I have no methodology behind when and why I do power rankings. Basically, I just do them whenever I can’t think of a good topic to get in-depth about.
So here we go:
32. Buffalo Bills (0-7) – They’re playing well and they seem to be improving. Unfortunately, they still have zero wins. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick the real deal? Signs point to no.
31. Carolina Panthers (1-6) – I don’t know why I thought Matt Moore would have success getting the ball to Steve Smith. I honestly considered putting Carolina behind the winless Bills.
30. Denver Broncos (2-6) – Can we officially start talking about how Josh McDaniels has run this franchise into the ground? Have we started already?
29. San Francisco 49ers (2-6) – Troy Smith > Alex Smith. ‘Nuff said.
28. Dallas Cowboys (1-6) – Romo wasn’t the problem. The offensive line isn’t the problem. The running game isn’t the problem. The wide receivers aren’t the problem. The DEFENSE IS the problem.
27. Cleveland Browns (2-5) – The Browns up by virtue of not playing and having other teams around them play miserably.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) – I’m really, really excited for things to blow up between Terrell Owens and Chad OchoCinco in a few weeks. It’s going to happen. Really.
25. Detroit Lions (2-5) – Is it too early to start talking about the fact that Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh might become the best 1-2 picks in the NFL Draft in history? Bradford might break rookie passing records and Suh looks like a mix between Warren Sapp and Reggie White. It’s pretty ridiculous.
24. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) – Just a hunch here, but I think the Cardinals miss Kurt Warner.
23. Minnesota Vikings (2-5) – I can’t wait until, five years from now, Brad Childress writes a book about the last two years with Brett Favre and titles it “My Own Living Hell.”
22. San Diego Chargers (3-5) – I’m beginning to buy into the possibility of a late season run again. I’ve waffled on that possibility every week.
21. Oakland Raiders (4-4) – I’m not yet going to buy into a Raiders team that decimated the very bad Broncos and very overrated Seahawks. I think that the Chiefs, who I have bought into, will wipe the floor with them Sunday.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4) – Not as good as their record.
19. St. Louis Rams (4-4) – Think about what this would’ve looked like in the preseason. The Cowboys at No. 28, Bengals at No. 26, Vikings at No. 23, Chargers at No. 22 and the Rams at No. 19 after week 8. Where are we?
18. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) – The saddest part of this pathetic division is that it could still legitimately win a playoff game. That’s how bad the NFC is this year.
17. Washington Redskins (4-4) – I have to stand by my preseason NFC East champion. And no, I don’t care about the McNabb-Shanahan controversy.
16. Chicago Bears (4-3) – My friend Jeff pointed out to be that every time I write something negative about the Bears I begin with “I’m going to get called biased for this, but…” and he’s completely right. So I won’t do that anymore. That said, the Bears won’t finish this season with any better than an 8-8 record.
15. Houston Texans (4-3) – Their defense is really, really bad. REALLY.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) – Eagles with Vick > Eagles with Kolb. But not by much.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2) – I’m not buying into this team and neither is anyone with a direct relation to the organization.
12. Miami Dolphins (4-3) – Legitimate sleeper team to sneak into the playoffs as a wild card and make a Super Bowl run. Love this defense.
11. Green Bay Packers (5-3) – The Packers have always bloomed late under Mike McCarthy, and this year might not be any different. The victory over the Jets tells me they could go on a big run here.
10. Tennessee Titans (4-3) – I like the Moss acquisition for this team better than I did with the Vikings. Yes, I’m a biased asshole.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) – Legitimately good team, but still not good enough to beat the upper echelon of the AFC.
8. New Orleans Saints (5-3) – Another team I think is set to go on a late season run.
7. New York Giants (5-2) – They might win the NFC East by default because there is something wrong with every other team.
6. New York Jets (5-2) – They get taken down a notch because Rex Ryan was stupid enough to have Mark Sanchez throw the ball 38 times in swirling winds against a bad rush defense.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2) – A little more consistency on offense would be nice. And who’d have thought T.J. Houshmanzadeh would have fallen off so much over the past two years?
4. Atlanta Falcons (5-2) – My favorite to make it to the Super Bowl out of the NFC.
3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2) – I full expect the Colts to start going nuts when they get healthy and reel off like, eight straight victories.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) – Best defense in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t look the slightest bit rusty. They’re my AFC favorites right now, but I can’t but them at No. 1 because…
1. New England Patriots (6-1) – …The Patriots are taking advantage of a soft schedule thus far to lead ahead of everyone. They’re in a great position for a first round bye and I have to rank them No. 1 because they’re playing the best right now. Does that mean I expect them to go to the Super Bowl? No. But these rankings are based off of what’s going on right now.
Onto the week 9 picks:
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-9)
This is the game that the Vikings dominate and makes everyone think they’re “back.” Only they’re playing the horrible Cardinals. Vikings to win and cover.
Chicago Bears (-3) at Buffalo Bills
See above. Bears to win and cover.
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
Everyone knows how much I like the Dolphins. This will be closer than people think. Ravens to win, Dolphins to beat spread.
New England Patriots (-4.5) at Cleveland Browns
This is a trap game for New England, and the Browns will play them close. Patriots to win, Browns to beat spread.
New Orleans Saints (-7) at Carolina Panthers
Saints = On the rise. Panthers = Real bad. Saints to win and cover.
New York Jets (-4.5) at Detroit Lions
There are no easy games to pick this week. I could easily see a Detroit upset here. But I don’t have the balls to pick it. Jets to win and cover.
San Diego Chargers (-3) at Houston Texans
Two teams heading in opposite directions. Chargers to win and cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-8.5)
The Bucs have been blown out by every good team they’ve played this year. All two of them. Falcons to win and cover.
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (no line)
Upset pick of the week. Charlie Whitehurst is going to get it done. Seahawks to win outright.
Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
How the Eagles are favored is absurd. Colts to win outright.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (-2.5)
You can tell how I feel about these teams by reading my power rankings. Chiefs to win outright.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers (-8)
The Packers are favored by 8? That’s insane. They don’t win games in blowout fashion. Packers to win, Cowboys to beat spread.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5) at Cincinnati Bengals
This is the game where the ticking time bomb that is Terrell Owens starts ticking a little bit faster. Steelers to win and cover.
Week 8 – 9-4 (8-5 against spread)
Overall: 65-51 (58-56-2 against spread)