Home for Non-Generic Sports Opinion
Note: The rankings were compiled before the Chicago/Miami Thursday night game.
1. (Last Week 2) New England (7-2)
Skinny Impressive victory on the road over Pittsburgh. Surprising they won so easily.
2. (4) NY Jets (7-2)
Skinny This is kind of a default position for the Jets. Even though they beat Detroit and Cleveland, a team should get credit for back-to-back OT road wins.
3. (8) Atlanta (7-2)
Skinny Very nice win last Thursday over Baltimore. There should be a little concern, however, that they allowed the Ravens to come back and take the lead late.
4. (3) Baltimore (6-3)
Skinny They were dominated for three quarters in Atlanta before storming back to take the lead late. Still, they couldn’t hold down Matt Ryan, who exposed the Baltimore secondary all night.
5. (1) Pittsburgh (6-3)
Skinny This is still a top-5 team. Tom Brady was absolutely on fire Sunday night. Interesting match-up with Oakland this weekend.
6. (11) Philadelphia (6-3)
Skinny The Eagles have quickly turned into one of the best teams in the NFC. Mike Vick is the obvious reason for the transformation. Will the Giants be able to contain him this week?
7. (5) Indianapolis (6-3)
Skinny It is not often that a team wins and falls in the polls. The Cincinnati game looked great in the first half, but the Colts won ugly in the end. Indy can make a statement this week against New England.
8. (7) Green Bay (6-3)
9. (9) New Orleans (6-3)
Skinny Reggie Bush is likely back this weekend against Seattle. I don’t remember a defending Super Bowl champion being this much of a “sleeper” team at this stage of the season. They haven’t been real impressive, yet they sit atop the NFC South (tie).
10. (14) Tampa Bay (6-3)
Skinny The Bucs are a clear example of a team taking advantage of an easy schedule. They have lost to Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Atlanta. The next best team they’ve played? A 1-pt home victory over St. Louis.
11. (6) NY Giants (6-3)
Skinny Yes, it was surprising to see them lose at home to Dallas. But was it that surprising? Their best win is over Chicago who is a little better now than they were in Week 4. They have feasted on the bottom of the NFC (Carolina, Detroit, Dallas).
12. (18) Chicago (6-3)
Skinny The Bears are the prime example of a team taking advantage of an easy schedule. The funny thing is, Chicago has beaten a team they probably shouldn’t have (Green Bay) while they have lost two games they probably should have won (Seattle, Washington). The last part of their schedule is actually difficult.
13. (12) Oakland (5-4)
Skinny Oakland goes on the road to face the Steelers this week. Either they will be beaten and written off, or they will win and instantly become a trendy pick in the AFC. I would bet the former.
14. (15) Miami (5-4)
Skinny The Dolphins recorded their first home win of the season in Randy Moss’s Titans debut. They now have to roll with Tyler Thigpen, which could be a lot like rolling with Chad Henne. Or not.
15. (10) Tennessee (5-4)
Skinny Randy Moss had one catch for 26 yards. I’d like to think that he will help the Titans out the rest of the way, but something doesn’t feel right. Losing to a Miami team who played “Musical Quarterbacks” during the game is not a good sign.
16. (16) San Diego (4-5)
Skinny Antonio Gates still may not be healthy enough to play on Monday. Philip Rivers showed last week that Gates’s health may not matter much. Vincent Jackson should also be back soon. This team could get really good, but before I get too excited, I must always remember Norv Turner.
17. (17) Jacksonville (5-4)
Skinny The Jags don’t make a move up the Power Rankings because their win was, well, lucky. Win some more games and maybe I’ll take the Jags seriously. On an unrelated note, Gus Johnson is awesome. Only he could have made a completed Hail Mary even better.
18. (13) Kansas City (5-4)
Skinny Big drop in the poll for the Chiefs. Losers of two straight, Kansas City must beat Arizona this weekend. The Chiefs haven’t lost at Arrowhead, so it’s a good bet they will.
19. (24) Seattle (5-4)
Skinny Really big win for the Seahawks last Sunday. The Cardinals are much better at home, while Seattle is much worse on the road. It looked like that flip-flopped as Matt Hasselbeck returned to the lineup. I have a weird feeling they might beat the Saints this weekend.
20. (20) Cleveland (3-6)
Skinny I remain somewhat high on the Browns. They have played four straight games against elite opponents (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, New England, Jets). Jacksonville is a notch down from those opponents, but they get a huge break next week against Carolina.
21. (19) Houston (4-5)
Skinny Has a team ever peeked in Week 1? Every year this team posts mediocre results with solid talent. It doesn’t help that they are in the AFC. The schedule the rest of the way is brutal.
22. (27) Denver (3-6)
Skinny Denver is so up and down. They could easily be shellacked by San Diego this week. For now, I think they are on the up and up.
23. (22) Minnesota (3-6)
Skinny How can they be this bad? The Vikings have so many good players on both sides of the ball. Brett Favre is pretty awful this year, but he is still the best option they have. I’ll be surprised if they beat Green Bay.
24. (29) San Francisco (3-6)
Skinny Huge game against Tampa Bay this weekend. A loss means they’re done. I mean, they should already be done with a 3-6 record, but the NFC West is just so bad.
25. (23) St. Louis (4-5)
Skinny This team has to win some games on the road. The Rams are a very solid football team, yet they have played a fairly easy schedule. We could learn a lot this weekend when Atlanta comes to town.
26. (21) Washington (4-5)
Skinny I know they are 4-5, but I think Washington is just awful. How random was Donovan McNabb’s contract extension? I guess Clinton Portis may play this weekend. Who cares?
27. (31) Dallas (2-7)
Skinny The Cowboys went from a walking Bye Week to a somewhat scary team to play. Just imagine if Tony Romo was still healthy. I think the offense will continue to improve, but the defense is still a question mark.
28. (26) Arizona (3-6)
Skinny They have lost four games in a row to mediocre and sub-par teams. They now travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs who play much better at home. I think it would be easy to see this game getting ugly, but maybe Arizona competes a little.
29. (28) Cincinnati (2-7)
Skinny I drank the kool-aid before the year began. I thought the Bengals would grab a Wild Card spot. What a stupid prediction. At least they aren’t as bad as the Bengals of old. Those teams were terrible.
30. (25) Detroit (2-7)
Skinny Well Lions, you didn’t beat Buffalo, therefore you still suck. Just when people (me) were beginning to think this team was better than their record indicated. Maybe Matt Stafford means more to them than I thought.
31. (30) Buffalo (1-8)
Skinny Sorry Buffalo, although you won your first game, I’m dropping you down the Poll. You have to beat Detroit by more than two points for me to keep you ahead of 2-win teams. A win at Cincinnati would make me believe again.
32. (32) Carolina (1-8)
Skinny Spirited effort against Tampa Bay. Is it possible that Mike Goodson is better than DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. I say yes, of course it’s possible. Goodson is the first Panthers running back to rush for 100 yards in a game this season. Unfortunately he will rush for pretty much nothing against the Ravens this week.