NFL Week 11.1 COY power rankings

Are the Bucs for real? Who knows, but their coach sure is.

1. Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs—Despite how well the Falcons and Saints are playing, the Bucs are making a case for three teams to come out of the NFC South for the playoffs.

2. Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs—If he can hold off the Chargers, he’ll stay here. But that’s a big IF.

3. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles—Raise your hand if you picked the Eagles to win the NFC East. That’s what I thought.

4. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams—One game out of first, and it’s almost December. Yeah, the NFC West is kind of a joke, but still.

5. Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons—The current top seed in the NFC. I wonder what Bobby Petrino is doing these days.

6. (tie) Bill Belichick, New England Patriots and Rex Ryan, New York Jets—The mad scientist is probably watching film of the Jets all holiday weekend to get a jump; but don’t think Rex isn’t doing the same.

7. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears—He’ll stay here if his team beats Green Bay again (January 2 at Lambeau).

8. Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars—They’re what? Leading the AFC South after Week 11?

9. Tom Cable, Oakland Raiders—Hard to believe this guy was so close to losing his job a year ago, and look at him now.

10. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers—Things were bleak in Pittsburgh after a crappy end to 2009 and not having Big Ben for four games to start 2010. But now they are 7-3 and one of the better teams in the AFC.

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NFL Week 10 COY power rankings

Definitely a balance of power shift here. But that’s why the NFL is so great.

1. Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs—Look at the standings in the AFC South (Falcons 7-2, Saints and Bucs 6-3). And ask yourself, “Did I see this coming?”

2. Tom Cable, Oakland Raiders—Tied for first in the AFC West with the Chiefs. Really?

3. Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs—A bad showing in Denver, but still exceeding expectations in a big way.

4. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams—Seriously, no one expected 4-5 at this point and real contention, much less with a rookie quarterback.

5. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles—Does anyone else think the plan all along was to run Donovan McNabb out of town and then eventually start Michael Vick?

6. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks—Is anyone going to give the Seahawks’ new coach credit for having them in first place on November 21?

7. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots—Follows up a crushing loss to Cleveland with a thumping of the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

8. Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears—After they started 3-0 and then Jay Cutler was assaulted by the Giants, a tailspin ensued. But now it’s all bright and sunny in the Windy City.

9. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants—Okay, so after five wins in a row, the crap hit the fan last Sunday against Dallas. But Coughlin has this way of making his team look Super Bowl bound most of the time.

10. Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons—It’s almost like no one is paying attention to this team, but they are serious contenders.

NFL Week 9 COY power rankings

This is another list that keeps evolving from week to week, because every week there is at least one upset, and usually more like three upsets.

1. Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs—Let’s be honest, the Bucs were maybe the worst team in football a year ago. This season, Morris has them believing they could be Super Bowl bound.

2. Todd Haley, Kansas City—Another fantastic turnaround job, especially on defense.

3. Tom Cable, Oakland Raiders—The Raiders haven’t been this relevant since 2002. Remember when this dude was on the hot seat for about a year?

4. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams—More wins this year (4) than in the previous two seasons combined (3) and with a good chance to actually win the division.

5. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants—The G-men began 1-2 and looked like bumbling idiots. Then the players and fans rallied around their coach and won five straight.

6. Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans—In a small market, you lose players to free agency a lot, but this dude keeps getting the most out of his roster.

7. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles—Everyone knows the Eagles are better with Mike Vick at QB and Big Andy is a common sense dude.

8. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh—It’s like he had you, me, Ryan Leaf and Tim Couch start the first four games; and came out 3-1 before getting Big Ben back.

9. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay—The Packers were hemorrhaging players, but McCarthy never gave up on the season. Now they’re on top in the NFC North.

10. Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons—His team is rock solid on offense and defense, and just pulled out a huge win against a tough Baltimore team.

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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Average Giants beat average Falcons

The Giants’ 34-31 overtime victory over the Falcons might have made for a nice highlight piece for ESPN, complete with a rousing effort by Eli Manning and a fourth quarter comeback engineered by Matt Ryan. But the truth of the matter is that one very average team beat an equally average team today.

Both of these teams have noticeable holes, namely on the defensive side of the ball. Manning completed 25 of 39 passes for 384 yards with three touchdowns, but he accomplished all of that against cornerbacks that wouldn’t start for most teams in the NFL (Chris Houston is brutal). Ryan completed 26-of-46 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns (he also drove his team down the field for a game-tying touchdown with only 38 seconds remaining), but he too faced a suspect secondary dealing with injuries.

Both the Giants and Falcons can move the ball offensively, but neither team has a defense that is ready to take on the likes of the Saints or Vikings in the postseason. New York is a tad better on that side of the ball, but that’s only because they can rush the passer. (They’re also dealing with injuries, whereas the Falcons defense is what it is – average at best.)

Nevertheless, this was a big win for the Giants because it came against a conference foe. This may not be a team ready for the postseason, but a win is a win and now the G-Men are in the right position to at least win one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC.

As for the Falcons, they’re still very much in contention for a Wild Card spot themselves, but they need a better defensive effort going forward. They can’t generate any pressure, they can’t make plays in the secondary and they can’t force turnovers. Mike Smith and coordinator Brian VanGorder better come up with a better scheme because they just don’t have the playmakers on that side of the ball to go toe-to-toe with opponents.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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