NFL Week 9 ROY power rankings

We know they have offensive and defensive rookie awards, but let’s lump them together for our purposes.

1. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions—Not only has he anchored Detroit’s D-line, but the dude can attempt (and almost make) extra points too?

2. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams—With that number 8, reminds some folks of Troy Aikman, and leads on the field even as a rookie.

3. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Bucs—On pace for 72 catches, 1112 yards and 10 TDs. As a ROOKIE.

4. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys—You won’t find a brighter spot on an abysmal team right now, and he’s a game changer.

5. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions—Finally the Lions are making smart draft picks.

6. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns—He’s actually led the Browns to two wins in a row against Super Bowl contenders.

7. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals—The Bengals haven’t had a relevant tight end like this in years

8. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks—Through a half-season, 4 interceptions and 39 tackles. This is shades of Jairus Byrd last year.

9. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs—2 sacks, 2 picks, 45 tackles—and solidifying a much improved defense

10. Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs—Averaging an astounding 20.9 yards on punt returns with one TD, and probably more to follow

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

NFL Week 6 MVP, COY and ROY Power Rankings

Every week we have different candidates here, because the 2010 NFL season has been wacky. And that’s okay, as it makes ranking MVP, Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year candidates more fun. Anyway, here we go….

MVP Power Rankings

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—Okay, so Philip Rivers and Kyle Orton have more yards per game, but they play for 2-4 teams. Manning’s Colts are 4-2, and check out these numbers through six games—1916 yards, 67.3 completion percentage, 319.3 yards per game, 13 touchdowns (leads NFL) and just 2 interceptions, for a QB rating of 103.4. As usual, Manning sort of defines what the term MVP is all about.

2. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers—I heard someone on NFL Network the other day call Matthews the “best defensive player in the NFL.” Not bad for a linebacker in his second year, who was selected after 25 other players in the 2009 draft. Anyway, Matthews has 9 sacks to lead the NFL, and 21 tackles through five games…and the Packers sorely missed him last Sunday in a loss to Miami when Matthews sat out with a hamstring injury.

3. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers—We’re leaving Antonio on here this week because he left the game against the Rams last Sunday with an ankle injury, leaving Philip Rivers without his favorite target. And then the Chargers lost the game. To the Rams. Gates only had 2 catches for 12 yards in that one, but on the season he still has 31 receptions for 490 yards and 7 TDs (which leads all tight ends and receivers).

Honorable mention: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (thanks to Kevin Kolb’s performance last Sunday, Vick got bumped off the list); LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets; Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos; Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos; Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers; Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants; Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Coach of the Year Power Rankings

1. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers—If you start the season without your star quarterback for four games, and have the likes of Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, and Byron Leftwich at the helm, coming out of that 2-2 would be a huge moral victory. Well, Tomlin came out of that stretch 3-1 and it could have been 4-0 if not for that last-gasp drive by Joe Flacco and the Ravens a few weeks ago. Of course, the D led by a healthy Troy Polamalu and hard-hitting-to-a-fault James Harrison, has helped, but let’s give Tomlin some huge and well-deserved props here.

2. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams—Has anyone noticed that the Rams are 3-3, having already equaled their win total from 2008 and 2009 combined. And they’re giving up less than 19 points per game after allowing 27 per game last year—something that has much to do with the Rams’ defensive whiz of a coach.

3. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants—How do you go from the scorching hot hot seat to a coach of the year nomination? Ask Tom Coughlin, who the New York media had being replaced by Bill Cowher a few weeks ago when they lost badly to the Colts, and then beat themselves badly in a loss the Titans at home. The Giants rallied around Coughlin and squashed the previously unbeaten Bears, then crushed the upstart Texans in Houston 34-10, before not allowing the dreaded trap game against Detroit ruin his team’s winning streak. So from 1-2 to 4-2, and tied with the Eagles for the division lead. That’s why Tom Coughlin is on here.

Honorable mention: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks; Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs; Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs; Rex Ryan, New York Jets; Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie of the Year Power Rankings

1. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions—Suh leads all NFL defensive tackles with 5 sacks, and he also has 21 tackles through six games, plus an interception—a pretty rare feat for a DT. Is there any doubt that this young big man is the real deal?

2. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions—Injury may have slowed Best down, but how about the fact that to go along with 249 rushing yards, Best has 31 catches for a league-high 285 receiving yards among running backs. That’s 534 all-purpose yards through six games.

3. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams—He’s way down the list of quarterbacks stat-wise, but Bradford is averaging 226 yards per game and has 7 TD passes. We’ll let the 8 picks slide for now, because let’s face it—the kid is helping to lead the Rams to respectability.

Honorable mention: Max Hall, Arizona Cardinals; Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders; Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys; Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals

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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NFL Week 4 MVP, COY and ROY power rankings

We are a quarter of the way through the NFL season, and there are lots of wacky things happening. The Chiefs are 3-0 and the only undefeated team. That’s a far cry from last year, when the Colts and Saints were unbeaten almost all the way to the end of the 2009 campaign. There are also some interesting candidates emerging for MVP consideration, as well as for Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year. And like last year, we’ll start to analyze them in power rankings fashion. For this week and maybe the next few, we’ll put this in one post and give three names for each category. Around the halfway point of the season, more candidates will emerge so we will separate things out. Sound good? Right. Let’s go……..

MVP Power Rankings

1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles—Do we even have to spell this out? He steps in for Kevin Kolb in Week 1 and almost leads the Eagles to victory against the Packers. Then he wins against Detroit and Jacksonville before having his ribs crushed on a meaningless play vs. Washington last Sunday, knocking him out of the game early. Kolb comes back in, and the Eagles lose. Vick is averaging 200 yards passing per game, has 6 TDs and no interceptions, and is also averaging 7.2 yards per rush on 26 carries and one TD on the ground. He has a QB rating of 108.8 while Kolb’s is 71.1. Simply put, this team is dangerous with Vick, and not scaring anyone without him. That’s the very definition of MVP.

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2010 NFL Preview: NFC North Predictions

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 26: Aaron Rodgers  of the Green Bay Packers rolls out to look for a receiver against the Indianapolis Colts during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

2010 NFL Division Previews & Predictions: AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West | 2010 Question Marks Series

The NFC North will challenge the NFC East this year for being the toughest division in the conference. Three of the four teams are legit playoff contenders, while the Lions only continue to improve as a whole.

Here’s how I see things shaking out in the NFC North in 2010. Be sure to check out the link entitled “2010 Question Mark” under each team’s preview, which is a breakdown of one or two potential weaknesses that could derail that squad’s hopes this season.

1. Packers

What to Like: Given how well he played last year, Aaron Rodgers should be considered a MVP candidate this season. The fact that he was able to throw for 4,434 yards and compile a 103.2 QB rating despite constantly being under pressure is rather amazing. Just think about what he could accomplish this year if the O-line gave him even a fraction of a second more time to throw. Rodgers will lead a passing attack that racked up 261.3 yards per game last season, which was good for seventh in the NFL. He also has an assortment of weapons to throw to, namely receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, as well as rising talent Jermichael Finley. In the backfield, Ryan Grant continues to be underrated and is coming off a 1,253-yard, 11-touchdown season. Defensively, Dom Capers was a miracle worker in his first year, as Green Bay led the NFC in total defense despite switching to the 3-4 (most first-year 3-4 teams struggle). Rookie Clay Matthews turned out to be a phenomenal pass-rusher and Nick Barnett was outstanding in the middle, both against the run and in coverage. Despite his age, Charles Woodson (33) continues to play at an elite level.
What Not to Like: The offensive line was a disaster at times last year, save for the play of right guard Josh Sitton. If Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher can make it through an entire season without suffering injuries, this will be a much-improved unit and then Rodgers won’t have to spend most Sunday afternoons running for his life. But both tackles are in their 30s and injuries always seem to be an issue. At left guard, Daryn Colledge struggled, although it’s only fair to point out that he was out of position subbing at tackle. While Tramon Williams is more than capable of handling the starting corner position opposite Woodson, losing Al Harris (knee surgery) was a huge blow to Green Bay’s depth at secondary. The concern is that given Harris’ age (35) and the nature of his injury, he may never play again. The other potential issue on defense is whether or not B.J. Raji can handle playing nose tackle after a lackluster 2009 season as a 3-4 end. All good 3-4 teams have a stout nose tackle to eat up space and if Raji isn’t up for the task, it will certainly have an effect on the linebackers.
Keep Your Eye On: Jermichael Finley
Finley put himself on the map last season by catching 55 passes for 676 yards and five touchdowns in just 13 games. He finished the year by hauling in six passes for 159 yards in Green Bay’s loss to the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs, leading to high expectations this year. If he can stay focused (which is the biggest concern with this youngster), he could put up fantastic numbers in the Packers’ explosive passing attack this season.
The Final Word: Expectations are high for the Packers this year, as well they should be. If the offensive line can stay healthy then this is the team to beat in the NFC North. The great thing is that Ted Thompson spent his first round draft pick on tackle/guard Bryan Bulaga, meaning Green Bay now has depth in case injuries do start to mount. Rodgers is the real deal and could lead the Pack deep into the playoffs if his O-line doesn’t get him killed first. Defensively, there are some concerns but Capers will make up for them by being aggressive. If the Packers can win the division and force opponents to come to Green Bay come January, then this will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. The pieces are in place for this team to make a serious run.

Green Bay Packers 2010 Question Mark: Offensive Line

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