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 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 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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