Posted Tue Dec 1st by Mr.East
My power rankings are fittingly named the ‘Tentative Ten’ because every week it’s subject to change, and erratically at that. Also featured is a Rookie, Defensive, and Offensive Player of the Year Watch, and a Coach of the Year Watch, and Movie to watch this week.
1. New Orleans Saints (11-0)
The Saints put the curb stomp on the Patriots proving that they are the best of the best. It was an absolute dismantling of the Patriots on every level imaginable.
Glaring Stat: Mike Bell - 564 yards, undrafted. Pierre Thomas 648 yards, undrafted. Reggie Bush 277 yards, second overall pick. Rookie pay scale please.
2. Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
Peyton Manning loves comeback wins and the Texans love to give up leads, what a match made in heaven.
Glaring Stat: The Colts still can’t win the T.O.P game averaging 28:28 on the year and 28:08 against the Texans. Could you imagine what Drew Brees would do to the Colt’s defense given that much time?
3. Minnesota Vikings (10-1)
Now that everyone thinking about how well the Vikings will fair in the playoffs, people are now thinking about whether Brett Favre will make it back for yet another year (probably after yet another retirement).
Glaring Stat: Adrian Peterson has only three 100+ yard games on the season, and only one is against a winning team (Baltimore).
4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)
Cincinnati has gone 6-0 in the division. It is hard to go undefeated in any division let alone the AFC North. The Ravens and Steelers are definitely hurting from this sweep because neither of them are in a playoff spot at the moment.
Glaring Stat: Cincinnati has posted three different 100 yard rushers on the year (Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, Larry Johnson). Talk about depth.
5. San Diego Chargers (8-3)
Did Kansas City even show up? Unfortunately this may be the case for next week against Cleveland. Chargers will begin their chokehold on the AFC West title.
Glaring Stat: San Diego outscored Kansas City 80-21 in their two match ups this year.
6. New England Patriots (7-4)
Getting beat by the best isn’t so bad. Tom Brady looked very flustered and out of sync against the Saints and the usually disciplined defense looked out of position and confused. That is how you beat the Patriots.
Glaring Stat: Randy Moss had 326 yards, 21.7 yards a catch, and 3 TDs against Miami and Indy. Moss had 101 yards, 12.6 yards a catch, and 1 TD against Jets and Saints. Do you think some teams are calling up for that tape?
7. Denver Broncos (7-4)
With five games left, the mainstream media has no faith in the Broncos making the playoffs. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com called the Broncos AFC ‘Pretenders‘ and Mike Florio of PFT said, “We don’t see this team winning many more games, mutherf–king or otherwise.“
Regardless of the accuracy of their futile predictions it will be a hard fought finish to the end. If Denver has any chance of winning the majority of their final games it will be on the shoulders of the running game, especially the rookie Knowshon Moreno.
Why is Moreno the key? Moreno did have an amazing game against the Giants, some of his 10 to 12 yard runs looked over two yards in. Moreno did average more yards against San Diego but the run game was abandoned after Chris Simms sucked it up. The eight yards a carry stat is also misleading because of Moreno’s 36 yard run, whereas Moreno’s longest run of the Giants game was 12 yards, meaning he was more consistent eating up time.
Therefore, if you look at the T.O.P in the San Diego game versus the Giants game you’ll see why. Denver had the ball for 22:08 against the Chargers and 35:30 against the Giants. When the running game gets going the Broncos can control the clock and give the veteran defense a rest.
As you can see the defense can play at a high level when not on the field for the vast majority of the game. The fresher the defense is the better they can blitz, the better they can blitz the more sacks Elvis Dumervil can rack up.
Glaring Stat: During the last 3 weeks, nearly 1 of every 4 runs by Knowshon Moreno has gone for @ least 10 yards NFL-best 23.4% rate (11-47). Thanks to Patrick Smyth via Twitter.
8. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
Dallas was desperate for a win and couldn’t afford to lose against the Raiders. As of right now the Cowboys lead the NFC East, but the road ahead is terrifyingly insane and mostly away games at that. The rest of the season for the boys is at Giants, San Diego, at Saints, at Washington, and Philadelphia.
Glaring Stat: Miles Austin has 743 yards in his first six games starting averaging 123.8 yards a game and 20 yards a catch.
9. Green Bay Packers (7-4)
This is the Packers first time cracking the Tentative Ten, had I named this the Tentative Twelve they could have possibly made it the majority of the season. Green Bay has a hellish stretch to end the season with games versus Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Arizona.
Glaring Stat: Aaron Rodgers has only 30 less rushing yards than Reggie Bush (247 to 277).
10. Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
Kurt Warner might be out for a big longer than expected, which may not be too big of a problem because Matt Leinart is playing well in his absence. As long as the Cardinals can get the ball in Larry Fitzgerald’s tennis racket hands they should coast into the post season.
Glaring Stat: Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett had four sacks going into the Titans game and left almost doubling his season total with seven.
Coach of the Week
Perry Fewell – The Bills had their best game of the season under Perry Fewell who has more faith in Harvard Man Ryan Fitzpatrick than Stanford alumnus Trent Edwards and so far he’s right.
Rookie of the Week
Kenny Britt – Enough said. I’m still voting for Moreno though, sue me.
Offensive Player of the Week
Drew Brees – A fantasy player’s worst nightmare. If you were safely 40 points up on your fantasy game, patiently waiting for Monday night to secure the victory, I really hope you weren’t going against Brees… like I was. Mr. Five Touchdown Brees put up over 40 points in most leagues against a stout defense. Any questions if Brees is an elite quarterback now?
Defensive Player of the Week
Charles Woodson – Charles Woodson is having a phenomenal year. Seven tackles, one sack, two pics, one forced fumble, and one TD against the Lions.
Rookie of the Year Watch
1. Percy Harvin – Percy Harvin caught for over a hundred yards a TD, it’s hard to tell sometimes if it’s Favre helping Harvin or Harvin helping Favre. The road will be tough for Harvin to break 1,000 yards receiving, which he will need to do to win rookie of the year.
2. Knowshon Moreno - Knowshon secured the ball and ran like a maniac. If Moreno keeps on having games like that he’ll break 1,000 yards and perhaps take Denver to the post season. If he achieves all of that he will be a tough player to deny rookie of the year to.
3. Jairus Byrd - Jarius Byrd didn’t have a pick in the Bills rout against the Dolphins but he played a shut down role the hole game. Chad Henne rarely had anyone open which lead to tight end Anthony Fasano leading the team in receptions and yards for the day. Henne’s longest throw was for 20 yards, and Henne has a cannon.
4. Brian Cushing – During the offseason Brian Cushing was accused of taking steroids, he was exonerated and it was never proven. This season you could make a case that Cushing was on the juice because he is playing as if he has PCP flowing through his veins. USC misses this guy.
5. Hakeem Nicks – Eli Manning couldn’t really get the ball out to anyone under Denver’s blitzing schemes. Nicks will have an above average rookie season, but look for him to have a great NFL career.
Defensive Player of the Year Watch
1. Elvis Dumervil – Another multiple sack game for Elvis. Does anyone else have a feeling that he’ll get robbed for this award come end of the year?
2. Darren Sharper – Darren Sharper broke Kevin Faulk on Monday night, proving that not only can he get you the turnovers, he can also lay the wood.
4. Jared Allen – Whether it’s out in the woods or during a game this man is always on the hunt.
5. Darrelle Revis – Darelle Revis had the most lucky pick six I’ve ever seen, but it’s still a pick six.
Offensive Player of the Year Watch
1. Chris Johnson – The real question is now how good is he, it’s will he break 2,000 yards?
2. Drew Brees- If Chris Johnson wasn’t having one of the most amazing seasons ever Brees would make this easy.
3. Peyton Manning – How many more come from behind games will he win this year?
4. Brett Favre – Will have have more touchdowns than years of age? Probably not, but it’s in reach. Favre would have to throw 3.4 touchdowns for each game for the rest of the season.
Coach of the Year Watch
1. Sean Payton (11-0) – Sean the Re-Builder, can he re-build a crumbling franchise? Yes he can!
2. Jim Caldwell (11-0) – Yes, he owes Tony Dungy a lot, but he’s still getting it done on his own accord.
3. Josh McDaniels (7-4) – If McDaniels manages to lead the Broncos into the post season I believe he will win this award hands down. The only exception is if one or both of the two guys above go perfect.
4. Marvin Lewis (8-3) – Marvin Lewis was chastised for bringing in Larry Johnson, who in return chastised the Browns defense.
5. Mike Singletary (5-6) – My parents live in California about two hours south of San Fransisco. Over thanksgiving I heard a lot of commericals for the Niners, which all of them incoprorated Mike Singletary saying “We’re gonna go out there in punch them in the mouth!” I will never not be scared of this man.
Who Needs a V8?
NFL Network – Even on a five second delay they let the f bomb drop.
Unforunate Incident of the Week
Brian Urlacher and the Media - In case you missed it, Brian Urlacher discussed with Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver his frustration with the Bears this season. The media took what Urlacher said as “I love Jay Cutler, but not really at all and I’d rather have Kyle Orton.”
Hey, I get you Brian, you’re just mad that the Bears are not only struggling defensively, you’re also frustrated with Cutler’s frequent turnovers instead of establishing the ground game. At the same time Urlacher appreciates and respects Cutler’s elite talent. This is more a comment on the coaching of the offense than the players on the offense.
Urlacher said “You see him do [expletive] like that, and you’re like, ‘That’s unreal,’ ” Urlacher said. “I mean, there might be five guys in the league who can make that throw; it couldn’t have been anywhere else. It was [expletive] sweet.”
That doesn’t sound like a guy who hates Jay Cutler. Urlacher was obviously more of a fan of players like Orton who fits the offense and kept you in the game and gave guys like Urlacher the chance to win it. In all honesty Urlacher shouldn’t have put himself in this situation to begin with.
Movie Show to Watch this Week
Scrubs - I’m positive last year was Scrubs’ final season. Somehow there is a season nine of Scrubs with all the old cast members and some new ones. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I’m definitely going to watch it tonight on ABC at 9 EST/7MT.
What do you think Nation? Any more deserving teams in the Tentative Ten? Air it out!