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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sportaholic NFL Power Rankings Week 9

 Another week and another shuffle in the rankings. The NFL has been so weird this year. You usually can count on one or two dominant teams but not this year. This has become the year of the unknown. We never know from week to week which teams will show up. There are a few consistent teams ( Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New York Jets) as far as winning, but they are not ripping teams apart. A few teams are playing as well as can in the situation their in ( Indianapolis and Green Bay) and then you have the upstarts, who are no longer the push overs they use to be (Kansas City, Oakland, and even Detroit). Now with that being said, I present to you the week 9 rankings.

1.Baltimore Ravens (6-2) - Its looks like that Bills game was a fluke. I had been reluctant to put them in the top spot without seeing a dominant performance from them and I finally got what I was looking for out of them against Miami. Ray Rice is an underrated back and I always come away impressed with his play when I get a chance to see him. Joe Flacco had a great game going 20/27 for 266 yards 2 TDs no Ints.The addition of Ed Reed has put playmaking back into their secondary as well. They added another playmaker on the offense in Donte Stallworth as too. The Ravens and Pittsburgh will battle the whole season for the AFC north crown.

2.Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) - The Steelers came out dominant at first against the Bengals but had a hard time putting them away. Ben Roethlisberger was less than spectacular but got the job done. They got more than enought breaks from the lowly Bengals (How can this team be so bad at the simple things?) Hopefully James Harrison won't be hearing from the league for his hit on Jordan Shipley, it looked perfectly legal to me. Pittsburg just keeps chugging along beating the teams that they are suppose to. Thats what champions do.

3. New York Jets (6-2) - This is the hardest team in the league to predict on a week to week basis. They almost lost to Detroit, if it wasn't for the last moment heroics. They have a young offense and that leads to inconsistency. Speaking of consistency, Mark Sanchez has to learn to stop thinking so much and just go play some football. The Jets did have the run game working as Tomlison and Shonne Greene combined for 101 yards rushing and 114 yards receving. And the one thing they can always count on is Sexy Rexy's defense.

4. New York Giants (6-2) - Welcome to the rankings Giants (and NFC). The New York football Giants defensive line have become the most domineering and destructive force in the league. They now have taken out Matt Hasselback, Tony Romo (for the season), Jay Cutler, and Matt Moore. This was their recipe for the Super Bowl last time they won in 2008. I know somewhere in Dallas, Jon Kitna is paranoid and he should be.

5.New England Patriots (6-2) - Previously number one ranked New England makes a mighty stumble. I know by the look on Bill Belicheck's face that he hates losing to his former protege Eric Mangini. The Browns actually showed the blueprint for beating the Pats. They ran the ball effectively racking up 230 yards, 184 of those coming from Peyton Hillis (Boy does that trade for Brady Quinn is looking awfully good now). They flustered Tom Brady with with a variety of fronts and coverages, which is the only way to stop him. It's hard to imagine the Browns soundly beating New England at every phase of the game like they did. You have to love the trick play they ran on the goal line with Chansi Stuckey and Josh Cribbs as well. New England will bounce back but that sure was an ugly loss.

Other News and Notes from the league:

The Channing Crowder and Le'ron McClain incident has grown legs. Now Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is confirming that the Ravens fullback spit in the face of Crowder. I saw the replay of the incident but never saw anything come out of McClain's mouth. Even though I didn't see it, it's hard to say that Crowder would have got that upset if he didn't. The league will review it and if McClain did, he will be fined .
If you saw the Austin Collie hit when it happend, what was your initial reaction to it? I personally don't think it was a dirty hit. It's just football and the nature of the game itself. Collie tried to get down after making the catch but was in between two defenders with another one trying to get out of the way. Its unfortunate the way it turned out. If Quiton Mikell and Kurt Coleman get fined for that, then the rule is officially ridiculous. Even two of Collie's teammates (Aaron Francisco and Jacob Lacey) stated that it was a clean hit. Everyone should hope Collie is ok and makes a full recovery.

Phillip Rivers just won't let the Chargers give up. He is single handely keeping the Chargers season alive. Rivers has had to deal with various reasons for his top four receivers being out. Vincent Jackson had the whole holdout thing and Antonio Gates, Legedu Nanee and Malcolm Floyd all being out with various injuries. He has had to make due with practice squad receivers with rookie Seyi Ajirotutu catching two touchdowns passes last game. The guy just has a will to win and has thrown for 2,944 yards through nine games, 357 more than any other quarterback. He is on pace to break Dan Marino's all -time season mark. I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks it or if San Diego comes back to win the division with Rivers at the helm.

Wade Phillips almost wasn't the first coach to get fired this season. Brad Childress almost got that distinction after he made the impromptu decision to cut Randy Moss, without consulting owner Zygi Wilf. You know that is kind of important Brad. If you going to cut a future hall of famer, you might just want to tell the guy who owns the team not to mention you cost your team 3rd round draft pick. Wilf reportedly so upset he responded by almost firing the embattled Childress rather than cutting Moss. The Vikings owner surveyed his players to see what the atmosphere was like. Fortunate for Childress, Wilf backed off. But now the coach will be based on a week to week performance. The victory they pulled out against Arizona was unbelievable. Favre rescued the Vikings season and his coach's job.

And Finally, what is your over/under on Jason Garrett remaining the coach in Dallas after this season? I say its about 50/50 at best. Jones will let Garrett audition but it really is unfair to Garrett. He has the same players who cost Wade Phillips his job. I will say their is no motivation like knowing your job is on the line. Everyone will be on the hook if they continue to play the way they have been. If Garrett doesn't get the job done, Jones will be relentless in finding a big name coach to fill the vacancy.

I don't necessarily think that you have to go after the big name coach in order for the team to be successful but I'm sure Jerry will chase the big names first. Just look at Mike Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh and Mike Smith.They all have had success and were not big name at the time of their hiring. If Jerry does chase, Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden seem like good hires. Cowher has a track record as a disciplinarian and would add some needed direction in that department but a lot of sources are saying he won't be interested in the position because of the authority Jerry Jones would want to exert on him. As for Gruden, he would come into a similar situation as the one he had in Tampa Bay. There are players in place but the culture of the team needs to be changed. He is a football man in every pore of his body. I think he could turn around the team. Hopefully they can get someone, even if it's not the big name to turn the fortunes of the franchise around for America's team.


  1. Right now it's really a toss up as to which team is number 1. For the Steelers, Ravens & Jets, it just depends on how well the quarterbacks are playing. The defenses are good to great. They all can maul you in the running game. So its really all up to the QBs. I bet on Big Ben.

  2. I agree with Big Ron. My bet is on Big Ben. Sanchez and Flacco just aren't consistent enough. The combination of Ben and the Steeler defense gets my vote.

  3. Yeah Big Ben is clearly more proven than both. I would have to take Flacco over Sanchez at this point as well. I'm iffy on Baltimore because they don't have the defense they use to. Everyone always give them that benefit of the doubt because of their reputation but both the Steelers and the Jets have a better D in my opinion. Don't get me wrong they do have a good defense but just not as good as has been in years past.