I knew Skal Labissiere was going to be a bust coming into college, but I didn't think he'd be this bad. "Up and down" is extremely generous. He is going to be nothing in the NBA. I don't understand why Rico Gathers isn't higher- he is not undersized for a 4 and has tremendous strength and athleticism.
Green Bay Packers (8-0) - Previously: #1 - Aaron Rodgers is now 29-14 against the spread since 2009. Pretty sick. He could be the best of all time once his career is over.
Oh, and good lord, Brian Billick is a pretentious douche. During the Green Bay-San Diego telecast, he had this to say when discussing Charles Woodson, "I coached a lot of great defensive backs like Ed Reed and Deion Sanders in my time."
How convenient that that Billick has suddenly transformed into a defensive coach! I mean, his great offense played a big factor in that Ravens Super Bowl run and everything.
Billick, you did not coach Reed and Sanders. You worked with guys who coached them. I had just as much of an impact on their careers as you did.
Baltimore Ravens (6-2) - Previously: #9 - Let's call that Jacksonville loss a fluke - because Baltimore just swept Pittsburgh, and Joe Flacco has apparently regained his confidence.
Some people were surprised the Ravens beat the Steelers. I wasn't. Not because I had Baltimore for a unit on my NFL Picks page or anything; but because the Ravens were granted four timeouts in the second half.
Don't believe me? NFL.com's GameCenter has proof, courtesy of Facebook friend Jon Z:
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) - Previously: #2 - Apparently, Ben Roethlisberger's a** belongs to Terrell Suggs. That's what Suggs said anyway: "His soul may belong to God, but his a** belongs to me."
E-mailer David E. on this:
NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Why didn't Matt Millen draft Suggs? The two of them could stick kielbasa up each others' rear.
San Francisco 49ers (7-1) - Previously: #4 - Look, I don't want to disrespect the 49ers because of their record, but their previous two wins against the Browns and Redskins haven't been too convincing. They let both crappy squads hang around.
Speaking of crappy teams, you know what would be cool? The 49ers should just abandon their seven victories and start over from scratch to see if they could win the NFC West twice in a single season. Five wins in the second half of the year should be able to do it.
New York Giants (6-2) - Previously: #11 - I don't know what to make of this team anymore. They barely beat the Dolphins, yet they went on the road and upset New England. Though I guess the slim Miami victory doesn't seem so bad after what happened in Kansas City. But what about Seattle? How do you lose to the Seahawks at home?
At any rate, the Giants have a huge game against the 49ers coming up. I hope they were listening to Merril Hoge's analysis Sunday morning in preparation for that contest. Hoge had this to say about Frank Gore:
"Frank Gore's no Al Gore."
Hmm... and here I thought that San Francisco's stud running back invented the Internet and preached to everyone about Man Bear Pig.
New England Patriots (5-3) - Previously: #3 - As I said in the Week 9 NFL Game Recaps page, the Patriots would never have allowed that final touchdown if they still had savvy defensive veterans like Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Ty Law, etc. What has Bill Belichick been doing with this roster? Why does the defense suck so bad?
More importantly, why was Julian Edelman playing days after a sexual assault charge? And isn't it a bit of a coincidence that he was arrested for this right after playing the Steelers? It's almost as if Ben Roethlisberger approached Edelman and whispered into his ear, "Hey Julian, if she says no, it really means yes."
New Orleans Saints (6-3) - Previously: #7 - Did the Saints really have to kick that field goal to cover? Ugh.
Facebook friend Jason G. had the following to say about this:
Just wanted you to know you could start a psychic network if the football Web site doesnt work out. You wrote this in your picks page: "This is a 2-unit selection, so I'm sure the Saints will kick a field goal as time expires to boost the margin from 7 to 10."
Ask and thou shalt receive, lmao.
If you'll excuse me, I need to go to the store to buy some rope so I can hang myself.
Detroit Lions (6-2) - Previously: #8 - The Lions had a bye, so let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "sorry chicago cant keep my hands off your mom"
Help! This man is molesting every mom in Chicago!
2. "YOUR TALKIONG ABOUT BUNGLES BOY THE LAST TIME THE BUNGLES FACE YOUR SORRY TEAM THE BUNGLES ONE DUM B A S S"
The Bungles "one," eh? Are you sure you're not the DUM B A S S?
3. "brady had his shoot with the browns so now its tebow and mark my words is way better dont judge on 4 games look at troy akemen lol bad spelling "
Well, at least he knows he can't spell. Most GameCenter people are ignorant about this.
New York Jets (5-3) - Previously: #10 - If you're a Bills fan, you may have noticed that I moved Buffalo out of the top 10. Two reasons for this:
1. They were simply manhandled by the Jets. They had just three first downs in two-and-a-half quarters. This doesn't happen to a top-10 team, especially at home.
2. A "White Out?" Really? What is this, college football? I mean, I know the Bills haven't been relevant in a long time, but professional teams don't need to use gimmicks like a "White Out" to get their players and fans fired up.
Chicago Bears (5-3) - Previously: #12 - Here's a recap of the Eagles-Bears game:
1. Jay Cutler wasn't sacked in this game. That's the biggest story to come out of this Monday night contest. Chicago's much-maligned offensive line really held up against a fierce Eagles pass rush. Give offensive line coach Mike Tice major credit for fixing things up front.
On the rare occasions in which Cutler faced pressure, he moved around the pocket really well and converted a bunch of third downs (7-of-14). He went 18-of-32 for 208 yards and two touchdowns - numbers that could have been much better if his receivers hadn't dropped two deep passes.
2. Roy Williams had one of those big drops. Forum member Puppy Puncher had something amusing to say after a later Williams reception:
I don't know where this Roy Williams kid came from, but I think he has a bright NFL future ahead of him.
3. The other quarterback struggled. QB Dog Killer made some of his trademark breathtaking plays, but there was too much "bad" that overshadowed the good. The Bears did a great job of confusing him with their schemes, as they always do. QB Dog Killer, who is now 0-4 against the Bears, went 21-of-38 for 213 yards and a pick, and he could have been intercepted on several other occasions.
4. Speaking of poor throws, give Andy Reid credit for trying a fake punt pass with rookie Chas Henry. It was a creative call that caught Chicago unawares. Unfortunately, Henry threw like a girl, and the pass bounced five yards in front of the intended target.
5. If the Bears didn't win, I think I would have led off with something like: "Matt Forte had $$$$ on Eagles moneyline!!!" Forte had 133 yards on 24 carries, but was guilty of two key fumbles. Those turnovers led to 14 points for the Eagles.
6. Something I don't get is why teams waste time getting the snap off after a possible turnover that could be challenged. This happened tonight. On one of Forte's fumbles, the refs ruled him down by contact even though replay clearly showed that he lost the ball before hitting the ground. Instead of hurrying to the line of scrimmage, Chicago took its good old time, giving Reid enough time to throw the challenge flag.
Apparently, I'm not the only one miffed by this. Check out this exchange between two forum members:
EllijayFalconsFan: I don't why the QB doesn't just spike the all when that happens. I mean it's a change of possession for God sakes.
Michigan Mike: NFL coaches have lizard brains. Seriously just run up to the line and call a dive play. Anything to avoid the challenge. Just no huddle and snap the ball before the coach even has a chance. ****ING MORON!
7. The Dream Team is kind of screwed at 3-5. There are so many wild card teams with five or six victories that they're probably going to have to win the division. They're three games behind the Giants with a loss to them already, though they battle each other two weeks from now. New York has a tough schedule, so there is some hope, but the odds are stacked against the Eagles. Besides, it's not like they're guaranteed to win all of their other games anyway. They're still terrible against the run.
8. Speaking of Eagle ineptness, everyone makes a big deal about how great Reid is after a bye. Well, he's now 3-8 against the spread two weeks after the bye, so perhaps he spends too much time preparing for that one game.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 10 - Bottom 10
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9) - Previously: #32 - Beloved GameCenter poster and Colts fan Taton threw a temper tantrum during his team's latest loss:
1. Will Taton and Falcon Girl get married and have kids who post stupid things on GameCenter?
2. Who is this Cristis Prainter bum, and why are the Colts starting him?
31. Arizona Cardinals (2-6) - Previously: #30 - I have nothing interesting to say about the Cardinals, who had no business beating the Rams, so let's continue with the Colts. They've pretty much locked up Andrew Luck, but that's not a good thing according to Phil Simms, who doesn't think Luck can make all the throws.
I decided to call Simms for an interview to find out why he believes this.
Me: Hey Phil, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. So, why do you think Andrew Luck sucks?
Phil Simms: He has a minuscule arm. He can't make all the throws. The Colts will really regret it if they draft him and let Peyton Manning go.
Me: Interesting - because every other scout is enamoured with Luck.
Phil Simms: Well, I'm not every other scout. Believe me, the Colts will have no luck if they draft Andrew Luck.
Me: Clever. So, who's your favorite quarterback in this class?
Phil Simms: Can I go with none of the above?
Me: Really? You hate all of them?
Phil Simms: Matt Barkley is a poser. Did you see his blond hair? He's trying too hard to be like me and my awesome son.
Me: I'm sure that's what he was going for.
Phil Simms: Glad you see it that way. That Jones guy from Oklahoma also sucks. He throws like a girl. And Blake Griffin from Baylor is too dark-skinned to play quarterback.
Me: That's not racist at all.
Phil Simms: Well, to be a perfect NFL quarterback, you need to be pale with blond hair like me and my awesome son.
Me: I was going to ask about that. Don't you have two sons?
Phil Simms: What? Of course not. Don't be stupid.
Me: There's Matt Simms, who quarterbacks the Tennessee Vols, and Chris Simms, who used to start for the Bucs...
Phil Simms: Who's Chris Simms? Never heard of that epic failure.
Me: I'm pretty sure Chris Simms is your son.
Phil Simms: I'm ending this interview right now. How dare you say I have two sons when I clearly had one? If I had a son named Chris Simms, and he sucked as much as he did in the NFL, I would disown him for sure!
30. St. Louis Rams (1-7) - Previously: #29 - I'm still putting St. Louis ahead of the Cardinals. I'm convinced that if I didn't bet the Rams, they wouldn't have had that field goal blocked and certainly wouldn't have allowed that Patrick Peterson punt return touchdown.
29. Washington Redskins (3-5) - Previously: #27 - You know a quarterback sucks when you're betting on him, and every time he throws a non-checkdown, you shout, "Oh no!" Ladies and gentlemen, John Blegh.
28. Miami Dolphins (1-7) - Previously: #31 - If you haven't heard, the Dolphins suspended cornerback Vontae Davis because they believe he got drunk the night before showing up late to a practice in which he got into a fight with Brandon Marshall.
I think it's time to bring back an old favorite...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Vontae Davis: Doo doo doo doo doo... I'm a great NFL cornerback. Oh, what's this flask doing in my locker? From Derek Anderson? Hmm... let me try...
*** Ten minutes later... ***
Vontae Davis: Hic! Heyyyy Branzzz Marshulllzzz, why yewww drop evurthinnnn that Matt Mooorree throoowww toooo yewwwww? Hic!
27. Cleveland Browns (3-5) - Previously: #26 - Whether you're a Browns fan or not, you have to listen to this epic Browns fans rant, posted by Egg Shen on the forum.
Here are the highlights if you can't listen:
"Get excited, folks! Carlton Mitchell is playing on Sunday!"
"I'M TIRED OF SUCKING!!!"
"I can only eat so much poop."
26. Seattle Seahawks (2-6) - Previously: #28 - An exchange on the forum from a while ago that still applies:
LTomlinson31: Do wins against the Chiefs, Browns and Seahawks count anymore?
Ragnarok: Kinda like how f***ing a fat girl "counts." Technically you got laid, but you sure as hell don't want to brag about it.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) - Previously: #25 - The Jaguars are coming off a bye, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter (the first from Facebook friend Jay B):
1. "Det is going to lose agian and with Da Bears win today they are on thier way to the Super bowel!!!"
I think it's safe to say that the team to win the Super Bowel will be the one to be digested last.
2. "EAGIRLS LOSE 54-O HA HA HA "
3. "this is a good little road test and chance to make a statement by beating the crab out of the seahawks and letting the league know their for real"
This actually makes sense. I suppose a seahawk could swoop down to the ocean and swallow a crab, which would allow one to beat the crab out of it.
24. Tennessee Titans (4-4) - Previously: #23 - If you don't like where your team is seeded in these NFL Power Rankings, you're not alone.
E-mailer Charles B. had this to say:
The Houston Texans, after 8 games (one half of their season) have the 3rd best defense in the NFL, the 7th best offense in the NFL, are in first place alone in the AFC South with a 5-3 record, and all of this while either Arian Foster or Andre Johnson has been out every game. Oh, and did I mention Mario Williams out for the year as well. Yet, you rate them without mentioin as, what, the 13th best team in the league. Please. Your bias against them is all too obvious here.
Oh yeah, I hate the Texans. As a born and raised Philadelphian, my hatred for the Texans has been the one constant in my life for 29 years. I apologize for being so biased.
In all seriousness, I just don't trust Schaub to come through in the clutch. I've seen this story one too many times.
23. Denver Broncos (3-5) - Previously: #24 - I found it absolutely ridiculous that John Elway planned to bench Tim Tebow if he had another poor performance. Like Lord Elway never had two bad games in his career.
What would benching Tebow have accomplished? A chance to see Brady Quinn in action? Get real.
Is it just me, or do Elway and John Fox seem like bad guys from a cheesy 80s movie? I'm half expecting Tebow to fight them in the All-Valley Karate Tournament.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Houston Texans (6-3). Previously: #13
12. Buffalo Bills (5-3). Previously: #5
13. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2). Previously: #14
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5). Previously: #6
15. Atlanta Falcons (5-3). Previously: #18
16. Dallas Cowboys (4-4). Previously: #19
17. San Diego Chargers (4-4). Previously: #16
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4). Previously: #17
19. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4). Previously: #15
20. Oakland Raiders (4-4). Previously: #20
21. Minnesota Vikings (2-6). Previously: #21
22. Carolina Panthers (2-6). Previously: #22
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: