15. New York Jets (Previously Chicago Bears)
I’m still not sure the Jets are great, but at least they are getting back to “Jets Football”. The Jets ran the ball effectively on Sunday and beat the Chargers thanks in large part to a very disappointing Philip Rivers. It’s clear that Rivers feels he needs more options at wide receiver.
14. Dallas Cowboys (Previously Buffalo Bills)
Arguably the league’s best 3-3 team, which is how I have them ranked. The Cowboys had a very difficult early season schedule, but now it settles down a bit. Boomer Eisason thinks they are going to rattle off 6 or 7 straight wins to be about 9-3, but I’m not sure about that. During the next six games they play Philadelphia, Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, Miami, Arizona. I could see them losing one or two of those games (Eagles, Buffalo). Andy Reid has been very, very good in his career off of bye weeks, I believe.
13. Chicago Bears (Previously Oakland Raiders)
I always use the 13th spot for the first team I think is right outside the playoffs. The Bears are playing well and they always seem to win games I don’t think they will. Their defense isn’t great and really looks vulnerable this year, but they keep winning some games and with a down N.F.C. East right now I think they are in a good position to compete for the playoffs.
12. Atlanta Falcons (previously Atlanta Falcons)
The last wild card team in the playoffs. The Falcons have started to run the ball more with Julio Jones out and gasp! all of a sudden are winning. Perhaps they should consider running the ball a lot when Jones gets back instead of placating Jones, fans, or anyone else who thinks they should spread it out more. That’s not their strength. The defense played much, much better vs the Lions than I thought they would be.
11. Buffalo Bills (Previously new York Giants)
The Bills were on a bye here’s what I said about them last week
Two games vs the Dolphins should help the Bills with a few more wins. Their offense is very good, but their defense is simply opportunistic. The Bills defense must turn the opposing offense over to win football games, which is not a great thing to rely on. If they don’t turn the oppositions’ offense over, their defense gives up a lot of yardage and points.
I should add to that this weekend they get to take on the Washington Redskins, which is a big game for them. A win and they could move to 5-2 with very winnable games vs the Dolphins (2), Broncos, Jets (2) and Titans. I’m giving them losses vs Dallas, new England, and San Diego but they are not definitive losses like years past might be.
If they beat the Redskins, Broncos, Dolphins twice, and the Jets or Titans once they will have 9 wins and could make the playoffs.
10. Detroit Lions (previously Titans)
The Lions have lost two straight games now and the offensive line is starting to look really vulnerable. The Lions can’t get complacent with themselves after their best start in ages. The Lions still have two games vs the Packers to help worsen their record no need to do it in otherwise winnable games.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (previously New Orleans)
They won the game, but I’m bringing them down because I’m trying to get back to my power rankings roots. Division winners go 1-8, top wild card team (of one conference) 9, 1st wild card team of other conference (10), 2nd wild card team 11, 2nd wild team card 12. Etc.
8. San Diego Chargers (previously Detroit Lions)
THE worst two minute final drive I’ve ever seen in my life. Three yard pass, three yard pass, pass out of bounds? Huh? WHAT! No idea what that was. You have Philip Rivers and Mlacolm Floyd throw the ball high in the air and hope one of them comes down with it. You can’t throw it in the middle of the field with no times out left. Embarassing.
They lost a big lead to the Jets who had shown nothing on offense all season. They can’t hit the Quarterback and they seem to get worse every year.
And now that I wrote that, it’s time for them to keep really hot in November and December and rattle off wins.
7. Houston Texans (previously Buccaneers)
I thought they really needed to put up or shut up on Sunday and they really put up. They should start running away with this division soon. This division has long been the leagues’ best division this year they could be the worst.
6. New York Giants (previously Pittsburgh Steelers)
Usually I put the division leads in the top 8 spots but I should make an exception for the Giants because as a fan I know they play better when expectations are down.On top of that, the schedule is about to get B-R-U-T-A-L.
The Giants were on a bye here’s what I said about them last week
Good news for the Giants: after the bye week they should be much healthier. They could see the return of a lot of their injured players. Justin Tuck, Prince Amukamara, Ramses Barden, Adam Koets. Bad news for the Giants, their schedule is getting much tougher.
Good news for the Giants: Jason Pierre Paul is awesome.
Bad news for the Giants: their defense is not
5. Baltimore Ravens (Previously 49ers)
I started writing up these power rankings on Sunday night. Here’s what I wrote for the Monday Night game on Sunday
“The Ravens took care of business vs a bad Jaguars team. Ray Rice is a S-T-U-D, but this team will only go as far as Flacco will take him.”
Thanks a lot, I had to revise all my power rankings.
Here’s what I’m writing now.
What was that? What a poor performance by the Ravens. People want parity? They have it this year. Everyone of these teams save for New England and Green Bay have looked terrible on more than one occasion and New England and Green Bay can’t stop anyone on defense.
4. New Orleans Saints (San Diego Chargers)
Whoop Down. Maybe Sean Payton will have to coach from the booth all the time.
Are the Saints that good, or the Colts that bad?
3. San Francisco 49ers (same)
Why are they so high? If this team plays poorly the rest of the season they should win 11 games.
The 49ers were on a bye here’s what I had to say about them last week.
Unlike the lame stream media-I’ve been high on the 49ers for a few weeks. Why? They can run the ball well, they can stop the run well (the most consistent run stopping defense in the league), They have good special teams and Alex Smith is playing the clock manager well. They also play in a weak division. The 49ers have a realistic chance at winning 11 or 12 games this year based on their schedule. The 49ers could actually end up with a bye.
Remaining schedule: Cleveland, Washington, Giants, Arizona, Baltimore, STL, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis
let’s just say for kicks they lose to the Giants, Ravens, and Steelers. They should still be favorites in their remaining 6 games. Add those to their five wins and that’s an 11 win team. That’s IF we concede the game to the Giants, which they could easily win.
Seriously, the 49ers could end up with a bye in the playoffs. Who saw that coming?
2. New England Patriots (Previously New England Patriots)
Patriots were on a bye.
kept it short and sweet last week. Here’s what I said.
Do you need more?
1. Green Bay Packers (previously Packers)
Until they are unseated they remain King. Their pass defense has looked poor though early in the season and that bears watching as the season progresses. But when you have Aaron Rodgers, their offensive weapons, and a bright offensive minded coach you can win a lot of games by out scoring people.