Team Rankings and analysis so far....
I made some bad choices for the second week in a row even though I told myself it was another shit week to bet, so I decided to brush up on all the teams to get back on track and go over their season so far. The number rankings are based off a formula I use that takes into account point differential, offensive and defensive ranking, and turnover margin along with a few other things. It is too early to add in special teams as the numbers can be skewed this early with big return here or there. Also later on I add a number for strength of schedule, but again little too early for that. This is not my opinion and goes strictly by the numbers. There are 5 categories of teams depending on where the big breaks were in the results, no specific number of teams for each group it changes every week. I usually do this periodically during the year and thought now would be a good time, and might as well post it here.
The horrible teams fighting for the disadvantage of drafting in the top 5, or higher.
32. Rams (0-5) - Flat out the worst team in the NFL. Averaging getting beat by a mind blowing 22 points per game, and only scoring a shade under 8...per game. They are actually somewhat respectable when compared to the other horrible teams ranking 24th on defense and only 28th on offense. They have played an average schedule so far, so it is not like they can use that as an excuse. Boller, Bulger it does not matter neither has shown anything recently. They have blown highpicks trying to get better on defense the last few years and it is just not working out.I could go on, and on...and on.The Lions might not be the only winless team in history after the season, they are that bad.
31. Raiders (1-4) - They would have taken the worst spot from the Rams had if it not been for the Rams point differential.The Raiders can't do anything right. Dead last in offense. Second to last on defense. Now we can see why they needed Seymour so bad, and what a genius move that was.
They have a QB with a 42% completion rate, who is the starter because Al says so more than likely. That, and frankly they just do not have anyone better, if that is humanly possible. The Titanic is a great comparison for this franchise, sinking fast.
30. Bucs (0-5) - This was expected from the Bucs in 2009. They pretty much gutted the roster ala Ravens 2002 and went young. They are struggling like most predicted, and building for the future. The good thing is they have been at least somewhat competitive against an above average schedule thus far. The only game they got blown out in was against probably the best team in football right now the NYGiants. They are trying to find a QB, and players for almost every other position on the field. But This is a team that could improve by the end of the year if the young players get better. Lots of injuries as well to key players but they are getting healthy.
29. Browns (1-4) - They won! They won!! Yeah 6-3. Against the Bills who are in a tailspin. Their QB completed 2 (TWO) passes in that win. That is not a typo. They just traded their number 1 WR and obviously have thrown in the towel for 2009. Again. In 5 games they have scored 55 points, with only the Raiders and Rams having scored less. Their "franchise QB" has been benched for a guy who has a 39 rating in 2 games so far. Their defense is ranked 29th' and the offense is at 31st overall. Dead last vs the run allowing 170 yds per game. You get the idea.
28. Cheifs (0-5) - With an almost win against the Cowboys at home showed some type of life, but they are still 30th on offense and dead last on defense. A defense that the Cheifs fans told me during week one that was "underrated". Guess not. Even with Cassel back the offense just can't move the ball. One glimmer of hope is they have played a very strong schedule, with only the Raiders (who they lost to BTW) as the easy game. Only thing they have to look forward on sunday in Kansas City this year is the barbecue. It is total rebuild mode in KC with some already questionable personnel moves by new GM Pioli. they are pretty healthy on both sides of the ball so it is not like they can get better with guys coming off injury.
Re: Team Rankings and analysis so far....
The pretty bad teams who are not going anywhere but have shown something minimal at least....
27. Lions - Well these arent the 2008 0-fer Lions at least. New head coach Jim Schwartz has them headed in the right direction, and they have beenin a lot of their games and actually won one of them vs the Redskins. They are pretty respectable (relatively speaking) on both sides of the ball in the low 20's on offense and defense. Stafford while young has shown some flashes, but is now on the sideline hurt. That may not be a bad thing for the W/L column as Culpepper is very capable. If other teams overlook them I could see them squeaking out a few more wins.Don't be surprised if they pull off another upset or two.
26. Titans - No team has been a bigger disappointment then the Titans. From AFCC game last year to the bottom of the barrel now at 0-5. They have no QB for the future. Their defense is sorely missing Haynesworth, although they are still rated in the middle of the pack right now. They tricked us all after that first game in Pittsburgh, but it has been all downhill ever since. They have played a very tough schedule so far,and while struggling will not be a pushover for whoever is playing them. They are already calling for Vince Young as Collins has struggled with a dismal 67 rating so far.Young probably is not the answer, but he could not be much worse then Collins is right now.
25. Panthers - Another team in need of a solution at QB, with Delhomme who has 8 picks in only 4 games so far and has really cost their offense. Been really banged up with injuries this year especially on defense, but they have hung in there against some pretty good teams. On offense they have talent at WR and RB but just can't hold onto the ball ranking dead last in giveaways with 12, again in only 4 games. If they could get their offense together and get some bodies back on defense they could be a tough out later on in the year. Steve Smith is probably ready to punch someone again with Delhommes performance of late.
24. Bills - Well the TO experiment has been a complete failure, and the once shining star in Trent Edwards has regressed along with the no huddle offense the Bills are trying to use. Major offensive line issues have killed this offense, while the defense is slightly below average for the year at 19th. Played an average schedule with their only win coming against a team who is even worse then they are, the Bucs. The loss to the Browns this past week confirms that they are in disarray and probably have coach who is on the way out the door. To make matters even worse they already have 10 players on IR, including one of their best young players Leodis Mckelvin. On the bright side they expect LB Paul Puzluzny and S Donte Whitner to return from injuries this week, and they should provide a boost to the defense.
23. Jags - Quite possibly the hardest team to try to figure out thus far. Play the Colts tough on the road, get smoked by Arizona at home down 31-0 at the half.Put 2 nice wins together against Houston on the road and the Tennessee, get demolished by Seattle after benching your best WR for missing a meeting. Does Del rio realize his job is on the line here? Defense has been absolutely terrible, ranked 30th in the league and new coordinator and HC Del Rio seem to have different ideas of what scheme they want to run. They have been trying to find a DE that can get to the QB forever now with no luck. Offense below average at number 19 with Sims-Walker breaking out and turning into a nice threat along with MJD who is averaging a respectable.
Last edited by 52decleetzu; 10-13-2009 at 07:31 PM.
Re: Team Rankings and analysis so far....
The middle of the pack, mediocre teams who could go one way or the other at this point.
22. Cardinals - The high flying offense of 2008 has been very mediocre in 2009, standing in the middle of the pack at this point while the defense has struggled at 27 overall. Played 4 games, up and down up and down. L/W/L/W against 2 good teams and 2 mediocre ones.Fitzgerarald and Boldin really struggling compared to last year, and most are pointing to the offensive line issues. If they cant protect Warner they can't win, simple as that.They could get it togehter on offense but the defense still is just not that good.
21. Texans - Another team with a great offense last year who is struggling to light it up this year.Still rank 11th overall though. Defense is terrible and you can run all over them. Schaub inconsistent and Walter their number 2 has been banged up. Issues on both lines in the trenches. Might be an 8-8 team when it is all said and done but probably not much more. Played a pretty average schedule with their only wins over the Titans and Raiders, nothing to write home about there. Andre Johnson still brings it every week, but all the skill position players in the world can;t make up for the
defeciencies on the both lines.
20. Redskins - Coach about to be fired. Loss to break the Lions 19 game streak. offense who can kind of move the balljust folds once they hit the redzone. Actually very good on defense 6th overall play well against the run and just fantastic vs the pass only giving up 171 yds per game good for 3rd in the league. Other than the first game at the Giants played quite possibly the softest schedule known to man so those numbers could be a bit misleading,and if you watch this team you see that. They could go either way at 2-3 but I would put my life on them trending down when they start playing real teams.
19. Chargers - Great offense as we saw first hand who can move the ball, but injuries have torn them apart on defense and they are just bad. Gm calling then out, no real depth to fill in the spots has the prohibitive AFC West favorite looking like they are on their way to another 8-8 season. A head coach who seemingly does not have a clue and is in thin ice. They have talent especailly on offense, but with all the injuries the ceiling is probably pretty low for them looking ahead with their limited depth in key areas. It will be a fight for them to get in the playoffs unless Denver implodes.
18. 49ers - Well they started out hot but fizzled lately. This team is has been winning on pure emotion for the most part.It is actually quite shocking they are a hail mary away from 4-1 right now considering they are ranked 29th overall on offense and a very average 16th on defense. This is a team on the rise but they just are not there yet,especially with Gore sidelined with injury who they miss dearly. Sean Hill is a decent stop gap but is not the answer. They need to find that guy before they can make any real noise. still could get in the playoffs in the NFC.
17. Bengals - A team who on paper doe not look all that great, but has a lot of young guys playing well especially on defense. Two quality wins and one fluke play away from 5-0. BUT, they have been living on the edge and winning almost every close game except week 1. The law of averages say they will lose a couple of them eventually. Offense is back with Benson.CJ and Palmer healthy now. They could make a serious run with an easy schedule rest of the way. Pretty average numbers wise on both offense and defense smack in the middle of the pack at 17 and 18. Definitely a team you dont want to face.
16. Jets - Came out with like gangbusters and beat the bully on the block up but have now lost 2 in a row and all of the sudden the bloom is coming off the rose.Anemic offense so far but that migth change with the addition of Braylon Edwards who showed he actually can catch in his debut. Defense is good ranked 10th overall, but has holes especially up the middle and they just got gashed by the Dolphins.They are going to need a Flacco like improvement down the stretch from Sanchez to be a legit contender in the powerhouse AFC. Probably a year away but a pretty good team right now.
15. Packers - If the Packers could ever get their tackle situation worked out (Chad Clifton healthy due back this week), this could be a dangerous team. The LT spot has single handedly cost them the 2 games they have lost. Antwan Odom 5 sacks. Jared allen 4.5 sacks. If it were not for them playing the Rams in between those 2 losses they probably would have lost 3 in a row. On defense the switch to the 3-4 is a work in progress.Their best pass rusher is now standing up in Kampman and they have the fewest sacks in the league but are still a respectable 18th on that side of the ball.This is a team that I see trending up as the defense gets familiar with the scheme and they can keep Rodgers protected.
14. Dolphins - Chad Pennington getting hurt might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Dolphins.The wildcat is working and they now have a QB who can make all the throws downfield. He is young and will have some struggles but if they can keep running the ball like they are they can cover him.They are the #1 rushing offense right now with a legit 2 headed monster and Oline that is playing well. On defense their secondary is young and they are struggling but they should get better as the season wears on. Started out with 3 tough teams and all losses, but have won the last 2 and are looking like they could be a threat if Henne progresses.
Re: Team Rankings and analysis so far....
The very good teams, but not quite elite. Still could get hot and make a run.
13. Bears - Don't know quite what to make of the 3-1 Bears at this point. They lost to the Packers week one, came back and squeaked by the Stealers because of a pair of missed field goals and then beat up on a Hassleback less Seahawks team and the Lions for the other 2 wins. Defense is pretty good at 13 overall, offense below average at 22. hester has been taken off the return game to focus on offense, so that X factor is gone on special teams.With Cutler getting more familiar with his receivers the offense will probably improve, but not enough to take over the Vikings or even Packers probably. A team that could pull an upset at any given time but are probably a few players away on offense to be a real threat.
12. Patriots - Blasphemy I know but they are 3-2 with a miracle/gift in week 1. Very balanced team on both sides of the ball but have had some big injuries so far. This is clearly a team on the rise and one of two in this group who is definitely a Super Bowl contender despite the ranking. When all cylinders are firing they are one of the best, but that has not happened so far this year. Top ten offense and defense barely, but with the return of some healthy players on both sides they will be a team to be wreckon with down the stretch as always. The sky is the limit but they need to find a groove especially on offense. Lots of young players on defense who will no doubt be better at the end of the year under Belichek.
11. Cowboys - The top ranked offense averaging more than 410 yds a game, who has not really clicked yet with injuries here and there to major players.What happened on defense I will never know especially with Ware, only 2 sacks in 5 games so far and they are ranked 21st overall. In 5 games they have played 3 terrible teams and beat them all, but played 2 quality teams and lost both games. The jury is still out on this team and mainly defense, can they play with the top competition or just feast on the bad teams? It should be noted that the 2 games they lost against the Giants and Broncos were both close games and came right down to the end, but can the offense be good enough to get them over that hump? Definite playoff team but the defense need to be better for anymore than that.
10. Stealers - Another underrated team like the Patriots who are great on both sides of the ball(7th on offense, 5th on defense), but have been derailed in 2 games by an untimely pick 6 vs the Bungles and a couple missed FG's against Chicago. A defintite SB contender but they like the Bungles have been playing a lot of close games so far considering how much talent they have. Pretty average schedule they played so far, with 2 of their 3 wins against bad teams in Detroit and Tennessee. If Mendenhall can give them anything whatsoever in the run game and Polamalu comes back healthy they will go deep again this year. Passing game looks to becoming dangerous with rookie Mike Wallace steping up and the usual suspects from last year.
9. Falcons - Probably one of the more flawed teams ranked this high, similar to the Cowboys but nowhere near as good of an offense at 13 overall currently. Ryan is legit, and after a very slow start Turner seems to be picking it up as of late. Gonzales and White are 2 of the best at their positins so the targets are there. Defense lost their first rounder Jerry in the middle for the year, and they can be had through the air or on the ground. You have decent pass rusher in Abraham but not much more on a very young defensive unit. Expectations were high and they can make some noise, but they are probably a few guys away on defense to make a real run at a Super Bowl despite being solid on offense.
8. Seahawks - Now this team is ranked high because of 2 games where they absolutley destroyed bad teams for a combined 69-0 score. They were missing their QB in the rough stretch where they dropped 3 in a row ( to 3 good teams). Is it a coincidence that they are 2-0 with Hassleback starting and 0-3 with him out? Probably not. Very solid on both sides ranking 12th on offense and defense, and that might be enough to win the division this year. Definitely a playoff team but getting a little old and injuries are starting to creap up on them now. Curry has been a flat out beast on defense for them. Trending up but doubtful they can beat the elite teams with no running game and some injuries along the Oline.
Re: Team Rankings and analysis so far....
The elite teams who are legit Super Bowl contenders
7. Ravens - Probably the best team in the league a couple weeks ago, has lost 2 in a row at NE and vs Cinci at home and is sliding with a tough schedule ahead. Top 5 offense, and despite all the hand wringing top 10 on defense. Had a couple of cupcakes vs weak teams but they dominated in both games like an elite team should. Then lost two "controversial" shall we say games that went down to the wire against 2 good teams. Can be beat throught he air on defense, but not on the ground. Could easily be 4-1 or better but just have not gotten the breaks in the close games. Offense is legit and extremely balanced, but struggling to find an identity with the rise of Joe Flacco. This is a team with holes on defense but an offense that can now cover for them when needed. Stay healthy and they are a SB contender if they sure up a few holes and breakdowns on defense.
6. Eagles - Only played 4 games with a bye and sit at 3-1 after beating up on 3 of the worst teams, while losing to the Saints the only good team they faced. McNabb did not play in that game though, and he is now back healthy along with everyone else on offense and they are poised to make another deep run at a SB. Offense has been great at number 8 overall despite missing Westbrook and Mcnabb, and defense stellar at #3 overall. It will be intersting to see them face an elite team healthy to see how they fare, but that wont be for another 3 weeks with the Skins and Raiders up next on the road and then a battle for NFC east supremecy against the Giants and Cowboys both at home after that. This offense could be scary good if they can keep Westbrook on the field.
5. Vikings - 5-0 what can you say, but an extremely soft schedule though and needed a hail mary to beat the 49ers.3 wins vs the Lions,Browns and Rams. Another win because the packers did not have a healthy tackle who could block Jared Allen. Been fantastic in the give away takeaway game and have feasted on those turnovers. Offense pretty average at 19 overall and defense same at 14th. Obviously the best RB in the game in AP, but the Oline has showed some holes especially inside. No other team in the top 7 elites is even close to that low ranking on both sides of the ball. They are still one of the favorites to win it all but that 5-0 record is slightly deceiving.
4. Colts -You just cant play the QB position any better than Manning is right now. He is making a 5th rounder from Utah into a star at WR leading the best passing offense in the NFL. On defense they are their typical fast unit, with Freeney and Mathins both healthy creating havoc on the Dline. No Bob Sanders so far yet still ranked 8th, along with injuries to CBs here and there too. Probably the odds on favorite at this point next to the Giants. Even with a re-shuffled Oline, new coordinator and head coach they are clicking on all cylinders and probably have not played their best ball yet. Manning is just so good he can overcome almost anything. Schedlue has been pretty average, havent really played any bad teams except the Titans last week. Watch out NFL.
3. Broncos - Easily the most shocking 5-0 team with the offseason they had, but a win over the Pats proves this team is legit. How, I have no idea. New coach. New defensive scheme. Traded Franchise QB and replaced with a very average one. Top receiver tried everything humanly possible to get out of town. It just makes no sense at all. Had 2 creampuffs but 3 quality wins in there as well. Defense has been flat out ridiculous allowing only 43 points in 5 games, number 1 by a country mile. They don't turn the ball over, only 3 giveaways in 5 games best in the entire NFL. Offense while not flashy they move the ball 6th overall. This is a team that can score, is good up front and can get after the passer on defense and very balanced overall. The one wild card is can Orton keep this play up for an entire year, that is their key. He is playing way over his head if you look at his career numbers, around a 70 QB rating while this year it is almost at 100. He has all the tools at his disposal, Oline receivers and backs to do it...but can he. Are we seeing a young Belichek in with McDaniel?
2. Saints - They can run, they can pass with the 3rd ranked offense.The options Brees has are almost limitless stretching 4 deep at receiver and 3 deep at RB. And don't look now but the defense is starting to come along. Darren Sharper and Malcom Jenkins have sured up the back end, got some talent on the Dline and it is starting to come together. If they can be at least respectable on that side of the ball which is entirely likely considering they are 7th overall currently they will be a team to fear in January. Beat 2 bad teams and a Mcnabb-less Eagles in 3 of their 4 wins, so the schedule has been pretty soft up until this point. The real test and possible NFCC preview comes this week vs the Giants at home. That will determine who is the real deal and who is a notch below along with who is the favorite in the NFC. They are on the right track, and just like the Ravens the Saints needed improvement on one side of the ball from last year and they got it....and now noone wants to play them nor should they.
1. Giants - Will the real Eli please stand up? Where did this guy come from? I dont know but if he keeps this play up the Giants could have another ring when it is all said and done. The 2nd ranked offense. The best defense. that is a pretty good combination. Playing like the nothing the NFL has ever seen vs the pass allowing only 105 yds per game, but only average vs the run surprisingly allowing the same amount of yards. A couple of wide receivers coming into their own. It all looks perfect, but lets take them down a notch because there are some flaws with those numbers. 4 out of their 5 wins have been against the really bad teams, and we all know those teams are reeeaally bad this year. The only quality team they played was at Dallas where they pulled it out at the end with a 2 point victory. So this is another team which is a "soft" 5-0.....the softest of them all matter of fact.The competition steps up a notch over the next month so we can really see where they are at. They will undoubtedly be in the mix at the end but lets see what hapopens when the schedule ramps up.