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Pyper's Power Rankings - Week 5

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  1. PYPER

    PYPER Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    PYPER’S POWER RANKINGS

    Parity is a word that often gets associated with the NFL in the free agency era but it doesn’t seem to fit the 2009 landscape. The gap between the haves and have-nots is one of the season’s biggest stories. Heading into week five we’ve got five teams that remain undefeated and six teams still searching for their first win. We’ve also got eleven teams with at least 3-1 records (plus two 2-1 teams) and another eleven teams at 1-3 or worse. Perhaps things will even out as the season moves along but unless you’re a fan of one of the bottom feeders, you’ve gotta love the competitive races taking shape across the league. Theoretically, it’s possible for 10 or so teams to finish 4-12 or worse and if that were to happen, we could also see the first 12-4 team miss the playoffs. And I thought the 11-5 Patriots got jobbed last season. Nothing is as frustrating as having a great season and feeling like you could make a deep postseason run only to find yourself on the outside looking in. My solution. Create an “exception” where you expand the playoffs but only in seasons when a 3rd or 4th Wild Card eligible team wins 11 or 12 games. If a team wins 11 and especially 12 games, they should get in. The fans of those teams deserve to see what their team could do. In such years, one or both of the 1st round byes could be removed. Then you would have a full day of football on Wild Card Weekend. A game at 1, 4 and then the primetime game at 8. What could be better than that? Anyhow, here are the rankings. Please note that I decided to only include comments for the top 15 teams.


    32) St. Louis Rams (0-4, Last Week: #29)
    (Next Game: Minnesota)

    31) Cleveland Browns (0-4, Last Week: #32)
    (Next Game: at Buffalo)

    30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4, Last Week: #31)
    (Next Game: at Philadelphia)

    29) Kansas City Chiefs (0-4, Last Week: #30)
    (Next Game: Dallas)

    28) Oakland Raiders (1-3, Last Week: #26)
    (Next Game: at New York Giants)

    27) Tennessee Titans (0-4, Last Week: #23)
    (Next Game: Indianapolis)

    26) Buffalo Bills (1-3, Last Week: #18)
    (Next Game: Cleveland)

    25) Washington Redskins (2-2, Last Week: #28)
    (Next Game: at Carolina)

    24) Detroit Lions (1-3, Last Week: #27)
    (Next Game: Pittsburgh)

    23) Carolina Panthers (0-3, Last Week: #24)
    (Next Game: Washington)

    22) Seattle Seahawks (1-3, Last Week: #22)
    (Next Game: Jacksonville)

    21) Houston Texans (2-2, Last Week: #21)
    (Next Game: at Arizona)

    20) Miami Dolphins (1-3, Last Week: #25)
    (Next Game: New York Jets)

    19) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2, Last Week: #20)
    (Next Game: at Seattle)

    18) Arizona Cardinals (1-2, Last Week: #19)
    (Next Game: Houston)

    17) Dallas Cowboys (2-2, Last Week: #11)
    (Next Game: at Kansas City)

    16) Green Bay Packers (2-2, Last Week: #15)
    (Next Game: Bye)

    15) San Diego Chargers (2-2, Last Week: #6)
    Will the real San Diego Chargers please stand up. In recent years the Chargers have developed a reputation as a Jekyl & Hyde type of team. That was never more apparent than in Pittsburgh last week. Are the Chargers the team that fell behind 28-0 or the one that rallied to make it a one score game late in the fourth quarter?
    (Next Game: Bye)

    14) Atlanta Falcons (2-1, Last Week: #14)
    The Falcons return from their bye week with a long road trip to San Francisco against the surging 49ers. Atlanta needs the win in a big way to keep pace with the unbeaten Saints in the NFC South division.
    (Next Game: at San Francisco)

    13) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2, Last Week: #17)
    Facing adversity and the chance at falling to 1-3, the Steelers offense exploded against the Chargers. For the first time this season, the Steelers unleashed a dominant running game and reminded the rest of the league who the defending champions are.
    (Next Game: at Detroit)

    12) Cincinnati Bengals (3-1, Last Week: #13)
    The Bengals were pushed to the brink by a motivated Browns team but they survived and got the “W”. That’s what good teams do. I’m still not ready to call the Bengals a good team but they’re making progress. The Bengals now head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in an early season battle for first place. With victories over the Browns and Steelers already notched on their belts, a Bengals victory here would be huge for their playoff aspirations. QB Carson Palmer and the rest of the Cincinnati offense must play better if they plan on taking down the Ravens.
    (Next Game: at Baltimore)

    11) Chicago Bears (3-1, Last Week: #16)
    The Chicago overcame another slow start to claim their third consecutive victory. Tied at 21 with the Lions at the half, Johnny Knox took the opening kickoff of the second half 102 yards for the touchdown and the Bears never looked back. The victory allows Chicago to enjoy their bye week before hitting the road the following two weeks to take on the Falcons and Bengals.
    (Next Game: Bye)
     
  2. PYPER

    PYPER Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    10) Philadelphia Eagles (2-1, Last Week: #8)
    The Eagles dropped two slots during their bye week due to impressive wins from teams ranked below them but they have an excellent opportunity to regain some ground over the next three weeks with games against NFL weaklings, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Washington. That means the Eagles should be 5-1 when they host the Giants on November 1st.
    (Next Game: Tampa Bay)

    9) San Francisco 49ers (3-1, Last Week: #10)
    It took them a half to get back on track but the 49ers put the bad taste of their loss in Minnesota behind them with a blowout of the struggling Rams. This week San Francisco plays host to the Atlanta Falcons in what should be an intriguing game with playoff implications. RB Frank Gore is likely out another week or so but the good news is that the 49ers finally signed rookie holdout WR Michael Crabtree.
    (Next Game: Atlanta)

    8) Baltimore Ravens (3-1, Last Week: #4)
    Can somebody please send Baltimore some tissues. I’m not going to tell you there weren’t some questionable calls in the game but those questionable calls went both ways. Like the calls or not, the refs were consistent with how they called that game. The difference in the ball game was that the Patriots capitalized on their opportunities and cashed in with touchdowns and the Ravens didn’t. Baltimore had their share of opportunities but when the game hung in the balance, the Ravens dropped the ball. Champions own the big moments; pretenders get owned by them. At the end of the day, excuses are for losers. Always have been and always will be. Man up Baltimore. For goodness sake, take off those dresses and put some pants on (Thanks Rodney).
    (Next Game: Cincinnati)

    7) New England Patriots (3-1, Last Week: #9)
    Quirky Stat of the Week. Week five will be the fifth straight week that the Patriots take on an opponent who came into the game undefeated. The Bills (0-0), Jets (1-0), Falcons (2-0), Ravens (3-0) and now the 4-0 Denver Broncos. No franchise has caused Patriots’ Nation more heartache than the Denver Broncos. Historically, Denver has been a house of horrors for the Patriots. Dating all the way back to the late 1960’s and including the playoffs, the Patriots have lost 14 of their last 16 games in Denver. Even the Brady/Belichick dynasty teams have struggled playing the Broncos. Tom Brady sports a career record of just 1-5 against Denver compared to an astonishing 103-23 record in all his other starts (those numbers include the postseason).
    (Next Game: at Denver)

    6) New York Jets (3-1, Last Week: #1)
    The Jets may have lost the game to New Orleans but in my eyes they proved they are no fluke. This team is for real. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez struggled with two costly turnovers but once again, the defense impressed with yet another stellar performance against an explosive offense. The Jets defense held Drew Brees and company to 10 points. This week the Jets must travel to play a desperate Miami team coming off an impressive win over Buffalo. Forget the records of these two teams. This should be a competitive game. The Dolphins have the defense and running game to give the Jets all they can handle. The winning team will likely be the team who’s QB doesn’t blow it.
    (Next Game: at Miami)

    5) Denver Broncos (4-0, Last Week: #12)
    No team shot up further in the rankings than the Denver Broncos who moved up seven spots to #5. Through four weeks of the season, there hasn’t been a better-coached team than these Broncos. Head Coach Josh McDaniels and Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan have done a masterful job in transforming this team into contenders in their first year on the job. QB Kyle Orton has played mistake free football (zero interceptions) and now sports a surprising 25-12 record as a starter in the NFL. But the big story in Mile High is the resurgent defense. The Broncos have speed everywhere on defense and have only given up 26 points through four games. This week Coach McDaniels will try to keep it going against his former mentor and fellow hoodie-wearing hero Bill Belichick.
    (Next Game: New England)

    4) Minnesota Vikings (4-0, Last Week: #7)
    The Vikings looked outstanding in dismantling a good Packers team Monday Night. The defense had eight sacks and Brett Favre never looked better. Add in A.P. and this team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
    (Next Game: at St. Louis)

    3) Indianapolis Colts (4-0, Last Week: #5)
    When the season began it appeared as if Indy’s reign atop the AFC South was over but once again the Colts are poised to run away with another division title. Peyton Manning looks to extend his streak of four consecutive 300 yard performances against a Titans team that appears ready to throw in the towel on the season. Then again, if any team can bring out Tennessee’s A game it would probably be the Colts.
    (Next Game: at Tennessee)

    2) New York Giants (4-0, Last Week: #3)
    The Giants keep rolling along against NFL weaklings this weak as they host the league’s laughing stock franchise, the Oakland Raiders. QB Eli Manning will likely be a game time decision but the hope here is that the team rests him in preparation for next week’s battle with the top ranked Saints. It would be real disappointing if he reaggravates the injury and misses next week’s game.
    (Next Game: Oakland)

    1) New Orleans Saints (4-0, Last Week: #2)
    The Saints survived the season’s first #1 vs #2 battle thanks to two defensive scores. Their reward… A week of rest before they take on the second ranked Giants in another #1 vs #2 matchup.
    (Next Game: Bye)
     
  3. Aerobahn

    Aerobahn Rookie

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    Good list but I would have Giants above New Orleans. I think Minny and Denver are a bit high despite their records.
     
  4. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    i like this guy

    and hes rankings arent too shabby either
     
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good rankings. I think your top 8 are clearly the top 9 teams through 4 weeks based on record, caliber of opponent and quality of play. I think your top 4 are clearly the top 4 teams, and you can argue the order (I would have the Giants 1 and NO 2, but it's personal preference at this point). I think your 5-8 teams are clearly a half-step behind at this point, and could also be reordered pretty easily (though I agree with your order). Denver can make an argument for top 4 consideration based on record and defensive domination, but their strength of schedule and lack of offense put them a tad behind the others as far as I am concerned.

    I think SF at #9 is justifiable, but I would put Cincy at #10. If SF is a Favre miracle pass away from being 4-0, Cincy is a Denver miracle play away as well. They've played well against 4-0 Denver and won against defending SB champ Pittsburgh and Green Bay, all solid teams.
     
  6. moosekill

    moosekill Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Good job I guess, although Denver beats the number 11 team and move from 12 up to #5 and the Pats beat the number 4 team and move from 9 to 7.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
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