Every week it feels like we’re getting a little closer to truly discovering which teams are for real, and which ones are slowly falling apart.
We still don’t know what’s going on in New Orleans, and quite frankly, it’s possible we never will.
We have no idea what to make of the AFC East. We know the Jets, Patriots, and Dolphins are good, but how good? And more importantly, are any of those teams great?
The Patriots are the team that is supposed to win the division, a favorite to hold home-field advantage, and a good bet to reach the Super Bowl. Even without Tom Brady, a trophy-less end to their season will leave every head in the house hanging.
The Jets don’t have it much better. The anointed one, Brett Favre, was landed in a block buster trade, and is supposed to save the day. The same can be said for Jets’ management and their other pricey off-season additions. At 8-5, they’ve already made huge strides, but what would a collapse do to this team? And would reaching the playoffs, only to lose in the AFC championship game, somehow be worse?
Then you have Miami, a former winless season candidate, with seemingly no chance of being in this equation at the beginning of the season, yet here they are. Some Miami fan who dropped 10 grand on them reaching the playoffs is trying his damndest to not wet his pants in his parents basement, while he kicks his ankles together in his race car bed. Yeah, it’s that serious.
When you’ve got big names, big contracts, and big expectations, the worst fear in the back of your mind (If you’re the Jets or Patriots) is not losing-it’s the Miami Dolphins.
These Dolphins are not your dad’s Dolphins. They couldn’t have done what they’re doing with Jason Taylor or Zach Thomas, or heck, even Dan Marino.
This is the no-name squad, the relentless bastards that won’t go away even if you waive a million dollar check in their face. No sir, they’re here to stay. Well, at least until the final game of the season, when the Jets beat them 31-10.
Like usual, until the season ends and we see our collection of 12 teams who DO have a chance at completing this puzzle, it will remain a guessing game. One that, for now, I will step away from.
Here’s a look at this week’s power rankings:
|1 (1)||11-2||They had to lose again sometime, right? This was more about the Eagles turning their season around, rather than the Giants being exposed.|
|2 (2)||12-1||They haven’t had a quality opponent in the last two weeks, but they’re taking care of business. Their record is better, but they’re not the Giants.|
|3 (3)||10-3||Losing to Dallas would have made their match-up with Baltimore even more crucial. After the huge comeback victory, there’s room for error.|
|4 (5)||10-3||Is DeAngelo Williams the most under rated running back out there?|
|5 (6)||9-4||This team is quietly gearing up for a Super Bowl run. They do have Peyton Manning, you know.|
|6 (10)||9-4||Is their defense really good enough to carry them past Pittsburgh?|
|7 (4)||9-4||Looks like we spoke too soon about that great defense. They’re still one of the better squads, but they were clearly pushed around by Carolina.|
|8 (11)||8-5||Kudos for beating the lowly Seahawks. They need to win out and hope the Jets and Dolphins falter. The odds are against them.|
|9 (14)||7-5-1||If Brian Westbrook can stay this hot, are we potentially looking at the best team in football?|
|10 (12)||8-5||You just can’t say enough about their turn around.|
|11 (13)||8-5||Hats off to them, for finally making pre-season analysts look smart. They did all this in a division without another team with less than eight losses. Awesome.|
|12 (15)||8-5||Losing an energy guy like Peyton Hillis hurts. Just how many more running backs can this team send to injured reserve without it killing their season?|
|13 (7)||8-5||If they plan on winning this division, they need to win out.|
|14 (16)||8-5||Do the wheels fall off without Frerotte, or does this team get better with Tarvaris Jackson?|
|15 (8)||8-5||For three and a half quarters, they looked like the better team. Tony Romo, as great as he can be, made some truly terrible decisions.|
|16 (9)||8-5||That loss to the Saints was bigger than people think. 10-6 might not get a team into the playoffs this year.|
|17 (19)||7-6||Their hole is so deep, winning out might end up being simply a moral victory.|
|18 (18)||7-6||They still have a real shot at the division, and could have a shot at a wild card spot if they win out, as well. If they lose to the Saints, it’s over.|
|19 (20)||6-7||They might not be going to the playoffs, but damn, is this team impressive, or what?|
|20 (17)||7-6||This team is reeling.|
|21 (23)||5-8||Correct me if I’m wrong, but Mike Singletary has this team playing vintage 49er football again.|
|22 (21)||5-8||This team was one win from the Super Bowl. What happened?|
|23 (22)||6-7||So much for being a shoe-in for the playoffs. This team blew it.|
|24 (24)||5-8||Too little, too late.|
|25 (25)||4-9||What do you expect? Ken Dorsey? They might as well get Tim Couch back.|
|26 (26)||4-9||With Matt Jones serving his suspension, how much worse will this offense be?|
|27 (29)||3-10||Can we get ONE good game out of this team? I mean, this is the NFL. It’s not that much to ask, is it?|
|28 (27)||2-10||Herman Edwards criticized Tyler Thigpen for zeroing in on Tony Gonzalez too much. Really, Herm? Outside of Dwayne Bowe, that’s really all he’s got.|
|29 (28)||2-11||A healthy Steven Jackson changes nothing. This team is a mess. Jim Haslett, we hardly knew thee.|
|30 (30)||2-11||They faught hard against a supposedly superior New England team. Where was that kind of fight six weeks ago?|
|31 (31)||1-11-1||Did anyone else notice that no one talks about Chad Johnson anymore? Not even Chad Johnson.|
|32 (32)||0-13||If I were Rod Marinelli, I’d tell my team to go through the motions the next two weeks. All their energy will be going toward embarrassing the Packers in the final game of the season.|