We are nine weeks into the NFL season, and it appears we are getting a little more closure on who is for real, and who isn’t. Teams such as the Packers, and Saints are coming together after a rocky start, and with Michael Vick back at quarterback for the Eagles, they are a team to fear as well. While all these teams look impressive, it is the red hot New York Giants who look like the NFC’s best team. They have won five in a row, and quite frankly, haven’t been close to losing any of those games.
However, the story of the week 9 was the Cleveland Browns, and their domination of the Patriots. That’s two upsets in a row for them. Can they keep it going against the Jets?
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (2): 6-2. The Steelers avoided a fourth quarter collapse with a big defensive stop. If the season ended today, my money is on the Steelers to win the super bowl.
2. Baltimore Ravens (4): 6-2. The Ravens controlled the game against the Dolphins. They have a big game Thursday night in Atlanta.
3. New York Giants (6): 6-2. The Giants continue to be the hottest team in football after their dismantaling of the Seahawks Next up they get the Cowboys, who are in a free fall.
4. Green Bay Packers (7): 6-3. Suddenly, despite all their injuries, the Packers are clicking, and have won three straight heading into their bye week.
5. New York Jets (5): 6-2. That was a great comeback win by the Jets, and next they travel to Cleveland, who loves to play spoiler. Is the Jets offense good enough to get them to a super bowl?
6. New England Patriots (1): 6-2. Who expected that performance out of the Patriots? You don’t expect that from a Bill Belichick coached team. It gets tougher next week at Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.
7. Indianapolis Colts (3): 5-3. The Colts run at another 12 win season may be in serious jeopardy. The injuries just continue to pile up for them.
8. New Orleans Saints (9): 6-3. Uh oh, it looks like the Saints are getting into a rhythm. They get a bye week, and then Reggie Bush returns from injury.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (11): 5-3. Michael Vick showed no signs of rust in his return, and with him at quarterback, the Eagles are a contender. The Eagles play the Redskins and the Giants the next two weeks in a huge divisional stretch.
10. Atlanta Falcons (8): 6-2. The defense made the big plays when it needed to as they hung on against the Buccanneers. Can they beat the Ravens on Thursday?
11. Tennessee Titans (10): 5-3. The Randy Moss experiment begins in Miami, where Moss played his final game as a member of the Patriots.
12. Oakland Raiders (15): 5-4. With their win over the Chiefs, the Raiders are now 3-0 in the AFC West. Jason Campbell has won himself the starting job.
13. Kansas City Chiefs (14): 5-3. It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs respond this week in Denver.TThat was a tough loss against the Raiders.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16): 5-3. Although they lost, you’ve got to give them credit for staying in the game like they did. Don’t tell me you didn’t think Josh Freeman was going to win that game.
15. San Diego Chargers (18): 4-5. That’s two wins a row for the Chargers, and they picked up their first road win of the season. Phillip Rivers is making a case for MVP.
16. Miami Dolphins (12): 4-4. The Dolphins just cant seem to get in a rhythm this season. All signs point to them being on their way to an 8-8 record.
17. St. Louis Rams (17): 4-4. At 4-4, an NFC West title is realistic. Can they win their first road game of the season in San Francisco this week?
18. Chicago Bears (21): 5-3. That was a nice win for the Bears, but I just can’t believe in them quite yet. Jay Cutler quieted the critics, at least for a week.
19. Cleveland Browns (24): 3-5. That’s now two big wins in a row for the Browns. They are the perfect spoiler team. Next up can Mangini beat his former team, the Jets?
20. Houston Texans (13): 4-4. This Texans team is no different than years past. They can’t stop anybody on defense.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (22): 4-4. The Jags are like that girl you keep trying to date. You know you won’t date her, but you keep on trying Similarly, everyone knows the Jags won’t make the playoffs, but they are making it fun.
22. Washington Redskins (19): 4-4. Things are dysfunctional in Washington with Mike Shannahan questioning Donovan McNabb’s stamina. McNabb would love nothing more than to quiet the critics by beating the Eagles.
23. Minnesota Vikings (26): 3-5. Still think Brett Favre is washed up? That was a huge comeback by the Vikings, but will it turn their season around?
24. Arizona Cardinals (25): 3-5. That was a tough loss in Minnesota, they had that game won. They need to beat the Seahawks Sunday to get right in the thick of things in the NFC West.
25. Detroit Lions (23): 2-6. As well as the Lions are playing, they only have two wins to show for it, and let one slip away against the Jets. Now, they better hope Matthew Stafford is okay.
26. Seattle Seahawks (20): 4-4. Matt Hasselbeck or no Matt Hasselbeck, there is no excuse for that game. They got man handled by the Giants.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (27): 2-6. That was a heart breaker for the Bengals, Carson Palmer needed that drive. At 2-6 they can kiss their season good bye.
28. San Francisco 49ers (28): 2-6. If the 49ers can beat the Rams this week, they will be amazingly just one game out of the NFC West lead. That’s how bad the division it.
29. Denver Broncos (29): 2-6. If the Broncos continue to lose, wouldn’t it be smart to put in Tim Tebow? Why not?
30. Buffalo Bills (32): 0-9. I thought that would be the game the Bills got their first win of the season, but they lost another close one. That’s now three close losses in a row.
31. Carolina Panthers (31): 1-7. If you are a Panthers fan, is there really anything to look forward to week in and week out?
32. Dallas Cowboys (30): 1-7. That is now two weeks in a row that the Cowboys have quit. How much worse can things in Dallas get?