Thursday, November 11, 2010

Powerlines: Week 10 NFL Power Rankings

The Squirrelroo is a friendly is slightly nutty creature. Kind of like me, really.

It's been a few weeks, so I thought we were due for a power poll update. Seeing how this season is THIS SEASON, these will likely be remarkably different in three weeks.

1. Ravens (6-2 +36) – The team I’d least want to play in the NFL right now. Not overly flashy, but they just tend to lean on you until you collapse. The Ravens are exceptional at applying consistent pressure and suffocating opponents under the strain.

2. Steelers (6-2 +51) – A week after being dominated in New Orleans, they came dangerously close to blowing a 20 point in Cincinnati, which is cause for concern.

3. Patriots (6-2 +31) – Used to be that losing to the Browns would drop you significantly, but the Brownies are threatening legitimacy, and the Patriots are still not to be taken lightly. You get the feeling that Bill Belichick prefers coaching a smoke and mirrors team like this where on paper they don’t seem like much, yet at the end of the day they win to a dominant team like the 18-1 Pats of 2007.

4. Giants (6-2 +56) – Yes, they have run off five straight wins, which is an accomplishment that puts them in contention for the top NFC spot, but their most impressive win is over a middling Houston team, and they have padded their stats with wins against dregs such as Seattle, Detroit, Dallas and the average Bears. The second half of the season will tell us more about the legitimacy of the Giants than the first half did, as they will face up against the Packers, The Redskins and Eagles Twice, and Brett Favre’s Vikings, after which we should have a better feel for the actual strength of this team.

5. Eagles (5-3 +17) – Philly has a luxury that many teams would kill for. They appear to have two quarterbacks capable of leading them to wins, when many teams don’t even have one. How fun is it to watch Mike Vick pinball around the football field right now? The league is more fun when he’s doing his Superman thing.

6. Falcons (6-2 +42) – Much like the Giants, the Falcons have gotten fat off of a favorable schedule defeating the likes of the Cardinals, Niners, Browns, and Bengals. They do have wins over the Bucs and Saints which are important within the division, but they have lost their two toughest games to the Eagles and Steelers. If they want to advance in the playoffs, they will need to beat the good teams, as very few cupcakes make it to the postseason.

7. Colts (5-3 +49) – Peyton Manning and the Colts are right where they are most dangerous. Kind of an afterthought right now, and lurking just below the surface. I can easily see them peaking late in the season and poising for a postseason run.

8. Jets (6-2 +52) – I saw this team struggle mightily against a rather poor Broncos team in a game they should have lost. I have seen them get shutout at home against the Packers, and get very lucky against the Lions. I have my doubts about Mark Sanchez, and the whole Jets offense. (Although I have been shocked by the rejuvenation of Ladanian Tomlinson, who I thought was DONE.) All in all, despite a good defense and an offense that seems to come through when it’s most needed, there is a certain je ne se qua missing from the Jets. I feel like they are destined to make the playoffs, I just don’t see them being able to get very far once they are there.

9. Packers (6-3 +78) – Always in a game, if they aren’t destroying teams. Have only lost games by three points this year, and two thirds of the time it happens in OT. I could easily see this team making the Super Bowl, as there are only two NFC teams above them in my power rankings right now, and I could see the Pack defeating either. I think they’d have difficulty in the Big Game, though, as to beat whoever survives the AFC, I think you’ll need to have a better run game than the Pack has going for it right now.

10. Saints (6-3 +78) – The offense that was so dominant last season is consistently struggling this year, yet the Saints keep finding ways to come out ahead in games. As average as they have looked this year, they still possess the ability to put it together in the second half and make a good run at repeating. The NFL is so wide open that I have the champs at team number ten, and I would not even be remotely shocked if they repeated.

11. Titans (5-3 +74) – The big question that starts to get answered on Sunday…Will Randy Moss try for Tennessee? He may be finished, and he may have more in the tank, but with Moss, it’s impossible to tell. I have my doubts that he makes the Titans better.

12. Chargers (4-5 +42) – After a brutal start, the Chargers are looking dynamite. (This is a recording.) Although, what is wrong with the special teams in San Diego? Beyond dreadful…5 blocked punts???

13. Raiders (5-4 +47) – The stampede they started in Denver has grown all the way into their first three game win streak since 2002. If they can manage just two more victories this year, they will have their best season since that same year when they last went to the Super Bowl.

14. Chiefs (5-3 +38) – First in the AFC Standings right now, but I think they may just be the worst team of the three competing for the division. However, in their favor, their remaining schedule is pillowy soft.

15. Dolphins (4-4 -32) – Getting spit on and having a fumble taken away from them are the two most interesting things to happen to the Dolphins this season. Even their record is boring.

16. Buccaneers (5-3 -33) – Josh Freeman and the Bucs are proving that when you draft well, you can rise out of the basement quickly. This is a frisky team.

17. Rams (4-4 -1) – Sam Bradford and the Rams (copy and paste everything I just said about the Josh Freeman and the Bucs in the previous item.)

18. Texans (4-4 -33) – This is an emotionally frail and perpetually underachieving team. Gary Kubiak may be on the hot seat at the end of the if only due to lack of progress being made in Houston.

19. Browns (3-5 -4) – The Browns and the Peyton Hillis Express has the city of Cleveland almost forgetting about LeBron James. Okay, perhaps that is a slight overstatement, but the Brownies are the feel good story of the city right now after back to back wins over the Saints and Patriots.

20. Vikings (3-5 -12) – Brad Childress was three quarters out of the door in Minnesota when Brett Favre came from behind by two touchdowns in the 4th quarter and won a game on muscle memory. Either that was the spark that rights the ship in Minny, or it was the last gasp of an old team before sputtering to the finish. I’ll guess the latter, while acknowledging that either is a possibility.

21. Bears (5-3 +15) – Technically the Bears have a winning record, and perhaps Lovie Smith had a horseshoe surgically implanted before the season started, because they should have lost to the Lions in week 1, they came dangerously close to losing in Toronto to the winless Bills, and the rest of their wins have been over the dregs of the NFL coming over the likes of the Lions, Cowboys, and Panthers. Their lone impressive win came on an emotionally charged Monday night home game over their longtime rivals from Green Bay. They haven’t been overly impressive in any win, and I just don’t believe they are all that good.

22. Redskins (4-4 -15) – How can Donovan McNabb have any confidence left? If someone thinks that Rex Grossman is better at anything than you, that has to be devastating. If Mike Shanahan told me that Grossman was better at Tetris than I was, I think I’d go into a funk. The only thing Rex Grossman should be considered better at than any other quarterback is debilitating game ending fumbles for touchdowns. If that were an Olympic event, he’d have a closet full of gold.

23. Jaguars (4-4 -61) – Strange team the Jaguars, they seem to either win big or get blown out, only two of their games have been within 10 points, and they have been on either side of these scores this year: 38-13, 28-3, 36-26, 30-3, 42-20, 35-17.

24. Seahawks (4-4 -51) – Things may be deteriorating in Seattle, at least that’s what I would assume after the Seahawks have lost their past two games by a combined score of 74-10. Charlie Whitehurst…Egads! I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he is not the answer, unless the question is “What crappy quarterback can submarine any chance Seattle wins the NFC West?” He does have a tremendous beard, though, so not all is lost.

25. Lions (2-6 +15) – Detroit seems like the best 2-6 team in the league, and also the most snake-bit. It seems that if it weren’t for bad luck, the Lions would have no luck at all. Whether it’s having their kicker get hurt only so long as to have a rookie Defensive lineman miss a kick that would have prevented overtime or have a winning touchdown overturned on a technicality, this team is just good enough to break their fans hearts week after week.

26. Bengals (2-6 -23) – What gets a worse rating? The T.Ocho show on Versus or the idea to bring those two together to play on this team thinking it would lead to football glory?

27. 49ers (2-6 -41) – As weak as the Niners have been all year when people were expecting great things, technically they are only two games back of the division lead, and it isn’t completely inconceivable that they could still win the division. I think the Rams will do it, and I think the 49ers are bad, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility is all I’m saying.

28. Cardinals (3-5 -68) – I can’t take any team trying to win with Derek Anderson seriously. I was watching the Cardinals-Vikings game this week, and a pass that he wasn’t throwing away on purpose still ended up four rows into the seats…which is to say his accuracy may be slightly off.

29. Cowboys (1-7 -71) – Remember how at the beginning of the year all the talk was about how the Cowboys could be the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium? AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!

30. Bills (0-8 -83) – No, they have not won a game yet. However, they are getting very good at the excruciating loss, which makes me think that they are better than at least two teams in the league, and other teams in the league don’t face the handicap of having to play home games in Canada.

31. Broncos (2-6 -69) – Quietly sobbing to myself.

32. Panthers (1-7 -96) – Just dreadful. The odds they win another game seem slim, as I peruse their schedule, the only one I see as a possibility even is a home date with the Cardinals.


Trinket said...

Well, at least the Cowboys FINALLY fired Wade Phillips.

Trinket said...

Do you suppose he looked really confused when they fired him?

Craig Dodge said...

Without question, he looked confused.