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Ranking the Contenders

The Colts continued roll, but looked more like the defenseless but offensive juggernaut from last season. Over the past 5 weeks the Colts have given up 24.6 points per game and scored 40 points, shockingly like last year. The Colts are not a different team, playing 5 teams that can’t score just made them look that way. The difference is that there doesn’t seem to be a team that will win more, and home field is theirs to lose. The Colts are the best team and football, and yet still better at home. They can do exactly what the 2000 Rams did, play in a dome all they way to the title.


Sure teams like Denver, Dallas, Seattle and even Chicago can make a claim to title hopes, and they are legit. Each one of them are better than the Colts in key areas, mostly defense. But the fact of the matter is, in a dome on turf no one is better at scoring than the Colts.  From hear on out all the talk will be about an undefeated season till they lose. But if that loss does comes in the post season rather than the regular season, 17-0 means little. The 2005 Colts are about the Super Bowl, nothing else.


1.      Indianapolis Colts 10-0 (1): Best win all year, but the D has showed its true colors. But that won’t matter if the offense produces.


2.      Denver Broncos 8-2 (2): If someone will stop the Colts, it will likely be them. Their running game is the perfect way to attack the Colt D.


3.      Seattle Seahawks 8-2 (4): Like the Broncos, they can run, or shall we say Shawn Alexander can.


4.      Chicago Bears 7-3 (12): It’s tough to deny the Bears after shutting down the Panthers and comparisons to the 85 Bears are being made.


5.      Pittsburgh Steelers 7-3 (5): You can’t drop them for losing without Ben Roethlisberger; he is too valuable and makes them a much better team.


6.      Carolina Panthers 7-3 (3):  A disappointing loss to what appears to be a very good Bears team. What team below them hasn’t done the same?


7.      Cincinnati Bengals 7-3 (6): Clearly not in the same league as the Colts and the defense have issues, but Carson Palmer is the real deal.


8.      NY Giants 7-3 (8): The next two weeks versus Seattle and Dallas will tell a lot about the Giants post season chances.


9.      Dallas Cowboys 7-3 (10): The Cowboys have a tough Turkey day game against the Broncos before matching up with the Giants for a big division game on long rest. 2-0 in that span will make a believer out of everyone.


10.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-3 (11): Just when you think they are done, they come up with back to back wins against quality opponents. Chicago at home is another tough test.

11.  Jacksonville Jaguars 7-3 (7): The Jags just seem to get by teams, which should be easy to do with their schedule, but doesn’t bode well for January.


12.  San Diego Chargers 6-4 (13): Not to look past this season, but how can they not do everything to bring back Drew Brees next year. But they have a tough road to the playoffs and even 11 wins may not be good enough.


13.  New England Patriots 6-4 (15): The Patriots will always have a chance with Tom Brady, but it is tough to see them winning number 4 with a defense that makes Aaron Brooks and Gus Frerotte look like great QBs.


14.  Atlanta Falcons 6-4 (9): Sure Michael Vick can pass, but can he hold onto the ball. Two straight home loses is a bad sign for a team with hopes of playing deep in the playoffs.


15.  Kansas City Chiefs 6-4 (16): It won’t be official till next September, but Larry Johnson is now the centerpiece of the Chiefs.


16.  Minnesota Vikings 5-5 (23): The good news is the Vikings playoff hopes are reappearing. The bad news is that Fred Smoot isn’t allowed to throw the celebration party.


17.  Washington Redskins 5-5 (4): 2-5 in the last 7 games and Brunell has failed to throw a TD in 3 of 4. The Redskins are looking to pass the Eagles, and 2005 is the wrong year you want to do that.


18.  Oakland Raiders 4-6 (21): The defense is playing better, but Lamont Jordan and his 3.5 ypc is the most overrated player in football. They need him to run, not catch the ball to be successful.


19.  St. Louis Rams 4-6 (17): You just knew this team was going to lose all heart after getting beat up by Seattle. This team needs new direction and fast because there is still talent here.


20.  Philadelphia Eagles 4-6 (18): In a perfect world, McNabb would have been able to gut it out for the rest of the year and win a Super Bowl without TO. In reality, TO meant a lot and an injured QB shouldn’t be throwing that much.



21.  Buffalo Bills 4-6 (19):  Bill fans be prepared for a bumpy road, because you are heading into the Joey Harrington phase for the next few years.


22.  Detroit Lions 4-6 (20): Are the Lions going after the 10 million from Charles Rogers for violating the drug policy or because he didn’t make Joey Harrington any better like all thought he would?


23.  Cleveland Browns 4-6 (24): Romeo Crennel may be doing the best coaching job in football, but because he won’t win 10 games he will not get a vote for coach of the year.


24.  Arizona Cardinals 3-7 (27): Kurt Warner finally won a game in Arizona, but you have to wonder if he’ll be there for the next 2 seasons. If not, what is the use?


25.  Baltimore Ravens 3-7 (28): The Ravens picked up the win, but more importantly Kyle Boller played. They need to find out if he is part of the future.


26.  Miami Dolphins 3-7 (22):  Nick Saban say he doesn’t care about losing, it is not about that. Then again he didn’t have to suffer through last year.


27.  New Orleans Saints 2-8 (29): Deuce McAllister healthy and a new QB would go along way to fixing the Saints, that is if they didn’t have to play musical home field next season.


28.  San Francisco 49ers 2-8 (31): This team shows allot of heart and Mike Nolan deserves credit for that. Now they just need allot of talent.


29.  Green Bay Packers 2-8 (35): Most teams would be thinking about getting their young QB of the future snaps, but that just won’t happen as long as Favre is in Green Bay. If he doesn’t come back, next year could be just as bad.


30.  Tennessee Titans 2-8 (30): They play hard, like most Jeff Fisher lead teams, they just don’t win. But I have a feeling rebuilding won’t take long.


31.  NY Jets 2-8 (26): I can already hear the boos in NY when the Jets screw up their first pick in the draft. You just know that an offense tackle is going to find his way to the top of their board.


32.  Houston Texans 1-9 (32): Does anyone else think that Don Capers bringing the Panthers to the NFC Championship in only the second year equivalent to an 80’s Rock Band. They hit it big once, sucked for the next 10 years but yet we keep hearing that same song over and over again.

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