2010 NFL Week 8 Powre Rankings
Before I even get started here, I have to reiterate every week that this is about POWER (powre), and how a team looks week to week. Getting the break from officiating and lucky breaks does not a powerful team make. Keep that in mind before we split hairs about the Top 5. The difference in the Top 5 spots isn’t records, but how they win games — and they’re all like the Top 5 rappers of all-time; they could all be tops on anyone’s list, depending on their respective tastes.
That said, let’s get to the rankings.
1. New York Jets (5-1).
The Jets are the best team in the AFC. They do everything well on both sides of the ball and in special teams. They don’t kill themselves with turnovers and their ability to run the ball and stifle teams defensively will always have them in games even should their offense be unable to score — which has not been a problem this year since their Week 1 loss. They’ve won 5 straight for a reason.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1).
They’ve beaten the Browns, a mediocre Falcons team, lost to the Ravens (who have lost to the 2-4 Bengals and Patriots — the latter of which isn’t bad, but the NFL is a matchup league more than any sport) and the resurgent, but raw Buccaneers. They needed help from the officials in Week 7 to win their 5th game. But their defense has been pretty good (although not dominant in Week 7 by any stretch). No way you can put all these factors into play and say they’re better than the Jets.
3. New York Football Giants (5-2).
The Giants are the best team in the NFC. Period. Not the Falcons, with their wins against paltry teams and awful showing vs. PIT — as well as their putrid showing vs. a 1-5 SF team before a fluky turnover gave them a win. The Giants feature the top ranked offense in the NFC, the best defense in the NFC vs. the run AND the pass, lead the NFC in sacks, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. When you are able to control those facets of the game, you’re going to be in prime position every week. The only thing that makes people (objective non-haters) go “ehhh” about the Giants is their uncanny knack to have 1-2 tipped INTs every week and league-worst special teams play. The fact they have overcome those in all but the two losses shows how great their offense and defense is and can be once those errors are cut down.
4. New England Patriots (5-1).
They were given the game in Week 7 early on and had to hold on to win it. Considering they nearly lost to the Bills and had to score 13 unanswered very late vs. BAL in Week 6, there isn’t an objective person that can put them any higher than this.
5. Atlanta Falcons (5-2).
They’ve looked awful on the road and in their losses. And quite simply a once-in-a-decade strip fumble/missed FG scenario saved them from losing to a pitiful 1-5 SF team. They’ve returned to their dominant running ways and with Roddy White lighting up the skies with Madden numbers, they’re able to score (at times). But they are far too inconsistent to put any higher than this. They are liable to lose 31-21 to the Rams at home, if they were to play them.
6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2).
They have this bend, but don’t break feel about them. You figured they’d have a +7 per game differential offensively because of all the weapons they now have. But it hasn’t worked out that way yet. They’ve squeaked out wins against teams you figured they’d beat, lost to a seemingly-awful Bengals team and once AGAIN blew a late game vs. NE in Week 7.
7. Tennessee Titans (5-2).
You have to put them here because they’ve won. But you feel as though it is with smoke and mirrors. Kerry Collins has been the biggest tease over the past 15 years in the NFL than most broads in peep shows. The minute you buy in and think he’s your starter (at age 38 no less), the minute the team crashes and burns. Chris Johnson’s prediction about his season is all but done — as it was from the get-go anyway for a guy who stands 5’10” 185. Ridiculous that he thought he would log the 400 carries he would’ve needed (assuming he doesn’t know math that well?) to get 2,500 yards even at the 6 yards per carry that he averaged last year. He’d be lucky to get 1,500 this year at the rate/number of hits he’s taking.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2).
Amazing how ESPN has the Texans here. They gave the Cowboys their ONLY win this year and we destroyed them (while having us behind the Texans???) Sure, they blew a game late versus the Texans, but the Chiefs have been damn good this year. And it is no fluke, because their defense is legit. They’ve had the parts, but there is cohesion now under first year defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. The Chiefs amass almost 170 yards per game rushing in leading the NFL. That’s no fluke, either, with two guys who can get you 100 yards in a game on any given Sunday. If not both in the same game.
9. Houston Texans (4-2).
Their matchup with the Colts on MNF will show whether they begin their annual swoon which they do around this time of the year, or if they finally get over the hump by sweeping the Colts. My call is that people finally realize that Foster is a one-cut back who isn’t shifty enough to be a 1,500+ rusher nor someone who should beat you with multiple 100 yard games. There are only five guys who you can walk away in the black if you laid money that they would gain 100 yards in any given game: Adrian Peterson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson. THAT’S IT. Foster looks like a flash in the pan to me. I’m sorry. And Schaub is a 2nd tier QB masquerading as an elite because of his numbers and style of offense (again Kubiak is only instituting what Mike Shanahan did in Denver for 14 years).
10. Indianapolis Colts (4-2).
They’re resilient. They have tons of key injuries, guys out for season and still overcome almost every week. Even in their losses, injuries to those players weren’t the main reason they’ve lost. But they cannot be ranked higher than this.
11. Seattle Seahawks (4-2).
The Seabags are on my radar. We have them at Qwest Field (where they are tough to beat) in Week 9. Their wins aren’t flukes, but they are far too poor on the road (a win vs. CHI at Soldier Field notwithstanding) to be taken seriously.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2).
A win is a win, right? But their losses look a lot worse than their wins look good.
13. Washington Redskins (4-3).
They alternated wins and losses in October, but they’ve already matched their win output from 2009. Haynesworth also seems to have become inspired after burying his brother the week before.
14. Chicago Bears (4-3).
Usually, smoke and mirrors teams don’t begin to get exposed until after the halfway point of the season. They’re already exposed after the Giants’ demolition of them a few weeks back and now two horrid losses vs. SEA and WSH.
15. New Orleans Saints (4-3).
They can’t run the ball. Reggie Bush is rushing his return (big mistake) because they’ve been awful without him. An X-Factor at best, that tells you how fluky the Saints’ 2009 season was.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3).
ESPN has been way too high on this team for a decade now. They have them two spots behind the NFC-best Giants in their polls. Unreal. Andy Reid knows Michael Vick is his ticket to possibly making the playoffs, because Kevin Kolb proved in Week 7 that he is NOT. I told everyone who would listen, the minute Kolb FINALLY faced a good defense, he would fold. Until Week 7, he had NEVER done so in the NFL; despite people raving about him as if he had carved up the Steelers or Giants and I somehow missed it?
17. Green Bay Packers (4-3).
They escaped SNF thanks to league-worst coaching by Brad Childress (not challenging an OBVIOUS non-TD by the Pack early on, as they lost by the 4 point margin that the challenge, which would’ve been overturned — would have given the Vikes), Brett Favre handing the game to them and STILL YET the Vikes having three opportunities late to win the game. So their previous two consecutive losses still show what they really are, injuries or not.
18. St. Louis Rams (3-4).
Rams blew one in Week 7, but give the Bucs credit. However, they’re playing better than you’d expect from a team with a rookie at QB and its two best WRs on IR.
19. Miami Dolphins (3-3).
Robbed at home by a referee FROM PITTSBURGH (something people continue to overlook when I said that the ref was a homer) and are now 0-3 at home when the 85 degree/75% humidity is usually an advantage for them. Not expected. But they really need to run the ball effectively. Chad Henne is not Dan Marino, as Tony Sparano (another awful coach when it comes to clock management and challenging) seems to think.
20. Arizona Cardinals (3-3).
Better than expected after starting an awful QB and an undrafted rookie free agent. They’re making the most of what they have.
21. Minnesota Vikings (2-4).
Brett Favre has killed them all season. They only have room for two more losses, because 10-6 is going to land you in a muddled mess of tiebreakers with about 3 or 4 other teams vying to make the playoffs in the NFC this year. But while Favre has killed the Vikes, Childress — the worst coach in the NFL — and his schemes, foolish ignorance of challenges seemingly every week and misuse of Adrian Peterson (putting Toby Gerhart in a game where you’re trying to come back, when Peterson will KILL to stay in a game in the clutch?), along with their offensive line woes… well, the Vikes would be no worse off with Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson has an arm, is no less accurate than Favre, and with Favre sporting multiple fractures in an ankle and already immobile at 41 years of age, don’t you think Jackson can do more when the line breaks down? Childress is coaching for his life the rest of the way this year.
22. Oakland Raiders (3-4).
Still waiting for them to put together consecutive good games. They have the personnel to win 10 games, despite their coach — much like the 2009 Yankees did with Joe Girardi.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4).
If they lose to Dallas, they will be right down there with the Cowboys in these rankings next week.
24. San Diego Chargers (2-5).
The Bolts still SOMEHOW lead the ENTIRE NFL IN BOTH OFFENSE AND DEFENSE. But they’re 2-5. And it’s not just special teams. Bonehead fumbles by Richard Goodman (… from… *sigh*), dumbasses like Jacob Hester standing and loafing after an obvious lateral (even if it isn’t, GO GET THE BALL, FOOL!) and even untimely INTs by Rivers (his last vs. OAK cost them the game, and his first vs. NE gave the Pats their 3rd scoring drive of the game). Norv ought to be out of there by now, but he is megalomaniac GM AJ Smith’s guy. They do get Vincent Jackson back soon.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4).
What a mess this team is. Carson Palmer, who SUCKS (Jim Mora voice), had a good game and they STILL lost, because their defense forgot how to play.
And they lost Adam Jones for the season in the game.
26. Denver Broncos (2-5).
HA. With every game that McDaniels loses, I love it more and more. Every one of those Belicheats goes off to become a head coach and crashes and burns miserably. Somehow one of them has gotten TWO head coaching jobs.
27. Detroit Lions (1-5).
Still waiting for their hard efforts to result in wins.
28. Cleveland Browns (2-5).
They try hard, but no thanks to their head coach.
29. San Francisco 49ers (1-6).
They can STILL win their division, as ridiculous as it sounds. With their remaining slate, as bad as they themselves have been, they can realistically win 7 of 9 to finish the season.
30. Carolina Panthers (1-5).
Highest they’ll be this year. They’ll be battling Dallas for the cellar the rest of the year after a BRUTAL slate upcoming in November. They might not win another game this year.
31. Buffalo Bills (0-6).
They might be 0-6, but they pushed the Patriots and Ravens to the brink and lost LITERALLY in the last minute of almost all of their games. They pushed the Fins in Week 1, as well. Only blowouts to Green Bay and the Jets have been “typical Bills”.
32. Dallas Cowboys (1-5).
Oh, and it gets worse from here. Their QB is basically out for season (even if Jon Kitna wins 4 games, why bring Romo back, they’re not making the playoffs and that injury truly requires 3-5 months of rest for it to heal properly) and have an absolutely KILLER slate the rest of the way. They have to come to East Rutherford in two weeks, TWO games remaining against the should-be Vick-led Iggles, and another loss upcoming to the Redskins, who OWN them — not to mention their other non-conference/non-divisional games. Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett, update your resumes.