Couldn't agree more. Berman is one of the top 10 (wait...let's double check ESPN's roster...), top 5 talents ESPN has. In fact, I propose a White House petition to bring back, back, back, back, back the Berman/Jackson NFL Primetime.
Green Bay Packers (7-0) - Previously: #1 - Did the Packers really have to let Christian Ponder backdoor them and cost me $440 in the process? Jerks.
Maybe I should take some betting advice from NFL.com from now on. Take a look at the picture they posted in their Packers-Vikings page prior to the game:
"How in hell does that arrow indicate a 'slight edge?'" I thought beforehand. Now I know. NFL.com knew this game was fixed.
New England Patriots (5-1) - Previously: #2 - I want to clear something I received a ton of e-mails about. Throughout my Week 7 NFL Picks pages, I stated that teams coming off byes were screwed this year because they wouldn't be able to practice and improve on things per the new post-lockout rules.
I didn't mean all teams. I meant just the crappy ones. If you've noticed, crappy and sub-par teams coming off their bye have looked dreadful this year. Good teams won't have this problem because they're, well, good.
An example of this is New England. I don't expect them to struggle whatsoever in Week 8 because Tom Brady and the other captains organized player-only workouts during the bye. I have to imagine that they'll be sharp at Pittsburgh.
I can only imagine what some of the other crappier teams did with their week off. Perhaps Kevin Kolb found Derek Anderson's magic flask buried in the catacombs of the Cardinals locker room - because he sure as hell played like he had one too many sips against the Steelers.
New Orleans Saints (5-2) - Previously: #3 - The Saints just slaughtered the Colts, and now they get to do the same thing with the Rams. It's a shame they don't play the Dolphins this year.
Speaking of Miami and St. Louis, I found this interesting:
In NFL history, there have been only four teams to start 0-6 without covering the spread once:
The 2011 Rams and 2011 Dolphins are now on that list (depending on what spread you had in the Miami-Cleveland game).
By the way, the worst a team has ever started was 0-8 straight up and against the spread. The '91 Bengals did that before winning their ninth game.
San Francisco 49ers (5-1) - Previously: #5 - Prior to the 2011 NFL Draft, I found an interesting (and stupid) comment in a 49ers forum:
49ERS TRADE 2011 AND 2012 1ST RD PICKS FOR QB CARSON PALMER.
Phew. I guess Jimmy Harbs dodged a bullet there.
Buffalo Bills (4-2) - Previously: #6 - The Bills just had a bye week, 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:
1. "Fitz brings so much good moral to his team, no wonder those guys are playing like a unit."
The moral of the story is that GameCenter people are idiots.
2. "Sorry for the second post.....the first did'nt show for 20 min. My computor blows!"
Maybe you're the one who blows.
3. "JUST SO YAW KNO... LOTS OF EXPERTS ARE PIKEIN US TO WIN... WE WILL WIN!"
I wouldn't base it off that. Experts can't really pike games correctly all the time.
Baltimore Ravens (4-2) - Previously: #4 - A recap of the Ravens-Jaguars game:
1. Three hours prior to kickoff, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon had the following exchange on PTI:
Kornheiser: How can the Jaguars win this game?
Not so much, though you can't exactly blame Wilbon for saying that. No one gave the Jaguars a chance in hell of winning. They were 10-point home underdogs facing a team coming off a blowout against the Texans.
2. This was brutal to watch though. I can sit through any game, even a preseason tilt between the Browns and Dolphins, but I almost felt the urge to switch over to the World Series. Almost.
The Ravens couldn't move the ball whatsoever. They had 16 total yards of offense in the first half - the fewest yards any team has had in a first half since the 2009 Bengals, who had nothing to play for in their finale against the Jets.
Joe Flacco's throws were all over the place. He completely missed his receivers and made poor decisions. The offensive line's ineptness didn't help, but I thought John Harbaugh should have considered Tyrod Taylor. I reasoned the following on the forum:
In baseball, if a pitcher struggles, even if it's an ace, you take him out of the game. I'd take Flacco out of the game.
Flacco eventually engineered a touchdown drive, finishing 21-of-38 for 137 yards, one score and a pick, but it was too little too late.
3. It wasn't just Flacco sucking for Baltimore. Ray Rice had only 28 yards on eight carries. He also fumbled twice, prompting forum member RoflDogs to comment:
Two fumbles from Ray Rice in the same half?? Every team that Walt bets on is cursed.
Seriously. Teams should start paying me to pick against them.
4. It wasn't much prettier for the Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert was only slightly better than Flacco, going 9-of-20 for 93 yards. Maurice Jones Drew (30-105) fumbled three times, including once at the Baltimore 1-yard line (though one fumble was a bad hand-off by Gabbert).
5. By the way, NFL, please stop it with these f***ing ridiculous roughing calls. Bernard Pollard tackled a receiver in the chest and was whistled for a personal foul. It was completely clean, much like numerous other hits this weekend that were flagged.
The officiating was awful all night, lending credence to those who believed Vegas fixed this contest to earn money back from an awful weekend for them. I personally would like to know why Rashean Mathis was allowed to mug receivers 10 yards downfield on every single play. It's like this was some bizarre football game from the 1990s when you were able to hit wideouts past five yards.
6. Some interesting exchanges in the Live In-Games Thread at the expense of Flacco:
EllijayFalconsFan: Matt Ryan > Joe Flacco
VBSiena: Matt Ryan > Mark Sanchez > Joe Flacco
Me: Derek Anderson > Jimmy Clausen > Matt Moore > Joe Flacco
Steven Lourie: Derek Anderson > Jimmy Clausen > Matt Moore > Joe Flacco > Blaine Gabbert
McNulty: Vietnamese Food > Thai Food > Chinese Food
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) - Previously: #9 - I'm not sure how good the Steelers are. Their wins have come against the Seahawks (2-4), who were playing a dreaded early game on the East Coast, Cardinals (1-5), Colts (0-7) by three points, Titans (3-3) without Kenny Britt and Jaguars (2-5) by four points.
Meanwhile, the only team they played currently in the Top 10 is Baltimore, whom they lost to by 28.
New York Giants (4-2) - Previously: #10 - The Giants may be in the first place at the moment, but don't expect that to last too long. Well, at least one GameCenter person thinks so:
COWBOYS ARE THE BEST TEAM ON THE PLANET OF ANY SPORT!!!!! MOST WINNING!! MOST BELOVED!!! MOST HATED!!! MOST EVERYTHING!! WE HOLD ALL THE RECORDS AND NO ONE IS AS GOOD!!! DC4L!!!!!
Most games choked away by their quarterback? Yeah, that works too.
Detroit Lions (5-2) - Previously: #7 - Hey Lions fans, did you know that you're in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes? It's true, well, according to this bozo. E-mailer Jason J. sent me part of a conversation he had a couple of weeks ago with some clown on a football forum:
New York Jets (4-3) - Previously: #15 - I have no idea whom to rank No. 10. I refuse to put the choking Cowboys up here. I knocked the Chargers off after that ridiculous performance yesterday. No one else is worthy of being in the Top 10, though the Jets have Nick Mangold back and should play better going forward.
Speaking of the Chargers, two quick thoughts on their AFC West rival Broncos.
1. Cris Carter absolutely hates Tim Tebow. Like, he wants to ruin Tebow's life for some reason. Here's something he said during Sunday NFL Countdown:
"Tim Tebow can't do in the pocket what Cal Orton can do in the pocket, hee hee hee honk honk."
OK, just kidding about the Urkel noises, but seriously, what the hell? Orton is 6-21 in his previous 27 starts. His YPA this year is 6.3. His completion percentage is 58.7. And his name isn't freaking Cal!
2. Speaking of Orton, I found it odd that he went out for the coin toss in overtime against the Dolphins. Orton called heads, but the coin landed on tails. Tebow eventually prevailed, but it's clear that Orton tried his best to sabotage Tebow's first start this year. If Orton wanted Tebow to win, he would have called tails. Tails never fails. Duh.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8 - Bottom 10
32. Miami Dolphins (0-6) - Previously: #32 - In the Dolphins-Broncos Live In-Game Thread on NFL.com, several posters were attacking the Miami fans by saying that their mascot is lame. One of the Fins fans defending his squad:
If that's the case, then it's quite apparent that GameCenter posters do not kill sharks.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-6) - Previously: #31 - I already discussed how epically bad the Rams and Dolphins are. Here's another indicator:
Points the St. Louis Rams have scored in their previous four games since Oct. 23: 27
Runs the St. Louis Cardinals have scored in their previous four games since Oct. 23: 20
The Rams are outscoring the Cardinals by only a touchdown! Seriously, how pathetic is that? Perhaps the Rams can sign Albert Pujols after this season to play tight end or something. He can't be worse than what the Rams currently have at the position.
30. Indianapolis Colts (0-7) - Previously: #30 - Beloved GameCenter poster and Colts fan Taton was spazzing out during his team's 62-7 loss to the Colts:
I guess Indianapolis should take itself out of the Suck for Luck sweepstakes, since getting Luck "isn't change anything good."
29. Arizona Cardinals (1-5) - Previously: #28 - It's official. CBS' fantasy football league manager is the worst major one out there. In addition to costing lots of money, it gives terrible advice. Facebook friend Michael M. shared this with me:
That's right - for the price of Larry Fitzgerald or Chris Johnson, you can be the proud new owner of Houston or Cincinnati's defense. Huzzah!
28. Seattle Seahawks (2-4) - Previously: #25 - For those of you who started Marshawn Lynch, direct your hate mail toward Pete Carroll. It was initially reported that Lynch injured his back during pre-game warmups and consequently didn't play. However, it was later revealed that Lynch was having issues with his back all week despite the fact that he was never listed on the injury report.
Carroll is a pathological liar and a complete douche bag. Avoid all Seattle fantasy players at all cost until Carroll is fired.
At any rate, a funny e-mail from Joey T:
I hope you're done saying Charlie S***hurst is the best QB on the Seahawks. That's all.
Charlie S***hurst? Tarvaris "Poop Salad" Jackson? No wonder the Seahawks are so crappy.
27. Cleveland Browns (3-3) - Previously: #26 - Cleveland's three victories this year have come against the Colts (0-7), Seahawks (2-4) and Dolphins (0-6). They lost their other games by a combined score of 82-47 - that was to the Bengals, Raiders and Titans.
Just a hunch that Cleveland's 3-3 record is a bit misleading.
26. Tennessee Titans (3-3) - Previously: #20 - The Titans really blow without Kenny Britt.
Anyway, here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter (the first from Facebook friend Jay B):
1. "uh oh, victoria's panties are starting to get bunched up, lookout!"
Slowly but surely, GameCenter is transforming into a sex forum. Check out my NFL Picks page to see how these clowns react to a hot girl being on there.
2. "Alex did start agest more teams in the halfway/higher Ranked strength based teams. What exactly happined to cause that easy 9 points for the Aints in like week 3? or w/e. With the safty and the easy field position it wasnt entirely his fault GRANTED"
I wasn't following this guy at all until he capitalized the word "granted" and ended his sentence abruptly. Now it all makes sense to me.
3. "two best teams in the furture for the west is a much more constentent rams team and a 49ers team which needs a primary lead QB we have a good secondary in alex smith, but he cant play as head QB ill keep him for secondary becouse hes GREAT at that spot but the 9ers primary needs agood head QB which it hasnt land yet."
Did this guy just say he wants the 49ers to use Alex Smith in their secondary? Perhaps his Idiot's Guide to Football didn't land in his mailbox yet.
25. Washington Redskins (3-3) - Previously: #22 - Poor Rex Grossman was so sick before the Panthers game that he couldn't stand on the sidelines. Luckily, there was a camera in the locker room that captured what Grossman was doing and saying.
"I SUCK SO MUCH BLEEHHHHH, I LOST MY STARTING JOB TO JOHN F***ING BECK BLEEEHHHH, I TOLD EVERYONE MY TEAM WAS GOING TO WIN THE NFC EAST BLEEEHHHHH, I'M THE WORST QUARTERBACK EVER BLEEHHHH, NOT EVEN MIKE SHANAHAN COULD FIX ME BLEEHHHHH."
Unfortunately for the janitor, Grossman missed the toilet each time he puked.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) - Previously: #29 - Jacksonville hung tough with the Steelers and beat the Ravens. Blaine Gabbert hasn't shown anything yet, but the defense is awesome.
At any rate, the Jaguars may not have many fans, but the very few are extremely tough. Check out this post from GameCenter:
Funny story...I went to the Jags vs. Bears game a few years back...it was at Chicago. Some dude started talking smack, so I smacked the living crap out of him and his buddies just stood there and stared. Chicago is full of punks.
A Jags fan who goes to road games AND beats the living crap out of opposing fans? There's no way this team can move to L.A. now.
23. Minnesota Vikings (1-6) - Previously: #27 - I'm moving the Vikings up because they're going to win some games with Christian Ponder.
Anyway, if you haven't heard, The NFL Network's Michael Lombardi recently reported that Donovan McNabb's work ethic has been abysmal this year. Per Lombardi, McNabb showed up late to meetings and practices. There have also been other reports that McNabb refused to listen to coaches who wanted to fix his throwing motion; that he just doesn't want to put in the time to be successful.
I wanted to give McNabb a chance to defend himself, so I called him up for an interview.
Me: Hey Donovan, thanks for joining me.
Donovan McNabb: Hello, George.
Me: George? Who's George?
Donovan McNabb: You.
Me: I'm not George.
Donovan McNabb: This is not George from GeorgeFootball.com? Sorry, I didn't exactly read your e-mail.
Me: No, I'm Walt from WalterFootball.com.
Donovan McNabb: Oopsie-doopsie!
Me: Anyway, I wanted to get to Michael Lombardi's comments, but first I have to ask you, what went wrong this year? Most people thought you'd bounce back with Adrian Peterson.
Donovan McNabb: Who's that?
Me: Adrian Peterson... the best running back in football...
Donovan McNabb: He's on my team?
Me: Umm... yeah...
Donovan McNabb: Oopsie-doopsie! I didn't get around to reading the roster just yet. I've been too busy watching TV.
Me: You don't know who's on your team? Do you even know who your coaches are?
Donovan McNabb: Uhh... Andy Reid?
Me: Andy Reid? You're not on the Eagles anymore!
Donovan McNabb: Oopsie-doopsie! No wonder I'm wearing purple now.
Me: You know, I'm starting to think I don't even need to ask you about Lombardi's comments.
Donovan McNabb: Good, because I'm missing some quality TV right now, George.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers (4-2). Previously: #8
12. Dallas Cowboys (3-3). Previously: #11
13. Chicago Bears (4-3). Previously: #16
14. Houston Texans (4-3). Previously: #14
15. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4). Previously: #13
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3). Previously: #12
17. Atlanta Falcons (4-3). Previously: #17
18. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2). Previously: #18
19. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3). Previously: #23
20. Carolina Panthers (2-5). Previously: #21
21. Oakland Raiders (4-3). Previously: #19
22. Denver Broncos (2-4). Previously: #24
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: