All World All Sports Blogs
Five weeks in the books for NFL 2009. There have been a few surprising teams turning heads. It's time for my own version of NFL power rankings based on nothing more than personal observations of team performances on the gridiron.
1- New York Giants (5-0) - Strong in all facets of the game. Ranks 2nd in offense, 1st in defense. Jacobs hasn't found his running game but Bradshaw has been attacking defenses. Young WR's have been outstanding.
2- Indianapolis Colts (5-0) - Playing very well behind Peyton Manning's leadership. 3rd in total offense and bend but don't break defense allowing only 14.2 ppg.
3- Denver Broncos (5-0) - Yes, Denver is for real and NFL has taken notice after they beat New England. Defense giving up NFL low 8.6 ppg. Offense is a work in progress but has been making big plays in crunch time.
4- Minnesota Vikings (5-0) - Big play offense. Big play defense.
5- Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) - Who are these guys? If it wasn't for a last minute opening day stunning loss to Denver these guys would be 5-0. They've beaten Green Bay, Pittsburgh & Baltimore which pushed them up my list. Cincy schedule doesn't get any easier. Houston, Chicago, Baltimore and Pittsburgh up next. We'll soon see if Cincy is for real.
6- New Orleans Saints (4-0) - Tentatively ranking 5th due to their not playing top teams... yet. Next opponent Giants. Should be one heck of a game. Saints will know how good they are after this one.
7- Atlanta Falcons (3-1) - Very strong team with plenty of weapons. This young team will remain tough for at least the next 5-7 seasons. Defense had only one hiccup so far and benefits from grueling offensive game plan.
8- Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) - Eagles offense playing great with and without McNabb. He's back now which spells trouble for next two opponents. Defense is getting the job done. Rushing game is way off track.
9- Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) - Here comes Pittsburgh. Steelers offense is on fire after 3 shaky weeks to begin their Championship defense. Running game has been revived by rookie Mendenhall. Roethlisberger very sharp. Defense rebounding after loss of Polamalu.
10- Baltimore Ravens (3-2) - Another 5-0 might have been. Two tough losses for a very strong team. Flacco is maturing as a top flight NFL QB. Defense has been off late in games. Running game has highs and lows. WR inconsistency is still biggest problem and takes heat for last 2 losses.
Keep an eye on:
New England (3-2) - Still explosive on paper. Problem is, it's only been on paper so far. Brady & Co. are off. Lack of faith in running game making Pats a one dimentional and defendable offense . Defense spending too much time on the field but has kept them in games. "When" and "If" are two big questions in New England.
Miami Dolphins (2-3) - 'Phins know how to gobble up time of possession. Against a very aggressive Jets D they learned how to score inside the red zone. Defense remains well rested behind a battering running attack. No one has figured out how to stifle the Wildcat.
New York Jets (3-2) - Ryan was mystified after Monday's defeat. Expect Jets to shed their cockyness and return to playing smart football. Perhaps starting 3-0 puffed up ego's a little too much. Ryan will have them back to business. Passing game needs to be let loose. Their deep game looks great. It's the short over the middle plays which seem to give Sanchez fits. They'll probably end up as a .500 team but have playoff potential at this early juncture.
Dallas Cowboys (3-2) - Offensive Coordinator has been horrendous. Never before have I watched games where an offensive line has completely dominated opposing defenses opening up running lanes down to the goal line only to have play callers suddenly decide to pass. 'Boys played great on opening day. They've looked horrible in every other game including wins. Very talented and deep team suffering from lack of leadership on the field and from entire coaching staff.
Chicago Bears (3-1) - Tough opening day defeat followed up by 3 straight wins. Cutler seems more comfortable. Running game taking hold. Defense always tough. Big games coming up after bye week @ Atlanta & Cincinnati.