Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 8

Week 7 in the books. The Vikings are the latest team to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, downed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. New Orleans made a their argument in Miami, a 21-point road deficit was no sweat for Drew Brees. Just when we thought the Bengals had been brought back to Earth, they slapped around Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.

With much more, the POWER RANKINGS ARE OUT!

1. New Orleans Saints (1) These aren't your fathers Saints. Drew Brees & Co. are 3-0 at home and 3-0 on the road, they can run it, they can pass it, and more importantly they can defend it. Down by 21, or up by 21, these Saints are flat out front runners.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2) Peyton Manning has been very, very good. Which is the primary reason these Colts are one of only three remaining undefeated teams and are 4-0 on the road, good for an NFL best.

3. Denver Broncos (4) Believe it or not, the '09 Broncos are built on defense. Top ranked in fewest points per game allowed. 2Nd ranked in fewest yards allowed per game. A top ten ranked defense in fewest rushing and passing yards allowed. The team with the highest powered offense a year ago has now become the class of the AFC West, on the other side of the ball.

4. Minnesota Vikings (3) The previously undefeated Vikings watched the Steelers score two defensive touchdowns in the final quarter to secure a victory. On a positive note, Brett Favre didn't throw typical FavreESQUE interceptions, we're still waiting.

5. New England Patriots (4) We get it, you can prepare and execute against terrible teams. (Tampa Bay & Tennessee) Now can you pop off against a team of your own ilk on the road in a tough atmosphere?

6. Cincinnati Bengals (9) Now that is a win! A 45-10 beatdown of the Chicago Bears pushes the Bengals up three slots. 37 carries for 189 yards, Cedric Benson, welcome back to the NFL.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10) Remember us? The Steelers have rebounded from their less than stellar start and now sit at 5-2 after handing the Vikings their first loss of the season. The defense playing better is the first sign, the real Pittsburgh Steelers have stood up.

8. Baltimore Ravens (7) I may have reached with this one, but Joe Flacco won't make a fool out of me. You heard it here first: the Ravens hand Josh McDaniels his first loss of his young head coaching career this week in Baltimore.

9. Green Bay Packers (11) With revenge on the mind, the Packers look to knock off Brett Favre and the Vikings while handing them their second loss this coming weekend. Packers running back, Ryan Grant, has turned it on as of late, averaging 120 yards per game over his last two.

10. New York Giants (8) Brandon Jacobs isn't being Brandon Jacobs. The defense has lost its teeth. Those young wideouts are starting to look the part of young wideouts. Furthermore, losing to Arizona and the way they lost to New Orleans doesn't make Giant fans confident.

11. Atlanta Falcons (6) Michael Turner is the issue. The Falcon ground game seems to have stumbled out of the gate. Through six weeks, Michael Turner has looked very average, only one 100+ yard rushing game. Be weary heading to New Orleans, after Romo & Co. made your secondary look pathetic.

12. Miami Dolphins (14) The Dolphins can score in a variety of ways, however there is a reason they couldn't hold a three touchdown lead against New Orleans. Ted Ginn Jr. can't hang onto the football and the defense plays a bit timid. Unfortunately, Will Allen won't be coming back this season due to a knee injury which makes that questionable secondary somewhat depleted. Positive side, Ricky Williams looked great this week.

13. Arizona Cardinals (17) I like what the Cardinals are turning into. When beating the Giants this weekend, rookie running back Beanie Wells scampered for 67 yards on 14 carries. This team is 4-2, won three straight, and has Carolina coming up.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (16) The loss to Oakland wasn't for real, they just out thought themselves. Monday night in D.C. the Eagles rebounded with a 10-point victory over a division opponent. Philly rushed for over 100 yards as a team and flashed some of their speed guys through the air, DeSean Jackson & Jeremy Maclin combined for 7 catches and 122 yards. This Brian Westbrook concussion could loom for a team that really needs him.

15. Dallas Cowboys (18) Miles Austin, Miles Austin, Miles Austin. I can't think of anything or anyone that has had this big of an impact, this rapidly, since the Tickle-Me Elmo doll several holidays back. For the Tony Romo haters (of which I may be one) that third down play in which he eluded three Falcon tackles to find Austin in the back of the endzone, well that's why he's Tony Romo.

16. Houston Texans (19) I may regret hyping the Houston Texans in the pre-season. Hell, I may even regret moving them three spots this week after blowing a 21-point halftime lead only to survive on a field goal. However, the Texans have put together two wins in a row and head to Buffalo this week. Call this a temporary move, because Steve Slaton has yet to hit the century mark in any week.

17. New York Jets (15) Leon Washington's broken leg is a monster blow to a team who needed weapons like that. Braylon Edwards is about to have a slew of legal problems, another bad sign. With both Miami and New England on the horizon, I worry for Mark Sanchez and is shrinking list of offensive fire power.

18. Chicago Bears (12) The Bears aren't good right now. It goes deeper than allowing Cedric Benson to rush for 190 yards on Sunday. The Bears throw to much, and don't get it. Yes, they got down early against Cincy and had to pass to try and get back in it, however they've been doing this all year. Their 1,000 yard rusher, Matt Forte, needs to get more touches, bottom line.

19. San Francisco 49ers (13) Too much, too soon. The 49ers are a great team in the NFC West, a streaky division with no consistency. With that being said, it should come as a shock to no one that the 49ers are 0-3 outside of that division. They are streaky, and have no consistency.

20. San Diego Chargers (21) San Diego has yet to put it all together, I suspect they won't anytime soon. Destroying the Chiefs isn't an accomplishment, it's what better teams should do.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (22) If the Jaguars expect to move forward anytime soon, they need to put a few good games together. Both the Texans and Colts are playing very well and the division is becoming decided very quickly.

22. Buffalo Bills (26) Okay, hear me out. The Buffalo Bills are 3-3. They played terrible against Cleveland in a disgusting 6-3 game. They lost an amazing comeback game on opening weekend against New England. Could this team be 5-1? I'm just putting it out there, maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick is the answer. Maybe.

23. Seattle Seahawks (20) Maybe you could say the 2-4 Seahawks are out of it at this point. However, in the NFC West, no one is out of it. With half of their division games remaining, the Seahawks could still make noise.

24. Carolina Panthers (23) After another loss, Panthers head coach Jon Fox, is now unsure of the quarterback position. It only took Delhomme throwing 2+ interceptions in four of his first 6 games to realize this. Or maybe that he's projected to throw 35 on the season, either way, he's out!

25. Kansas City Chiefs (24) Hey, Larry Johnson! Your garbage and were good for a cup of coffee in the league. Todd Haley was a coordinator for a NFC Championship winning team, and he's been to a Super Bowl, something you won't ever sniff.

26. Detroit Lions (25) You already won 1 game, more than you won all last season. If Stafford can't go, don't risk it. In turn, I'll never call you the worst team in the league all season long, promise.

27. Oakland Raiders (27) By far the most dysfunctional team, as long as the Raiders are in Oakland and Al Davis is in charge, no one will take that title away from them. They got blown out by the Jets, however head coach Tom Cable was cleared of assault charges, all in all a good week in Raiderville.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30) The Bucs are bad, but they are young. Unlike the veteran Redskins, Browns, and Titans, this group at least has youth on their side.

29. Cleveland Browns (28) If I could do one thing to help the Browns this season, I'd rewind the clock and never pay Derek Anderson. Once Brady Quinn was drafted, he was your guy no matter what. Unfortunately, the Browns don't think so.

30. Washington Redskins (29) Quarterback Jason Campbell may be one of the problems, but I'm going to stick with the micro-managed offense as the primary problem. Any time you believe it is necessary that your play be re-layed to the quarterback by a middle man, I'm guessing that doesn't lead to W's.

31. Tennessee Titans (32) I've had a week to think about that Titans in Foxborough debacle. Also, another week to watch the Rams get destroyed.

32. St. Louis Rams (31) It's bad, and if you had your eye on drafting Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, it gets worse. Back to the bottom, the Rams are the NFL's worst.

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