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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sportaholic NFL Power Rankings Week 5


The motor city was rocking last night with Detroit’s demolishing of Chicago, and just like that week 5 officially in the books and what a week it was in the NFL. Al Davis’s death sparked the Raiders back to their glory days as they took down the Texans. It was such an emotional victory for them and to be honest I didn’t know that his players felt that way about him. I always thought they despised Davis but you could tell that this game really meant something to them. Davis was one of the greatest pioneers to ever grace the NFL. His style and swagger could never be duplicated. Who else held so many titles (player, scout, GM, owner, commissioner) as he did? Who else had the balls to move his team back and forth to L.A., thumbing his nose at anyone who tried to stop him? RIP Al Davis, the things he has done good and bad for the NFL should never go unnoticed. Tebow mania is here for the masses as he nearly brought back the lowly Broncos against the Chargers. San Diego with the win is now 4-1 so you can throw out all of the slow start talk this year. San Francisco just pummeled Tampa Bay as Jim Harbaugh’s boys have the people of San Fran feeling likes it’s the late 80’s again. I don’t know what Harbaugh has done with Alex Smith but the renowned QB coach has got him playing the best ball of his career. What can you say about the Eagles? They are now 1-4 and fighting just to stay relevant. I just don’t understand why they are so bad on defense. You know besides the point of them running a lot of zone coverage schemes although they have three of the best corners in the league. Andy Reid has to figure things out because time is almost up for them to turn it around. Pittsburgh looked like they would score 70 points on the Titans # 1 ranked defense in the first quarter. I told all my people here in Tennessee don’t let Big Ben’s injury fool you, he will be ready and boy was he ever. The Steelers were a desperate team and played like it, Tennessee on the other hand played like a team that was just happy to be 3-1 and didn’t mind being 3-2 because they were not suppose to even be 3-1 at this point. Chris Johnson where are you my friend? A week after Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards on the Steelers D, Johnson was held to 59 yards. Johnson just can’t seem to get it into gear this year.





The Colts just can’t get on the board as they loss yet again to Kansas City.
Here is a suggestion for the Colts from my buddy Bart, why don’t they just put Peyton in the ears of whoever the QB is and let him breakdown what he sees from the opposing defense? Indianapolis offense is predicated on pre-snap reads thanks to Manning who has basically been his own offensive coordinator for the last decade. Who is the Colts offensive coordinator? I’m waiting….. Yeah that’s what I thought. He could give Painter or Collins everything they need to know as he would have a direct line to their helmet. Just a thought I suppose. Peyton’s little brother doesn’t quite have his decision making skills as he racked up another 3 picks in a loss against Seattle. If it wasn’t for Eli winning the Super Bowl, Giant’s fan would have ran him out of town by now. The Patriots finally decided to show up on defense as they beat their hated rival the New York Jets. BenJarvas Green-Ellis showed off some moves I didn’t know he had in that game. And of course the defending Super Bowl champs moved to 5-0 with their victory over struggling Atlanta.



1. Green Bay Packers (5-0) – The Pack just keep rolling and have figured out how to beat teams even when they don’t have their A game. Atlanta effectively played ball control and put 14 points on the Packers on their first two possessions. On top of that Green Bay lost their top OL Chad Clifton to protect Aaron Rodgers blindside. Mike McCarthy realized what was happening and made a few adjustments because Rodgers was feeling the heat and didn’t resemble his usual smooth as silk self. Once the offensive line was shored up, Rodgers and that vaunted Packer passing attack got into gear and the rest is history. Until this team is beat they will remain at the top spot.



2. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – Bye week. I had an interesting conversation with someone on Ray Lewis last night at my Monday night football party. It was a woman who thought that Ray was the most pompous and arrogant player in the league. It really threw me off because I’ve always thought that he was just a passionate player that wore his emotions on his sleeve. After a few beers and some banter back and forth I finally got her to realize this was a man who has done a lot of good things off the field and you can’t let his demeanor and pre game dancing fool you. I think most great athletes or in anyone for that matter that are good at what they do have a certain level of cockiness to them. It was great talking with an intelligent lady on a sports topic I had never gave much thought.



3. New England Patriots (4-1) – Last week I said I just couldn’t peg New England as a real Super Bowl contender until their defense showed some teeth. The guys in Boston must have heard me as they only allowed 255 yards to the Jets that are after averaging 477.5 yards a game on defense. I like the fact that they also did this without their defensive leader Jared Mayo as he was out because of a knee sprain. Tom Brady is and will always be Tom Brady as he threw for 351 yards and 1 TD. I was excited and intrigued to see how the Revis-Welker match up would develop as well. I know Revis wouldn’t be covering him the entire game but the Jets would put him on Welker when they needed to at critical stretches in the game. Welker still had 5 catches for 124 yards but it wasn’t those crazy numbers he was posting in the previous weeks. The Jets just don’t have that same resiliency they have had in recent years and this could be a down year for sexy Rexy’s bunch.



4. Detroit Lions (5-0) – Who knew right? The Lions are roaring right now and their victory over Chicago cemented my thoughts on them. I love the fact that the defense plays with such a nasty streak, led by that ferocious defensive line. The addition of Nick Fairley only strengthens what they already do with all of the rotating linemen Jim Schwartz likes to keep fresh. Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson will be one of the top QB-WR duos for year to come and the emergence of Jahvid Best (12 carries 163 yards 1 TD) is just another thing to worry about in that offense. They will be tested against San Francisco this Sunday as all of sudden that will be one of the top games of the week. The Lions also will give everyone a reason to watch the Thanksgiving game against the Packers as that is shaping up to be a monster game and could determine who wins the NFC north. Wow what a turnaround for this once morbid franchise.



5. New Orleans Saints (4-1) – Could have gone in so many different directions here with Buffalo, San Diego, and San Francisco all being 4-1 but I will give it to the Saints. New Orleans is kind of flying under the radar at this point but they clearly are the best team in the tough NFC South. Tampa just got blown out by San Fran, Atlanta is too inconsistent and Carolina is too young and inexperienced to pose a threat. So the Saints are all but a shoo in to make the playoffs by winning that division. They haven’t lost a game since the opening weekend against Green Bay and they could have won that one as well. Drew Brees remains on the pantheon of great QBs right now as he continues to get it done no matter what comes his way. The Saints will keep on marching as they should beat their next four opponents (Tampa Bay twice, Indianapolis, and St. Louis) before taking on ATL for what could be for the division on Nov 13.



Offensive player of the week: Drew Brees – When your stat line reads 32/45 for 359 yards and 2 TD passes, then you did everything and more that is expected from you as a QB. Brees is becoming another version Peyton Manning because I really believe that if you take him out of that offense than it would sputter to a halt. He does so much and has such chemistry with coach Sean Payton that its like those guys are one. Brees also stayed on pace to break Dan Marino’s all-time passing yards record but who isn’t on pace to break that record at this point. Just another day at the office for Mr.Brees.






Defensive player of the week: Jared Allen – Allen was his usual mad man self as he took down Arizona QB Kevin Kolb twice and was pretty much in his face all day. Minny needed someone to step up rather it be on defense or offense to get them off the skid and Allen was the man who set the tone for them. Good to see them finally finish a game and not give it up in the second half.

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