|NFL Power Rankings|
Chicago Bears (4-5)Looking at the chaos in such places as Carolina and Oakland, Lovie Smith can say, "Thank God I've got an experienced quarterback to come off the bench and win one for us." And if Rex departs and Brian returns, then Lovie can say the same thing all over again. The moral of the story is that a good spin can be put on almost any situation.
Carolina Panthers (4-5)High drama as Vinny Testaverde became an 11th hour choice to start. Twenty five years ago the drama involved whether or not to let the 18, soon to be 19-year old U. of Miami freshman back up Jim Kelly or redshirt for the season. I mean 25 years. I'll end the suspense. Vinny backed up Kelly, played a little and redshirted the following year.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)This parade of 4-5's simply won't end. Can't we hire a band and have them march down Route 66 or something? Guess what? There's still another one to come.
Baltimore Ravens (4-5)Here it is. And here's Sunday's quote from Steve McNair: "I'm trying to play hard, but it's just not there." Only one person still is unconvinced, and his name is Billick and he makes the decisions.
Atlanta Falcons (3-6)When I die and go to hell, hell will be a Falcons-Panthers game prolonged indefinitely.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)All of you Cincy fans who are celebrating Shayne Graham's near record seven field goals, the longest of which was 35 yards, remember please that a short field goal is a negative stat, a give up, an admission of failure, the kind of achievement that won't get you admitted to an accredited college.
Minnesota Vikings (3-6)Worried about the fallen rookie, about the dismal quarterbacking? Here's something else to worry about. The invincible rushing defense. Ever since Pat Williams joined the team, the Packers, in five games against the Vikes, were good for 41 yards rushing per contest and a 1.9 average. Last Sunday Ryan Grant of the Pack creased them for 25-109-4.4. Just in case you were worried that there was nothing else to worry about.
Oakland Raiders (2-7)Lane Kiffin said he wouldn't chicken out of kicking to Devin Hester and by golly, he didn't. And Hester's return yardage was minimal. What's the secret? Easy. Just look at the guys who are doing the kicking. Sebastian Janikowski always leads the league in touchbacks and Shane Lechler has the all time highest punting average. Make Devin wait all that time for the ball to get to him, and a bunch of your own guys will be waiting, too.
St. Louis Rams (1-8)I quote from one report I read of the victory over New Orleans: "Saturday night Jim Haslett and safety Corey Chavous gave impassioned speeches about the history of the Rams-Saints rivalry." Huh? Rivalry? History? I'm trying hard to remember some historic meetings. I'm having trouble. I remember one game in which Jack Youngblood sacked Archie Manning about a million times, and at the end, felt so bad about it that he was letting him down easy, but other than that? Someone's going to have to explain this to me.
San Francisco 49ers (2-7)It's all coming apart. Everything. As an old Niners fan, this is just too painful and, if you don't mind, I'll move on to happier venues.
New York Jets (1-8)Such as this one. Last time I heard, you can't lose during a bye week.
Miami Dolphins (0-9)Sleeper all-pro, not for this season but a serious future pick. Rookie center Samson Satele, who has started from day one. Before this season, Ronnie Brown had a career rushing average of 4.3. This year, before he got hurt and despite all the turmoil, it was 5.1. And now Jesse Chatman, a street free agent who hadn't carried the ball since 2004, has averaged 92 yards a game and 5.5 a carry since he became the starter for Brown. Write the name down, Samson Satele. Please try to spell it correctly.