Posted Thu Dec 24th by Mr.East
My power rankings are fittingly named the ‘Tentative Ten’ because every week it’s subject to change, and erratically at that. This week the Tentative Ten will only feature the top ten eleven rankings. In another post all of weekly awards will be featured.
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)
Indianapolis won again… woo… Well actually this time it only benefited Denver putting the Jacksonville further from playoff contention.
Glaring Stat: Bill Polian believes in resting his starters for the post season. Polian was the GM of the Bills when they went to the Super Bowl 4 years straight, losing every time. Every time the Colts rested their starters they saw a short post-season. The one time the Colts won the Super Bowl they had to play out the season to guarantee a post season berth.
2. New Orleans Saints (13-1)
Losing at home to the Cowboys isn’t bad when you’ve already won 13 game straight and wrapped up a post-season berth. The Saints did look vulnerable against the boys but every team deserves an off game. How the Saints rebound from their home loss should determine what we see come playoff time.
Glaring Stat: Despite the highly potent passing attack the Saints have, none of their receivers has gone over 1,000 yards yet (Marques Colston is about to at 994).
3. San Diego Chargers (11-3)
It’s painful to see the Chargers doing so well and it’s even more painful now that Denver fans have to root for them. That’s right, it’s time to cheer for the Bolts. San Diego plays Tennessee next and a Titan loss would put them out of the wildcard picture. The Chargers bandwagon is overflowing nowadays and I love it because it is very reminiscent of their 2006 season where they lost to the Patriots in the AFC Divisional round. The MSM is asking “Who can stop the Chargers? They’re huge Super Bowl contenders!” Their expectations are soaring now, it will be painful if Philip Rivers and company make me eat my words.
Glaring Stat: Philip Rivers is unbeaten in January, a staggering 17-0.
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
Brett Favre says everything is fine and dandy in Minnesota but I beg to differ. Whenever you get destroyed by Matt Moore and the gang on Sunday night there’s some work to be done and some worry to be had. The Vikings just smell of one and done this year. I don’t think they’ll fall short in the playoff run, but I don’t see a Super Bowl in their future. The Viking pass is non existent as well as their pass protection. Adrian Peterson proved last season that he couldn’t do it alone, so if the Vikings want to go anywhere this January they’ll need their offensive line to have some confidence.
Glaring Stat: It’s an absolute joke that out of their 19 positions in the pro-bowl 10 of them are Vikings voted by the fans. Thank the lord that it’s only a third of what counts.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)
If it wasn’t for a botch officiating non-call that Tony Dungy aptly pointed out (without blinking… ever) the Bengals very well could have beat the Chargers. However, that doesn’t matter because they didn’t win. It was really emotional seeing Chad Johnson honoring Chris Henry while playing his heart out. This is what you can expect from him for the rest of the year. The Bengals should rally and win their division and play tough come post-season, much like the Redskins did after the passing of the great Sean Taylor.
Glaring Stat: The Bengals have gone 6-0 in their division and 3-5 outside of it.
6. Dallas Cowboys (9-5)
Tony Romo is always chastised for his poor play in December. The best way to disprove that is to beat the best team in the NFC in their own house. Dallas has the toughest December they’ve possibly ever seen, they’ve played the Giants, Chargers, and Saints so far and now they have to head to the nation’s capital to play a tough divisional game and then finish out against the Eagles for a second straight season.
Glaring Stat: The Cowboys beat the Saints despite the missed field goal by Nick Folk. The Redskins lost the Saints with the missed field goal by Shaun Suisham. Both teams cut both of those kickers and now Suisham is on the Cowboys. Ironic.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)
The Eagles are looking like the already a playoff berth wrapped up, whether it’s the division title or the top wild-card spot, they’ll most likely see January this year.
Glaring Stat: DeSean Jackson has burned nearly everyone, the Eagles are 5-1 when Jackson scores a touchdown.
8. Green Bay Packers (9-5)
And the Steelers get over once again… However much like the Eagles the Packers also seem to have the playoffs in the bag, that is if they beat Seattle next week.
Glaring Stat: Aaron Rodgers only has 30 less rushing yards than Reggie Bush (309 vs. 339).
9. Arizona Cardinals (9-5)
Easiest division on the NFL? Possibly the NFC West. However, not for long. I believe that the Niners, Cardinals, and Seahawks will start competing at a higher level in the next few seasons. The Cardinals are a dangerous team once they get into the playoffs so it will be interesting to see if they have another miracle post-season run.
Glaring Stat: The Cardinals are -8 in the turnover differential.
10. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
Baltimore’s curb stomping of Chicago was very bitter-sweet for Denver fans. Baltimore took Denver’s top wildcard spot, but guaranteed the Broncos a top 10 draft pick while making the Cutler trade look like Ocean’s Eleven.
Glaring Stat: Ray Rice may have 1,128 yards on the year, but he has 73 receptions for 669 yards for a running back.
11. Denver Broncos (8-6)
Since I write about the Broncos I had to make an exception to the Tentative Ten. It’s obvious that this game against Philadelphia is huge. Brian Westbrook is looking like he’ll be making a return so the Denver defensive line can’t afford to be bossed around like they were against the Raiders. Denver’s defense is starting to looked gassed late this season and they need to win while their playoff berth is still in their hands.
If it makes anything better, the Eagles lost the Raiders too.
Glaring Stat: Kyle Orton has 3,182 yards on the season and Jay Cutler has 3,117.
What do you think Nation? Any more deserving teams in the Tentative Ten? Air it out!