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:
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) - Previously: #2 - The Steelers are my new No. 1 team in the wake of all of Green Bay's injuries. I just hope their defense doesn't lose any of its fire now that Ben Roethlisberger is back. I don't think it will, but with Big Ben under center, the players know that they don't have to give 110 percent anymore to win a game.
The only bad news for the Steelers is that for some reason, I dreamt that Hines Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury. Before you laugh, you must know that my dreams usually come true. Except for the one where someone stole my Pepsi Throwback. My hoard of Pepsi Throwback is still safe in my basement closet. I just checked to make sure.
Baltimore Ravens (4-1) - Previously: #5 - Who knew that we were watching the top two teams in the NFL when the Ravens and Steelers battled each other a week ago? Too bad one squad didn't have its starting quarterback.
The Ravens looked great against the Broncos on Sunday, which begs the question, how the hell did they lose to the crappy Bengals in Week 2? That game makes no sense right now.
And speaking of the Bengals, here's a great e-mail from Cincinnati fan Greg T:
I am fully aware of the level of douche bag that Bengals owner Mike Brown is. He is a jacka**, a manipulator, a terrible football mind, and a bad tipper. Give him all the s*** you want. We Bengals fans have absorbed decades of s*** from this a**hole.
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) - Previously: #6 - I loved a Sunday NFL Countdown commercial promo, where the guy said, "Tom Jackson's going to tell us why the Colts can't fix their problems."
Oh, goodie! Just like when T.J. said the Colts were done in 2008 before they went on a huge run and won nine in a row.
I'm going on the record now. I think Indianapolis will win its next five games, which will make Peyton Manning and company 8-2 going into a tough battle against the Chargers. If I'm right, I rule. If I'm wrong, I'll just make up some excuse and still consider myself awesome.
Green Bay Packers (3-2) - Previously: #1 - I picked the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl. I stand by my belief that they were the best team in the NFL coming into the year, but the wheels are starting to come off. Nick Barnett's out for the year. Starting safety Morgan Burnett is done as well. Ryan Grant is gone too. Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion. Jermichael Finley had some sort of dislocated hamstring (ouch). Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher can't stay in the lineup. And so on.
Like I said, I like making up excuses and considering myself awesome.
Before I move on, let me just say how frustrating it is to hear members of the media blatantly screw up stats and confuse fantasy owners. Cris Carter and a fat guy working for a popular fantasy football Web site both stated that the Packers can't stop the run because they give up five yards per carry. But if you eliminate quarterback scrambles, it was only 3.8 yards per rush going into the Washington game.
If you want accurate defensive rankings, and not something Steve Urkel and a doughnut-eater scraped off of NFL.com, you can download a helpful Excel file below these power rankings.
Houston Texans (3-2) - Previously: #3 - I'm going to give the Texans a mulligan. Andre Johnson clearly wasn't 100 percent, and it appeared as though Matt Schaub was trying to force the ball into him early on, which resulted in way too many incompletions and an interception. Johnson and Jacoby Jones will both be healthy next week, and Houston will have its left tackle back from suspension as well.
By the way, my dad must have had a ton of money on Houston (way to not listen to my advice, dad) because he called me around 2:30 Sunday, and the following conversation ensued:
Dad: What's the score of the Texans game?
Me: Giants are up 24-3.
Me: Giants are up 24-3.
Dad: You mean the Texans are up 24-3?
Me: No, the Giants are up 24-3.
Dad: I don't understand.
Me: The. Giants. Are. Up. 24. To. 3.
Dad: Are you sure? Check the score again.
Me: I'm watching the game right now. It's 24-3 Giants.
Dad: How did this happen?
Me: I don't know. Houston just sucks today.
Man, I hope my parents' house isn't foreclosed anytime soon.
New York Jets (4-1) - Previously: #8 - As e-mailer Shehryar S. wrote to me this week:
I don't mean to be a dick, but could you please analyze why the Jets are in the top 10 of the power rankings instead of b****ing about heritage months?
Sure thing! Here are my thoughts on the Jets-Vikings game:
1. This game was extremely hyped up for obvious reasons, and PTI's Tony Kornheiser said that it might be the most-watched televised event in ESPN history.
Despite this, the first half was extremely boring. In fact, the most entertaining aspect of it (aside from a Randy Moss throw to Brett Favre that didn't count) was the lightning that pushed back the start time 45 minutes and the torrential downpour that made things unbelievably hectic toward the end of the second quarter.
Both teams were screwing up royally early on. Favre couldn't stop fumbling and struggled to complete a single pass, while the Vikings as a whole were committing too many penalties. The Jets, meanwhile, moved the ball, but Mark Sanchez's prized receivers dropped five passes in the first half (Braylon Edwards 2, Santonio Holmes 2, Jerricho Cotchery 1).
2. The second half was a completely different ball game. Favre suddenly came alive and began throwing strikes to Moss and Percy Harvin. The Jets got a couple of big plays from Brad Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. At the end, Favre had a chance to drive down the field for a game-winning field goal, but tossed a pick-six to Dwight Lowery to the elation of Jets bettors everywhere.
3. Moss finished with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. He couldn't get free from Antonio Cromartie in the first half, and even sat on the bench at one point and appeared to have the "S*** I f***ed up, didnt I?" look on his face. But Moss' second-half performance was really encouraging, so even at 1-3, the Vikings aren't in terrible shape despite their brutal upcoming schedule.
4. Amid sexting allegations, Favre went 14-of-34 for 264 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was just 3-of-7 for 31 yards prior to intermission though, so as mentioned, he really picked it up in the second half. However, he was constantly clutching at his elbow. Tendinitis doesn't go away quickly, so this will be a lingering problem over the next few weeks.
5. Mark Sanchez was 21-of-44 for just 191 yards. He had at least six drops, five of which would have been gains of 10-plus yards. However, he was brutal in the second half and struggled in the red zone. This game was definitely a setback for the QB Nacho, who had been playing really well going into this contest.
6. You could call this the Clock Mismanagement Bowl. First, Brad Childress screwed up by wasting a timeout after scoring a touchdown to decide whether or not to go for two. Later on, the Jets threw the ball on a second down with 2:10 remaining in the game. Passing at that point was the right option, but they could have taken it down to 2:02, which would have signaled the two-minute warning after the play. Instead, New York had to run another play prior to the stoppage.
7. I can't let this go unmentioned. Official Pete Morelli on a penalty: "Illegal formation on the offense. No. 12 covered up... uhh... No. tight end."
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) - Previously: #10 - I'd like to see the Falcons win an outdoor game against a good opponent. This week's contest at Philadelphia will be a good test.
With that in mind, let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "Comon Cutler you last draft pick."
What an insult. I guarantee that nine out of 10 dudes in the street would punch you in the face if you called them a "last draft pick."
2. "all denver fans can talk about is ortin wut will you talk about when you lose how bad he really is"
This sentence could probably mean 20 different things based on which punctuation combinations he could have used.
3. "DAYM TEXANS GOT THEM FINE AS CHEERLEADERS LOL"
This guy was too horny to be grammatically correct. It happens to the best of us sometimes.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) - Previously: #4 - Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees just lost to Max Hall, a rookie making his first start in the NFL.
This picking NFL games thing isn't very easy. And on that note, I received three hate mails for my Week 5 NFL Picks even though I went 8-6 for a profit of +$260. I'll post them on my Week 6 NFL Picks page on Tuesday.
Dallas Cowboys (1-3) - Previously: #7 - Let the "You're power rankings r stupid you're web sight is teh worst!" e-mails come. I don't care.
As I say every week, 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.
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.
As for the Cowboys, they're still one of the most talented teams in the NFL. They were just caught looking ahead to the Vikings and Giants, and didn't take the Titans seriously. I still believe that Dallas will win the NFC East, which is why the team is still in my top 10. Now, if they lose to Minnesota...
If you still disagree, that's fine. Feel free to create your own NFL Power Rankings on DraftDebacled.com.
New York Giants (3-2) - Previously: #16 - I moved New England down from No. 9 to 11 because of the Randy Moss trade. Plus, I had to put the Giants up here in the wake of their dominating performance at Houston.
Speaking of the Patriots, they were on a bye, which gave me the perfect opportunity to interview Tom Brady. Here it is:
ME: Hey Tom, thanks for joining me.
BRADY: "I have such beautiful hair... I love combing my beautiful hair... Comb, comb, comb..."
ME: Yo, Tom!
BRADY: "Oh, sorry, Walt. Didn't hear you. How are you?"
ME: I'm fine. And you?
BRADY: "I'm really tired. My supermodel wife really worked me hard last night."
BRADY: "Oh no, I'm not talking about sex, Walt. She made me clean the gutters and paint the den. That barely gave me any time to comb my beautiful hair."
ME: That must be terrible.
BRADY: "It was horrifying. I need to spend at least five hours a day combing my beautiful hair. I only got three hours in. I've never felt so terrible in my entire life."
ME: So, what's this about a possible dispute with you and Randy Moss resulting in his trade?
BRADY: "He called my beautiful hair gay. He said I looked like a girl. No one insults my beautiful hair and gets away with it!"
ME: Well, in all honesty, I can't say I'm a big fan.
BRADY: "What you say!?"
ME: You honestly look like Justin Bieber, dude.
BRADY: "That's it! Get this WalterFootball.com guy out of here! I want someone else to interview me!"
2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6 - Bottom 10
32. Buffalo Bills (0-5) - Previously: #32 - I think this grammatically correct NFL.com GameCenter comment is appropriate in describing the Bills (thanks for forum member Sanchez for finding it):
I'm making a YouTube video of Buffalo's front office... but I need help. I personally only own one chimpanzee. Anyone have some I can borrow?
31. Carolina Panthers (0-5) - Previously: #31 - Todd McShay sabotaged Jimmy Clausen's game against the Bears. I swears.
By the way, I have to wonder why the Panthers aren't entertaining the prospect of trading DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart. Williams is in the final year of contract, so he's just going to walk after the season is over. If Buffalo obtained a third-round pick for the crappy Marshawn Lynch, Carolina could definitely get something better.
If Carolina doesn't deal Williams and only gets a third-round compensatory pick for him in the 2012 NFL Draft, they'll officially be the dumbest franchise in the history of professional sports. Well, except for the team listed above them on this page.
30. Cleveland Browns (1-4) - Previously: #28 - Jake Delhomme is really in mid-season form. That pick-six he threw to Atlanta's defensive end was a thing of beauty. Thanks for helping the Falcons cover the spread, Jake! You were wonderful.
Delhomme was so sharp in his quest to fix that Atlanta game for his son's kidnappers that I'm started to think that another member of his family has been abducted as well. So, after doing some research, I learned that in addition to his son, Jake's twin brother has been taken. Hopefully Delhomme will have more opportunities to start and throw more games so that he can eventually get his son and twin brother back.
29. St. Louis Rams (2-3) - Previously: #23 - The Rams are not 44-6 bad. When Mark Clayton was carted into the locker room on a stretcher in the first quarter, it just really deflated them. And thanks to a fumble in the red zone and a kickoff return for a touchdown, St. Louis simply had no energy for the rest of the game.
The Rams will bounce back, but like I said last week, they were a bit of a fraud at 2-2 because they played the 26th-, 24th-, 13th-, 28th- and now 25th-ranked teams according to these 2010 NFL Power Rankings.
28. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) - Previously: #26 - The Seahawks were on a bye, but they nearly moved into first place by not even playing. A Cardinals upset ruined that.
Call me crazy, but I still think the 49ers have a great chance to win the NFC West. They're three back of the Cardinals, but still play them twice. The Seahawks can't win on the road at all; the Rams just lost Mark Clayton; and poor little Max Hall is going to snap in half one of these weeks. Seriously, I was scared for Hall's life in that Saints game.
27. San Francisco 49ers (0-5) - Previously: #24 - BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! WE WANT CARR!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Sorry, the crowd got really into it last night and I felt left out.
Oh, and by the way, if the 49ers lose to the Raiders next week, Mike Singletary may want to try coaching the entire game with his pants down.
26. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) - Previously: #30 - Sure, the Cardinals avenged their playoff loss against the Saints and are now 1-0 with the awesome Max Hall, but the most exciting part of the Arizona-New Orleans game for the home team was hearing Kurt Warner in the booth as an analyst for Fox. I'd bet that there were at least a thousand Cardinal fans who really thought Warner would run down to the locker room at intermission, throw on a jersey and pads, and quarterback Arizona to victory in the second half.
25. Detroit Lions (1-4) - Previously: #29 - Imagine if Matthew Stafford never would have gotten hurt. This Lions team could be 3-2 right now. Maybe even 4-1.
At any rate, here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "champ is 1 of the the best coners of all time anyone hoo trash champ is moron"
Pot calling the kettle black much?
2. "THEY DONT SHOW THERE PLAINS"
Indeed. When you're a coach, your No. 1 priority is protecting your plains.
3. "i no they are on paper but whens the last time u watched the texans do u no anything about the besides what u heared on nfl network. u a bit** JUST JUST LIKE YO MAMA.."
Oh no he didn't!
24. Oakland Raiders (2-3) - Previously: #25 - Great win by the Raiders. In honor of this, let's make fun of some of their fans.
Awesome Kelly in Arizona e-mailed me this hilarious picture:
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) - Previously: #27 - Mike Sims-Walker, who has already been guilty of two games with no catches, said he's been getting bashed on Twitter by frustrated fantasy owners.
"That's the worst part of it," Sims-Walker said. "I've never seen this many bitter people in my life. They're calling me everything in the book."
The haters really struck a nerve when they called Sims-Walker a "poopie head" and a "doo-doo brain."
2010 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. New England Patriots (3-1). Previously: #9
12. San Diego Chargers (2-3). Previously: #11
13. Washington Redskins (3-2). Previously: #13
14. Minnesota Vikings (1-3). Previously: #15
15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2). Previously: #14
16. Chicago Bears (4-1). Previously: #18
17. Miami Dolphins (2-2). Previously: #12
18. Tennessee Titans (3-2). Previously: #19
19. Denver Broncos (2-3). Previously: #17
20. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1). Previously: #21
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1). Previously: #22
22. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3). Previously: #20