QuickRankings 1. TEN 2. NYG 3. PIT 4. CAR 5. ARI 6. PHI 7. BAL 8. ATL 9. WAS 10. TB 11. IND 12. BUF 13. MIA 14. NYJ 15. NE 16. NO 17. GB 18. MIN 19. SD 20. CHI 21. DEN 22. DAL 23. CLE 24. JAX 25. HOU 26. KC 27. STL 28. SEA 29. CIN 30. SAN 31. OAK 32. DET
From Worst to First...
32. Detroit Lions - Not much explanation here...the only team in the league that has found it impossible to win 1 game. Dan Orlovsky is out this week (Yes! the same guy who ran out of the back of the endzone for a safety a few weeks ago) so retired-but-now-unretired QB Daunte Culpepper may start this week. He has been on the team what...all of a week now? How would he learn the offense that fast? The only bright spot on this team is Calvin Johnson.
31. Oakland Raiders - The worst run team in all of sports. They just released one of their overpaid free agents they signed this offseason who they figured out was not worth all of the money. They have already fired their coach. They managed all of 77 yards of offense a few weeks ago (including -2 in the entire first half) on their way to getting shut out by the Atlanta Falcons. Jamarcus Russel has been terrible...as has Javon Walker, another overpaid free agent signing (who has like 3 catches on the season). The new coach has benched their number 1 receiver from last year (Ronald Curry) and their starting safety (Michael Huff).
30. San Francisco 49ers - New coach pulled down his pants in the locker room, what a great way to get the respect of your team. JT O'Sullivan will no longer start at QB..the new starter will be *drumroll* Shaun Hill! Not much of an improvement. While I'm here - what happened to Patrick Willis this year? Last year he dominated and was Defensive Rookie of the Year. This year he has done little and the defense sucks. Talk about a sophomore slump.
29. Cincinnati Bengals - They won a game! Chad Ocho Cinco caught 2 TDs! They are coming back! Ocho Cinco has already said, "We're going 8-8". Not so fast - they still start Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB (a polished Harvard product). (Can the fans shout we're still smarter than you when the Bengals are down? I say no - Ocho Cinco ruins it).
28. Seattle Seahawks - This team has been struck with injuries all year. At the beginning of the season, Matt Hasselbeck had to throw to high school quality wideouts. Now his weapons are back; but Hasselbeck is injured now. And that means all downhill for the Seahawks.
27. St. Louis Rams - Now that they have a new coach they have won 2 games. But they do not have Steven Jackson this week and will be starting a former Bucs 3rd stringer at running back with someone named Samkon Gado at backup. Donnie Avery has emerged as a great receiver in recent weeks, but with so much pressure on the passing game because of no rushing attack I don't see him or Bulger having big games this week.
26. Kansas City Chiefs - Tyler Thigpen! Even though they blew a huge lead to the Bucs last week I put them this high (not that 26 is high) because everything looks up from here. They have an easier schedule coming up, Jamaal Charles looked good at runningback last week (18 carries for 100+ yards), and Thigpen caught a 49 yard touchdown pass. Thigpen is a quarterback. He also burned Ronde Barber on the play. The Chiefs have nothing to play for and are finally playing loose. And Larry Johnson can no longer blame the O-line for him being terrible. And he might not return for the rest of the year depending on how his trial goes, which is good new for the Chiefs.
25. Houston Texans - Sage Rosenfeld will start this week for the Texans. Bad news for the Texans although they still do have Andre Johnson who has played out of his mind so far this year. And Steve Slaton has surprised people as the starting running back.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars - In my mind, the biggest underachievers for this year. Fred Taylor looks like he runs with lead in his shoes. Their defense can't stop anyone. Their best receiver may be suspended for 3 games because for cocaine possession. Their other receivers, Troy Williamson and Jerry Porter (former Raider), both offseason acquisitions have combined for about 12 catches so far this year.
23. Cleveland Browns - Brady Quinn played well in his first game as a starter and Kellen Winslow is the best tight end in football (when he doesn't have a staph infection). But the defense lost this one for the Browns letting Jay Cutler throw for 1,000,000 yards and 4 TDs to come back from a huge deficit. Romeo Crennel is winning the chase for the coveted "Worst Coach of the Year" award. Still searching for an honorable name for the trophy...Romeo might get is named after himself.
22. Dallas Cowboys - Look how far they have fallen. Brad Johnson sucks. TO hasn't had more than 50 yards since I can't even remember. Marion Barber hasn't been able to do anything either because of the passing situation.
21. Denver Broncos - In week 2, Brandon Marshall's first game (he was suspended week 1) he had 18 catches. Ever since then he has not been that great. On Thursday night he did have 80 yards and a TD but was outshined by rookie Eddie Royal. Denver's defense is the worst in the league. They could not stop the Washington University offense.
20. Chicago Bears - Rex Grossman is starting this week. Do I need to say anything more?
19. San Diego Chargers - Another underachieving team mostly due to LT's toe. But now he is back and healthy and they play the Kansas City Chiefs who he should run into the ground. (He is on my fantasy team so hopefully he will finally show up- my prediction: 200 yards, 2 TDs) Phillip Rivers has played great this year and Vincent Jackson has emerged as a top receiver. But their defense looks lost without Shawn Merriman.
18. Minnesota Vikings- Gus Ferotte has played well and so has Adrian Peterson. Bernard Berrian was one of the greatest pickups this offseason by any team. They just haven't been able to put it all together yet. Still in the playoff hunt though.
17. Green Bay Packers - Ryan Grant has not been the star he was supposed to be this year. Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings have played well. Not writing them off as I believe they will come back from their 4-4 start and still make the playoffs.
16. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees has been unbelievable and the midway MVP. Reggie Bush has been injured and so has Marque Colston...but he still bombs it out to guys named Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, and Devery Henderson.
15. New England Patriots - Lost a heartbreaker to Indy, but no one can say Matt Cassel has been bad. Give him a break, the last time he started a game was in high school and the Pats are 5-3, not bad. By the way, how great a name is BenJarvus Green-Ellis? He has my vote for best name award. BenJarvus...where do these people come up with this stuff?
14. New York Jets - Can Favre throw any more interceptions? Trap game this week against St. Louis.
13. Miami Dolphins - I am pulling for the Dolphins. There are just so many comeback stories. The return of the 1-15 team! Chad Pennington! Joey Porter leads the league in sacks! Ronnie Brown! Ricky Williams - not quite. The Wildcat Offense is so entertaining to watch. My favorite play of the year - Pennington out at wideout, Brown takes the snap runs off tackle pitches it to Pennington, who then bombs it for a 53 yard TD to a wide open Patrick Cobbs. Amazing...
12. Buffalo Bills - Another team I am pulling for. But after a hot start, they now sit at 5-3. Trent Edwards has been less than spectacular. Marshawn Lynch has been awful. Averaging like a yard a carry it seems like (last game he had 9 carries for a whopping 16 yards).
11. Indianapolis Colts - Who would have thought the Colts would have this much trouble this year on offense. Addai being out has something to do with it (backup Dominic Rhodes has about 40 rushes for negative yards). A big win against New England should bounce them back into relevance.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Falling behind 21 points to the Chiefs? The only reason they are this high is because somehow they ended up winning.
9. Washington Redskins - They got embarrassed Monday Night by the Steelers only scoring 6 points. Byron Leftwich passed all over their secondary and Jason Campbell threw his first interception of the season.
8. Atlanta Falcons - What a turnaround this season. They drafted a good quarterback, signed a top backup runningback and now they are a playoff caliber team. Matt Ryan and Roddy White have played great, but Michael Turner seems only able to run against the bad teams.
7. Baltimore Ravens - I just don't think this team is as good as their record. Joe Flacco has been decent at QB, and Ray Rice played nice the past few weeks filling in for Willis McGahee.
6. Philadelphia Eagles - I know this team is good but they have some horrible losses. They lost to Chicago in a close game, Dallas in a shootout, and Washington in an embarrassing Clinton Portis exhibition. The Eagles dominated the Steelers earlier in the season so you can't say they only beat the bad teams. Brian Westbrook keeps them in every game. I'm picking them to beat the Giants this week.
5. Arizona Cardinals - Kurt Warner, another midway MVP candidate, has played unbelievable. With Tim Hightower starting at runningback now instead of being a TD vulture, the running game will make the passing game easier. Not that the passing game hasn't been good - Warner has thrown for 400+ yards multiple times this year; with Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, and even third receiver Steve Breaston having great seasons so far.
4. Carolina Panthers - Steve Smith.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers - They embarrassed the Redskins Monday night but their offensive line has been their weakness all year (See: Eagles vs. Steelers).
2. New York Giants - Their defensive line lost Michael Strahan to retirement and Osi Umeniyoura or however you spell his name to injury, but their defensive line is somehow better this year. Matthias Kiwanuka and Jason Tuck have carried the load.
1. Tennessee Titans - Kerry Collins has yet to pass for over 200 yards in a game yet this year. But they are still undefeated. Who didn't love watching Lendale White "run" for an 80 yard touchdown against the Chiefs. Chris Johnson and White lead the league's best rushing attack.