MR N’s Week 4 Power Poll
1. Green Bay Packers (3) – The Packers got a quick TD to start but they seem to be not playing as hard as usual. I guess it is hard to get yourself up for a game against a no account team. Funny, the Pack can shred a bad team in their division but they have to stop mailing it in while in San Fran. The Packers did mail it in but only so much to slide away with a 14-point win. They could have won by 50 but why break a sweat against that gang of Pop Warner wannabes?
2. Denver Broncos (2) – Incredible D and just passable O has the Broncos out to a nice lead at the half. It could be well more but for a key Manning golden turnover that changed the game 10 points in the favor of the Vikes. The D needs to keep the hammer down and hope that Peyton can put the game away in the 2nd half. The Broncos D were challenged mightily and nearly lost the game but they combined with some solid O to just squeak out a win. The O seems to be coming on and once it gets comfortable this team will be scary good.
3. Carolina Panthers (5) – The Panthers have used great D and solid O to take a good lead and look really in control of this game. Only massive prevent D can let Tampa back into it. The Panthers rolled the Bucs and never were challenged. The D was excellent and CAAAAAAM got it done when he had to. Another solid win and I can’t wait to see them play Atlanta.
4. Atlanta Falcons (6) -Brilliant first half. The Falcons are running roughshod over the Texan D. Superb rushing, excellent game play calling by Matt Ryan and the Falcons are pitching a shutout on D and are up 4 TDs. This game may be over. The Falcons were never challenged. They dominated on all sides and wound up winning it in a laughing fashion. Great game and I see their only challenge being the home and home with the Panthers yet to come.
5. Arizona Cardinals (1) – Arizona is being physically challenged on every down and has had to go fight like hell to simply keep this game at a 1-point deficit. Arizona is noted for being able to wrangle a win in the end and it will take all they have to do that today. The Cardinals had their chances and they came very close. In the end, Carson Palmer couldn’t make the plays needed to give them a shot to win. This loss will hurt and could impact their playoff spot when it is all said and done.
6. New England Patriots (4) – On the bye, probably working out their next way to cheat to beat any team they face at home or on the road. They fell in my pool because I have no respect for them or the way they represent the Barry Bonds School of how to play in the NFL.
7. Seattle Seahawks (7) – The Seahawks played decent D for most of the game. The O line is terrible and puts Wilson in danger constantly. Wilson’s fumbling has to be a huge concern going forward. The Hawks got a tiny lead and then were able to hold on by having the refs miss an obvious foul. At least the Seahawks own it. A bad call, gave Seattle the game. A win but this team seems to be a shell of what I thought they would be.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (10) – The Bengals jumped out to a nice lead but have let KC hang around. For being such a ‘dominant’ team, they don’t look dominant. They need to bear down or they risk letting this game get away from them. Cincy was in trouble in the 2nd half when the Refs gave them the game with a bad call. Cincy won it going away but it wasn’t in doubt once the Refs put on their Bengal jerseys.
9. St. Louis Rams (16) – It appears early that the Rams have decided to bring their A game once more. It’s funny how they play super once every three games. Superlative D and barely effective O has them out in front, barely, early in the third. The Rams were able to get the O working and put up just enough points to win a key division battle. A great win by a team that can beat anyone…every other week or so unless they don’t bother to show up like they do every other week.
10. Indianapolis Colts (17) – Starting the game with no Andrew Luck is tough and the Colts have to be credited for keeping the game close in the first half. The D has been pushed around and will need to really push to keep the Colts in a shot to win. The Colts hung around, battled, took it to OT, put together a miracle drive, and won the game. A gutsy win with a backup QB. Well done.
11. San Diego Chargers (18) – The Chargers are not able to perform offensively as well as they would like. They are getting some points but not getting TDs every time. The D is doing ok but not tight. The Chargers were pushed on D and faced OT but for the heroics of Phil Rivers. Rivers drove the length of the field and the Chargers won. A gutsy win.
12. New York Jets (19) – The Jets came out with a stout defense and effective O and took control of the game right from the start. Out to a huge lead late they fell into the prevent D style and let Miami to claw their way back into the game. The Jets are going to let this game be much closer than it really was. The Jets won but letting a bad team think they can accomplish something isn’t a good plan. A win overseas is a good win.
13. Minnesota Vikings (8) – The Vikings have been battered by a fierce Bronco D from the start. Bridgewater took nearly 30 minutes to finally find a passing rhythm. The Rush attack appears to be stifled. The D is doing ok but must keep up the pressure or the game could get out of hand. Credit the Vikings for battling back and using all they had to bring themselves to the brink of victory. A young team played their heart out and just lost a close one.
14. Dallas Cowboys (12) – The Cowboys had the O working on and off early and the D had moments of exceptional play and then seemed to take plays off. The loss of LB Sean Lee to concussion may be pointed at as the moment the worm turned. I suggest the D wasn’t as good as everyone thought when he was there. I give Weeden credit for driving the field to give his team a chance to win late in the 4th. Then the D couldn’t stop the Saints in regulation and then couldn’t stop them in OT. A loss that falls firmly on the questionable D. Fitting for a questionable team.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (9) – The Steelers did better than I thought they would without Big Ben. Vick wasn’t terrible. LeVeon Bell was super. I haven’t seen running skill like his since I watched Barry Sanders in the late 80’s. Bell cuts at full speed. Remarkable. What was also remarkable was watching the almost self-proclaimed and very arguable best WR Antonio Brown drop a TD pass that would have given his team the win. The Steelers also couldn’t use up 4 minutes of the clock with the ball and the lead and the D couldn’t stop Baltimore from getting 35 yards twice when it counted. Sure, the kicker missed some Field goals but this game never should have come down to the kicks. A bad loss.
16. Buffalo Bills (11) – Needing a strong start to make a statement, the Bills came out flat. Tyrod Taylor needed to shine and he has stunk. They are lacking 2 weapons but that shouldn’t hamstring their O. No O, lack of great D performance and they are in a hole and can come back if they can get it going. The Bills O drove the ball twice into the red zone and twice Rex went for it, giving up 6 points that would have meant the game tied in the fourth. His calls to go for it killed momentum and kept Buffalo out of it. A terribly coached game. A terrible loss and just how good is Buffalo?
17. Kansas City Chiefs (15) – The Chiefs had a slow start with Alex Smith looking like a bum in the first half. Somehow, the Chiefs have stayed in this game and are within a FG at the half. This has to be a good sign for them and this game could go either way in the 2nd half. The Chiefs had a real shot in the second half but then the REFS blew a replay, got a call wrong, turned the game on a 14-point margin, and ended the Chiefs chances. Terrible when the NFL officials decide a game. Good effort but KC can’t beat Cincy and the Refs.
18. New York Giants (21) – The G-men came on the road and are using solid D and effective O to take control of a game in a difficult road environment. Eli is using a variety of weapons and had the game well in hand. I almost think one more TD and NYG have a win. Will bear watching. The Giants gave Buffalo every opportunity to get back into the game but then Buffalo said no thanks. They got a win on the road in a game they were not supposed to win. The Giants deserve credit but not a lot of credit.
19. Baltimore Ravens (22) – The Ravens came into the game in desperate straits. They had never lost 4 in a row under Harbaugh and now they have to wait at least 4 more games to do it this year. They won a game that they should have lost. They gave Pittsburgh every opportunity to beat them. Missed field goals, poor defensive plays, and bad offensive play calls gave Baltimore their first win. They had some decent rush offense and played sporadically well on D but I wouldn’t start saving playoff money if I lived in Charm City. This team is bad and will not make the playoffs.
20. Washington Redskins (25) – Excellent start for Washington. The Skins used solid D and good O to have a lead at the half. The Redskins will have to keep the pressure on to keep this game in control. The Skins D got exposed a little but Cousins rallied the team. With courage under pressure, key accurate throws and a determination not seen at QB in Washington since Theismann. Washington has a franchise QB, it is Kirk Cousins and he defeated Philly today. Super win.
21. Oakland Raiders (13) – The Raiders traditionally struggle early on the road and this game is no exception. The D let a sad excuse for a Bears O take a lead. Carr battled back and got the Raiders the lead but the D let the BEARS back ahead. The 2nd half could go either way but I would believe the Raiders will wear down the Chicago D. The Raider D got the pick, took the ball, and got the lead and it was a pretty well played 28 minutes in the 2nd half. The last two minutes didn’t work so well and the Raiders lost a tough one to a really bad Chicago team. That loss may haunt the Silver and Black this year.
22. Houston Texans (14) – The Texans, who are built on D strength, have shown little of that early. Being taken apart by the Falcons on the ground and in the air. Houston is in a huge hole and I am not sure that O can score 4 tds in a half so this game may be over. The game was over. The Texans endured allowing a forty burger then had the added ignominy of fumbling the final vain attempt to score into allowing 6 more points. Ugly game, played ugly, and I now have serious questions in regards to whether or not the Texan D is any good at all. And really, rotating QBs?
23. Philadelphia Eagles (20) – Bradford has looked poor to mediocre and the D has not been able to stop the Skins. The Eagles look like a team that needs to have a great locker room meeting to get a better effort out of this squad. The Eagles D played their best game of the year and in the second half, Bradford even looked like an NFL QB for a few plays. He drove them to a late lead and then watched while the D couldn’t stop Washington and they lost. Another loss for a bad team.
24. Cleveland Brown (23) – The Browns are in a slugfest on the road in Cali. The D is bending and not breaking and so far, the O has answered everything that San Diego has done. Can they keep it up for 60? The Browns put up an amazing effort and they battled to the end and got them in the position to win but after a long fight the D couldn’t muster, one more stellar effort and they lost a close one.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (24) – An excellent effort by Jacksonville in the first half has the Jags in this game. Bortles looks good and the D looks solid. Can they keep it up for 60? The Jags gave everything they had and played inspired on D and took the game to OT. A valiant effort by a young and up and coming team and they deserve credit for almost getting it done.
26. Tennessee Titans (26) – On the bye. They must feel pretty good with the start of the Mariota era. He has looked all world and so far, he is the Best QB in the last draft. They have the inconsistencies on the O and D line to work on but at least they have their QB slot filled admirably almost for the first time since Steve McNair.
27. New Orleans Saints (28) – The Saints were able to keep the weapons of the Cowboys in check once they got their feet under them. Brees, coming off injury, looked a bit more like Brees. He was able to make necessary throws and that kept the Saints close. The D got pushed around but did stiffen when absolutely necessary. Brees led his team to a potential GW FG (missed) and then hit the game winning OT TD pass. A good win for a bad team.
28. Chicago BEARS (31) – The worst QB in the NFL, Jay ‘I suck’ Cutler, has had a good start to his day. He drove Chicago to an early lead and battled back to retake the lead at the half. The D has played well early but tends to tire. Cutler is still his traditional pick away from giving away the game. It is due. The interception came and put the Bears down. Somehow, the Bears battled back and won the game with a miracle field goal. People may think this makes either a) Chicago good or b) Cutler good. The correct answer is neither and can Chicago at least lose enough to get the first pick and get a new QB?
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27) – Winston continues to throw pick sixes and make bad rookie plays. The Bucs have D issues and their O has no leadership so this team is having trouble getting much done so far today. Winston was solely responsible for losing another. One hopes the kid will learn from his errors but he is making the same bad plays that haunted him in College and he’s just not good enough or in good enough shape to win the game himself when he tosses multi picks. Ugly loss.
30. Detroit Lions (29) – The Lions came to the great northwest and gave their all on D. They tried hard on D for 60 and that was their best defensive play of the year. Their O wasn’t able to make any noise until very late and that means they left it in the potential hands of chance and chance wore a striped shirt and a bad call cost them the game. Play better on offense and that won’t matter. Lesson here. Good loss for a winless team.
31. Miami Dolphins (30) – A terrible team started flat and got shut out for most of the first half and were so far down that even prevent D couldn’t get them back. Tannehill even blew a couple of open shots to make the game closer. A bad team that is threatening to give up the season now. I can’t believe they have tried at all yet. A team with no heart and a soon to be fired coach. And he was so I was right!
32. San Francisco 49ers (32) – They got burned for a quick 7 but then their miserable excuse for a defense have played pretty well for the first half. They have very little to no O but are somehow hanging around in a game they have no business being in. If the Niners had any talent at QB they would be better than the slugs they are now. No offense, no heart, no talent, no ability. No home crowd advantage. A terrible team that is an embarrassment to that proud uniform.
As always, I love all thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements. I appreciate someone reading my views. I would also offer my analysis work to ESPN as some of theirs need help or I will take cash, preferably tens and twenties!
MR N The BEARS Fan