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Old 10-22-2008, 11:59 PM    (permalink
Number 10
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Default Number 10's Bi-Weekly Power Rankings

I will update these every two weeks.

(Mods: D-Unit gave me permission to do these)

1 – Tennessee Titans (6-0)

I hesitated for a second here actually. Their offense is going to lose them a few games this year, I guarantee it. However, 66 points allowed through 6 games? Net points of 83? I knew they would be good, but that is downright filthy. If you know me, you know I look in the trenches before anything else when evaluating a team and there may not be a better run stuffing defensive line in football that Tennessee. They control the line of scrimmage from inside out every week. That is the recipe for success, especially in the playoffs. Kerry Collins is the question mark though, he will be what separates them from going 13-3 and 11-5.

2 – Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1)

Almost put the Giants here, but the Steelers have been tougher on defense and have been winning games without a healthy offense. With Big Ben and Willie Parker getting stronger as the weeks go by and an offensive line that seems to finally be on the same page, Pittsburgh is strengthening my preseason notion that they are going to be the team to beat in the AFC. I question how well their secondary is going to perform with some key injuries, but LaMarr Woodley and my new favorite NFL player James Harrison are playing lights out. That LB core as a whole is something to watch week in and week out.

3 – New York Giants (5-1)

Sure the Giants have had an easy schedule to start off, but they have done exactly what a good team is supposed to do, win. While they are not resembling the same team that made a postseason run for the ages this past winter, there is still a ton of balance on both sides of the ball that keeps the opposition guessing. They can beat you in so many ways with so many different players. Their depth is incredible at key spots when it comes to their schemes and it allows them to create mismatches all over the field. With the beefy portion of their schedule on the horizon, we’re going to get a real taste of what this team is.

4 - Washington Redskins (5-2)

Clinton Portis is playing at a higher level than any running back in football right now. While I have always been a bit skeptical about him since his trade to Washington, I cannot deny what he is doing right now. Combine that with the zero-interception-Jason Campbell and you have yourself an efficient, tough to stop offense. Can the defense hold up? Well as of right now they have at least one player at each level playing very well, the signs of a strong unit. Landry, Carter, and Fletcher are carrying that defense and from what I have seen so far, they will stay that way all season.

5 – Buffalo Bills (5-1)

Even just a few days ago before the San Diego game, I was a doubter of the Bills. But after considering what has transpired from the start, I have to put the Bills up here. Their defense last season was legit and that was without Posluszny, Mitchell, and Stroud. They are going to be a tough unit to score on because those three are incredibly tough against the run, and the quickness in that secondary is scary good. I love the way Whitner is playing and it seems like he is a man on a mission to defend what he said about them being a playoff team this past offseason. I want to see more out of Edwards before I have full confidence in him but hey, Kerry Collins is the QB of my #1 team.

6 – Carolina Panthers (5-2)

When I saw this team start off 2-0 without the best player on their offense, I immediately knew there was something here with this team. Outside of Tennessee, the Panthers are the top defensive team in the NFL. If Julius Peppers can start to dominate, and he has played well the past few games, watch out. Thomas Davis’ transition to LB is proving to be a smart move, as he may be the most overlooked ‘backer in the game right now. Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith are starting to hit their stride and with the duo of Williams and Stewart proving to be a force, scoring 27-30 points on a weekly basis should be common for Carolina. With that defense, those points could translate into 12-13 wins.

7 – Green Bay Packers (4-3)

Loving how Aaron Rodgers is playing right now. He looks so relaxed, so stress free and when considering the situation he is in right now, you have to wonder if anything is going to be too much for him. The defense has shown flashes of being the top notch unit they were last year.

8 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)

A huge surprise here for me. I think I tagged the Bucs as a 5 or 6 win team back in August. Jermaine Phillips is a fun kid to watch and he rarely gets the pub he deserves. If Aqib Talib actually is as good as he’s been playing lately, the Bucs defense is going to be near impossible to score on in the air. I still question their offense when it comes to consistency, but that D will win them a bunch of games. NFC South race is going to be very interesting down the stretch,

9 – Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)

This team is a lot better than what their record will tell you. Brian Westbrook is going to make a lot of people look silly if they say the Eagles are done. He always does. Jim Johnson has his unit playing with the reckless abandon attitude that I feel has been missing in Philly since Trotter left for good. They are as deep as anyone on that side of the ball and it is tough to create a mismatch with all of the diverse talent they have over there. Don’t overlook Kevin Curtis’ comeback here….

10 – San Diego Chargers (3-4)

Call me crazy for placing a losing team in the top ten. But the Chargers are going to turn it on one of these weeks and when they do, watch out. Their young defense will improve as the season goes on and Phillip Rivers is playing as good as any QB in the league right now. Tomlinson is the key here and it looks like his cuts are becoming more crisp and explosive. If that remains to be the case, 30+ points per week will be the case for San Diego.

11 – Atlanta Falcons – (4-2)

All this talk about Matt Ryan is great, really. But while you are falling in love with the rookie, please don’t neglect two players that are deserving of all the attention in the world. Roddy White and Michael Turner need to be mentioned in the same breath as the best players in the NFL at their respective positions. This team is going to be scoring points all season but the one thing I fear is the annual John Abraham drop off. When that happens, what does their defense have to offer?

12 – Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

Almost every team, and I say almost because of what we have gotten used to with the Patriots and Colts the past few years, will go through a rough stretch in a season. It would be one thing if Dallas was losing these games at full health. But they are as banged up as anyone right now (outside of the Saints) and should have the ammo to make a run when it matters most. I said last week that the Dallas front seven has a chance here to prove their worth, but it seems DeMarcus Ware was the only one that got the memo.

13 – New England Patriots (4-2)

I hate to doubt a Bill Belichick-coached team but these guys are eventually going to crack. They are staying alive with up and down play but their veteran leaders are getting banged up every week and the depth on that team is not what it usually is. I liked what I saw out of Cassell on Monday in terms of decision making and poise. Don’t forget he was getting pressured and hit for the majority of the night, but he stood in there like a champ. Brandon Meriweather is going to have to step it up big time and Belichick has to create more ways to get to the passer because this defense is no longer a dependable unit.

14 – Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Never in a million years did I expect to have the Colts and Cowboys at 12 and 14 at this point of the season. Huge contest this Monday night obviously, we’ll find out if the Colts are this bad. Peyton doesn’t look the same but I don’t blame him. The makeshift offensive line and lack of a true threat in the backfield is night and day different from what he has had in his successful years. While the Colts defense is capable of getting on a hot streak, I think the experiments need to end. They need a body at that DT spot, real bad.

15 – Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)

I think the Jags are as good as they’re gonna get right now. I don’t see this team making that next step into contention like they did last year. Their ground game just isn’t the same as it was last year and they don’t own the line of scrimmage like they used to. Are Harvey and Groves going to be this season’s pair of saviors? I don’t think so.

16 – Chicago Bears (4-3)

No, I’m not impressed with the win against Minnesota at all. They gave up a ton of points to a terrible offensive team right now, and two of their own TDs were on freak special teams plays. While the Kyle Orton and Matt Forte led offense seems to be legit, the strength of this squad needs to reside on defense. I remember talking about the lack of depth on that side of the ball was going to bite them hard and it appears that is going to be the case.

17 – Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

I’m not a firm believer in the Cards yet but I will say that I was this close to placing in the 13-14 region, as this area is pretty flexible. This offense is legit now that the offensive line is playing with at least some sort of high level consistency. Levi Brown is playing very well, check him out if you can. The concerns reside on defense where, personnel wise, they appear to be solid. But they’re missing something. They don’t pressure the QB off the edge often enough and their secondary won’t be leading to many coverage sacks. They’re on the brink, just need to show me more on defense.

18 – Baltimore Ravens (3-3)

Ray Lewis has this defense playing almost as good as he ever has outside of their Super Bowl season. He is playing with more fire in his belly and it looks like he is proving that he worth one more multi year contract before all is said and done. Flacco hasn’t killed them, but with a running game that seems to weaken every year in the second half, one has to think this kid is going to have to grow up fast.

19 – New York Jets (3-3)

These struggles are no fluke. Unfortunately, it appears that the Brett Favre factor is not going to bring this team back to the postseason. Is it the playcalling or Favre? I tend to think it has more to do with the option A. Thomas Jones has been playing at a very high level lately, yet they continue to drop Favre back and have him run around like a chicken with his head cut off. Luckily for them their defense is very in sync with each other on all levels.

20 – New Orleans Saints (3-4)

This was a team I had enormous expectations for just to be disappointed early in the season, for thr second year in a row. Drew Brees may be the MVP of the league right now and if this team can hit its stride as some of their weapons get healthy. The absence of Bush will hurt but Ellis, Colston, and Shockey should be able to come in and make a big impact.

21 – Minnesota Vikings (3-4)

Without a doubt the most disappointing team of the early portion of the NFL season. As good as their front four on defense is, there is very little to brag about elsewhere on that squad, AD included. Their QB situation is terrible and while Peterson and Berrian have the potential to hinder that issue, I am going to wait until I see it for a few weeks in a row before I push them up into the teens. That secondary, outside of Winfield, can be replaced from top to bottom. They’re that bad.

22 – Denver Broncos (4-3)

They along with Jay Cutler were the popular overrated pick after a hot start. Now they’ve come back down to earth and they lost their best player on the way. No Champ Bailey means no defense for that team, which is a bizarre thing to say if you think about it, but it is true. They are now experimenting with a 3-4 look? Oh man, things could get a lot uglier in Denver and if Cutler’s finger is an issue all season, a top 5 selection will be headed to Denver in April.

23 – Oakland Raiders (2-4)

I am putting an asterisk next to this team. Before the year I predicted a rough start, but a strong finish that could place them in postseason discussions in December. Their defense is really coming together and forming an identity with Hall and Asomugha playing top notch football. It will be on the shoulders of Russell here, and the playbook needs to be opened up. No more of this run, run, run, run, short pass, run, short pass, short pass. The tools are there and they have nice talent all over the place, let him loose.

24 – Cleveland Browns (2-4)

I thought for a week this team was about to make a run to make up for their rough start. The possibility is still there, but there is too much crap going on in Cleveland right now and I think another rough stretch is going to spell doom for this team. Is it me, or does it seem to be that both the players and coaches have a distinct distaste for Phil Savage? Messy situation there.

25 – Houston Texans (2-4)

The Texans are going to make a run but the question is how long they will keep it going. Schuab is a streaky QB but right now he is on the right end of the stick, and if he can get them back to .500, they are right in the thick of things. That said, the back seven of this defense is not reliable unless Dunta Robinson can really come back strong. And can someone not named Mario Williams play on a consistent level please?

26 – St. Louis Rams (2-4)

Wow. After the first few weeks I was ready to label this team the worst the NFL had to offer. I had them winning 7 or 8 games in my preseason predictions I believe and it looks like they have a shot at that number. Was Linehan really that awful? Hard to say. There is a lot of talent on that offense but that was never the question. Their O-line has stepped it up a notch although they still leave a lot to be desired. Defensively they still stink, and it will prevent them from being a division contender.

27 – Miami Dolphins (2-4)

The Dolphins teased a few people with consecutive big wins, but check their team out before you think they can go on a run like the Falcons. They have no talent in the passing game and their ground game will only take them so far. Match them up against a strong defense, they’ve got nothing. They are playing as good as they will all season on defense, thus a letdown is looming. Still though, a vast improvement over what they had last year and Parcells is the guy you want in charge.

28 – San Francisco 49ers (2-5)

What a mess this team is on offense. They are hard to watch and while JT O’Sullivan was an interesting story in August, he isn’t the guy. He won’t resurrect his career under Martz. Frank Gore can be top tier back in this league but they’re a couple lineman and a blocking tight away from him getting there. I like the young talent I see on that defense, but they lack the playmaker necessary in the middle of the field behind Willis.

29 – Seattle Seahawks (1-5)

Tough to see Mike Holmgren go out like this. His offensive scheme needs a reliable QB and smart, savvy receivers. He has neither right now. Defensively they are a train wreck and I don’t get it. I like a few of their defensive linemen, I think they have the best LB core in football, and they have one of the game’s top cover corners. I guess the rest of their unit is just really that bad. They still have a shot at making a run, but I think their tenure as the team to beat in the NFC West is over.

30 – Cincinnati Bengals (0-7)

They’ve been close a few times, don’t overlook that. They have a feisty attitude on the field but the talent, especially on defense, just isn’t there. See ya later Marvin Lewis, you had your chance to revamp this team and you couldn’t do it. These guys need a reliable RB in the worst way (Please declare Chris Wells).

31 – Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)

We all knew it would be a rough year for this team. This is as rebuilding as it gets in today’s NFL. Why Peterson did not trade Gonzalez I’ll never know.

32 – Detroit Lions (0-6)

The mission for the rest of the season is this: Find out if you need a first round QB in April. I’m in the minority here, but there is something in Orlovsky that I like. I’m not sure obviously, but I want to see him get a few more games under his belt.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:01 AM    (permalink
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I'd like to see the Bucs higher than the Panthers after the demolition that occurred at Raymond James a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:03 AM    (permalink
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Good read. Even I am not so sure that the Broncos are destined for a top 5 pick though.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:04 AM    (permalink
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I'd like to see the Bucs higher than the Panthers after the demolition that occurred at Raymond James a couple of weeks ago.
My thoughts exactly. The Kitties can't hold the Bucs jock.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:08 AM    (permalink
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Understood about the Panthers-Bucs, but I can't make the rankings based off of one game.

The Panthers have showed me higher peaks, while the Bucs have showed me the lower valleys.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:14 AM    (permalink
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Understood about the Panthers-Bucs, but I can't make the rankings based off of one game.

The Panthers have showed me higher peaks, while the Bucs have showed me the lower valleys.
If you want a low valley watch the Buccaneers/Panthers game.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:22 AM    (permalink
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32 – Detroit Lions (0-6)

The mission for the rest of the season is this: Find out if you need a first round QB in April. I’m in the minority here, but there is something in Orlovsky that I like. I’m not sure obviously, but I want to see him get a few more games under his belt.
Unless you're the opposing defense, how can you see anything in Orlovsky that you like??
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:23 AM    (permalink
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I read most of it and skimmed the rest and I liked it, nice job. It was more than just a straight order of best records and you took some risks, and I agreed with most of them. I think the Packers may be a little bit high, as I think its pretty close between us and the Bears, but I'm not complaining.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:26 AM    (permalink
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Thanks for the Green Bay love but damn, 7th right above the bucs that bullied them around in week 4(28 yds on the ground and 181 yds total offense). GB did play effin awesome on sunday tho
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:30 AM    (permalink
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Very good.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:35 AM    (permalink
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Unless you're the opposing defense, how can you see anything in Orlovsky that you like??
I'm trying to figure out if I see more Andrew Walter or Derek Anderson in him.

Not saying he'll be either, but that pass to CJ on Sunday....I watched it a few times and it just reminded me of Anderson. I need to see more of him, as does everyone else.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:37 AM    (permalink
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Thanks for the Green Bay love but damn, 7th right above the bucs that bullied them around in week 4(28 yds on the ground and 181 yds total offense). GB did play effin awesome on sunday tho
Like I said before, I won't do power rankings based on a head to head matchup. If you were to do that, making these would be impossible.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:39 AM    (permalink
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So.... you expect the Titans to go 5-5 the rest of the way?
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:42 AM    (permalink
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So.... you expect the Titans to go 5-5 the rest of the way?
Where did I say that?

I pretty much said, they will at worst finish 5-5.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:44 AM    (permalink
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I like it except... The bus beat the Packers. Shouldn't they be above then?
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:48 AM    (permalink
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I like it except... The bus beat the Packers. Shouldn't they be above then?
haha...

3rd time in this thread...head to head matchups aren't the deciding factor in my power rankings. I just think it is a silly way to do them considering the parity.

I do take them into account, but with the amount of football I get to watch, I can get a solid grasp of each team. I simply think the Packers are a better team than the Bucs right now, especially now that Grant has found his groove.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:56 AM    (permalink
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You said 11-5 at the end. I just don't see us below 12-4. Maybe I'm too far in the forest to see the trees.
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:57 AM    (permalink
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You said 11-5 at the end. I just don't see us below 12-4. Maybe I'm too far in the forest to see the trees.
I said if Kerry Collins can keep this up, 13-3.

If he falters, which you are going to have to admit is a very real possibility, 11-5.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:03 AM    (permalink
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Meh, I don't think he can screw up 50% of our remaining games.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:03 AM    (permalink
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Under-rating the bengals D, they gave us a hard time. They're d is very average right now with the young secondary, Dline with studs like Geather and Peko, as well as Rivers at LB. It's that offense which is really been the problem. They need to move one of their starting WRs for a late first, grab a top OT in the first, the Mack in the late first and then add another DE in the second. Jones-Whitworth-Mack-Andrews-Monroe would be a very good oline which would help that offense become a elite again quick. Defensively if they could get more pressure they could even become above average.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:05 AM    (permalink
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Meh, I don't think he can screw up 50% of our remaining games.
But do you think the defense will stay at this level? The ground game?

Hey man I'm all about the Titans right now but don't get too giddy before the halfway point is reached.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:05 AM    (permalink
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Like I said before, I won't do power rankings based on a head to head matchup. If you were to do that, making these would be impossible.
oh i mean no disrespect at all, you kicked this power rankings ass man
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:07 AM    (permalink
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But do you think the defense will stay at this level? The ground game?

Hey man I'm all about the Titans right now but don't get too giddy before the halfway point is reached.
I do think the O-line will continue to open holes for the run game, and as long as the defense stays healthy I see no reason for a drop off.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:07 AM    (permalink
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Under-rating the bengals D, they gave us a hard time. They're d is very average right now with the young secondary, Dline with studs like Geather and Peko, as well as Rivers at LB. It's that offense which is really been the problem. They need to move one of their starting WRs for a late first, grab a top OT in the first, the Mack in the late first and then add another DE in the second. Jones-Whitworth-Mack-Andrews-Monroe would be a very good oline which would help that offense become a elite again quick. Defensively if they could get more pressure they could even become above average.
Yeah well thats what I meant by fiesty. Not a lot of talent, but they have that "annoying" (lack of a better term) way about them that will win a few games if teams overlook them. But talent wise....eh.

Rivers out for the year is a big blow, he was becoming the best player on that defense.
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:09 AM    (permalink
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I do think the O-line will continue to open holes for the run game, and as long as the defense stays healthy I see no reason for a drop off.
I can't look down on you for thinking that way, not at all.

It's just the way I see it. They don't seem like the kind of team that sustains this level of play week in and week out. But I've been wrong before and I will be wrong again. If I had to predict a record, I'm gonna say 12-4 which could give them the #1 seed in January.
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