@Walter I guess you don't remember the miracle in the Meadowlands. You take the easy TD there where all he had to do was pick up the ball on the ground and scoot 5 yards into the endzone and one fluke play of bobbled kneel down is not going to make you lose. Just me but I will take the 2 score lead where no giant mistake will kill you with a 6 point lead.
David Garrard: 13-of-30, 105 yards. 1 INT, 1 fumble.
Jimmy Clausen: 16-of-33, 188 yards. 1 INT, 3 fumbles.
Carson Palmer: 19-of-37, 195 yards. 1 TD, 2 INTs.
Brandon Jackson: 7 carries, 12 yards.
Cadillac Williams: 6 carries, 13 yards.
Jahvid Best: 7 carries, 26 yards.
Ricky Williams: 7 carries, 28 yards.
Matt Forte: 11 carries, 29 yards.
Joseph Addai: 13 carries, 29 yards.
Devin Aromashodu: 0 catches.
Mohamed Massaquoi: 0 catches.
Devin Hester: 1 catch, 16 yards.
Miles Austin-Jones: 2 catches, 20 yards.
Steve Smith: 3 catches, 22 yards.
Eddie Royal: 4 catches, 23 yards.
Marques Colston: 4 catches, 25 yards.
Nate Washington: 3 catches, 30 yards.
Mike Sims-Walker: 2 catches, 34 yards.
Chad Ochocinco: 4 catches, 34 yards.
2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 - Top 10
Green Bay Packers (2-1) - Previously: #1 - After this game, I tweeted (follow me @walterfootball), "I want to go watch the Event right now, but a Packers penalty might negate that."
Sad, but true. The Packers remain my No. 1 team. They should have beaten the Bears, as they outgained them by more than 100 yards and won the time-of-possession battle by 11-and-a-half minutes. But Green Bay continuously shot itself in the foot all night.
The Packers had a field goal blocked, a dropped interception on the final drive of the game, and worst of all, a fumble with two minutes remaining at midfield that set up Chicago's game-winning score. Green Bay also had 18 penalties that nullified a touchdown, an interception and plenty of first downs for them. A key defensive penalty at the end of the game took away a Nick Collins pick, setting Chicago up nicely in the red zone.
A few other random thoughts:
1. Why didn't the Packers let the Bears score a touchdown at the end? It wasn't like Robbie Gould was going to miss an extra point-range field goal. If Green Bay allowed Matt Forte to get into the end zone, they would have given themselves a legitimate chance to tie the game instead of attempting a Stanford Band-type play off the kickoff with no time remaining.
A Forte touchdown would have lost a fantasy matchup for me, and I'm still admitting it would have been the right move. I don't know what Mike McCarthy was thinking there besides, "Should I go for fries or chicken nuggets with my cheeseburger after this game? F*** it, I want both!"
2. Julius Peppers single-handedly destroyed Green Bay's drive to open the second half. He drew two holding penalties (one of which nullified a touchdown) and then blocked a field goal.
3. The Packers have a pretty good pass-rusher of their own. I loved this NFL.com GameCenter quote regarding Clay Matthews: "I swear... they keep Matthews in a cage and they poke him with sticks all week long... dude is nuts!"
4. The Bears are fun to watch because I feel like there's a very good chance that anything can happen on any play. Whether that's a touchdown, a pick-six, a fumble, a sack, a long scramble for a first down, a dropped interception, a "whoops, I got my quarterback destroyed" look on Mike Martz's face, etc. Chicago fans might as well spin a wheel on every snap to see what'll happen.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) - Previously: #4 - This team is very impressive. I'd just like them to maintain the same intensity once Ben Roethlisberger comes back.
And yes, Roethlisberger will be the starter despite what PTI's Michael Wilbon says (he thinks Charlie Batch will continue to start.)
Is it just me, or does anyone else miss Bill Simmons on PTI? I used to like Wilbon, but he has inexplicably become completely insufferable lately. Plus, Simmons was awesome, especially when he said of the Raiders putting a gag order on Jason Campbell, "Campbell should pretend that he's dead like Al Davis."
New Orleans Saints (2-1) - Previously: #2 - Speaking of Michael Wilbon, he incoherently stated that Garrett Hartley would be cut in the wake of missing his would-be 29-yard game-winning field goal against the Falcons on Sunday.
Yeah, let's just forget that Hartley hit the decisive field goal in the NFC Championship, and became the first kicker to ever nail three field goals of 40-plus in Super Bowl history. Who cares about all that? He whiffed in a regular-season contest against the Falcons, and he should be booted off the team!
That makes a ton of sense, Wilbon. Great job.
But Wilbon was just echoing the thoughts of Trent Dilfer, who was much angrier about Hartley's miss. Dilfer said that field goal has to go in 1,000 out of 1,000 times, and that kickers have to make their tries on every single occasion.
Really, Trent? If so, shouldn't this apply to every position? I guess that means quarterbacks have to avoid throwing interceptions 1,000 out of 1,000 times too, right?
Kicks will miss and quarterbacks will throw picks. It happens. Should Hartley be blamed for the loss? Absolutely. But to say that he should be cut is completely moronic considering what he has done for the team in the recent past. The Saints wouldn't release Drew Brees if he suddenly had a four-interception game, just like they shouldn't release Hartley for botching one stinking game-winner in the regular season.
Houston Texans (2-1) - Previously: #3 - It's hard to judge the Texans based on the Cowboys loss because Andre Johnson was hurt and left tackle Duane Brown was out. I'm not moving them down at all (Pittsburgh just moves up to No. 2.)
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) - Previously: #5 - In back-to-back weeks, Peyton Manning has trashed his little brother's team and defeated a squad mourning the loss of a receiver who took his own life. Manning clearly lacks compassion and has a dark soul. All he cares about is winning. What a jerk.
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) - Previously: #6 - Ray Rice's injury better not be serious, or I'll be ruined in two fantasy leagues. Ruined!
In other fantasy news, I usually respect Matthew Berry's opinion, but he had the audacity to state the following on Sunday NFL Countdown: "If you're looking for a sleeper in today's games, start Pierre Thomas."
Yeah, OK. Most people just took Thomas in the second or third rounds of their fantasy drafts this summer, so he's clearly not on anyone's radar. Thanks for the inside info, Berry.
Ironically, Thomas had just 30 rushing yards. Some sleeper.
Dallas Cowboys (1-2) - Previously: #10 - Many people had issues with my ranking Dallas No. 10 last week. To all of you who complained: HA!
Only one e-mailer agreed with me. Here's what Brett J. sent over:
Your recent power rankings had the Cowboys at 10. I'd like to congratulate you on being a (mostly) objective analytical writer and basing your rankings off facts. Unlike all the other schmucks around who dropped the Cowboys like 8 spots after each loss. I even saw them at 25 in one ranking! Ridiculous.
Way to grade based on actual talent and actual level of play and not the knee-jerk reaction to the W-L column.
They've shocked me with their play at times (I've never been more deflated than after the Barron holding call), but I still say that they've outplayed both of their opponents for most of those games. I would LOVE to see a rematch against both of these teams (cannot WAIT for Redskins at home).
Anyway, in summary, thanks for not being a reactionary piece of ESPN-inspired media s***.
As Brett hinted, I compile these NFL Power Rankings by going 1-32 and simply seeding the teams based on how good they are. I don't care about records. That's why the Chiefs are No. 20. They'd be underdogs to any team ranked 1-19 on a neutral field because they aren't as good as those squads.
A year ago after Week 3, I had the 3-0 Broncos ranked No. 20. Denver fans complained, and I defended myself by saying exactly what I wrote about the Chiefs in the paragraph above.
But if you want crappy NFL Power Rankings blindly based on records, go check out ESPN. I'm just trying to give a fair assessment of each team; not an analysis of what their records are.
New England Patriots (2-1) - Previously: #7 - Wow, New England's defense sucks. Remember the days when the Patriots had awesome veterans like Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour and Ted Johnson who carried the team? Bill Belichick just simply failed to replace them.
The question is: Why? Can't Belichick sign some savvy defensive veterans to complement Tom Brady and the offense? Do the Patriots not have enough money to do this? If so, I'd suggest for the team to sell Brady's hair so they can afford to sign some players, but I doubt Brady's wife would allow this to happen.
The lesson, as always: If you marry a hot supermodel, you're screwing everyone but yourself.
Atlanta Falcons (2-1) - Previously: #11 - Great Facebook message from Jacob B:
Explain this to me. I have really goten into football for the past couple of years. But one thing is pissin me off is the fact that right now i am missing overtime in New Orleans to hear the babbling morons of Fox Sports. Now I've seen this before but usually one team is demolishing the other team and there is a game next. So there isn't anyway to avoid this rule under this circumstance?!?!
Sadly, no. Fox and CBS have these ridiculous contracts with the NFL where they have to sign off from a game after three hours and 15 minutes after kickoff as long as the game isn't in that particular market.
Why this rule exists is beyond me. There's nothing like screwing over football fans and deterring them from enjoying your product, NFL. Great work. Luckily, anyone who has the NFL Red Zone (i.e. football on cocaine) didn't have this problem yesterday.
New York Jets (2-1) - Previously: #13 - Anyone else think that Spanish Heritage Month crap during the Dolphins-Jets game was incredibly agonizing? Last night, I had nightmares that I had to re-watch that game over and over. Let's recap all of the annoying things we had to endure:
1. Two Spanish people sang the national anthem prior to kickoff. I wasn't sure who it was, but it looked like the singers were Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Lopez. They weren't very good.
2. There were numerous commercials in Spanish. This would have been a great ploy by the advertisers, except most of the people watching the game can't speak Spanish. Oops.
3. NBC showed the scores as Les Dolphins de Miami and Les Jets de Neuve York. I can't read Spanish, so I had no idea who was winning the entire time.
4. Spanish referee Jerome Boger made terrible calls all night. I had a sinking feeling that he bet the Dolphins moneyline at one point, but it turns out that he just sucks at his job.
5. The reason I have an incredible disdain for Spanish Heritage Month is because I feel if Spanish people get a heritage month, then every other race should as well. Why can't the NFL promote an Italian Heritage Month? What about a Polish Heritage Month? And who could forget Half-Norwegian, Half-Korean Transsexual Heritage Month?
2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 - Bottom 10
32. Buffalo Bills (0-3) - Previously: #32 - I loved this Rotoworld news update on Sunday night:
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills have placed Trent Edwards on the trade block.
Edwards was released the next day. I guess no one was too excited about the prospect of trading for Edwards. How shocking.
Why would the Bills bother putting such a crappy player on the trade block? That makes me think of my grade school lunch room. We'd all have cool snacks like potato chips, Doritos and Oreos, and some poor kid would have broccoli and cauliflower. That kid never went, "Guys, I'm willing to trade my broccoli and cauliflower for your awesome snacks! I'm taking all offers!" That kid was smart and knew no one wanted his crap. Sadly, that kid is sharper than the Buffalo Bills.
31. Carolina Panthers (0-3) - Previously: #28 - I guess John Fox knows he's going to be fired and is just mailing it in now, because what he's doing with Jimmy Clausen makes absolutely no sense. Two points:
1. Why in the world would you start your rookie quarterback against a defense that just annihilated a playoff-tested veteran like Joe Flacco?
2. Fox barely gave any first-team snaps to Clausen all offseason. He was so focused on having Matt Moore as his quarterback. So why make the switch just two games into the season? Moore was absolutely terrible and completely worthy of being benched, but Fox had to have seen this coming. Fox should have either kept Moore as his starter until the bye week (to allow Clausen to have two weeks of work with the starters) or just gave Clausen the nod in the preseason.
It was obvious that Clausen had no work with the first team. He and center Ryan Kalil botched three snaps, and he was most comfortable throwing to David Gettis, whom Clausen worked with on the second team throughout training camp and the preseason.
Fox had an obvious lack of foresight here and consequently screwed this season up for Carolina.
Rant over. I swear this is the last one.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-3) - Previously: #31 - Forum member Eagles4Life during the Ravens-Browns game: "Maybe Anquan Boldin and Peyton Hillis should just fight each other to determine the winner."
That would be interesting. White running backs are awesome, but I'd take Anquan Boldin because he's so tough. Actually, now that I think about it, Arizona Cardinal fans should really think about setting up this fight as a reality TV show. If Boldin suffers another concussion, that could scare Kurt Warner enough to retire from his own reality garbage show, Dancing with the Stars, which could open the door for his return to the NFL.
29. Detroit Lions (0-3) - Previously: #29 - Congratulations to Shaun Hill for nearly giving me a coronary twice late in the fourth quarter with possible backdoor touchdowns on back-to-back drives. Thank God the Vikings intercepted him twice in the end zone, or my precious parlay would have been in ruins.
Hill better be careful, by the way, or I'll transfer Seneca Wallace's "Backdoor Bandit" nickname over to him. And to non-degenerate gamblers who won't know what I'm talking about, they'll think that I'm inferring that Hill likes men. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) - Previously: #26 - Injured Reserve texted me during the Eagles-Jaguars contest: "This game is unwatchable."
He was right - except for one thing. As Facebook friend John Y. pointed out, "Have you heard the announcers on Philly/Jax butchering Tyson Alualu's name?"
It was off the charts on the unintentional comedy scale. I think we heard 12 different variations of Tyson Alualu's name. Among those: Alualu. Alooo. Allulah. Alolo. Allowallow. Abdullah. Medulla oblongata. There were also much worse pronunciations I can't even type into legible words.
27. Arizona Cardinals (2-1) - Previously: #25 - ATTN Cardinals: Forty-yard field goals are not a big deal. Stop popping tons of confetti every time your kicker nails a 40-yard field goal. It's embarrassing.
26. St. Louis Rams (1-2) - Previously: #30 - Woohoo! All four NFC West teams are in my bottom 10!
In honor of this, let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's new crappy GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "luck like vick had bein allowed back in the nfl dont start ull only loose this argument so drop it aight"
Luck has nothing to do with it, my friend.
2. "No, its DUMBOVAN MCMORON! DC will know this definitely by the end of week five... Remeber it's DUMBOVAN MCMORON"
Hey, maybe if you repeat that cool nickname 20 more times it'll finally catch on. (Thanks to e-mailer Luke A. for this one)
3. "its the inevitable your not going to win"
It's also the inevitable that you're not going to pass a fourth-grade reading level.
25. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) - Previously: #27 - I still don't know what to make of the Seahawks, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "HOW;S IT GOING. I like fruit;;;;;;;;;"
I don't think anyone has ever been this excited about liking fruit. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
2. "HOLY C RAP THERE IS A GOD!!!! and his name is REF!! "
You heard it here first. All religions had it wrong this whole time. God is just some dude named Ref. (Thanks to Facebook friend Elliot D. for this one)
3. "we gone stop the run with our run defense we have how can you all brag with the horrible lost yall sufffered child please"
And here I thought teams stopped the run with their pass defense. Guess I know nothing about football.
24. Oakland Raiders (1-2) - Previously: #24 - The Raiders are such a stupid team. In addition to Sebastian Janikowski's blown 32-yard game-winning field goal - great first-round pick, Undead Al! - Oakland did two unintentionally hilarious things in the Arizona game:
1. The Raiders were set to attempt a field goal late in the first quarter. Except they weren't set. Numerous players kept running on and off the field throughout the duration of the play clock. I swear I saw like 40 players inexplicably running back and forth. Tom Cable, looking like he was thinking, "Derrr what's going on here?" had to burn his final timeout of the opening half.
2. Oakland had a first-and-goal at the Arizona 4-yard line. Did they run the ball with Darren McFadden? Call a pass for Bruce Gradkowski? Nope. The Raiders had Gradkowski run a quarterback sneak. From the freaking 4-yard line! Who the hell does that? Gradkowski fell forward for a gain of a yard. I've never seen anyone try a sneak with a first-and-goal from the 4, and it'll likely never happen again in our lifetime.
23. San Francisco 49ers (0-3) - Previously: #20 - 49er fans rejoice, for Jimmy Raye has been fired!
In honor of this, here's an interview I conducted with Alex Smith:
ME: Hey Alex, thanks for joining me.
SMITH: "Hold on one second. "
*** 10 minutes later ***
SMITH: "Hi, Chris, I'm doing fine, how are you?"
ME: Chris? My name's Walt. Well, whatever. Alex, what went wrong in that Kansas City game? You didn't score a touchdown until the very end.
SMITH: "Hold on one second."
ME: All right...
*** 10 minutes later ***
SMITH: "I'll have a meatball and cheese sub. Toasted on Italian."
SMITH: "Hold on one second."
ME: Where do you keep going?
*** 10 minutes later ***
SMITH: "Garble Garble Garble Garble."
ME: What? I couldn't hear that.
SMITH: "Hold on one second, I can't hear the answers that Jimmy Raye has prepared for you."
ME: Can't you just answer me?
*** 10 minutes later ***
SMITH: "He's going to tell them about the Event."
ME: Who? Wait, can't we just talk about that Chiefs game?
SMITH: "Hold on one second."
*** 10 minutes later ***
SMITH: "Knicks 119, Bulls 115."
ME: Terrific. I bet you're glad that your team canned Jimmy Raye's a**.
SMITH: "Hold on one second."
ME: I'll take that as a yes.
2010 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers (1-2). Previously: #11
12. Chicago Bears (3-0). Previously: #18
13. Miami Dolphins (2-1). Previously: #12
14. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1). Previously: #14
15. Tennessee Titans (2-1). Previously: #15
16. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1). Previously: #19
17. Washington Redskins (1-2). Previously: #9
18. Minnesota Vikings (1-2). Previously: #17
19. New York Giants (1-2). Previously: #16
20. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0). Previously: #23
21. Denver Broncos (1-2). Previously: #22
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1). Previously: #21
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: