By Dr Z
November 21, 2007
NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
11 8 I sure don't like what I saw Monday night, particularly on defense. It was as if they were saying, "Gee, Albert Haynesworth can't play, so how can we get a defense together?" What, I ask you, has that got to do with how sloppy their coverage was downfield?
12 14 All they were talking about in the locker room was kicker Josh Brown's open-field tackle on the Bears' Devin Hester. "Give me half an hour a day with him on the blocking sled," says middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, "and I'll turn him into the best tackler on the team."
13 11 Gosh, I don't know what to do with them. Usually when a team makes it close against a higher-ranked club, it drops only one or two places. But I get the feeling that San Diego turns it on only when it wants to.
14 13 Santana Moss' full return makes them a scarier force. The more I think of that upset over Tampa Bay, the more appealing it becomes. Linda, does Benny the Book still work out of the United Cigar on Broadway?
15 15 You know, I'm really glad I have their Cincy game on tape. There are some serious defensive all-pro candidates to look at. Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby, and it's funny but Calvin Pace always seems to have a great game whenever I watch him. Adrian Wilson? Sorry. The position's a little too crowded this year.
16 12 When it came down to crunch time against the Giants, who did they go to repeatedly? Shaun McDonald, 5-10, 183, who'd been one of coordinator Mike Martz's wideouts in St. Louis. And where was their 6-5, 239-pound rookie, Calvin Johnson, who brought the Lions back into the Giants game with a brutal, intimidating grab in which he tore the ball away from nickelback Kevin Dockery? You tell me. Not a single ball was thrown his way during the Lions' last two possessions of the game.
17 19 Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, the Eagles never have won a game in which they failed to record either a sack or a turnover. Until Sunday against Miami. But those are the Dolphins for you. They'll drag weird statistics out of anybody.
18 20 Man, they just won't let it rest. Mario Williams, DE picked No. 1 in the entire '06 draft, six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Reggie Bush, whose Saints' lost to the Texans, picked No. 2, minimal rush yards and a fumble near the goal line. Score one for Mario. Yaaay! So how's the game-by-game tally stand now? Ten years from now, you'll be able to buy a book with the results ... Bush leads, 110 to 76, but it's not out of reach.
19 16 Inspiration was running high. They had a message from Kevin Everett, recovering from partial paralysis, on the video scoreboard. Players from both teams watched, visibly moved. QB J.P. Losman said, "If there's any team everyone wants to beat it's this team." And then, puff, the magic dragon. Patriots score the first seven times they have the ball. Emotion on the other side? Lack of emotion? Doesn't seem to matter. It's man against the machine.
20 18 OK, coach Payton, you hung mouse traps on the lockers to remind them to beware of traps, you had them bury something or other from last year, and then dig it up ... I think. Sorry, but I lose track of these motivational devices. I'm not sure what preceded the Texans loss, but I'm sure it was something. Maybe showing footage of an oil spill. And what I say is, don't back off, coach. It gives us stuff to write about. It's fun. And sure as hell this grim business needs a little of it.

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