Green Bay Packers (5-0) - Previously: #1 - E-mailer Robert N. sent me the following message a half hour before the Sunday night game:
Would you consider the Falcons if you were getting it at +7 like I am? Thanks alot for the input.
I quickly e-mailed him back to prevent him from losing money:
No. Don't bet against Aaron Rodgers.
I looked it up after the game, and Rodgers is 27-13 against the spread since 2009. How sick is that? Like I keep saying in my NFL Picks section, if you bet against Rodgers, you might as well set your money on fire.
And speaking of the Sunday night contest, if you didn't see the Packer post-game press conference, it was pretty strange. There was all of this metal clanging while Mike McCarthy was speaking, and later on, the background board nearly fell on Aaron Rodgers.
It was ridiculous. Arthur Blank definitely needs to allocate some of his mustache maintenance money to fix up the Georgia Dome press conference area.
New England Patriots (4-1) - Previously: #2 - Sticking with the betting theme, Tom Brady is 14-7 against the spread since 2010. If you bet Brady and Rodgers blindly since the start of last season, you would be 30-15 against the spread. Maybe I'm making this handicapping thing more complicated than it needs to be.
At any rate, Facebook friend Steve L. posted the following on my wall:
During the replay during the Patriots game:
"Watch Tom Brady here, he's the quarterback" - Phil Simms
Really? Tom Brady is a quarterback? I didnt know that.
New Orleans Saints (4-1) - Previously: #3 - A good win by Drew Brees in the final minute against a feisty Carolina squad. Not so good commentary by FOX's John Lynch during this game, who said of the Eagles when he saw Buffalo was beating them, "The dream team isn't so dreamy right now."
Ugh, really? That's the best you could come up with, John? As I wrote in my Week 5 NFL Game Recaps page, "I'd write something involving clever wordplay with 'dream team' and 'nightmares,' but all of those puns have been exhausted already." John apparently disagrees.
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) - Previously: #4 - The Ravens had a bye, so 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 (the second and third from Facebook friend Jay B.):
1. "I love how so many packers funs love to hop on the colt's page now that we re no longer the dominant team in the NFL"
I'm with you. Packers funs are douches.
2. "I think have Harbough as coach could be great for Alex. "
This man can't spell or form a grammatically correct sentence, but he's a prophet.
3. "Bull crap cal should of ben an interception."
Ben Roethlisberger? And what does he have to do with someone named Cal? Is this some sort of conspiracy?
Detroit Lions (5-0) - Previously: #5 - A recap of the Lions-Bears game:
1. Just three years ago, the Lions were 0-16. Now, they're 5-0 for the first time since 1956. It's amazing what can happen when you fire a certain mustachioed man who likes to stick kielbasas up USDA 100-percent men's behinds.
Detroit deserves a ton of credit for this win even though Chicago is a mess. This was such a huge game for the Lions because they were hosting a Monday night game for the first time in 10 years. There was a ton of pressure on them; they were favored by nearly a touchdown, so they could have easily choked.
2. This was such a sloppy game though. There were 26 penalties; 14 by the Bears, nine of which were false starts. The Ford Field crowd, which set an attendance record for the stadium, played a huge part in that. The Lions did make some mental mistakes, however. They're still a young team, so that's not surprising, but they'll have to clean that up soon with the Packers coming in on Thanksgiving.
3. This Bears team is falling apart. The defense has surrendered 390-plus total yards in three consecutive games for the first time since 1989. The offensive line still can't block. The players are showing poor body language and looking like they're defeated. And Lovie Smith had the most inept sequence of events in the first quarter when his offense ran no play when it tried to use a hard count, called a time out, still went for it, didn't get the first down, challenged an obvious spot of the ball that didn't go in their favor, lost that challenge and used the last timeout of the first half.
4. Jay Cutler really carried his team. His stat line (28-of-38, 249 yards, TD) is not an indication of how well he played. He constantly eluded tacklers in the backfield and made impressive throws under immense pressure. It's a shame his supporting cast (excluding Matt Forte) absolutely sucks.
5. Per ESPN, Calvin Johnson became the first player in NFL history to score nine touchdowns in the first five games of the regular season. Megatron had five catches for 130 yards and a score. This made me happy, as I was up by 49 in my $100 traditional league and was going up against Megatron and Caleb Hanie. Yep, Caleb Hanie.
6. Speaking of ESPN, I had the pre-game show on mute. Did Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski drink piss out of a bottle? And will Jaws catch mono because he took his sip after Gruden?
7. There was a game stoppage in the second half because a "foreign object" was thrown onto the field. Forum member Pheltzbahr revealed what happened:
Sorry, I'm at the game and just threw a giant dildo at Cutler.
Buffalo Bills (4-1) - Previously: #9 - I don't know whom to rank No. 6 after the top five teams. Why not the Bills, who have beaten the 4-1 Patriots, 3-2 Raiders and the Dream Team, who according to John Lynch, isn't very dreamy?
Speaking of the Dream Team, Andy Reid's press conferences are the worst. He always says the same exact things. His most common phrases are "I need to do a better job" and "I need to put the players in a better position." After the Buffalo game, he was so flustered and discombobulated that he used both phrases twice in the same sentence:
"I need to do a better job of putting the players in a better position, and if I put the players in better position, I'll do a better job."
Thanks, Andy. Oh, and here's something amusing from GameCenter concerning Big Red:
HEY LOOK... IM THE PHILLYS COACH....DUH ,DUH, WHA ,WHA,WHAT DUH JUST HAPPENED! AND WHERE IS MY PU ,PU PU,PUDDING!!!!!!!
San Diego Chargers (4-1) - Previously: #11 - The Chargers are 4-1, and they're only going to get stronger until the playoffs when they'll choke at home in the playoffs again.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) - Previously: #12 - I picked the Titans to cover for three units on Sunday. I was confident in my pick until all of the TV analysts selected Tennessee to win straight up. That's when I started to worry. It got worse when a news outlet reported, "Ben Roethlisberger (foot) was spotted limping badly during pregame warmups Sunday."
I quickly typed the following down for future use: "UGH HE'S GOING to throw for 5,000 yards today"
Five thousand yards, five touchdowns, same difference. Roethlisberger always pulls this crap. I'm beginning to think he fakes his injuries so his opponents take him lightly.
Oakland Raiders (3-2) - Previously: #13 - The last time the Raiders were in my top 10 was Week 2, 2003.
Jamal Lewis led the NFL in rushing with 364 yards, thanks to his then record-setting, 295-yard performance against the Browns. Stephen Davis was second with 253.
Laveranues Coles paced the NFL in receiving with 286 yards.
The Bills, starting 2-0 with wins over the Patriots and Jaguars, were No. 2 in my power rankings behind the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Houston Texans (3-2) - Previously: #7 - I've knocked the Texans down a bit because they lost Mario Williams for the season.
But don't start slitting your wrists just yet, Houston fans - the Colts and Jaguars stink, while Tennessee looked like crap against Pittsburgh with no Kenny Britt. You can still win the AFC South.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6 - Bottom 10
32. Miami Dolphins (0-4) - Previously: #28 - The Dolphins are pathetic. Not only did David Garrard turn them down; Jake Delhomme refused to sign with them as well. Jake freaking Delhomme. This is like getting rejected by the fat chick with pimples and braces. That's why they're the new No. 32 team.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-4) - Previously: #31 - Speaking of the Dolphins' quarterback woes, it was recently reported that Garrard didn't sign with Miami because "he simply didn't feel like playing right now." Garrard has denied this, so I called him up to get the real story:
Me: Hey David, thanks for joining me. Let's clear something up. Reports said that you didn't want to play football right now. A day later, you said that you do indeed want to play. Which is it?
David Garrard: I definitely want to play football right now. No doubt about it.
Me: OK, so why didn't you sign with the Dolphins?
David Garrard: Oh... yeah... so they told me that I have to practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then play on Sunday. Wednesday's not a problem, but Community and The Office are on Thursdays. Sunday is Desperate Housewives. Friday is my recovery day.
Me: Recovery? From what?
David Garrard: My wife makes me take out the trash Thursday night after The Office. I need a break after that, especially when there are three bags.
Me: Can't you just DVR your shows and pay someone to take out the trash for you? You did sign a big contract several years ago.
David Garrard: I suppose that is true.
Me: OK, so go sign with the Dolphins.
David Garrard: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Why not?
David Garrard: Because... because Miami is hot and Desperate Housewives and tired from trash and Community and potato chips and home and practice is hard and games are hard and film study is boring.
Me: So, in other words, you don't want to play right now?
David Garrard: That's not true! I want to play!
Me: So, go sign with the Dolphins.
David Garrard: Buuuuuuut I dooooonnnnttt wwwwaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
Me: I guess we're at an impasse.
30. Indianapolis Colts (0-5) - Previously: #30 - How did the Colts blow a 17-0 lead? What happened to Curtis Painter in the second half? And why does Donald Brown suck so much? Frustrated forum member Dannythebeast posted the following in our live in-games thread:
Why the **** is Jacob Lacey still starting, yet Tryon gets ****ing cut. Either the Colts are tanking, or Lacey has Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell porn.
Ewww... an old guy and a chubby, mute guy banging? Matt Millen may find that appealing, but ewww...
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) - Previously: #29 - Blaine Gabbert's not ready to start. The Jaguars should sign a veteran so they can sit Gabbert until he's ready to play. The best quarterback available on the market is David Garrard. The Jags should sign that guy.
28. Arizona Cardinals (1-4) - Previously: #24 - If you get blown out by a Donovan McNabb-quarterbacked team, you deserve to move down in the power rankings. Remember when Arizona was -3 AT Seattle in Week 3? How ridiculous does that spread seem now?
Loved this GameCenter post in the Arizona-Minnesota thread, by the way:
Ive said it before and I'll say it again...KOLB S U C K S. He was NOT worth trading DRC, draft pick and $$$$. ANOTHER S T U P I D Cardinal from office move. Ken Whiz is a d u m b a s s ...Kurt Made him look like a genius.
27. Cleveland Browns (2-2) - Previously: #26 - The Browns are coming off a bye, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "Andy Reed is a joke. First let Vick run the swak ball then dont give it to your best player McCoy and then they wonder why they loose 4 straight. lol Reed get a clue, give it to McCoy and the rest will follow."
Hey, hey, hey, Andy "Reed" is not cool and doesn't know what "swak ball" means, so cut him some slack.
2. "DIZ WAS A GREAT GAME IM HAPPY ALEX SMITH DIDNT THROW ANY INTERCEPTION. BRIAN WESTBROOK N VERON DAVIS KILL IT."
Using the word "DIZ" is a clear indication that you're a white male living in your parents' suburban basement. And Brian Westbrook? You on crack, son?
3. "benson is better look at his career stats and u will see benson has better stats then mjd!!Benson will show you on sunday dont trip!!WHO DEY!!!!!!"
Entering Sunday's game, Maurice Jones-Drew had 5,639 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns. Cedric Benson had 5,050 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. Jones-Drew's stats are clearly better - unless you're on GameCenter and use cool terms like "diz," "swak" and "dont trip."
26. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) - Previously: #32 - Poop Salad and Clipboard Jesus just beat Top-Five NFL Quarterback. Unreal.
25. Denver Broncos (1-4) - Previously: #25 - Last week, I wrote:
The electronic sign didn't convince John Fox to start Tim Tebow.
Nice try, Bronco fans. Next time, try something more drastic. I don't know, maybe like buying (renting?) an elephant, getting it "excited," having it splooge all over Fox's car, dipping your finger into the substance and writing "TEBOW MUST START." That might get Fox's attention.
I told you the elephant would work!
On a related note, I HATE this cliche: "If you listen to the fans, you end up sitting with them."
That's completely bogus. With 24-hour sports networks, and tens of thousands of sports Web sites and blogs, fans (excluding the ones on GameCenter) are more educated than ever. Denver fans knew Kyle Orton sucked, and they knew Tebow would do a better job... and yet John Fox and John Elway sabotaged their 2011 season by not trading Orton away for a mid-round pick and keeping Tebow benched. Maybe they should have listened to the fans sooner.
Despite numerous instances that prove otherwise, pompous ESPN analysts like Trent Dilfer keep spitting out that dumb, tired cliche. It has to stop.
24. Minnesota Vikings (1-4) - Previously: #23 - Good God, Donovan McNabb sucks. Not only is he completely done; he refuses to let the coaching staff help him when they suggested that he should fix his mechanics. This sparked a funny exchange between forum members Ragnarok and Leelee:
Ragnarok: Frazier is clearly only doing this because McNabb is a black quarterback, and this is all racist! It's cause he is black that they think he needs to work on his footwork. I can't believe this, I bet they'd never try to correct a white quarterback's technique. McNabb has done nothing wrong, he's just the victim of typical NFL racism. This is ridiculous.
Leelee: How will Tom Jackson break this to his kids?
Ragnarok: Yes, it is the true tragedy in today's NFL. Next thing you know, Toure will be writing an article about this. Then you know it's legit.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) - Previously: #27 - Beloved GameCenter poster Taton had this to say during the Colts-Chiefs game:
Poor Taton. He probably cried himself to sleep Sunday night.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. New York Giants (3-2). Previously: #6
12. Dallas Cowboys (2-2). Previously: #16
13. San Francisco 49ers (4-1). Previously: #19
14. New York Jets (2-3). Previously: #14
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2). Previously: #8
16. Tennessee Titans (3-2). Previously: #10
17. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4). Previously: #15
18. Washington Redskins (3-1). Previously: #20
19. Chicago Bears (2-3). Previously: #17
20. Atlanta Falcons (2-3). Previously: #18
21. Carolina Panthers (1-4). Previously: #21
22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2). Previously: #22
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: