Power Ranks (cont.)

Wednesday October 17th, 2007

NFL Power Rankings
RankLW Team
1115Center Nick Hardwick left the Oakland game with a sprained foot. Our correspondent reports Cory Withrow replaced him and was "especially effective barking out his line calls." Barking them out, huh? Does Michael Vick know about this?
1213Sean Taylor, the free safety with the linebacker mentality, used to live off the big hit, whose underside was the big whiff. Played close to the line, too close sometimes. Overly aggressive. Not now. Played back against Green Bay. Tracked Favre with his radar-like eyes and then made his move. Intercepted two balls and dropped a third. Let's hear it for caution.
1311It was a slugfest for a while, then the Jags' John Carney recovered his own onside kick, then the Jags wore them out with a long drive, then another one ... a fumbled kickoff, a Jones-Drew burst, and all of a sudden it was a blowout. "I thought you slept through it," says my Flaming Redhead. No, not through it, just in places, and I backtracked and ran the tape back. Jeez, see what happens when you're too honest?
1417Bill Parcells, who knows 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde as well as anyone does, says during the bye week the Panthers must work extra hard at making sure his protection is absolutely air tight. I had some hilarious stuff prepared about caulking and plastering material, but you know something, it just ain't that funny.
158How do you get beat by a 43-year-old QB? First of all, you get your own knocked out of the box, and the guy who replaces him isn't as good as the old timer on the other side.
169You know something, once you get by the top two teams in the league, there just aren't any really good ones. I mean anyone can lose to the most humble, servile creatures. Cleveland beating Baltimore, 'Hawks getting killed by the Saints, Dallas should have been beaten by the Bills. Passion beat the 'Hawks on Sunday night, even in that noisebox of theirs.
1720Uh oh, intrigue in Giants Stadium. Sheldon Brown, all-pro cornerback a few years ago, said he overheard the Jets "discussing," the fade they would throw into the end zone on the crucial fourth-down play. He tipped it away. Discussing? Did he really say discussing? I mean was it a debate, with a moderator and everything? I think this whole thing needs more looking into.
1818Why did I pick them over the triumphant Bucs this week? Because my line was Bucs by one. Vegas opened it at Lions by two. Three point swing. Trap! Trap! ("Aw shut yer trap," says someone near and dear. How crude!).
1919Since Derek Anderson took over as starter in Game No. 2 the Browns have averaged 32 points a game. Guess how many times they scored 32 in any contest last year? You're right if you said zero. Sorry Brother Quinn, but numbers don't lie.
2021Gunther Cunningham is a defensive coach noted for rages. When the Bengals drove 73 yards for a TD on their first possession, he said, "Look here, chaps. This will never do. I'm crazy mad." And according to our man in K.C., Scribe Gretz, he gave them an aggressive, blitzing scheme built for infuriated personalities. The next five Cincy drives looked like this -- three plays, minus two yards, punt ... seven plays, 28 yards, lost fumble ... four plays, 12 yards, interception ... three plays, eight yards, punt ... three plays, six yards, punt. This is a wonderful parable of something or other, but what I want to know is why he didn't put them in that aggressive, squash-type defense to start the game? C'mon, Linda, waddya mean, I'm ruining a good story. The scientist in me wants to know.

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