NFL Week 16 COY Power Rankings

Upsets galore and crazy outcomes have forced us to look a bit harder at the Coach of the Year rankings, but most of our contenders are hanging tough.

1. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts—The poor guy is still dodging proverbial rocks being thrown by Colts’ fans, who wanted their team to continue its pursuit of perfection instead of rolling over against the Jets. Being that the Colts were still in position to go to 15-0 when Caldwell did that, we have to cut him some slack and remember that his team is still the top seed in the AFC and would be in the NFC as well.

2. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints—Payton surely did not want to back into the #1 seed in the NFC, but after losing two games in a row, his team did just that when the Vikings’ loss Monday night let the Saints snag the top position. And once again, we have to consider the entire season’s body of work.

3. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers—When you consider that Turner’s Chargers always play lousy in September, only to win when it really matters, that’s far better than it being the other way around. It’s time we started to give Turner his due.

4. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals—The Bengals are another team not playing well, but they have dealt with two tragedies this season—the death of player Chris Henry, and the passing of the wife of D-coordinator Mike Zimmer. And still, the Bengals are 10-5 with an AFC North title. Raise your hand if you expected that.

5. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings—Yes, the Vikings are floundering and in danger of losing the #2 seed to Philly or Dallas, but I’ll keep mentioning two players who Childress sought in the off-season that made this a championship caliber team—Brett Favre and Percy Harvin.

Honorable mention: Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals; Mike McCarthy, Packers; Andy Reid, Eagles; Bill Belichick, Patriots; Rex Ryan, Jets; Wade Phillips, Cowboys; Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos

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NFL Week 16 MVP Power Rankings

It’s been two weeks since we last did these rankings, and while not much has changed at the top, the teams our top two guys play for have been very shaky. In fact, Philip Rivers’ Chargers are the only one on a roll heading into the postseason.

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—If Jim Caldwell benching his starting quarterback in the third quarter against the Jets proved anything, it’s that Manning is clearly and unequivocally valuable. His numbers (4405 yards, 33 TDs) don’t suck either.

2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints—There is no question that Brees hasn’t been the same since DeMarcus Ware terrorized him two weeks ago in the Superdome. But the MVP race is not based on a few games and Brees still has a league-high 109.6 QB rating, and leads the NFL with 34 touchdown passes.

3. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans—This guy was racking up yards even before the Titans started winning games this season. And he’s so far ahead of the pack right now, with his sights on 2000 yards and even Eric Dickerson’s record of 2105 yards for a single season. That’s saying something.

4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers—Yes, he has numbers — 4155 yards, 27 TDs to 9 picks, second to Brees in QB rating with 104.5. But here is why Rivers belongs on here—because all he does is win games.

5. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings—Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Favre brought his Vikings back from a 17-point deficit in chilly Chicago before losing in OT. His season has been and continues to be bordering on magical.

Honorable Mention— DeSean Jackson, Eagles; Aaron Rodgers, Packers; Cedric Benson, Bengals; Reggie Wayne, Colts; Jared Allen, Vikings; Vince Young, Titans; Elvis Dumervil, Broncos; Darren Sharper, Saints; Wes Welker, Patriots; Darrelle Revis, Jets; Andre Johnson, Texans; Dallas Clark, Colts; DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys

NFL Week 14 COY Power Rankings

As we seem to repeat week after week lately, you can’t put anyone other than Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton atop this list as their teams remain undefeated. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other contenders for coach of the year, however.

1. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts—The Colts have clinched their division, their conference, a first round bye and home field throughout the playoffs, and threatening the 1972 Dolphins, all with a rookie head coach. That just doesn’t happen, but here we are.

2. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints—Like Caldwell, Payton’s Saints have encountered a few road bumps recently, but are still 13-0. One more win and they will have ensured that the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through the Superdome…and that’s just daunting for anyone.

3. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings—The Vikings beat up a very good Bengals team last weekend, and are close to wrapping up the #2 NFC seed. Despite the Saints’ undefeated mark, nobody should be taking Childress’ team lightly.

4. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers—Funny, we’ve been ignoring this guy the whole time, and all his team does is win, especially late in the season. This season, Turner’s Bolts might be Super.

5. tie Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals & Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos—Despite losses to the Vikings and Colts, respectively, last weekend, the fact remains that both of these playoff bound teams have very much exceeded expectations, especially defensively, this season.

Honorable mention: Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals; Jack Del Rio, Jaguars; Mike McCarthy, Packers; Andy Reid, Eagles; Tony Sparano, Dolphins

NFL Week 13 COY Power Rankings

It’s not like we can dock Sean Payton here, but let’s face it. If Shaun Suisham kicks that 23-yard field goal for the Redskins, Payton’s Saints are 11-1 right now. Sure, they proved that they are never out of any game, but based on how Jim Caldwell’s Colts handled a red-hot Titans team, we give him the nod this week.

1. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts—We’ll say it again. Rookie head coaches, no matter how much talent they inherit, do not start 12-0. And don’t think Caldwell’s boys can’t run the table. Very impressive.

2. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints—The bottom line is 12-0 and an early division crown. Next up, trying to lock up home field, which would make getting to the Super Bowl for any other NFC team next to impossible.

3. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals—Did anyone else expect a shift in the balance of power in the AFC North like this? The Bengals have a three-game lead over the Ravens and a 3.5 game lead over the Steelers with four to play. And Lewis has his now defense-and-ball-control team believing.

4. Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos—Maybe those four losses were not the norm, after watching the way the Broncs dominated both the G-men and Chiefs. Whoever winds up playing these guys in January should be really afraid.

5. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings—So finally the Vikings went up against an explosive offense their defense couldn’t stop. But that was likely just a bump in the road.

Honorable mention: Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals; Jack Del Rio, Jaguars; Mike McCarthy, Packers; Andy Reid, Eagles

NFL Week 12 COY Power Rankings

Just like Drew Brees, we have to give Saints’ coach Sean Payton love for the way his team manhandled the Patriots on Monday night. It wasn’t so much the fact that the Saints’ offense resembled an arena league team again, it was the way their defense made Tom Brady and company look terribly average—and of course, beatable.

1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints—Once again the fact that Payton gave up a quarter million dollars of his own money to lure Gregg Williams to run his defense was a stroke of genius, because this defense is suddenly shutting people down. And by people, we mean guys named Brady, Moss and Welker.

2. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts—The bottom line is, no matter how much talent the Colts have, or how they have had to come from behind a lot lately, they still have a rookie head coach who is 11-0 and has already clinched the AFC South.

3 Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals—It’s positively mind-blowing to think that the Bengals are not only sitting in first place in the AFC North with a 2-game lead on both the Steelers and Ravens, but that they have run the table in their own very tough division at 6-0. Don’t think these guys won’t make some noise in January.

4. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings—When you have guys named Favre, Peterson, Allen and Harvin making you look good, it’s easy to say anyone can be Brad Childress. But remember, he stuck his neck out to bring in half of those guys, so we prefer to use the words “borderline genius.”

5. Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos—We like the fire this guy displayed last week when he dropped the F-bomb on national TV, but we also like the way he has won at least 3 more games to this point than we all thought he would.

6. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans—We had to add one more name in here this week, because turning a team from 0-6 into 5-6 and a dark horse playoff contender takes more than sticking Vince Young under center.

Honorable mention: Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals; Jack Del Rio, Jaguars; Wade Phillips, Cowboys; Mike McCarthy, Packers

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