Semi-Weekly NFL Recap: Edition 3 (w/ The Picks)
1. New Orleans Saints (5-0) Previous Rankings: 2, 2
1. This is clearly the best team in the NFC now. They made the Giants defense look like the Rams defense. They are offensive juggernauts.
2. Lance Moore will be one of the most productive number two wideouts in the game, now that he's back. He was a key part of their attack on Sunday. He and Colston form one of the best receiving duos in football.
3. No team in the league is deeper offensively. They have three running backs who all do different things and five targets who all bring unique talents to the table. Nobody can stop this offense.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) Previous Rankings: 7, 1
1. Jim Caldwell is the most unappreciated coach in recent memory. Much is heard about Josh McDaniels or Rex Ryan, but there is never anything said about Caldwell. He's done a great job though.
2. Dallas Clark is making claim to being the best tight end in football. He is extremely versatile and catches everything thrown at him.
3. The defense is not as bad as most people think. They limit other teams opportunities and played the Wildcat well.
3. Denver Broncos (6-0) Previous Rankings: 13, 7
1. They aren't just beating people, they are shutting them down and whooping them. The games that were close never seemed in doubt in the second half.
2. They need to get Eddie Royal some more touches. When a guy can return two kickoffs/punts he needs to get the ball more.
3. Kyle Orton has played better than Jay Cutler and the Broncos got some first round draft picks out of it too. This deal is looking golden for Denver right now.
4. Minnesota Vikings (6-0) Previous Rankings: 8, 4
1. This team has the "look." They keep winning games they shouldn't win by crazy big plays at the end of games. If that can keep up for Minny then that is very good for them come playoff time.
2. This is the same run defense that it used to be. Ray Rice ran all over them and would have had a HUGE game if he got more than nine carries. It's time for the D to step it up.
3. Adrian Peterson continues to prove that he's the best back in the league. He breaks at least one big run every game.
5. New England Patriots (4-2) Previous Rankings: 12, 6
1. Brady is back. Six touchdowns??? He looked ridiculously good against the Titans on Sunday.
2. Wes Welker is the X-factor of the offense. He is Brady's safety blanket and is extremely reliable. He's always going to get 7-8 catches and at least 70 yards. Wes Welker is the definition of possession receiver.
3. The defense is back to being very solid. Last season they gave up a lot of plays, but they've been very good so far.
6. New York Giants (5-1) Previous Rankings: 3, 3
1. The defense isn't what is was hyped up to be. A good defense doesn't give up 48 points to anybody.
2. What happened to Brandon Jacobs? Ahmad Bradshaw is clearly playing better. He needs more or just as many carries Jacobs until Jacobs starts running well.
3. They need to get healthy. They aren't going to be a great football team if guys keep dropping like flies.
7. Atlanta Falcons (4-1) Previous Rankings: 5, 10
1. The defense is not great, but steps up when it has to. They've stopped a few teams on their attempts to score at the the end of the game.
2. Where is Jerrious Norwood? He is extremely explosive and needs to be more involved in the offense.
3. Roddy White is awesome after the catch. He's had big catch and run plays in two consecutive games. That's no fluke.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) Previous Rankings: 9, 12
1. Ben Roethlisberger is proving he can win games by himself. He's gets hurt quite a bit, they need to not let him run around so much.
2. Rashard Mendenhall is the back of the future in Pittsburgh. He's already ahead of Parker, who is a free agent at years end. Mendenhall might as well get comfy in Pittsburgh.
3. Troy Polamalu is a welcome edition back to their defense. He's easily the top safety in the league.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) Previous Rankings: 18, 15
1. Losing Antwan Odom kills them. He was their whole pass rush, who knows how their defense will be without him.
2. Imagine this team with Houshmandzadeh. They're already rolling, add Housh to the mix and they are that much better.
3. Carson Palmer won't ever be the same quarterback he was before his knee injury. He'll be solid, but never the super QB he was shaping up to be.
10. Green Packers (3-2) Previous Rankings: 19, 16
1. Donald Driver has been better than Greg Jennings. Jennings is the big play guy, but Driver is Rodgers' favorite target.
2. The defense is very inconsistent. They play well against bad teams, bad against good teams.
3. Aaron Rodgers is very good. In one or two years he'll definitely be a top five quarterback.
11. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) Previous Rankings: 1, 5
1. Ray Rice is one of the best gamebreakers in the NFL. He continues to make huge plays running the ball and receiving every week.
2. Obviously Ray Rice isn't doing everything by himself. The offensive line has played great.
3. They aren't running the ball nearly enough. Flacco is very good, but the running game has been great. They need to run the ball a lot more.
12. Chicago Bears (3-2) Previous Rankings: 11, 11
1. Matt Forte has disappeared. He hasn't run well at all. He had 15 carries for 23 yards against a middle of the road defense. What happened?
2. Greg Olsen is finally becoming the guy that people thought he would be at the start of the season. Cutler looks for him all the time.
3. Johnny Knox is developing into a very good receiver. He might be the number one receiver on the Bears by year's end.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) Previous Rankings: 16, 13
1. Donovan McNabb is still a good QB, but he will have a dud game once or twice a year. Oakland was one of those.
2. If they want to make the playoffs, they need to beat bad teams like the Raiders. If they lose to the Redskins this Monday, their season is done.
3. They need to run way more. Andy Reid has some kind of affection with passing, even if his team is running extremely well. They need to play to their strengths.
14. San Francisco 49ers (3-2) Previous Rankings: 6, 9
1. Michael Crabtree is a wild card for this team. If he really turns out it adds a lot to the Niners.
2. Is the defense good or bad. One thing's for sure, they are going to be ready this week with Mr. Discipline, Mike Singletary whipping them into shape.
3. Dre Bly is a Class A idiot (not surprisingly, he went to UNC). How could you celebrate like that 60 yards from the end zone. Even Deion would NEVER do that. Then again, Dre is Dre, not Deion.
15. San Diego Chargers (2-3) Previous Rankings: 10, 14
1. Norv Turner is the worst coach in the league. He's never done well in any place he's been. He had his chance with that team when Tomlinson and Merriman were themselves, but now they just aren't talented enough. Way to go Norv.
2. If Tomlinson is going to average less than four yards per carry, they need to throw more. Teams are crossing their fingers that Tomlinson gets 20 carries. Rivers is much more of a weapon at this point.
3. Vincent Jackson should be considered an elite receiver. He's great in the red zone and is one of the best deep threats in the league.
16. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) Previous Rankings: 17, 20
1. Kurt Warner is incredibly accurate. He's quietly been one of the best quarterbacks in the league so far.
2. Anquan Boldin needs to be more involved in the offense. When healthy he is one of the best in the league.
3. The run defense has come out of nowhere. They've shut down everybody who tries to run.
The Rest of the Pack
17. Miami Dolphins (2-3) Previous Rankings: 27, 21
18. Houston Texans (3-3) Previous Rankings: 15, 19
19. New York Jets (3-3) Previous Rankings: 4, 8
20. Dallas Cowboys (3-2) Previous Rankings: 14, 17
21 Carolina Panthers (2-3) Previous Rankings: 22, 25
22. Seattle Seahawks (2-4) Previous Rankings: 23, 23
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) Previous Rankings: 26, 18
24. Oakland Raiders (2-4) Previous Rankings: 24, 30
25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) Previous Rankings: 29, 31
26. Washington Redskins (2-4) Previous Rankings: 25, 24
27. Detroit Lions (1-5) Previous Rankings: 30, 27
28. Cleveland Browns (1-5) Previous Rankings: 31, 28
29. Buffalo Bills (2-4) Previous Rankings: 21, 26
30. Tennessee Titans (0-6) Previous Rankings: 20, 22
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) Previous Rankings: 28, 29
32. St. Louis Rams (0-6) Previous Rankings: 32, 32
End of the year, if I had to pick...
MVP: Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees
Defensive Player of the Year: Elvis Dumervil
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Sanchez
Defensive Rookie of the Year: James Laurinaitis
Comeback Player of the Year: Tom Brady
Coach of the Year: Josh McDaniels
NFC Division winners (in order of seeding): New Orleans, New York, Minnesota, Arizona
NFC Wild Cards: Atlanta, Green Bay
AFC Division winners (in order): Indianapolis, New England, Denver, Baltimore
AFC Wild Cards: Pittsburgh, San Diego
NFC Champion: New York
AFC Champion: Indianapolis
Super Bowl Champion (MVP): Indianapolis (Manning)
Last Week: 7-7 (vs. spread: 7-7)
(Game of the Week: 1-0, Upset of the Week: 0-1 , Lock of the Week: 0-1)
Overall: 56-34 (vs. spread: 49-41)
(Game of the Week: 4-2, Upset of the Week: 1-3, Lock of the Week: 3-1)
*spread picks in parenthesis
Cleveland vs. Green Bay: Green Bay 35-10 (Green Bay -7.5)
Kansas City vs. San Diego: San Diego 34-20 (San Diego -4.5)
Houston vs. San Francisco: San Francisco 23-21 (San Francisco +3.5)
St. Louis vs. Indianapolis: Indianapolis 35-14 (Indianapolis -13.5) (Lock of the Week)
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota: Minnesota 20-17 (Minnesota +4.5) (Game of the Week, Upset of the Week)
Tampa Bay vs. New England (in London): New England 45-7 (New England -14.5)
Carolina vs. Buffalo: Carolina 27-14 (Carolina -7.5)
Oakland vs. New York Jets: New York 20-10 (NYJ -6.5)
Cincinnati vs. Chicago: Chicago 24-21 (Chicago +1.5)
Dallas vs. Atlanta: Atlanta: 27-17 (Atlanta +3.5)
Miami vs. New Orleans: New Orleans 31-21 (New Orleans -6.5)
New York Giants vs. Arizona: New York 27-21 (Cardinals +7.5)
Washington vs. Philadelphia: Philadelphia 29-10 (Philadelphia -7.5)
Game of the Week: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Upset of the Week: Minnesota over Pittsburgh
Lock of the Week: Indianapolis over St. Louis
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