knocks New Orleans right out of the picture for a week.  Atlanta played better, and probably shouldn't have even had it go to OT.  We'll see how they play this week, though.  I have a feeling they're for real.

6.) New England (2-1) [-]
 The first new team this week is New England.  They might have won narrowly against Buffalo (especially compared to how Green Bay trounced them), but with Tom Brady and his gaggle of weapons, it's hard to discount the Pats.  Their defense isn't good again, but with that offense...do they really need to be the best?

7.) Philadelphia (2-1) [-]
 Count me as one of those who was right about Michael Vick.  I was of the opinion that starting him over Kevin Kolb (who is still getting over a concussion, like it or not) was not the worst thing in the world, for Kolb or the Eagles.  One beatdown of Jacksonville later, and Vick is looking golden.  Does it translate against a better team?  Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to get Kolb rested up and ready for games when he might be less pressured.

8.) Baltimore (2-1) [-]
 Baltimore returns to the Rankings after a win against Cleveland.  I have a good feeling about the Ravens too; anytime they win, they will likely be vaulting up, or back into the Rankings, depending on the previous week's results.  I believe they're one of the top contenders in the AFC.  Their strength should be no surprise.

9.) Cincinnati (2-1) [-]
 The Bengals still aren't playing up to their potential, I think.  Still, the results haven't been too bad.  In one of the tougher divisions in football, they're 2-1 and tied with Baltimore for second, though they've already gotten the Ravens' number once.  How they play against Pittsburgh later in the season will determine how far they go.

10.) NY Jets (2-1) [-]
 What do you know, the Jets really can play.  It helps that Miami was inept on offense when it really counted, but I'm not really holding that against Ryan and Sanchez.  They can still play better too.

See you next week.  Thanks for reading. (I can't believe I had Cincy spelled wrong.  geez)
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 21, 2010 7:20 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 2

With a second week of games in the books, eight teams are 2-0, another eight are 0-2, and the rest are 1-1.  Parity, you say?  Or is it mediocrity?  We'll see over the next fifteen weeks.

1.) New Orleans (2-0) [no change]
 The defending champions looked "aight" against San Francisco.  Count me among those who think that losing Reggie Bush is more of a story among the media than the team itself.  They're also the only team not to move an inch since last week.  Lots of turmoil all over the league is the reason.

2.) Green Bay (2-0) [+1]
 After winning on the road in Philly, Green Bay's encore was a resounding beatdown of the Bills.  That's what I like to see.  As a result, they move up.  Now the question is, are they better than the Saints?

3.) Pittsburgh (2-0) [+2]
 Now Dennis Dixon is out.  Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch between them have to keep the train rolling.  It sounds like a difficult task, but both of the Steelers' games were won by defense and the running game.  So I don't expect much different in Week 3.  Heck, I might even pick them to win this time.

4.) Houston (2-0) [+5]
 One of the many teams I love to hate made good by beating...another of the teams I love to hate.  Consequently, I'm not really sure what to say.  Having been around this team since the beginning (2002), I've seen a lot that indicates this start is nothing more than a fluke.  That said, the Texans had never won an overtime game before 2010, and they were a measly 1-15 against Indianapolis as well.  Now both of those have been emended.  Does that mean playoffs for the Texans?  Or will Houston fans have to wait another year?  The big clash with the Cowboys is this week, and I don't think it could be more weird.

5.) Miami (2-0) [-]
 They won, and they're not looking too bad.  That's about all I know about this year's Miami team.  It's been bandied about that Cameron Wake and Koa Misi were the most important additions; they're on the defensive line and are expected to pressure the opposing QB (thank you, Peter King).  So far, they've been productive, and the Dolphins have won as a result.

6.) Chicago (2-0) [-]
 I'm as surprised as anybody that the Bears are in my Rankings.  As far as I know, this is a first...because since I started doing these in 2007 or 2008, the Bears haven't really been "good".  Or there were other teams that were clearly a step ahead.  Now the Bears are tied with Green Bay for the division lead, and despite what some say is a "porous" offensive line (I didn't see it after the first half, to be honest), Jay Cutler and his boys have done well for themselves.  Who do we credit more here, Cutler, or Mike Martz?  Martz is the supposed genius here, so I'll go with him.

7.) Kansas City (2-0) [-]
 Color me surprised, again.  Thanks to some stumbles by teams I figured would win (and one I figured would get crushed anyway), the middle and bottom of the Rankings are populated by surprise 2-0 teams.  The Chiefs debuted on Monday Night Football to great acclaim and lots of cheering from the fans at Arrowhead.  This week, they took on Cleveland and got the win.  The Browns look like an also-ran again, while the Chiefs are clearly trending upward.  I think this is good; at least the Chargers have some competition now to keep them from getting stale.

8.) Tampa Bay (2-0) [-]
 Dealing a loss to Carolina was big to me.  That means the Bucs are now in the Rankings again, along with their surprising 2-0 record.  I figured they would find a way against Cleveland, but the fact that they beat a division rival was huge.  Not only that, Carolina is now 0-2, while Tampa is tied with the Saints.  Atlanta is still a dangerous team, of course, but now that the Bucs and Saints have gotten a leg up, it should be an interesting race.  Tampa is another team winning with defense, and just enough contributions from QB Josh Freeman to not be one-dimensional.  Will this run last?  Probably not, but who knows.

9.) Atlanta (1-1) [-]
 Speaking of the dirty birds, here they are at 9.  After a tough OT loss to Pittsburgh last week, they came out firing on all cylinders this week.  It was an ugly game against Arizona, at least on the scoreboard.  I'm sure Falcons fans were pleased, though.  The beatdown had to have been welcome.  This puts them at 1-1 after the first two weeks.  I contend that they're still dangerous.  Carolina's going to a rookie QB, and Matt Ryan is clearly better than Moore, Clausen, or Freeman.  Is he up there with Drew Brees?  No, not yet.  But I don't imagine it'll be too long before he's accounted among the elite QB's.

10.) Indianapolis (1-1) [-]
 Though they're only coming in at 10 this week, Indianapolis had one of the better victories from Week 2.  They absolutely owned the Giants from kickoff to the final whistle, running up and down the field at will.  Joseph Addai and Donald Brown were pretty much unstoppable.  Peyton Manning didn't throw as much as he did last week, but he didn't need to.  Still, the throws he did make were crisp and on-target, and he's without an INT as well.  I guess the loss in Week 1 was an aberration.  Maybe it was needed to wake them up.  In any case, I expect great things from the Colts again this season.

See you next week.  Thanks for reading.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 14, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 11:26 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

Do we really know who is good (and more importantly, who isn't) after one week of games?  Probably not.  But I'm going to give it a try anyway.  Here we go!

1.) New Orleans (1-0)
 Why?  They're the defending champs.  Sean Payton might disagree, but since they're returning pretty much the same team....

2.) Baltimore (1-0)
 OK, so they didn't play well.  At all.  But they won, and they're expected to go far.  So one could say I'm drinking the Kool-Aid on them at this point.

3.) Green Bay (1-0)
 A more impressive win than Baltimore, sure.  I'm not certain about Philadelphia.  Green Bay played quite well.  Even Aaron Rodgers looked pretty good (and his game-winning TD toss was to Greg Jennings, who last I checked was his #1 receiver).

4.) New England (1-0)
 The Patriots with Tom Brady are perennial Super Bowl contenders.  And supposedly, they actually played some defense on Sunday.

5.) Pittsburgh (1-0)
 I'm impressed that they won with Dennis Dixon at QB.  Nothing against the former Oregon Duck (who is the cousin of Donald Duck, my sources tell me), but without Roethlisberger I was expecting a Dirty Bird Beatdown.  What the *%&$* happened, Atlanta?

6.) NY Giants (1-0)
 Bias alert!  I hate the Giants.  Still, I can't deny them what was an impressive win.  OK, so Carolina isn't expected to do much.  And Eli Manning threw three INT's (ouch).  They're still in first place.  Or tied, whatever.

7.) Tennessee (1-0)
 Holy crap, Vince Young is a quarterback.  Meaning, he doesn't just run around, he can hang back in the pocket and hit some receivers where it hurts.  Right in the nuts.  Now THAT is some accuracy.

8.) Arizona (1-0)
 I should probably lower AZ to 10th.  Why?  They barely beat St. Louis.  And by barely, I really do mean barely.  Ouch.

9.) Houston (1-0)
 Bias alert!  I hate the Texans.  They might have had the most impressive win of the week, though.  OK, so Indianapolis kinda stunk.  But the Texans were 1-15 against them overall.  1-15, OUCH.  Well, one fabulously historic day by Arian Foster later...the Texans are now TWO AND FIFTEEN against the Colts.  I also think the Texans are not going anywhere this year.  Just like last year.  And the year before that.  And the year before that.  You see where I'm going here.

10.) Washington (1-0)
 Bias alert!  I really hate the Redskins, especially after that fluke of a win against the Cowboys Sunday night.  Trust me, I'm angrier with the Cowboys for playing as badly as they did.  But the Redskins took advantage of the Cowboys acting like total idiots, and even I have to give them credit for that.

See you next week.  Thanks for reading.
Category: NFL
Posted on: November 3, 2009 1:11 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 8

1.) New Orleans (7-0) [no change]
 Atlanta played tough to the end, but the Saints held on and got an impressive win.  They'll be on the lookout for Coy Wire the next time they play.
2.) Indianapolis (7-0) [no change]
 No TD's for Peyton Manning, and the winning score is thrown from Joseph Addai to Reggie Wayne.  A weird week for the Colts, but they'll take the win anyway.
3.) Minnesota (7-1) [+4]
 Brett Favre went back to Lambeau and played well in another win against his former team.
4.) Pittsburgh (5-2) [no change]
 The Steelers maintain their position thanks to the bye week.
5.) New England (5-2) [no change]
 The Patriots got the bye at the perfect time after their London excursion.
6.) Cincinnati (5-2) [no change]
 The Bengals are also well-rested after a week off.
7.) Dallas (5-2) [+2]
 Dallas took advantage of their schedule, beating a bad team and setting up an important game against Philadelphia next week.
8.) Denver (6-1) [-5]
 Despite losing to the Ravens, the Broncos aren't out of the Rankings just yet.  Truth be told, they're still one of the best teams in the league...they just had to slide after the loss.
9.) Philadelphia (5-2)
 The Eagles return to the Rankings after a strong showing against division rival NY Giants.  As stated above, they have another important division game next week.
10.) Houston (5-3)
 The Texans enter the Rankings for the first time (possibly ever, as far as mine are concerned) after an impressive display against Buffalo.  Ryan Moats could be the go-to guy for the next couple weeks if Steve Slaton doesn't learn the Tiki Barber ball protection method.

A Look at Week 8:
Week 8 was a bit odd and unpredictable.  Good teams lost, teams we thought were good but maybe aren't lost, and plenty of bad teams played as badly as we figured they would.  As far as the Rankings go, Arizona's loss was a big one.  Not only are they 4-3, but they have a problem with winning at home.  The expectation after last week was that they were ready to take off and go on a long run of winning.  Obviously, that didn't happen, as they lost to Carolina.  It's really an inexcusable loss.  And the way they lost it was particularly bad: the run defense that had served them so well in previous weeks crumbled.  Other than Arizona, Green Bay and Atlanta losing meant that a three-loss team had to go into the Rankings for the first time.  I'm never really a fan of that until it's completely necessary.  This year it's been necessary in a couple weeks to do things that I don't really care for as far as the Rankings are concerned.  It goes hand-in-hand with how I do them, though, so I got no one to blame but myself for being too stubborn to change.  Of course, I can always blame teams for losing....

Spotlit:
A further recap of Week 8's best.

Denver (3) at Baltimore (unranked):
 Well, what do you know.  The consensus was right, for once.  The desperate team that had just lost three in a row got it done, even without a Herculean effort from Joe Flacco.

San Francisco (unranked) at Indianapolis (2):
 I was concerned about this game for good reason, as it turns out.  The offense was mostly Matt Stover kicking FG's for the Colts, which surprised the hell out of me.  Peyton Manning threw for almost 350 yards, but no TD's.  As big a surprise as anything that happened in Week 8, easily.

Minnesota (7) at Green Bay (10):
 Aaron Rodgers couldn't complete the comeback, again, but both QB's played well in this one.  I do have to say that Rodgers must be frustrating the hell out of fantasy owners who have his top two receivers, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.  While Rodgers is throwing TD's to no-names like John Kuhn, Spencer Havner, and James Jones, Jennings and Driver are languishing.  And don't even get me started on Ryan Grant.

Atlanta (unranked) at New Orleans (1):
 New Orleans overcame a late fumble and an inexcusable muff of an onside kick to win.  That right there sums up a #1 team.  Yes, it's terrible that they fumbled and screwed up the onside kick recovery, but the fact that both those things happened and the Saints still won anyway speaks volumes about their greatness.

Spotlight:
The best games coming up next week.

Baltimore (unranked) at Cincinnati (6):
 I really do hope Cincinnati is well-rested, because this return match is going to be killer.

Miami (unranked) at New England (5):
 The Wildcat vs. Tom Brady's right arm.  Miami is already 3-0 vs. the AFC East, but they haven't played the Patriots yet.

Houston (10) at Indianapolis (2):
 Houston's run defense had been the major bugaboo for them until the last couple weeks.  Now they don't have to worry about it much, since they get Peyton Manning and the Colts.  I'm sure Manning will be raring to throw some TD's.  Like, five or six.
Carolina (unranked) at New Orleans (1):
 This game begins the easy stretch of New Orleans schedule before they play New England at home.  Good luck.

Dallas (7) at Philadelphia (9):
 First place in the NFC East, anybody?  Bring it!

Pittsburgh (4) at Denver (8):
 Game of the Week?  Possibly.  The Steelers are a tougher nut to crack than Baltimore, and we already saw what happened when Denver took them on.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 27, 2009 8:17 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 7

1.) New Orleans (6-0) [no change]
 An impressive comeback keeps the Saints in the top spot for this week.  The schedule gets a little harder as they face Atlanta, but after that they have three gimmies until they face New England.
2.) Indianapolis (6-0) [+2]
 The Colts took advantage of another easy opponent and thrashed the Rams.  Peyton Manning didn't throw for 300 yards, yet they still won by a huge margin.
3.) Denver (6-0) [no change]
 Bye week for Denver means they stay in the same spot.
4.) Pittsburgh (5-2) [+2]
 The Steelers defense secured the win against previously undefeated Minnesota.  Ben Roethlisberger played below par, and has the bye week to think it over.
5.) New England (5-2) [+2]
 Going to London didn't affect Tom Brady or the Patriots in the slightest.  They beat another outmatched team.
6.) Cincinnati (5-2) [+3]
 A stunning blowout by the Bengals moves them up after a bad loss to the Texans.
7.) Minnesota (6-1) [-5]
 They lost to Pittsburgh, so down they go.  Luckily for the Vikings, there aren't a whole lot of good 1-loss teams.
8.) Arizona (4-2) [+2]
 Big win for the Cardinals, but how do they follow it up?
9.) Dallas (4-2)
 Same as above.  How do they follow it up?
10.) Green Bay (4-2)
 The Packers face off against Minnesota in one of the biggest games of the week.

A Look at Week 7:
It seems that more than ever, Week 7 illustrated the disparity between good and bad teams.  The good teams played really well in Week 7.  The bad teams looked pretty terrible.  There were also a couple exceptions: Houston, Buffalo, and Arizona beat teams that I thought were sure-fire winners (yeah, that's what I get for picking Carolina).

Spotlit:
A further recap of Week 7's best.

Minnesota (2) at Pittsburgh (6):
 As it turns out, neither Big Ben nor Mendenhall was the difference between the Vikings winning and losing.  It turned out to be the Steelers defense, which turned two Brett Favre turnovers into 14 points.

Atlanta (5) at Dallas (unranked):
 Surprisingly, Dallas outplayed Atlanta and forced Matt Ryan to look pretty bad.  Tony Romo was the difference here; his ability to evade the defense was key to scoring TD's.

Arizona (10) at NY Giants (8):
 Arizona showed up, the Giants kind of didn't.  Kurt Warner outplayed Eli Manning, but the Cardinals defense is what made the difference.

Spotlight:
The best games coming up next week.

Denver (3) at Baltimore (unranked):
 It seems that the consensus is that Denver is going down against Baltimore.  They're 6-0, but not everyone is on the bandwagon yet.  A win here further cements the Broncos as a contender, if they're not already.

San Francisco (unranked) at Indianapolis (2):
 Not so much a game to watch because of the game, but because of how great Peyton Manning is playing this season.  San Francisco might be a tougher challenge.  They looked more explosive in the second half of Week 7 than they had at any time this season.  Whether their defense can keep up with the Colts offense is another story.

Minnesota (7) at Green Bay (10):
 Could be the game of the week, if you happen to ignore the Monday night matchup.  It's the Brett Favre bowl all over again, except the stage is Lambeau Field.

Atlanta (unranked) at New Orleans (1):
 The #1 team in my rankings takes on their last tough game for the next four weeks.  With a win here, they can easily hit the New England game 10-0.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 15, 2009 1:07 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

1.) Pittsburgh (1-0)
  The Steelers took out what should be an elite team in the Titans; yeah, it required overtime, but this is still the best team until they get beaten.
2.) Philadelphia (1-0)
  McNabb's injury is getting a lot of pub; what about that defense, though?  They crushed Carolina and forced Jake Delhomme into another terrible game.
3.) NY Giants (1-0)
  The Giants looked good against Washington and have another NFC East foe coming up.  I'm not sure I'd want to open up Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night, but I don't think the Giants will be daunted.
4.) Atlanta (1-0)
  Another team that won with solid defense.  Matt Ryan is the latest to benefit from Tony Gonzalez's awesomeness.
5.) Baltimore (1-0)
  Not as much defense as we're used to seeing, but Joe Flacco came out and lit up KC.
6.) NY Jets (1-0)
  Mark Sanchez started out phenomenal, despite throwing an INT.  Can he keep it up?
7.) New Orleans (1-0)
  Six TD's from Drew Brees is excellent.  Giving up 27 to the Lions?  Not so much.
8.) Minnesota (1-0)
  Brett Favre, meet your new safety blanket.  They literally ran away from the Browns.
9.) Green Bay (1-0)
  A bit rough on offense, especially on the right side of the line.  The new 3-4 defense forced Jay Cutler into a ton of mistakes.
10.) New England (1-0)
  They won and are still elite.  No concern about Tom Brady, but that defense looked awful.

A Look at Week 1:
The NFL opened up the 2009 season in earnest on Sunday.  All in all, it was an exciting week of football, starting off with Thursday's Pittsburgh/Tennessee overtime game.  There were quite a few players who made a name for themselves or reminded everyone just how good they are.  Obvious inclusions on that list are Drew Brees, Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco.  The Texans in particular were one of the more disappointing teams.  They went down hard against the Jets and looked completely inept while doing so.  Philadelphia looked the best, delivering a beatdown to Carolina.  There are a couple good teams that I had to leave off the Rankings to start this season because the teams that are on the list just flat outplayed them.  Some of these teams are: Indianapolis, Dallas, and San Diego.  Obviously, I expect a lot of turnover from week to week, as certain teams bubble up and others move down.  In my Rankings, winning is the thing I look at first and foremost.  In order to separate teams, I then look at how well they played in the three phases of the game.  As I said before, Philadelphia played the best, but since Pittsburgh is the defending champion, they're second this week.

Spotlight:
The best games coming up next week.

New Orleans (7) @ Philadelphia (2):
  Drew Brees takes his offense on the road against a crushing defense.  This ain't the Lions any more.

New England (10) @ NY Jets (6):
  We begin to find out just how good Mark Sanchez is.

Baltimore (5) @ San Diego (unranked):
  This could go a couple different ways: Defensive beatdown (for Baltimore), or offensive explosion (for both).

NY Giants (3) @ Dallas (unranked):
  The Game of the Week opens up Cowboys Stadium and pits two hated rivals against each other.

Indianapolis (unranked) @ Miami (unranked):
  Monday night's game has two should-be playoff teams facing off.
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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