Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 14

The Power Rankings are out! As the Colts squash the Titans hopes and retake the top spot, many questions still remain among the NFL best. Are the Cowboys going to continue their December woes? Will the real Brett Favre please stand up? Are the Eagles legitimate contenders? No team was as impressive as Arizona was, but how much longer can Kurt Warner stay healthy? The Week 14 Power Rankings are out!

1. Indianapolis Colts (2) Pierre Garcon catches 6 balls for 136 yards. Only four games to perfection, vs. Broncos, @ Jaguars, vs. Jets, and @ Buffalo. Losing any of those games would be a bit of a shock.

2. New Orleans Saints (1) The Saints weren't above a let down game in Washington. However, they found a way to win and that is what championship teams do. Having opened up a two-game lead for homefield advantage in the NFC, can the Saints still get up for the remainder?

3. San Diego Chargers (4) Seven straight wins have put San Diego in the drivers seat in the AFC West and possibly for a first round bye. Making every game important from here on out, the Chargers are playing the best football of anyone as of late.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (6) A 9-point win against Cleveland, a 10-point win against Oakland. The Bengals are better than that, traveling to Minnesota and San Diego in the next two weeks will be huge tests for the Bengals. Is the AFC North just weak this year or is Cincinnati as advertised?

5. Minnesota Vikings (3) The loss on Sunday is more of a testament to Arizona than a knock on Minnesota. That being said, Adrian Peterson was held to 19 yards on 13 carries against a defense that he could see again in the postseason. No getting around it, the Favre led offense has ran into trouble against good defenses, i.e. Pittsburgh & Arizona.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (8) For all of you who thought Brian Westbrook was the be all end all in Philadelphia, a 1-3 record with Westbrook as their lead rusher and a 7-1 record when he isn't has signaled the end of an era in Philly. They've retooled with younger weapons more than capable of carrying the load.

7. Arizona Cardinals (13) The Cardinals need Kurt Warner to stay healthy. His 22 of 32 for 285 yards and 3 touchdown performance was vintage Warner and is exactly what the Cards need to get back where they were a year ago. This Cardinal team has learned how to win on the road which should help them down the stretch.

8. Denver Broncos (12) Back in business, the Broncos seem to have turned it around. Now playing for a Wild Card, Denver will have to do it against Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and a surprisingly strange Oakland Raider team. Does another matchup with New England seem plausible?

9. New England Patriots (5) What will the Patriots do when they have to fight for it? They won't coast into the playoffs at this point and whose to say their road woes will end soon? Four Patriots starters including Randy Moss get sent home on Wednesday for arriving late to a mandatory team meeting? All is not well in Patriotland.

10. Green Bay Packers (14) Make no bones about it, the Packers have played well as of late but are in no way locked into the postseason. Three of their last four are on the road in tough places, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Arizona. If the Packers are going anywhere they won't get to do it in Lambeau.

11. New York Giants (16) Are they back? No. Beating the Cowboys was a good start but allowing 424 yards in the process isn't a good sign. The G-Men get Philadelphia and Washington in back-to-back weeks, then you'll know if they've got what it takes to make a run at this.

12. Dallas Cowboys (7) Slow down, the 'Boys aren't lying down and taking it on the chin just yet. After a tough loss in the Meadowlands, Dallas has an uphill climb, San Diego, New Orleans, Washington, and Philadelphia. Being said; As the team rallies behind Wade Phillips, I can honestly say I'm impressed that Dallas is showing some sort of fire at this point.

13. Tennessee Titans (11) That was fun while it lasted. As the Indianapolis Colts slammed the door on the thought a 10-6 Titan team. With their 7th loss it is safe to say the Titans aren't getting to the postseason. They still will play this out and show heart, at least I hope so.

14. Baltimore Ravens (9) Joe Flacco is regressing, fact. On the other hand, they've got an outside shot to turn things around in the final four weeks. If the Ravens can pull off four wins, they could be in. However, Flacco can't have performances that result in three interceptions like Monday night in Green Bay.

15. Miami Dolphins (18) Good. I've determined the Dolphins are pretty good, they get up for big games and lose that fire against lesser opponents. Still, I'd love to see where this team would be if Ronnie Brown hadn't gone down with an injury. Not many teams lose their quarterback and top running back for the season and remain in the fold.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (10) I don't know if the Steelers are done, but God I hope so. Three of their final four are against teams playing for a postseason bid, Miami, Baltimore, and Green Bay. Like New England, they'll have to prove their worth to finish this campaign out.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (20) If the playoffs started today, the Jags would be in. Am I wrong in saying they may just be pretty good? Yes! The Jags are frauds, they haven't beat one team that is playoff bound and you can put it in the bank they'll fall short.

18. Washington Redskins (22) Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. That's how the 'Skins should feel after their third straight week covering the spread but coming up short. What the Redskins have done against Dallas, Philadelphia, and New Orleans is exactly what happens when a group of players decides to play with a little pride and chooses not to go out like punks.

19. Carolina Panthers (23) At New England, against Minnesota, and at the Giants. . .It's time the Panthers start discussing who will play quarterback next season. Jake Delhomme's time is up in Carolina, (8 touchdowns, 18 interceptions). With a rushing attack they have, you need a quarterback who can make defenses pay for loading the box.

20. New York Jets (21) Kellen Clemens in for the injured Mark Sanchez. Playoffs may be out of reach though, with the Colts and Bengals at the end of their schedule, I just don't see the Jets putting up much of a fight considering they've folded up against good teams all season long.

21. Houston Texans (15) The Texans did what the Texans do, pack it in early. Their coach will most likely get the boot at the end of yet another underachieving season. Would anyone else be up for replacing Matt Schaub as well? I have Houston finishing 7-9, again under .500

22. Atlanta Falcons (17) Questions around the health of Turner and Ryan, the Falcons have a small window here if it isn't closed already. Atlanta needs to rip off four wins including beating the undefeated Saints and still they'll need help to get in.

23. San Francisco 49ers (19) After dropping one to Seattle the 49ers just havent' seemed to put it together this entire season. The most interesting stat is that San Francisco hasn't won back-to-back games since the first two weeks of the season.

24. Chicago Bears (24) Rumours of Charlie Weis to Chicago as their offensive coordinator in 2010 could be the best news they've heard since the beginning of the season. Trust me, Weis can succeed somewhere in the mid-west.

25. Oakland Raiders (29) The Raiders have become a legit Black Hole, they drop teams like Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh but somehow get blown out by the Jets, Chiefs, and Texans. Circle games against Baltimore and Denver in coming weeks, given what we've seen, the Raiders can win those type of games.

26. Seattle Seahawks (28) I'm not sure how Seattle got to five wins, but they have. Here's a team that needs a power running game through the draft and some tough offensive lineman. (Yes, I love the NFL Draft)

27. Kansas City Chiefs (25) Boooo, try harder! After their awesome win against Pittsburgh they've gone and given up forty points in two straight weeks. So much for trying to finish strong.

28. Detroit Lions (31) The Lions made a good try of it this season but 2-10 is still very awful. Right now I'd tell them to start studying film on the Bears, their last game of the season. Go out with a win and draft the best offensive lineman available.

29. Buffalo Bills (26) The Bills needed to stop playing "O.K." and they did. Losing 4 of their last 5 games and playing New England, Atlanta, and Indianapolis to finish out, things aren't looking up in Buffalo.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30) Still 1-11 and their rookie quarterback throwing five interceptions on Sunday, the Bucs still had a good weekend. The player who is most likely tops on their draft board, Cornhusker Ndamukong Suh is headed to New York as a Heisman finalist and without question is the most dominant defensive player in college football.

31. St. Louis Rams (30) The Rams only win this season was against Detroit, so it should be no surprise that they'll most likely finish with just that win. Help all around is needed in St. Louis.

32. Cleveland Browns (32) Sure the Browns are letting Brady Quinn throw the ball, but is this just a try out? The most disappointing franchise in the NFL continues to disappoint and remain winless at home.

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