Tuesday, November 3, 2009

LRN Power Ranking: Week 9

For some, Indianapolis and New Orleans, things are going their way. Blowouts, comeback wins, close calls, Manning & Brees are playing on a different level which is why both of their teams have yet to lose. For others, Tennessee and St. Louis, getting off the mat was the first step and while it took eight weeks, they're up.

Then you have New York football, both the Jets & Giants are on a nightmare skid. Rex Ryan and his rookie quarterback, Mark Sanchez, have lost four of their last five after going 3-0 to open the season. The team which dropped New England in week 2 seems to have disappeared. As for the Giants, the Saints, Cardinals, and now the Eagles have exposed a defense that was supposed to have bite.

These are the Week 9 LynchyRightNow Power Rankings:

1. New Orleans Saints (1) 7-0. The Saints offense is historically deep. Opponents have to put up at least 36 points to compete with this offense, against a defense that has yet to allow that many.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2) 7-0. It's possible 49ers running back, Frank Gore, exposed some things this weekend. Possible, but I doubt it. Two matchups with Houston in between those New England and Baltimore, any one up for making a statement? Now would be the time.

3. Minnesota Vikings (4) Through eight weeks we can say with some conviction, the 7-1 Vikings are good. One step further, this defense may be the only defense that can put enough pressure on Drew Brees to knock off that New Orleans offense.

4. Denver Broncos (3) Two weeks to prepare for Baltimore and that's what you come up with? A 30-7 pasting by the Ravens doesn't validate their 6-0 start. However, knocking off Pittsburgh this week would make a statement worth reading.

5. New England Patriots (5) The Pats have had a bye week to get ready for Miami and their wildcat offense. New England has yet to lose at home and with road trips to Indianapolis and New Orleans looming, it's important they take care of business this week.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (6) It's hard to doubt a team that is 3-0 in their division, with wins over Green Bay, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, all top tier teams. With that being said, the Ravens and Steelers get their shot to redeem earlier season losses in the next two weeks. We'll have a better idea after those games.

7. Baltimore Ravens (8) After three straight tough losses, no one needed a bye week more than the Ravens. Baltimore returned from their bye to put a three touchdown victory over previously undefeated Denver on the board. Ray Rice is turning into an explosive weapon for Joe Flacco, if he wasn't already.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7) The defending champs stumbled out of the gate only to win their last four. As much as a loss would be a huge statement for Denver, if the Steelers were to win at Invesco, it'd put the NFL on notice: If you want to be the champs, you've got to beat them.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (14) It is safe to say an offense that once focused on one player, Brian Westbrook, no longer needs him. From rookie running back, LeSean McCoy, to explosive receivers DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and tight end Brent Celek, the Eagles have given Donovan what he wanted, weapons.

10. Dallas Cowboys (15) Will the Tony Romo haters please stand up? Over the Cowboys current 3-game winning streak, Romo has completed 62 of 99 passes for 918 yards, thrown eight touchdowns, and hasn't been intercepted. That type of play will be needed to win in Philadelphia and Green Bay in coming weeks.

11. Miami Dolphins (12) Wait, the 3-4 Dolphins? The Fish are 0-4 against non-AFC East teams, and 3-0 against AFC East teams. All things being equal, they are dangerous. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are the NFL's most dynamic backfield, when the Dolphins find receivers who can catch, beware.

12. Green Bay Packers (9) Maybe Favre & Minnesota just have the Packers number. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 31 times this season, 14 of those have come at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. Either Rodgers is hanging onto the ball too long or his offensive line is worse than we thought. Still, they show promise.

13. Atlanta Falcons (11) Finally, Atlanta got Michael Turner going. Unfortunately, they'll be playing for a Wild Card the rest of the way after losing to undefeated New Orleans. The Falcons also have a heads up loss to Dallas who could also be playing for that same Wild Card playoff spot. The defense of Atlanta needs to step up going forward, allowing 30+ won't win you many games.

14. Houston Texans (16) The 5-3 Texans are beginning to take shape. After a 2-2 start they've won 3 of their last 4 heading into a matchup with division rival Indianapolis. The potential season ending injury to tight end Owen Daniels is huge, he'd already recorded 40 receptions and 5 TD's on the season.

15. Chicago Bears (18) With the Vikings playing so well and Chicago already having a division loss to Green Bay, it makes every game important from here on out, especially those with Minnesota. I've said it for weeks, Chicago won't win till they run the ball and Matt Forte does you know good on unless he's doing that.

16. San Francisco 49ers (19) Looking in the box score and seeing Gore rush for 91 yards and Crabtree catch six balls for 81 yards is a good sign even though the game was lost. The Niners put a scare into Indy and get back-to-back home games to lick their wounds. Alex Smith, just protect the ball.

17. San Diego Chargers (20) It's about time the Chargers put up or shut up. This team has three games against the Giants, Eagles, and Broncos coming up, no more Chiefs & Raiders for at least a month. It should be a concern that the Chargers have yet to produce a 100-yard rushing game from either of their backs.

18. Arizona Cardinals (13) Getting blown out at home by a terrible Carolina team really gets under my skin. Here the Cardinals are, they've beaten the Giants and looked good doing it, then they go and lose to Carolina 34-21 in their own backyard. Way to repay your fans who carried you through the postseason last year, one win and three losses at home.

19. New York Giants (10) What!?!?! Do you think they deserve to be in the top 15?!?!? How!?! The Giants 5-3 record is laughable. The only win that shows any merit is that against Dallas in week 2, and it took Tony Romo having a nightmare performance for that to happen. You don't get love for wins against Tampa, Washington, Kansas City, and Oakland, sorry. In the last three weeks the Giants have given up an average of 37 points per game. Wow.

20. New York Jets (17) I'll admit it, I was fooled by Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan. Sanchez is an average rookie and Ryan is a loudmouth, happy now? At best the J-E-T-S will finish 3-3 in the division, at best! However, I don't think they can beat New England again and I'm going to put it out there, they got lucky the first time.

21. Carolina Panthers (24) If Carolina can keep playing under performing, inconsistent teams, then sure, they'll turn things around. To bad they get New Orleans, Atlanta, and Miami in the coming weeks. Finishing the season off with New England, Minnesota, the Giants, and Saints . . ouch!

22. Buffalo Bills (22) I thought the Bills were turning a corner coming off of two straight road wins. Then the Texans smacked them back to reality. Not sure why you go out and acquire Terrell Owens if you don't know where your offense is going?

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (21) When your rushing attack produces nearly 200 yards on the ground and you still lose by 17 to a team who hasn't won a game, there are some problems.

24. Kansas City Chiefs (25) Ahh, the Chiefs. Spending their bye week determining the correct punishment for a 29-year old man after he choose to use a derogatory slur not once, but twice. Scott Pioli wouldn't mind being back in Foxborough, I'm sure of it.

25. Seattle Seahawks (23) Jim Mora Jr. promises changes. Ummm, Jim? 2-5 Record, it just might be a bit too late for that. A rushing game that can't get out of their own way, that's the problem.

26. Tennessee Titans (31) Alright Vince, I'm listening. After a horrid 0-6 start, the Titans made the switch to Vince Young and I like it. In his first start this season, Young didn't turn the ball over and was 15 of 18, not bad at all. It always helps to have your running back go for 228 yards and nearly 10 yards a carry, thanks Chris Johnson.

27. St. Louis Rams (32) I have a new found respect for a team that goes out and puts a win up after playing so bad the whole season. Like the Titans first win, the Rams having a ground game with Stephen Jackson is really helping their cause. If the Rams aren't playing for the first pick, maybe they just want to win?

28. Detroit Lions (26) The Lions defense needs punishing players up front. I know it's early but a #1 pick overall would have many speculating Nebraska run stuffer Ndamukong Suh could be bound for Detroit . .I'm just saying.

29. Oakland Raiders (27) I can't even remember what Lane Kiffin got fired for. However, I can tell you that he never had an ESPN feature on allegations of domestic abuse charges. Really Tom Cable!??!?!

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28) The winless Bucs shouldn't win a game remaining on their schedule. At this point, on the road in Seattle looks like their best shot and that is a very tough place to play.

31. Washington Redskins (30) Did Daniel Snyder really need to put out a press release calling his teams performance an embarrassment? The only two wins they have are against St. Louis & Tampa, we get it, they're bad.

32. Cleveland Browns (29) With many bad teams its the defense, with the Browns, they can't score. In five of their eight games the Browns have scored six or less points, hard to believe they won one of those.

Thanks for reading the Week 9 Power Rankings . . Get After It!

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