|WEEI NFL Power Rankings — Week 7||10.20.09 at 6:43 am ET|
And then there were four. The four undefeated teams in the NFL round out the top four spots in this week’s WEEI NFL Power Rankings. The Saints remain at No. 1 as they defended their top spot against the New York Football Giants.
The biggest drop in the rankings should come as no surprise. The Eagles drop out of the top 10 and fall all the way to No.16 after losing to the Raiders. Consequently, Oakland spent very little time at dead last and jumped seven spots to No.25. Unfortunately for Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams, they return to a very familiar spot, No.32. I guess some teams just don’t like change.
Tom Brady’s six-touchdown performance and the Patriots’ 59-0 butt-whooping has New England riding up to No. 6. Thirty-two first downs, more than 600 yards of offense, and holding a team to minus-seven passing yards always makes a case for rising in the power rankings.
2. (2) 5-0-0 Chalk up another win for the Colts this coming Sunday. They get to play the worst team in the league, the Rams. If that wasn’t enough, they also expect to get safety Bob Sanders, cornerback Kelvin Hayden and tackle Charlie Johnson back from injuries. With Peyton Manning not having to worry about who is protecting his blind side, the Colts will continue to march through their schedule. The Colts will only get better and continue to strengthen their weak links.
3. (4) 6-0-0 Another close game ends with a Vikings victory. Was there any doubt that Brett Favre was going to put his team in a position to score points after the Ravens took a lead late in the fourth quarter? The Vikings continue to play well in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, and special teams.
4. (5) 6-0-0 Before the Broncos played the Cowboys I said I wouldn’t be surprised if they went 0-5 in their next five games. Well the Broncos are 3-0 in those five games and undefeated on the season. They are indeed, “for real.”
5. (3) 5-1-0 The Giants looked shell-shocked when they played the Saints on Sunday. The easy schedule to start the season definitely didn’t help the Giants prepare for the Saints. However, Antonio Pierce said after the game that this loss can help them move forward. The Giants will figure out how to fix their problems and be one of the top teams in the NFC by the time the regular season ends in January.
6. (11) 4-2-0 The Patriots offense was oozing, ready to explode, and it finally erupted on Sunday. Although the Pats played a terrible defensive team in the Titans, the way they dominated was very impressive. They made it look like they were playing a Pop Warner team. Tom Brady and the Pats will continue to get on track and find their groove over the next couple weeks. They have the luxury of playing the Buccaneers this Sunday and then will cruise into their bye. Expect the three-time Super Bowl champs to be playing like the Patriots of old sooner rather than later.
7. (6) 4-1-0 The Falcons didn’t let the loss to the Patriots get to them, it looks like they actually learned from it. Matt Ryan was great in the red zone again, and the Falcons find themselves on a roll after beating two solid teams in back to back weeks.
8. (12) 4-2-0 Ben Roethlisberger is having himself one heck of a season and Troy Polamalu is back patrolling that secondary. Which will be the first team to give the Vikings their first loss of the season? My vote is the Steelers this Sunday at Heinz Field.
9. (7) 4-2-0 A bad loss to the Texans, and that will have the doubters coming out of the woodwork. Although, we have to remember this is really the first loss for Cincinnati after that fluke play that gave the Broncos the victory in Week 1.
10. (15) 3-2-0 Christmas comes early for the Packers this year. Playing the Lions and the Browns back to back is definitely a huge gift. Aaron Rodgers has been playing great this year and has done a nice job replacing the Lambeau Legend Brett Favre.
11. (9) 3-2-0 Turnovers and costly penalties killed the Bears’ chances of beating Atlanta. If Lovie Smith and the Bears can fix these problems, they will be a major contender for a wild card playoff spot.
12. (14) 3-2-0 The 49ers have a lot to prove after getting demolished last week against the Falcons. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to fix the defensive problems they had against Atlanta with the advantage of the bye week and use the loss as a positive.
13. (13) 3-3-0 The Ravens never gave up, and despite being down 17 points in the fourth quarter, they managed to put themselves in a great position to beat the undefeated Vikings. However, a very makeable field goal was wide left, and the Ravens’ losing streak moved to three games. Joe Flacco showed a lot of poise in the final minutes of the game, and it’s tough to believe this team won’t bounce back.
14. (10) 3-3-0 Two questions: I’m just curious if Mark San”chise” is still an accepted nickname for the rookie quarterback? And Rex Ryan, what happens to your team when it loses to an awful Buffalo team in a game that you called a ”must win”?
15. (18) 3-2-0 The Cardinals, much like their opponent this past Sunday, have been very inconsistent. They’ve been awful at defending the pass this year, but on Sunday they were able to shut down Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks passing game. The Cards need to continue getting Larry Fitzgerald the ball and continue to improve on defense for a chance to make the playoffs.
16. (8) 3-2-0 Who worse to lose to then the Raiders? The Eagles take over the top spot from the Redskins for most embarrassing loss of the season. The Eagles are a good team, the Redskins are not, and Washington’s loss to the Lions isn’t as shocking in my mind as the Eagles’ loss to the Raiders. Andy Reid was certainly right after the game when he said that he was out-coached. It’s tough to justify throwing the ball more than 40 times when you have Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy on your team to run the ball.
17. (16) 2-3-0 The loss to Denver on Monday night puts the division almost out of reach for the Chargers. San Diego had two weeks to game plan for its division rival but was unable to get the job done at home.
18. (17) 2-3-0 The Dolphins have struggled on pass defense and have the Saints coming to town on Sunday. We can be sure they will be well-rested and well-prepared coming off the bye week, but that won’t be enough to stop Drew Brees. The Fish obviously have a great run game but won’t be able to compete against the top teams in the NFL.
19. (21) 3-3-0 The Texans certainly found a way to spoil a good time in Cincinnati. Great win for Houston. Also, guess who has the most passing touchdowns in the NFL? If you guessed Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady you would be wrong. If you guessed Matt Schaub, you’re right.
20. (20) 3-2-0 The Cowboys might see a light at the end of the tunnel with the Giants, Eagles and Redskins all losing in Week 6, but I certainly do not. The Cowboys’ mediocre defense will face the Falcons’ Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez next.
21. (23) 2-3-0 Jake Delhomme leads the league in interceptions thrown. Just two interceptions thrown against the Buccaneers can be considered a good game for Delhomme.
22. (21) 3-3-0 Despite great performances from David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Mike Sims-Walker, the Jags still needed overtime to beat the worst team in the league. The Jaguars offense won’t be able to make up for a terrible defense.
24. (19) 2-4-0 The Seahawks need a running back to complement their passing game. Julius Jones and Edgerrin James have been unable to get the job done. Without a run game, Matt Hasselbeck can only do so much. Seattle’s offense needs to put up big numbers to make up for its defense and that is certainly difficult to do without a strong run game.
25. (32) 2-4-0 JaMarcus Russell played his best game of the year and delivered the Raiders their second win of the season. Impressive showing by the defense, allowing just three field goals to a talented Eagles offense.
26. (25) 2-4-0 It’s not all Jim Zorn’s fault, but he will lose his job sooner rather than later. It doesn’t make much sense to take away offensive play-calling duties. Just fire him already and put Zorn out of his misery.
28. (29) 1-5-0 The Chiefs wanted their first win of the season so they took it. Eight points in the fourth quarter and coming up with a big safety late in the game gave Matt Cassel his first win since he was behind center for the Patriots.
29. (24) 0-6-0 After the game, Patriots players weren’t willing to say it, but I will: The Titans gave up. Not only did they give up, they did so in the first half. Absolutely a pathetic and pitiful performance.
30. (28) 1-5-0 Out of the four teams in the AFC North, there are three pretty good teams. The Browns are the odd team out. The Browns have the worst offense in the league. I think it says a lot about what Eric Mangini thinks of Brady Quinn when he makes the decision to start Derek Anderson, who only completed two passes last week and nine passes on Sunday.
31. (30) 0-6-0 The only person who will say the Buccaneers are a good team is Bill Belichick.
32. (31) 0-6-0 Just awful. I would pay big bucks to see the University of Florida play the Rams.
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