Week 7 NFL Top 10 List: Halloween Edition
It's getting real spooky for some teams out there in the NFL. Week 7 was a great example of how bottom heavy the league is as six different games were decided by more than 20 points.
Meanwhile a few unbeaten's got a huge fright this week, which has shaken up the top ten standings.
Be forewarned you are entering another dimension; a dimension unbeknownst to any person crazy enough to play for the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders. You are entering the top ten list...
10: Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
I can not believe I am about to do this.
The Dallas Cowboys have made the top 10.
The Cowboys went out and smacked around Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon to the tune of 37-21. Tony Romo actually looked like a pro quarterback completing 21 of 29 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns.
It appears that Romo has found his new favorite target in New Jersey native Miles Austin. For the second consecutive game, Austin played a huge role in the victory. He had six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys D frustrated Matt Ryan all afternoon. The second year pro threw two picks and passed for only 198 yards and looked uncomfortable all day long.
This was the most impressive win for Dallas this year; their next real challenge comes in two weeks when they visit Philadelphia.
9: New York Giants (5-2)
Life is not fun feeling like a smurf.
Especially when the once all powerful Giants drop two straight decisions to two really, really good teams after killing five really, really stinky teams to start the season.
Have we all overrated the Giants a bit this year? It is starting to look like it.
Eli Manning looked more like pre-January 2008 Eli, instead of the post January 2008 Eli Sunday night throwing three interceptions, getting sacked three times, and completing only 52 percent of his passes.
And I thought Mark Sanchez was the only QB in NYC that was struggling.
There is only so much one NFL team can do in a ball game when turnovers become the story, bad things are bound to happen.
Things will not get any easier for the Giants. They have to travel to Philadelphia, welcome in Atlanta and San Diego, and travel to Denver on Thanksgiving. Oy vey!
Can the Giants rebound and show everyone that they are indeed the team to beat in the NFC East? We will soon find out.
8: Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Well, well, well.I guess West Coast team's can find the Fountain of Youth on the East Coast.
Not only did the Cardinals match the Giants punch for punch on Sunday night, they shocked everyone who wasn't paying attention to the Yankee game in New York and New Jersey.
The Cards took advantage of four Giant turnovers and came back from a 14-7 deficit to beat the Giants 24-17 at the Meadowlands. The high flying Cards offense didn't exactly light things up at Giants Stadium, they just out muscled the G-Men all night long.
The turning point of this game came in the third quarter after Arizona grabbed a 17-14 lead, when Eli Manning was picked off by Al Wilson at the Giants own 20 yard line. Beanie Wells then went up the gut for 15, and Kurt Warner finished it off with a six yard TD strike to Jason Wright to give the Cards a 24-14 lead.
Look out for the Cards; it appears that they are starting to gain a head of steam. The NFC Champs are alive and well in the desert.
7: New England Patriots (5-2)
40 something years ago, the Beatles were the biggest thing to leave England and travel to the States where they became a huge international band.
Well, the reverse happened on Sunday, as the NFL superstars, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the New England Patriots made their way to the motherland to play some good old football. No, not soccer! American style football, baby, as they lit up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7.
The game was such a blowout that most English fans left the stadium early. Gee, I guess this means they won't want NFL football in England now? Gee, like they loved it when they had the London Monarchs of NFL Europe back in the day. Whatever happened to NFLEL anyway? Oh wait, it went bankrupt; whoops!
The Pats, meanwhile, just keep on rolling along, rolling along to the beat of their own drum.
6: Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Let me quote the late Yankee great Phil Rizzuto when talking about the Bengals: "HOLY COW!" Let me repeat: "HOLY COW!"
Was that the Cincinnati Bengals we saw run over the Monsters of the Midway, or was that somebody else dressed in their uniforms. It is Halloween you know, and the Bengals uni. fits this fine holiday anyway.
Carson Palmer lit it up all afternoon long, throwing five touchdown passes and completing 83 percent of his passes in a 45-10 rout of the Chicago Bears! The Bears!?!?!
The Bengals racked up 30 first downs, and 488 yards of offense against one of the best D's in football.
Chad Ochocinco had a big afternoon hauling in 10 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bengals are 5-2 and are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Super Bowl Champion Steelers. If this keeps up, Marvin Lewis will be a shoo- in for Coach of the Year honors.
Now every team will want to be on HBO come next summer.
5: Minnesota Vikings (6-1)
Brett Favre has a special song to sing to Vikings Nation, and it comes from a famous Toby Keith album,"How do you like me now?"
Well, Brett "The Jet" Favre made his first appearance for the Purple People Eaters, and we should have known that this was coming eventually; kind of like a bad case of the flu; you know it's coming, and then, wham when you least expect it, you've got it.
Favre gave the game away in typical Brett Favre fashion in Pittsburgh. In the fourth quarter, he fumbled the ball, and it was picked up by Lamar Woodley who huffed and puffed his way for a 77 yard touchdown to give the Steelers a 20-10 lead.
Then with Minnesota driving inside the final two minutes of the game, with a chance to score the game winning touchdown, Favre completed a touchdown pass ... to the Steelers. Favre was picked off by Keyaron Fox who sprinted down the sideline for an 82 yard touchdown to give the Steelers a 27-17 victory.
Get used to it, Minnesota. This is what Brett Favre does. He is the master of breaking your heart. He has not played well in the second half of a season for a very, very, very long time, and his last two seasons are examples of that.
The Vikings now prepare for a rematch with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Should be one interesting evening; shouldn't it?
4: Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
The Champs are back in the top five.
So much for a couple of early season bumps in the road; the Steelers enter the bye week smoking hot with a four game winning streak. Their 27-17 victory over the Vikings proved to be their most impressive win of the year, as they found a way to outlast a very good Vikings team Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers offense was quiet against that solid Vikings defense, but the Steelers D made up for it by forcing a couple of costly Brett Favre turnovers late in the ball game.
Watch out for Pittsburgh, AFC; they are the champs for a reason.
3: Denver Broncos (6-0)
Well at least this week we didn't have to stare at the Broncos brown and mustard uniforms.
All kidding aside, the Broncos have been phenomenal this year. At 6-0, the Broncos boast one of the league's best defenses that is first in the league in points allowed, first in the league in rush defense, seventh in the league in pass defense and second in the league in total defense.
Kudos to Mike Nolan, Denver's defensive coordinator.
As for Kyle Orton - wow! Orton has only one interception all season. That figures to change, but Orton has done a wonderful job leading this football team. The guy is a winner with a record of 27-12 as a starter.
The Broncos face a challenging next two weeks: @ Baltimore and home to Pittsburgh. That stretch should be very interesting, and it will tell us even more about the Broncos as a team this year.
2: New Orleans Saints (6-0)
Those Saints keep marching on.
Even though Drew Brees did not play his best game of the year, throwing three interceptions, the Saints came all the way back from 24-10 down to outscore the Dolphins 46-34.
The Saints had a huge fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal to capture the victory. Reggie Bush's 10 yard scamper put New Orleans to within three, 34-31. Brees' two yard run, later in the quarter gave the Saints a 37-34 lead.
Finally, Tracy Porter's 54 yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Saints a 46-34 lead.
The Good: The Saints can score at will, and at any time in a game, no matter how poorly they play.
The Bad: The Saints defense was dreadful. They gave up three touchdowns to Rickey Williams, and 34 points. In the last two games the Saints have given up a combined 61 points, which is not good.
The Ugly: The Saints are looking like a team that has to score points in order to win games. If their defense continues to get gashed like they did against the Dolphins, it will put inordinate pressure on the shoulders of the offense to bail them out.
Then again, a favorable schedule has the Saints poised to remain unbeaten for the foreseeable future.
1: Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
Did I mention that Peyton Manning is the god of the gridiron? No? Well, he is.
The guy just finds ways to amaze football fans across America every single week. Even though Sunday's effort against the pathetic St. Louis Rams was nothing record breaking, heck, Peyton's consecutive 300 yard games streak was broken today; the future Hall of Famer did throw three touchdown passes in a 42-6 rout.
The Colts defense was brilliant as well, sacking Marc Bulger three times, picking him off twice, returning one pick for a touchdown, and holding the Rams to 14 first downs. Talk about nasty; the Colts have surrendered only 77 points this year.
By the way, the game in St. Louis was the Colts fourth road game of the year already. It is only October 26, and the Colts still have six home games left to play. Can you say AFC South O-V-E-R, Over, Over, Over? You betcha.