Thursday, October 10, 2013

NFL Power Poll, Week 5

Rank (Last)
1 (1)
The offense still hasn't missed a beat so far, but the defensive issues we expected to see heading into the season finally reared their head.
2 (3)
Could New Orleans be the most complete team in the league this season? Can Rob Ryan really eat all of the stink from last year's historically bad Saints D?
3 (6)
If I keep assuming this team will regress based on the mediocre supporting cast around Andrew Luck, do you think I'll eventually be right by the time we hit 2020?
4 (2)
It's a measure of how far this team has come that a 2-1 start on the road against Carolina, Houston, and Indianapolis can be seen as a disappointment.
5 (5)
Why don't I have this team up with the other undefeateds? Simple: 7-18. That's the combined record of  the opponents they have dispatched on their way to this 5-0 record. They deserve plenty of credit for bouncing back from last year's misery, but let's not crown the Chiefs just yet.
6 (4)
Yes, Brady's weapons aren't very impressive right now (though Amendola played some last week and Gronk is close to returning for the 4th week in a row), but a bigger issue may be the state of the Patriots defensive line, with Vince Wilfork out for the season and Tommy Kelly out for an unknown length of time. That robs the Pats of their 2 starting defensive tackles, an area they already didn't have much in the way of depth.
7 (8)
The best news for the Bears despite losses the past 2 weeks? Alshon Jeffery's receiving line: 24 targets, 15 receptions, 325 yards and 2 TDs. It's imperative for Chicago that Brandon Marshall not be a one-man show.
8 (9)
The passing offense still looks to be in disarray, but the running game and the defense look to be closer to 2011-2012 levels.
9 (14)
Week 3: Defeated Green Bay. Week 4: Lost to Cleveland, scoring only 6 points. Week 5: Defeated New England, holding their offense to only 6 points. I have absolutely no idea where to slot this team.
10 (15)
Good news: after abadnoning Ray Rice and the running game in a horrid loss to Baltimore, the Ravens got smart and gave Rice 27 carries in a win over the Dolphins. Bad news: Rice gained 74 yards on those carries, a clip of 2.7 yards per carry.
11 (7)
Ryan Tannehill actually deserves more credit that I've given him for Miami's 3-2 start, as it has come without anything resembling a running game. The entire team rushed for 22 yards on 11 carries against Baltimore.
12 (12)
There's only so much you can do to hide the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick is your quarterback when Ryan Fitzpatrick is your quarterback.
13 (10)
Considering the state of the Green Bay defense, that was an abysmal showing by the Lions last wekeend in their 22-9 loss at Green Bay, even factoring in the Calvin Johnson injury that no one saw coming. And by no one, I mean me. 
14 (16)
Perhaps I was over-reacting about their defense, as they held Detroit's offense to 9 points. But a) Detroit was without Calvin Johnson and b) Caly Matthews is now injured and going to miss at least a month.
15 (13)
Sorry, Cleveland. Brian Hoyer provided such a spark for this team, and then he's lost for the year.
16 (19)
Even when Tony Romo plays the game of his life (500+ yards, 5 TDs) he still can't help but gack away the game with an ill-advised throw.
17 (11)
Matt Schaub is broken, but Houston has no one else to turn to. Meanwhile, they are wasting some terrific work by their defense.
18 (22)
Still not sure what to make of this team. The defense is solid, but the offense is still doomed behind that mishmash offensive line.
19 (23)
That Monday night performance says more about Atlanta's (lack of) defense than it does about Geno Smith.
20 (21)
Typical of a young team trying to figure itself out, there will be ups (beating Baltimore) and downs (losing to Brandon Weeden-led Cleveland).
21 (18)
Whatever the reason (and I'm starting to think it's more the coaching staff than anything else), Carolina has a forumla for the season: underachieve until the playoffs are out of reach and the pressure disappears, then put together some solid games to fool everyone into setting the expectations higher for next season. Lather, rinse, repeat.
22 (25)
Beating Jacksonville doesn't tell us much.
23 (17)
It's a bad combination when your defense can't rush the passer or cover anybody. It's worse when your #1A wide receiver is trying to get healthy from a high ankle sprain. When your #1 receiver then is forced to IR, it's time to throw in the towel on the season.
24 (24)
Vikings fans are excited that Matt Cassel will start for their team this weekend. Anything to get away from Christian Ponder.
25 (20)
The Mike McCoy magic may be wearing off, as San Diego only managed 17 points against Oakland's defense, and Rivers threw 3 picks.
26 (28)
As impressive as the win over San Diego, the Raiders didn't turn the ball over once in the game. That bodes well for the contiuing development of Terrelle Pryor.
27 (26)
Chip Kelly has been saying all along that his offense doesn't require a fleet-footed quarterback. Nick Foles proved him right, at least against the Giants.
28 (27)
Normally an early bye is seen as a disadvantage, but if it gives RG3 more reps and gets him more comfortable on his repaired knee, it could end up a blessing for Washington.
29 (30)
Well, Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't fight each other during the bye week, so there's that.
30 (31)
Well, Greg Schiano is rid of Josh Freeman, so if he wants to avoid the axe, his team of his guys had better pick things up soon.
31 (29)
I am absolutely flabbergasted at how far this team has fallen.
32 (32)
Has this week's line cracked 30 points yet?

Biggest Risers:
Cincinnati, Baltimore (5 spots)
Arizona, New York Jets (4 spots)

Biggest fallers:
Houston, Atlanta (6 spots) 
San Diego (5 spots)

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