Friday, October 28, 2011

Tim Tebow Hype : How To Avoid It As The Descent Into The NFL Playoffs Begin Now

Tim Tebow has owned a great deal of attention from the media, football fans, and religious zealots long before the Denver Broncos drafted him last year. A former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow became a legend at the University of Florida by leading the Gators to a pair of national championships.

While setting several Southeastern Conference records, Tebow also became the first collegiate player to ever score at least 20 touchdowns in both throwing and rushing in a single season. He was a consensus All-America choice once and has been called one of the NCAA's best players in the 2000s decade.

Undeserved or not, the hype of his collegiate achievements have followed him to the NFL. huge part of this reason has nothing to do with the gridiron. It has to do with his personal life, which some follow at every turn.

Tebow's mother was told to abort her son during her pregnancy, as doctors expected a stillborn delivery due to an infection. His mother, a devout follower of the Christianity religion, refused and both mother and son beat the odds. After spending his life being home, he became the Florida Player of the Year twice in high school after being allowed to join a team at a school he did not attend.

The religious beliefs of his family has drawn a legion of fans, several who are unconcerned about his gridiron exploits and more concerned about his following of the same gospel they believe in. This was seen when he joined the NFL in 2010.

There have been many more Heisman winners to have played poorly in the professional ranks than there have been players who have been excellent. Since the award started in 1935, just seven players eventually were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This fact has followed Tebow, as has the fact many think of him to be more of a fullback than quarterback. While he has an immense desire to win, the mechanics he possesses is quirky and not considered good enough to succeed in the NFL by many.

While he hasn't completed even 50 percent of the passes he has tossed in his career, Tebow is 2-2 in his career starts. Whatever circumstanced led to those victories, most pundits agree is has been accomplished with a Broncos franchise that has more questions than talent on their squads the past few years.

When Denver came back to defeat a horrid Miami Dolphins team last week, the Tebow hype has been full blown. Even as the game was being played, the NFL's own website didn't even keep track of the match up like they typically do with all contests. Unless you were a Broncos and Dolphins fan actually watching the game, or you bought an NFL package that allowed you to view, the game remained largely shrouded in mystery.

With Brett Favre now retired, the media has been craving a replacement to dote over constantly. Tebow has come along to take this mantle, whether it is viewed as a good thing or not. Unless an injury ends his career, expect the camera to follow every move he makes for at least a decade.

Not every fan wants to follow this hype train, as many have never boarded it or had gotten off long ago. Those fans can concentrate on much more interesting and important stories that are going on during the 2011 season. Stories that could carry on to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

The Green Bay Packers are looking like a team that could be the first to repeat as Super Bowl champions for just the eighth time since the game was first played in 1967. They won last year despite having a plethora of key players injured, and now they are pretty much at full strength and the leagues only undefeated team this year.

Not only is quarterback Aaron Rodgers considered one of the very best at his position today, the Packers are one of the leagues top teams in scoring, passing, rushing defense, and yards allowed per game. Rodgers already has tossed the ball to 13 different players, seven players have caught at least 11 balls and scored a touchdown.

While they are a long way away from having a chance to repeat, the road traveled so far has been impressive. Even with all of this, Green Bay isn't even the only story in their division.

The Detroit Lions, one of the NFL's worst teams for the last decade, shot out of the gates at 5-0. While they have lost their last two games by 14 total points, this young team has shown an exceptional balance that belies their experience. They rank 13Th in scoring and 10Th in points allowed, a stat that could help the franchise reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

The tight end position is seeing a boom in production as well. Since most of the defenses in the NFL play a zone, the success of the tight end splitting the seam has become even more important. This has allowed quite a few become stars this year.

Only eight tight ends are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though there should be more. Men like Jerry Smith and Fred Arbanus belong, but most feel the first tight end ever selected, John Mackey, is still the best ever at the position.

While youngsters like Jimmy Graham, of the New Orleans Saints, and Fred Davis, of the Washington Redskins, have stood out this year, there are a ton of excellent players at this position at the game today. Many are good blockers, but they have enough speed to get downfield at break a zone scheme with their deep threat abilities.

Men like Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Witten, Ron Gronkowski, Kellen Winslow Jr., Tony Gonzales, Aaron Hernandez, Owen Daniels, Jermaine Gresham, Jermichael Finley, Dustin Keller, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and Ed Dickson are just a few who are important players on their teams as well. Pettigrew, Gresham, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Dickson are youngsters learning their positions as they accumulate impressive statistics.

Established veterans like Dallas Clark, Kevin Boss, Mercedes Lewis, and others, have yet to truly break out in 2011 due to injuries and quarterback struggles their teams are having. Wide receiver may get a lot of attention, mainly due to the diva-like behavior of a few head cases at the position, but the tight end in the NFL today has quietly become the consistent star a team needs to win often.

All eyes will be on Carson Palmer for a few weeks, monitoring his progress as he learns the Oakland Raiders playbook after having joined the team barely a week ago. He had sat out all year, refusing to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who also spent that time refusing to trade him.

After gridiron giant, and Raiders owner, Al Davis died, the team made the type of risky move Davis spent his career making by dealing away possibly two first round draft picks for the quarterback.

Palmer was thrust into action last Sunday, the first time he had ever come off the bench, and completed just eight of 21 passes. Three attempts were picked off, as the Raiders were dismantled 28-0 by the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.

The race for the services of Andrew Luck, a quarterback at Stanford University, has started to thin out some. Luck, who many think the 2011 Heisman is his to lose, is considered to be the best quarterback prospect in a very long time.

Two horrid teams this year, the Saint Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, are probably not interested in Luck. The Rams used the first pick of the 2010 draft on quarterback Sam Bradford, and the Vikings used their 2011 first round pick on Christian Ponder.

The main two teams in the "Battle for Luck" are the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins would love to draft him, especially now that it seems the injured Chad Henne's days are done in South Florida. Not only has Miami failed to win a game yet this year, it almost appears they are laying down in each contest in order to procure defeat.

Peyton Manning's neck is still not healing, even despite a radical stem cell surgery that had hoped to help. While heading to Canton as a first-year inductee, the Colts did not foresee this when they gave Manning a five-year contract worth $50 million before the 2011 season started.

Manning has led the franchise to two Super Bowls, winning once in a game was named MVP in. He has been to 11 Pro Bowls and has broken many Colts passing records that were once held by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, considered by most experts the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

Yet he will be 36 years old if he even is able to play next year. Luck would benefit sitting and learning from Manning in 2011, and there are similarities between the two. Both have fathers who played quarterback in the NFL, and both are students of the game who are known for being detail oriented.

While Miami would want to see Luck follow in the footsteps of Bob Griese and Dan Marino, the Colts would love to see Luck give them at least the same greatness as Unitas, Manning, Earl Morrall, and Bert Jones once did for the team.

Miami is battling the Colts for misery in 2011, since the Colts have failed to win a game as well so far. This epic battle of futility and Luck could see Indianapolis get an edge in two games, as the Dolphins host the struggling Chiefs. The rest of Miami's schedule appears difficult for them to win much.

The Colts, who have already lost to Kansas City, might have a harder time getting Luck. They have been trying to win and have been competitive in a few contests. Indianapolis will also face mediocre teams like the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars twice, as well as an encounter with the struggling Carolina Panthers in a month.

No matter who is the winner of this battle, the prize of being the worst of 2011 is a banner not to really be proud of nor promote in their quest to get a franchise quarterback of an unknown future. If Luck plays as many expect, maybe a ton of losses will look a little less uglier in a decade from now.

So there really is no reason to follow the evolving Tebow story faithfully, even if you are a fan of the game or a Bible thumping fanatic. With a lousy team that just traded their best receiver, it is doubtful many victories will follow. Especially if he plays like he did most of the game last week.

But he must win because he does not want Denver to be in a position to get Luck. If that happens, these could be your final weeks to get Tebow souvenirs and bask in the bizarre hype unless another franchise wants to take a shot at seeing how far they can go with the kid that has cameras following him everywhere.

Friday, October 21, 2011

NFL Comings and Goings Shine Loudest As Midseason Approaches in 2011

When the 2011 NFL season started, many pundits wondered aloud if the quality of competition would be effected by the fact training camp time was greatly reduced because of a players strike. While there have been many examples of this being true, the show must go forward.

This was seen with running back Jerome Harrison, who has been in the league since 2006. He was set to go to the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade this week, his fourth different team, but the move was halted by a physical detecting a brain tumor.

The trade attempt may have saved his life and career, thanks to the early detection. Harrison is known as the man who broke the immortal Jim Brown's franchise record by running for 286 yards in one game for the Cleveland Browns in 2009. It is the third most rushing yards in a single game in NFL history.

A few other realities have also shone forth. The Green Bay Packers are healthy and are on their way to being a serious contender in defense of their title. The duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick passed Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Don Shula for the most regular season victories one quarterback has ever had under one head coach.

While the Packers and New England Patriots are set at quarterback, other teams are not. The Washington Redskins benched Rex Grossman in favor of John Beck. The Minnesota Vikings appear ready to bench Donovan McNabb, who Grossman replaced in 2010.

Injuries caused the Miami Dolphins to go with Matt Moore, while the Saint Louis Rams will play A.J. Feeley this week. The Oakland Raiders, however, have been stealing the headlines recently.

After the death of gridiron giant Al Davis two weeks ago, the franchise made a move that was one the maverick owner would have liked. Oakland may have possibly given up two first round draft picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer, but it represents an upgrade at the position.

The Raiders has just gotten news that starter Jason Campbell with be out at least a month with a broken collarbone, and reserve Kyle Boller was not playing well. Palmer, who refused to play in 2011 unless he was traded, returns home to California. After having grown up in Orange County, he became a Heisman Trophy winner with the University of Southern California.

After leaving USC, he was the first pick of the 2003 draft by Cincinnati. Palmer battled with injuries to his knee and arm, making the Pro Bowl twice, but he grew weary of the Bengals losing ways. With the Raiders on the cusp of sitting on top of the AFC West, a revival of Palmer's career is there for the taking.

Another ghost of the NFL's past may soon reappear. The bombastic Terrell Owens is working out for teams in hopes of playing. While 37-years old, his age is not the issue with Owens. He is a clubhouse cancer who often lets everyone know it all about T.O.

Antonio Gates seems a viable candidate for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, but the seven-time Pro Bowler has been showing signs of breaking down recently. He missed a career high six games for the San Diego Chargers in 2010 with foot issues, the same problems that have caused him to play just two games and catch only eight balls so far this season.

He is set to return this week, something the Bolts need if they want to stay in first play in their division. Gates is only 31-years old, but he is in his ninth season. If his foot problems continue, this could be his last year in the NFL.

Olin Kreutz decided not to finish the 2011 before exiting the game. A six-time Pro Bowl center, he spent 14 years with the Chicago Bears and was known for his leadership and fiery passion for the game. He rejected an offer to stay with the Bears, which turned out to be an unwise move.

Kruetz joined the New Orleans Saints for one million less dollars this season, and even started in a few games. Realizing his skill set was not what it once was, he walked away from the game instead of stealing a paycheck. While a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team, his only real chance at Canton will come from the fact he played with the Bears.

While worthy of induction, players tend to get overrated by the media in cities like Chicago and New York. Yahoo Sports even went as far as to call Kruetz one of the greatest centers ever, which shows how much extra love someone gets playing in those towns.

While a very good player, there are better centers who are still awaiting their call into Canton for decades. Still, you have to respect a man who played football for the love of the game and not the money.

While guys like McNabb and others may follow Kruetz to retirement, it is likely they will do so after the season. With the loss of so many legends on the horizon, which may even include Peyton Manning if his neck injury never starts to heal., the "Not For Long" league will have to once again readjust as the show goes on.

Yo! Whut it iz? Dis iz 7thStone again. OK, I rebounded sum to 9-4 las weak, makin my overall record now 55-35. Now lets get too it.

Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins

To of da crappiest teems in football battle for supremancee at da top of da toilet. Tim Tebow cums home to Florida and wins again.

Broncos 10 Dolphins 9

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans looked bad las weak, sumthin da Texans have been doin four three weaks. Dis iz a game dat decides who wins da AFC South, in my opinion.

Texans 24 Titans 20

Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Da Bears playoff chances could dim cunsiderablee if that Bucs play up to dere abilitees.

Buccaneers 23 Bears 21

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions

OK, dis iz a big game four both teems. Da Lions are cummin off dere furst loss, causin dem to tumble into secund place in da NFC North. Da Falcons are a game behind too teems in da NFC South, so dey knead to keep pace.

Detroit's passing game should bee da key hear, cuz da Atlanta secundairy has just been mediocre so far dis seesun and quarterback Matt Ryan has been erratic a lot.

Lions 27 Falcons 21

Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns

I supposeda storeeline hear iz dat Mike Holmgren's former teem battles his new teem. Flip a coin, but da Browns just ain't movin da ball as well as Seattle.

Seahawks 30 Browns 17

San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Game of the Week

Jets head coach Rex Ryan recentlee ran his toesucker again, dis time by statin da obvious. Norv Turner sucks as a head coach and blew it with sum loaded Chargers teems over da yeers. As far as Rex sayin he would've won it all as a head coach of da Bolts? Dat iz sour grapes cuz San Diego had hired Turner over Ryan in 2007.

Chargers like Phlip Rivers play with fire, so I sea dem tryin to show Ryan he should shut up. Star tight end Antonio Gates is back, sumthin da mediocre Jets safeties are not happy about. Da teem kneads too win two stay ahead of da Raiders in da AFC West to.

Da Jets iz overrated. Mark Sanchez is a less den mediocre system quarterback, and da rest of dis teem just ain't pickin up da slack. A loss hear could kill dere playoff dreems two.

Chargers 27 Jets 13

Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers

OK, da Redskins FINALLY flushed dat hunk of shit Rex Grossman. But dere offensive line, witch was average to begin with, is now realing with injurees. At least dey is facin a Panthers defense missin star linebacker Jon Beason a whole lot.

Da problem with da 1-5 Panthers iz dat dey don't run da ball. Dey got too good running backs, and even paid one a whole lotta cash a few months ago. Dey just seam to ask rookie quarterback Cam Newton two due to much, even if da kid has been grate doin it.

I tink dey run da ball finally, facing a Washington defense that can bee gashed on da ground. Newton mite get da press, but dat iz OK if dey win. A Redskins loss hear could be catestrophic to dere seesun.

Panthers 23 Redskins 17

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders

You know what sucks about dis game? Al Davis and Lemar Hunt, two of da gratest football men ever, are now dead. Yet dis rivalree still lives on, thanks too them.

Raiders 28 Chiefs 24

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Arizona Cardinals

A rematch of Super Bowl XLIII. But da big difference is da Steelers are still pretty good and da Cardinals ain't. If Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb doesn't play well dis weak, da Big Redfans will be unhappy da Cards gave up soo much two get him.

Steelers 31 Cardinals 20

Saint Louis Rams @ Dallas Cowboys

So da Rams secundairee stinks and iz missin dere starting quarterback. Chalk dis up two da Cowboys.

Cowboys 37 Rams 10

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Donovan McNabb's daze as a starter end after dis weak.

Packers 38 Vikings 13

Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints

Is dere reely any debate hear?

Saints 41 Colts 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Too weaks in a row of aweful Monday Night Football games. Too weaks in a row of heerin dat idiot Jon Gruden babble not stop about nuthin to fill dead air during a dead game.

Ravens 30 Jaguars 10

Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. Detroit Lions
5. San Diego Chargers
6. New England Patriots
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Buffalo Bills
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. New Orlean Saints
11. Oakland Raiders
12. Atlanta Falcons
13. New York Giants
14. Houston Texans
15. Philadelphia Eagles
16. Chicago Bears
17. Tennessee Titans
18. New York Jets
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Washington Redskins
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Minnesota Vikings
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Carolina Panthers
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Saint Louis Rams
30. Denver Broncos
31. Kansas City Chiefs
32. Indianapolis Colts

OK, I iz outta hear! Time two make da donuts wif dis hunny I met at da race track da other day.

As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles Prove Money Doesn't Buy NFL Love

The Philadelphia Eagles face the Washington Redskins this Sunday in a game that can only be described as an encounter where their 2011 season is on the line. If this team has any Super Bowl aspirations, a fifth defeat could cripple their dreams.

Philadelphia is fighting history this weekend as well. If they finish the weekend at 1-5, the team must realize only the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals reached the playoffs after starting a season as poorly.

That Bengals team started the season 1-6 before rattling off seven straight wins behind Pro Bowl players like Lemar Parrish and Bob Trumpy. They would lose the first playoff appearance in franchise history against the eventual champion Baltimore Colts.

The offense has yet to really click for the Eagles yet this season. While ranking third best in the NFL in total yards gained, they have been struggling to consistently score touchdowns and rank 11th in total points scored. The offensive line, an issue that mostly has haunted head coach Andy Reid since he took the job in 1999.

It has to burn Reid's heart at this issue. He has won 60 percent of the 197 regular season games with Philadelphia, which makes him the winningest head coach in franchise history, but blocking is an area he is supposed to be an expert in.

Reid played offensive tackle in college, then got into coaching immediately upon graduating after his 1981 senior season. He coached the offensive line until the end of the 1996 season. His Eagles teams have produced just five Pro Bowl blockers since he took the helm, with only one that Reid drafted and developed, not something the head coach probably foresaw.

Philadelphia looked smart last year by trading quarterback Donovan McNabb and going with Michael Vick in his place. Vick, though known for a mobility that made him the NFL's top rushing yards leader by a quarterback in league history last week, has taken a tremendous pounding in 2011 because of Philadelphia's offensive line woes.

Vick has battled injuries and missed time this year, something the Eagles thought they had a contingency plan for by signing free agent Vince Young. Young has been to the Pro Bowl quarterback twice since being drafted in 2006, but he was not healthy enough to play when Vick went down.

Blocking isn't the only reason Vick has suffered. Though he is still learning how to be a pocket-passer, Vick has a propensity to hang onto the ball too long and take many unnecessary sacks.

The Eagles rushing attack is led by an excellent 5.8 yards per carry average from halfback LeSean McCoy, yet the Eagles still are ineffective in short yardage situations where a powerful running game between the tackles is needed. None of Reid's teams have ever excelled in this critical area.

If the offensive trenches weren't enough of an issue for Reid, his defensive lines haven't been much better in his Eagles career. Philadelphia has had a habit of getting tiny pass rushers who were weak against the run, often contributing to the reason Reid has yet to win a Super Bowl despite 119 regular season victories and nine playoff appearances in his previous 12 years.

Jeff Lurie has been a great owner since buying the Eagles in 1994. He is known for his loyalty as much as the generosity he has displayed to charitable causes. Reid's coaching staffs have shown a solid continuity for the most part, which can be seen with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Castillo has been with the Eagles since 1995, holding jobs in many areas. After coaching the offensive line since 1998, he moved over to defense this year. Critics are not only pointing to Philadelphia's poor run defense, others are looking at a secondary that has yet to meet expectations.

After spending a ton of money to sign free agent cornerback Nnamde Asomugha, as well as trading for Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Lurie bit the financial bullet by retaining the services of Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. Not only has the secondary given up way too many touchdowns on so few passing attempts, ranking 30th in that category, the group is not creating turnovers.

The Eagles tried to address the long-standing issue in their trenches by signing two high profile free agents in Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins. While the duo has already racked up a combined 12 of the teams 16 total sacks, they are also a reason the team ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed and last in rushing yards per attempt up the middle of the defense.

The team took a gamble this year by going with a bunch of underwhelming or unproven linebackers this season, and are losing big so far. Not only has the group mostly stunk in run support, they have been even worse in pass defense.

The fact the Eagles safeties haven't played great hasn't helped either. Kurt Coleman has struggled at free safety, which hurts more due to the fact Nate Allen has yet to play as well as he did in his 2010 rookie year.

Despite Lurie shilling out millions to Vick, Young, Asomugha, Babin, Bryant, Steve Smith, Ronnie Brown, and others, the results have yet to be met by a group trying to get acclimated with each other on the fly in a season truncated because of a players strike. Yet history shows pouring money into players does not equate to championships.

Whether it is the 2010 Miami Heat, the Ted Stepien Era with the Cleveland Cavaliers, or even the 2011 Boston Red Sox, the examples are plentiful. Sometimes the angle of spending a lot of money works, as George Steinbrenner showed by winning seven titles in his 37 years of owning the New York Yankees.

The season is not yet lost for the Eagles, especially if they defeat a division rival that Reid has triumphed over 15 times in 24 attempts. The Redskins, who are coming off their bye week, need this game to stay on top of the NFC East while trying to increase their lead with their second division win in as many attempts.

Washington will probably attempt to run the ball down the Eagles throats with their trio of excellent running backs. If they succeed, Philadelphia could see their 2011 season begin to end as the game clock expires.

The City of Brotherly Love is starving for a football title in the NFL, having not seen their team win a championship since 1960. They are known as passionate fans, so a let down by their beloved Eagles may lead to a large insurgence of fans calling for the firing of Reid.

With their season on line, let alone the Eagles careers of guys like Reid and Castillo, the team has their backs against the proverbial wall and must begin to come out swing like Philly legend Rocky Balboa. Hopefully their thrust will not be fictional like Rocky was.

Yooooooooooo! For doze of yous dat forgots about me, I iz 7thStoneFromTheSun, da distant cuzin of 3rdStoneFromTheSun Yo, I did suck las weak in my procrastinashuns. I went 7-6, and I now iz 46-31 overall.

Lets get too it!

Saint Louis Rams @ Green Bay Packers

OK, I know a lots of yous mugs tought da Rams mite go two da playoffs dis yeer. But dey will now bee 0-5, sumfin not many saw cummin.

Packers 37 Rams 21

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Da Jags never shuld have gone da cheep route and dumped quarterback David Garrard, cuz it iz cleer Blaine Gabbert aint reddy. Da Steelers will expose dat truth even more.

Steelers 23 Jaguars 7

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

As 3rd says, dem Igglez have spent like a billion dollars and iz 1-4. I'm picking da Skins running game hear, but dont bee shocked if suckass Rex Grossman trows da game away two Philly.

Redskins 27 Eagles 24

San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions
Game of the Week

Yo, dis aint 1950 so dont rub yer eyes in disbelief. Dis iz da game of da weak! Both teems got good defenses and quarterbacks picked furst in dere drafts. I tink it mite cum down too who runs da ball best, if dat iz a hint.

But Yo! Who hear saw dese teems a combined 9-1 cummin into dis game?

Lions 23 49ers 21

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

I'm not in love wit Matt Ryan or da Falcons pass defense so far dis yeer, but they can win if dey run da damn ball. Cuz Carolina sure as fuck don't.

Falcons 30 Panthers 28

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals

Da Colts blow chunks yo. Dey couldnt even beet da shitty Chiefs. Put dem down at 0-7.

Bengals 34 Colts 17

Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants

Eli Manning cemented his spot as one da most overrated players ever las week. Da Bills are a helluva lot better den da Seahawks, and dey will go downstate and leave 5-1.

Bills 34 Giants 24

Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens

Derrick Mason just joined da Texans, who iz strugglin all of da sudden, and iz facing a teem he spent six seasuns wif. Da Ravens will enjoy da fact star linebacker Mario Williams wont play for Houston again dis yeer.

Ravens 27 Texans 20

Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders

Just keep winning baby! R.I.P. Al Davis

Raiders 31 Browns 23

Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots

Tony Romo mite trow four 400 yards against dis crappy Pats secondary, but his teem has no answers for Tom Brady.

Patriots 37 Cowboys 28

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just when it looked like da Bucs was turning da corner, they laid a egg of shit las week. Dis alloud da Saints two sit on top of da NFC South. New Orleans iz ranked 28th in yards given up per rushing attempt, but rank fourth best in rushing attempts against dem cuz teems are trowing so much trying to play catch up.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees should enjoy facin a dissappointin Buccaneers defense, whose seasun mite be on da line hear.

Saints 34 Buccaneers 23

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

Get out da No Doz Sunday nite. Dat iz if you dont like smash mouth football in da Black and Blue division. Da Bears knead dis cuz da Packers and Lions are starting to run away in da race for da NFC North title.

Bears 24 Vikings 17

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Dis piece of crap MNF game iz a perfect reasun da New York City media kneads to shut da fuck up about dere overrated talent and why we knead to start ignoring dese boobs. Capeesh?

Da Jets suck! Mark Sanchez sucks dirty donkey balls and dat Jets defense looks old. Rex Ryan has been gettin his fat mouth closed a lot dis yeer so far. I dunno if he iz puttin his foot in his mouth or his wife's, but he should STFU until he has a reesun to talk.

Da Dolphins basically got Matt Moore and Sage Rosenfels as dere quarterbacks, which aint awesum. Both is sound reserves at best, but we will sea. I tink Miami better run rookie halfback Daniel Thomas 25 times against dat suspect Jets defense.

But da Jets will put 8 in a box cuz dey dont respect da Dolphins quarterbacks, which iz da rite move.

Jets 23 Dolphins 14

Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Detroit Lions
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Buffalo Bills
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. New Orleans Saints
7. San Diego Chargers
8. New England Patriots
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Washington Redskins
11. Tennessee Titans
12. Atlanta Falcons
13. Oakland Raiders
14. Houston Texans
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16. Chicago Bears
17. New York Giants
18. New York Jets
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Philadelphia Eagles
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Minnesota Vikings
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Miami Dolphins
26. Carolina Panthers
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
28. Cleveland Browns
29. Saint Louis Rams
30. Denver Broncos
31. Kanas City Chiefs
32. Indianapolis Colts

OK, I iz outta dis peace! I iz gunna lay down wif dis hunny I met at da bar and have her feed me grapes as I watch da games.

As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Incomplete : The 10 Worst Quarterbacks In The NFL Today

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

129 Interceptions and Fumbles in 72 Games
109 Touchdowns Thrown, 61.2 Completion Percentage, 84.0 Quarterback Rating
36-36 Record

When the Denver Broncos selected Cutler in the first round of the 2006 draft, they thought they had their quarterback of the future. Especially after he made the Pro Bowl in 2008.

Then the Broncos suddenly traded him to the Chicago Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton, first- and third-round selections in 2009, and a first-round pick in 2010. The reviews on Cutler have been mixed since.

His first year in Chicago saw Cutler lead the NFL in interceptions thrown. While he reduced his number of interceptions in 2010, Cutler led the league in number of times sacked and yards lost off those sacks. Though his turnovers decreased, Cutler threw an interceptions seemingly every game with a 4.1 interception percentage with the Bears.

While Cutler led the Bears to the 2010 NFC Championship Game last year, he still throws a ton of interceptions. He also endured a wrath of criticism for taking himself out of that championship game after spraining his MCL, even though Bears head coach Lovie Smith stated he made the decision to take bench Cutler.

Cutler hasn't really justified that big trade yet, and he has already tossed four interceptions this year. The plus side is that he is entering the second year under offensive coordinator Mike Mart's system.

The down side is that the Chicago offensive line has been horrendous at times.. If they improve, giving Cutler more time to throw, perhaps he quarterback will decrease his turnover rate and show Bears fans why their team mortgaged so much of their future on his arm.

Donovan McNabb, Minnesota Vikings

215 Interceptions and Fumbles in 165 Games
234 Touchdowns Thrown, 58.9 Completion Percentage, 85.6 Quarterback Rating
97-61-1 Record

It wasn't long ago quite a few thought McNabb was headed for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, especially after earning his sixth Pro Bowl in 2009. Then the wheels came off.

After being the second overall pick of the 1999 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, he started six games as a rookie. McNabb then proceeded to carry the franchise on his back the next decade. He is the Eagles all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns by a quarterback.

He was then traded to the Washington Redskins before the 2010 season, where he ended up being benched for the final three weeks of the season. Not only were there whispers that his productive playing days were over, some claimed he was out of shape and couldn't grasp the new offensive system he was playing under.

Washington decided to trade McNabb to the Minnesota Vikings at the end of the season. He has continued to struggle, as have the Vikings, to an 0-4 record so far in 2011.

His quarterback rating not only has gone down the past two years, but the 15 interceptions McNabb threw last year was a career high mark. He will be 35-years old soon, but some critics are wondering if his days as an NFL starter are about to end sooner than expected.

McNabb has endured his share of criticism since being drafted. Not only did a bunch of fans boo his selection that day, but he has had critics question his competence. McNabb has handled everything with dignity and class, and his selection in 1999 rivals Champ Bailey and possibly Torry Holt as the best first round draft pick that year.

If Father Time has indeed caught up with McNabb, he won't go down without a fight. He still ranks ranks fourth best all-time in career interception percentage in NFL history. He was the NFC Offensive Player of the Year after leading Philadelphia to Super Bowl XXXIX.

History shows quarterbacks nearing the end of great careers mostly never turn it on again, but people like Kurt Warner, Y.A. Tittle and others have showed it does happen. McNabb, who last year said he wanted to play for many more years, and the Vikings certainly hope he has some greatness left in him.

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

91 Interception and Fumbles in 58 Games
55 Touchdowns Thrown, 57.7 Completion Percentage, 73.8 Quarterback Rating
22-32 Record

Ever since Smith was the first overall draft pick in 2005, he has been on most lists as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. He was probably put on the field too early, but the 49ers could not afford to give him time to sit and learn his position.

Yet Smith has only lasted a full year at starter once so far. He also may be running out of chances to be the starter, especially since the raw and athletic Colin Kaepernick was drafted this year. It hasn't always been Smith's fault that he he has yet to show why San Francisco drafted him, because he has been sacked 142 times in his career.

With the best receivers at his disposel in his career, Smith's 2011 season has seen him complete a career best 67.3 percent of his passes so far. He also has tossed just one interception, despite having no running game so far. New head coach Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, has had a positive impact as the 49ers shot out to a 3-1 record.

Sometimes it takes a quarterback a few years to learn and get it all down. Canton has men like Len Dawson, Dan Fouts, Bart Starr and others as proof. So there is still a chance Smith can end up having a career comparable to those legends.

Tavaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks

44 Interceptions and Fumbles in 40 Games
29 Touchdowns Thrown, 59.3 Completion Percentage, 77.2 Quarterback Rating
11-13 Record

Jackson was drafted in second round of the 2006 draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He ended up starting in 19 games his first three season, but stayed on the bench mostly behind Brett Favre the next two.

He left Minnesota after 2010 and signed a contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson not only has good receivers like Mike Williams and Kevin Boss, he rejoined former Vikings teammate Sidney Rice.

It is his first season in a new system, as well as the first time in his career he is the anointed starter. He already has five touchdown passes, which means he will pass his career high of nine soon if he stays healthy. But Jackson has already tossed four interceptions as well, which has helped the 1-3 Seahawks rank 29th in scoring so far in 2011.

Since Seattle can't seem to get their rushing attack going yet, they will rely heavily on Jackson. After being played too early at the beginning of his career, he should be as ready as he might ever be. Jackson's entire career has been played under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, so system familiarity will not be a reason to hold him back.

Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins

71 Interceptions and Fumbles in 45 Games
46 Touchdowns Thrown, 54.6 Completion Percentage, 71.8 Quarterback Rating
23-15 Record

The Chicago Bears used a first round draft pick on Grossman in 2003. He did start seven games in his first three seasons, but the Bears started him all of 2006. He played decently as the Bears defense led the team to a Super Bowl before losing.

He lost his starting game after seven games the next year, and was released by Chicago after 2007. After sitting on the Houston Texans bench for a season, he followed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the Washington Redskins and ended up starting the final three games of 2010.

He is now the starter, but it may not be for long. Grossman still makes innumerous mistakes every game he plays, often forcing passes that often hit the defenders in the chest. Though he is in his ninth season, Grossman often plays like a rookie who has had minimal experience at the quarterback position.

With his high turnover rate, it will be interesting to see how long the Redskins will put up with him. They are a team rebuilding, but their 2011 schedule has had some luck in the fact that Washington has faced opponents bereft by injuries already.

At their current 3-1 record, it may be unlikely Grossman is benched even though the media has begun whispers a change is on the Redskins horizon. If this happens, it is probably the last legitimate shot Grossman will have as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

63 Interceptions and Fumbles in 35 Games
35 Touchdowns Thrown, 54.5 Completion Percentage, 71 Quarterback Rating
21-14 Record

Some fair-weathered fans might not like this selection of a guy who played college ball at USC, where he won a national championship, then has led a New York team a game within the Super Bowl each season since the Jets drafted him in the first round of the 2009 draft.

They basically gave up a second round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns, along with three players no longer in Cleveland, to get a player who became the first rookie quarterback to start for the franchise since their inaugural season. Both critics and fans of Sanchez have pointed to his lack of collegiate experience since that day.

Being a player in a fish bowl like New York is a double-edged sword. While a player may be severely overhyped much of the time, every move made is also met with scrutiny. Sanchez has handled this situation well so far.

Some call him a newer version of Trent Dilfer, a quarterback who once rode the Baltimore Ravens running game and defense to a title in 2000. The Jets are similar to that Ravens team in that their rushing game and defense is the main reason they reached the AFC Championship the previous two years.

Sanchez still makes a ton of mistakes, but he is in just his third season and was never allowed to sit and learn his position because of the $50 million he was given in 2009. But the Jets are winning, and that is all that matters at the end of the day. No matter who is manning the quarterback position.

Eli Manning, New York Giants

153 Interceptions and Fumbles in 109 Games
162 Touchdowns Thrown, 58.2 Completions Percentage, 81.1 Quarterback Rating
63-44 Record, Super Bowl XLII Champion and MVP

Manning made a few waves before he even played in the NFL after the San Diego Chargers used the first pick of the 2004 draft on him. Refusing to play with the Chargers, he was dealt to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers.

Manning started seven games as a rookie, splitting the duties with veteran Kurt Warner. The Giants were encouraged enough by Manning's performance to allow Warner to move on to the Arizona Cardinals.

While Rivers has gone to three Pro Bowls, as opposed to one for Manning, the Chargers have yet to reach a Super Bowl. Manning, despite leading the NFL in interceptions thrown in 2007, rode a strong rushing attack and smothering defense to Super Bowl XLII.

In a game most remember for a 32-yard prayer Manning heaved to David Tyree, who snagged the ball with one hand, the quarterback was awarded the Super Bowl MVP after two short fourth quarter touchdown passes helped New York win 17-14. That is enough legacy for most quarterbacks to hang their hat on.

Manning has two areas that both greatly help and sometimes detract from his true abilities. While playing in the fish bowl called New York, he is the little brother of future Hall of Famer Petyon Manning. His family has a rich legacy that carries him and often shades the reality of his skills.

Manning is coming off a 2010 season where he led the NFL in interceptions thrown for the second time in his seven seasons. Now entering his eighth year, he has thrown just two so far despite having several teammates hurt and many changes made to the Giants roster.

He may be the third best NFL quarterback in his own family, but Manning believes he is an elite player. That confidence will hopefully increase his completion percentage while reducing a high turnover rate.

Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders

94 Interceptions and Fumbles in 69 Games
72 Touchdowns Thrown, 61.1 Completion Percentage, 83 Quarterback Rating
29-39 Record

It has been a wild ride since Campbell began playing college football. It seems he has played in a new system under a new offensive coordinator annually. He has also played behind some porous offensive lines, leaving him vulnerable to being frequently hit.

Since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Washington Redskins, Campbell has been inundated with tons of plays by several different coaches. He has been reunited with offensive coordinator Al Saunders this year, a man Campbell played under the first two seasons of his career.

After starting seven games as a rookie, Campbell has basically started since. He has proven to be pretty tough and durable over this time. He was making progress in Washington, but ended up getting traded for a fourth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders after the Redskins signed free agent Donovan McNabb.

He was benched by since fired head coach Tom Cable for three games, all of which Oakland lost, before coming back to lead the Raiders to their best record since 2002. While the Raiders rushing attack has been the star of this team, Campbell has tried to work hard and develop a repertoire with his young wide receivers.

It may seem Campbell has been around forever, but he will be only 30-years old soon. Oakland is headed in a good direction and have the right man for the quarterback job, but must get better play from the blockers and receivers to help him out.

Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

37 Interceptions in 36 Games
31 Touchdowns Thrown, 60.7 Completion Percentage, 75.7 Quarterback Rating
13-18 Record

Henne was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2008 draft. After sitting on the bench as a rookie, he has started since. The results have been mixed.

While Henne's progress has slightly been slowed by the single-wing formation, also called "Wild Cat," his team frequently ran the first two years of his career, he also continues to make mistakes in his reads. Miami got him an upgrade of receivers to throw to, but his completion percentage had shown no improvement.

Despite having a good size and strong arm, his ability to check down to secondary receivers and not force passes to covered receivers has held Henne back. After having veteran coach Dan Henning teach him at the beginning of his career, Henne is now in his first season under Brian Daboll as his offensive coordinator.

With head coach Tony Sparano seemingly in his last season with the team, Henne appears to likely to have a new coaching staff in his future. Whether that is with the Dolphins or not will be determined later, as will be his future as a starting quarterback in this league.

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

10 Games Played and Four Turnovers
11 Touchdowns Thrown or Rushed, 50 Completion Percentage, 82.1 Quarterback Rating
1-2 Record

How can such an untested youngster make this list? When he is an overhyped entity, courtesy of the media and zealots whose view of him extends beyond the gridiron.

Critics say Tebow is basically a fullback at this stage of his career, and Denver has run him 44 times already in a career that started last season after the Broncos used a first round pick to acquire him. Despite a terrible 2011 preseason that obviously showed he isn't ready, his legion of fans cry his name all game.

The media has peppered Denver head coach John Fox with more Tebow questions than questions about the Broncos team, exacerbating the hype. Even with the Broncos coaches and players showing support for starting quarterback Kyle Orton, the media and a few fans keep harping on Tebow.

Tebow may not be ready until 2013, if the recent preseason was any indication of his progress, but that will not stop the factions who impatiently want him out there now. There used to be a time a quarterback would sit and learn how to be an NFL quarterback, and time is something Tebow needs a lot of.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

NFC East Leading Washington Redskins Head into Bye Week After a Big Win

It wasn't pretty, but the Washington Redskins 17-10 victory over the Saint Louis Rams propelled them atop of their division with a 3-1 record heading into their bye week. Though there is no time to celebrate, there has to be some pride of the work this team has put in so far.

Expecting to rebuild, general manager Bruce Allen wheeled and dealed during the 2011 draft. Nine of Allen's 12 picks have made the team, and the remaining three are on the practice squad.

With their two division rivals losing this week, the Redskins gained percentage points on the 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles, 2-2 Dallas Cowboys and the 3-1 New York Giants. Washington defeated New York already in the first week of the season..

The Redskins will prepare for the Eagles in a game two weeks from now, but they also need to use this time to work out some kinks. Critics will point to a soft schedule filled with injured opponents, but any victory attained in the NFL is truly earned.

The running game was clicking versus the Rams, something it has done several times since preseason. This time saw Redskins 2010 rushing leader, Ryan Torain, get his first action of the year and rush for 135 yards on just 19 attempts.

The passing game is still a work in progress. Quarterback Rex Grossman continues to turn the ball over, something that has been Washington's problem 18 straight games, and he had a series in the third quarter of the Rams game that was frustrating.

After Torain carried the Redskins about 40 yards, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan reverted to his bad habit of eschewing the run game in favor of the pass. He first had Grossman, not known for nimble feet, roll out to his left, where the quarterback quickly stumbled and began to fall to the ground untouched or without defensive pressure.

Grossman tried to thrown across the middle of the field, but a Rams defender dropped a sure interception. Grossman looked a bit lost after that play, causing the Redskins to take a delay of game penalty. Finally getting his team ready, he signaled center Will Montgomery to snap the ball but looked over to a receiver as the ball was hiked.

Though no turnovers game on that series, this series of plays killed the drive and forced Washington to punt. These types of moments must be ironed out during the bye week, because the Redskins might not survive such events in another contest.

The defense has carried this team, a sight Redskins fans have grown accustomed to over the past many years. The 21 points they allowed in a victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the second week is still the most they have allowed in a contest yet.

Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are a pair of first round draft that have made seamless transitions from defensive end to outside linebacker. While neither are as good in pass defense as they will be in time, the youngsters are creating havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

Middle linebacker London Fletcher is the leader of the defense, and Rocky McIntosh was a terror versus the Rams most of the contest. Washington's linebackers have benefited from stout play by the defensive line, as the front seven is the prime reason for their record.

The amazing part of Washington's defensive excellence is that they have done much of it without star strong safety LaRon Landry. Landry was easily the best safety in NFL in 2010 until an injury ended his season after nine games.

Landry returned last week, after recovering from a groin injury that had kept him out since training camp, but was seen going into the locker room early in the fourth quarter against St. Louis. He did return to play later on.

Getting healthy is obviously a priority of a bye week, so it will be a nice break for some of the Redskins with nagging injuries. The other positive of having the bye week so early is getting it getting it out of the way and plow forward with momentum the rest of the way.

Since the NFL implemented the bye week in 1990, seven teams have won the Super Bowl after enjoying an early break. Three more reached it after having their bye week early. The 1993 Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills had two bye weeks that season.

So this week is important for many reasons, especially since they are coming off a victory. The Redskins have had time to have their weaknesses exposed and the roster is healthy enough to try to do something about it.

If Grossman's prediction that Washington will win the NFC East this season comes true, hammering out the kinks with be needed so they can hopefully keep winning enough games to get into the playoffs. That, as well as good health and fortuitous luck, can help the Redskins continue to shock the critics who expected them to finish last in their division this year.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NFL 2011 Week 4 Predictions and Power Rankings

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys

You have to admire the Cowboys victory last week, considering they are so banged up along their roster. Still, kicking six field goals will not get it done against Detroit.

Lions 27 Cowboys 20

New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Saints cannot stop the run and the Jaguars best player is halfback Maurice Jones-Drew. Yet, in case you haven't noticed, Drew Brees is on fire.

Saints 30 Jaguars 16

Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns

Chris Johnson has only 98 yards on 48 carries, showing why training camp is so important. But that Titans defense has carried the club, ranking first in the NFL in yards allowed and second in points given up.

Cleveland isn't doing much offensively yet, but their pass defense is ranked third best in the NFL in passing yards allowed. If Johnson stinks again, the Browns will have an advantage.

Titans 20 Browns 17

Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Who here predicted the Buffalo Bills would start the season 3-0? How about 4-0?

Bills 24 Bengals 20

Washington Redskins @ Saint Louis Rams

The Rams will be happy to have star halfback Steven Jackson back in this must-win game against the Redskins. Washington has given up 252 yards on 41 carries to Ahmad Bradshaw, Beanie Wells and Felix Jones the previous three weeks.

That fact, and the fact opponents can always rely on Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman to make several key boneheaded plays each week, might be enough to get Saint Louis their first win this season.

Rams 20 Redskins 17

San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Frank Gore has struggled to just 148 yards on 59 carries so far. This hurts because the 49ers have one of the NFL's worst starting quarterbacks in Alex Smith. If Gore cannot produce against a beat up Eagles squad that is 30th in run defense, they have no shot.

The Niners are dead last amongst all NFL teams in yards gained, so the Eagles star-studded secondary might have to swipe a few of Smith's mistakes and carry their team to victory.

Eagles 23 49ers 20

Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs

This might be interesting only in the fact that it could be the last time Donovan McNabb starts in his career. The Vikings cannot continue to sit back and watch him play poorly, or the season will soon be lost.

Vikings 27 Chiefs 17

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans

Houston's defense looked like it was back in 2010 last week by coughing up 40 points after having given up just 20 total the previous two weeks. The offense, led by halfback Ben Tate, already has 90 points scored.

Pittsburgh isn't scoring yet, getting just 54 points so far, but the defense has given up just 55 in three weeks. Their 2-1 record has been aided by playing two lousy teams the past few weeks.

This is a statement game for both. Houston needs to show they are the cream of the AFC South crop, as many have predicted they will be this season. Pittsburgh needs to prove they are still strong Super Bowl contenders, as well as disprove the recent whispers they are an aging team in many important areas.

Houston needs to generate a pass rush against a beat up Steelers offensive line. Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may have a few special blitz packages drawn up for outside linebacker Mario Williams, especially since Houston has quite a few defenders dinged up with injuries.

The vaunted Steelers run defense has yet to play well, so they need to step up the week. Not only will they have Tate to deal with, 2010 rushing champion Arian Foster will see his first action this year. So it comes down to if experience Pittsburgh has will prevail over the inexperienced Texans.

Texans 24 Steelers 21

Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears

Carolina does not run the ball, just relying on Cam Newton to pass practically every play. This lack of offensive balance should play nicely into the Bears wily defense.

Bears 30 Panthers 24

Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks

Disappointing is how you could term both of these 1-2 teams. Neither have yet to play as many expected, but the Seahawks offensive woes will be the difference here.

Falcons 28 Seahawks 17

New York Giants @ Arizona Cardinals

Kevin Kolb has had sufficient time to break in with the Big Red. Now is his time to show why Arizona gave up so much to acquire him.

Cardinals 31 Giants 28

Denver Broncos @ Green Bay Packers

Is there any doubt who wins?

Packers 37 Broncos 20

New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders
Game of the Week

Oakland has the best rushing attack in the NFL, and are ranked the sixth best in points made. Their defense, however, is near the bottom of the league in many categories.

New England has the best passing attack in the NFL, but they too have a defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL in many categories and they will not have the services of starting defensive end Albert Haynesworth this week. Both teams also share the surprising distinction of losing to the Buffalo Bills late in the game.

Both teams need to win to keep from falling in their division. While the Raiders do not play in nearly as talented a division as the Patriots, this game could mean a lot later in the season to both squads.

It comes down to if the Raiders can stop the pass or the Patriots stop the run. It also may come down to the final play.

Patriots 38 Raiders 35

Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers

The Dolphins were great on defense but lousy on offense in 2010. Now those roles have reversed. San Diego can score, but their defense has been erratic.

This could be a high scoring affair, but the Bolts have the edge of experience for these types of games.

Chargers 34 Dolphins 31

New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens season has started pretty good, but not great. They rank 13th in the NFL in both yards gained and allowed. While their defense has given up the fewest points in the league, the offense ranks eighth in most points scored.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan knows this team well, having been the Ravens defensive coordinator just a few years ago. But his own vaunted defense is struggling much more than expected, ranking 31st in rushing yards allowed and 12th in points scored upon.

Ray Rice and Ricky Williams will need to have good games here. Both teams will keep it close until the final seconds.

Ravens 16 Jets 13

Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It really doesn't matter if Curtis Painter or Whistler's Mother plays quarterback, the Colts just plain stink without Peyton Manning.

Buccaneers 27 Colts 10

Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Detroit Lions
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Houston Texans
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Tennessee Titans
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9. Oakland Raiders
10. New England Patriots
11. San Diego Chargers
12. New Orleans Saints
13. New York Jets
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. New York Giants
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Philadelphia Eagles
18. Chicago Bears
19. Washington Redskins
20. San Francisco 49ers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Cleveland Browns
23. Carolina Panthers
24. Miami Dolphins
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Arizona Cardinals
27. Cincinnati Bengals
28. Minnesota Vikings
29. Saint Louis Rams
30. Denver Broncos
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Kansas City Chiefs