Tag:Falcons
Posted on: November 9, 2010 3:47 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 9

We've now hit the halfway mark of the 2010-11 NFL season, and every team has played at least 8 games.  There are a couple that have played nine, but for all intents and purposes, we're halfway to the playoffs.  I figured that by now, the good teams would be firmly separated from the not-so-good (and the downright putrid), but wouldn't you know it?  I'm just not that lucky.  What we have is a glut of 6-2 teams, with some 5-win teams thrown in for good measure.  Parity/mediocrity reigning supreme?  Or is everyone vulnerable at a certain point in time?  Honestly, I think it's a little of both; everyone is capable (almost) and everyone is vulnerable to at least one bad loss.  Let's go!

1.) Pittsburgh (6-2) [+2]
 After nearly hurtling their way out of the Rankings (but being very lucky by retaining a 5-2 record and thus not moving at all), the Steelers took on a game Cincinnati team and got pushed fairly hard.  They went up 27-7 on the Bengals and then mysteriously let up two TD's to get to the final margin of 27-21.  Of course, the Steelers' defense stepped up when absolutely necessary, preventing the game-tying TD (whose extra point would have made it 28-27, actually).  A solid effort, but the defense giving up scores late has to be too reminiscent of last season's rather epic collapses for Mike Tomlin and Dick LeBeau to tolerate.  Their two losses were to Baltimore and New Orleans (home and road, respectively).

2.) Baltimore (6-2) [+3]
 An impressive effort against the "road warrior" Dolphins vaults the Ravens to the 2-spot this week.  They pretty much dominated that game, even if they had more FG's than TD's.  I moved them ahead of the Jets based on that performance, as well as the Jets going into OT against the Lions, of all teams.  Their two losses were to Cincinnati and New England (both road games; NE in OT).  After seeing Cincinnati play the last few weeks, that loss must sting somewhat.

3.) NY Jets (6-2) [+1]
 A slight upswing for the Jets with the win.  But seriously, going to OT against the Lions?  No, really, seriously?  That's ridiculous.  So the Jets are no longer the best team in the NFL, but they are definitely in the mix.  Right now, today, the two teams above them look better.  All three teams should be tough outs in the playoffs, of course.  The Jets' two losses were to Baltimore and Green Bay (both at home).  However, they've won all three division games they've played.

4.) Atlanta (6-2) [+2]
 It looked like a good game against Tampa Bay, and the result seems to show that.  But the Falcons proved they are the better team, and in my mind the best team in the NFC.  I have the Falcons above the Giants because they play in a better division, and they have a better record against the AFC than the Giants.  Of course, they also have a better QB/RB tandem.  And better receivers.  The Falcons' two losses were at Pittsburgh and at Philadelphia.  So if they can stay out of the state of Pennsylvania for the rest of the season, there should be no problem, right?  Tough matchup against Baltimore this Thursday, even if it's at home.  It should be quite telling.  Coming out of that game 7-2 (and 3-1 against the AFC) should cement them as the best team in the NFC unanimously.

5.) NY Giants (6-2) [+2]
 What else can I say but "beatdown"?  There are no words for that demolition that the Giants put on Seattle.  With their fifth win in a row, they are looking pretty solid in the NFC.  Are they the best?  Not yet.  There is very little margin of error, though.  So this time next week, the Giants could find themselves moving up.  Their record against the AFC is still terrible, and I'll be wondering how they can compete with the better conference up until the Super Bowl (assuming they get there).  Their two losses were at Indianapolis and against Tennessee.  Both were bad losses, too.  But right now, the Giants are on the up-and-up, with only Philadelphia as a legitimate threat in the division.

6.) New England (6-2) [-5]
 What happens when a great team loses?  They take a tumble, just like anybody else.  The Patriots looked terrible against Cleveland, and I wonder if it was as close as the score indicated.  Maybe not.  Still, the Patriots have been one of the better teams in the league this season, and if they had pulled that one out, they would have been the unanimous best team in the league for a second week.  So what did they do?  They went out and lost a trap game.  I'm not sure it was a "trap" in the usual sense.  Cleveland has a heck of a QB/RB tandem and their defense is for real.  Just ask New Orleans.  The Patriots two losses were at the NY Jets and the other day at Cleveland.  Also not a good indicator of future performance.  Their schedule tightens up considerably now; they go to Pittsburgh next Sunday Night before taking on Indianapolis and then at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.  Tough sledding.

7.) Green Bay (6-3) [+3]
 Speaking of beatdowns, the Packers absolutely stunned the Cowboys on Sunday Night.  Well, stunned, then KO'd, then flatlined.  It was ugly.  Luckily, they get a reward by having their bye in Week 10.  Finally.  The two weeks after the bye are at Minnesota and at Atlanta, so the schedule doesn't really get easier.  It would say a lot if the Packers won both of those games.

8.) Indianapolis (5-3) [-6]
 The biggest fall of the week goes to the Colts, who lost on the road to Philadelphia.  Not a terrible loss, by any means, but they certainly could have won.  And now that they're 5-3, they've got issues.  Now the AFC South is looking like a dogfight again, with all four teams separated by a game.  Luckily, three of their last four are against division rivals.  I guess that means no coasting at the end of the season, unlike last year.

9.) New Orleans (6-3) [-]
 Finally, the defending champs showed like they should have been all season.  It was a resounding beatdown of Carolina.  Their schedule is getting somewhat easier, with the only true challenges being at Baltimore and at Atlanta in December.  11-5 is not out of the question, and with a win at either of those they could be 12-4 and poised for another playoff run.  Hard to believe, in a way.

10.) Philadelphia (5-3)
 Michael Vick returned to the lineup, and the Eagles responded by beating the Colts narrowly.  It really was a great game on both sides, and Vick showed why he was considered an MVP candidate before he went down with the rib injury against the Redskins.  With Vick back in the fold now, the Eagles have to be considered contenders in the NFC.  Especially if the Giants or Falcons show any sign of slippage in the next couple of weeks.  They still have to play the Giants and Cowboys twice, as well.  So it's safe to say that we will find out just how good this Eagles team is.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 12, 2010 2:42 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 5

Five weeks down, and no undefeated teams remain.  Quite a quandary for this wannabe writer.  Usually, the main purpose of these Rankings is to tout the best teams in the NFL, especially the undefeated teams.  Now there are none remaining.  It still remains to be seen whether any of these ten are actually "good", or if they were just the best ten at this point in the season.  That's an arguable point, as there are currently ten 3-2 teams, all of whom look more or less Rankings worthy.  Let's go!

1.) Baltimore (4-1) [no change]
 If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's consistency.  The Ravens have shown that in recent weeks by winning consecutive games.  They seem to be getting better every week as well.  They might not actually be the best team so far, but they seem to be the most complete.  And with a lack of undefeated teams, Baltimore appears to be the best of the current group.

2.) NY Jets (4-1) [+2]
 Again I figured the Jets would succumb, and again I was proven wrong.  It figures, of course, that Brett Favre would throw an INT to seal his team's doom, and that the Jets' defense would be opportunistic enough to turn that INT into a game-winning touchdown.  The Jets are getting all the pieces back in place, and that loss against Baltimore is looking smaller and smaller.

3.) New England (3-1) [no change]
 New England was on a bye, so I couldn't see moving them up or down.  I changed my mind about the other team in the Rankings on a bye...see below.

4.) Atlanta (4-1) [+1]
 Another week, another win for the "never say die" Falcons.  I think it's safe to say that Matt Ryan has no effects from last season's sophomore slump.  Good thing, since they've needed him to be at his best at the end of every game.  Next week they draw the Eagles in what could be Michael Vick's first game against his former team.  They've got a better shot if Kevin Kolb is the Eagles' starter, I would guess, though that is no safe bet either.

5.) Chicago (4-1) [+5]
 I don't have the stats next to me to back this up, but I'm guessing that was one of the worst starts by a QB since 2000.  Heck, maybe since 1990, even.  Todd Collins was all sorts of awful, completing only six passes for 32 yards, with FOUR INT's.  Somehow, the Bears and Matt Forte (or maybe just Forte by himself, given their similarly dreadful O-line) made do without help from the QB and ran over Carolina.  Obviously, we can't count on that happening again.  Chicago must be loving Jay Cutler now; they might not have much hope with him, but they definitely have no hope whatsoever without him.

6.) Tampa Bay (3-1) [-]
 Somehow, these erstwhile young Bucs are 3-1.  Somehow.  Playing against Cincinnati, they proved to me that they're a good team, and that Carson Palmer is in no way an "elite" QB.  I doubt that Palmer is even "good" at the moment.  Josh Freeman, on the other hand, is looking like a winner, if nothing else.  Good for him.

7.) Kansas City (3-1) [-5]
 Luckily for the Chiefs, there are only so many 1-loss teams this week.  Their inclusion in the Rankings was a given, as a result.  Usually, I would have dropped them out entirely; falling from the ranks of the undefeated is not something I reward.  Despite losing at Indy, I think the Chiefs are a good team.  Or better than the remainder of the 3-2 teams that aren't in the Rankings this week.

8.) Pittsburgh (3-1) [+1]
 Like I said above, I don't usually move teams that are on a bye.  It just seems ...stupid.  Yet I've moved Pittsburgh up one spot this week because they're the "last" 3-1 team, and the other two teams below them have two losses.  What looks worse, a 3-2 team ranked higher than a 3-1 team, or a team on a bye moving up a single spot?  I thought so too.

9.) Indianapolis (3-2) [-]
 Thanks to that win at home, and my undying admiration for Peyton Manning in general, the Colts are back in the Rankings.  I guess that means I'm biased.  Anyway, I firmly believe that the Colts will rise above this rather uncharacteristic start and win 12-13 games.  Pie in the sky, I say.  Pie in the sky.

10.) Tennessee (3-2) [-]
 They've got Vince Young and Chris Johnson.  And they just so happened to beat the Cowboys.  OK, so maybe that's not worth as much as it used to be (like when the Cowboys were actually a good team).  But I have a feeling about these Titans.  I think they'll continue to prove their worth as the season goes on, as opposed to say, Jacksonville, or the NY Giants.

See you next week.  Thanks for reading.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:18 pm
 

2010 NFL Power Rankings, Week 4

Just past the quarter pole in the 2010 season.  Not much has changed since Week 1, really, since we still don't know who's good and who isn't.  Let's go!

1.) Baltimore (3-1) [+7]
 Probably the most impressive win of the week, though New England might have something to say about it.  Baltimore didn't look great for much of the game, but that last play saved the day and kept them with a winning record.  It'll be great to see how the AFC North shakes out, because everybody is competitive.  Yup, including Cleveland, apparently.  Whether the Ravens keep their place at the top is subject to change.  Not a lot of consistency so far.

2.) Kansas City (3-0) [no change]
 Sometimes the best thing that can happen is not playing.  Kansas City had an early bye, and now they're the only undefeated team left in the NFL.  Hard to believe?  I didn't see this coming, for sure.  But I can't move them up or down since they didn't play.  So they stay at 2 this week, with a couple tough games to follow.

3.) New England (3-1) [+3]
 One of the few teams to actually win a couple games in a row, the Patriots had a very impressive win last night.  With all that special teams dominance, Tom Brady barely had to do anything.

4.) NY Jets (3-1) [+6]
 Riding high after a three-game winning streak (all in the division too), the Jets are looking pretty good.  In fact, their only loss is to the 1st place team in these Rankings, and that's not too bad after a quarter of the season.  I doubt they'll have it quite as easy as they did against Buffalo, but this should be a 12 win team.

5.) Atlanta (3-1) [no change]
 They pulled it out against San Francisco, but other more impressive performances keep the Falcons from moving up.  You can't beat an 0-3 team by three points and expect to move up.

6.) Green Bay (3-1) [-]
 A win is a win, I guess.  Yes, it was closer than it should have been, but they pulled it out and get back into the Rankings.  It is a bit of a surprise that the defense would give up that many points to a bad team.  But now they're tied for the division lead and look like the far better team after the Bears stunk out the joint.

7.) New Orleans (3-1) [-]
 Another team with a barely classifiable win in Week 4, New Orleans came out somewhat strong, but then fumbled away scoring opportunities, literally.  Going in at home against Carolina, I expected a beatdown of epic proportions.  What I got was nothing close to that.  Carolina should have won that game, really.  But the Saints refused to lose this time, and thanks to John Carney, they didn't.

8.) Houston (3-1) [-]
 For once, the Texans went on the road and got a win against a bad team.  Those who were expecting stumbles were almost proven right, but Houston pulled it out at the end.  Is Arian Foster the best RB in the AFC?  Or the NFL?  Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson might have a claim to it, and LaDainian Tomlinson is rounding back into form.  Can the Texans keep this up?  I think so, because of Foster.  But I wouldn't bet on it just yet.

9.) Pittsburgh (3-1) [-8]
 Losing is tough in these Rankings.  Consistency is prized above all else, as is remaining undefeated for the longest period of time.  That's how I roll.  That said, the Steelers are far from a bad team.  In fact, they managed to stay in the Rankings because no one else is any better.  That might not sound like a good thing, really.  But there it is.

10.) Chicago (3-1) [-7]
 I really wanted someone else to come in and take the Bears' spot.  But no one did.  Thanks to Philadelphia and Indianapolis going belly up (among others), Chicago gets a reprieve from the axe and takes the bottom spot this week.  Don't get me wrong, Chicago played terribly, and really have no business in this week's Rankings despite being 3-1.  Losing to that team after their previous two games was really inexcusable.  At any rate, they're tied for the division lead and own the tiebreaker, for now.

See you next week.  Thanks for reading.
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: October 20, 2009 1:51 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 6

1.) New Orleans (5-0) [+1]
 They beat the best team, so the Saints are now #1 in my Rankings.  Drew Brees played fabulously, but the defense is something to be reckoned with too.
2.) Minnesota (6-0) [+1]
 The Vikings were both very good and very lucky.  They were very good on their last drive, and very lucky that Steven Hauschka botched a short FG.
3.) Denver (6-0) [+2]
 A solid win yesterday propelled the Broncos above the bye-week Colts.  The defense could have been better.
4.) Indianapolis (5-0) [no change]
 Bye-week for the Colts means no movement up or down.  Good thing, too, since there weren't a ton of good teams after this week.
5.) Atlanta (4-1)
 Matt Ryan led the game-winning drive again for the Falcons.  He's for real, and so is Atlanta.  I'd wager that it's because of Ryan that Atlanta is for real, though he had some help from Michael Turner as well.
6.) Pittsburgh (4-2) [+4]
 After a rough start to the season, the Steelers are starting to round into form.  It helps that their schedule hasn't been too tough so far.
7.) New England (4-2)
 What else can I say but amazing?  In snowy Foxboro the Patriots shut out the Titans and put up 59 points on them at the same time.  Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss all had fantastic performances.
8.) NY Giants (5-1) [-7]
 No shame in losing to New Orleans, but it means the Giants take a fall.  They're down, but certainly not out.
9.) Cincinnati (4-2) [-3]
 The Bengals had the look of an elite team until they got brushed back by the Texans.  Ouch.
10.) Arizona (3-2)
 The best team remaining that won this week.  Ouch for me.

A Look at Week 6:
There was a lot of good football in Week 6, but a lot of absolutely terrible football too.  The Patriots/Titans game was a good example of that, as the Patriots were awesome, and the Titans couldn't have been worse.  Tom Brady looked like he was playing Madden 2010 rather than an actual NFL game.  Philadelphia is one of the biggest offenders also, since they lost to Oakland.  They were looking like a good team, one that would challenge the Giants, Vikings, and Saints.  Instead, they're bounced out of the top ten and have a very bad loss on their resume.  Good thing there are no polls or BCS standings in the NFL, because the Eagles just dealt themselves a critical blow.  Not that there's no time to recover, of course.  It's still pretty early in the season, but Philadelphia's schedule is pretty unkind down the stretch.  Cincinnati is the other big offender this week, losing a winnable game at home to the Texans.  The Jets also lost a winnable game at home against Buffalo, with Mark Sanchez throwing FIVE INT's.  Terrible.

Spotlit:
A further recap of Week 6's best.

Baltimore (unranked) at Minnesota (3):
 No defense to be seen here.  Adrian Peterson did run all over Baltimore, but didn't score.  Neither did Sidney Rice, despite having 176 yards receiving.  Hauschka's missed FG was the difference.

NY Giants (1) at New Orleans (2):
 New Orleans was ready for this game.  The Giants, not so much.  They did score 27, which is a good day against most teams.  Against the Saints, it wasn't nearly enough.

Chicago (8) at Atlanta (9):
 I guess the Bears just weren't ready for Matt Ryan.  They didn't play too badly, but errors in the red zone late hurt a ton.

Denver (5) at San Diego (unranked):
 So much for the desperate team winning.  The AFC West was just won by Denver, barring an utter miracle.

Spotlight:
The best games coming up next week.

Minnesota (2) at Pittsburgh (6):
 The schedule continues to get tougher for Minnesota.  Big Ben's arm and Rashard Mendenhall's legs provide ample threat to the Vikings' winning streak.

Atlanta (5) at Dallas (unranked):
 The Cowboys host one of the hotter teams in the league.  It's time for Tony Romo to shine.  It wouldn't hurt if the defense showed up, too.

Arizona (10) at NY Giants (8):
 Offense vs. Offense, Warner vs. Manning.  Should be a hell of a game, and high-scoring too.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 22, 2009 1:13 pm
 

2009 NFL Power Rankings, Week 2

1.) NY Giants (2-0) [+2]
 No run defense, no problem, as long as they have a Manning in the two-minute drill.
2.) Atlanta (2-0) [+2] 
The Falcons keep cruising along, and pick up an all-important division win in the process.
3.) Baltimore (2-0) [+2]
 Ray Lewis had the play of the day on 4th down at the end of the game against San Diego.  Amazing.
4.) NY Jets (2-0) [+2]
 I was wrong about these guys.  Mark Sanchez played well again and didn't throw a pick, for good measure.
5.) New Orleans (2-0) [+2]
 Apparently, that Philly defense wasn't quite as good against a real offense.  Brees and the gang lit up the scoreboard again.
6.) Minnesota (2-0) [+2]
 A slight drop in production from All Day, but a win's a win.
7.) Indianapolis (2-0)
 Having the ball less than a quarter (14:53 to be exact) doesn't deter one of the game's best QB's.  Far from it.
8.) Denver (2-0)
 One of the truly surprising teams.  Is Jay Cutler having second thoughts about whining his way out of Denver?
9.) San Francisco (2-0)
 Another surprising team that already has two wins in the NFC West.
10.) Arizona (1-1)
 Kurt Warner takes his team to the east coast, starts at 1PM EDT, and pulls out the "pwnage" as he completes 92% of his passes.  Amazing.

A Look at Week 2:
Another great week of football, though one that was difficult to predict accurately.  Seven teams that won last week (including four from my Rankings) lost this week.  Some of them were surprises, like Pittsburgh and New England.  Others, like Dallas and Philadelphia, were the result of going up against teams that just look better than them at the moment.  Philadelphia gets a pass from me for not having Donovan McNabb.  Kevin Kolb did play fairly well, but just like Tony Romo in Dallas, throwing three INT's really hurts.  Since there are currently nine 2-0 teams (and I put a premium on winning), I put them in the first nine spots.  The teams that weren't in the Rankings last week and just entered got put in the bottom.  At this point, any of the top five could be #1.  I'm not sure the Giants are the best team in the NFC, even.  They won, and were the highest ranked team to do so.  With Pittsburgh's loss, the Giants got the chance to move up and pulled out a win in Dallas.  Hopefully next week is more of a return to what we saw in Week 1.  Despite that, it was plenty exciting.

Spotlit:
A further recap of Week 2's best.

New Orleans (7) @ Philadelphia (2):
 Drew Brees played well again.  Kevin Kolb subbed in for Donovan McNabb nicely, but threw three picks along the way.  Philadelphia's defense had some trouble with the Saints offense; if that's an indicator of things to come, the Saints are going to be unstoppable.  Of course, someone will eventually stop them (and it's looking like that'll be the NY Jets' job in a couple weeks); part of the fun is waiting to see who does it, and if the team can still win in spite of it.

New England (10) @ NY Jets (6):
 Wow.  Well, I don't want to get all hyperbolic and say that Mark Sanchez is going to be such-and-such or already is such-and-such.  Let's just say that he's had two good performances in a row, and his defense is bordering on excellent.  Darrelle Revis, Kerry Rhodes, Shaun Ellis, and all the rest harassed Tom Brady into a bad game.  I was as stunned as most everyone else.  The Jets get Tennessee in the Meadowlands (or Giants Stadium, what have you) next.  After watching the Titans defense get thrashed by the Texans, I'm not sure what to expect from that game.  Could it be Sanchez's first letdown?  I guess it could, but I really would not want to bet on it.

Baltimore (5) @ San Diego (unranked):
 Go out west?  Check.  Have Joe Flacco throw for a ton?  Check.  Get the running game going?  Check.  Play just enough defense to win?  Check and mate.  Unfortunately, I didn't see a lot of this game, but what I did see convinced me that Baltimore is either very lucky or very good.  Actually, I'm not sure that those are mutually exclusive.  As Ray Lewis proved on the last San Diego play, he's still very good.  And there should be little doubt about Joe Flacco after his performance.  They have a division game at home against Cleveland next week, so there's no excuse for the Ravens not to be 3-0.

NY Giants (3) @ Dallas (unranked):
 Maybe I spoke too soon about this being the Game of the Week.  It was certainly entertaining, though it was very frustrating being a Cowboys fan as Romo tossed awful pick after awful pick.  Good thing Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice were ready to run.  The Giants' Manning-to-Ham connection was unstoppable as Dallas' pass defense took the night off.

Indianapolis (unranked) @ Miami (unranked): The Colts had the ball for 14:53 and won.  Wow.  I'm not sure about Miami's playoff chances now (they have to be spotty at best with this loss), but Indianapolis is looking pretty good.  Reggie Wayne hardly had to show up, thanks to Dallas Clark and his stunning statistical maneuvers.

Spotlight:
The best games coming up next week.

Atlanta (2) @ New England (unranked):
 Matt Ryan looks to carve up another opposing defense.

Tennessee (unranked) @ NY Jets (4):
 Mark Sanchez continues his ascent unchecked, or actually faces some adversity.  Either way, the Jets defense is sure to harass Kerry Collins.

NY Giants (1) @ Tampa Bay (unranked):
 Not so much "best" as "ridiculously funny".  It should be a beatdown.

Indianapolis (7) @ Arizona (10):
 The Sunday Night game pits two awesome offenses against each other.

San Francisco (9) @ Minnesota (6):
 Defensive struggle?  Or will Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson run over the opposing defense?  Should be a fun one either way.
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com