• Top 10... Bottom 5 - Week 14



    After 14 weeks it still feels like the majority of the league is clumped up in the middle. There are 13 teams at 8-5, 7-6 or 6-7. There are a few very good teams, a few very bad teams and a whole bunch of ugly in the middle.

    Top 10
    1) Green Bay Packers - The offense is so strong it can mask the problems on defense
    2) Baltimore Ravens - Still the most balanced team in the league
    3) Pittsburgh Steelers - The second most balanced team in the league.
    4) New Orleans Saints - If the Saints can take the #2 seed they will be in the NFC championship. They just don't lose in the dome.
    5) New England Patriots - Who needs a defense? Just Gronk them.
    6) Houston Texans - Almost a mirror image of the 49ers. I like TJ Yates and Andre Johnson better than Alex Smith and Michael "ow my foot" Crabtree
    7) San Francisco 49ers - Great defense, great special teams, horrible offense. 27% in the red zone. Yeesh. They have renamed the part of the field inside the 30 the "Akers Zone".
    8) New York Jets - They really don't look very good but they make plays when it matters.
    9) Atlanta Falcons - See: Jets.
    10) New York Giants - See: Jets.

    Honorable mentions: Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions. The two teams are likely playoff bound with the top 10.

    Potential Honorable mentions: Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans. If they win out they are in the playoffs. The week 17 winner between the Cowboys and Giants will likely go to the dance while the loser goes home.

    Bottom 5
    28) Kansas City Chiefs - Interesting season: Total collapse followed by signs of hope followed by total collapse.
    29) South Jacksonville High - Once you get your coach fired even a big win doesn't get you out of the cellar
    30) Minnesota Vikings - Fantastic way to lobby for a new stadium guys
    31) St. Louis Rams - I've watched four of their games and I can only name three players.
    32) Indianapolis Colts - Going to be a REAL interesting off-season in Indy.

    Comments 17 Comments
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      What a year to have this job, eh clem?

      I don't normally try this. But here goes.

      Top 10

      1) Packers - That defense is nowhere near as bad as its ranking. That offense is friggin' unstoppable.
      2) Steelers - Big Ben > Joe Flacco.
      3) Ravens - Ray Rice needs the ball more Cameron. You toolbag.
      4) Patriots - Another severely underappreciated 'D' + potent 'O'
      5) Saints - Honestly, NO could easily be sitting at #4. Brees is that good.
      6) Texans - Seven in a row with that laundry list if injuries. Wow.
      7) 49ers - Loss to the Cardinals indeed costs you a spot
      8) Falcons - Nice comeback last week. Showed you may have some heart after all.
      9) Giants - Eli is indeed ELIte. Defense is still a force.
      10) Broncos - Run the ball. Control the clock. Play great defense. Win games. Like, six straight.

      Honorable mentions: None. It's all murky & sloppy from here. No wait. Jags. Your coach should have been fired about two years ago. Hanging up 41 with THAT offense gets you one breath of fresh air. One.

      Dishonorable Mentions:

      Lions - Alphonso Smith just dropped another INT. Cliff Avril just shot offsides. again. Joe Webb is halfway back to Minneapolis. On foot. No Laydown could catch him before he got out of Detroit. And how the hell did the officials miss that facemask?

      Cowboys - You realize that if you had beaten the Lions in week 4 OR the Cards in week 13 and handled your business at home against the GMen on Sunday, you would be in the driver's seat to clinch the NFCE, right?

      Jets - Will you guys please just shut it and live up to your self-generated hype already?


      Bottom 5

      5) Buccaneers - 10-6 last year. 4-9 this year with essentially the same squad?
      4) Chiefs - Fire Scott Pioli
      3) Vikings - Alphonso Smith just dropped yet another INT
      2) Rams - Seriously? THIS team was in contention for a division title last year?
      1) Colts - Hey Bill Polian, I dug this up just for you.

    1. giantsfan97's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      9) Giants - Defense is still a force.
      Just wondering what you saw to say this? Other than JPP the Giants defense, especially against the pass, looks dreadful to me. Not trolling, genuinely curious.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by giantsfan97 View Post
      Just wondering what you saw to say this? Other than JPP the Giants defense, especially against the pass, looks dreadful to me. Not trolling, genuinely curious.
      "defensive line" - I unedited myself. The Giants' placement, on my list, is much less about the 'd' and much more about Eli Manning. Every time I've really been able to see your guys this year, he has been very, very good.

      As clem has been saying all year, this really should be something like "Top 7, Middle Meh, Bottom 12". Real hard to suss out a comprehensive T10, B5. This is my first crack at it and it took much longer than I had thought it would (and I did not have to sweat putting it on the front page).
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      4) Patriots - Another severely underappreciated 'D' + potent 'O'
      They have an okay run D, but they let Grossman score a little too much last week. And they only won because of a tipped ball.

      Also, if the Pats went 11-5 with Brady out for the season a few years ago, maybe Peyton is more valuable than we ever thought.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      clem, not sure about the cowboys, but with regards to the titans simply winning out wouldn't necessarily get them in.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Solid job clem, nice analysis sorting out the quagmire that's as terrible as the Heinz field turf in the infamous 2007 game between the fins and steelers, won on a fg with 3 seconds left 3-0. I especially loved this one liner " They have renamed the part of the field inside the 30 the "Akers Zone".

      However, I do prefer biggies list.. bet you can't guess why!!
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Love my Saints doin work & that arm on Drew Brees? MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Bro can launch it. He needs a bust of his throwing arm in Canton & not his head & shoulders!
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      As clem has been saying all year, this really should be something like "Top 7, Middle Meh, Bottom 12".
      Notice Turk took the easy way out with his Penthouse... Outhouse thing. Turk owes me a beer!
    1. Robmoore365's Avatar
      [QUOTE=GoBigOrGoHome;88400] 5) Saints - Honestly, NO could easily be sitting at #4. Brees is that good.[QUOTE]

      If the Saints fans become Steelers fans this Monday Night they could be sitting at #2.
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      Notice Turk took the easy way out with his Penthouse... Outhouse thing. Turk owes me a beer!
      Happy to oblige Clem, just think how good this exercise has been for your dart throwing skills! Darts and beer ... sounds like a good mix to me.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      4) Patriots - Another severely underappreciated 'D' + potent 'O'
      Gotta call you on this one. I posted last week that one of the reasons for the Patriots horrible pass defense stats was the fact that they were so often way up early in games that the other team was forced to abandon the run.

      After seeing the Skins game, I'm not so sure. The middle of the Pats D was wide open for seemingly the entire game. It may not hurt them this week, but when Rex Grossman starts to look like Tom Brady, and when Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney have big games, than something is really wrong.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      Notice Turk took the easy way out with his Penthouse... Outhouse thing. Turk owes me a beer!
      It would appear I owe you a beer as well. I certainly did not intend to hijack the whole thread by posting an alternate list.

      Don't any of you go to the front page and actually read the articles?
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Robmoore365 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      5) Saints - Honestly, NO could easily be sitting at #4. Brees is that good.
      If the Saints fans become Steelers fans this Monday Night they could be sitting at #2.
      Yeah. Maybe. But I think MNF will tell more about the 49ers than the Steelers. Namely, can the 49ers move the ball on a good, complex defense. The Ravens whupped up on the Schembechlers on Thanksgiving. But that was the first truly stout defense the 49ers faced all year. They got the Bengals while they were still getting their feet wet and a hot Detroit team with a glaring weakness (interior run defense). SF is not getting any breaks like those against Pittsburgh.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      [QUOTE=GoBigOrGoHome;88581]

      Yeah. Maybe. But I think MNF will tell more about the 49ers than the Steelers. Namely, can the 49ers move the ball on a good, complex defense. The Ravens whupped up on the Schembechlers on Thanksgiving. But that was the first truly stout defense the 49ers faced all year. They got the Bengals while they were still getting their feet wet and a hot Detroit team with a glaring weakness (interior run defense). SF is not getting any breaks like those against Pittsburgh.
      Yeah, I agree with this. It's well established what Pittsburgh is. If they lose to SF on Monday night, on the road, it's really not a big deal, other than it will likely seal their fate as a WC as opposed to division winner, likely first round bye.

      But SF, if they don't win, it will be impossible to take them seriously as a contender. Plus, a loss likely takes them on the road in round 2 to NO, where they'd have no shot to slow down Brees. If they want a chance to beat NO, it comes in Candlestick, not at the Superdome.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      For the record....

      1. Green Bay- But are they good enough to overcome the target that a big giant O will represent should they be undefeated come playoff time?
      2. Pittsburgh- I still want to see more consistency forcing TOs. THIS is the most complete team in the league. Not the best at running the football, but Mendenhall and Redman combine to form a nice pair that can move the ball fairly consistently. I trust the Steelers running game more than Baltimore's passing game.
      3. Baltimore- It's entirely up to Flacco. If he's good, they can beat any team on any week.
      4. New Orleans- I don't think they can climb higher than this only because I see no chance they beat GB at Lambeau in January. As reliant on their home field as any in the league, especially when the cold strikes.
      5. New England- I don't think Pittsburgh or Baltimore lets that Washington team hang around.
      6. San Francisco- HUGE litmus test on Monday.
      7. Houston- Have to think they struggle against the big boys with Yates, but how impressive has their run been?
      8. Denver- Just because we don't recognize it as aesthetically pleasing doesn't mean it isn't effective. I think they beat #s 6 and 7 right now, and we'll find out about 5 this weekend. HUGE litmus test this weekend.
      9. NY Jets- I guess...
      10. NY Giants- I guess...

      Bottom 5. Pretty well established at this point. Really, saying someone should be 27th instead of 28th is picking nits that aren't worth picking.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      32) Indianapolis Colts - Going to be a REAL interesting off-season in Indy.

      Indeed it is. A real test of Indy's eccentric, laissez-faire ownership under Jim Irsay. Bill Polian's sinecure may be coming to an end.

      Wiki says Irsay pledged to retire and hand the business over to his daughter when Peyton Manning retires. I wonder if he's having second thoughts?
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      So true. Troy P gets the head and shoulders bust!
      Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRidley View Post
      He needs a bust of his throwing arm in Canton & not his head & shoulders!