Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NFL Power Rankings - 9/23

With 3 weeks of the NFL season in the books, it's time to look at the best so far... here's my top 10 power rankings in the NFL after 3 games.

1. Dallas Cowboys - Hard to deny that they're the best team in the NFL right now. The offense is extremely explosive and is averaging over 32 PPG. They have wins at Cleveland and Green Bay, and at home against Philly. The defense looked very good on Sunday night, which is a scary thing for other NFC teams.

2. Philadelphia Eagles - After hanging with Dallas in Big D and overpowering Pittsburgh, the Eagles look like legitimate contenders. The health of Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook will always be a concern, along with the fact that they play in the toughest division in the NFL, but the Eagles look like they'll be getting back to the playoffs.

3. Tennessee Titans - If you were going to bet on football, it would have been hard to predict Tennessee as the best team in the AFC, but they've looked good so far, even with backup Kerry Collins. Their running combo of LenDale White and rookie Chris Johnson has been outstanding, and their defense is allowing less than 10 PPG. Vince Young who?

4. New York Giants - The Super Bowl champs are 3-0, but they haven't looked as convincing as some other teams. In particular, they struggled with the winless Bengals, taking things to OT before winning. But Eli Manning looks like he has continued with the improvement shown in last year's playoffs, and they have many threats out of the backfield.

5. Baltimore Ravens - The punishing Ravens D is back, allowing only 20 points in 2 games. The offense has not had any explosion under Joe Flacco, but Ray Lewis has the defense playing at a very high level.

6. Green Bay Packers - Though they succumbed to the Cowboys, they have looked solid so far. Aaron Rodgers has shown he can make all the throws, and is even displaying a nice amount of athleticism. With a young defense, if they can just simply continue to improve the running game, they're the favorites in the NFC North once again.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers - They took a beating from Philly, but they looked like one of the best teams in the League over the first 2 weeks. The line has to do a much, much better job of protecting Big Ben, but if they do, the Steelers have all the pieces in place for a Super Bowl run. They are very good throwing and running the ball, and combine that with a stout defense and solid coaching from Mike Tomlin.

8. Denver Broncos - They're 3-0, but it hasn't been easy. They've gotten some good calls from refs, and the defense has been porous at times, but the offense has carried them. Jay Cutler is looking like a Pro Bowler, and Brandon Marshall is 2nd in the NFL in receptions (behind Reggie Bush) even though he missed one game. They're 3-0 with a date against Kansas City coming up, which looks to spell 4-0.

9. San Diego Chargers - The offense looked pretty darn good on Monday night, racking up 48 against the Jets. They could very easily be 3-0, as they essentially lost their first 2 games on the final play. My money is still on them to win the AFC West.

10. Buffalo Bills - The Bills are just a solid team that doesn't beat itself. They may not be a powerful offense, but Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch are both real good players that get the job done. The Bills are 3-0 and look like they might be the class of the AFC East now that Tom Brady is gone.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Giants/Redskins Pick

Not sure if I'll have time to do my picks against the spread this year, but I'll try. And with the season opener tonight, I'll give my pick here for the defending champion Giants taking on the Washington Redskins.

I'll take the Redskins (+4.5).

Of course, if you'll remember how my picks last year went (when I was under .500), you definitely won't want to put any stock into the picks. But it's fun to try.

I like Jason Campbell to take another step forward for the Skins this year, helping lead the Skins. If Clinton Portis can stay healthy again, he's a top 10 back. Plus, I'm not sold on the Giants this year... obviously Eli has taken a step forward, but can he do it on a consistent basis? Will Plaxico be focused every week after the Super Bowl win? Can Brandon Jacobs stay healthy? Can the defense play as well as they did at the end of last year? Lots of questions.

Giants 20, Redskins 17.