By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Gimme Five — Rating The NFL’s Top Five Teams
NORTH CAROLINA — After four weeks of the 2007 NFL season, some of the teams, divisions and conferences are starting to come into shape. In that span, only three teams remain unbeaten while two teams have yet to taste victory.
As the weeks go on, the “contenders” will separate themselves from the “pretenders” which means some teams doing well may not look so good down the road while others who are struggling a bit may pick up some wins to get them back into the hunt for a playoff run.
With all that said, who is the best in the league so far? The following is my breakdown of the top five teams after a quarter of the season played with five other notables mentioned:
1. Indianapolis Colts: I don’t understand how a Super Bowl champion can come back the next season, when all of their games, look impressive in winning those games and some people would not have them rated as number one. What’s the logic and thinking behind it? Peyton Manning and that high-powered offense looks even more dominant this year than last and the defense makes big plays when they need to. Until they lose, they are my number one hands down.
Tough games remaining: Tampa Bay , Jacksonville , Carolina , New England, Baltimore , Houston and Tennessee.
2. New England Patriots: The Patriots look impressive offensively but it’s their defense that I underestimated. They have a group of players that don’t get much publicity but they are solid and discipline. On offense, Tom Brady and Randy Moss compliment each other well and are on the same page already. Patriot fans hope they continue that chemistry and Brady gets the ball because we all know what happens when Randy doesn’t get the ball. Just ask Minnesota and Oakland .
Tough games remaining: Dallas , Baltimore , Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh .
3. Dallas Cowboys: I have to say, I’m surprise how well Tony Romo and the Cowboys are playing even though the record of the combine teams they’ve defeated is 3-13. However, Dallas looks extremely good on offense scoring at will even without a consistent runner and WR Terry Glenn out for thus far. On defense, they are fast, physical and make big plays on defense. With a favorable schedule, the Cowboys should win the NFC East and if all goes well, put themselves in a good position to get to the playoffs and the game against the Packers on November 29th could determine home field advantage in the NFC.
Tough games remaining: New England, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Green Bay, and Detroit .
4. Green Bay Packers: Are the “Pack really back?” Packer fans would like to think so. The Packers success this season can be traced to Brett Favre limiting his mistakes and interceptions and a young Packer defense that’s fast and aggressive. If the Packers go to win their division and make the playoffs, they must continue that winning formula because like Dallas , the playoffs are likely and home field advantage throughout the playoffs is obtainable.
Tough games remaining: Chicago , Washington , Denver , Kansas City, M innesota , Carolina , Detroit , Dallas, and Oakland .
5. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers for the most part, have played well on both sides of the ball. If you ask Steeler management and new head coach Mike Tomlin if Pittsburgh would start 3-0, they probably would have said no. But they were 3-0 and could have moved it to 4-0 but loss a tough game to Arizona . In that game, “Big Ben” Rothlesberger had a crucial interception inside the red zone and the Steelers failed to convert inside Arizona’s five. If the Steelers want to be contenders in a loaded AFC , they must c ut down on turnovers, execute their game plan and Big Ben has to stop making costly mistakes during the game. As Ben goes so does the team so he needs to focus and make smarter decisions with the ball in order for the Steelers to go anywhere this season.
Tough remaining games: Baltimore , Cleveland , Cincinnati , New England, Denver, and Jacksonville .
All five teams have games on their remaining schedule that will be tough and all five teams have games they should win. It all comes down to who can win the games their suppose while upsetting a team or two along the way which could make the difference in making the playoffs or not and getting the top seed in their conference or not. Bottom line, it will be exciting for the fans of each team to watch.
Other notables (6-10):
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Looking good right now, needs to get healthy in the running game.
7. Tennessee Titans: Vince can do it all but he will need help from the ground game and the defense to get to post season play.
8. Baltimore Ravens: The same problem the Ravens have had in the past is still in their present. The offense is too inconsistent.
9. Seattle Seahawks: The book is still out on the Seahawks. Let’s wait and see what they do when they face better teams on their schedule.
10. Denver Broncos: Solid defense, great running game, but can’t seem to close games at the end. They better learn fast because they still have tough road and divisional games ahead.