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

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

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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It’s official: The wedding night and honeymoon are over for the Saints

NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 27: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints watches a play during the game against the San Diego Chargers at the Louisiana Superdome on August 27, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Chargers 36-21. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Saints are currently in post-Super Bowl hell.

Every week, their opponent acts is if its their Super Bowl, which means New Orleans will get everyone’s best effort from here on out.

Every week, defensive coordinators want to be the one that comes up with the game plan that beat Sean Payton’s offense.

And that means that every week, teams like the Cardinals have an opportunity to pull off an upset.

In Arizona on Sunday, the Cardinals recovered two fumbles for touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown to shock New Orleans, 30-20. It was exactly the type of defensive effort the Cards needed since they were starting an undrafted rookie quarterback in Max Hall, who made his fair share of mistakes but went on to complete 17-of-27 passes for 168 yards and an interception. He took way too many hits, but he targeted Larry Fitzgerald (7 catches, 93 yards) nine times, spread the ball around effectively and most importantly, he pulled off a win in his first career start.

Not bad for a rookie considering whom his opponent was.

At 3-2, it isn’t time to start making definitive statements about the Saints. But it’s safe to say that this isn’t the same team that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy back in February.

Drew Brees threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, but he was also intercepted three times and has only thrown for over 300 yards once this year (365 vs. the Falcons in Week 3). It doesn’t help that both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas were out again this week and that the Saints couldn’t run the ball, although it may not have mattered today. Arizona’s defense swarmed to the ball and put New Orleans back on its heels for most of the game.

After the Saints lost to the Falcons, everyone figured they would get back on track quickly with the Panthers, Cardinals, Bucs and Browns on their upcoming schedule. But they barely beat the Panthers last Sunday, were soundly beaten today and will face a 3-1 Tampa team brimming with confidence next week. If they’re not careful, the Saints are going to dig themselves a hole heading towards the midway point in the season.

But that’s life for a defending champ. Every week they have a target on their backs.

Max Hall set to make a little history on Sunday

SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Max Hall  of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 3, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 41-10. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

When rookie Max Hall lines up under center for the Cardinals this weekend, he’ll be the first undrafted rookie quarterback to start a game in the first five weeks of the season since 1987 when replacement players were used.

That’s a pretty cool stat if you’re Hall.

If you’re the Arizona Cardinals, it kind of makes you want to throw up.

The reason Hall is starting is because the quarterback situation has become a back hole in Arizona. Kurt Warner retired, Matt Leinart turned out to be Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson turned out to be Derek Anderson.

Now the Cards don’t have much of a choice but to start Hall, the undrafted rookie out of BYU who has the unenviable task of taking on the defending Super Bowl champs this week. Thanks to Gregg Williams’ relentless defense, the Saints made Mark Sanchez look like a high school quarterback in a blowout win last year. Williams loves to mix up his looks in order to confuse opposing quarterbacks and force them into making mistakes. Seeing as Hall is a rookie, he was already going to make mistakes but he could be headed for a disastrous day on Sunday.

Or hey, maybe he’ll hold his own. Warner was a nobody when he took over for Trent Green back in 2009 and we all know how his story turned out. Hall turned in a solid preseason and while he doesn’t have the physical tools you look for in a starting NFL quarterback, as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over and is consistent, he’ll be fine.

This will be one of the more underrated storylines to follow this Sunday.

Quarterback could derail Cardinals’ season before it gets started

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Cardinals massive issues at the quarterback position.

The Cardinals have a couple of weakness that could be discussed, including offensive tackle, cornerback and inside linebacker. But none of them will impact their chances this season like the quarterback position will.

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