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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Quick-Hit Reaction: Colts 35, Jaguars 31

Here are five quick-hit observations on the Colts’ 35-31 win over the Jaguars on Thursday night.

1. You want perfection? Try Peyton Manning.
The Colts’ 14-0 record is impressive, but if you’re truly looking for perfection, look no further than Peyton Manning’s night. Outside of a fluke interception that was more Dallas Clark’s fault than his, Manning completed 23 of 30 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. He completed his first 16 passes in the game and was absolutely brilliant once again this season.

2. Garrard was just off the mark all night.
For all intents and purposes, David Garrard played a fine football game tonight. He completed 23 of 40 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, but the interception he threw on the final possession to seal Jacksonville’s fate was indicative of his night. While he made some great throws on third downs and late in the ball game to help the Jags stay in it, he also overthrew three open receivers in the first half and another handful in the second. He completes a couple of those throws and the Jags win.

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Kris Brown ruined a lot of people’s days today

Kris Brown made a 56-yard field goal Sunday right before half. But before you celebrate, realize that the joker also missed a 42-yarder as time expired in the Texans’ 20-17 loss to the Colts. Had he made it, Houston would have tied the game and had a chance to win in overtime.

Now, I realize that a 42-yarder is no chip shot and given that the game was on the line, it was a pressure situation for Brown. But come on – it was a 42-yarder indoors and he had just converted a freaking 56-yarder two quarters before that. His team just busted its ass getting into field goal range in hopes to tie things up and he misses one from a distance of 14 yards less than one he had converted from earlier in the game. Kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

Nevertheless, the Colts remain undefeated on the season and this was an impressive win given the amount of injuries Indy has in the secondary. The Texans can really move the ball through the air and yet the Colts still managed to intercept Matt Schaub twice and hold Houston to 17 points.

That said, Indy won’t stay undefeated for very long if it can’t find some more offensive balance. I realize Peyton Manning is going to give them a chance to win every Sunday, but for the most part the 49ers and Texans did a nice job of keeping the Colts out of the end zone the past two weeks. The Colts are moving the ball successfully, but they’re turning into Boise State in the red zone because they don’t have a power running game to get them closer to the goal line. It’ll be interesting to see if the Colts can correct that moving forward.

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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The Titans have to make a quarterback change

Brady

A year after starting 10-0 and earning the AFC’s top playoff seed last year, the Tennessee Titans have crumbled to a 0-5 start in 2009. And outside of keeping things close against the Steelers in Week 1, it’s been an ugly 0-5 for Jeff Fisher’s team.

In the Colts’ 31-9 win over the Titans on Sunday night, it was again evident that Kerry Collins can’t lead Tennessee’s offense. When his offensive line didn’t give him time to throw this year, he stumbled into sacks by moving backwards in the pocket. When they did give him time, he was off the mark and inaccurate.

The Titans can no longer line up with an opponent and go toe to toe with them. They simply don’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up with how many points their defense is giving up, so Fisher needs to start getting creative. If Collins can’t move the offense, then Vince Young needs to start.

Fisher and his coaching staff obviously doesn’t think Young gives the Titans the best chance to win or else he’d already be starting. But what do they have to lose at this point? If Young gets his confidence back, he might light a fire under the rest of Tennessee’s offense and inspire his team not to quit on the rest of he season. If he flubs, then he flubs and the Titans will continue to drudge through what is turning out to be a lost season.

At one point, the Titans thought Young was going to be their quarterback for a long time. His mental collapse last year was unfortunate, but at some point Tennessee needs to move past that and see if Young will ever be the quarterback they thought he would once be.

It’s good that Fisher went to Young in the fourth quarter tonight, but Vince deserves a chance to take first-team reps in practice and prepare for a defense as a starter. As Young showed by picking up a first down on a third and long, he can make things happen with his legs and at the very least keep the chains moving. He’s still going to make mistakes, but Collins has made his fair share to start the year so you might as well roll the dice with the more athletic Young.

Fisher needs to realize that his 2008 team isn’t coming back. The wily veteran quarterback that led his team to a 13-3 record has aged about 10 years and is playing with a lack of confidence. It’s time to go back to Vince Young.

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