• Top 10...Bottom 5 - Week 8



    The theme this week seems to be "Who wants to be elite?". Cincinnati, San Francisco Seattle and San Diego suffered crushing losses while Green Bay, Arizona, Indianapolis and Baltimore said "Hey, remember us?". Denver kept rolling behind Peyton Manning, and Dallas took care of the G-Men who are struggling now that their schedule has gotten tougher. Ironically, the Top 10 stays the same this week, but teams two through eight have changed spots.

    Cleveland got sent crashing back to Earth by the winless Jags, while the Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills maybe saved their seasons. Washington benched their starting QB, and it led to a win, the Saints star QB threw a crucial INT late that gave the Lions a win.

    The only thing that seems certain right now, is that teams with elite QB's tend to rise to the top. It's not always the case, but its a pretty safe bet year in and year out. Parity is alive and well though. As we approach the midpoint of the season, only six teams are more than two games out of first place, and two of those are because of Dallas' great start in the AFC East. The largest division lead currently in the league is 1.5 games.

    All this is to say, there's still a lot of football left! Just look at how highly everyone thought of the Bengals and Seahawks three weeks ago, and back then we were all certain the Saints would sort themselves out. It's a long season, and we're just getting started.

    With that, let's get to the rankings!

    Top 10

    1. Denver (1) - congratulations to Peyton Manning for breaking the All-Time TD record. It's really incredible how well he's still playing so late into his career. Most impressive is that he broke Favre's record in 56 less games. I don't know that it ever gets broken.

    2. Dallas (2) - Dallas keeps rolling along, but how long can they ride Murray. We saw him get injured on Sunday but able to come back in. He alone has more carries than 22 teams.

    3. Indianapolis (9) - what an impressive win Sunday. What you may not know is that two turnovers kept them from putting up even more points. If their defense can keep playing this well, they may become the favorites in the AFC.

    4. Green Bay - not a surprise, but this Aaron Rodgers led team is a serious contender in an NFC that is now WIDE open.

    5. Baltimore (10) - It's time to start taking Baltimore seriously. They aren't beating great teams, but its how they are beating them. Both their offense and defense are ranked in the Top 5. They have a chance to put a stranglehold on the division next week in Cincinnati.

    6. Arizona (8) - like Baltimore, no one seems to be talking about the Cardinals, who lead the best division in football. They are stout on defense and talented on offense. Their lone loss is to Denver, with impressive wins over San Diego and San Francisco.

    7. San Diego (3) - what a disappointing loss, at home to a less talented team. Injuries continue to mount for the Chargers.

    8. Seattle (4) - what is going on in Seattle? Back-to-back losses, you trade your best play-maker, and your coach is calling out players in the media.

    9. San Francisco (6) - San Francisco just looked uninterested Sunday night. Denver dominated them from start to finish. But hey, they are one game up on Seattle (and 1/2 a game behind Arizona)

    10. New England (7) - The Patriots are on a roll lately and look back to being contenders for the AFC title. They drop 3 spots this week, but not really because anything they did but because

    HONORABLE MENTIONS

    Philly - Philly remains where they were last week. On the outside looking in merely because of how they would likely perform against the teams ahead of them. Their defense still has a lot to prove.

    Detroit - Detroit, again is a lot like Philly this week. Nothing against them, its more a matter of the teams ahead of them.

    Bottom 5

    28. Tennessee (NR) - welcome back Titans. Losing to a bad Washington team gets you here. Having no starting QB hurts too. A shame too, the Titans have talent. No QB though.

    29. New York Jets (28) - not even Percy Harvin can save the Jets. In fact, he'll probably only make things worse. Harvin is the trifecta of bad moves. High Salary, High Trouble, Highly Injured.

    30. Jacksonville (31) - kudos to the Jags for dumping the goose egg. They've got some promising young talent with Bortles, Robinson, Robinson, Shorts, etc...but its going to take a year for them to gel and learn.

    31. Tampa Bay (30) - Tampa narrowly beat the bye week this week by a FG. They know its over though, already shopping players like WR Vincent Jackson

    32. Oakland (32) - should the Lions be getting nervous? Oakland's remaining games: Denver and Kansas City twice, San Diego, Seattle, (at) Cleveland, San Francisco, Buffalo, and St. Louis. Where's the win?


    So who's too high? Too low?

    Comments 27 Comments
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      I dont get The Bortles love.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      I dont get The Bortles love.

      I think he's doing about as good as you can expect a rookie to do in his situation. He's on young, rebuilding team, completing over 65% of his passes, great size, big arm, smart kid. Too many turnovers, but that's normal for a rookie QB, especially one not on a veteran team.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      I think he's doing about as good as you can expect a rookie to do in his situation. He's on young, rebuilding team, completing over 65% of his passes, great size, big arm, smart kid. Too many turnovers, but that's normal for a rookie QB, especially one not on a veteran team.
      7% sack rate. (24th)
      3.94 ANYA (34th)
      5.7 Int% (34th)
      70.2 Passer Rating (33rd)
      2.9% TD% (33rd)

      I know the OL is atrocious, and he is a rookie. But he isn't the new Big Ben, no matter how much like a QB he looks.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      If Ryan Leaf simply was able to average his 3.5 touchdowns per year in age (14 between 22 and 25), he would be about 168 years old when he hit 510. Moreover, if we added in his 13 year hiatus, then he'd be 180, BUT.... if he threw 14 touchdowns in 4 years and then always had a 13 year gap between TD throws before starting again, this means he only averages .82 touchdowns per year. At that rate, plus the 22 years he spent stupidly never growing up before entering the NFL, Leaf would be need 644 years to match Manning.

      I suggest that Ryan should start working.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      My top 10:

      1. Dallas
      2. Denver (I think the Cowboys win, the way they are playing right now, on a neutral field)
      3. Eagles
      4. Packers
      5. Chargers
      6. Colts
      7. Lions
      8. Cardinals
      9. Ravens
      10. Pats
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Not sure about yours Amy. Ravens are dominating. Lions are winning by fluke.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by vancemeek View Post
      Not sure about yours Amy. Ravens are dominating. Lions are winning by fluke.

      how so?
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      I think he's doing about as good as you can expect a rookie to do in his situation. He's on young, rebuilding team, completing over 65% of his passes, great size, big arm, smart kid. Too many turnovers, but that's normal for a rookie QB, especially one not on a veteran team.
      He looked absolutely terrible on Sunday. Like iwatt, I've never really seen it with him, but even though Jacksonville got the win, it did nothing to improve my opinion of Bortles.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      The Lions are winning with strong defense, which I would not call fluky. The fact that they're 5-2, and have had to deal with significant time lost to their two best offensive weapons makes them even stronger in my opinion. Golden Tate can lead the receiving corps, so imagine how good he/they will be when Calvin and Reggie are at full strength. I find the Lions to be a sneaky dangerous team in the NFC, even though very few are talking about them.

      Jim Caldwell may appear to be asleep at the wheel, but his teams are fundamentally sound and disciplined. That's something the Leos have lacked in recent seasons.
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      The Lions have a fantastic defense, and a really bad offense. That's the team in a nutshell.

      Obviously that can change once Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush return, but I don't think you can make an argument right now that they're better than the Ravens.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by KabaModernFan View Post
      The Lions have a fantastic defense, and a really bad offense. That's the team in a nutshell.

      Obviously that can change once Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush return, but I don't think you can make an argument right now that they're better than the Ravens.
      In that context, yes. I also don't think they're better than Arizona right now either. But there's some legitimacy to the Lions that means they're more than a fluke, and should continue to improve once they get their stars back on the field.

      This list feels fair to me, at least at the moment...
      1. Denver
      2. Green Bay
      3. Philadelphia
      4. Indy
      5. Dallas
      6. Arizona
      7. San Diego
      8. Baltimore
      9. Seattle
      10a. Detroit
      10b. New England
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      I'm confused as to why you're so high on Arizona. They're pretty much the same as Detroit, right? Great defense and no offense; except I don't think that their defense is as good, and they don't have the excuse on offense of being without their starting runningback and the best wide receiver in the league.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by KabaModernFan View Post
      I'm confused as to why you're so high on Arizona. They're pretty much the same as Detroit, right? Great defense and no offense; except I don't think that their defense is as good, and they don't have the excuse on offense of being without their starting runningback and the best wide receiver in the league.
      I disagree that Detroit has no offense. They have a really good QB and enough other players (when Bush and the Prototype are injured) to compete.

      After that, they are similar. Both are better than people suspect, with Arizona proving it over San Diego and San Francisco already this year. Each team is a division leader. Each team has beaten good teams. Each team has not lost to a really bad team. Arizona is a skosh healthier, especially on offense. Why are you so low on them? Point differential? Each team has a better record than Seattle, same or better than Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Green Bay, Indy, and New England. They are both in the top tier right now. Would they beat every other division leader on a neutral field this week? No, but they could. Below them? No, but once you get past 12 it's very likely. Same story outside the NFC South with the possible exception of the shockingly healthy Broncos.
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      I disagree that Detroit has no offense. They have a really good QB and enough other players (when Bush and the Prototype are injured) to compete.

      After that, they are similar. Both are better than people suspect, with Arizona proving it over San Diego and San Francisco already this year. Each team is a division leader. Each team has beaten good teams. Each team has not lost to a really bad team. Arizona is a skosh healthier, especially on offense. Why are you so low on them? Point differential? Each team has a better record than Seattle, same or better than Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Green Bay, Indy, and New England. They are both in the top tier right now. Would they beat every other division leader on a neutral field this week? No, but they could. Below them? No, but once you get past 12 it's very likely. Same story outside the NFC South with the possible exception of the shockingly healthy Broncos.
      I'm not trying to say that either Detroit or Arizona is a bad team; I apologize if that's how it came across. When your defense is that good, you can compete with just about anybody. They are not complete teams though, I don't think. Both of them have had a lot of struggles offensively, and while Detroit may remedy that just with improved health, I don't think Arizona has the same future benefit. I certainly would not put them in the same class as Green Bay, Baltimore, Indianapolis, or Seattle. I don't mention Denver there because I think Denver is that much better than everybody else so far.

      If Detroit resurrects their offense once Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush get back in the game, then they certainly would be in that next tier of contenders, but I don't think you can put them in that class as of right now.
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      A crazy 2nd half meltdown for the ages is the only reason the Cards beat the Niners. They needed an EXTRA ordinary set of circumstances to get that win...at home. If they play that game 10 times the Niners win 8 of them.
      Eventually Carson Palmer is going to start doing Carson Palmery things. Looking at their schedule I have them penciled in for 10-6.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Let's be fair. The Lions are solid, but should be 1 loss further along. They were handed Sundays game on a platter. Obviously, they're good, but I struggle to put them top 10, much less top 8. Just my opinion
    1. edave's Avatar
      Here's my list...

      o Denver is galloping away...
      o Dallas knocked off the defending champs on the road. For now, that counts.
      o Indianapolis is playing well across the board... but is Reggie going to be OK?
      o Philadelphia has a big road win in Indy and they were close in SF.
      o Seattle has the first hump of its season over with but faces... Cardinals, @49ers, @Eagles, 49ers and @Cardinals a month from now. Oh my.

      o Arizona has a terrific D, an erratic O and a crazy coach.
      o Detroit has a terrific D, an erratic O and a stone faced coach.
      o Baltimore is solid, but hasn't wowed me yet.
      o New England has storm warnings... Hurricane Belichick meets Revis Island.
      o Kansas City beat a quality division foe on the road so they're here instead of somewhere below.

      ? Green Bay has seen things go well of late, we'll see what happens.
      ? San Diego needs a win this week to climb back aboard the high and mighty.
      ? San Francisco is impossible to fathom but are due to return about 30 people over the next few weeks.
      ? Miami is the AFC version of Arizona/Detroit and has a coach who exhibits both tendencies.
      ? St. Louis thinks they should punt or attempt a field goal on every other play.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by vancemeek View Post
      Let's be fair. The Lions are solid, but should be 1 loss further along. They were handed Sundays game on a platter. Obviously, they're good, but I struggle to put them top 10, much less top 8. Just my opinion
      Except they alos might be 1 win ahead if their kickers made at least 1 of the 10 misses. They are scary good at the DL.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Lol. Fair enough sir
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by KabaModernFan View Post
      I'm not trying to say that either Detroit or Arizona is a bad team; I apologize if that's how it came across. When your defense is that good, you can compete with just about anybody. They are not complete teams though, I don't think. Both of them have had a lot of struggles offensively, and while Detroit may remedy that just with improved health, I don't think Arizona has the same future benefit. I certainly would not put them in the same class as Green Bay, Baltimore, Indianapolis, or Seattle. I don't mention Denver there because I think Denver is that much better than everybody else so far.

      If Detroit resurrects their offense once Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush get back in the game, then they certainly would be in that next tier of contenders, but I don't think you can put them in that class as of right now.
      IMO, the Lions' offensive struggles have very little to do with missing Calvin Johnson. Reggie Bush - this season - has been a near non-factor. The problem starts with the offensive line. I think this is a scheme issue. These guys are letting too many defenders get by unblocked so Staf is getting sacked at an alarming rate. This tells me they do mot understand where they need to be. OC Joe Lombardi needs to step up his game. That is the problem with the Leos offense.

      Oh, and the absence of competent TE play has not helped.