NFL top 5 and bottom 5
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/17/2009
If you are an NFL fan, this is the stretch of the season where your team typically makes or breaks their season. Injuries big and small are starting to pile up for teams, and the teams that are healthy and playing well look to pull away from the pack.
On the other hand, bad teams are train wrecks. Coaches on the hot seat, quarterback changes, injuries, and any some teams seem to have thrown their hands up and called it a year.
Rather than a normal top ten and bottom ten like I've done prior, I am trimming it down to 5 of each, because let's be honest the number of middle of the road teams seem to be growing week after week. If you are looking for really good and really bad, you have to look closely. Parity or just bad football, you be the judge.
1. Indianapolis Colts - That finish against the Patriots was epic and no I don't give that victory to the Pats making a mistake. Manning is a surgeon with the football and found a way to win even with a secondary that is decimated with injuries. The offensive line is improving, and if the young wide outs can stop dropping the football they wil be unstoppable.
2. New Orleans Saints - Did I really watch a Saints team let the lowly St. Louis Rams stay in the game until the final play? That's puzzling to me. And it points to a team that can't run the ball and grind out the clock when it has to. They remind me a lot of Notre Dame. Super talented players but find themselves in shootouts against teams that aren't as talented. That has caught up with Notre Dame and I suspect it will with the Saints at some point also.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Still the most balanced team in the league, in all three facets of the game. Other than a late game slip up against the Steelers on the road, this team has been unstoppable. This is the team of the top 3 most equipped to win late in the season, bad weather whatever the case may be. If they can get home field and dome teams have to come see the Vikings in January they will be a tough out.
4. Cincinnati Bengals -Seriously, the Bengals? Yeah, you sweep the Steelers and Ravens you are pretty darn good. Ocho Cinco tried to bribe me with a dollar to put them at 1 but I have my integrity to consider. Their inspired play on defense, paired with a fully healthy Carson Palmer has been the difference. How long they stay near the top will depend greatly on the health of Cedric Benson.
5. San Diego Chargers - 4 wins in a row helps, and the way they've been winning helps even more. I always question whether or not the Chargers will fade late in the season but right now the defense is playing bigtime and Philip Rivers is flinging the ball all over the field. There are probably 3 or 4 teams who could have been plugged in here at 5, so expect this spot to be a revolving door.
The Bottom 5
28. Buffalo Bills - I realize they aren't 5th worst in terms of record, but watching them play, I struggle to understand why they are so bad. Their offensive line is probably bottom 3 in the league, and their quarterback play can't be trusted week to week.
29. Oakland Raiders - Any team run by Skeletor is going to find itself among this elite. Another team that is just in so much disarray from ownership down the talent on the team(and there is some) just can't get any traction. Oh, and their quarterbacks stink.
30. Detroit Lions - I really feel bad putting Detroit here because I don't think they are this bad. But the injuries to Stafford and Calvin Johnson really hurt them, and they just haven't been able to get any momentum since they have returned. One thing they must do is get their running game in order. Kevin Smith probably isn't the answer.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I know Tampa is getting some love because of how close they played Miami, but the fact is, they still lost, and Miami is a 4-5 football team so let's not go nuts about being close. Josh Freeman looks miles from NFL ready and the defense is still out of sorts.
32. Cleveland Browns - I am not sure what to say. I will admit that the Browns defense has been playing a little better but are still dead last in yards allowed. But if I am a Browns fan looking to point a finger point it straight at whomever decided it was a good move to trade away Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards and do the revolving door at quarterback, with no one for either to throw to. You mix in a running game anchored by an over the hill 30 year old Jamal Lewis who's already announced he's retiring at the end of the year, and is playing like he retired last year.
Last Edited: 11/17/2009