Thursday - Jan 21, 2021

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Ranking the Contenders

Dick Vermeil deserves a ton of credit for risking it all at home and going for the win when he called a running play on the one yard line with five seconds left. Larry Johnson easily scored giving the Chiefs an important division win. Sure they have one of the best running games in football, but it just isn’t a call most coaches make. Nine times out of ten the coach would of taken the field goal and tried his luck in overtime. It seems smart, but overtime is pretty much a 50/50 chance. Scoring from the one yard line has to be better than that, which begs the question, why wouldn’t most coaches make that call.


And speaking of coaching calls, let’s give it up for Andy Reid. Getting rid of Terrell Owens was overdue, but not an easy situation. Owens certainly makes the Eagles a better team on Sunday because of his immense play making ability. This whole ordeal started because TO wanted more money. The irony is that, it has cost him. He lose 4 weeks pay (1/4 of this year’s salary), he’ll likely be cut and may not be able to get a contract that matches the one he has. And that should make every football fan happy.



1.      Indianapolis Colts 8-0 (1):  Manning and the Colts finally exercised their demons in Foxboro, and it wasn’t even close.


2.      Denver Broncos 6-2 (2): The Broncos are a game up in the win column, but will have to win on the road to keep the division lead, with 5 of the remaining 8 away from Invesco Field. Great first half.


3.      Carolina Panthers 6-2 (7): Steve Smith lead the offense as usual and the defense caused Chris Simms all sorts of problems sacking him 5 times, fumble once and making him throw 2 interceptions


4.      Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 (3): Struggled to get a win for the second week in a row against a poor team. But a win is a win and without Roethlisberger the Steelers will take it any way they can.


5.      NY Giants 6-2 (4): They started slow against San Fran, but put them away for good in the 4th to maintain a one game lead in the NFC East.


6.       Atlanta Falcons 6-2 (5):  If Michael Vick passes like he did Sunday for the rest of the season; the Falcons will be tough to beat.


7.      Seattle Seahawks 6-2 (8):  Note to Jamal Lewis, there are two ways to get a contract extension, and Shaun Alexander is doing it the right way. A win next week against the Rams almost assures them the division and a playoff spot.


8.      Cincinnati Bengals 7-2 (6):  They go into the bye week with the division lead. But there is still a lot to do as they are 1-2 against teams with a winning record with the lone win coming versus the Chicago Bears.


9.      Washington Redskins 5-3 (11): After getting trounced by the Giants the Skins responded with a key win over the Eagles this week.


10.  Dallas Cowboys 5-3 (10): Dallas comes off the bye week with one big question, who will be the starting running back? The way Marion Barber has played and Julius Jones propensity to get hurt, it’s not a given Jones gets his job back.


11.  San Diego Chargers 5-4 (9):  The Chargers certainly make things interesting almost losing for the 5th time in the closing minutes of a game. A big defensive stand kept the shine on LaDainian Tomlinson’s first career 4 TD day. But the Chargers have to stop making critical mistakes to have a real chance.


12.  Kansas City Chiefs 5-3 (17):  I’m not sure if Dick Vermeils call to run the ball down by three from the 1 with 5 seconds left was a smart or dumb call, but it certainly showed a lot of confidence in his players. And that folks is why his teams love him so much and give him their all.


13.  Jacksonville Jaguars 5-3 (16):  It is not a surprise that the Jags struggled versus Houston, they have in the past. But they got an important win because with an easy second half schedule they may be looking at not only a playoff spot, but have a good shot at a 1st round bye.


14.  Chicago Bears 5-3 (18):  A big day from the running game and 4 more turnovers by the defense kept their winning ways going and have a 2 game division lead. But it’s clear that something has to happen at QB if they are to go anywhere in the playoffs.


15.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-3 (12): The Bucs are 0-2 under Chris Simms. He has held the ball to long and made mistakes as he has been sacked 10 times and threw 4 picks. Maybe this is why they traded for Tim Rattay. Something has to change because the fairy tale start is getting away from them.


16.  New England Patriots 4-4 (13): The secondary got shredded, and the defense failed to force the Colts to punt. The first eight Colt drives lead to 5 TDs and 3 FGs. The defense was horrible and clearly not good enough to contend.


17.  Philadelphia Eagles 4-4 (14):  The TO-less Eagles hit the first speed bump which hopefully is an uphill drive rather than a downhill slide. I’d hate to see a smart move like this derail their playoff hopes.


18.  St. Louis Rams 4-4 (15):  With John Vitt in control, Steven Jackson has finally been getting the ball consistently. If he can find away to tone down the turnover machine that the Rams have been, they can get back into the playoff race.


19.  Oakland Raiders 3-5 (19): A great 4th quarter come back by Kerry Collins was taken away as the defense couldn’t come up with a final stand.  The defense played pretty well before that last 72 yard drive, but it may have cost them a chance at the playoffs.


20.  Miami Dolphins 3-5 (20):  The score didn’t reflect how badly they got beat. 0-9 on 3rd downs and they only had the ball for 23 minutes. Nick Saban has done a great job, and Brown and Williams together in the backfield worked well, but the team has a long way to go.


21.  Buffalo Bills 3-5 (21): The Bills had a bye week to work out some problems after dropping the last two games. One has to wonder if they’ll go back to J.P. Losman once they are officially out of the playoff race.


22.  Cleveland Browns 3-5 (24):  The Browns got back on the winning side as Reuben Droughns is showing last year in Denver wasn’t just the system. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry.


23.  Minnesota Vikings 3-5 (30):  This win may just get the party ship righted. The question is was Daunte the problem or was playing the Lions the solution. Probably a little of both.


24.  Detroit Lions 3-5 (23):  Joey Harrington and the Lions offense came out flat, giving the Vikings great field position that led to a 24 point deficit in the first half.


25.  NY Jets 2-6 (28):  The Jets couldn’t find a way to go 3 yards in 4 plays to complete the comeback. But they may have found a decent option at QB as Brooks Bollinger made some plays.


26.  Arizona Cardinals 2-6 (25): Warner’s return garnered in familiar results, no running game, lots of passing yards, to many turnovers and of course a loss.


27.  Baltimore Ravens 2-6 (22):  The offense had a few good drives but only managed 9 points. A lot of the blame goes on Jamal Lewis who continues to disappoint. Brian Billick can’t do much about the QB situation, but he does have another RB that has played well and only got 3 carries this week.


28.  New Orleans Saints 2-7 (26): Aaron Brooks days as the starter have to be coming to an end….don’t they? Good news is that they won’t lose next week.


29.  Tennessee Titans 2-7 (27):  A much deserved bye week is coming up, Titan fans really need a break from watching this team. But Kinney finally scored a TD for my fantasy team. 


30.  Green Bay Packers 1-7 (30):  The Packers were right in this game and even recovered from a 73 yard fumble return against them. But too many holes and not enough plays resulted in a loss.


31.  San Francisco 49ers 2-6 (31):  Anyone else looking forward to the week 17 match up versus the Texans for the right for the first pick?


32.  Houston Texans 1-7 (32): 6 more sacks on David Carr to bring the pace to 83 for the season. But they actually had the lead going into the final quarter. Can that be considered a moral victory?

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