Posted on: November 18, 2008 11:34 am
  •  
 

Ranking the playoiff contenders

Ten:  Titans are showing more balance on offense.  Consistent downfield passing threat is really only element missing from league’s only unbeaten.

NYG:  Most balanced and complete team in the NFL.  They total dismantling of Ravens defensive front was most impressive performance of the season. 

Car:  How bad are the Raiders and Lions?  Jake Delhomme has thrown for less than 100 yards in each of his last two games, and the Panthers still won. 

Pit:  The refs aren’t doing the Steelers’ investors any favors (I’m not talking about the Rooney’s) but Pittsburgh put some nice distance between them and the Ravens in the division with the win against the Chargers.

NYJ:  Can stake a claim as the second best team in the AFC with an upset of the Titans on Sunday.

TB:  Excellent performance rushing for 108 yards on Minnesota without Ernest Graham.  Will need that type of total team effort from here on out.

Ari:  Possess the best passing attack in the NFL.  Get their toughest test of the season when the Giants roll into town Sunday.

Bal:  Run defense didn’t live up to its billing may have been exposed by the Giants.  Get a desperate Eagles team at home in next game; the smart money is usually on the more desperate team.

Was:  The Redskins offense has looked really bad in losses against the Steelers and Cowboys.  Need a big receiver who can stretch the field and open lanes for the short routes they like to run over the middle. 

Atl:  Played tough even in defeat against the Broncos.  Can improve playoff chances with win at home against Carolina this week.

Mia:  Find ways to win close games.  Grudge match against New England a huge matchup.

NE:  May have learned a lot about themselves in loss to Jets.  Matt Cassell has improved nicely and looks comfortable throwing on the run.

Dal:  Got a game they had to win at Washington.  Schedule softens up with home outings against the 49ners and Seahawks before a brutal stretch run.

Ind:  Colts offense coming around in recent weeks.

Den:  Played well in winning back to back road games to take control of division chase. 

GB:  The kind of production out of the running game the Packers displayed Sunday is what they need to offset poor run defense.

Min:  If Kevin and Pat Williams are suspended this week it may prove demise of Vikings.

Chi:  More worrisome than the injury to Kyle Orton is horrid performance of what had been an elite run defense in loss to Green Bay.

Phi:  Playing the Bengals to a tie is just about as bad as losing a game they really had to win.

NO:  Really interesting matchup with the Packers on Monday night.

Buf:  Carelessness with the football has derailed the Bills; were lucky to even be in position to win game last night.

SD:  Like LaDainian Tomlinson said the Chargers season is hanging by a thread.

Jac:  Probably have to run the table to win wildcard spot.

Cle:  Barely still in playoff hunt.

Posted on: November 11, 2008 8:33 am
 

Wk 10 NFL Rankings

 

These rankings take into consideration win loss record, statistical rankings, and head to head results.

1)     NYG: Most NFL analysts say the Giants are the best team in football.  I agree.<o:p></o:p>

2)     Ten: Until they go on the road and defeat a team as good as the Eagles or Steelers, they won’t take the top spot in these rankings.  Beating the Bears with Rex Grossman doesn’t count.<o:p></o:p>

3)     Bal: Are starting to score points in bunches; and when you combine that with their dominating brand of defense this team can be scary good.<o:p></o:p>

4)     Pitt: The injuries and first place schedule are starting to take a toll.  It doesn’t get any easier with games against the Chargers, Patriots, Cowboys, Ravens, and Titans remaining.<o:p></o:p>

5)     Was: The injury to Clinton Portis is a concern.<o:p></o:p>

6)     NYJ: Are probably the team that moved up the most in everyone’s rankings this week.  Handing the ball to Thomas Jones probably gives them their best chance to win.<o:p></o:p>

7)     TB: Get the nod over the Panthers and Falcons because they won head to head.<o:p></o:p>

8)     Car: Their offense looked awful at the Raiders.  Jake Delhomme’s MVP credentials took a blow.<o:p></o:p>

9)     Atl: Matt Ryan, along with Joe Flacco, are rewriting the rules on how teams handle rookie QB’s.<o:p></o:p>

10) Ariz: Will probably lock up the division in a couple weeks.  I still wouldn’t expect them to defeat a second place NFC East or NFC South opponent in a 1<sup>st</sup> round matchup though.<o:p></o:p>

11) Min: Brad Childress got off the snide and is now 1-7 against the Packers.<o:p></o:p>

12) Chi: Need Kyle Orton back in a hurry.  I don’t care if Rex Grossman knows how to handle the media, he makes some of the worst decisions with the ball I’ve seen from a professional quarterback.<o:p></o:p>

13) Phi: Andy Reid’s play calling has cost the Eagles at least two games this season.  Should be higher on this list.<o:p></o:p>

14) NE: Keep finding ways to win games.  There is not a lot that separates the Patriots from the Jets even though they’re 8 spots below.<o:p></o:p>

15) Mia: Almost everyone has pegged the Falcons Mike Smith as coach of the year, I disagree.  Tony Sparano has a team that was 1-15 last year in contention for the division title.  <o:p></o:p>

16) Dal: We’ll know more about the Cowboys after the game in Washington Sunday night.<o:p></o:p>

17) GB: Are wasting a historically good pass defense with their inability to stop the run.<o:p></o:p>

18) SD: Probably the best team in an awful division.<o:p></o:p>

19) Jac: Haven’t really played badly in their losses, have yet to lose a contest by more than 7 points.<o:p></o:p>

20) Ind: Need to run the ball better to regain status as an AFC contender.  Believe it or not, the 62 rushing yards they gained against the Steelers was a sign of improvement.<o:p></o:p>

21) Buf: Need to get more production from the running game. If that means benching Marshawn Lynch than so be it.<o:p></o:p>

22) NO: Outgained the Falcons by 160 yards and still lost.  Sean Payton’s decision to forgo a field goal attempt and pass on 4<sup>th</sup> down with 1:04 in the 2<sup>nd</sup> quarter was absolutely boneheaded.<o:p></o:p>

23) Den: Broncos defense made Brady Quinn look like Tom Brady.<o:p></o:p>

24) Cle: Curious play calling on final drive contributed to defeat Thursday night.<o:p></o:p>

25) Hou: Sage Rosenfels has a careless streak that costs his team wins.<o:p></o:p>

26) SF: Played much more inspired against the Cardinals.  However, and it seems like the theme of the week, questionable play calling and clock management on final drive denied them the win.<o:p></o:p>

27) Sea: Matt Hasselbeck will likely start this week against Arizona.<o:p></o:p>

28) Oak: Anemic offense wasted a solid performance by the defense, who picked off the Panthers 4 times.<o:p></o:p>

29) KC: Horrible decision to go for two at the end of the game when an XP would have sent the game to OT.  No surprise Herm Edwards has won 1 of his last 18 games with the Chiefs.<o:p></o:p>

30) Cin: Carson Palmer is doubtful for this week’s home game against the Eagles.<o:p></o:p>

31) Stl: Look horrendous in losses which is why they rank below the Chiefs and Bengals, their two wins notwithstanding.<o:p></o:p>

32) Det: Rod Marinelli sounded ridiculous when he said he’s not embarrassed by his team’s play.  If he’s not, he should be.<o:p></o:p>

 

Posted on: November 4, 2008 6:37 am
Edited on: November 5, 2008 11:34 am
 

Week 9 NFL rankings

These rankings combine statistical rankings, win/loss record, and h2h match-ups.  It's interesting to see how much these differ from Prisco's.  When I refer to scoring differential, I mean average points per game - average points allowed per game.

1. NYG: Have been as dominant as the Titans while playing a tougher schedule.

2. Ten: Second in the NFL in scoring differential (+12.1).

3. Pitt: Have been impressively consistent despite injuries.  Big Ben questionable for Indy game.

4. Car: 1st place team in a deep division.  Jake Delhomme deserves MVP consideration.

5. Was: Brutal loss last night may have exposed them.  Bye week came at opportune time.

6. Bal: Can plug in anyone at running back and get production.  Posses a world class defense and Joe Flacco is progressing nicely.  Definitely a team on the rise.

7. TB: Ugly win up in KC.  Inexcusable to surrender that many points to the Chiefs.

8. Chi: Hate to see Kyle Orton go down.  The Bears have played tough even in defeat, losing by a total of 6 pts. in three losses.  Look for some blowout defeats with Grossman.

9. Phi: The Eagles dominate the bad teams which is a marker of a high end team.  Only a h2h loss against the Bears (without Brian Westbrook) puts them at nine.

10. NYJ: Stifling run defense totally shut down the Bills and Marshawn Lynch.  Brett Farve's struggles are alarming though.

11. Ari: Best team in a horrendous division.  More production out of the running game and improved pass defense required to advance in playoffs.

12. Buf: Seem to do everything adequately and nothing well.  Says a lot of about today's NFL a mediocre team like Buffalo is ranked this highly.

13. Atl: Tough, physical team that dominates the line of scrimmage.  Matt Ryan is insanely good for a rookie QB.

14. NE: Blew that game against the Colts Sunday night.  Stupid challenges, dropped balls, and boneheaded timeouts cost them a win.

15. Min: Better play from the QB position has kept them in the division hunt.  A division title is their only path to the playoffs.

16. Mia: Tony Sparano coach of the year.

17. Dal: Have zero chemistry and play uninspired; a healthy Romo won't solve all their problems.

18. NO: Need more from the running game to control the ball and close teams in 4th quarter.

19. GB: Can't stop the run or run the ball effectively, which is unfortunate because Aaron Rodgers is playing like a pro bowler.

20. Ind: Like the Packers, the Colts can't run or stop the run.

21. Den: No surprise the Broncos have a pathetic run defense.  Big surprise they have an anemic running offense.

22. SD: Ted Cottrell out as defensive coordinator.  Let's see if Ron Rivera can capture his 06 form when he coached the Bears D to the Super Bowl.

23. Jac: Pitiful loss against the Bengals, need a miracle to make playoffs.

24. Hou: Matt Schaub out, Sage Rosenfels in.

25. Cle: Derek Anderson is horrendous.  That said, the timing of his demotion with only 2 days to prepare for a Thursday night game is plain idiotic.  Why not wait until after Thursday and use the long week to get Brady Quinn ready?

26. Sea: Unlike some backup QB's in this league Seneca Wallace can play.  Too bad Seattle has no offensive line nor wide receivers.

27. SF: Mike Singletary needs to keep his pants on.

28. Stl: No excuse to have a 29% 3rd down conversion rate with the talent they possess on offense.

29. Oak: Firing Lane Kiffin was a huge mistake.  JaMarcus Russell needs to get the heck out of there to develop into a top level pro quarterback.

30. Cin: Have played better than their record suggests.  Marvin Lewis may have saved his job for the remainder of the season with that win against the Jaguars.

31. KC: Tend to play tough at home and lay down on the road.

32. Det: Dan Orlovsky showed he can play.  His injury came at the worst possible time for the Lions.

 

Posted on: July 7, 2008 6:36 am
Edited on: July 7, 2008 6:54 am
 

Only 62 days away!

We are now only 62 days from the kickoff the NFL season.  Here how the odds to win Superbowl 43 at one online shop:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 New England Patriots--3.5 to 1; Dallas Cowboys--9 to 1; New York Jets--100 to 1; Philadelphia Eagles--20 to 1; Buffalo Bills--65 to 1; New York Giants--15 to 1; Miami Dolphis--100 to 1; Washington Redskins--40 to 1; Baltimore Ravens--66 to 1; Chicago Bears-50 to 1; Cincinatti Bengals--50 to 1; Green Bay Packers--10 to 1; Pittsburgh Steelers--18 to 1; Minnesota Vikings--22 to 1; Cleveland Browns--30 to 1; Detroit Lions--65 to 1; Indianapolis Colts--7 to 1; New Orleans Saints--25 to 1; Tennessee Titans--35 to 1; Carolina Panthers--50 to 1; Jacksonville Jaguars--14 to 1; Atlanta Falcons--200 to 1; Houston Texans--70 to 1; Tampa Bay Buccaneers--45 to 1; San Diego Chargers--7 to 1; Seattle Seahawks--28 to 1; Denver Broncos--40 to 1; San Francisco 49ers--65 to 1; Kansas City Chiefs--100 to 1; Arizona Cardinals--50 to 1; Oakland Raiders--100 to 1; St. Louis Rams--80 to 1.                                                                  
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com