Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Power Rankings – 2007, Week 6

There are still three undefeated teams going into Week 6 of the NFL season: the New England Patriots, defending champion Indianapolis Colts, and the surprising young Dallas Cowboys. They top this week’s Power Rankings as determined by the analysts at ESPN.

2007 Power Rankings: Week 6
1 (1) Patriots 5-0-0 The Pats and Cowboys have met just nine times, so history doesn’t figure to influence Sunday’s game. But if it means anything (OK, it really doesn’t), Bill Belichick is just 1-3 vs. Wade Phillips.
2 (2) Colts 5-0-0 Raise your hand if you figured Kenton Keith and Craphonso Thorpe (hey, no snickering!) would be integral parts of the Colts’ pummeling of the Bucs. Indy has made a habit of these 5-0 starts.
3 (3) Cowboys 5-0-0 Can a kicker be rookie of the year? Not only did Nick Folk nail the 53-yarder (twice) to beat Buffalo but his execution of the onside kick was flawless. His only missed FG this season was a block by the Bears.
4 (6) Steelers 4-1-0 Want to see a textbook example of how to protect a lead? Check out what the Steelers did Sunday, holding the ball for nearly 25 of the 30 second-half minutes in their 21-0 win over the Seahawks.
5 (4) Packers 4-1-0 The Packers, like most teams, aren’t good enough to turn the ball over five times, commit 12 penalties and still win. ‘We’re not a bad football team, but we’re not great either,’ said Brett Favre after the loss to the Bears.
6 (8) Jaguars 3-1-0 QB David Garrard is doing the things that make coaches sleep easier — basically, he’s not screwing up. Garrard has yet to throw an interception this season, which helps explain why he ranks 4th in QB ratings.
7 (7) Titans 3-1-0 For the fourth time since Jeff Fisher became head coach, the Titans have started 3-1. Good news for Tennessee: On those three previous occasions, they made the playoffs.
8 (13) Redskins 3-1-0 The 144 yards allowed to Detroit was the lowest total given up by a Redskins defense in 15 years. It helped that Washington enjoyed a nearly 10-minute edge in time of possession.
9 (11) Ravens 3-2-0 For the first time since their 2000 Super Bowl season, the Ravens won a game despite scoring only field goals. Injuries to the offensive line might force Baltimore to keep relying on Matt Stover for all its points.
10 (5) Seahawks 3-2-0 Will having a new lead blocker get Shaun Alexander untracked? Leonard Weaver will be the new lead blocker for Alexander now that 15-year vet Mack Strong is retiring after suffering a herniated disc in his neck.
11 (9) Buccaneers 3-2-0 If the Bucs are going to be playoff contenders in the second half, they must find a solution (re: trade) to their RB injury woes. Names being mentioned by the Tampa Bay media: Vikings’ Mewelde Moore, Chargers’ Michael Turner, Broncos’ Mike Bell.
12 (16) Chargers 2-3-0 There are confidence boosters. And then there are CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS. The Chargers got the latter in routing the Broncos and can now move into at least a tie for the AFC West lead by beating the Raiders on Sunday.
13 (15) Cardinals 3-2-0 With Matt Leinart out and 36-year-old Kurt Warner now the full-time QB, the Cards need a solid backup. But The Arizona Republic reports that it won’t be ex-Cardinal Jake Plummer, who has retired.
14 (18) Giants 3-2-0 The Giants go into Monday night’s game at Atlanta having won three straight. Inconsistent play is still a troubling sign, though. Eli Manning on Sunday: 22 yards passing in first half, 164 in second half.
15 (20) Bears 2-3-0 Although the Bears knocked the Packers from the ranks of the unbeatens, just how impressive was the win? The Chicago defense was steamrolled in the first half, and the rushing game produced only 82 yards on 33 attempts.
16 (17) Texans 3-2-0 Will Kris Brown’s 5-FG performance go down as the greatest kicking day in NFL history? It should. He nailed three from 50-plus yards, including the winner from 57 with one second left to beat the Dolphins.
17 (14) Panthers 3-2-0 The Panthers are in a precarious state at quarterback. Jake Delhomme is out for the rest of the season. David Carr is banged-up. Undrafted rookie Matt Moore is now the backup. The phone lines will be heating up in Charlotte.
18 (12) Lions 3-2-0 Take away the fourth-quarter, 34-point explosion against the Bears, and this much-ballyhooed Lions offense has been held out of the end zone in its past 10 quarters. But hey, it can’t be Mike Martz’s fault. After all, he’s an offensive genius.
19 (10) Broncos 2-3-0 Life figures to get worse before it gets better for the Broncos. They’ve been humiliated at home, have lost three straight and will come out of the bye week with games against Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Detroit.
20 (24) Raiders 2-2-0 Don’t look now, but your AFC West leaders are … the Raiders, the only team without a losing record. The next two games (San Diego, Kansas City) should provide a better picture of just how seriously we should take Oakland.
21 (19) 49ers 2-3-0 The 49ers rank last in the league in time of possession, and with QB Alex Smith hurt, it doesn’t figure to get better. RB Frank Gore ranks 36th in the league in yards per carry (3.6).
22 (22) Eagles 1-3-0 Only Detroit (27) has allowed more sacks than the Eagles’ 19, but despite facing intense pressure, quarterback Donovan McNabb has thrown just one interception this season.
23 (23) Bengals 1-3-0 The Bengals hope to repeat their post-bye-week success of 2003 (when they won six of seven after going into the bye 1-4) and 2004 (when they won five of eight after going into the bye 1-3).
24 (25) Browns 2-3-0 The last time the Browns won two consecutive games was 2003, and they sure weren’t going to do it Sunday at New England. But give the Browns credit for putting up a fight, even though, as 16-1/2 point underdogs, they still failed to beat the spread.
25 (21) Chiefs 2-3-0 How bad has it gotten in K.C.? Tight end Tony Gonzalez is hoping the final-play TD the Chiefs scored to avoid being shut out by the Jags is ‘something we can build from.’ Well, might be easier if the Chiefs had a running game.
26 (30) Bills 1-4-0 The Bills fortunately have a bye week to deal with the anguish of losing a game they should’ve won. But as many big plays as Buffalo made against the Cowboys, Dick Jauron correctly pointed out that it needed just one more.
27 (27) Vikings 1-3-0 A tough stretch awaits the Vikings coming out of their bye week. They face four consecutive playoff teams from 2006, starting with Sunday’s game at Chicago, then must travel to Green Bay in Week 10. Minnesota needs to improve in a hurry.
28 (26) Jets 1-4-0 Is Chad Pennington on a short leash? The Jets quarterback has thrown five interceptions in the past two weeks, prompting some discussion that backup Kellen Clemens should start warming up. The Jets need a turnaround. Quick.
29 (28) Falcons 1-4-0 Warrick Dunn is expected to reach the 10,000-yard career rushing mark this season. But at this rate, it won’t be anytime soon. He gained just 27 yards in the loss to Tennessee, giving him 9,710 for his career.
30 (29) Saints 0-4-0 Odds are against the Saints’ returning to the playoffs this season. Since the NFL increased the playoff teams to 12 in 1990, just one team — the ’92 Chargers — has made the playoffs after an 0-4 start.
31 (32) Rams 0-5-0 If St. Louis loses at Baltimore on Sunday, this squad will tie the ’62 Rams for the worst start (0-6) in franchise history. And 0-7 is a distinct possibility, given that the Rams must travel to Seattle in Week 7.
32 (31) Dolphins 0-5-0 How soon will the John Beck era begin Miami? Trent Green is out, and his career might be over. Cleo Lemon is now the starter, but it’s Beck, the second-round draft pick from BYU, who’s pegged as Miami’s future QB. The future might be now.

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I see the Bears slowly moving up once their D is healthy again. I also see some of those other NFC teams drifting lower like the Cardinals and Packers. Nice site by the way.


Posted by Bubs | October 10, 2007 | 08:27 am | Permalink

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