Tuesday, October 13, 2009
NFL Power Poll Rankings of the Best 32 NFL Teams In The Land: Week 5
32. St. Louis Rams 0-5 (32)
The Rams' 38-10 loss to the Vikings was their 3rd loss this season by 28 points or more. During their 2-14 2008 season, St. Louis had only 3 such defeats all season. Is it possible for a team to quit more from one season to a next?
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5 (30)
Trailing 14-0 with less than 2 minutes left in the first half, the Bucs actually moved down the field and scored to make it 14-7 with 1:55 left until halftime. Two plays into the ensuing Eagles' possession, Donovan McNabb hit Jeremy Maclin for a 40-yard TD bomb, killing all of Tampa Bay's momentum and essentially ending the game. You know how sometimes new coaching regimes will try to change things to put their stamp on a team, even if the things they are changing work? With all of the problems the Bucs have had with deep passes, it's safe to say Raheem Morris's decision to do away with Monte Kiffin's Cover-2 may have been such a change *.
*You would think young coaches would have learned from Mike Tomlin, who coached the Kiffin Cover-2 in Minnesota but allowed Dick LeBeau to continue to run his 3-4 in Pittsburgh because, you know, it's the best defensive system in the NFL. For all of the bravado and bad ass-osity Tomlin gives off, he knows when to put his ego aside for what's best for his team. Morris apparently hasn't learned that lesson yet.
30. Kansas City Chiefs 0-5 (29)
Larry Johnson somehow managed only 37 yards on 21 carries against the Cowboys. Matt Cassel nearly out-rushed Johnson (28 yards) on 17 fewer carries. The only time a running back/quarterback ratio should look like that is if it's 2004 and the running back is TJ Duckett and the quarterback is Mike Vick.
29. Oakland Raiders 1-4 (28)
JaMarcus Russell: 8-13, 100 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, which isn't that bad until you add in the 3 lost fumbles and 6 sacks. For comparison's sake, here's Giants backup QB David Carr's (the same David Carr who is the lowest-rated drafted passer of the past 10 years according to my quarterback class ratings) numbers: 9-14, 90 yards, 27 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD. (Do you think Raiders fans would trade Russell for numbers like Carr's? Sadly, I think they would.)
28. Buffalo Bills 1-4 (25)
When you lose a game in which the opposing quarterback completes 2 of his 17 pass attempts for 23 yards, it may be time to look for a new quarterback yourself.
27. Cleveland Browns 1-4 (31)
The Browns' 6-3 win over the Bills was like head from a fat girl: just close your eyes, swallow your pride, and enjoy the fact that someone is sucking your dick/letting you win an NFL game (and never, ever feel their back/look at the box score).
26. Washington Redskins 2-3 (27)
The average score of a Washington Redskins game this season is opponent 16, Washington14, and every single game has been as boring as that average score would lead you to believe.
25. Detroit Lions 1-4 (26)
With Byron Leftwich and Seneca Wallace back on the bench where they belong, Duante Culpepper has picked up the shitty-QB-putting-up-decent-fantasy-numbers-on-a-bad-team torch (282 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 44 yards rushing against the Steelers).
24. Tennessee Titans 0-5 (23)
While Kerry Collins has justifiably taken the heat for the Titans' struggles (more on that later this week, hopefully), what about the defense (27.8 points allowed/game)?
23. Carolina Panthers 1-3 (24)
The win is welcome in Charlotte, I'm sure, but where is the Panthers' running game? While Jonathan Stewart has battled injuries most of the season, what is DeAngelo Williams's excuse? He hasn't even approached 100 yards, and, while his carries have been limited by big deficits and possessions shortened by Jake Delhomme's turnovers, the Panthers had to be expecting more than 3.9 yards per carry.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-3 (19)
21. Houston Texans 2-3 (18)
Grouped with the winless Titans, the inconsistent Texans and Jaguars are showing that the AFC South may be the most overrated division in football. (Both teams are 2-2 in divisional play, but only 1-6 when facing teams outside of the division, with the one win coming over the Raiders.)
20. Dallas Cowboys 3-2 (17)
Yes, the Cowboys won against the Chiefs, but I can't imagine many Dallas fans are all that happy about it.
19. Seattle Seahawks 2-3 (22)
The Seahawks are 2-0 when Matt Hasselbeck finishes games this season, outscoring their opponents 69-0. Is Hasselbeck really as valuable as he seems?
18. Arizona Cardinals 2-3 (20)
44 yards rushing isn't going to get the Cards a win most weeks. Beanie Wells, in particular, (7 carries, 24 yards vs. Houston, 23 carries 95 yards on the season) needs to start playing like a first round pick.
17. New York Jets 3-2 (8)
16. Miami Dolphins 2-3 (21)
Last year, Rex Ryan's Baltimore defense owned the Wildcat; this year, the Dolphins gained 110 yards and the game-winning touchdown out of the formation. Personnel may, in fact, be more important than scheme (as Rex's brother, Rob, will tell anyone who will listen after his years in Oakland and his one month in Cleveland).
15. San Francisco 49ers 3-2 (12)
I have to imagine Mike Singletary took a shit on the post-game buffet table in response to the way his defense was shredded by the Falcons. Just as we thought we knew what was going on in the NFC West, the 49ers stink bomb and Matt Hasselbeck's triumphant return muddled things right back up.
14. Green Bay Packers 2-2 (13)
At least Brett Favre didn't beat them again this week.
13. San Diego Chargers 2-2 (11)
At least their defense didn't let the Steelers score another touchdown this week.
12. Atlanta Falcons 3-1 (16)
News Flash: If Michael Turner and Roddy White play like they did in 2008, the Falcons are going to put up a lot of points and win. Unfortunately for the 49ers, that's exactly what happened this past week.
11. Baltimore Ravens 3-2 (6)
The Ravens allowed a 100-yard rusher (Cedric Benson) for the first time since 2006. In that same time frame, the Cleveland Browns have allowed a rusher to surpass the century mark 19 times.
10. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1 (10)
Strange stat from Philly's win over Tampa Bay: Both teams were led in rushing by their quarterbacks (Josh Johnson had 40 yards, while Donovan McNabb had 30 yards).
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2 (9)
The Steelers allowed another 4th quarter touchdown to the Lions, bringing the 2009 final period tally against the Steelers to 55 and at least a field goal in every game. That streak should end next week vs. Cleveland, but the following week the Vikings and their late-game hero QB come to town.
8. Chicago Bears 3-1 (7)
I've got nothing, so here's this:
7. New England Patriots 3-2 (5)
6. Denver Broncos 5-0 (14)
Does the Broncos' win over the Patriots signify the passing of the torch from Belichick to McDaniels? No, but it definitely is a huge win for Denver, while the Patriots have to regroup for the 3rd time this season.
5. Cincinnati Bengals 4-1 (15)
The Bengals are this year's Steelers; they play ugly, physical football and then get bailed out by their quarterback at the end of the game (although last year's Steelers never would have lost the Brandon Stoakley game. It's harder to decide who the football gods favor more, the Bengals or the Broncos.)
4. Minnesota Vikings 5-0 (4)
In my WHAM College Football Rankings, I count FCS (non-Division IA schools) teams as a zero on my strength of schedule ratings; the same thing may have to be done with the St. Louis Rams.
3. New Orleans Saints 4-0 (3)
Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian got back together; in other news, I put a gun in my mouth while listening to my girlfriend tell me about Reggie Bush and Kim Karadashian getting back together.
2. Indianapolis Colts 5-0 (2)
Is it possible that Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison were holding Peyton Manning back?
1. New York Giants 5-0 (1)
Even when David Carr plays, the Giants look good. I'd pencil them in as my Super Bowl favorites if they had beaten anyone that matters or if Eli had proven he can throw in the wind; for now, they'll remain the prohibitive favorites.