INSIDER WEEK 5 POWER RANKINGS
By Glenn Bernardi
Jets Insider.com Contributing Writer
October 11th, 2007
1. PATRIOTS (5-0): Can you get to 5-0 in more dominating fashion than the Patriots have? They have averaged 36.4 PPG and surrendered an average of 13 PPG. That means their average margin of victory on their way to 5-0 has been 23.4 PPG. That is not supposed to happen through five games in the NFL. Maybe in college if USC plays five straight games verses the Little Sisters of the Poor, but not in the NFL where it’s pro verses pro and everyone gets paid.
2.COLTS (5-0): It’s not often the defending champs can start the season 5-0 and find themselves ranked number two behind anyone, and these guys have been pretty dominant in their own right, but right now it’s impossible to rank anyone ahead of the Patriots with a straight face, including the Colts.
3. COWBOYS (5-0): It’s Pats @ Cowboys this week and somebody’s 0 has GOT to GO.
4. STEELERS (4-1): Last week they skunked the Seahawks (21 to Zip) and that’s a nice way to go into your bye week.
5. PACKERS (4-1): Finally lose a game to the desperate Bears. They fought hard and led most of the way, but they couldn’t overcome five turnovers.
6. CHARGERS (2-3): I know I’ll get killed for this one, but I can’t bail on the Chargers just yet, especially not after they marched into Denver and torched the village to the tune of 41-3. Norv Turner or no Norv Turner, I have to believe this team will get on a roll, they’re too talented not to, no?
7. JAGUARS (3-1): Riding a three game winning streak after dropping the opener and I love their big/physical defense. RB Maurice Jones-Drew has gotten off to a very slow start after an impressive rookie season. If the Jags can get him untracked to compliment their defense they can be a tough team to beat.
8. TITANS (3-1): Either they’re playing over their heads or they’re better than I think they are. I suspect it’s the former, but they’ve earned this ranking for now.
9. REDSKINS (3-1): Interesting matchup this week with the Skins traveling to Green Bay. The winner will have a little more credibility.
10. GIANTS (3-2): Riding a three game winning streak after dropping the first two, and I don’t need to tell you who that third win came against.
11. CARDINALS (3-2): They dealt Pittsburgh they’re only loss and the Cards are playing pretty well with Kurt Warner. They have two exceptional big wide receivers Fitzgerald and Boldin. Can they make it three in a row verses Carolina?
12. TEXANS (3-2): It looks like another week without Andre Johnson, but Ahman Green should be back. This week they head to Jacksonville and that’s a tough spot when you don’t have all of your bullets in the holster. The Jags have an unforgiving/merciless defense.
13. SEAHAWKS (3-2): Got smoked it Pittsburgh and they lost Deon Branch for a few weeks, but they should be able to make it 4-2 over the Rams this week.
14. RAVENS (3-2): All defense and no offense, and even their vaunted defense is a little over-rated. It’s a bit of a front-runner/bully defense that plays well when everything is going their way and stumbles when the opposing offense hits back.
15. LIONS (3-2): All offense and no defense, only last week (Skins 34 Lions 3) they had neither of the two.
16. BUCCANEERS (3-2): Two weeks ago they lost Cadillac Williams. Last week they lost Michael Pittman. The feature back is now Ernest Graham and if he goes down its open tryouts for all you wannabe NFL Running Backs out there.
17. PANTHERS (3-2): They lost Jake Delhomme and David Carr is pretty banged up as well. This week they signed Vinny Testaverde and I’m thinking Mike Tannenbaum might have a taker for Chad Pennington if we turn the page to Kellen Clemens. If they’re desperate enough to sign old man Vinny, maybe we can steal a third round pick?
18. BEARS (2-3): How bout you, Bears … Can we interest you in an outstanding veteran QB (sales pitch) who knows how to win games in this league?
19. BRONCOS (2-3): Travis Henry is looking at a one year ban pending appeal for another failed drug test (weed) and somewhere Ricky Williams is thinking “I feel your pain”, and somewhere the Toronto Argonauts are thinking “Don’t throw out that bong just yet, we just found our next feature-back to replace Ricky”, and somewhere Mike Shanahan is thinking “#$&%!!”, and somewhere the Miami Dolphins are thinking “Misery loves company.”
20. 49ERS (2-3): Lost three in a row and they’ve scored a combined total of 26 Points over that span, 10 Points over their last two. Translation: This offense stinks.
21. RAIDERS (2-2): Okay, they beat two lousy teams (Browns and Dolphins), but last year they couldn’t even do that, they were the lousy team other lousy teams beat up on, so they’re definitely making strides.
22. BROWNS (2-3): The Browns are getting better. Much like the Raiders, they used to be a horrible football team, now they’re just a bad football team. By the way, I like this Quarterback Derek Anderson, looks like the Browns might have something there and I wouldn’t be too quick to just anoint Brady Quinn. I have to see more, but I think big-foot (Anderson wears like a size 19 shoe) has a shot to be a Good Quarterback in this league if he’s given a fair shake.
23. CHIEFS (2-3): How bout you, Herm. You know Chad is Great (sales pitch) and you need a Quarterback. Does a second round pick sound about right? (Always sell high to an easy mark.)
24. BENGALS (1-3): This is easily the most talented one-win team in the league, which means these are a bunch of shameless under-achievers.
25. EAGLES (1-3): When last seen Winston Justice was starting at left-tackle for an injured William Thomas and allowing RDE Osi Umenyiora to set new Giants single-game sack record (Six Sacks) as he teed-off on Donovan McNabb. Just to put that number in perspective, not even the great Lawrence Taylor ever had that many sacks in a single game. Not even the Giants all-time sacks leader, Michael Strahan. In other words, Winston Justice had one of the worst games at left-tackle in league history. Having said that, if Justice gets a crack at the Jets this week they might not beat him for one measly sack. If any defense can turn Winston Justice into the second coming of Art Shell, I think we all know this Jets defense can pull it off, such is the sorry state of the NY Jets pass rush.
26. VIKINGS (1-3): The Vikings have a very good defense and one of the best young Running Backs in the game (Adrian Peterson), but as Jet fans know all too well, its hard to win in this league when you don’t have a Quarterback who can consistently make plays, and its even harder when your Quarterback consistently makes plays for the other team.
27. BILLS (1-4): I watched that Bills/Cowboys game last week after watching the Bills upend our Jets the previous week, and these Buffalo Bills are playing their fanny’s off. They have a million injuries, they are so under-manned, but they are giving a maximum effort and for that I tip my cap to the Bills.
28. NY JETS (1-4): Then we have these clowns, the antithesis of the Bills, a team with no injuries to speak of yet they haven’t played four hard Quarters of football all year, not even in that one lousy win verses the winless Dolphins when they had to give Jet fans a collective heart-attack by nearly blowing an 18 Point lead in the 4th Quarter. Hey look, I can say a lot about this team and it would all be redundant, we all know this team is flawed and we know what holes need to be addressed, but in my view the first hole we can (and should) fix is that massive black hole at the most important position on the field, Quarterback. Pains me to say it because I love Chad Pennington, I really do, I think he’s a terrific human-being (first class) with every conceivable intangible you can ever hope for in an athlete, but his arm is shot (by far the weakest arm in the league) and playing Quarterback in the NFL without an NFL arm is like taking a knife to a gunfight. I’ve said it on the message board at Jets Insider and I’ll say it again, I believe it is time to turn the page and usher in the Kellen Clemens era, post haste!
29. FALCONS (1-4): I’d be scared of this game if I were a Giants fan. I just have a feeling the Falcons will offer a big effort this week at home and the Giants have not dealt with success very well during the Tom Coughlin era. This is exactly the kind of spot where the Giants can letdown after beating their cross-town rivals.
30. SAINTS (0-4): This is easily the most talented winless team in the league, which means these guys are the kings of the under-achievers.
31. RAMS (0-5): These guys are just battered and decimated by injuries, even more so than the Bills. I feel sorry for Rams fans because there is nothing more disheartening then suffering a slew of injuries right out of the gate and not even having a chance to complete. As a Jet fan, been there – done that.
32. DOLPHINS (0-5): I could have picked the Rams for this spot, but you know what, as a Jets/Yankees fan I need some good news so I’m throwing myself a bone this week, giving myself something to smile about, like oh say, the Dolphins having the worst team in football … and besides that, I really believe it … lets face it, this is not exactly a reach, the Dolphins are winless and need I remind you, if not for them the Jets might be winless too!