Monday, October 20, 2008

Power Rankings in the NFL


1. TENNESSEE TITANS - AFC South (6-0): And then there was one. At the start of the season, it was Vince Young's team, but an injury, and disappearing act puts Kerry Collins at the helm, and the team's looking fabulous. With minimal fanfare in the high-calibur talent, it's proof that money doesn't by unity. Jeff Fisher (head coach) has something working, and it starts with Chris Johnson manning the running game with Lendale White. Follow it up with a decent receiver core, and a tremendous defense with Albert Haynesworth and Jevon "The Freak" Kearse. It's good to be a Titan.

2. BUFFALO BILLS - AFC East (5-1): Another team without the big guns making it work. The Bills are, as Chirs Berman would say, Circling the Wagons. Trent Edwards is making people forget about JP Lohsman. They have a great receiving corpse with Lee Evans and Josh Reed and return man Roscoe Parrish. Don't forget to remember Marshaun Lynch, and you have a balanced recipe on offense. The defense isn't bad, and can hold up to most teams.

3. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - AFC NORTH (5-1): Big Ben and company are proving you don't need Bill Cowher to run the team well. You take youth and experience, attach it to a great defense, and you're cruising in an otherwise weak division. The major drawback to the Steelers is the weak division with the Bengals (reverting back to the Bungles), the Browns and Ravens. The positives of Heins Ward show in the heart he plays with, and with Willie Parker injured again, it's nice to see Mewelde Moore doing as well as he is. Add to that Troy Polamalu on defense, and a hit first, ask later style... it's no wonder they rank #3 in my power rankings.

4. NEW YORK GIANTS - NFC EAST (5-1): Well, they'd be higher, but with the weak schedule they've had (only 1 division game), and the fact their loss was against the Browns, puts them at #4. Eli Manning and Plexico Burress are proving proficiency reigns supreme, but I'm worried about what happens when they play the Cowboys twice and the Eagles twice, along with playing the Redskins one more time.

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS - NFC WEST (4-2): Yes... the Cardinals, usually the doorstep of the NFC... with Kurt Warner at the helm, it all seems possible. With Larry Fitzgerald and Andquan Bolden, an eventual big time runner in Edgerin James, and a deceptive defense that may just continue to do what they are to win.. . and oh, don't forget, they beat the Bills and Cowboys... that has to prove something.

6. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - NFC EAST (5-2): Go figure, Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn... usually it's Joe Gibbs with yet another quarterback that get the fans buzzing about the Super Bowl and the glory days of the Hogs. With Santana Moss leading the receivers, and Clinton Portis looking like a hay day picture of himself, you couldn't have a better crew on offense, the defense is spearheaded by Jason Taylor, and a decent secondary. I'm certain they'll make the playoffs, and maybe upseed the Giants as the top of the NFC East.

7. CAROLINA PANTHERS - NFC SOUTH (5-2): The Cardiac Cats are back... after winning the first 2 games of the season without Steve Smith, and in the last seconds, it's like they live for the thrill of the comeback. Jake Dellhomme is looking better then normal, and shows no ill effects of the elbow injury that cost him last season. With the re-addition of Mussin Muhummad, and the stellar Steve Smith, it's an aerial assault that's never doubtful. Add in the quick maturation of James Stewart from the Detroit Lions or even DeAngelo Williams. The Defense has never been an issue in the past, and still is a good part of the team.

8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANNERS - NFC SOUTH (5-2): The Buccs are back, and Jon Gruden may have saved his job... for now. A resurgeance in talent at the quarterback position puts the offense in the limelight when the defense has been the team's MO for many a years. With Joey Galloway... the ageless one, Antonio Bryant and Michael Pittman, it's a good time to be on offense. Add into that, the fact that the defense still has quite possibly one of the best defenders out there in Derrick Brooks... I'm saying it's the new Buccaneers look is nice.

9. ATLANTA FALCONS - NFC SOUTH (4-2): The reason the Falcons are ahead of the Broncos is the way the Falcons are right now. People expeced the Vick Hangover to continue, and thanks to Matt Ryan (a rookie), the team has a look of comrodery and of teamsmanship... something that lacked last year. Add in Michael Turner (from San Diego), and it's no wonder they sit at 4-2. The rest of the team isn't much of a note, but it's they are acting as a team, and that's all that matters.

10. DENVER BRONCOS - AFC WEST (4-2): It's hard to say that I like them, when you lose to the Kansas City Chiefs, it's hard to put you above a team that is expected to lose. Jay Cuttler is surprising a lot of critics, the same can be said about the fact that the running game is still doing good, and the wide receiver lines are still long and tight, lead by Brandon Marshall and Brandon Stokely. The defense is iffy, and if they lose too much, when the Chargers do get in line, it's gonna hurt to lose to teams you should win against.

11. CHICAGO BEARS - NFC NORTH (4-3): I don't know what to say. For years under Brian Griese and Rex Grossman, it's been a run offense, but without a premiere back, relying heavily on Matt Forte... an unproven rookie... Orton must air it out. I like what I see out of Devon Hester as a WR/KR/PR... but they need more. Thank God the Defense is still lead by Brian Urlacher, Mike Brown and Lance Briggs.

12. GREEN BAY PACKERS - NFC NORTH (4-3): Can Brett Favre stop haunting the Packers? It's rumored that he helped the Lions (who still lost) with inside information. However, no one can question that Aaron Rodgers is looking immaculate as his replacement. Add in Ryan Grant is looking better as the weeks progress and a great wide receiver corpse with Greg Jennings. I'm happy to say AJ Hawk is everyhing the Packers wanted, and the Defense is improved over years past.

13. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - AFC EAST (3-2): This ain't last years' Pats... not even close. I'll be honest with you... it's not Matt Cassel's Fault. Blame a defense that fell for Miami's "Wildcat" formation 6 times in one game... blame an offensive line that couldn't give a car 3 seconds to drive. Blame a coach who after that game said "We didn't know the adjustments" or something to that line. How about spying on Ronnie Brown? Try that novel idea. It's an up and down year... more downs then up, and it's nothing to do with Tom Brady.

14. BALTIMORE RAVENS - AFC NORTH (3-3): I'm amazed that Joe Flacco is catching so much crap. Afterall, he is A ROOKIE. I'll tell you the truth, it's going to be a long prosperous career for him... they just need more weapons. Willis McGhee is too hurt, too frequently to survive in the bang or be banged AFC North. It's a benefit to be in that division, and with weaker links in other directions, they could make the playoffs as a wild card. The defense still reigns supreme, thanks to Ray Lewis and Ed Reed...

15. DALLAS COWBOYS - NFC EAST (4-3): I would have dropped them lower, but the records are dropping... so are they. Add into the fact that Tony Romo's injury, "Pac Man"'s Suspension, Roy E. Williams (WR) was held catchless for the first time ever, Roy L Williams (SS) is out for the year with a broken Forearm. Julius Jones was traded to Seattle, and Marion Barber hasn't been used to his fullest potential, add to TO... should be DP (Drop Passes)... TO, a bit of a message. They're throwing you the ball... you need to then catch it. It doesn't look good for The Boys.

16. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - AFC SOUTH (3-3): As a surprise, I thought they'd be a Super Bowl Team... I was wrong. They're looking good, they're just not executing, and that's the biggest thing that must be done in the NFL... execute what you can... they have talent, they just aren't putting it together at the same time. David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew along with Matt Jones should be better, but isn't... they need to get better. They're better then 3-3.

17. NEW YORK JETS - AFC EAST (3-3): I guess Brett Favre wasn't the answer. He's doing good, in spurts. Just took too long to get him into camp. There's still Bubba Franks, Laverneus Coles and Jericho Cotchery. I wouldn't like to see what it would look like if Brett was there longer. It's suspect on defense. Especially proven in that in the Arizona game where they almost blew it. I'm not sold, and it'll be a while before I am.

18. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - NFC EAST (3-3): They are the best 3-3 team out there. Tough losses, but really tough wins as well. Donnovan McNabb needs to get time to be himself, and I'm not to sure that he can... it's hurt to be missing Brian Westbrook, and it's proven it. It's time in the offseason to pick up more offensive weapens. Sure, Assanti Samuels (from New England) is working out, but if the offense doesn't put up points, the defense can give up 3 and still lose. Time to get wide receiver help.

19. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - NFC NORTH (3-4): The Vikings still are a good team, with or without Tavaris Jackson at the helm... Frerotte gives them a better help in all of this. The defense is okay, and it seems like Adrian Peterson is having a sophomore slump, or that people figured out his style. They need to keep up working hard, and keep up trying, wins should surely follow.

20. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - AFC SOUTH (3-3): No, it's not a typo... the Colts are 3-3, with 3 losses AT HOME. Opening the new Lucas Oil Stadium should help them... it's a ton quieter... I guess they forgot to pump the sound in like the old stadium. Manning isn't Manning, Wayne and Harrison are suffering because of it. Joesph Addai is doing okay, but the piecework offensive line is definitely the cog in this defective wheel. It's definitely a bad year to call it quits for Tony Dungee. What to do to fix it... Let Manning heal, and allow him to heal properly. Get the offensive line to fall for this novel idea... give them time to run the play.

21. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - NFC SOUTH (3-4): Reggie Bush is injured. Marquese Colston is Injured. It's not a good time to hear the "Saints Come Marching In"... Jeremy Shockey was added, then had a sports hernia... he's a lost cause for the season. Drew Brees is doing good, but the problem is that he's the only one. The receivers aren't doing a good enough job consistantly. I'd love to see what it takes to get that way with such a good offense. The defense isn't bad either. I don't know, but the Saints are better then they are showing as well.

22. CLEVELAND BROWNS - NFC NORTH (2-4): I give them a slight edge over the Chargers, being that they beat the Giants, and made them look bad in the process. They also won an ugly game against the Bengals. I'd like to see more out of Derek Anderson, and I think the threat of a ready Brady Quinn may be the helper. They need more production out of Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards. Jamal Lewis is still not a premiere back, but I'd like to see him give a lot more in the running game, and be a dominating runner like he was when he had 2000+ yards rushing.

23. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - AFC WEST (3-4): LT... Phillip Rivers... Chris Chambers... we hardly knew ye. I'm saying this... Don't Blame Sean Merriman... that knee injury was just too much to deal with. They are flat, they aren't doing the things that makes them famous and makes them tick. I'm unhappy with the fact that they let Lorenzo Neal go, and Michael Turner, but they definitely are a better team... it's just too bad they refuse to do that. I'm blaming everything from Norv Turner to the Training Staff... and all the players. It's a team problem.

24. ST. LOUIS RAMS - AFC WEST (2-4): Given the last 2 weeks were agains the Redskins and Cowboys, both Wins, I'd put them above Houston and Miami... they're looking better, the show's getting underway (for the Greatest Show on Turf)... Marc Bulger missed one week after being benched by former coach Scott Linehan. Tory Holt isn't much to worry about, because without another good receiver, he can't get free. The defense isn't bad, but there's hardly been a Rams defense that was good.

25. HOUSTON TEXANS - AFC SOUTH (2-4): The Texans have all the bad luck... their stadium was damaged by Hurricane Ike, they lost in the last seconds to Indianapolis, and have had no luck... thank God that they can win in the last seconds in the QB Draw by Matt Shaub... they have talent at WR with Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. The defense isn't bad... they could be better. Hopefully the last few wins (vs. Dolphins and vs. Lions) can start the freight train.

26. MIAMI DOLPHINS - AFC EAST (2-4): Add Chad Pennington to the list of quarterbacks since Dan Marino. Add the "Wildcat formation" (a direct snap to Ronnie Brown, put Chad Pennington over to WR, option handoff to Ricky Williams, option pass or option run for Ronnie Brown). A focused Ricky Williams and a returning Ronnie Brown should help the team succeed. The receivers aren't good, except possibly Ted Ginn. They let Jason Taylor go (to Washington) and got minimal back for his talents. Wasted, wasted talent, oh, Zach Thomas is gone now too.

27. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers - NFC WEST (2-5): Well, they've played tough games, and fought valiantly. They've had to deal with the Patriots, Giants and Eagles to name a few, and they fought very well with them. Now the runors are flying about Mike Nolan's future, it's hard to imagine a worse distraction. JT O'Sullivan is learning on the fly, mind you the hard way. It seems Frank Gore need to get going, and now. It's nice to have a #80 in the huddle, it's not Jerry Rice, but acceptibly it's Isaac Bruce (formerly of the Rams). The defense won't be good, but they can stop where needed.

28. OAKLAND RAIDERS - AFC WEST (2-4): Well, Lane Kiffen wasn't the answer... when will Al Davis learn that talent makes the team... T-A-L-E-N-T. Not coaches. Anyhoo, I digress. Jamarcus Russell is 90% joke, 10% talent. Darren McFadden won't mature in a system with such dysfunction and receivers are non-existant. The defense lost Warren Sapp, and I'm not seeing greener pastures in Oakland.

29. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - NFC WEST (1-5): My how the mighty have fallen. I've seen smoother drops in the stock market. Injury bug has hit Seattle hard. I'd like to see Matt Hasselbeck sat until that knee is 100%, right now, it's probably not a fond farewell for Mike Holmgren as he departs this season, and hands the reigns over to Jim Mora Jr. The defense is suspect, even with Lofa Tatupu. The offense is struggling, even though they have Julius Jones and got rid of Shaun Alexander. Not a smooth move there, eh?

30. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - AFC WEST (1-5): Embarrassing to be at 30 on the countdown, but here are the Chiefs. The only positive is that Tony Gonzalez is still there. That's all I can say. Brodie Croyle was hurt Day 1. Damon Huard's not that great. Where Larry Johnson's head at? Can someone stop someone on defense? Oh well... there's always next year for Herm Edwards... or the next... or the next... or the next. He'll get there eventually.

31. DETROIT LIONS - NFC NORTH (0-7): Sure the Lions traded Roy Williams for junk. There's nothing we can do about it. They placed John Kitna on IR... his year's done. Dan Orlovski forgot where the out of bounds line was in the endzone. There's no hope in Detroit. Plus though was that they fired Matt Millen, like 100 years too late.

32. CINCINATTI BENGALS - AFC NORTH (0-6): Well, with the talent they have, they should have won... at least one. You get #32 based upon being talented and at the bottom. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco)... that's just 1/2 of what the offense has. They are a better team, and they are playing like crap. Sure, Carson Palmer's elbow is the issue, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is certainly no Carson Palmer, but they still have Chris Henry, TJ Houshmanzadeh (accurate spelling too) as WR... you have targets... you just ain't hitting them.

If you don't like this, e-mail your favorite team and tell them to do better

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