A little late today, but we finally put aside enough time to get to our weekly power rankings. There are some teams finally getting a little ahead in the pack, so here we go with our week nine power rankings.
NFC Top 5
1. NY Giants (1) – Another solid outing, this time at home vs the fading Cowboys. What lies ahead for this team? They have pretty much overcome everything so far, and it’s hard to believe they won’t be playing deep into January and probably into February at this point. They match up with every team well, which is crazy considering they have a real legit shot at a repeat.
2. Carolina (3) – A week off and the Panthers, the top team right now in the South along with the Bucs, move up a spot. They are a team that in the end could possilby match up with the solid Giants. Should move to 8-2 in the next two weeks with games on the road at Oakland and at home vs the Lions. Three weeks they have a big game in Atlanta.
3. Arizona (5) – An impressive win in St.Louis has the Cards moving up the rankings, being at their highest point in 2008 so far – third. Can anyone stop this offense when it’s clicking? Kurt Warner is having an MVP type of season, and now that rookie Tim Hightower is the feature back, it seems like they are going to be more dedicated to running, which makes them even better.
4. Tampa Bay (-) – The Bucs are 6-3, and even though it looked bad on Sunday for quite awhile, they were finally able to rally and pull off an OT win in KC vs the Chiefs. Jon Gruden lost his voice, and probably would have lost his mind if his team, which is thinking about a division title, would have lost to a Chiefs team that was beaten badly two weeks before at home by the Titans.
5. Washington (2) – For the first time in 2008, the Skins were throughly beaten from top to bottom by a Steelers team that dominated them. They could not run, and Jason Campbell showed his flaws with a pick and he was not able to get that big play with Santana Moss banged up. Now the question will be how they bounce back in two weeks with a big home game on Sunday night vs the Cowboys.
NFC Bottom 3
1. Detroit (1) – The poor Lions had it all going on the road in Chicago, but just like bad teams do, they allowed them an inch, and the Bears took a mile in getting back in the game and in the end pulling off the win. Detroit will now likely have a QB switch, as Daunte Culpepper will take over for an injured Dan Orlovsky. They signed the former Vikings, Dolphin and Raider to a two-year deal. The big question – why?
2. San Francisco (2) – This team got a week off, but the road to getting back to being competitve does not seem to be any easier, as they take on a red hot Arizona team on Monday night in the desert. Shaun Hill will get the start at QB, which could be a good thing. Let’s hope they play well enough for Mike Singletary to keep his pants on.
3. Seattle (3) – The Hawks scored on their first play from scrimmage on an 90-yard pass play, then didn’t put up another point. It’s been that type of season for this club, which has been hit hard by injuries, inconsistent play, and a big lack of big plays all across the board. Likley too late for this club to get back on track in 08.
AFC Top 5
1. Tennessee (1) – Not easy, but at home vs the Packers they were able to pull off a typical 19-16 OT win. Why typical? It’s just the type of game the Titans play. They run the ball, give up limited plays, but at the same time keep it close, and even though they were not able to wrap it up in regulation, they got the game-winner in OT. Best team in the AFC – no doubt.
2. Pittsburgh (2) – Steeler Nation grinned from ear to ear on Monday night as they pounded the Redskins 23-6, thus moving to 6-2 on the season. Many wondered if they would ever be able to beat an NFC East team, and they proved it in this big road win. Now they host the Colts, and with or without Big Ben their defense should do enough to move them to 7-2.
3. Baltimore (5) – I love what this young team brings to the table week in and week out. Joe Flacco is going to be a star in this league, and this past week after going down 27-13, he was able to rally the troops along with Ray Lewis and in the end pull out a 37-27 win. How about that defense? They gave up their share of points and yards, but when they needed it, they got the play they needed for the win.
4. New England (2) – A game they should have won Sunday night in Indy may come back to haunt them. They had a good game play going in, and holding the Colts to 18 points should be enough. Matt Cassel couldn’t pull it off, and for it they now have a three-way tie in the very interesting AFC East along with the Jets and Bills, all tied at 5-3.
5. New York Jets (-) – First time in 08 for the Jets to make it to the power rankings. They won a big game in Buffalo, putting them in a first-place tie with the Pats and Bills. Brett Favre still is having issues at the QB spot, and again threw a pick six the other way. The defense though is playing well, with Kris Jenkins leading the way, and the running game with Thomas Jones is coming along as well.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Oakland (3) – How can you not put the Raiders in this column after their 77-yard outing vs the Falcons Sunday at home?! I mean, did anyone actually think they were this bad?! The offense has gone from okay to awful since Lane Kiffin was canned, and the defense isn’t doing much better. Tom Cable better start getting his resume ready to look for jobs this offseason.
2. Kansas City (2) – They had a 21-point lead at home in the second quarter vs the Bucs, but gave it up and in the end lost to the Buccaneers in OT. It looks as if they may have at least found a QB in Tyler Thigpen, who has played well the past two weeks in losses. We’ll see what they do rushing now, as Larry Johnson sits this week and Kolby Smith are is done for the year.
3. Cincinnati (1) – Sorry Bengals, you can’t escape the bottom 3 just because you finally won a game at home vs the fading fast Jags. Yes, the team finally did some good things, and while they tried hard to give the game away late, they were able to hang on and stop a two-point conversion to get the win. They have talent, and for the first time in 08 it finally showed up.