Upsets were hard to find this weekend until the MNF game where the Cowboys were upset. QB play is crucial, if Romo doesn't get hurt the Cowboys might win that game (although Weeden did lead them to a TD), and if Cousins doesn't get benched he continues his poor play and the Skins likely lose. Not many big moves in our power rankings, things are clogged up in the middle, and really not much separates the teams; every game is crucial in the NFL.
1. 6-1 Denver Broncos Peyton Manning is getting a bit too full of himself, yes they Broncos are the best team in football and yes he is the best ever, but criticizing the 'scoreboard operator' as Manning did was a bit over the top. The Broncos dispatched the Chargers easily and it wasn't close. This weekend features a rematch of the AFC championship from last year but this time it will be at NE. It will be fun!
2. 6-1 Arizona Cardinals They won a big game vs. the Eagles which might decide playoff seeding late in the season, this is a team nobody respects or even knows about.. but they are very tough at home to beat. Their defense continues to defy gravity, slowing down the Eagles turbo offense. People might think they are ranked too high, but how do you drop a team that keeps winning huge games even with injuries to all their QB's and their defense? Credit a +9 turnover margin.
3. 6-2 New England Patriots Perfect timing to play the Bears during major turmoil in that teams locker room. Brady was able to do whatever he wanted against a soft defense and it looks like Gronk is back to his peak form. They move up big with reservations, remember they almost lost to the Jets at home. They are +11 turnover margin. Up next is the Broncos.
4. 5-2 Philadelphia Eagles Losing a nail biter in Arizona hurts. This sums up their high tempo offense; they are 5th in the NFL in offense and 26th in defense. Good news for them after this loss is the Cowboys also lost.
5. 6-2 Dallas Cowboys Why did the Cowboys lose? They ran the ball well, Romo and Weeden played fine, however their defense let the Skins control the ball most of the game which limited the Cowboys offense from seeing the field enough; they only ran 54 plays, square that with previous weeks where they averaged almost 70. McCoy was 25 for 30 for 300 yards which means drives were extended when they shouldn't have been. Romo has a 'back contusion' and its not known how much time he will miss or if this will be a chronic injury.
6. 5-3 GB Packers It looked like Rodgers was unstoppable and then he ran into 2 things. 1. the Saints home crowd and 2. a hammy injury. He says he will be fine but those things can be stubborn, we will see what happens but remember the injury bug caught him last year too. If the injury nags him the packers could drop fast.
7. 5-3 Indy Colts What happened to their defense? Okay it was one game so lets not slit our wrists just yet and all teams have bad days. Luck is still playing outstanding and I am very impressed with Bradshaw who has been a gift to them.
8. 4-2-1 Cincinnati Bengals After a hot start to the year they cooled off but now are back on track in a big way with a huge win over their buddies from Baltimore. The AFC North is turning into a horse race with everyone bunched in separated by 1 game or less.
9. 6-2 Detroit Lions Down 21-0 they came back and thanks to bad clock management had time on their final drive to move it down the field and get out of London with a win. They definately could use Reggie Bush and Megatron, also the entire TE unit was gone as well. Perfect timing for a bye week and this team has to feel good for itself. They found Golden Tate who is turning into a star this year.
10. 5-3 Baltimore Ravens Close game against the Bengals but they fell just short. A long pass to Steve Smith for a TD was called back because he pushed off. A monster game coming up at the Steelers in a very tight AFC North.
11. 4-3 KC Chiefs Nobody notices but they have won 4 of 5 and almost beat the Broncos too. Now they get to play the Jets at home, which will be a lot of fun to watch if you like defensive domination. As I have been saying as long as Alex Smith plays smart they will be tough to beat every week, they have a lot of talent.
12. 5-3 Pittsburgh Steelers What an amazing performance by that offense, the team scored over 50 points and Big Ben had as good a day as any QB we have seen this year.
13. 5-3 San Diego Chargers After playing lights out they are now falling back down to earth and fast. Granted they had tough games against KC and Denver, still if you want to win your division those are games you have to win. They now have a tough game having to fly east to Miami early in the day, it will be a challenge.
14. 4-3 SF 49ers bye week
15. 5-3 Buffalo Bills Geno Smith gift wrapped 3 turnovers onto their plates but give credit to the Bills defense who is extremely tough to play against. They had a field day against the Jets offense all day, while Orton played a collected game and found Watkins on a couple huge plays to put the game out of reach. They need to feed Watkins the ball.
16. 4-3 Seattle Seahawks Had they lost this game there would of been more grumblings in Seattle, they definately have issues but winning cures everything. Their defense did not allow a TD and they held Carolina to under 200 yards passing even on the road which is a good sign. Bad news is their offense isn't able to get any consistency.
17. 4-3 Miami Dolphins The Dolphins offense didn't have to do anything the first 35 minutes of this game and they still led 17-3. Their defense scored 2 TD's on INT's and then once the offense woke up were able to put the game away in the 2nd half and cruise to a win.
18. 4-3 Cleveland Browns They got to play the Jags and Raiders in back to back weeks and went 1-1. That's really all that needs to be said.
19. 4-4 Houston Texans Playing the Titans is a remedy for any team. They used a solid running game to run over the Titans. A great day for the Texans because the Colts lost now they are just 1 game behind, unfortunately they lost to the colts at home earlier in the season so they have to make up for that.
20. 3-4-1 Carolina Panthers Another loss and they are still tied for first place with the Saints, this time against the Seahawks who they couldn't stop at the end to win it. The offense really misses Steve Smith, they are having trouble moving the ball.
21. 3-4 New Orleans Saints Ah, now I understand. 3-0 at home, 0-4 at home. Having been to their home dome I can say its one of the loudest places in the world to play, and those fans know how to annoy the opposing teams offense. Take the Saints at home all year, but don't take them on the road! Oh and btw they are tied for 1st in their division even with just 3 wins. Hope at last.
22. 3-4 NY Giants Bye week
23. 3-5 Washington Skins McCoy played great, he has a nice touch on the deep ball. Their offense controlled the ball very well on the road and limited the Cowboys offense to only 54 plays. RG3 is close to returning, their defense wasn't able to limit Murray but they did put a lot of heat on Romo/Weeden for 5 sacks and 3 FF's.
24. 3-5 Chicago Bears The defense plays too vanilla and predictable, anyone who understands football can look at their games and see that, and its not like they have the talent to lineup and beat you one on one. Jay Cutler isn't god, and I bet if the defense actually helped the offense out with good field position, he would be able to do more than he is. Trestman might be a great offensive mind, but he isn't a good head coach.
25. 3-5 Minnesota Vikings A win is a win even though it was against a horrible team and it took a strip fumble return to win it. I still have to wonder how Rick Speilman has a job, this team has too many holes.
26. 2-6 Atlanta Falcons Up 21-0 they played coy the rest of the way and allowed the Lions to come back. Lets review their last drive. Up with under 2 minutes left they have the ball near midfield. They run the ball and get called for a holding penalty which stops the clock, then the next play they throw it incomplete which stops the clock again, leaving the Lions just enough time to kick the winning field goal. The owner Arthur Blank called out the team and I don't blame him.
27. 2-5 St. Louis Rams Just when you think Fisher is a genius this is what happens. Turns out Seattle probably isn't as good as what people think, and the Rams are what we think they are.. just a bad team with a lot of good players on their Dline who have underperformed. Jake Long, their high priced LT, is out for the year as if they don't have enough injuries.
28. 2-5 Tennessee Titans A very winnable game and they get routed. Mettenberger played shaky but he played good enough to win at home, their lack of running game and inability to stop the run cost them. They need more talent.
29. 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars This is going to be a dangerous team because they are playing desperate, they went for it on 4th down early on, and they opened the game up with trickery. Their main problem is if Bortles is going through growing pains as a rookie, or if he really is a bust. He is turning it over way too much, 2 pick 6's won't win you any games in this league, but his size and mobility should be used more. Their Dline is excellent but injuries have hurt their D.
30. 1-6 Tampa Bay Bucs You have to wonder if Lovie Smith being out of football a year set him back bigtime. This team is just plain bad. They have talent on this team and there is no excuse for this start.
31. 1-7 NY Jets Geno Smith turned it over 3 times early trying to force the ball (twice to Harvin) and was benched. Vick played better which doesn't say much as he still turned it over himself. Now what do the Jets do the rest of the year with a lame duck coach? Keep playing Geno ? No matter who is QB they are a turnover machine. They are -13 in turnovers (worst in NFL) and have given it away 16 times including 11 INT's.
32. 0-7 Oakland Raiders They kept things close again vs. Cleveland but their offense just can't do anything. It starts with their lack of running game. The fake punt/pass that turned into a bad snap and interception by Schaub sums up the past decade for this team, a complete joke. Just lose baby!