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TOJ’s week 7 edition of the NFL Power Rankings, followed by some general NFL observations…as always feel free to comment on my stupidity
The Top Two
1. New York Jets (5-1) – I am giving them the leap to number one because I believe if they played their best game against Pittsburgh’s best game right now, they’d win in a close one.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) – They should really get rolling now with Ben Rothlisberger under center but didn’t look as dominant as I expected against the Browns who were giving a rookie quarterback his first start.
Just A Cut Below
3. New England Patriots (4-1) – Impressive win against the Baltimore Ravens, who never put them away. Yet if I read one more story about how happy Deion Branch is to be back in New England and how everybody there loves him, I’m going to throw up.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) – You can’t be blowing 20-10 leads that late in the game. Fortunately for them, they have a bye week this week aka they are playing Buffalo.
5. Indiannapolis Colts (4-2) – As long as Peyton Manning is under center, they are the favorite in the AFC South. Austin Collie is having one hell of a year too by the way.
Best Of NFC…I Guess
6. New Orleans Saints (4-2) - If you had to bet on one NFC team going to the Super Bowl right now, it’d probably have to be New Orleans especially if they continue to run the ball like they did last week.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) - The Eagles have a problem that many teams in the NFL wouldn’t mind having. Let’s get see if they can beat a physical Tennessee team to get some momentum going.
8. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) - Laid a complete egg against the Eagles on the road.
9. New York Giants (4-2) - They have a golden opportunity to completely bury the Dallas Cowboys this Monday night.
Looking Like A Playoff Contender
10. Tennessee Titans (4-2) - A physical (dirty) team that can play defense, run the football, and has some weapons in the passing game.
11. Houston Texans (4-2) – They are a finesse (soft) team but can put up some points and have found a way to win close games this season.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) – They lost a couple of tough games in a row but still remain 1 1/2 games up in the AFC West, where nobody wants to win a game.
13. Washington Redskins (3-3) – You would have liked to see Donovan McNabb handle business on that final drive at home against the Colts.
14. Miam Dolphins (3-2) – Never easy to win in Green Bay. We’ll see how legitimate they are this week against the Steelers.
Not As Good As Their Record
15. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) – They actually won a road game. Perhaps with Marshawn Lynch on the roster and Mike Williams playing like he did at USC at receiver, they could find some consistency on offense.
16.. Chicago Bears (4-2) – Never a good sign when you can’t beat a mediocre Seattle team at home.
17. Green Bay Packers (3-3) – A little low? Maybe, but I am not sure they can overcome the mass of injuries they sustained. They are also playing sloppy, inconsistent football.
18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) – They are right in the thick of things in the NFC West, then again so are the 1-5 49ers.
19. Tampa Bays Bucs (3-2) – As bad as a 3-2 team gets.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) – As bad as a 3-3 team gets.
21. St. Louis Rams (3-3) – Impressive win against San Diego considering how they lost to Detroit the week before.
22. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) – Amazing how much they could be in it, if they can take care of Green Bay this week.
The AFC West Is Brutal…Bengals Aren’t Much Better
23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) – A team supposed to built around their defense, that can’t stop anybody and a team that is supposed to have a high power passing attack that has a suddenly crappy quarterback.
24. Denver Broncos (2-4) – Thank you Renaldo Hill.
25. Oakland Raiders (2-4) – Just when you thought you could go an entire season without watching Kyle Boller play.
26. San Diego Chargers (2-4) – Thank you for destroying my three team tease this past weekend…and for LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie.
Bad Football Teams, Still Competitive
27. Dallas Cowboys (1-4) – They always find a way to lose.
28. San Francisco 49ers (1-5) – Still alive in the NFC West, where 7-9 just might equal a division title and home playoff game.
29. Detriot Lions (1-5) – As far as 1-5 teams go, they aren’t half bad.
30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) – Colt McCoy showed there might be hope for the future.
Cover Your Eyes
31. Carolina Panthers (0-5) – Doesn’t matter if Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen are throwing interceptions and getting sacked.
32. Buffalo Bills (0-5) – They can’t win more than 2 games this season, can they?
AFC East – I think the Jets are going to have a tough time pulling away from the Patriots. The December 6th match-up between the two teams is going to go a long way to determining the division winner. Prior to the season I thought Miami would be the Jets main competition, however I think they are going to catch a beat down from Pittsburgh this week and be a .500 team the rest of the season.
NFC East – This division couldn’t be anymore wide open. The Giants always beat Dallas and will likely bury them for good this Monday night, leaving them to battle with Philadelphia and Washington. The Eagles seem like the favorite right now, with either Vick or Kolb under center but you’d like to see more consistency on both sides of the ball from them and particularly their offensive line.
AFC North – It will be fun to watch the Steelers and Ravens slug it out for the division title down the stretch, while the other team will likely land a wild-card. I can’t take the Bengals seriously as a contender because of how bad Carson Palmer has played. I wonder if Eric Mangini will still be the Browns coach when the Jets come into town.
NFC North – Another wide open division. It feels like the Bears will eventually fall out of it, which leaves the Packers and Vikings to fight it out. 9-7 might be good enough to take this division title.
AFC South – I am more sold on the Titans as the Colts primary competitor for a division title. Houston just isn’t physical enough to win big games in November and December.
NFC South – The Saints and Falcons will be a division race that goes right down to the wire. Tampa Bay isn’t sticking around as a competitor for the division title but could be in the wild-card mix, since you could see a 8-8 team making the playoffs in the NFC.
AFC West – Everybody is still involved in the divisional race here. I wouldn’t be shocked if Denver ended up taking it as a 9-7 team, considering they weathered the tough part of their schedule.
NFC West – Just a bunch of inconsistent, mediocre teams with questions at quarterback. At least the Rams have their franchise guy under center, but he is a rookie so it remains to be seen how he plays down the stretch.
As of right now, it really is a shame that the NFC and AFC West have to send a team to the playoffs. I am having nightmares of a wild card weekend featuring the 8-8 Bears at the 7-9 Rams, followed by the 8-8 Chiefs hosting a playoff game.