I finally believe in the Broncos, they are a good team, and I'll happily eat crow over thinking they stunk. Josh McDaniels is now my homie, and life in Denver is good. The Broncos may actually be overrated now at #6, but at 5-0 I can't ignore that they are playing inspired. Anywho, here is how I see the whole NFL breaking down as of right now...
25. Panthers - What the heck happened here? I was predicting at the end of last year's regular season that the Panthers would win the Super Bowl, and now they are dreadful.
1. Colts – Peyton Manning seems willing to destroy any defense that dares cross his path right now. The Colts are going to be tough to stop this year.
2. Saints – The Saints defense scares me just enough to drop them to #2, plus Drew Brees has dropped just a tad off of his scorching pace of the first few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, New Orleans is still scary good.
3. Giants – Has there ever been a more sure thing than the Giants over the Raiders big? I had zero doubt that the G-men would completely trounce Oakland. If I’m a Giants fan, I’m a tiny bit concerned about Eli’s Plantar fasciitis and it’s effects when they play a real team; however against the Raiders, no worries man! By the way, is there a weirder word than fasciitis? I have heard multiple sportscasters try to pronounce this condition, and I still have no clue how it’s supposed to be said. Seriously, how many words have double i’s smack dab in the middle of them? The only word that I can think of that even has consecutive i’s would be Hawaii.
4. Vikings – This team is definitely among the elite, but it’s only October. If my hopes rest upon a 40 year old quarterback with a history of breaking down late in seasons not breaking down, I’m not sure how confident I would be. That said, Favre and the Vikings have looked like world beaters to this point.
5. Ravens – The Baltimore defense isn’t as ridiculously strong as it was last season. They just dropped a huge home game to the Bengals, their second loss in as many weeks, but I still feel like this team wins the AFC North. Perhaps I will be proven wrong, and it won’t be the first or last time that happens, but I am not ready to drop the Ravens too far just yet.
6. Broncos – I believe! In the enthusiasm following the Broncos huge win versus the Patriots at Invesco on Sunday, I yelled to my brother that I’d put the Broncos at number 1 overall in the rankings. I cannot in good conscience do that after I’ve had a few days to cool off from that moment, but it’d be utter foolishness to not at least bump them up quite a bit higher than at 15 where they were last week. This may be too high, but the Broncos look legit, which I am completely stunned and amazed that I am able to say.
7. Eagles – Donovan McNabb is back and he has a few weeks to work out any rust as Philly gets Oakland and Washington up next before their next real test versus the Giants.
8. Patriots – Suddenly the New England juggernaut looks very ordinary, but in the AFC East a 3-2 record is good enough for a share of first place right now.
9. Bengals – So perhaps this team isn’t a fluke. Taking down the Steelers was big, but going into Baltimore and coming home with a hard fought victory is even bigger. I don’t know how long it’s been since the Bengals have been all alone in first place in their division after five weeks, but I’m guessing that leather helmets played a prominent role in the era.
10. Falcons – Atlanta used their bye week effectively, I’d say. I predicted a San Francisco victory over them this past Sunday, so naturally Matt Ryan and company hang 45 on the Niners and run them out of their own building in a thirty-five point victory. That was a major statement game by the Falcons.
11. Steelers – Steelers fans can’t feel too good about barely squeaking out a win at Detroit. When defending your title, you really want to destroy the team that didn’t win a game last year, having to hold on to the bitter end doesn’t bode will for Pittsburgh.
12. Chargers – San Diego has to be licking it’s wounds right now. At two and a half games back, coming off of a bye, and having to live with getting housed by the Steelers for two weeks…if the Chargers have any pride at all they will probably hang the first L of the season on the Broncos record. Of course, they are coached by a man named Norv, so there is every possibility that they do not have any pride at all.
13. Dolphins – After a brutal 0-3 start, the Dolphins are starting to show some signs of life. Who would have guessed that losing their starting quarterback for the season may actually have been a blessing? Watching the Dolphins play, I am impressed with their resourcefulness. This team isn’t blessed with an overabundance of talent, but Tony Sparano does a lot with what he is given. He may be one of the more underrated coaches in the NFL.
14. Jets – That was surely a tough loss against the Dolphins, but on the plus side for the Jets, Braylon Edwards looked great in his first game for New York. Usually it takes a receiver a bit longer than a few days to provide five catch, 64 yard, 1 touchdown type performances. Perhaps green is Braylon’s color?
15. Bears – This is an interesting two week stretch for Chicago, as they will come off of their bye with trips to Atlanta and Cincinnati. If they are able to get both of those games, they may be able to get on a roll that leads them to contending for the division. The Vikings will be tough to catch, though.
16. 49ers – Mike Singletary would probably like to just get a mulligan on this weekend. And from the, “Boy I’m glad he’s not in Denver anymore” files. Dre Bly, were you really showboating at your own 40 yard line on an interception when you were trailing by 25? The football gods were not impressed and provided swift justice in the form of Falcon reciever Roddy White. Roddy, You may have singlehandedly defeated my fantasy football team this week, but catching Bly and causing him to fumble the ball back over to Atlanta almost makes it worth it. Sadly, it appears that Dre Bly learned nothing as he arrogantly defended his actions in the third person by saying, "Dre's going to be Dre', When I make plays, and I've made a lot, I express myself." What a tool.
17. Cardinals – Every time I am ready to give up on Arizona, they reel me back in with something like a goal line stand to win the game. The Cards may be a decent team, or they may be terrible, but they are without a doubt consistently inconsistent.
18. Packers – In what may be the worst timed bye in the history of football, the Packers have to live with getting whooped by Brett Favre for two weeks before they get to hit the field again. They should be sufficiently ticked off by the time the Lions get to Lambeau on Sunday.
19. Texans – Is Steve Slaton still alive? Has anyone been able to confirm this? Let’s just say I’m regretting my first overall pick in my ESPN fantasy league draft this year.
20. Cowboys – Having to go to overtime to beat the Chiefs just confirms to me that Dallas is not very good this year. Seriously, getting taken to OT by the Chiefs may not be a loss in the standings, but it sure must feel like it to Wade Phillips and company.
21. Seahawks – Well, when the Hawks win games, they win them big. Despite only winning two of their five games thus far this season, both of their wins have been in blowout and shutout fashion. 28-0 over the Rams and 41-0 over the Jaguars.
22. Titans – This is probably one of the better 0-5 teams ever, but even if they can get it going now, it’s probably going to be too little too late.
23. Jaguars – I refuse to believe that Jacksonville cares at this point. Allowing a one win team to completely destroy you is embarrassing.
24. Redskins – Jim Zorn, I hope you’re just renting there in the DC area.
26. Browns – I know this has been beaten to death already, but how does an NFL quarterback only complete 11.7% of his passes? Worse than that, how did Derek Anderson do it and WIN? I don’t know much, but I do know that when only three of your seventeen throws are actually caught, and one of those three gets caught by your opponent, that it is rare to win the game. How did that happen?
27. Bills – Oh right, the Browns were able to win despite a monumentally bad performance from their QB because they were playing the Bills. Now it makes a little more sense.
28. Lions – How bad was Detroit last season that this year's 1-4 team that has been blown out several times still feels like a massive improvement?
29. Raiders - If I didn't despise Al Davis and his crew so much, I might think that their sustained crapulence was sad, but since I do despise them, I find each year they suck to be funnier than the last.
32. Rams - Other than one close game against the pathetic Redskins, the Rams have lost by 28, 19, 35, and 28. It doesn't really matter who they are playing against...take their opponent and give the points. This team may make it two consecutive years that the NFL has a winless team.