2009 Week Five NFL Power Ratings
(Dated 10/6 to 10/11/2009)
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1. New York Giants (4-0) – The Giants extended their unbeaten streak to 4-0 this weekend with beating Kansas City rather easily 27-16. The Giants led 20-3 before the Chiefs added some scores late to make it look less convincing. Eli Manning threw 20 for 34 with 292 yards and 3 scores in another solid performance. Manning did bang up his heel that caused him to come out of the game early, but does not appear to be a serious injury. The Giants meanwhile are cruising playing well on both sides of the ball. New York will face Oakland next week and all signs point to a 5-0 start before a big test with New Orleans.
2. New Orleans Saints (4-0) – New Orleans reached their best start since 1993 this past weekend taking down a solid New York Jets team. The most impressive taking from the victory is they held the Jets to just 244 yards of total offense. The Saints offense is among the very best in the league, but if they can get the defense rolling as well then they are going to be extremely difficult to beat. Brees was held without a passing touchdown for the 2nd straight week after posting 9 in the first two games. Safety Darrin Sharper recorded his 3rd pick of the year and it turned out to be huge as he returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. The Saints defense held Mark Sanchez to just 138 yards and forced 4 turnovers in the contest. New Orleans now gets a bye and some extra time to prepare for a big meeting with the Giants.
3. Indianapolis Colts (4-0) – There may be no more dangerous team in the AFC than the Colts thus far this season. Indianapolis improved to 4-0 by running over Seattle 34-17. Peyton Manning remained red hot completing 75% for 353 yards in his 4th straight 300 yard plus performance. Even more importantly the Colts defense remains strong holding Seattle to just 279 yards for the game. The Colts defense has given up just 15.5 points per game. If the defense continues playing superbly and Manning stays hot, that is a combination that may not be beaten.
4. Minnesota Vikings (4-0) – Brett Farve had the huge performance against the Packers that nearly everyone anticipated leading the Vikings to a 30-20 victory. Farve completed 24 of 31 passing for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns in a game where Adrian Peterson was held to just 55 yards. Perhaps that can silence the myth that this is Adrian Peterson’s football team. Still, if both players stay healthy the Vikings are going to be extremely tough to beat this season in the NFC. The defensive front was destructive bringing Aaron Rodgers down for 8 sacks on the night and will just be another threat to compliment the offense as the season progresses. The Vikings have a short 6 days rest now, but don’t let that alarm you as they take on the pitiful Rams this Sunday.
5. Denver Broncos (4-0) – Well the Broncos proved their previously unbeaten record was legit with a 17-10 victory over Dallas this past weekend. While it was not a dominating performance, the Broncos defense stifled the Cowboys high power offense keeping them under control. Kyle Orton was 20 for 29 with two touchdowns for 243 yards. WR Brandon Marshall made the play of the game with a big catch an impressive run after the catch that resulted in the game winning 51 yard touchdown reception. The Broncos are already 2 games out in front in the AFC West thanks to another Chargers loss. However, they have their hands full if they are to remain unbeaten next weekend when they host the Patriots.
6. New England Patriots (3-1) – The Patriots are coming along slowly but surely after a rusty start. New England captured a big win over a strong Baltimore Ravens team this weekend 27-21. Tom Brady went 21 for 32 for 258 yards and a touchdown. The game was really big to putting the Patriots back on track for tops in the AFC. However, the passing game still has some distance to cover before getting back to top form. The Patriots get Denver next week in Mile High which will be another strong test for the AFC favorites.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – The Ravens would likely be at the top of the list if they could have pulled out the victory over the Patriots this week. The Ravens actually out gained New England 363 to 319, but simply could not get enough touchdowns to secure the victory. Baltimore remains a big threat in the AFC. The Ravens continue to show the confidence in Joe Flacco as he attempted a career high 47 passes last weekend. Flacco completed only 27 for 2 scores with a pick, but has still played well this season. The Ravens may have took a step back, but don’t expect them to take many more this season.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) – Bye Week – Tampa Bay at home this Sunday
9. New York Jets (3-1) – The Jets suffered the first loss of the season this past week falling to New Orleans 24-10. Mark Sanchez finally had a poor performance in his rookie campaign throwing 3 picks including one returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Despite the Jets defense playing well, the misfires on offense could not produce the points needed to contend. The Jets are still a solid football team and perhaps this can be a learning experience for Sanchez and the offense. The Jets defense remains a big surprise and even with all the turnovers they held the Saints to their lowest scoring total of the year.
10. Chicago Bears (3-1) – This Sunday may be been the spark to the fire that the Bears offense needed. Chicago racked up 48 points to blowout the Detroit Lions 48-24. Jay Cutler threw 18 for 28 with 141 yards and 2 scores. Running back Matt Forte ran for another 121 on the ground and a score. The Bears got off to a slow start as they have been, but really turned up the tempo in the 2nd half. The momentum was fueled by a 102 yard kickoff return by rookie Johnny Knox to open the 2nd half. The Bears now get a week off before heading to the Georgia Dome to battle with the Falcons in week 6.
11. Atlanta Falcons (2-1) – Bye Week - @ San Francisco this Sunday
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – The Steelers have now proven they can win at home with their 38-28 victory over San Diego. The win marked the 2nd win of the season after dropping two straight on the road. Ben Roethlisberger had a dominating night throwing 26 for 33 to rack up 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rashard Mendenhall added 165 yards on the ground with 2 scores. The Steelers racked up 497 total yards against the San Diego defense in a much needed bounce back win. The Steelers now have to prove they can win on the road. A trip to Detroit should help break the ice.
13. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – If not for Brett Farve’s magic in week 3, the San Francisco 49ers would be undefeated on the season. The team perhaps is not receiving the respect they deserve, but they are a quality football team. The 49ers blew out struggling St. Louis 35-0 and now have a 2 game advantage in the NFC West. Is it safe to say Mike Singletary is the right man for the job? San Francisco host Atlanta next week and perhaps they can give us some reassurance they are legit.
14. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – The preseason playoff promise is looking much more feasible each passing week for the Bengals. Cincinnati keeps finding a way to win. This Sunday it took 4 quarters and nearly entire overtime to defeat Cleveland 23-20, but nonetheless another notch in the win column. It was the Bengals 3rd straight victory on an impressive streak of football that included wins over Green Bay and Pittsburgh as well. The Bengals now get Baltimore in two of the next 4 games which could dampen the momentum.
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – The Cowboys disappointed again this past week dropping to the Broncos. The Cowboys had the chance to even up the score at the end of the game, but Tony Romo threw two straight incompletions to seal their faith. The Cowboys were very sloppy as time ran out letting a lot of time leak off the clock similar to the way the first half ended. That indicates either poor coaching or a lack of effort. Then again it could indicate both which would be sad for a team this talented. Dallas takes the road in attempt to bounce back at Kansas City next week.
16. Green Bay Packers (2-2) – The Packers did not drop in the rankings this week despite losing to the Vikings because they are still a solid football team. Aaron Rodgers threw for 384 yards in a solid performance. However, the offensive line could not protect their quarterback giving up 8 sacks in the game. Still the offense just fell a bit short to the NFC North foes 30-23 and now have to get their focus back to racking up a few wins before meeting Minnesota again in 3 games. The Packers get a bye week before their next outing against the Detroit Lions at home.
17. San Diego Chargers (2-2) – The Chargers dropped their 2nd loss in just 4 weeks Sunday night against Pittsburgh. In respect to San Diego, their two losses have come from two of the best in the AFC. Phillip Rivers was solid throwing 21 for 36 with 254 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, the running game is still barely hanging on to a pulse after another dreadful performance where the Chargers only accumulated 16 yards of rushing. Perhaps just as scary was the 479 yards the defense allowed Pittsburgh to rack up throughout the course of the evening as well. The Chargers now get a week off to regroup before battling division rival Denver in week 6.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) – David Garrard had a big day as the Jaguars demolished Tennessee 37-17. The Jaguars actually led by 27-3 at the half before the Titans added some score late. Garrard went 27 for 37 with 323 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game. It equals the 2nd straight week the Jaguars offense has come up big scoring over 30 points. If you include the 2 point loss to the Colts, the Jaguars have played really well this season. The Jaguars get Seattle next week and this could be a surprise team in the making.
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) – Bye Week – Houston at home this Sunday
20. Houston Texans (2-2) – The Texans got back to the .500 mark this Sunday with a 26-9 victory over Oakland. The Texans two victories this season have been less than convincing considering those two teams (Tennessee and Oakland) has only one combined win between them. Houston was a strong offensive team in 2008, but the Texans are only averaging 331 yards of total offense this season ranking towards the bottom of the NFL. The Texans offense may be in store for a shootout next week in Arizona which will hopefully get the offense back on track for the remainder of the season.
21. Miami Dolphins (1-3) – Miami finally captured their first victory of the season dominating Buffalo 38-10. Ronnie Brown rushed for 115 and two scores to lead the Dolphins. QB Chad Henne also completed 14 of 22 for 115 yards and a score. The Dolphins controlled the clock which will be needed in the future with the help of the rushing offense. Still, the Dolphins outlook for 2009 appears gloomy without Pennington. Miami gets the Jets two out of their next 3 games including next week at Dolphins Stadium.
22. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) – The Seahawks simply did not have the firepower to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts last week which led to a 34-17 loss. QB Seneca Wallace completed 33 of 45 passing for 257 yards and a score. However, the lack of a rushing game kept the offense at bay. The Seahawks managed just 279 yards of total offense. WR T.J Houshmandzadeh caught 8 passes for a season high 103 yards. If the Seahawks can get Wallace and Houshmandzadeh on the same page perhaps they can salvage some wins for the rest of the season. Seattle host Jacksonville next Sunday.
23. Detroit Lions (1-3) – Detroit may have had their 15 seconds in the spotlight last week after ending their 19 game winless streak. However, reality sunk in again as they allowed 48 points from Chicago to drop to 1-3. Matthew Stafford threw for a career high 296 yards with a touchdown. The Lions have faced some tough teams early on this season and it remains tough with Pittsburgh next week. However, there is a break in the schedule with Seattle and St. Louis in the near future which should help grab another win or two.
24. Carolina Panthers (0-3) – Bye Week – Washington at home this Sunday
25. Washington Redskins (2-2) – The Redskins still have a lot of concerns but perhaps they can subside for at least another week after getting back to even on the year with a victory over winless Tampa Bay 16-13. The Redskins defense took advantage of a struggling Tampa Bay offense holding the Bucs to just 229 total yards. Jason Campbell still had issues with 3 picks and Washington turned the ball over 4 times in total. The Redskins now take their problems on the road to winless Carolina to try and get above the .500 mark on the season.
26. Buffalo Bills (1-3) – The Bills dropped a good bit this week and their season opening strong performance against New England seems like a long lost memory. The Bills were never a factor against Miami last week falling 38-10. The Buffalo offense has now scored just 17 points in the last two games combined. The offense has not provided any type of hopes as well. Trent Edwards has 5 picks on the season and Terrell Owens has just 8 catches on the season. Perhaps hosting Cleveland this weekend can get the offense back on track.
27. Tennessee Titans (0-4) – At first it looked like the Titans were still a decent football team who just could not shake a rusty start. However, Jacksonville jumped all over the Titans to lead 27-3 at the break to cruise to victory. The Titans now appear to be a lot worse than expected. The defense was supposed to be the strength, but they gave up 442 yards of offense. As a result to the lackluster defense, Kerry Collins was forced to thrown the ball 48 times and he is not the type quarterback you want throwing the ball that much. The Titans now are staring 0-5 in the face as the Colts come to town next week.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-3) – The Raiders offense remains among the worse in the league averaging a 2nd worse 10.5 points per game. QB JaMarcus Russell has thrown 4 interceptions and only 1 touchdown on the season. Even worse Russell has just 504 passing yards in his first 4 games. Darren McFadden leads the team in rushing with a pitiful 145 yards on the season. The schedule is about to get really brutal for the struggling Raiders as well starting with a road trip to take on the Giants this week.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) – Josh Johnson got his first career start last week and did a fair job behind center throwing 13 of 22 for 106 yards with a pick and a score. Still, the Buccaneers offense still fell short 16-13 to the Redskins. However, Johnson has been named the starter and perhaps it is something for the offense to grow off of. The defense is coming around, but the offense has a long way to go. Derrick Ward returns to the backfield this week after a knee injury which should help matters, but it will still be a tough task getting a win on the road in Philadelphia.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-4) – The Browns nearly got into the win column last week and perhaps had an even better chance of getting into the tie column. Cleveland lost an overtime close battle with Cincinnati 23-20. The Browns offense continues to struggle posting just 12.5 points per game, but there is a glimmer of hope next week. The Browns get a shot at Buffalo that is having just as much troubles on the offensive side of the ball as well.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (0-4) – The Chiefs dropped to 0-4 after falling to the Giants this weekend. Kansa City is still underachieving on offense scoring just 16 points per game. The Chiefs simply have to post bigger numbers considering the talented offenses they have faced early this season. Matt Cassel was 15 of 32 for 127 yards as the Chiefs offense could only produce 193 yards of total offense. Things are not going well on either side of the ball and the Chiefs get the Cowboys next week making the possibility of 0-5 near certain especially since Dallas dropped to Denver.
32. St. Louis Rams (0-4) – The Rams remain hopeless after being blown out by the 49ers 35-0. St. Louis is about to start taking on a similar Detroit Lions story from 2008 as they have lost their last 14 games dating back to last season. Stephen Jackson is the only hope on offense and the defense is horrible. Even with Jackson the offense is averaging a horrific 6 points per game on the season which is by far the worse in the NFL. To add insult to injury, the Rams get to face the Vikings next week which likely will not end the winless streak.
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