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KingPriest2
11-17-2004, 09:19 PM
Fraud warning
Ravens may be climbing in the ratings, but it's not because of Ray Lewis
Posted: Wednesday November 17, 2004 1:08PM; Updated: Wednesday November 17, 2004 4:16PM





There were at least two spitting incidents over the weekend. The NFL is checking the Fines and Violations section of the Official Players Contract to determine the correct penalty. I believe the infraction is listed under "Abuses of an Aquatic or Inphlegmitory Nature." And if you don't think this is hilarious, please don't read further, because it'll get worse:

NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
1 1 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-1)
OK, I'll disclose a potential sleeper for my all-pro team. Wanna guess? A hint -- he's never been selected to anything. Name to be announced in Mailbag column the week after Thanksgiving. Too long to wait? OK, it's ILB James Farrior.
2 2 New England Patriots (8-1)
That's two straight weeks in which a secondary that lists Earthwind Moreland and Randall Gay as its corners has brought a strongarmed quarterback to heel, first Marc Bulger, then Drew Bledsoe. Let's hear it for a young defensive backs coach who gets less than his share of recognition -- Eric Mangini.
3 3 Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
I have to laugh when I hear someone say, "We'll control Terrell Owens with double coverage." It's not how many you have covering him, it's who you have. Did you see what he did to those wispy little cornerbacks Dallas tried to cover him with? Split them like grapefruits.
4 4 Atlanta Falcons (7-2)
Someone just handed me a Rod Coleman stat sheet. Thank you, and say hello to your wife for me. In the six games the lightning-quick DT has played, the Falcons' defense is averaging 4.3 sacks, 13.3 points allowed and 276.5 yards. In the three he's missed (auto accident), the numbers are 0.3, 34.7 and 475. Hey, you don't have to tell me about Rod Coleman. He was one of my sleeper all-pro choices two years ago when he was with the Raiders.
5 5 Denver Broncos (6-3)
Trap warning. Looking ahead to division rivals Oakland and San Diego, they visit New Orleans this week, home of the conquerors of the mighty Chiefs. Fasten your seat belts.
6 6 San Diego Chargers (6-3)
Guess what? My top six all retain their positions from last week, and that includes the Lightning Bolts. Now that I've got them up here in the stratosphere, how come I don't hear from all those angry Charger e-mailers anymore? "Because Andrew didn't send you any e-mails about the rankings last week," says my own little red-headed Diogenes, carrying her lantern of truth through these darkened hallways of deception and deceit.
7 7 Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
My mind is becoming befogged by all the records floating around this team. Record number of TD passes (31) for Peyton after nine games. On pace to break Marino's season record of 48, but if he averages a measly two per game he'll fall short. Ties someone or other ... had it here just a minute ago ... for three, five-TD pass games in a season. To which the AP report in front of me adds, "Most five-TD games (four) in a 12-month span," which I believe is a reach, leaning on last year's action, but it's nothing compared to the next reach. "After three quarters against the Texans he had thrown one less TD pass (five) than incomplete passes (six)." OK, I'm going to cut it off here. And let's move on to someone sensible, like the ...
8 9 Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)
... and their new QB starter, David Garrard, who led an offense that ran up 89 plays, count 'em, on poor Detroit. Is that the high number for any team this year? By jingo, I believe it is. And here's my question. If being on the field that long tires out a defense, why wouldn't it tire out an offense, as well, for the following week?
9 14 Green Bay Packers (5-4)
The Jets and Giants both were among my top nine last week, but they are now on the displaced persons list, and Green Bay, owner of four straight wins, arrives. Yeah, Mike Sherman's play calling is doing fine things, but you have to be a little nervous, watching the way Daunte Culpepper carved up those no-names in the secondary last week. I mean Joey Thomas and Ahmad Carroll and Jason Horton? C'mon now. On the other hand, holdover veteran right cornerback Al Harris, who once was also a journeyman, looked terrific in his mano-a-mano matchup with the Vikes' Marcus Robinson.
10 13 Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
OK, I'm gonna say something Ravens fans aren't going to like, but I ask them to please search their hearts to see if there's any truth to it. Ray Lewis is one of the great frauds of 2004. I've seen him six times now. Pretty decent against Cleveland the week before last. Got buried by the Chiefs. Against the Jets last weekend he was a zero when it got down to crunch time. On New York's last drive in regulation, that controversial field goal thing, Curtis Martin had crucial inside runs of 21 and five yards, and then, of course, there was Quincy Carter's nine-yard quarterback draw. Where was Ray? Running around blocks, playing the edges, taking on nobody, falling on the pile and then jumping up and waving his fist and yelling, as if he had made the play. Miked for sound? Of course. You bet. Never made a play in either of the Jets' overtime drives, either, unless you count the noise factor.
11 8 New York Jets (6-3)
Funny how some people show up just when you're talking about them. They butchered the clock about as badly as I've ever seen it done, and I don't want to be coy, but you can read all about it in my midweek column.
12 22 St. Louis Rams (5-4)
I've got some nifty quotes to add to my Quote Collection scrapbook. "Wednesday's got to be more violent," said Mike Martz, who has never lived in New Jersey. My favorite bit of dialogue, though, comes from Marshall Faulk, referring to Martz's full contact drills on Wednesday and Thursday. "I've never been in a practice like that," Faulk said. "Did it help?" someone asked him. "I don't know. I wasn't in it?" Folks, those are my kinds of quotes, but I guess you've already figured out how much I love nonsense.
13 11 Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
We're entering the high middle range that always gives me the most trouble. The Giants beat them, but I was so impressed with Culpepper's performance against the Pack, working with a very average set of receivers, shrugging off the rush ... I mean the guy was just heroic ... that I don't have the heart to drop them any lower.
14 25 Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
They beat the Giants last weekend, so here they are, higher, probably, than where they should be, but things will sort themselves out. I covered the Browns of the early 1950s and I told Paul Brown that he had a kid on his roster who would make a good head coach someday. Youngster named Shula. A few years later I told the Giants' Jim Lee Howell that either of his two assistants, Landry or Lombardi, probably would be a pretty decent head man. I know what I'm talking about, see. So let me drop a sleeper name on you for future head coaching material, a name that sounds like something out of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Roaring Twenties. Clancy Pendergast. Defensive coordinator. His game plan against the Giants was a classic, a classic I tell you!
15 10 New York Giants (5-4)
Young Eli will be making his debut against the wrong team -- Atlanta, a fast, schematically complicated defensive outfit. Couldn't they save him for the Colts or Chiefs or somebody?
16 12 Houston Texans (4-5)
On the heels of their slaughteration by Indy, I picked them to upset the Packers. Granted, it was 3 a.m. when I wrote the column, but did I really do that? "Yes you did," says The Flaming Redhead, "and I wasn't there to stop you." Yeah, because it was 3 a.m. and you'd already gone to bed, and ... does anyone really want to hear any more of this true-life home adventure?
17 15 Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
The worst thing that happened to defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes was getting caught in an all out blitz for the winning TD the first time he played the Rams. It left deep scars. In the second half last weekend, St. Louis' offensive line was in ruins. Tom Nutten, a multiple reject, was at LG, Orlando Pace, the LT, had been thrown out and RT Grant Williams, probably their weakest regular, had to switch over, his place taken by Blaine Saipaia, whose only playing experience was in the video arcade. And did Ray attack this motley crew? He did not. He employed a straight four-man rush, sometimes three, and played a laid back kind of defense that got whacked. And thus another Dr. Z handicapping gem takes the pipe.
18 21 Cincinnati Bengals (4-5)
Six obscure defensive rookies are flying around all over the place, making plays, screwing up some, creating action, and last Sunday, a victory over the Redskins. They are not no-names because here are their names -- Matthias Askew, Robert Geathers, Landon Johnson, Keiwan Ratliff, Madieu Williams, Caleb Miller. My question is this: Are there any parents who still name their kids Joe or Al or Frank?
19 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
What was that sound I heard? Oh that? Just another Dr. Z upset special hitting the garbage can. Whew, for a second there I thought it was something unusual.
20 28 New Orleans Saints (4-5)
Why are they beneath the Bucs, when their record is better and they're coming off a big win? Because the Bucs beat them last month. Well, gosh, mfff, sputter, that didn't stop you when you ranked ... oh, just too many others to name. Fair? You want fair, go down to 18th and McDowell (did I get the address right this time, Mr. Phoenix e-mailer from last year?).
21 18 Kansas City Chiefs (3-6)
We are entering the land of the seriously flawed. During each of their six losses, they were either ahead or tied at some point in the fourth quarter.
22 16 Buffalo Bills (3-6)
They got crushed by the Patriots. The Rams had a big win over the Seahawks. On my chart the Rams should be favored by 4 1/2 in Buffalo. The official opening line was a single point. Oh oh, trap line. Turn around and go with the oddsmakers. An automatic formula pick for me under my trap system. "And tell them, please, what your record is for trap system games this season," says The Flaming Redhead. Well, I don't think I will, so how do you like that? And I think you'd better, so how do you like that? All right, OK already, my record on trap formula "mind bets" is 9-17, but it's getting better, and I've still got almost half a season left.
23 19 Cleveland Browns (3-6)
Tuesday headline: Spitting Rivals Make Up. That would be, in case you haven't yet heard, William Green and the Steelers' Joey Porter, who spat, punched, and then walked last weekend. They plan to throw an I've been fined party for one another. Soon they'll be double-dating. You have no idea how relieved this makes me feel.
24 27 Chicago Bears (4-5)
My, this is a creative team. They scored, vs. the Titans, on a punt return, an interception return, and then in OT on a rare game-winning safety. And lest you think their offense lacks punch, three of their 19 points came via a good old field goal.
25 20 Tennessee Titans (3-6)
Following the events I described, Tennessee LB Keith Bulluck had this to say: "I'm dumbfounded. We gave up three points and we're on the losing end of it." Cornerback Samari Rolle put it even better: "Their offense just gives its defense a breather by running on the field."
26 23 Washington Redskins (3-6)
If Patrick Ramsey really replaces Mark Brunell as the starter Sunday, that will mark only the fourth time in Joe Gibbs' 13-year career that he's benched a starting QB. Can you tell me the other three? The answer is Jay Schroeder and Jeff Rutledge. Hey, wait a minute, that's only two. Congratulations, you pass the test. Except that he benched Jay Schroeder for Doug Williams twice. Rutledge got lifted for Stan Humphries.
27 24 Detroit Lions (4-5)
Statistical wrap-up on Jaguars game. Yards gained, total offense: 190. Touchdowns: zero. Yards gained via Eddie Drummond's punt returns: 199. TDs: two. And here's a guy who never returned punts at Penn State. How come? "They never asked," says this second coming of Dante Hall.
28 26 Dallas Cowboys (3-6)
This is what I can't understand. Don't you think that somewhere toward the end of that 49-21 debacle against the Eagles, Drew Henson could have gotten a little playing time? I mean the Cowboys people admit that they don't know what they've got there. Wouldn't it help to let him get his feet wet just a little?
29 29 Oakland Raiders (3-6)
Yeah, I know, they're in the dumper, but just wait and see how hard they'll play against the Chargers. I'm really going to enjoy watching that one. Just wish it was a 4:15 start instead of one of those dreaded 4:05 overlap games.
30 30 Carolina Panthers (2-7)
Ah the language of journalism. One wire report of Sunday's game described how "Muhsin Muhammad found alarmingly big holes in the 49ers' befuddled secondary." This takes me back, nostalgically, to my old hobby of reading game reports of the 1890s, which would have added, " ... his opponents grasping helplessly as he executed intricate and well conceived maneuvers upon the greensward."
31 31 San Francisco 49ers (1-8)
They were alarmed and befuddled, all right, especially since the top four corners on their roster were out against Carolina.
32 32 Miami Dolphins (1-8)
Tuesday's agate type, under Transactions, mentioned that they signed DE Melvin Williams off waivers from the 49ers. And a week from Sunday the opponent will be, you guessed it, the Niners. Melvin, take this seat, please. We don't like to use torture, but you understand this is information we must have. Reminds me of the scene in Gunga Din, in which Eduardo Ciannelli, the fanatical guru, is attempting to extract information from Sgt. Cutter, played by Cary Grant. "I want to know about your army." "Why don't you enlist?"

OldTownChief
11-17-2004, 10:05 PM
My first thought whenever I read power rankings is, Wow they can read win/loss columns. Case in point---The Chiefs were ranked #1 through 9 games last season.

easymobee
11-18-2004, 01:38 AM
Kansas City Chiefs (3-6)
We are entering the land of the seriously flawed. During each of their six losses, they were either ahead or tied at some point in the fourth quarter.


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I had no idea that this was the case.

That really sucks from a fans perspective ( not trying to be a punk ).

I don't like the same team as you guys, but i respect your fandom.

Every fan that sticks with the same team ( the ones i respect - not counting raider fans ).

Goes through a season like this with their team every once in awhile.

Its frustrating because the only thing that you can do to help is drop 50$, go to the game, and make as much noise as you can.

After that ... its up to the teams, refs, and football gods.

tk13
11-18-2004, 01:54 AM
Kansas City Chiefs (3-6)
We are entering the land of the seriously flawed. During each of their six losses, they were either ahead or tied at some point in the fourth quarter.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

I had no idea that this was the case.

That really sucks from a fans perspective ( not trying to be a punk ).

I don't like the same team as you guys, but i respect your fandom.

Every fan that sticks with the same team ( the ones i respect - not counting raider fans ).

Goes through a season like this with their team every once in awhile.

Its frustrating because the only thing that you can do to help is drop 50$, go to the game, and make as much noise as you can.

After that ... its up to the teams, refs, and football gods.
Yeah, most people don't realize that. It's not like we're getting waxed, that's what's so frustrating. It's not just one thing either... sometimes the offense can't finish it off or win the game, sometimes the defense collapses, sometimes we have disasters like where the kicker inexplicably missed a PAT and FG in the last 5 minutes against Jax. to kill us.... all kinds of bizarro crap. This team is geniunably snakebitten, they cannot catch a break.

easymobee
11-18-2004, 03:40 AM
Just so you guys don't think i haven't been paying attention ... i did know that all these Chief losses have been close, i just didn't realize that you guys were either tied or winning in every 4th quarter off the top of my head.

beer bacon
11-18-2004, 04:10 AM
Just so you guys don't think i haven't been paying attention ... i did know that all these Chief losses have been close, i just didn't realize that you guys were either tied or winning in every 4th quarter off the top of my head.

I have watched every second, minus a few bathroom breaks, of every game, and I did not even realize we had been tied or ahead in every fourth quarter. Usually by the fourth quarter I am busy banging my head against a wall, and it seems to me like we are losing by 30 points instead of three.