Thursday, October 23, 2008
The "Big 9" for Week 8
Unlike the previous week, this last week in the NFL went pretty much as expected. Most of the teams expected to win, did and our big 9 doesn't change a whole lot at the top. The Chargers and Cowboys continued to struggle however, which makes room for a few new teams this week. Only one prime time game in the NFL this week, thanks to the World Series, but week 10 is not far away, when we start getting 3 prime time games a week. Anyway, lets get to the rankings.
1 (1) Tennessee Titans 6-0 - The Titans kept on rollin' this week with a 24 point win over the lowly Chiefs. Their backfield duo of Lendale White and Chris Johnson combined for over 300 yards and 4 TDs on the ground and their defense continued to shine. Their poor QB play really hasn't caused any problems and they are drawing more and more comparisons to the 2000 Ravens.
2 (2) New York Giants 5-1 - The Giants bounced back from their poor performance against the Browns to pick up a nice road win in San Francisco. The Giants still look like the most likely team in the NFC to make the Super Bowl but they face a very tough test at Pittsburgh on Sunday that may answer a few questions for us.
3 (3) Pittsburgh Steelers 5-1 - Another spot at the top of the rankings that doesn't change this week. The Steelers destroyed the Bengals on the road Sunday even without Willie Parker. Backup Mewelde Moore showed that the Steelers have some depth at the RB position if Parker continues to deal with nagging injuries. The Steelers haven't played this well since their Super Bowl year in 2005.
4 (5) Tampa Bay Bucs 5-2 - Jeff Garcia seems to have answered any questions about a QB controversy in Tampa. He looked very good in the Bucs 20-10 win of Seattle on Sunday night. The Bucs can put themselves in a great playoff position if they can defeat the struggling Cowboys this week. Their defense continues to look very strong.
5 (4) Washington Redskins 5-2 - The Skins looked a little bit skittish this week but still held on for a 3 point win over the Browns. Its still a tough road to the postseason for the Redskins considering the division they play in, but a week 8 match-up against the Lions should put them in a very favorable spot in the standings for the 2nd half. Clinton Portis continues to stay healthy and look better than he has in years.
6 (NR) Buffalo Bills 5-1 - Our first newcomer to the week 8 rankings. The Bills simply continue to win games. On paper they don't look like the best team around but they keep getting it done. They'll have to travel to Miami this week, but if they can come up with a win they will have a great shot at winning the AFC East.
7 (7) Arizona Cardinals 4-2 - The Cardinals had a bye week in week 7 but they still may have improved their chances at an NFC west title. The Rams, 49ers and Seahawks are all struggling mightily so even 8 wins may be enough to seal a playoff spot up for the Cardinals. They get Anquan Boldin back soon and should easily be able to come up with 4 or 5 more wins with their schedule. Its looking more and more like their first division title in over 30 years may finally happen.
8 (NR) Carolina Panthers 5-2 - The Panthers may have looked better than any other team in week 7, drubbing the Saints 30-7. Their defense ranks first in the NFC in scoring defense allowing only 14.8 points a game. The NFC South still looks like a tough division this year but if Jake Delhomme can continue to play like he did in week 7, the Panthers have as good a chance as anyone to win it.
9 (8) Atlanta Falcons 4-2 - Despite their hot start the Falcons fell to 3rd place in the NFC South during their bye week. They will have to play very well against conference foes if they hope to win a playoff spot. It won't be easy but this young team has a lot to look forward to in the coming years. They have a tough match-up at Philadelphia this week.
Apologies to the Patriots, Bears and Packers