|NFL Power Rankings|
San Diego Chargers (6-5)I'm reading reports that at 28 and 10,000-plus yards, L.T. has maxed out. Ridiculous, I say, but wait a minute. Take away the 36-yarder against Baltimore that got him over the 10G mark, and you're left with 23 carries for 41 yards, an average of 1.8. "Why take away the 36-yard run? He did it, didn't he?" says one with red flames for a head. If it's one thing I can't stand, it's logic screwing up my angle.
Denver Broncos (5-6)All except Todd Sauerbrun, this team shows fire, it shows life. But the other side of the coin is a kickoff and a punt, both in the middle of the field, with inferior hang time, against Devin Hester. Plus a weak attempt to avoid getting a punt blocked. Mike Shanahan has cut guys for less, but first, you have to find another punt and kickoff man, right, Mike?
Minnesota Vikings (5-6)They ran the ball smartly against the Giants, without Adrian Peterson. They came into the Meadowlands as the 31st-ranked pass defense and picked off Eli four times. Someone, please, help me figure out what all this means.
Chicago Bears (5-6)I've raised them to this level because the win that never should have gone their way saved me from a 2-5 weekend, which would have meant a few investors with heavy shoes lining up outside my door Monday. Thanks, Devin. Thanks, Adrian. Thanks, Rex ... uh, on second thought, how about holding onto the damn ball!
Washington Redskins (5-6)The irony is that he was just starting to play at an all-pro level, after making a reputation as a big hitter. Perhaps this is only a pipe dream, but maybe Sean Taylor's elevated status would have helped tone down a lifestyle that many people felt would end in disaster. Now it's all up in smoke. A tragedy, another young life wasted.
Tennessee Titans (6-5)Albert Haynesworth is a defensive tackle, right? He's not the quarterback, or the coach. So explain, please, why they were 6-2 before his hamstring injury, and 0-3 in his absence, 15.5 average points allowed vs. 31.7, 66 yards rushing allowed per game vs. 160, and offensively, 20.6 average points scored vs. 13. You can't. Neither can I. This is supposed to be a quality team, firm, focused, fierce. So what's up?
Detroit Lions (6-5)Here's my Shaun Rogers scenario. First play, he collapses the pocket and all the coins in it. "Oh my God, what power, what strength," they are saying in the TV booth. Second play, he jumps offside. Before the third play is run, he takes himself out of the game, and can be seen on the bench, chest heaving. Maybe someone forgot to tell him that three downs is the minimum for a series.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)I could tell pretty early that the Patriots would have their hands full. How? Because the Eagles were selling out on every play, locking onto their coverage as if their lives depended on it, rushing Brady with a desperation that literally had them leaping over blockers. Once, in the 1980s I was watching a Giants game with my son, Mike, who was playing peewee football at the time. We saw Phil McConkey return a punt, fighting, flailing, finally going down with all flags flying. "Daddy," my boy said, "why don't they all play like that?" I couldn't tell him, but the guys who do ... well, they're really special. That's the way the Eagles played Sunday night. Unfortunately for them, the Patriots had one like that on their side. Wes Welker, the slot receiver, a little guy, as McConkey was. He was the equalizer, the best player on the field, I thought.
New Orleans Saints (5-6)Have you seen Reggie Bush on a highlight film this year? Me, neither. He has no run longer than 22 yards, only one of 70 receptions longer than 20, a 25-yarder. I mean, no disrespect, but didn't they draft him for ... you know?
Arizona Cardinals (5-6)They gained five million yards against the 49ers, but they let the clock run out before they kicked the fielder that should have won it, and they called time out toward the end of regulation time, with the clock stopped anyway. I'll say it again, although I don't think I've said it yet this season ... clock responsibility should be taken away from the head coach on the sideline. He has too many other things to worry about. There should be a specially designated clockologist. The Jets tried it one year, but the guy was scared to open his mouth. Mock my words, someday they'll all have it.