By Don Banks
October 13, 2010
NFL Power Rankings, Week 6 (cont.)
11 Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 14
The Titans might be the quintessential team of this strange NFL season. They've gone win, loss, win, loss, win so far. Further defying any real predictability, they're 1-2 at home and 2-0 on the road, winning impressively at both the Giants and Cowboys. And did we mention they're tied for both first and last place in their division? That's wacky, but that's the AFC South.
12 Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 10
The impressive young Chiefs defense kept holding the Colts to field goals last Sunday, but there just wasn't enough firepower coming from the K.C. passing game to make Indy pay for all those short-circuited drives. It wasn't all Matt Cassel's fault, because Dwayne Bowe had a case of the dropsies, but you can see the Chiefs' formula for victory currently revolves around defense and the running game.
13 Houston Texans
Last Week: 8
Health has clearly been a factor, but Andre Johnson isn't on pace for his typical season. His 24 catches are tied for 27th most in the NFL, and his 350 yards and one touchdown aren't the kind of numbers we're used to seeing him amass at this point in the season. Yes, defense is the biggest problem in Houston. But the Texans offense isn't right, either, with 13 and 10 points scored in the two recent home losses.
14 Washington Redskins
Last Week: 16
Don't you dare leave a Redskins game early this season. Washington is doing its part to boost the league's TV ratings, with four of its five games coming down to the final play. For the first time in years, the Redskins are starting to not beat themselves, and even play smarter than some more accomplished opponents. That must be the effect Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb and Jim Haslett have had on this roster.
15 Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 17
I'm not buying the notion that Kevin Kolb could play his way back into the starting lineup while Michael Vick recovers from injured ribs. I think Andy Reid and the entire Eagles locker room knows who gives them the best chance of winning this season, and it's No. 7. Vick puts the big play back into play in Philly.
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 21
The Bucs have played the Saints tough in recent years, splitting their season series with New Orleans the past two years and sweeping them in 2007. They just seem to match up well with Drew Brees and Co. I like how Tampa Bay responded to that blowout home loss to Pittsburgh. The Bucs went on the road and proved they can play with the AFC North after all, upsetting the defending champion Bengals.
17 Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 23
Josh Scobee could kick at Arena League goal posts these days and still make everything dead center. He's that locked in. Especially from long range. The Jags are sneaking up on us again. They did it last year, too, starting 3-2 and then 6-4 when no one was looking. A win at home against Tennessee on Monday night and Jack Del Rio goes from the hot seat to the midseason coach of the year list in a span of three weeks.
18 Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 18
Not only are the Dolphins getting the good fortune of a trip to Green Bay when the Packers are absolutely decimated by injuries, but also it has been a really mild, Indian summer-type of autumn so far in Wisconsin. So no need to pack the long-sleeve undershirts this weekend, Sparano-men.
19 San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 13
Even by typical Chargers standards, this has been a ridiculous season so far in San Diego. Norv Turner's team ranks first in offense (461.8 yards per game) and second on defense (246.2), but, alas, the Chargers are 2-3 because their special teams play has been a calamity. But how can you ever bury San Diego, because for all we know, an 11-game winning streak starts this week at St. Louis.
20 Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 26
I don't think the Cardinals can count on scoring 30 points a game without the benefit of a passing or rushing touchdown, as they did against New Orleans, but the team's Max Hall era is off to a 1-0 start. And with a bye this week for Arizona, it's worth twice as much in the bottom-line satisfaction department.
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