Welcome back to the MikesPickz NFL Power Rankings. Another great week in the NFL last week. Several stories headlined the weekend games. The Titans hit rock bottom, at least they hope so, by losing to the Patriots 59-0. The Saints exposed a major weakness of the Giants in their 48-27 win, and the Broncos showed once again that they are an elite team in the NFL, by shutting down the potent Chargers’ offense. The Jets and Ravens continued their losing streaks and both teams have yet to win since starting 3-0. The Eagles forgot that they had a game, and lost to the Raiders (yes they really did lose). Let’s see how these headlines affected the rankings:
*As you probably know by now, teams are ranked into tiers, teams within a tier are teams I expect to finish with similar records and thus may be interchangeable in my opinion.
- Saints– How good are the Saints? They destroyed the Giants in week 6. The Saints are the most complete team in the NFL. They average 430 yards per game (#1 in the NFL), they average 38.4 points per game (#1 in the NFL), they have the 4th best running game and the 7th best passing game, they allow 18.6 points per game (#10 in the NFL) and they allow only 301.2 yards per game (#9 in the NFL). They looked very good against the Giants and should be able to handle the Dolphins in week 7.
- —Colts– The Colts were idle in week 6 and therefore do not lose their ranking of #2. The Colts are well coached and Peyton Manning is having an amazing season (300+ yards in every game), plus they play amazing defense (2nd fewest points allowed per game.)
- Vikings– As predicted the Vikings needed some more Favre magic to beat the Ravens in week 6. The Vikings were dominating the game against the Ravens, until the 4th quarter that is. The 4th quarter is where the Ravens actually made it a game. They took the lead before Favre threw a 60 yard bomb, that set up the go ahead field goal. The Vikings then preceded to allow the Ravens to go down the field and get a good chance at a game winning field goal that went wide left. They get a tough match-up in Pittsburgh in week 7.
- Broncos– The Broncos have moved to elite status in the NFL after their win against the Chargers. They beat the Chargers in San Diego and held the Chargers to just one offensive touchdown. The Broncos are playing incredible football under the young Josh McDaniels. Their defense allows the fewest points per game in the NFL and Kyle Orton is way underrated at quarterback. Orton is 27-12 as a starter in the NFL, who said the Broncos got the short-end of the Cutler trade? They also have a solid special teams unit, Royal had 2 TDs (1 punt and 1 kick) against the Chargers.
- Giants– The Saints really exposed the Giants in week 6. The Giants secondary is not effective when the front 7 cannot generate a pass rush. Brees was given time to throw and he just picked the Giants secondary apart. The offense was also stalled, because the Saints jumped to an early lead causing the Giants not to be able to stick with the run the entire game.
- —Falcons– The Falcons played some solid defense in the red zone against the Bears in week 6- Matt Forte had 2 fumbles in his career and they he fumbled on back to back plays inside the 5 yard line. Matt Ryan is a solid quarterback continuing to grow in the NFL.
- Patriots– “Disappointing loss in OT to the Broncos.”- That is what I said last week in the power rankings, and I think everyone on the Patriots agreed 100% with me. They had the 0-5 Titans come to town and they simply destroyed them. Typically in the snow (yeah it was snowing), a team runs heavy- not the Patriots. They came out firing and won the game 59-0. Brady set an NFL record with 5 TD passes in one quarter (yes, you read it right one quarter). The Patriots are back.
- —Eagles– Wow did the Eagles lay a dud in Oakland. The Eagles lost to the lowly Raiders, 13-9. In that same day, the Phillies scored 11 runs against the Dodgers. How many times in Philadelphia history have the Phillies scored more than the Eagles in the same day? I am willing to say never. The Eagles couldn’t even score a TD against the Raiders. This sets the team back, luckily they are in Washington next week. Wait, hold that thought, if the Eagles could lose to the Raiders, they can lose to the Redskins, but I don’t think they will let that happen.
- Packers– They handled their business against the Lions in week 6. They beat the Lions 26-0, but it was still not a complete win for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers still got sacked 5 times in the game, the Packers need to fix the offensive line if they are to attempt to win the division over the Vikings.
- Steelers– The Steelers continued their offensive rhythm against the Browns in week 6. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 400 yards with 2 TDs and only 1 INT. The Steelers have played well over the past 3 weeks since losing 2 consecutive games. The passing game has been especially good this season.
- —Ravens– The Ravens started the season 3-0 and have now fallen to 3-3. I will give them credit, they played solid football in the 4th quarter against the Vikings. It was amazing that they were able to take the lead, and then come so close to pulling the upset (as previously mentioned, they missed a game winning field goal). They have the BYE week at the perfect time, they need to regroup and come out in week 8 playing their best football against the Broncos. If they don’t bring everything they have to that game, they will have a 4 game losing streak.
- Bengals– The Bengals suffered a setback against the Texans in week 6. They are starting to come back down to earth, at least I think so. Before the season started, I had predicted them as a 9 win team and I still think that they will win 9 and probably more, but they are not a 13-3 type team. They have a tough game against the Bears in week 7 before the BYE in week 8.
- Bears– Despite the loss, they move up one rank in the MikesPickz Power Rankings. They played the Falcons tough and they were one red-zone conversion away from beating the Falcons. The Bears failed to score TDs inside the red-zone too often and you can’t win games in the NFL by blowing that many opportunities.
- 49ers– The 49ers will be coming off the BYE week to play the Texans in week 7. I think the 49ers will come out determined after the beat-down the Falcons gave them in week 5. Mike Singletary is not the type of coach that will find the way the 49ers played in week 5 acceptable.
- Cardinals- The Cards are playing solid football of late, and it will be interesting to watch them on Sunday night against the Giants. The Saints just exposed the secondary of the Giants and the Cards have a similarly lethal passing game. The major flaw with the Cards is the run game. In the win over the Seahawks in week 6, the leading rusher for the Cards had 32 yards. That is not acceptable and won’t be good enough against good teams.
- Dolphins– The Dolphins had a BYE in week 6 and hopefully they watched the Saints- Giants game carefully because they are next up against the Saints. The problem is, I didn’t see many weaknesses in the Saints game, so it will be a difficult one for the Dolphins.
- Cowboys– The team with the second most yards per game in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys. Watching their games each week, you wouldn’t think that, but it is true. They will need to be on top of their game in week 7 against the Falcons if they want to continue to win and climb the rankings.
- Chargers– The Chargers did not play well against the Broncos in week 6. They allowed Phillip Rivers to get sacked 5 times (the most in his career) and they were unable to stop Eddie Royal on special teams (as mentioned before, he returned 2 kicks for TDs). The Chargers offense was only able to score one TD and they only scored 3 points in the 2nd half- not the typical performance from the offensive minded Chargers. One positive, LT was able to gain 70 yards on the ground against a tough defense.
- Jets– I am going to reiterate what I said last week, the Jets 3-0 start was beginner’s luck for both Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez looked horrible against the Bills in week 6. He threw 5 INTS and was ineffective the whole game. The Jets basically gave the Bills the game. After taking s 13-3 lead into half-time, the Jets ended up losing the game 16-13 in OT. Maybe Pete Carroll was right when he said that Mark Sanchez was not ready for the NFL.
- —Texans– The Texans were able to come from behind to beat the Bengals in week 6.I will not be sold on the Texans until they play with more consistency. A really big positive for the Texans was that they were able to hold Cedric Benson, the league’s leading rusher, to 44 yards. The Texans main weakness was stopping the run, and it was good to see that they could. They will need to stop the run again, if they want to beat the 49ers in week 7.
- —Seahawks– The Seahawks only scored 3 points after beating the Jaguars 41-0 in week 5. The only reason they didn’t drop in the rankings, is because I can’t justify putting the Jaguars ahead of them just one week after they got destroyed by the Seahawks.
- —Jaguars– The Jaguars were very lucky not to lose to the Rams in week 6. They needed OT to beat the worst team in the NFL, that doesn’t say much about the Jaguars. Thankfully for the Jaguars, they have a BYE week coming up to try and fix the problems.
- Panthers– The dynamic duo showed up for the Panthers against the lowly Bucs, and they are the reason that the Panthers were able to win the game. The dynamic duo- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart- combined for 262 yards rushing (152 for Williams and 110 for Stewart). Delhomme was once again ineffective going 9 of 17 for 65 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. The Panthers will never be able to return to their 13-3 form of just one year ago if they can not pass the ball more effectively.
- Bills– Although the Bills didn’t play a pretty game for the 2nd consecutive week, they were able to get the win this time, despite losing their starting quarterback in the first half. One thing that surprises me with the Bills is the fact that Terrell Owens is not a part of their offense at all. I would have expected them to try and go to him more than they have been so far this season. He may not be the youngest guy in the game, but he still has some talent.
- Chiefs– The Chiefs got their first win of the season against the Redskins in week 6. They were able to continue their improvement and get the win. They were so close against the Cowboys in week 5, and although they didn’t play the best, they were able to win in week 6. They are still not a good team, and I don’t see them winning many more games this season.
- Raiders– I have to give the Raiders credit, they looked absolutely horrible against the Giants in week 5, and yet they were able to come back and beat the Eagles in week 6. Not only did they beat the Eagles, they held them without a touchdown. The Raiders looked far from amazing in that game, and they pretty much had one big play, but in the NFL- a win is a win.
- Lions– The Lions may have been caught looking ahead by the Packers. Looking ahead to what you might ask? They have a BYE in week 7 and then they get the Rams in Detroit. The Lions are looking forward to their next win. To win that game, they will need to have a healthy Calvin Johnson, and I think they will and that they will win the game.
- Redskins– The Redskins may have had the easiest first 6 weeks of football in the past 20 years. Every game that the Redskins have played this season has been against a team with 0 wins, here is how that went for the Redskins: 1- Giants- Loss, 2. Rams- Win, 3. Lions- loss, 4. Bucs- win, 5. Panthers- loss, 6. Chiefs- loss. That’s right 2-4 against 1 good team and 5 of the worst teams in the league. Well, the cake walk is over for the Redskins as they have the Eagles this week (although the Eagles did lose to the Raiders).
- Titans– The owner wants to see some more Vince Young, and I bet the fans do too. Collins was 2 for 12 for -7 yards and 1 INT. Yes, he threw for negative yards, and the end result was not surprising. The Patriots embarrassed the Titans 59-0. The question is, can things get any worse for the Titans? Luckily, they have a BYE week to regroup.
- —Browns– The Browns followed their uninspiring win against the Bills with a loss to the Steelers. The Browns are not good and won’t win many more games this year.
- —Bucs– Well, the Bucs’ best chance to win a game passed, and the result was a loss. I honestly can not see them win a game this season. The remaining schedule for the Bucs is: Patriots, BYE, Packers, @Dolphins, Saints, @Falcons, @Panthers, Jets, @Seahawks, @Saints, Falcons. If you see a win in there, let me know.
- —Rams– The Rams came really close to beating the Jaguars in week 6, but their inability to stop the run cost them again. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 133 yards and 3 TDs in the victory. The Rams get the Colts in week 7 (another big loss), and then the most winnable game that they have in week 8 (the Lions).
That will do it for this week’s power rankings, be sure to check back next week for another ranking. Any questions or comments? Post them in the comment section below or send me a tweet @MikesPickz.