On Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, the san Francisco 49ers defeated the St. Louis Rams 31-17, to officially end the sixth week of NFL Football. More and more is becoming clear. The Cleveland Browns are going to continue to play good football. We are all still waiting for the implosion of the Dallas Cowboys; said implosion, may or may not be coming, but for now, the team deserves some major props. The St.Louis Rams are not far away from being a good football team, the same could be said of the Miami Dolphins, or not.
Now, for the latest from the category of “fickle finger of fate” – The injury bug is continuing to creep around the NFL, and this week, set it’s sights on key players from teams hoping to start making a serious midseason push . Here is a partial list: 1) C Alex Mack – Cleveland Browns (broken leg): Out for season. 2) RB Stevan Ridley – NE Patriots (torn ACL/MCL): Out for season. 3) LB Jerod Mayo – NE Patriots (leg injury): Out for season. 4) WR Victor Cruz – NY Giants (torn patellar tendon): Out for season. 5) RB Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles (sprained MCL): Out 2-3 weeks. 6) LB Danny Trevathan – Denver Broncos (leg fracture): Out 4-5 weeks.
Week 6 NFL Power Rankings:
1) Last Week # 5 – Dallas Cowboys (5-1): It was not just that they beat the Seattle Seahawks in week 6, but it was how they beat them. In the past, an early 10-0 deficit would have spelled doom for the Cowboys, but not this time. In the end, they outplayed the champs, and the run game shredded the vaunted Seahawks defense. RB DeMarco Murray ran for 115 yds, when the previous game high yardage this season, for any running back, against the Seattle defense, had been 38 yds.
2) LW#2 – San Diego Chargers (5-1): Had a little bit of a down week against the Oakland Raiders, but that is the beauty of division rivalries. The San Diego Chargers continue to win games. Maybe this will be a year of redemption for two of the must maligned QB’s in the league; Rivers’ Chargers vs Romo’s Cowboys in Super Bowl XLIX. Just a thought.
3) LW#1 – Seattle Seahawks (3-2): The home loss to Dallas could affect the team, in the overall sense. Dallas went into the most intimidating field in the NFL, and soundly defeated the champs. Thje shroud of invincibility may be taking a hit. The Seahawks are still a very fine football team, but they are going to have to work to get back the mental edge they had over the rest of the NFL.
4) LW#4 – Green Bay Packers (4-2): By leading his team in winning a dogfight against a very game Miami Dolphins team, QB Aaron Rodgers showed why he will one day be in the Hall of fame. Like has been said about great players over the years, Rodgers isn’t always great, but he is great when he needs to be. The Packers have regained their swagger.
5) LW#3 – Denver Broncos (4-1): Actually had a struggle against the New York Jets this week, but maybe it was just a down week for AFC West powerhouse teams. The Broncos’ offense is going to struggle from time to time, now that RB Montee Ball is on the mend from a groin injury. Upcoming Sunday night matchup against San Francisco, should be fun. The loss of LB Danny Trevathan could also be troubling.
6) LW#6 – San Francisco 49ers (4-2): Fell behind the Rams early on MNF, and then methodically crushed their division rival. This was the third straight week they had to come from behind. It looks as though all the rumors of locker room dissention, may have been overblown. If you aren’t looking forward to their Sunday night game vs Denver, then you may not be a true football fan.
7) LW#8 – Indianapolis Colts (4-2): The Colts do not have all the weapons they need, and it would be nice if Trent Richardson could at least become somewhat consistent. That said, the wizardry of QB Andrew Luck, and the chemistry between Luck and TE Reggie Wayne, is magnificent. They have a good test coming up vs Cincinnati this week.
8) LW#10 – Philadelphia Eagles (5-1): Had the Giants beaten, even before Victor Cruz was injured. The quick-paced, high octane offense occasionally sputters, but overall, very consistent. The will miss Darren Sproles for the next 1 or 2 games, but overall, things are good here in the city of brotherly love.
9) LW#12 – Arizona Cardinals (4-1): QB Carson Palmer returned last week, and the team got back to it’s winning ways. Head coach Bruce Arians is still the frontrunner for NFL coach of the year award. The team needs to be wary of a possible letdown against Oakland, as they have the Philadelphia Eagles the following week.
10) LW#7 – Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1): The Bengals are a very good football team, which at this point, simply does not have the mental toughness to become a true Super Bowl contender. It is not about deficiencies at different positions, it is about executing in big games, and big moments. Mike Nugent’s miss, of a 36 yd FG which would have won the game this past week, is a microcosm of the problem with this team.
11) LW#9 – Baltimore Ravens (4-2): It is anyone’s guess as to where this team would be had they not acquired rejuvenated WR Steve Smith, Sr. With Torrey Smith on the other side, QB Joe Flacco’s life got much easier this season. Most surprising, is just how easily the team was able to transition from the Ray Rice era.
12) LW#13 – Kansas City Chiefs (2-3): The team’s only two wins, were over the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, by a combined score of 75-19. If only all their games were against the AFC East. This weekend’s game against San Diego, is huge.
13) LW#11 – New England Patriots (4-2): Resurrected themselves from the dead, when they stomped the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago. There is more adversity coming up, as RB Stevan Ridley suffered a season-ending knee injury just last weekend against Buffalo.
14) LW#18 – Cleveland Browns (3-2): Buried the Steelers this weekend, but unfortunately, also lost starting center Alex Mack to season-ending leg injury. Still, with a little luck, this team will wind up 6-2 at midseason. If only we all had as good a seat for it, as does Johnny Manziel.
15) LW#20 – Chicago Bears (3-3): This past week, former NFL Head coach Brian Billick openly compared the fragile psyche of Jay Cutler, to that of Jeff George. Cutler has to have heard about it. Now, let’s see if he falls apart.
16) LW#14 – Detroit Lions (3-3): The Lions suffer from the same ailment as the Bengals; they cannot mentally turn the corner, and become an elite NFL team. Detroit is 4-2. The two losses, were to Buffalo and Carolina. Maybe the loss to Carolina can be explained away, but Buffalo ?
17) LW#22 – Carolina Panthers (3-2-1): The epitome of an up-and-down team. Lost to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, in successive weeks, by a combined score of 75-29. Followed that up with a win over Chicago, and a tie against Cincy. Next game is against the Green Bay Packers.
18) LW#16 – Miami Dolphins (2-4): Last week, played well enough to win against the Packers, but did not execute good “situational football”. Not just the team, but the coaching staff as well. They may turn the corner, and they may not. They play an equally fragile Chicago team this weekend.
19) LW#23 – Houston Texans (3-3): The impasct of J.J. Watt, is amazing. Without him, this team is barely even mediocre. With him, they at least have a “puncher’s chance” in every game. Even with a QB as average as Ryan Fitzpatrick, they are a thret each week.
20) LW#24 – Buffalo Bills (3-3): The best move the team made, was sending QB E.J. Manuel to the bench, in favor of veteran Kyle Orton. Orton is not going to set the world on fire, but they now have a chance to win games against other middle-of-the-road NFL teams. Sometime you have to take what you can get.
21) LW#19 – Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3): Were just shredded against the Cleveland Browns. If things keep going the way they are, this will be a very interesting offseason for QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is in a contract year. The winds of change are blowing.
22) LW#17 – Atlanta Falcons (2-4): The offensive line has been hit hard by the injury bug, and the defense is not stopping anyone. Head coach Mike Smith is getting frustrated, and in Atlanta, the natives are growing restless. An offense featuring Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Steven Jackson, is getting outscored on a regular basis. Riding a three-game losing streak.
23) LW#21 – New Orleans Saints (2-3): The only teams they have beaten, are Minnesota and Tampa Bay. Way below standard for a team which began the season as a possible Super Bowl contender. Fortunately, the NFC South, as a division, is a disappointment. There is not one team in the division which has not been outscored in total points this season.
24) LW#15 – New York Giants (3-3): Just got shellacked by division rival Philadelphia, and lost their best WR Victor Cruz for the season, to a torn patellar tendon. It looked like they were beginning to roll, and now suffered this setback. It is time to see what rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr is made of. Between Beckham, and TE Larry Donnell, there may still be hope.
25) LW#25 – Minnesota Vikings (2-4): Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater had a miserable outing against the Detroit Lions this past weekend. Bridgewater seems to have the right attitude, but is going to need a lot more seasoning (and a running game).
26) LW#27 – St Louis Rams (1-4): Amidst swirling rumors of relocation, they built a 14 point lead in front of their home crowd, and then fell apart. It was eerily reminiscent of the team’s last season in Anaheim. on the positive side, it looks like QB Austin Davis may be a diamond in the rough.
27) LW#31 – Oakland Raiders (0-5): Almost won a slugfest with the Chargers, before QB Derek Carr made a rookie mistake. All in all, the performance of Carr was good, and he continues to be the bright spot in the black hole.
28) LW#26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5): Any ideas about a successful season, are over. The Pittsburgh Steelers must be kicking themselves for actual losing to this team. When the season began, Tampa Bay was supposed to have a stout defense and strong run game. Seriously, it was in print and everything.
29) LW#30 – Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6): Occasionally, they play a really close game, and it kinda makes you think, “hey, this team ain’t so bad”. Then they lose again. Then you look at the standings. Then you remember the voice of Bill Parcells saying, “You are what your record says you are.” Then you think, “oh yeah, that’s right.” Then you move on.
30) LW#28 – Washington Redskins (1-5): There is no truth to rumors that the Native Americans actually want the team to stop using the name “Redskins”, because the team is such an embarrassment, that it actually reflects negatively upon the Native American people.
31) LW#29 – Tennessee Titans (2-4): There are some people out there who might argue the Titans should not be ranked this low, after having beaten Jacksonville this past weekend. They may have a point. If Tennessee beats Washington this weekend, while Cleveland is annihilating Jacksonville, they will leapfrog both the Jags and Redskins.
32) LW#29 – New York Jets (1-5): QB Geno Smith wasn’t horrible against Denver. One does have to wonder if the Broncos were possibly looking past the Jets, to the upcoming Sunday night game against San Francisco. Okay, lets give credit where it is due. The Jets only lost by 14 pts. That is much better than was expected.