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The rankings were compiled before the Thanksgiving Day games.
1. (Last Week 1) New England (8-2)
Skinny The Patriots are still number 1 but I’m not so confident about them anymore. Their pass defense is awful and if it wasn’t for Manning’s random INT at the end, the Colts would have sent the game to OT. Fortunately for New England, their schedule is rather light the rest of the way.
2. (2) NY Jets (8-2)
Skinny Trent Dilfer and Colin Cowherd think Mark Sanchez is the 5th or 6th best quarterback in the NFL right now. Dilfer says that Sanchez has “Hall of Fame intangibles”. In related news, Dilfer stated in April that Sam Bradford was “not even close to the best player in the draft”, and went on to say that Jimmy Clausen was the best prepared to make an immediate impact.
Awesome analysis Trent. I’m sorry if it’s hard for me to take a career “game manager” seriously. For the record, here are 10 quarterbacks that are better than Mark Sanchez right now in no particular order:
I could easily put Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Kyle Orton on this list too.
I’m not going to spend this whole time ripping on Sanchez. He is a solid quarterback and he is like, 50 times better than he was last year at this time. But it’s not like he is leading these game winning drives against the Pats, Steelers, and Ravens. If you are buying Mark Sanchez as the 5th or 6th best QB, please, just take a look at his stats.
(3) Atlanta (8-2)
Skinny I really thought they would fall to the Rams. St. Louis is much better at home, but Atlanta is just simply better. Period. By the way, Matt Ryan is really good right now. I know people have loved him since he came into the league, but right now, Ryan is playing pretty much flawless football.
4. (4) Baltimore (7-3)
Skinny I’m excited for the Ravens game against Tampa Bay this weekend. Baltimore should probably have 8 wins, but they somehow found a way to lose to the Bengals early in the year. The Ravens are really good, but I don’t buy them as a Super Bowl contender. I don’t like their offense enough to make a run, but I do like them against Tampa Bay.
Also, it really bothers me that I put Joe Flacco on the list above. I mean, he is good, I guess, but their is something I don’t like about him. Maybe it’s his college background, maybe it’s his unibrow. I just don’t know.
5. (5) Pittsburgh (7-3)
Skinny What a surprise! The Steelers dominated the Raiders in Pittsburgh a week after they were pretty much embarrassed by New England. In Pittsburgh. Good teams like the Steelers aren’t going to lose to bad road teams like Oakland. Pittsburgh is the random elite team who is quietly preparing for another Super Bowl run.
6. (6) Philadelphia (7-3)
Skinny The Eagles chugged right along with a nice division win against the Giants. Mike Vick is still playing lights out despite committing his first turnover of the season. His first turnover of the season? I realize he hasn’t played in every game, but that is an awesome stat. Talk about not killing you team’s chances, *cough* Eli Manning *cough*.
7. (8) Green Bay (7-3)
Skinny The Packers are tied with Atlanta for the hottest team in the NFL. Weird, they play each other this week. Green Bay has been coined the “Coach Killer” by some after the firing of Wade Phillips and now Brad Childress. Will Mike Singletary be next in Week 13?
8. (9) New Orleans (7-3)
Skinny I suppose the Saints are even more of a sleeper than the Steelers. I really don’t pay much attention to them. That is probably because Atlanta is leading that division. That being said, I don’t really think the Saints are all that good. They’ve played a soft schedule and that will continue until Week 15 when they play Baltimore, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay in successive weeks.
9. (10) Tampa Bay (7-3)
Skinny Another week, another mediocre opponent for Tampa Bay. Thank goodness they play Baltimore and Atlanta the next two weeks. Those games should derail their Cinderella season… Wait, what? They play Washington, Detroit, and Seattle after that? Crap, they may actually still be alive.
10. (7) Indianapolis (6-4)
Skinny I had a feeling Indy would handle New England on Sunday night, supplanting themselves as a top-3 team in the NFL. Well, they didn’t, and it is clear that (GENERIC COMMENT ALERT!!) injuries are finally catching up with the Colts. They are endanger of losing again this week because super hot San Diego is coming to town. The Colts are awesome at home, but everyone knows they struggle with San Diego. Why do they struggle with the Chargers? I don’t know, but maybe it is because they always play them late in the year when the Chargers actually play well.
11. (12) Chicago (7-3)
Skinny The Bears beat up on another weak team Thursday. Normally the Dolphins aren’t really “weak” but I think starting Tyler Thigpen (who has 1 career win as a starter) now classifies them as “weak”. Still, the Bears defense looks pretty solid and it will be interesting to see how they handle Mike Vick and the Eagles this week.
12. (11) NY Giants (6-4)
Skinny Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell happened to have a pretty good game plan for Mike Vick. What he couldn’t prepare for was his own team giving the game away to Philadelphia. The Giants turned it over 5 times, including Eli Manning’s “Awkward dive fumble to blow the game with 2:51 to play” thing. The Giants will bounce back, but man this team is way too inconsistent.
13. (16) San Diego (5-5)
Skinny The Chargers are hot once again at the right time. Philip Rivers is still playing awesome even with that awful throwing motion. I feel like his elbow is going to explode every time he throws a slant route. Even if they lose to the Colts this weekend, they have a great chance to win the rest of their games. As far as I’m concerned, the AFC West is theirs to lose.
14. (18) Kansas City (6-4)
Skinny Congratulations on handling a terrible Cardinals team at home. You bounced back nicely from… whatever that was in Denver. Although I think it’s the Chargers division to lose, the Chiefs certainly have the schedule to win the AFC West. I really like the Chiefs, but I’m afraid they are too one-dimensional. When they play teams that are strong through the air (Denver, Houston, Indianapolis) they tend to struggle defensively.
15. (17) Jacksonville (6-4)
Skinny Fresh off a Hail Mary win against Houston, the Jaguars survived 6 turnovers and beat the Browns. I don’t know if that says more about the Jags resolve or the ineptitude of Cleveland. Either way, this Jacksonville team is easily the worst 6-win club. Hopefully they are thrown back to earth against the Giants this weekend.
16. (13) Oakland (5-5)
Skinny Well, it was fun while it lasted. The Raiders couldn’t do anything against the Steelers on Sunday. Yes, they did look pretty bad, but I think things would have been a little different in Oakland. The Raiders are much better at home and they welcome a banged up Miami team into the Black Hole this week.
17. (26) Washington (5-5)
Skinny As much as I hate to jump Washington up 9 spots, this is the most logical place to put them. Here is a fun fact: In five wins this season the Redskins have averaged 16.4 points per game. In their five losses they have averaged 24 points per game. So basically when the Redskins offense plays well they lose, and when they struggle to score, they win. What a weird team.
18. (15) Tennessee (5-5)
Skinny The Titans continue their free fall down the Power Rankings. The only person who has benefitted from the Randy Moss acquisition is Nate Washington. Vince Young has proven once again that he is an idiot and the only way you can be an idiot in this league is if you’re actually a good player.
Young has done a lot of stupid things in his career, but I think sending an “apology text” to Jeff Fisher sits near the top of the list. Be a man and talk to your head coach in person. What makes it even worse is that Jeff Fisher is, well, Jeff Fisher. Hey Vince, your head coach isn’t Rex Ryan or Pete Carroll. For the record, Fisher came out and said “I’m not a real big text guy… I think face-to-face is a man thing.” Well, Vince Young hasn’t shown that he is much of a man to begin with.
19. (14) Miami (5-5)
Skinny Hey look, Chad Henne must actually be a pretty decent quarterback. At least he seems to be pretty important to Miami’s offense. If he can’t go this weekend I don’t think the Dolphins have a shot at Oakland.
The last 13 teams in the Rankings deserve their own category: “MEDIOCRE TO AWFUL TEAMS WHO WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR BECAUSE THEY CONTINUE TO SHOW UP EVERY WEEK, THEREFORE KEEPING THE NFL SEASON GOING”
20. (19) Seattle (5-5)
Skinny The Seahawks are the best team in the worst division. The state of Washington: “We’ll take it!!”
21. (21) Houston (4-6)
Skinny The Texans should be 5-5, but instead they decided to keep the Jets’ string of “last second wins over mediocre teams” alive. Thanks for nothing Houston.
22. (27) Dallas (3-7)
Skinny Jerry Jones: “I should have fired Wade five weeks ago.”
23. (20) Cleveland (3-7)
Skinny The 2010 Cleveland Browns: “We force 6 turnovers and still find a way to lose!”
24. (25) St. Louis (4-6)
Skinny The Rams move up one spot even though they lost to Atlanta. The bottom of this league is just awful.
25. (23) Minnesota (3-7)
Skinny Why is Adrian Peterson only getting 14 carries against Green Bay? Brad Childress should have been fired simply for that. Oh yeah, and Brett Favre is killing this team. Just felt like stating the obvious.
26. (22) Denver (3-7)
Skinny My comments about Denver last week:
“They could easily be shellacked by San Diego this week. For now, I think they are on the up and up.”
I really didn’t mean the second part. (crossing my fingers)
27. (31) Buffalo (2-8)
Skinny I’m back to thinking the Bills are pretty good again. And by pretty good, I mean still not the worst team in the NFL.
28. (24) San Francisco (3-7)
Skinny I’m tired of people saying the Niners can still win the NFC West. Yes, I know they can mathematically, but No, they really can’t logically. (Because they suck)
29. (28) Arizona (3-7)
Skinny See San Francisco minus the lofty preseason expectations.
30. (30) Detroit (2-8)
Skinny Is it weird that I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat New England on Thanksgiving?
31. (32) Carolina (1-9)
Skinny I no longer think the Panthers are the worst team in the NFL. Just the second worst.
32. (29) Cincinnati (2-8)
Skinny You are last because you have a bunch of talent and still can’t figure out how to win. Carson Palmer isn’t part of the talent. Just making sure we’re clear about that.