Mikey’s MLB power rankings

The regular season is almost over, and we have an almost anti-climatic AL East race going on, with just playoff positioning to determine. In the NL, the Phillies and Reds are in but the Giants, Padres and Braves are battling for the final two spots. The Rockies sure flamed out fast, didn’t they? I guess this will be our final power rankings for the year, and it’s time to focus on our NFL MVP, Coach of Year and Rookie of Year power rankings. Thanks for reading, folks and enjoy the playoffs!

1. Philadelphia Phillies (96-64)—As a Mets fan, it pains me to say this, but I can’t see anyone beating these guys at this point. They had their rough patch the first half of the season when the Braves and Mets battled for first place and they sat back and watched, but here they are.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (94-66)—It’s going to be a photo finish in the AL East.

3. New York Yankees (94-65)—I feel like NY will wind up with the wild card, and they may want it that way so they can face Minnesota instead of Texas, if only to avoid Cliff Lee.

4. Minnesota Twins (93-67)—One win this past week, but it doesn’t even matter having clinched a while ago.

5. San Francisco Giants (91-69)—No champagne yet, guys. But this team is looking mighty strong heading into the postseason. However, like I said, no champagne…

6. Atlanta Braves (90-70)—Tough luck drawing the Phillies this weekend, and their lead in the wild card is just one game over San Diego. At least we have some tight races to look forward to in the NL.

7. San Diego Padres (89-71)—A good thing they didn’t trade Adrian Gonzalez. Wow, what a shame it would be for these guys to miss the postseason at this point, but it might happen. Then again, see Giants above….and don’t count the Braves out from collapsing either.

8. Cincinnati Reds (89-71)—They could be dangerous this month because of three words. Joey Freaking Votto.

9. Texas Rangers (89-71)—Cliff Lee and that Murderer’s Row lineup could make noise too, but I’m not banking on it.

10. Boston Red Sox (87-72)—Tough division, but it’s likely the Sox will finish with a worse record than any of the 8 playoff teams.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Mikey’s MLB power rankings

It’s August 8, and we’re past 2/3 of the way through the MLB season right now. That means teams have roughly 50 games to get their act together and either make a run or hold on to their place in the playoff picture. Ironically as I say that, the rankings have barely changed at all this week. What you don’t see is that the Phillies are creeping up on the Braves, the Dodgers and Mets are falling way behind, and the Tigers have fallen out of their race about as fast as any team can in August. With that, here are the rankings for this week…..

1. New York Yankees (68-41)—The only reason the Yankees are still first here is because you’re first until someone knocks you off. But believe me, the Rays are going to knock them off any day now, no matter how many Berkmans the Yankees add.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (67-43)—Out to prove that 2008 was no fluke, and doing it with a vengeance. Do you think Fox is terrified of a Tampa Bay/San Diego World Series?

3. Texas Rangers (64-46)—Sale complete, but mission not complete. Tim McCarver said on Dan Patrick this past week that he thinks this is the best team in the American League. And who can really argue with that?

4. San Diego Padres (63-46)—Oh hey, speaking of the Padres, these guys just keep winning. Sure, their lead is now just one game over the Giants, but we didn’t expect them to be there in June, much less August or beyond.

5. Atlanta Braves (63-47)—It’s not smoke and mirrors anymore, and this team has a great mix of crafty vets and hungry youngsters. Just look out for the Phillies, because here they come, just two games back.

6. Boston Red Sox (63-48)—Don’t count them out yet. All those injuries and just 6 games back in that division? That’s all I’m gonna say.

7. San Francisco Giants (63-48)—This team has its eye on the NL West crown and they have the pitching to get there. Do they have enough offense (i.e., power) though?

8. Chicago White Sox (63-47)—Sorry Mr. President, I just don’t see this lasting much longer. The other shoe is going to drop, and the Twins are going to pounce.

9. Cincinnati Reds (63-48)—Two words—Joey and Votto. Dude might win the triple crown and his team might reach the promised land for the first time in 20 years.

10. Minnesota Twins (62-49)—Too much talent to be kept down in the AL Central. Do you ever wonder if Johan Santana regrets leaving Minnesota?

Top 10 active NFL passer rating leaders

The NFL draft is over and free agency is kind of in a lull. Mini-camps and stories about letting Pacman back into the league, JaMarcus Russell being released, or what counseling Big Ben is attending just don’t help the football jones we all have. So that’s why we’re back with a few Top 10 lists to ponder. This one for the active NFL passer ratings is good because it’s a solid indicator of who you might think about drafting for your fantasy team come August or September. And hey, we’re just a few months away!

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (97.2)—Rodgers really emerged last season with 103.2 rating, especially once his line decided to keep him upright. He and the two guys immediately below him should win at least one ring in their careers solely because of their own talent.

2. Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (95.8)—Rivers has topped 104 in QB rating the last two seasons. If you told me I could have one quarterback to win one game, I’m not sure this isn’t the guy I’d take. In fact, he IS the guy I’d take.

3. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (95.6)—Romo cut down his interceptions drastically in 2009, but the pundits and fans in Dallas still couldn’t lay off the guy. I’m telling you, they don’t know how good they have it with Romo at QB. As a Giants fan, this is one guy I cringe when facing.

4. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts (95.2)—Always solid, but Manning needed a freakish 121.1 rating in 2004 and two more seasons after that over 100 to make up for some really bad years early in his career. Still, he’s Peyton Freaking Manning.

5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (93.3)—Speaking of freakish, Brady’s 117.2 in 2007 kicked him up a few spots here. You know, maybe this is the guy I want in a must-win game, but then again, he’s shown to be slightly damaged goods since the 2008 opener.

6. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (91.9)—Brees finally won that elusive ring in 2009, and he also led the NFL with a 109.6 QB rating as well as a ridiculous 70.6 completion percentage. Yeah, I’d say he earned that ring.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (91.7)—A great quarterback that sadly has so much baggage, he has the Steelers and their fans wondering if he’s worth it. The two Super Bowl wins surely don’t hurt, but has Ben peaked?

8. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (91.3)—Finally healthy a full season, this guy was fantasy gold in 2009. Look for his QB rating number to continue climbing—well, assuming he still has Andre Johnson to throw to.

9. Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins (90.1)—He hasn’t quite matched his 104.2 mark in 2002, but Pennington was always an underrated QB. And kind of still is. I mean, this guy is still a backup? I can think of at least three teams he’d be starting for.

10. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (87.9)—He hasn’t reached 90 in QB rating since 2006, but it’s not often you hear anyone say a bad thing about Mr. Palmer.

Notable omissions: Not on this list are Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Matt Hasselbeck. Okay, really, just the first two are surprising, but then again, maybe not so surprising.

Source: Pro Football Reference

Vikings show depth in win over Giants

Sidney Rice

For the second straight week, the New York Giants were horrendous. In their pathetic 41-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, they proved that they need to rebuild. It’s easy to accuse Eli Manning, but I’d put more blame on offensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. The Giants looked confused on each of their drives so it’s no surprise that the Minnesota Vikings defense shut them down. Their only score came on a one-yard run by Danny Ware early in the fourth quarter. Still, Manning wasn’t completely absent as he did manage 141 yards on 17 of 23 attempts. With this defeat, the Giants fail to make the playoffs for the first time in four years. Their fans deserved a solid effort but the Giants just didn’t seem to care.

As for the Vikings, they straight up abused their opponents. Not only did they show up on defense, but their offense was even more impressive. Brett Favre posted possibly his best game of the season, repeatedly finding receivers Sidney Rice, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Percy Harvin. Gradually picking apart an uninspired Giants defense, Favre went 25 for 31 on attempts for 316 yards and four touchdowns. His passes to Rice were a sight to behold. Rice really worked for both of his touchdowns, running interesting routes to fool the coverage.

The Vikings will now await the results of today’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallsas Cowboys. If the Cowboys beat the Eagles and clinch the NFC East, the Vikings will get the buy in the first week of the playoffs.

Cowboys make statement in NFC East – are the Giants done?

With their 20-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys made a huge statement in the NFC East.

After squeaking by a bad Kansas City team in Week 5, Dallas went into its bye week on a mission. They emerged in Week 7 and took it to a good Falcons team at home, beating Atlanta 37-21. They took care of business at home the next week by beating Seattle 38-17 and then proved they could win on the road in a hostile environment last night.

There’s a lot of football left to be played, but the Cowboys are finally playing with some consistency under Wade Phillips. Granted, maybe nothing has changed and Dallas will go on to lose five of their next eight games and miss the playoffs. But at least for the moment, the Cowboys are playing as good as any team in the league right now.

All is certainly not lost for the Eagles following this loss, but this was a disappointing defeat after routing the Giants 40-17 last Sunday. They couldn’t sustain drives and Donovan McNabb threw two costly interceptions. With teams like the Chargers, Falcons, Giants, Broncos and Cowboys left on their schedule, the Eagles certainly have their work cut out for them in the second half.

Speaking of the Giants, with they have now lost four in a row after the Chargers came from behind in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to beat New York 21-20 on Sunday. Eli Manning threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but the Giants twice settled for field goals in the second half and it came back to haunt them.

Even after losing four straight, I don’t think anyone is ready to completely write off the G-Men, but what is this team’s identity is at it stumbles into its bye? The Giants have been a team that lives and dies by rushing the quarterback it’s apparent that this isn’t the same pass-rushing team that it was earlier in the year. Of course, they did rack up wins against the Redskins, Bucs, Chiefs and Raiders, so that built some false hope.

Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff has a lot to work on heading into the bye. We’ll see if the Giants can emerge from their off week ready to go, because they’ll face the Falcons, Broncos, Cowboys and Eagles in succession starting in Week 11. That’s not exactly the kind of schedule a team wants to deal with after dropping four straight.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Related Posts