Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The NFL's Top 10 as of week 8


I was going to wait until we hit the half way point of the season to throw something like this out there but I am bored right now and have nothing better to do so here it goes....

#1. Indianapolis Colts - Say what?? Not Da Bears?? Sorry folks, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon just yet. I'll take Peyton Manning & Marvin Harrison over Rex Grossman & Bernard Berrypicker any day. As for the defense, it still needs a little work but if they can score at will, who cares if their defense isn't perfect.

#2. Chicago Bears - I'm still not sold on them after barely beating the Cardinals (although it was very impressive to have absolutely no offense on the road, turn the ball over 6 times and still win) and their only truly impressive victory coming at home against the Alexanderless Seahawks but it is hard to vote against that D. Expect Rex to become less effective, especially against better teams and for them to fall back to earth a bit in the 2nd half of the year.

#3. Denver Broncos - A slightly less sexy version of Da Bears, who rely on their defense and running game to win. Jake Plummer looks terrible so far this year and that is saying a lot since he isn't very good to begin with. They should continue to win close games as the defense hangs tough but their passing attack will eventually have to come into play if they want to win it all because one of these weeks they will give up an early lead and need to come from behind....question is can they do it.

#4. New Orleans Saints - Can't believe this is true but Drew Bress and Co. are the real deal. What they did at the end of the Philadelphia game was the sign of a very good football club. If anyone told me that they'd make the playoffs this year in August I would have said you're nuts....now I'd say you must have a crystal ball. Look out for these guys in January.

#5. New England Patriots - Somehow someway they win every year. What once looked to be a season on the brink of disappointment with the Deion Branch saga and roster full of aging playmakers, the Pats have found new life in their running game and still have a QB who finds ways to win games with whatever weapons he has around him. Amazing.

#6. New York Giants - Coming off a huge road win in Dallas, the G-men are starting to peak heading into the midway point of the year. Their pass rush has come to life the past 2 weeks and Tiki is having fun being the best all-purpose RB in the NFL. A good combo to have come playoff time.

#7. Carolina Panthers - I know they just lost a game to a team fighting to find it's true identity, but since Steve Smith has returned, they look like one of the better all around teams in the NFL that could upset a lot of talented clubs in January (Chicago 2005 anyone???). If Jake Delhomme throws that late interception away and they get a FG, they probably would have won.

#8. Atlanta Falcons - A big win over the defending Superbowl Champs moves them into the top 10, although the Steeler's defense was uncharacteristically vunerable and Vick actually threw for multiple TDs so it may have been an aberration...only time will tell. Either way I don't see them beating a team that can shut down the run come playoff time.

#9. San Diego Chargers - A surprising loss to the Chiefs after many experts were calling them the best team in the NFL a week ago now have some scratching their heads as to what in the world went wrong.....any given Sunday.

#10. Philadelphia Eagles - A little bit of homer and a little bit of sifting through the unfortunate handful of plays that have cost this team a win or two. Take away the Plastic man's fumble for a TD in week 2 and give the Eagles a FG at the end of the first half against Tampa Bay and they'd be in the top 4 at 6-1. The reality is that those plays did (or didn't) happen and they are sitting at 4-3 looking up at the Giants in the NFC East. Will they be able to correct those little things and play as great as they can or will they continue to let the little things lead them to frustrating losses....I have confidence that they'll get things right in a hurry and we'll all get to see just how far this high octane offense can carry them.


Those just missing:

Baltimore Ravens - Defense is legit but questionable victories over Cleveland & San Diego and a 2 game losing streak have me worried, not to mention the disarray on offense that always seems to be there with this club. Billick better turn it around or I say it's time to kick him to the curb.

Minnesota Vikings - Huge win over the Seahawks on the road but that was with 2 uncommon big plays out of their offense and against a team trying to play catch up with a QB who has never played in a meaningful situation before the 2nd half of that game. Like the D and use of The Molester to control the clock but again I don't see this team being able to run with the big dogs in the winter as they lack the consistent big play ability on offense.

Dropping faster than the temperature in the Northeast:

Seattle Seahawks - Injuries piling up after a crushing loss to Chicago, a very close questionable win against St. Louis and a thrashing dished out by the Vikes at hoe this past weekend, things are not looking very good for the Seabirds. Can Seneca & Maurice keep the ship afloat until the big guns get healthy....I'll take my bets elsewhere.

Dallas Cowgirls - Bounced back from the defeat in Philly and TO controversy with a big win against the horrible Texans but now face a QB controversy in the middle of the season after being bull rushed by the G-men. Looks like there may be big trouble in big D....at least TO is happy since he is now scoring.

That is all I have for now but will be back soon after week 8 to recap the season's first half and update my rankings and predictions (BTW, I know my Superbowl picks are not looking very good at this point....didn't even mention the Bengals here, but maybe CJ & Marv will pull it all together over the next few weeks). Keep ballin ballers, YUH!

-X