Posted Wed Sep 30th by Mr.East
My power rankings are fittingly named the ‘Tentative Ten’ because every week it’s subject to check, and erratically at that.
1. New York Giants (3-0)
Yet again the Giant’s pimp slap another team. The Bucs didn’t get a first down until near the end of the third quarter. That really says more about the Tampa Bay offense than the Giant’s defense, but nonetheless the Giant’s are playing some solid D. The run defense has some holes in it but when Chris Canty and Justin Tuck come back that should help things out.
Glaring Stat: Philip Rivers has passed more in one game (436) than has been allowed by the Giant’s secondary all year (372). The Giant’s have statistically the best pass defense in the NFL.
2. New Orleans Saints (3-0)
They didn’t even need Drew Brees against the Bills. He only threw for 172 yards for not touchdowns. Mike Bell was even out for the game. Pierre Thomas stepped up big time in his absence. This is what you want to see out of a team, depth. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, I’m glad the Broncos aren’t playing the Saints this regular season.
Glaring Stat: Keep your eye on the progression of sophomore DT Sedrick Ellis. Last year Ellis started 13 games and recorded 30 tackles and four sacks. This year Ellis has already grabbed 10 tackles and a sack in just three games.
3. Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
The Ravens are playing some very balanced football right now. The only problem? Their opponents are just 2-7 so far with the two wins just being San Diego. So yes, that means they have beaten two teams that are winless. The Raven’s run defense has been phenomenal only allowing 2.5 yards a rush, but their secondary is looking ugly at 7.7 yards a pass.
Glaring Stat: Since his junior season (second year playing) Willis McGahee has scored seven touchdowns twice in a season (2007 & 2008). This year he already has five in three games played.
4. New York Jets (3-0)
Rex Ryan has made this defense tough and is so far the frontrunner of the coach of the year. The defense ranks top ten in all the main categories and the offense isn’t too shabby either. Mark Sanchez looks real solid but needs to work on his consistency with his throws, but he’s still better than half of the quarterbacks in the league at the time.
Glaring Stat: Don’t pass on the Jets… literally. Only 46.3% of passes thrown on the Jets have been completed.
5. Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre. There, I just saved you from watching ESPN today.
Seriously though, the Vikings are a solid team looking to win the division. It pains me to see Brett Favre do well but any team that has two chances to make Denver’s draft pick higher is okay in my book. The defense has looked really sharp this year, add in the running game and Minnesota is looking like a major threat to anymore. Also Favre being able to step in when Adrian Peterson is being contained will really take them places.
Glaring Stat: Percy Harvin has 514 all purpose yards so far. Chester Taylor leads the team in receptions with 15, and people say Kyle Orton is the king of the dink and dunk offense.
6. Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
The Colts know how to win, period. They’re opponents combined record is 2-7 and their average T.O.P is still below 30 minutes at 26:50. Their defense can’t get off the field on third down, even against bad teams. That all doesn’t matter though Peyton Manning is magic with Reggie Wayne. Last week I stated that Donald Brown needed to start earning his keep and he improved against the Cardinals, but there is still a ways to go for the rookie. Now that Dwight Freeney is out for a few weeks the defense will have a harder time, but I don’t expect that to slow the team down too much against Seattle next week and a bye following.
Glaring Stat: The Colts have only completed 43.8% of their third down situations, but they average 10.2 yards a pass.
7. San Fransisco 49ers (2-1)
Shaun Hill is doing great for a guy who has been sacked nine times this year. Hill proved even with Frank Gore out he could keep the team in the game. No Glen Coffee did not help much with his average of 2.2 yards a carry against Minnesota. Vernon Davis and Issac Bruce are having great years as well.
I have little complaints with the Niners defense. Patrick Willis is all over the field and could take the place of two linebackers if needed. Manny Lawson had a great game against Minnesota tallying 11 tackles. The front seven has allowed 3.0 yards a rush (remember they played against Peterson). However, the secondary has it’s issues, Brett Favre can attest to that.
Glaring Stat: The Niners have not allowed a rushing touchdown yet, even last week against Peterson.
8. Denver Broncos (3-0)
So many analysts are baffled right now. The most “baffling” thing is the defense. Mike Nolan has done a hell of a job turning a team with -17 turnover differential into one with a +6 right now. Denver’s opponents have a record of only 3-6 right now and the Browns are probably the worst team in the NFL, especially offensively. The Denver D really has its first test against Dallas this Sunday.
The offense is ironically the weaker part of the team. Kyle Orton has been an efficient game manager so far(I don’t care what Josh McDaniels insists). The running game is finally starting to get strong as well. Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter a.k.a the Orange Rush (at least to me), are going to carry the team down the field. I don’t like how McDaniels opted for consecutive running plays at the goal line instead of using one of the big tight ends, but I’m not complaining too badly because he’s gotten the job done thus far. It is essential for Kyle Orton to continue his mistake free streak against Dallas.
Glaring Stat: Eddie Royal only has six receptions for 42 yards in these first three games. I know the ball has been spread around a lot, but it’s surprising to see fresh Eddie disappear.
9. New England Patriots (2-1)
I wouldn’t write the Patriots off just yet, they still have the ability to win their division. Tom Brady looks rusty still (Randy Moss is still a beast) and rushing game is mediocre. Brady is lucky he has Julian ‘Wes Welker Jr.’ Edelman on the team since Welker is hurt. The defense looks great with the exception of the secondary. This team is running on experience right now and needs to be more consistent with their tough schedule coming up.
Glaring Stat: Tom Brady has a quarterback rating of 79.9.
10. Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
Atlanta looked very confused during the loss to New England. Matt Ryan had some trouble last game it was apparent if he or Michael Turner doesn’t have a good game the Falcons don’t have a good game. The depth isn’t really there with this team. Without Turner being effective and the defense not stopping the run their T.O.P is terrible at 27:32. The less time Matt Ryan holds the ball the less chance this team has to win.
Glaring Stat: Michael Turner hasn’t averaged above 4.0 yards a carry in any of his games this year (highest was 3.8).
San Fran above Denver? I know Denver is 3-0 and San Fran is 2-1, but I think Denver’s offense would have a hard time against San Fran’s defense. San Fran forces you to pass on them and right now Kyle Orton isn’t ready to win games himself. I believe that McDaniels will eventually mold Orton into a much better quarterback than he is now. By the way check outAssociated Content’s Zac Wassink’s power rankings, his rankings are quite unique compared to the usual MSM rankings.
Rookie of the Year Watch
1. Mark Sanchez – Sure the defense and Thomas Jones help him out a lot, but Sanchez plays like a pro.
2. Percy Harvin – What can’t Harvin do? I remember watching him win five state titles at the indoor track state meet. However, I didn’t watch him the next year seeing how he was suspended from sports for fighting during a basketball game.
Coach of the Year Watch
1. Rex Ryan (3-0) – He had a decent deck of cards in the first place but he turned it into something even better.
2. Josh McDaniels (3-0) – Josh McDaniels doesn’t care who you are or what you think. Woody Paige said “McDaniels first hire could be his misfire” referring to Mike Nolan. Not too sure about that anymore. It’s always good to have a coach with thick skin and after this offseason no one comes close to McDaniels.
3. Mike Singletary (2-1) – Possibly one of the scariest head coaches ever. The man made his own mountain just to put his players in pain. This year they’re playing tougher and better than ever. Singletary didn’t have much going for him in terms of players and now San Fran looks like they could take the division. Who needs Michael Crabtree anyways?
4. Sean Payton (3-0) – This man has been patiently building the Saints. Payton has picked up players like Sedrick Ellis, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, and Roman Harper, among others. A lot of his credit has been given to Drew Brees (for good reason), but the game against Buffalo showed that New Orleans is a very well coached team.
What do you think Nation? Any more deserving teams in the Tentative Ten? Air it out!