1. Dallas Cowboys (3) – The Cowboys are playing great and their superb O line has been dominating. The Cowboys were in the lead for most of the game and in control of time of possession. Alas their special teams woes have put the game back in question. I congratulate the Cowboys for a great effort. They went on the road to one of the toughest places to play and won the game. Great D, great O line play, solid O when they needed it. This is the best team in the NFL right now.
2. Indianapolis Colts (2) – The Colts jumped out to a big early lead on the strength of excellent play by Andrew Luck and the D playing really well. The fell into a bit of a coasting, prevent defense style and it served them well as they managed to hold on for a win and they are in firm control of their division.
3. San Diego Chargers (1) – Well it has come to pass again that San Diego, facing a no account opposition (like they did against Jacksonville) have completely mailed it in. It will likely turn out to be an ugly win for the Bolts. For now, early in the second half, the Chargers are trailing Oakland. This is beyond incomprehensible. The Chargers trailed til nearly the end and somehow managed to pull out a win. This is beyond the ugliest win of the year and if SD can’t play Oakland better than that…wait until their post bye schedule when they actually play tough teams.
4. Denver Broncos (4) – Seem to have mailed it in but should still win this one going away if they shake their heads a bit. The Broncos trailed for almost the whole first half. They have actually spent a ton of money on stamps to mail it in this badly. Finally a slim lead. We will see if the half time speech gets the Broncos moving. It took longer than anyone thought but Denver finally managed to pull away from the Jets. This has been a total mail it in, poor effort but they are up by 2 scores now. The Broncos never looked good and barely showed up. Luckily it was the Jets they were playing so they won by 14.
5. Green Bay Packers (6) – Pack slide down the field easily and take an early lead. The Packers are struggling a bit on offense but still have a lead on the road in what is turning into a tough game. The Packers must be struggling with the elements and they can’t get a lead in this game late in the 4th quarter. The Pack won the game in the last seconds and Rodgers looked great but he couldn’t have done it without 5 timeouts (2 were Miami’s but Miami was stupid). Ugly but effective win.
6. San Francisco 49ers (7) – The Niners came out pretty flat and their O didn’t seem to be able to make any significant plays. As one watched there was almost a sense that the inevitable was coming and lo and behold it did. San Fran roared back, caught up to the Rams and pulled away and never looked back. A solid win.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9) – Came out afire, tore up the Giants with a strong pass rush and super rushing attack. Foles hit his receivers and this game was over in 10 minutes. Brilliant performance, probably their best overall game all year. Well done. Want to see them take on Dallas now.
8. Baltimore Ravens (10) – Excellent start for the Ravens. This turned into the greatest first half of the year for any team. 38 points. 5 TDs. This game is over with 40 odd minutes still to play. Blazing game for the Black Birds. Brilliant win and the Ravens now are making a play for their suddenly competitive division.
9. New England Patriots (11) – Pats are not playing great to start but not running away with it. The Pats have battled and are in a tough close game at the half. Will be interesting to see how they come out in the 2nd half. The Pats have gotten a few points and their D is playing effectively and they are close to putting the game out of reach. The Pats won it going away and now are in first.
10. Arizona Cardinals (13) – Carson Palmer’s almost surprising return has spurred the Cardinals O back to legitimacy. The Arizona depleted D must now make the supreme effort to keep this game within reach. Carson Palmer put up the points and the Cardinal D sealed the deal. Brilliant game and this team stands alone atop the NFC West. Can they keep this rolling now with Palmer back under center? Going to be fun to watch.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (12) – Where is the Bengal D? The Bengals D has tightened up and the Bengals have pulled into a small lead. Well done so far but they need to put this game away. Dalton is showing that he is capable of turning over the ball and keeping his team from leading in a game they should dominate in. Can Cincy pull out a win? We don’t yet know. Cincy has played bad and deserves to lose but have a shot in OT. To have ended in a tie because they can’t kick a field goal is appropriate for a team that is playing like crap and needs to get it together.
12. Seattle Seahawks (5) – Pretty unremarkable effort on O and D all the first half and if it wasn’t for a couple of great special teams plays the Hawks might be down by 3 scores. They have to tighten up to have a shot against a very tough opponent. Seattle simply is a shadow of the team that won the Super Bowl. The O can’t get it done, the D can be beat and being at home isn’t a great advantage. Hope they enjoyed the title last year as it appears they are one and done.
13. Cleveland Browns (19) – Struggling on offense early, like they usually do. Suddenly, wow, the Browns are rolling and have a great lead on the Steelers. Hoyer is rolling and the Browns look solid. Game just got better and better and the Browns have destroyed the Steelers and are coasting out up by 4 TDS. Brilliant win and this team is officially on the way up.
14. Chicago BEARS (25) – The BEARS have come out and played pretty well in this road game. To actually have a double digit lead after the half is about as much as they could hope for. Will be interesting to see if the O can add to it and if the D can hold the lead. What a great performance. Cutler didn’t turn it over and tossed the rock like an All-pro. The D was great today with pass rush and solid coverage. Sacks, knocked down passes and picks. Super performance, great road win…can they do it again?
15. Kansas City Chiefs (15) – on the bye, they still face a tough schedule ahead and it will test this team fully to even win 8.
16. New Orleans Saints (16) – on the bye, a team that was a preseason playoff hope and I thought might win 13. They have struggled mightily and they better hope they used the bye to get their D in gear or this is going to be one, long, ugly season.
17. Detroit Lions (20) – Solid start to the game, can they keep it up? The Lions are getting a lot of yards but not a lot of points so far. The Lions were finally able to get a few scores (they even kicked a field goal!) and they have taken advantage of two key golden turnovers and will have to completely collapse to lose this one. The Lions got another win with very little O and they really are a terrible team with a good record.
18. Houston Texans (17) – The Texans came out on Thursday and got whupped. I will admit that JJ Watt is the best Defensive player in the NFL and the best at his position and perhaps the best since Reggie White. All that adds up to a 5-17 record in the last 22 Houston has played. Their QB is woeful and they will never win anything until they fix that position. The D got hammered early and the O couldn’t bring them back. A team trending down now.
19. New York Giants (8) – I will be the first to admit I was shocked at that performance. I had been counting on a competitive battle between two strong teams. The Giants came out flat, the O line was back to it’s terrible week 1 and 2 performance and the D was sluggish and knocked off the ball. Terrible effort, back slid badly and now they have to figure out if the 3 horrible weeks are what they are or the three good ones.
20. Miami Dolphins (18) – Supposed to be benefited by the home heat but not early on. The Dolphins D is pressuring Rodgers and they are within a TD or so at the half which is about all they could hope for. Great effort by the Dolphin D and they are in a tight game that wasn’t supposed to be this close. The Dolphins had a lead until 3 seconds left and their horrible, terrible, unfathomable clock mismanagement gave Green Bay the chance to beat them and they lost. Who calls 2 timeouts in the last minute to give their opposition a shot to make the key play? Philbin. Some thought his GB experience would help Miami but it helped GB instead.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (14) – Steeler D looks strong early. The Steeler D used up it’s strength in the first 5 minutes and now is being pushed all over the field by Cleveland. The Steelers have been pummeled pillar to post and are getting humiliated in a division game. Official changing of the guard in the NFC North and Pittsburgh is trending down now. Ugly division loss by a team that is looking very old again.
22. Atlanta Falcons (22) – Bad Falcon pass D has cost them a shot to be in control of a home game against a team that had been in trouble. It will come to the Atlanta O to score enough to get them back into this game. The Falcons were beaten all day long. The D that was suspect was convicted for impersonating an NFL D. Horrible effort.
23. Carolina Panthers (24) – Went length of the field for 7 which is unexpected. The first score seems like the end and now the Panthers have to play catch-up. The Panthers offense is getting it done and this game could come down to who has the ball last. It has come to OT and Carolina has done a great job on the road to have a shot. For it to end in a tie is a moral victory for Carolina who is starting to play above their pay grade.
24. St. Louis Rams (23) – The Rams gave it their all and their all was only worth about 17 points. Everyone watching and those who didn’t knew the amount of points ahead was not enough. It wasn’t much more than a few minutes and the Rams were suddenly trailing and that was that. The Rams seem to be missing a lot of key pieces and amazingly they seem to be on defense.
25. Tennessee Titans (30) – Must see if the Titans can pressure the rookie QB. The Titan D is taking advantage of a porous Jag line to get to the QB. Not much O here tho. Whitehurst has gotten a couple of scores for Tennessee and they have played decent D and they have another game in hand but the question is can they hold this lead? The Titans were a blocked FG away from losing two they had nice leads in. They won but I wouldn’t hold any parades. This is a bad team who squeaked out a win.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21) – Tampa Bay proving again early that Turnovers are gold. They simply are not a good enough team to make mistakes like this and keep themselves in a game. Good luck climbing out of this hole. Evidently the Bucs said ‘oh you think we are in a hole? Watch this’ 38 points down? Say hello to 1-6 and now this team is in danger of being Raider like. Just a terrible effort and that is their second bad effort this year. Perhaps it is time for blowing this thing up and starting fresh.
27. Buffalo Bills (26) – Playing ok to start their key division match-up. Grandpa Orton has gotten the Bills a TD to tie the game. Can this AARP card carrier get it done in this division game? The Bills seem to have run out of gas late in the game and now the Bills are looking at a loss if the D can’t make a key stop. They couldn’t and the Bills are no longer tied for first and now have to see if they can win one to stop this losing streak.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (29) – Early lead in a game between two, equally bad teams. Bortles is showing really excellent work with the ball. He is accurate and if he had any sort of O line protection he would be really effective. Bortles has turned the ball over and the Jag offense just can’t get any points. They trail late and it would be amazing if they can come back. Bortles was incredible in the last two minutes and he did all he could to give his team a shot at a win. A blocked FG was all that held them down. A franchise QB behind a rotten O line. Solid effort in a loss by a great rookie QB.
29. Washington Redskins (28) – Cousins has played pretty well this game and has the Skins in a tight one in the desert. The Washington D has looked solid early too and now they must try to keep it going for 60 minutes. Ok the verdict is in. One really doesn’t know someone until there is a wealth of work on the books. Kirk Cousins is no better than the current RGIII. He makes too many mistakes to be considered a worthy starter for even the woeful Redskins. A bad loss.
30. Minnesota Vikings (27) – Bridgewater is going to be forced to score as the D isn’t up to the task early. The Vikings D is playing the bend not break and are keeping it close in hopes of some offense. Bridgewater is having his first real ‘rookie’ game with 2 picks and it has gutted the Viking hopes for keeping in this game. Can he somehow get 17 points in 8 minutes? I doubt it. The Vikes never got any offense going and another decent D effort was wasted. Ugly.
31. New York Jets (31) – Jets opened with blown coverage but managed to hold to a field goal. Looks like a long day for NYJ. The Jets got a TD which is close to a Columbus Day Miracle. They had a lead most of the half and are in this game at the half. Success for the Jets. The Jets are really becoming the East coast version of Oakland. Even if a team mails it in and doesn’t try…the Jets still can’t beat them. Yep the Jets are so bad a team doesn’t even have to try and they lose to them.
32. Oakland Raiders (32) – Derek Carr’s return has been a Godsend to Oakland. They have a bit of an offense and that has kept them in the game through the first half and now they have a lead. No matter how this ends, this is the best game Oakland has played this year. This was a great game by Oakland. For most of the game they played decent D (which has never existed so far this year) and they had a run attack and good play by Carr. A step forward. Can Oakland build on this good effort? We will see.
Well there you have it! It is weeks like this when I need more spots in between 24 and 32. Sometimes there seems to be too many bad teams and not enough good ones. I always appreciate all comments, thoughts, arguments and agreements…just read it and it makes me smile! I also will accept cash, preferably tens and twenties!
MR N the BEARS Fan