NFL Week 5 MVP, COY and ROY power rankings

You think it’s hard to predict the games and standings from week to week? Try picking MVP candidates. There are five or six different candidates emerging every week. We’ll do this as one post again today and start separating them out next week. And I’m sure by this time Tuesday everything will be turned upside down again. Enjoy the games today everyone!

MVP Power Rankings

1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles—He didn’t play last week and yet the Eagles still won, but barely, on the road in San Fran. Against a team that still hasn’t won a game yet. And hence my case is made again. And when Kolb and the Eagles lose at home to the Falcons today, fans in Philly will be chanting Vick’s name, which will have made my case again.

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Is it time for the Bears to show Lovie Smith the door?

To his credit, Lovie Smith has one Super Bowl appearance under his belt as a head coach. But how long should one Super Bowl appearance last someone if he fails to reach the playoffs the following three seasons?

After losing to the Colts in the 2006 Super Bowl, the Bears have gone 7-9, 9-7 and are now currently 5-9. Despite trading for Jay Cutler in the offseason, Chicago is regressing and what’s worse is that it doesn’t have a first round pick in either of the next two drafts and also doesn’t have a second round pick next year.

The Bears are floundering, not prospering. So where does that leave Smith?

For all intents and purposes, Cutler’s turnover woes, the offensive lines’ blocking issues and all of the injuries on defense aren’t Smith’s fault. He can’t run, tackle and punt for his team, so maybe it’s not fair for him to be fired at the end of the season when it’s clear that the Bears’ problems run deeper than the head coach.

The problem is that his players have given up. The 31-7 shellacking they took in Baltimore on Sunday was the fourth time that the Bears have been blown out this season. They’re just 1-6 on the road this year and the problems that haunted them in Week 1 are still haunting them in Week 15. That’s a problem – a coaching problem. Even the dreadful Browns and Redskins have cut down on the mistakes that cost them earlier in the season.

The Bears finish the season at home against the Vikings in Week 16 and at Detroit in Week 17. If Chicago shows the same ineptitude over the next two weeks as it has over the past couple months, even a cheap ownership like the Bears might decide that enough is enough and hand Smith his pink slip at the end of the season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Vikings crush Bears, Favre showing zero signs of fatigue

If Brett Favre is wearing down, then he has everybody fooled because the guy is playing like a freaking maniac.

Favre completed 32-of-48 passes for 392 yards with three touchdowns and no inceptions in the Vikings’ 36-10 win over the Bears in Week 12. Minnesota attacked Chicago repeatedly through the air, throwing the ball 31 times to just 12 rushes in the first half. When the dust settled, the Vikings had a 24-7 halftime lead and the game was never in doubt from that point forward.

Minnesota is now 10-1 and will be rooting hard for New England to beat New Orleans on Monday night. The Vikes have the inside track on a first round bye, but they’ll have their eye on earning the top seed in the playoffs entering the final month of the season.

As for the Bears, their disastrous season continues. All of their defensive problems were on full display today as Favre and the Vikings went up and down the field with the greatest of ease. Chicago was out gained in first downs (31 to eight) and total yardage (537 to 169).

It was the same story today as it has been all season: They were outplayed in the trenches, they couldn’t run the ball and Jay Cutler turned the ball over multiple times. Nothing has changed about this team in over a month.

Warner rebounds as Cardinals crush Bears

Kurt Warner shook off a five-interception performance last week in a loss to the Panthers to throw for 261 yards and an eye-popping five touchdowns in a 41-21 rout of the Bears on Sunday. Warner didn’t throw any interceptions while completing 22-of-31 passes for 261 yards.

Warner did all this without Anquan Boldin, who sat out with an ankle injury. Larry Fitzgerald seemed to enjoy the spotlight, because he hauled in nine passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The 83-year old Warner (I’m kidding) is now on pace for 32 touchdowns and 4,350 yards.

Of course, Warner and the Cards racked up these gaudy stats against a Chicago secondary that couldn’t cover Fat Albert and the gang. The Bears thought that Charles Tillman could cover Fitzgerald one-on-one, which was incredibly smart on their part. Remember Boldin didn’t play, so why Lovie Smith and his coaching staff thought Tillman could (or even should) go one-on-one with Fitzgerald was questionable to say the least. Speaking of questionable, the Bears also decided to throw the ball seven straight times to open the game. Apparently the words “offensive balance” mean nothing to Smith and Ron Turner.

Not to kick dirt in the faces of Chicago fans, but many Bear-lovers thought this would be a Super Bowl team after they traded for Jay Cutler. I’m fully aware that they’ve had injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but even if Brian Urlacher were healthy, the offensive line and secondary are still a mess and Matt Forte has dropped off the face of the earth (part of the reason is because the O-line hasn’t opened any holes). He only had 33 yards on five carries today, but when you’re trailing 31-7 at halftime you’re not going to get many carries.

Their 30-6 win over the hapless Browns gave the Bears some false confidence. But this loss today proves how far Chicago is from being a legitimate contender.

2009 NFL Week 7 Picks & Predictions

Instead of limiting myself to only four games like I have the previous weeks, I’ve decided to channel my inner Peter King and make predictions (with smaller write ups) on every contest on the NFL schedule this week.

49ers at Texans, 1:00PM ET
It had to have been a long two weeks for San Francisco’s players after the Falcons drubbed the Niners 45-10 in Week 5. Mike Singletary will have his team more focused and I think we’ll see a great defensive effort from San Fran this Sunday to slow down a potent Houston offensive attack.
Odds: Texans –3.
Prediction: 49ers 20, Texans 17.

Packers at Browns, 1:00PM ET
This will be a closer game than most think. The Packers could be looking ahead to a home date with the Vikings next Sunday, although in the end Cleveland’s offense is putrid and while Green Bay has been inconsistent defensively this year, I think they’ll do enough to get the Pack a victory.
Odds: Packers –9.
Prediction: Packers 24, Browns 16.

Chargers at Chiefs, 1:00PM ET
Ron Rivera has no clue on how to get San Diego’s defense back on track, but the young, inexperienced Kansas City secondary could have issues slowing down Philip Rivers and the Bolts’ passing game. Still, I think Matt Cassel and company pull off a surprise upset at home against a San Diego team coming off a short week.
Odds: Chargers –5
Prediction: Chiefs 20, Chargers 18.

Colts at Rams, 1:00PM ET
The Rams have given a nice effort the past two weeks, but this is a horrible matchup for them – even at home. Peyton Manning and company is well rested and the Indy defense will harass Marc Bulger all game.
Odds: Colts –14
Prediction: Colts 34, Rams 14.

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