*Posted October 10, 2008*
roughly 1/3 of the way through the regular season
1. New York Giants (4-0) - I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see a start like this coming. They probably aren’t this great, but they aren’t as bad as I predicted either. By being undefeated, the Super Bowl champs have to be number one.
2. Tennessee Titans (5-0) - Kerry Collins has definitely been an upgrade over the suicidal Vince Young, combine that with a solid RB combo, a stout defense, and Jeff Fisher you have the early AFC favorite. But do you really see this team making and winning a Super Bowl? I’m not sold yet.
3. Washington Redskins (4-1) - It’s tough for me to put them this high after how bad they looked week one against the G-Men, but it’s hard to argue with road wins against Dallas and Philly. Jason Campbell is a hidden gem.
4. Carolina Panthers (4-1) - Ahh yes, one of my sleeper teams. A healthy Jake Delhomme, a tough defense, and John Fox at the helm equals a trip to the playoffs.
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-1) - Does anyone trust Tony Homo or Wade Phillips in big games?
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) - First off, the defense looks great. Fill-ins on the defensive line have been adequate and LaMarr Woodley and Bryant McFadden has been an upgrades at their positions. The key to the defense and maybe the entire team is the health of Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. We saw what happened with Anthony Smith and Tyrone Carter last year. The running game has been good with Willie, Melwelde, and the sneak peak of the future with Mendenhall. The obvious concern of the entire team is pass protection. I believe it is a three-edged sword. The offensive line is battered, Big Ben does not know what it means to throw the ball away, and the receivers are a little overrated imo at getting open. If they can keep that problem at bay, I like the Steelers moving forward. If you can play defense and run the ball, you can win in the NFL.
7. San Diego Chargers (2-3) - I still think they can win their division, I hate Denver. Look at their three loses. Last second against Carolina, Ed Hochuli against Denver, and a loss to Miami after traveling cross-country and playing at noon. I think they show up big against the Pats.
8. New England Patriots (3-1) - Brady is a big-loss, but I still see them winning their division.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) - I really don’t know how they are 2-3. I guess that Westbrook guy is important.
10. Buffalo Bills (4-1) - Definitely improved, as I predicted. But do you really see them winning a game at New England? I don’t.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) - Always fly under the radar. It might be tough to sneak in the playoffs as a wild-card with the NFC East teams, but the Bucs might be right there at the end of the year.
12. Denver Broncos (4-1) - Decent QB and a shitty defense. If they make the playoffs, they will be out quick.
13. Chicago Bears (3-2) - The early success has been a surprise to me. Kyle Orton seems like an upgrade over Rex Grossman. Matt Forte is turning into a stud back.
14. Baltimore Ravens (2-2) - Joe Flacco appears to be the real-deal and Ray Lewis looks like he did 5-10 years ago. Easily the second-best team in the AFC North.
15. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) - They may have changed quarterbacks in the nick of time.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) - The Jags seemed soft as the Steelers moved the ball at will on Sunday Night. Their best team may have been last year.
17. Green Bay Packers (2-3) - I like Aaron Rodgers, but losing to Atlanta at home. Not good.
18. Indianapolis Colts (2-2) - Could easily be 0-4. It is clear to me that Bob Sanders is the MVP of the team. Even with their Super Bowl, I still don’t trust Peyton in big games.
19. New York Jets (2-2) - Better, but still probably 3rd in their improving division.
20. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) - Alright, the first team from the NFC West. Better, but I’ll be a believer in the Cards when they finally make the playoffs. It may be this year, it may not.
21. Miami Dolphins (2-2) - The Dolphins are certainly improved. Chad Pennington is a vastly underrated quarterback.
22. New Orleans (2-3) - Probably as soft as you can get. How did Drew Brees do in big games at Purdue? How about Reggie Bush at USC when they played Texas in the BCS Championship Game? How about two years ago in the NFC Championship game against the Bears? A high-flying offense with soft players equals no playoffs again.
23. Atlanta Falcons (3-2) - 3-2 is certainly shocking to all, but they will probably still finish 6-10.
24. San Francisco 49ers (2-3) - This once proud franchise is sinking into total suckiness. Last week was an opportunity for them, but you just knew that they were going to lose.
25. Houston Texans (0-4) - Sorta unlucky with Hurricane Ike and all the Sage Rosenfeld fumbles. Probably not as good as prognosticators projected, but certainly better than 0-4.
26. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) - Turning into a joke. Can only win games at home and yet I still start Matt Hasselbeck on my fantasy team every week.
27. Cleveland Browns (1-3) - Haha
28. Oakland Raiders (1-3) - Al Davis probably knows football, but I don’t see the Raiders winning again until he calls it quits.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (0-5) - I give them credit for playing hard against New York and Dallas, but 0-5 is still 0-5 and the Bengals are still the Bengals.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) - The reason I dislike Denver is because this team beat them.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-4) - Even with “stars” on offense, you still need a defense to win games.
32. Detroit Lions (0-4) - They finally fired Matt Millen, about 8 years too late.