Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The NFL "Big 9", Week 5 Edition.

What a wild week in the NFL. Our previous week number 1 ranked Cowboys fell to Washington and among other undefeated teams, Denver and Baltimore fell. As a result there was lots of movement on the "Big 9".

Last week's rank in ().

1 (2). New York Giants - 3-0 - The defending champs take over the top spot by default. As they rested in their bye week they saw division foes Dallas and Philly fall leaving them as the last team standing in the NFL's toughest division.

2 (3). Buffalo Bills - 4-0 - They just keep chugging along under the radar. Could this really be the AFC's best team? Hard to believe but so far they might be.

3 (NR). Tennessee Titans - 4-0 - I left them off last week because it's hard to imagine a team that has undergone all the Vince Young drama and led by Kerry Collins amounting to much but it's hard to overlook a 4-0 record. They have already logged 3 home victories though and things figure to get harder as they face tougher opponents on the road.

4 (9). Washington Redskins - 3-1 - The forgotten team in the mighty NFC East marched into Texas Stadium and knocked off the Cowboys, showing they belong with the big boys. Still a lot of questions including the always fragile health of Clinton Portis but when you knock off the #1 seed you deserve to move up.

5 (1). Dallas Cowboys - 3-1 - A home loss to the Redskins and now the media reports that T.O. had a heated discussion with Romo about his lack of involvement in the passing game. Somewhere Donovan McNabb is laughing. This is still the most talented team in the league but nobody can wreck locker room chemistry quicker than a disgruntled T.O.

6 (8). Pittsburgh Steelers - 3-1 - It wasn't a pretty W but the Steelers bounced back from an ugly loss to Philly by stopping the previously unbeaten Ravens. The injury to Rashard Mendenhall could be a killer though as Willie Parker's health is also in question. It's hard to be a power running team without a healthy running back.

7 (5). Denver Broncos - 3-1 - Even some of the great Denver teams over the years struggled to win at Arrowhead so the loss alone wasn't a killer but this game highlighted a lot of Denver's weaknesses. When the passing game sputters they are very beatable because there is no running game to speak of and the Denver can't stop anyone. They remind me a lot of the early Elway years. Great passing game, not much else.

8 (NR). Carolina Panthers - 3-1 - They win ugly and by the smallest of margins but thus far they have gotten the job done. I don't think the have the weapons to hang with the Cowboys or Giants offensively but Steve Smith getting into a groove could change that in a hurry.

9 (NR). San Diego Chargers - 2-2 - They are an Ed Hochuli whistle away from being 3-1 and are probably still the most talented team in the AFC. If the L.T. we saw in the 4th quarter Sunday shows up the rest of the year, this team is going to be VERY tough to beat.

Other teams on the rise - Chicago, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville.

So there it is folks. As always comments are appreciated!

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