By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Ten
PHILADELPHIA — Now that “Super Bowl XLI Â½” has been played with the Patriots (9-0) come from behind 24-20 win over the Colts (7-1), we know who the best team in football is at the moment. The game was good, but it was not even close to all of the hyperbole led by the four-letter network.
The Pats now have a bye week to prepare for their second half run at the 1972 Miami Dolphins season-long undefeated throne, but the Patriots need to show me more before I am a full believer. Each week team after team will get hyped to fight the town bully — 1985 Bears and 1998 Vikings, both finished 15-1 with lower level teams rising to knock them off for their only regular season losses — and I personally think either the Steelers in Week 14 or Giants in Week 17 will knock off the Pats.
There are now 19 teams with a .500 or better record after nine weeks including the undefeated Patriots. There are also 13 teams with losing records including two winless teams (Rams and Dolphins, both 0-8). Remember though that the NFL season is a long 17-week process that will no doubt go down to the last weekend for playoff spots, so every team except for the two wins or less teams still have a chance to get to the dance.
The key for all teams is you want to get “hot” and string some wins to together to make a playoff push in the crucial months of November and December (ex. 2006 Eagles went from a record of 5-6 to 10-6 and playoff spot).
1. Patriots (9-0) - Showed they “are the man, wooo” by beating the defending champion Colts in Indy. Tom Brady and the NFL’s hype can relax as “America’s Team” has the week off.
2. Colts (8-0) - The champs didn’t beat the Pats, but they showed when they get Harrison and Ugoh back they will be tough. Face the dangerous Chargers in a tough Sunday Night Football road assignment.
3. Cowboys (7-1) - Showed bitter NFC East rival the Eagles, who are the kings of the division as they dominated the Birds in Philadelphia. Will continue their NFC East trek as they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the G-Men.
4. Packers (7-1) - Favre went deep again as the Pack broke open a close game against the Chiefs. Will face the scrappy Vikings and you know Adrian Peterson will be ready to rumble against AJ Hawk and his crew.
5. Giants (6-2) - Had a bye week to overcome their jetlag from their trip to England. It is time to put up or shut up as they host division rival the Cowboys.
6. Steelers (6-2) - Made a mockery of the Ravens on Monday Night Football. Will be hosting their hated rival the Cleveland Browns in a game for AFC North supremacy.
7. Titans (6-2) - Had another ugly win, this time over the beat-up Panthers in an interconference battle. Will host the Jags in a game that should feature tough defense and two teams that like to run the ball.
8. Saints (4-4) - Won in overtime against the host Seahawks as their passing game continued to put up some big numbers. Have a tough divisional battle ahead of them as they travel to Pittsburgh, which is a place they have not won at in quite some time.
9. Lions (6-2) - Count me in as a believer as the Lions finally seem to be the real deal after beating the Broncos. Travel to Arizona to face the desperate for a win Cardinals.
10. Jaguars (5-3) - Lost a shootout to the Saints as their defense could not stop the rejuvenated New Orleans passing attack. Face the Titans in Tennessee as they try to prove they are just as good as any team in the AFC South.
11. Browns (5-3) - Continued their “Save Romeo” campaign by taking care of business versus the winless Rams. Host the Seahawks in a game of two winning teams with something to prove.
12. Buccaneers (5-4) - Did just enough to get by the Cardinals as the veteran combination of Garcia to Galloway turned back the clock to the 90′s again. Have a well deserved week off to get healthy.
13. Redskins (5-3) - A win is always good, but a good team should not need overtime to beat the woeful Jets. Will host the distressed Eagles in a NFC East divisional battle.
14. Chargers (4-4) - Could not stop running back Adrian Peterson as he made their defense look like Swiss cheese in a bad loss. Will need to rebound at home versus the Colts in a tough Sunday Night Football battle.
15. Chiefs (4-4) - May have lost LJ in a rollercoaster type loss to the Packers. Will need to get better play from their quarterback as they host the Broncos in an AFC West loser leaves the playoff hunt battle.
16. Seahawks (4-4) - Showed again that they are not the same team that won several divisional titles as they couldn’t stop the Browns air attack. Host the reeling Niners in a NFC West divisional rivalry battle.
17. Panthers (4-4) - Looked bad in a loss to the Titans where they might have lost another quarterback. Either Matt Moore of Vinny will lead the Cats as they host the hapless Falcons.
18. Bills (4-4) - This team believes in each other and it shows as they got to .500 by beating the woeful Bengals. Will try to avoid a letdown as they travel to Miami to face the winless Dolphins.
19. Ravens (4-4) - Were embarrassed on Monday Night Football by the Steelers as McNair look geriatric. Will need to rebound as they host the reeling Bengals in an AFC North grudge match.
20. Eagles (3-5) - Embarrassed by T.O and the ‘Boys on Sunday Night Football as Philly fans are demanding answers. Will look to rebound against the host Redskins in game that has huge season repercussions.
21. Vikings (3-5) - Adrian Peterson abused the Chargers vaunted defense in a possible season changing win. The Vikes will travel to Green Bay as the Pack tries to stop the NFL’s best rookie runner since Eric Dickerson.
22. Broncos (3-5) - The Lions showed them why they are one of the NFL’s best stories of 2007. Will travel to KC to face the Chiefs and their red storm fans in a game that will have AFC West upper and middle tier implications.
23. Bears (3-5) - Maybe their bye week helped them to get over their Super Bowl hangover. Travel across the country to face the Raiders in Oakland in a game they must win to jumpstart their second half.
24. Texans (4-5) - Moved closer to respectability by handling the Raiders. Have a bye week to see if they can get superstar WR Andre Johnson back on the field.
25. Cardinals (3-5) - The Bucs showed them how to win a tough game. The Cards will need to get better play from quarterback Kurt Warner as they will host the surprising Lions.
26. Raiders (2-6) - It will be JaMarcus Russell time soon as they keep rebuilding, but they lost again to the Texans. Host the Bears in a game they can win if they can pass the ball better.
27. Falcons (2-6) - Led by venerable back Warrick Dunn, they showed the Niners that they are better than them. Travel to Carolina to face the Panthers in a NFC South slugfest.
28. 49ers (2-6) - Lost to the hapless Falcons proving that they still are a below average team that has not lived up to their hype. Face the Seahawks in a NFC West grudge match on Monday Night Football.
29. Bengals (2-6) - Continued their freefall by losing to the Bills. With malcontent WR Chris Henry back (I think??) they will try to get a win in Baltimore versus the equally befuddling Ravens.
30. Jets (1-8) - Even with Kellen Clemens at the helm they couldn’t beat the Redskins in overtime. Have a bye week to work on their college scouting to see who they will pick in April.
31. Rams (0-8) - Had a bye week to work on getting healthy and producing a game plan to get win. Face the red hot Saints in New Orleans.
32. Dolphins (0-8) - Had a bye week to forget their long flight and loss in England. This could be the week they get their first win as they host the upstart Dolphins in an AFC East battle.
Byes: Houston, New England, N.Y. Jets, Tampa Bay.