NFL Week 7 Powre Rankings
Big shakeup this week, but before we go overreacting (as ESPN hacks are doing), let’s keep things in proper perspective: there are 4 elite teams, 2 on-the-cusp teams, 18-20 middling squads and then the dredge of the NFL follows. The rankings dictate this —
1. Indianapolis Colts.
Peyton Manning for MVP. Using a bunch of rookies and no-names and making people forget about Marv very quickly. Someone should be exploiting their defense by now, but as it stands, no one has yet and they are making plays.
2. Minnesota Vikings.
They do whatever they want on offense and no one (NOONE) can stop them consistently. Their defense can be exploited through the air, however.
3. New Orleans Saints.
They remind me a lot of the ’99-’02 Rams. Take them off that fast track in that dome and play in the elements north of the Mason-Dixon line and they slow considerably. Their defense is more opportunistic than great. They manhandled the still-best defense in the NFL Sunday. I still see the team that lost to the Bears in the cold a year and a half ago.
4. Denver Broncos.
Teams are going to have to realize what Orton’s weaknesses are and begin blitzing him. He is NOT this good.
5. New York Football Giants.
Still a 13 or 14 win season (look at the schedule) and potentially hosting the NFC Championship game (meaning the Saints or Vikings would have to play in 35 degree temps/20 MPH winds). Reports of the defense being overrated are ludicrous. Still the best defense in the NFL and 2nd best offense in the NFL. Ran into a hot team at home on a fast track and didn’t adjust one bit. Three touchdown loss indeed the suitable result.
6. Atlanta Falcons.
We’ll see if they’re for real when they come to East Rutherford.
7. New England Patriots.
Shameless running up the score — and they may do it again to Tampa Bay. But hey, it’s football and Belichick isn’t part of any coaching fraternity, so he doesn’t care who hates him for running up the score against hapless opponents. They will be exposed against the Saints — if they’re really back or not. However, they are coming together and they cut Galloway today, so they will be in line to win the division. Again.
8. Cincinnati Bengals.
They may not be this high again, now that teams know that you must make the Bengals’ defense play out in space — and their best player thus far on that unit, Antwan Odom, just ruptured his Achilles’ and is out for the year.
9. Baltimore Ravens.
They are better than 3-3, but three STRAIGHT last-second losses are just that: LOSSES.
10. San Francisco 49ers.
They get Crabtree this week. Despite the inactivity, that has to help.
11. Houston Texans.
Are they finally coming together? They actually had a strong defensive game. We KNOW what they can do offensively.
12. Arizona Cardinals.
Huge test for them as they travel east to East Rutherford for SNF against the Giants. Beating up on an inexplicably overrated Seattle team proved nothing.
13. San Diego Chargers.
Their defense and special teams play this year (and really under Norval Turner in general) has been ABOMINABLE.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers.
Polamalu comes back this week, but they’re still committing too many turnovers and they cannot run the ball.
15. Philadelphia Eagles.
Horrific loss. Andy Reid passed the ball an unforgivable 45 times against a defense that is pretty decent against the pass, but CAN’T stop the run. Go figure.
16. Dallas Cowboys.
They can still make a playoff run, but Romo has to (for the first time ever) be consistent for 10 straight games in order to do so.
17. Chicago Bears.
I still don’t know why some people think the Bears are good. Cutler can’t win alone. He may have a cannon and throw the best deep ball (tied with Flacco) but with unreliable receivers and a shaky TE, does it matter?
18. Green Bay Packers.
Beat up on a Lions team missing their (overpaid) rookie QB and their best player (C. Johnson). They still have a maddeningly porous offensive line.
19. New York Jets.
Sanchez better learn how to play in the northeast quickly. 5 INT against a team who couldn’t even beat the BROWNS last week made Jet fans want to kill someone Sunday.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars.
Almost lost to the Rams, which would’ve certainly ended Del Rio’s tenure with the Jags. As it is, they are 3-3, but ridiculously inconsistent.
21. Miami Dolphins.
HUGE test Sunday coming against the Saints off a bye week. We’ll see what they’re really made of. Desperation time for the Fins.
22. Carolina Panthers.
They still had to fight to beat the Bucs, when everyone else has done it with ease (well, except the Redskins).
23. Seattle Seahawks.
The Seabags STINK. Flat out and simple.
24. Buffalo Bills.
They “win” Sunday, but they gave away two others. Did those two close losses kill their mojo before the season got going good? This team could easily be 4-2.
25. Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders really aren’t all that bad. Russell has had two games without tons of mistakes and had a relatively decent passer rating as well.
26. Kansas City Chiefs.
I have maintained the past month that their defense is really not that bad. They have some players at each level. Just no continuity — and the inability to tackle when it matters. Their offense definitely doesn’t have the firepower right now. Larry Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson are the next in line for RBs to head to RB heaven; they are BOTH done and lost two steps in the past couple of years.
27. Detroit Lions.
Missing Megatron badly on Sunday. As long as he’s out and no defense, they have ZERO chance to win a game.
28. Cleveland Browns.
They were robbed by the refs when they still had a chance to stay in the game at 21-14 and getting the ball back from the Steelers — who turned the ball over 4 times.
29. Washington Redskins.
This team is a colossal trainwreck in every facet.
30. Tennessee Titans.
Jeff Fisher has had a good 15 year run, but they are stubborn in their approach to the game. They adjust even less on defense than Giants’ defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan did against the Saints in Week 6. But not adjusting and getting blown out by not even showing up against New England might mean they need a complete overhaul.
Oh, and they miss Albert Haynesworth even more than I thought they would (which I said would be IMMENSE). They have the same team on both sides of the ball. Even upgraded their WR corps. And got WORSE? They miss Haynesworth more than words can describe. At the same time, he looks like an overpaid bust in Washington. Then again, defensive tackles can only have a limited effect on a game, so paying $100 million for one is stupid. But that’s Daniel Snyder for you. I should’ve written this on the Redskins’ write-up, but they stink in every phase of the game.
31. St. Louis Rams.
They’ve been fighting at least. Almost won Sunday.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This team has no heart whatsoever. And that starts from their wuss owner, down to the spineless coach, down to the team which has waived and traded most its stalwarts in the past two years.