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Turk Schonert
11-16-2010, 01:05 PM
Top 10 Week #11

1. New England - Convincing win @ Pittsburgh gets them back on top, Brady put on an MVP performance, defense still a concern
2. Baltimore - Tough loss at Atlanta, defense couldn't stop Ryan in last 2 minutes, well balanced team, but pass defense needs to improve
3. Atlanta - Very good home team, defense and road games will determine fate
4. Philly - Vick just threw his name into the MVP hat, very good road team, defense still a concern
5. Green Bay - #1 scoring defense in league, offense still potent
6. NY Jets - Sanchez is making plays to win close games
7. Pittsburgh - O-Line injuries are a concern, defense doesn't face Brady every week
8. New Orleans - Defense is #4 in fewest points allowed, offense will get healthier with Bush & Thomas coming back
9. NY Giants - Lets see how they bounce back from the debacle vs Dallas
10. Chicago - Defense gets them this spot, and, they have a win over Green Bay

**Indy has too many injuries and is only 2-3 on the road
**Tampa Bay has to beat a good team to get into the top 10, and they haven't yet
**Tenn - Just outside the top 10

Bottom 5

5. Cincinnati - Keep finding ways to lose
4. Buffalo - Squeaked by Detroit for first win
3. Detroit - Earned their way back in with loss to Buffalo
2. Arizona - Replacing a Hall of Fame QB isn't easy, defense is bad
1. Carolina - Andrew Luck or ... is Jimmy Clausen their guy ... big decision for next coach

** I make my picks based on gut feeling and what I see. I'll let you all use the SOS and other criteria to make your picks. I like to see the differences.

bluestree
11-16-2010, 01:26 PM
i've got to question the Ravens being so high after watching them in Atl. Before the season started there were major questions about their secondary holding up, and it looked like the Falcons exposed them a bit. We'll get the answer soon.

The repetition of the word exposed is not my doing, and it won't edit out. Second time this has happened.

Amy
11-16-2010, 01:28 PM
I'm going to rank the 12 teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today this week and for the rest of the way.

First, who are they? In seeding order

AFC: Jets, Ravens, Colts, Raiders, Pats, Steelers.
NFC: Atlanta, Giants, Bears, Seahawks, Saints, and Packers. (I think I figured out the tiebreaker right between Tampa and Green Bay. Packers beat Philly, so the Eagles are at best the 7 seed, they can't be the six.)

Now, to look at how they have done against the other playoff teams, and what playoff teams they have left to face (Yes, this may well change week to week, given how close many races are)

AFC:

Jets: 1-2, with games @Bears, and @Steelers to go. (W: Pats, L: Ravens, Packers)
Ravens: 2-2, with home games against Saints and Steelers to go. (W: Jets, Steelers, L: Pats, Falcons)
Colts: 1-0 with @Pats and @Raiders to go (W: Giants)
Raiders: 1-0 with @Steelers and Indy to go. (W: Seattle)
Pats: 2-1 with Colts, Jets, and @Bears to go (W: Ravens, Steelers, L: Jets)
Steelers: 1-3 with Raiders, @Ravens, and Jets to go. (W: Falcons, L: Saints, Ravens, Pats)

NFC:

Falcons: 2-0 with Packers, @Seahawks, and Saints to go (W: Saints, Ravens)
Giants: 2-1 with @Packers to go (W: Bears, Seahawks, L: Colts)
Bears: 1-2 with Pats, Jets, and @Packers to go (W: Packers, L: Giants, Seahawks)
Seahawks: 1-2 with @Saints, and Falcons to go. (W: Bears, L: Raiders, Giants)
Saints: 1-1 with Seattle, @Ravens, @Falcons to go. (W: Pitt, L: Falcons)
Packers: 1-1 with @Falcons, @Pats, Giants, Bears to go (W: Jets, L: Bears)

So, here's how I rank them from 12 to 1 at the moment. This will likely change week by week.

12: Seattle - Whatever team comes out of the NFC West just goes here by default. I think the NFC 5 seed will wipe the floor with the NFC west champ.
11: Bears - I think the Bears win the NFC North (Green Bay has 4 playoff teams in the last 6 games!), but I don't think they are very good. Sorry Bear fans.
10: Oakland
9: Steelers - I don't think they make the playoffs. I think Oakland beats them for the second time in two years Sunday, I think the Rexs beat them and I think the Ravens get the Sweep. I think the Jags will be the AFC 6 seed. Pitt is terrible vs the good teams. 1-3, the only win being a week 1 OT game. Ben is 0-2 vs playoff teams.
8: Giants: As with Pittsburgh, I'm not sold on the Giants beating the good teams.
7: Colts: Injuries.
6: Packers: Even more injuries.
5: Jets
4: Saints
3: Ravens
2: Pats
1: Falcons.

bluestree
11-16-2010, 01:32 PM
Oakland beats Pittsburgh! That's bold Amy, I like your style.

Pruitt
11-16-2010, 02:29 PM
I have spent the season hyping the Ravens, but I think I have to stop. They are a good team, but they have a weak secondary and a Coach who seems too conservative.

At the moment, my top 5 are:
Pats
Jets
Eagles
Saints
Packers

I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Chargers will soon be on this list.

iwatt
11-16-2010, 02:46 PM
Like Amy, my rankings are based on playoff expectations. Unlike Amy, I use current record, and correct it according to strength of schedule. This week I've included a correction for their trends the last 3 weeks.

According to Expected Wins:

1. Falcons Don't know or don't care if they're the best, they are the most likely to gain 13 Wins this season.
2. Patriots By numbers they've beat the other AFC teams in this list they've faced, except the Jets, and the difference is too small for me to not give them the first place in AFC.
3. Steelers Still have an easy road ahead of them, though it includes 3 division games.
4. Ravens Question marks on Defense, and it's already old. What happens when one of the key pieces gets hurt?
5. Eagles 2nd Best team in the NFC, 5th best in the league. Defense has a chance if they continue to take the lead early in games.
6. Jets Karma, or regression to the mean, will bite the Jets at some point.
7. Packers The North is going to the wire in the last week of the season, at Lambeau.
8. Saints Bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the Saints. Expect them to start racking up the wins when it matters the most.
9. Colts Winning close games is what Manning does best. The 2 games against the Titans in 4 weeks will show who is the best of that division
10. Buccaneers Squeaking in as a Wild Card

Neither the AFC West or NFC West has a projected 10 win team. They don't even have a favorite.

28 Cowboys That win played you out of a top 3 pick...
29 Lions Suh deserves better...
30 Bengals Primo spot for a franchise QB!
31 Bills Draft an OL. Please! Or an Elite DE or LB.
32 Panthers Draft a QB. Clausen isn't the answer.

Turk Schonert
11-16-2010, 02:59 PM
4. Ravens Question marks on Defense, and it's already old. What happens when one of the key pieces gets hurt?

Patriots, Falcons and Eagles all have question marks on defense as well. And, your last statement holds true to every team!

iwatt
11-16-2010, 03:11 PM
4. Ravens Question marks on Defense, and it's already old. What happens when one of the key pieces gets hurt?

Patriots, Falcons and Eagles all have question marks on defense as well. And, your last statement holds true to every team!

I don't see the holes in the Eagles as much as people are saying. They've been playing prevent a lot these games.

Patriots are trending up in their defense. Young defenses tend to do that, because they can practice a lot more than older teams.

I'm not sold on the Falcons, but I have a system, and I'm sticking to it ;)

The Ravens have been allowing more and more points as the season continues...

SpartaChris
11-16-2010, 03:46 PM
4. Ravens Question marks on Defense, and it's already old. What happens when one of the key pieces gets hurt?

Patriots, Falcons and Eagles all have question marks on defense as well. And, your last statement holds true to every team!

Except in Green Bay. I haven't done a lot of loud-mouthing, chest-thumping or back patting for the Packers since we haven't won anything yet and divisions and championships aren't won in November, but I think it's safe to say without being a homer that the Packers have done a tremendous job using backups to fill in for lost starters. Right now it looks like the only IR'ed starter we haven't been able to replace is Finley, but the re-signing of Havner might change that.

Darren83
11-16-2010, 03:52 PM
Turk, if the Bills beat the Bengals on Sunday, can we get out of the dreaded "Bottom 5?"

While I'm still concerned that a team as talent-deficient as the Bills is susceptible to a run-for-the-bus game, the effort I've seen since the Fitzpatrick switch (just like last year) has been remarkable. There doesn't appear to be one pouter or diva or selfish jerk on this roster. Not that there was recently, but the chemistry is solid and the players have bought into Gailey completely.

Can your former team (coach) go on the road and beat your former team (player)?

Turk Schonert
11-16-2010, 04:19 PM
Turk, if the Bills beat the Bengals on Sunday, can we get out of the dreaded "Bottom 5?"

While I'm still concerned that a team as talent-deficient as the Bills is susceptible to a run-for-the-bus game, the effort I've seen since the Fitzpatrick switch (just like last year) has been remarkable. There doesn't appear to be one pouter or diva or selfish jerk on this roster. Not that there was recently, but the chemistry is solid and the players have bought into Gailey completely.

Can your former team (coach) go on the road and beat your former team (player)?

The Bills have always played hard (also under Jauron) but you are right about the chemistry on offense with Fitz. Yes the Bills can go into Cinti and win. The Bills believe that they can win, and the Bengals, I believe, are starting to doubt themselves. And yes, the Bills will get out of the bottom 5 with a win!

Darren83
11-16-2010, 04:37 PM
The Bills have always played hard (also under Jauron) but you are right about the chemistry on offense with Fitz. Yes the Bills can go into Cinti and win. The Bills believe that they can win, and the Bengals, I believe, are starting to doubt themselves. And yes, the Bills will get out of the bottom 5 with a win!

You're 100% right about the effort under Jauron. Perhaps I confused a lack of effort with getting overpowered physically. I think what I'm noticing is that from a physicality standpoint, the Bills are not getting pushed around, as they used to. I hope that continues this week.

iwatt
11-16-2010, 04:44 PM
You're 100% right about the effort under Jauron. Perhaps I confused a lack of effort with getting overpowered physically. I think what I'm noticing is that from a physicality standpoint, the Bills are not getting pushed around, as they used to. I hope that continues this week.

moving away from a 3-4 to the 4-3 has helped them.

Pruitt
11-16-2010, 05:46 PM
moving away from a 3-4 to the 4-3 has helped them.

Most Bills fans thought the original switch was ludicrous, but at least Gailey admitted the mistake and made the switch.

msclemons
11-16-2010, 08:06 PM
Top Ten
1) Bill Belichick’s evil empire
2) Matt Ryan’s icy cold blood
3) Ray Lewis’ ferocity
4) Rex Ryan’s gosh darn snacks
5) St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay WI
6) Troy Polamalu’s hair
7) Mike Vick’s resurgence
8) Sean Payton’s never-ending Mardi Gras
9) The ghost of Jimmy Hoffa
10) Mike Martz’ destructive impulses

Not quite making it: Josh Freeman’s 2 minute fireworks; Indianapolis MASH unit

Bottom Five
28) Todd Haley’s sportsmanship (yeah, Chiefs aren’t bottom 5, but still…)
29) Jim Schwartz’ herculean task
30) Matt Leinart’s revenge
31) Toronto Argonauts
32) Jon Fox’ job security

(dis)honorable mention: Survivor Cincinnati, Singeltary's gravity impaired trousers, Norv Turner's fear of October

bluestree
11-16-2010, 08:16 PM
You're killing me Clem! I'm having a spasm over here. You are truly the Court Jester-at-large Ninja of FPL! Kudos for the post of the day.

Turk Schonert
11-16-2010, 08:42 PM
You're killing me Clem! I'm having a spasm over here. You are truly the Court Jester-at-large Ninja of FPL! Kudos for the post of the day.

Ditto that, there are a few NFL teams that need to hire you!

GoBigOrGoHome
11-16-2010, 08:57 PM
That was the post of the month.

Amy
11-17-2010, 10:14 AM
Oakland beats Pittsburgh! That's bold Amy, I like your style.

They did last year when they sucked. Pitt's Oline is a sieve, and the Raiders might not be a great team, but they are not at all bad at pass rushing.

iwatt
11-17-2010, 10:34 AM
They did last year when they sucked. Pitt's Oline is a sieve, and the Raiders might not be a great team, but they are not at all bad at pass rushing.

They don't need their OL to beat Oakland, Amy. Their defense will be more than enough. We will see Gradowki in this game, after the Steelers bang up Campbell. If you think the Steelers aren't going to put up a performance this sunday, you are sorely mistaken.

Anybody know if Nmadi is still out?

KabaModernFan
11-17-2010, 04:12 PM
They don't need their OL to beat Oakland, Amy. Their defense will be more than enough. We will see Gradowki in this game, after the Steelers bang up Campbell. If you think the Steelers aren't going to put up a performance this sunday, you are sorely mistaken.

Anybody know if Nmadi is still out?

I would assume Asomugha will be playing this week, since he has had now two full weeks to recover from an injury that he almost played through anyway.

And they kinda do need their OL to beat Oakland. The Raiders have one of the best defensive lines in football this year with Seymour, Kelly, and Houston. Not to mention Kam Wimbley as a disruptor on the outside (he and Seymour should have a field day against Jonathan Scott) and Rolando McClain inside.

And how do you rationalize the knock on Gradkowski, considering he BEAT Pittsburgh last year! You also seem to imply that Jason Campbell is injury prone, which is not the case at all. Since he became a starter in the NFL, he's missed only 5 out of a possible 64 games. He missed two this year, and three in 2007. It's not as if he's constantly being held out of games every season.

iwatt
11-17-2010, 04:36 PM
I would assume Asomugha will be playing this week, since he has had now two full weeks to recover from an injury that he almost played through anyway.

Cool, that makes things more interesting!


And they kinda do need their OL to beat Oakland. The Raiders have one of the best defensive lines in football this year with Seymour, Kelly, and Houston. Not to mention Kam Wimbley as a disruptor on the outside (he and Seymour should have a field day against Jonathan Scott) and Rolando McClain inside.


Oakland is porous to the run (ranked 27th). They have a lot of sacks, but how many have come at home? They aren't a good road team (1-3).


And how do you rationalize the knock on Gradkowski, considering he BEAT Pittsburgh last year! You also seem to imply that Jason Campbell is injury prone, which is not the case at all. Since he became a starter in the NFL, he's missed only 5 out of a possible 64 games. He missed two this year, and three in 2007. It's not as if he's constantly being held out of games every season.

I'm not knocking Gradowski, but this Pittsburgh defense is a completely different animal than the one last year. If you think he's good enough to pass against them? Also, Oakland is a running offense. You don't run against the Steelers.

And I'm not saying Campbell injury prone, but the Pittsburgh defense is one of the more punishing ones out there. And they will be playing with an edge. And he is already beat up, so it's easy to hurt.

Finally, Pittsburgh lost to Oakland last year. Don't you think that is weighing heavily on them? If you are trying to sell me Oakland as a powerhouse team, I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid.

Oakland:
Passing: They average 7.2 YPA and allow 6.9
Rushing: They average 4.9 YPA allow 4.5

Pittsburgh:
Passing: They average 8.1 YPA and allow 7.0
Rushing: They average 4.6 YPA allow 2.8

KabaModernFan
11-17-2010, 05:29 PM
Not trying to sell Oakland as a powerhouse, just that they are very capable of beating the Steelers this weekend. You say you don't run against the Steelers, but I bet BenJarvus Green-Ellis begs to differ. Plus Pittsburgh's O-Line is absolutely dreafdul now. Jonathan Scott is not an NFL-caliber player, and he may very well be the starting left tackle for the game against Oakland. Richard Seymour will tear right through him, Kam Wimbley will tear right through him, Matt Shaugnessey will tear right through him. The injuries on the line are going to hurt Mendenhall as well, who was already having a subpar season compared to what was expected of him (25th in YPC, DVOA of only 1.0%). Oakland's rushing defense might not be so great, but I have a real hard time believing Pittsburgh is going to win the battle up front with so many missing/injured pieces.

This isn't even mentioning that if Nnamdi Asomugha is 100%, they can just stick him on Mike Wallace all game and severely limit Love In This Club's options throwing downfield. Besides Heath Miller that would make his top targets rookie Emmanuel Sanders and Antwaan Randle El. Yikes. This is assuming of course that Hines Ward doesn't play, which he shouldn't due to receiving a concussion against the Patriots.

iwatt
11-17-2010, 05:47 PM
Kaba, I agree that Pittsburgh isn't going to score that many points. You still haven't explained how a mediocre offense like Oakland's is going to score on an elite defense like the Steelers.

And the Lawfirm's running came in the back end of the game, when Pittsburgh was reeling from Brady's surgical cuts. If Jason Campbell can go into Heinz Field and open up the defense by passing 65% of the time, I'm guessing the Steelers will take that deal.

BJGE:
when ahead 5.0 YPA 63 attempts, 5 TD
when behind 3.2 YPA 35 Attempts, 1 TD
when tied 3.4 ypa 14 Attempts, 0 TD

Basically, the Lawfirm is a garbage time runner, evidence of the axiom that you run when winning.

It may look even on paper, but I'll take the Superbowl winning QB who did it behind a sieve of a line once already, versus the journeyman QB.

KabaModernFan
11-17-2010, 06:49 PM
Mediocre? They're 12th in the NFL in yards and 7th in points. And you have to admit that Darren McFadden is a whole different beast than GreenEllis. Pittsburgh is already without Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith on the defensive side of the line, which will make it easier for Oakland to open up holes for Run-DMC. Not to mention he's been fantastic at catching passes out of the backfield, he really has become the threat we all thought he could be. All of McFadden's TDs have come on the road so far this year, where he also averages over 1.5 more YPC.

I truly feel that as long as Jason Campbell plays smart football, doesn't panic, and puts faith in his running game, Oakland will win this game. If the Raiders can avoid turning the ball over, which isn't a stretch at all - only 13 giveaways so far this season, they can beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

iwatt
11-17-2010, 07:14 PM
I truly feel that as long as Jason Campbell plays smart football, doesn't panic, and puts faith in his running game, Oakland will win this game.

Big If...


Pittsburgh is already without Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith on the defensive side of the line, which will make it easier for Oakland to open up holes for Run-DMC.

That is true. But Pittsburgh will adapt. They always do.


All of McFadden's TDs have come on the road so far this year, where he also averages over 1.5 more YPC.

You mean in 1 blowout win against one of the worst run defenses in the League? And the other TD came against Arizona...

I'll agree he had a good average against a decent Kansas City defense.

And they are 12th in Scoring Defense...not exactly something to write home about. And they've done it against the AFC Weste and NFC West. Pittsburgh has done it against the AFC East and NFC South.

Pittsburgh has faced the toughest schedule (according to DVOA), while OAK has done it against the 25th toughest schedule.

So the numbers might seem tight, but they really aren't. Not once you factor in Strength of Schedule. One has been battle tested in the harsh furnace of the League's toughest teams, the other has barely dipped it's toes in the lukewarm waters of the West coast.

NOTE: I agree the injuries are noticeable for Pittsburgh, but not crippling. Whatever Belichick exposed will be covered up by elite coaches like Tomlin and LeBeau.

KabaModernFan
11-17-2010, 11:00 PM
Are we sure Tomlin is all that great of a coach? I mean, look at the roster he inherited from Cowher and it's full of outstanding players. Not taking anything away from Tomlin, he's obviously doing something right to achieve the success he has already earned, but sometimes I think he gets a little too much credit for the job he's done in Pittsburgh.

Either way, it should be a fun game to watch. Who would've thought that this would be a pivotal game for the lead in both divisions?

GoBigOrGoHome
11-17-2010, 11:48 PM
Given their inherent dysfunctionality, what the Raiders have been doing this year is remarkable. They are talented and play very hard. But, I can't see them besting the Steelers. That "D" is a bit too much for Oakland.

iwatt
11-18-2010, 08:32 AM
Are we sure Tomlin is all that great of a coach?

Won a Superbowl on his second year. No matter how good that roster was, he still had to win. And it wasn't exactly an easy road, with the Ravens in the AFC championship passing through Baltimore that year. They had to beat a division rival 3 times in one year. It is very difficult to beat the same team twice a year, the third time is almost impossible. And that was a very good Ravens team.


I mean, look at the roster he inherited from Cowher and it's full of outstanding players. Not taking anything away from Tomlin, he's obviously doing something right to achieve the success he has already earned, but sometimes I think he gets a little too much credit for the job he's done in Pittsburgh.


For me, his true measure of excellence came this season, starting without his franchise QB. He went 3-1, and the loss against Baltimore went to the wire. And that was with his 4th string QB.


Either way, it should be a fun game to watch. Who would've thought that this would be a pivotal game for the lead in both divisions?

Yes!

Viewing schedule on Sunday

13:00 ET Oakland at Pittsburgh *

* Stay tuned at the end of regulation to watch the Bengals-Bills with Gus Johnston doing the play by play. That game is either going o OT, or a wacky TAINT at the end of the game. Detroit Dallas should go to the wire as well. Which of both those teams manages to loose?

16:15 Indy @ NE. Robocop versus America's next top model

20:30 NYG @ PHI: wow!

The monday night game isn't anything I'm holding my breath to watch. See Denver take down San Diego and completely muddy up the AFC West.

msclemons
11-18-2010, 11:06 AM
16:15 Indy @ NE. Robocop versus America's next top model


Hah!:D:D

Amy
11-18-2010, 12:41 PM
I'm by no means saying that Oakland will blow out Pittsburgh. I'm saying that they will win. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that Oakland matches up very well against the Steelers and that Mcfadden and the Raiders will be able to run. I think it will be a very close game.

iwatt
11-18-2010, 03:01 PM
I'm by no means saying that Oakland will blow out Pittsburgh. I'm saying that they will win. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that Oakland matches up very well against the Steelers and that Mcfadden and the Raiders will be able to run. I think it will be a very close game.

I hope it's a fun and close game...but I think the Steelers come out with a vengeance.