Posted on: October 6, 2009 11:10 am

Tier Rankings #4 - Preseason no more!

Tier Rankings – now that 1 month of games are in the books for (all but the bye teams), it’ s time to take the preseason predictions off of the tier ranking charts, so there will be ‘some’ drastic changes.  For instance, Denver gets a huge boost, due to the removal of the low preseason expectations, while Tennessee now begins to really fall down the chart from the original contender status.

A teams this week:

Chicago    4    11    2.75

For half of a game, the Lions actually played up to the Bears.  The Second half, the Bears defense took over, and brought Cutler and company along for the ride.

Indianapolis    4    15    3.75

What more can you say about this offense.    And I’m officially on the Garcon for Rookie of the Year bandwagon.   As much as I admire the other guy that’s getting the headlines, Garcon has them saying “Marvin who?”.

Jacksonville    4    10    2.5

This game was more of a blowout than the score showed..    Now if the Jags can get some more consistency and the defense keeps showing up like this, they could get back in the Wild Card hunt.  It may already be too late to get into the AFC-South crown, but you never know.

Minnesota       4       16      4

Right now, the two most complete teams are New Orleans and Minnesota.   Green Bay dared the "old man" to beat them with a pass, and the Packers forgot about the other "old man" in J. Allen, so both old men beat the Pack, multiple times.   At the moment, it's a three-horse race for the NFC crown. 

New England    4    13    3.25

Don’t look now, but the Pats are looking like the Pats of old on offense _and_ defense.   And yes, the Roughing the passer call was bad.  A lot of the attention was on the bad drop by Mason on 4th and 4.. but what was missed was two fantastic coverage plays by the Pats just prior to that drop.

New Orleans    4    16    4

Okay, Week 1, they win because of the passing offensive showing.  Week 2, it was the passing offense and special teams, Week 3, it was the Defense and Special teams, Week 4 ,it was all on the defense.   This is a “Pick your poison” team right now.

New York Giants    4    15    3.75

Okay, as much as it hurts, I still have to rank these guys as a 4 for their domination of the Chiefs.  That being said, 1-4 in the redzone.  Am I the only one who sees this as a problem?    

San Francisco    4    12    3

Rams or not... 35 points on offense and special teams and 0 points by your defense.  What more can you ask for?   They get the "A" grade just on general principle.   If Harbaugh didn't have the Ravens at 3-1 with a huge passing offense, I'd put Singletary as my coach of the year nominee right now.

B weeks:

Baltimore    3    15    3.75

Patriots punched, Baltimore counter punched.  Really, I don't know what else to say, except that was one fantastic game to be watched, for all 60 minutes.   But I will say this, Ray Lewis is right.  This roughing the passer penalty stuff is getting totally abused by quarterbacks, and not just a certain patriot quarterback.   Tarkenton and Manning and Blanda and Graham would be ashamed of the wimps our NFL has allowed the QB position to become.  But it was hard not giving Baltimore the "A" grade in a loss, but a loss is a loss.

Cincinnati    3    8    2

Gutsy call by Palmer on 4th and 11, either he makes that play, or the game ends in a tie.  All the attention has been on Brady's return to the field, if you ask me, Palmer's return has been just as important, if not more so, now that they got the week 1 debacle out of their system.

Denver    3    11    2.75

I'm guessing that "D" I gave to Denver in Week one was way off, considering how well their defense is playing.  They've yet to put together an "A" game in all facets (1 D, 3 B's), but they're doing enough to win their division at the moment, and have continued to climb up the grade charts.

Houston    3    9    2.25

Now that's the Houston team I remember seeing being talked about every presesaon.  They need to string it together for a while, before Jacksonville wakes back up.   Plus they have to beat someone that's a 'good' team.

Miami    3    9    2.25

238 rushing yards.  I mean opponents KNOW what's coming at them, and they still do it.  I know they wanted Henne to be their QB of the future, but I think they're still going to miss the leadership of Pennington on the field, and it may cost them a Wild Card shot down the road.  

New York Jets    3    13    3.25

Yes, Sanchez took a step back, but it happens.  But other than that, this was still the same Jets team we saw for games 1 through 3.   And that may be good enough to contend for the AFC-East title.   They just have to figure out how to overcome mistake days by the rookie, and if they do that, they're still going to be contenders.

Pittsburgh    3    12    3

You know that I would give the Steelers an A... but when you're up by 28, and STILL nearly blow a game in a 4th quarter.  Funny thing was the NBC announcers were criticizing the Steelers for running up the score with the halfback pass option.  First thought i had was "You're playing against Phillip Rivers, there's no such thing as running up a score".

C Weeks:

Cleveland    2    3    0.75

Okay, I was stuck between giving Cleveland a B and a D.  Because other than a gutsy 4th and 15 call, this game was going to end in a tie.   Anderson still looked horrendous for the first half though.   Mangini needs to find someone to quarterback this team, because it's not Ander-son and it's not Quinn.

Dallas        2    10    2.5

I'm not in the "Bench Romo" band yet, but I have to question the wisdom of throwing at Champ Bailey three times in a goal to go situation, especially when he's covering your #4 receiver.   OH yeah, and that time management with about :25 seconds left.. Horrendous playcalling to end the game.

Green Bay:    2    10    2.5

Much like San Diego, it was a great comeback attempt by the Packers, but when you let the "old men" of Favre, Allen, and the rookies like Peterson and Harvin beat you, it's kind of hard to go any higher than a "C" game.

San Diego    2    8    2

I was going to give these guys a “D” or an “F”, simply because they have NO defense at the moment.  But just because the offense didn’t quit, I think I"m kind of forced to move them up to the "C" level for this last game.

D Weeks:

Buffalo        1    8    2

Where oh where has the Buffalo Defense gone?
Where oh where can it be?
It's been run over, and the skid marks are long..
Where Bills' defense, can you be?

Seattle        1    7    1.75

This team is settling into oblivion quickly.  If Hasselbecks' out for two more weeks, this season is a lost cause, and it's time to consider moving into the hunt for a new heatlthy QB for the future.

Detroit        1    3    0.75

From Stafford to Culpepper.. If Stafford's out, I guess the question is, how long does this next losing streak last?   Hopefully the defense can step it up while Stafford's on the sidelines, because that's where the Microscope will be for the next few week

Washington    1    2    0.5

Believe it or not, but as pathetic as these guys are, the next three games on their schedule could all be wins...  5-2 Washington?   It's not out of the realm of possibility.


Tennessee    0    8    2

See, now this was a loss that the Titans truly earned an "F" for.  I'm still in shock as to how much the loss of Schwartz has killed this defense.  You have something that works, you tweak it, you don't completely revamp it -    rookie coordinators, sheesh.  They do have an easy schedule (other than the AFC-South matchups) remaining, so anything is still possible for these guys.

St. Louis    0    1    0.25

I'm really regretting that I gave these guys 1 point in the Washington loss.  Because they are the worst team in the league, even with the quarter-point rating average.   The good news, they'll have a shot at McCoy/Bradford.  The bad news.. Stephen Jackson may want out by that point.

Oakland    0    1    0.25

Too bad I can't retract scores... Honestly, after the loss to the Chargers, I think this team just gave up on offense.   When 1st rounders McFadden and Russel combine for somewhere around 127 total offensive yards, don't you think there's a problem, either in your war room or in your player development?  Doesn't Al have a granddaughter or something he can hand the team over to?

Kansas City    0    0    0

5 FUMBLES?  5?  5?   No wonder these guys are playing so poorly.. 10 fumbles on the season (although somehow, they’ve only lost 2 of them.).  Somehow they're at a "0" Turnover differential, even with that 'ungodly' stat.

Tampa Bay    0    0    0

Stellar day for Talib.  Too bad the rest of the team barely showed up.  

Overall Rankings:

4.0 -  New Orleans, Minnesota
3.75 - Indianapolis, NYG, Baltimore
3.25 - New England, New York Jets
3.00 - San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
2.75 - Chicago, Denver
2.50 - Jacksonville, Green Bay, Dallas
2.33 - Atlanta
2.25 - Miami, Houston
2.00 - Cincinnati, San Diego, Buffalo, Tennessee
1.75 - Seattle
1.67 - Arizona
0.75 - Cleveland, Detroit
0.67 - Carolina
0.5 - Washington
0.25 - St. Louis, Oakland
0.0 - KC, Tampa Bay

So our playoffs would currently be:

NFC - NO, minn, NYG, SF, Philly, Chicago
AFC - Indy, Baltimore, NE, NYJ, Pitt, Denver

#1 draft pick contender:   Right now I think Kansas City has the higher-strenght-of-schedule, so it looks like the honor currently belongs to Tampa Bay.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 29, 2009 9:53 am

Tier rankings - Week 3. Slow changes

A performances of the week:

Baltimore    4    16    4

These ladies and gentlemen, are no longer your Daddy's Cleveland Br.. er, Baltimore Ravens.    No longer is it run, run, run, and defense.   Joe Flacco has turned the Baltimore Ravens into the current #2 offense in the NFL.    Yes, folks, the Baltimore Ravens are making their play for the top team in the AFC, if not the NFL, and I don't see anything to dispure that fact.

Denver        4    8    2

It's a contest between the Broncos and the Jets for the top defense in the NFL.   I stood by the better record for Orton over Cutler, BECAUSE of the Broncos defense.  The defense has carried the Broncos to a 3-0 start, and that includes a defensive win over the Bengals.  But they've got some challenges coming up to keep the streak going.

Indianapolis    4    15    3.75

Trust Payton not to take that "trailing in the TD total" stat lying down.   After those first 3-and-outs by the Colts, 4 touchdown passes, and I'm of the opinion, if he had wanted it,  he could have just played catch to Dallas Clark all night in the middle of the field and probably scored about 3 or 4 more.

Minnesota    4    16    4

Get ready for a whole week of ESPN-Favre love.   But in this case, I think I"ll just let it slide.  But let's not say he's ready to carry the whole team yet.  Let's not forget, the 49ers didn't have Frank Gore in there to test the defense, and Brett was "less than stellar" for most of the rest of the game. 

New Orleans    4    15    3.75

No touchdowns for Drew Brees?   Under 200 yards for Drew Brees?   No problem.. Just hand the ball of to Hamilton, BUsh, and Thomas, and watch the running game go.  Not to mention, a huge game ball for the defense, who held the Buffalo offense to an anemic total, and broke TO's reception streak.

New York Giants    4    15    3.75

After getting chastised for giving up 100+ yards to the Cowboys on the ground, I think the Giants took note of the doomsayers, as they only gave up 28 yards on the ground to the anemic Buccaneers.   And they held the Bucs to 36 total plays, at 2.4 yards per play.   2.4 per play.  Against the Bucs or not, that's a great defensive showing. 

New York Jets    4    11    2.75

With Buffalo having an off-game, it looks like Sanchez is that much closer to the Rookie of the Year.   But that being said, it's the defense that's making the difference.   Shutting down primary receivers, and the line getting the sacks and pressure at just the right time.

Philadelphia    4    13    3.25

I really ,really, really feel for Kolb.   All the attention was on Michael Vick's 11 plays.  And what did Kolb do in the meantime?  He only threw for 2 touchdowns and 327 yards.    And for the second week in a row, that Kolb-Jackson connection over the middle paid off, yet again.   They have to do better on 3rd downs though, (only 46%) to challenge the Giants for that East crown.

B Teams:

Chicago        3    9    2.25

Quietly and methodically, the Bears continue to stay in the competitive NFC-North, ,despite an anemic 71.7 yards per game rushing average. They have Detroit next, but then the challenge in containing Atlanta and Cincinnati, which could be more difficult than it first looked.

Cincinnati    3    7    1.75

I would have ranked the Bengals a 4.0, but Carson Palmer had to overcome some early dumb decisions.  The defense stood up at exactly the right time in this game to salvage this one, and the stretch on the 4th and 10 at the end of the game just said that Cincinnati was not going to go away empty handed.

Green Bay    3    11    2.75

The offense continues to shine (including a highlight catch by Driver), but this game was much closer, as it took 2 4th quarter TD's to put this one away, but to give up 2 offensive touchdowns to the Rams

Jacksonville    3    7    1.75

Okay, I'll give them the bump this week, just because they ran over the "vaunted" front 7 of the Texans.  That being said, the defense has to come up with something, anything to improve on the 31st pass ranking in the league, or quite a few AFC-South QB's will be circling their matchups as the day to inflate their stats even more than usual.

New England    3    13    3.25

I come to praise him, not bury them.  The reports of the Patriots demise are premature.   Are they perfect?  Nope, but it looks like they're getting back.  Atlanta helped when they basically seemed happy to just send the DL and get nobody through the Patriots OL.   However, being forced to settle for FG's in the RZ says they're not back to the dominant team they were, yet.

Pittsburgh    3    13    3.25

How did the Steelers squander this game with the Bengals?  You score on the first three drives of the game, and then... just fall apart on defense.   This is a team that can rebound from a 1-2 record, but they have got to put together two full-halves of football.

San Francisco    3    9    2.25

Now the challenge... Gore is out for a while with an ankle injury.  That puts the game in the hands of their QB's and their defense.  Just when you think you have a chance to run away with the division, despite the loss to the Vikings, now the NFC-West is back up in the air.

C Teams:

Buffalo        2    8    2

They get rated higher than a D, only because their defense was actually outstanding in the first half, basically shutting down the vaunted Saints offense before getting worn down.   But get ready for the T.O. blow up to occur in the very near future, especially if they get shutdown against Miami.   The fake field goal was nicely implemented by the Bills, but that's about all you can say for their offensive (literally) output.

Houston        2    8    2

What has happened to that vaunted front 7?  There have been no major injuries.. it's just almost as if they forgot how hyped up they were.   They've been run over and passed on both the Jets and Jaguars, despite being in the latter game, they were definitely not in the former.  The offense is still working, which keeps them at "average" for the week, but like Tennesse, some improvement needs to be shown soon.

San Diego    2    10    2.5

This game was not even as pretty as the score indicates.    Again, Rivers airing it out, and I really am surprised the Dolphins didn't smack him around a few more,because the power-running game for the Chargers has been horrible. If LT's not back soon, it could be a very rough next 3 weeks, with Pitt and Denver just around ther corner, and we know they're not afraid to go after the QB.

Tennessee    2    11    2.75

Okay, the wheels are falling off this team. They are 0-5 in their last 5 games up to last year.  At some point, we have to wonder if the Tennessee Titans truly are contenders any longer.  THey've found every possible way to lose a game that can be imagined.  This is a team that could be the "best" 0-8 team in hitory if they don't find a way to beat the Jaguars twice in the next four weeks.

D teams:

Atlanta        1    10    2.5

Wow.. you know Brady's rattlable.. and you continue to only send 3 and 4 rushers every play and drop 7 and 8 into coverage?  Am I missing the logic here?  They tightened up when New England got to the redzone, but they should have never let them make it that far that many times.

Dallas        2    11    2.75

Maybe I"m just being harder on Dallas than I should be?  But once again, I was not  impressed by the showing of the Cowboys in their home stadium.   The offense was less than stellar, but that might be because of the defense of the Panthers, that while, despite being left in horrendous positions thanks to their offense, never quit.  THe defense finally scored their first sack of the season.  Where is Ware?

Detroit        1    2    0.5

The streak is over, congratulations, Lions.  But I have to admire the comment of Stafford after the game.  Something along the lines of "Making sure we never have to celebrate a win like this again".  Now, here's the problem, it was against the inept offense of the Redskins, so you've still got a lot more work to do.

Miami        1    9    2.25

Wow.. how the mighty have fallen.   It seems that the sneak-up-on-you Dolphins just can't get anything working.  I said this after the loss to the Colts, they needed to make sure their psyche wasn't broken.   I think this game may have shown that offensively, the Miami offense played right into the hands of the SD defense though.   SD has stopped the run and the Dolphins still can't pass the ball.

Seattle        1    9    2.25

ALl I have to say is.. BURN THOSE JERSEYS!!  For the love of god and all that is holy, BURN them, and then douse them in holywater... perform an exorcism, whatever it takes.. and then pray that Hasselbeck is due back sometime soon?   And then see if you can find a Seattle defense that can stop someone

St. Louis    1    1    0.25

The Rams actually get a point, because their offense looked.. well, like an offense at some points, and they did get at Rodgers.  But Bulger's time in St. Louis may be done.  And Steven Jackson may be wondering why he agreed to that contract extension, considering just how much work needs to be done on this team.  0-13 in the last 13 games really shows you how bad this team is.

F teams:

Arizona        0    8    2

Bad, Good, Bad... so that means the Texans are probably in trouble in 2 weeks.   Unless the Bye-Week takes out the next "Good" game.  How could you leave Dallas Clark open in the middle of the zone time and time again, or only cover him with a linebacker on a crossing route.  Did they not learn anything from the Miami-Indy game from last week?

Carolina     0    4    1

How do you have a total of 8 yards rushing in nearly a quarter and a half, when you're only down by 7?   Yes, that's what my stat screen showed me from the 3rd quarter to part of the 4th.  8 yards.  And for what it's worth, Jake Delhomme is probably begging the NFL statisticians to come up with a new stat, "INterceptions by WR Stupidity", because his own numbers would probably look a lot more respectable after they added it.
Cleveland    0    2    0.5

DOes it REALLY matter who's the quarterback on this team?  The controversy isn't over who's starting next week, it's over "Who actually is able to play quarterback". And I'll have to say this.. Mangini is not head coaching material.  The sooner the Browns realize that, the better.

Kansas City    0    0    0

The Chiefs should be thankful that they've got the Rams down the road and Oakland in the same division, otherwise we would be talking about this team as being the potentially most horrendous, yet discussable team.   Larry Johnson has a 2.7 YPC average, and Cassel gets 2 touchdowns on 90 yards passing... Is that even remotely possible?   I guess this season, anything is.

Oakland        0    1    0.25

We've tried, tried, tried to give JaMarcus Russell the benefit of a doubt, and when your number one pick, Heyward-Bay can't haul in the easy catches (or even the acrobatic ones) it goes in Russell's favor.  But right now, just pick a position in Oakland and it needs some serious work. .  If it weren't for the Bucs, we'd be taking about Oaklands ineptitude on the offense even more than Tampa BAy.   And people wonder why nobody wants to coach this organization?

Tampa Bay    0    0    0

_NO_ first downs until 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  86 total yards.   The Freeman experiment may have to start sooner than we thought.  (I was predicting week 6, looks like I may be off by a week, as they'll give Leftwich one more week I believe).

Washington    0    1    0.25

THe over under on Zorn surviving the season?  Week 9 or 10?   If the offense doesn't turn around, both Zorn and Campbell will be looking for a job somewhere outside the nation's capital.   I'm wondering if I shoudl take back that point I gave the Redskins last week, because they are (as originally predicted) playing like one of the worst teams in the league.

Playoff teams so far this season based on rankings:

Total Rankings:

4.0 -  Baltimore, Minnesota
3.75 - New Orleans, Indianapolis, New York Giants
3.25 - New England, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
2.75 - Dallas, New York Jets, Green Bay, Tennessee
2.5 - San Diego, Atlanta
2.25 - San Fran, Chicago, Miami, Seattle
2.0 - Arizona, Denver, Houston, BUffalo
1.75 - Cincinnati, Jacksonville
1 - Carolina
0.5 - Detroit, Cleveland
0.25 = St. Louis, Washington, Oakland
0.0 - Kansas City, Tampa Bay

Note that obviously a couple of teams were hurt by their preseason rankings; Denver in particular, while Cincinnati was killed with the week 1 disaster.   Ironically, the arguably weakest division, the NFC-West, is showing exactly why, with their highest ranking being a 2.25 (San Fran and Seattle), while Tennnessee has dropped down only slightly, due to their performances, not on their wins/losses.

Playoffs based on rankings (and yes, the playoff teams don't include certain 2.75 teams, due to the divisional requirements. Hey, nobody said life was fair.)

AFC -  Baltimore, Indy, New England, Pitt, NYJ, San Diego
NFC -  Minnesota, New Orleans, New York GIants, Phiadelphia, Dallas (by tie breaker (more 4.0 games than GB)), San Francisco

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 26, 2009 11:34 am

Doug Lesmerises backs me up :)

Without realizing it, of course... last blog entry I complained about the issues of the polling system and what I would do to correct it (within reason of course).

That being said, I just saw Doug Lesmerises top 25, and while I don't agree with him completely, I gotta congratulate him.  He proved me right, a lot of the reports I'm now reading are blasting the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter for not going with the group think.  

The key line he said in a quick interview on the Gameday show:   "I don't use this neutral field matchup routine, because it didn't happen".   WELL SAID DOUG!!  We should be seeing a rating based on the BEST teams in the nation based on their performance.

Hopefully, Doug, you've set a trend, because it sounded like all but IDIOT Craig James agreed with your theory (James was sticking to the "history says" and "neutral field" issue.).. Even Kiper agreed with him, which shocked the you know what out of me.

I'd probably disagree with Doug on some of his picks, but I have to commend him for standing up for what he believes and what he sees.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 22, 2009 11:34 am
Edited on: September 22, 2009 2:10 pm

Tier Rankings; An 0-2 team still up top?

A teams :

Arizona     (A   8 2.666667) – That is the Arizona offense that we remember from last season.   But come on Wis, I know you want to give Leinart some snaps, but that was definitely the wrong time for it.
Baltimore (A  12  4) – Okay, so they gave up quite a few yards in the air.  But the defense held its ground at JUST the right moment.  Flacco was impressive once again to help counter the defensive let down.
Indianapolis (A  11 3.666667) – That is what you call a quick strike offense.  14+ minutes of total time of possession and 27 points.  That’s a point every half minute folks… 30 seconds!
Minnesota (A  12 4) – Once again, the Vikings leave a game close in the first half, and then they just turn on the Peterson freight train to run over tired defenses.    Hint to Vikings opponents, score early, score often to force the Vikings to change tactics.
New Orleans ( A  11 3.666667) – Okay, 93 points, average time of possession:  33:28 minutes… And you thought Indy’s 2 points a minute was impressive… how about 1 point every 43 seconds, the Baltimore Ravens are the next closest at 1 point/minute.
New York Jets (A  7 2.333333) – Yes, the Jets are getting a full “A” for this one.  The defense was outstanding for 2 weeks in a row, and popping Brady at every opportunity.  If Sanchez becomes more than a ball manager, there’s big potential
San Francisco (A 6 2) -  What can you say about Frank Gore?  A workhorse for the Niners and is truly underappreciated when talking about some of the great RB’s of the current roster.

B Teams:

Houston     (B  6  2 ) –  Houston does have to remember, you can’t leave guys uncovered on the outside like they did against Chris Johnson.  Fortunately Andre Johnson proved his worth today as perhaps the best WR currently on any NFL roster.
New York Giants     (B  11  3.666667) – Fortunately for the Giants, the passing game was on the mark.   Because the Giants red zone offense left a LOT of points in that mammoth stadium that could have kept them with a perfect 4.0 grade.
Atlanta     (B  9  3) –   Has anyone noticed that Ryan’s not hitting a sophomore slump?   3 passing touchdowns this week and all the talk is still about everyone else in the league, and that’s just the way the Falcons like it.
Pittsburgh   (B  10  3.33) – Solid performance by the team in a close loss, but they are still in need of a running game. 
Tennessee   (B  9  3) – This team is nowhere as bad as the record shows.    And they matched up pretty evenly against Houston.  But Fisher needs to get some wins before this team implodes, much like Jones did.
Buffalo     (B  6  2) – 57 points in 2 games for this team is actually impressive.  It’ll keep TO quiet, but maybe it’s time to razz the trouble maker for some easy drops he had?  Jackson showing that he’s still got some game left in his old legs.
Chicago     (B  6  2) – The gunslinger mentality of Jay Cutler needs to be put under control.  He’s got a great fast gun, but some questionable
Denver     (B  4  1.33):  A much more impressive win, even though it was against a lesser quality opponent.    And Orton’s doing what they brought him in to do, manage the game.
Miami     (B  8  2.667):   They did EVERYTHING right in this game.  They controlled the clock, the controlled the tempo, they kept Manning off the field.  They just forgot how to tackle Dallas Clark throughout the game.

C Teams:

Carolina (C  4  1.33) – Okay, an 8 point loss to the Falcons was a vast improvement.   Delhomme looking to continue to try to returning to form in baby steps, and they could salvage the season.
Cincinnati (C  4  1.33):   2 interceptions, 2 fumbles (although none were possession changers) 24 flags in this game.   It was an improvement on the scoreboard, the Bengals are still making too many mistakes to be considered a true contender.  
Dallas (C  9  3) -  Okay, the Running game worked, the stadium worked, the crowd worked.   Romo and the Pass Defense?  
Green Bay (C  8  2.67) - Bad call by Rogers to go over the middle with so little time left cost them any chance to salvage the game against the Bengals.  Add in the flag-fest and this game was not as impressive as the score showed.
New England (C  10  3.33) – Am I ready to write off the Patriots?  Not Yet.  But they’ve got to get back to the faster, more methodical Patriots offense, and the defense has to give the Patriots shorter fields to work with… the longer Brady is out there, the more likely he is to get hit.
Philadelphia (C  9  3) – Don’t’ let the stats for Kolb fool you.   The Saints gave up 109 yards through the air when the game was well under control.   That being said, it was nice to see Andy Reid get a little creative in his play calling, especially with that talent.
San Diego (C  8  2.67) – Horrendous play calling by the coach was hidden by the fact that Rivers threw for 400 yards in a close game.   But this team is definitely in need of a power running game if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.

D teams:

Jacksonville (D  4  1.33) – Okay, they hold a potent Indy offense to 14 points, and then let Arizona rack up 31?   Good news for Jags fan, they’re still allowing under 100 rushing yards a game.  Bad news.. they’re 26th against the pass.
Seattle     (D  8  2.67) – No Hasselbeck, no prob.. er, wait a minute, BiG problem.  And the run defense… do we really need to look at the tapes again.
Washington (D  1  0.33) – If there is a team that should be checked to see if they tampered by talking to the scheduling gods, it’s Washington.  Despite their anemic offense, they still have a chance to start the season 5-1 before facing Philly.

F teams:

Cleveland (F  2  0.67) – Are we ready yet to say the Brady Quinn time as a starting QB is done?   Mangini is showing that he may make a good coordinator, but as a head coach, not so much
Oakland (F  1  0.33) – Really, how do you win a game when you play that pathetically?
Detroit     (F  1  0.33) – The defense took a step back in the second half, despite  a good start against the Vikings.   Fortunately, they’ve got the Redskins coming up next week, and that offense is not good, so the losing streak could be broken at 19.
Kansas City (F  0  0) – Let me see if I have this right.    You’re opposing QB goes 7 for 24… You give up 67 rushing yards, and you still can’t win?   At least the Lions look like they’re trying out there, I’m not sure what the Chiefs are doing.
St. Louis (F  0  0)  - The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The OL is getting Bulger killed, Steven Jackson rushes for a 100 yards, and the Rams still can’t score more than single digits in a game.    I know Spagnuola likes challenges, but he is going to need a miracle.
Tampa Bay (F  0  0) – If the Bucs only had to play the 2nd and 3rd quarters,they’d actually be competitive.   It’s that slow start in the 1st and the horrible finishes in the 4th that are killing them.



4.0 - Baltimore
3.0+ - Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, New England,
3.0 - Tennessee
2.0+ - Miami, San Diego, New York Jets
2.0 - Houston, Buffalo
1.0+ - Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Cleveland
0.0 + - Oakland,
0.0 - Kansas City

4.0 - Minnesota
3.0+ - New Orleans, New York
3.0 - Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia
2.0+ - Arizona, Green Bay, seattle
2.0 - San Francisco,  Chicago
1.0+ -  Carolina, Jacksonville
0.0+ -  Detroit, Washington
0.0 - St. Louis, Tampa Bay

Of course, this why the NFL doesn't go on "coaches polls" or "press polls", onliy the Wins and Losses count.    The Titans have been impressive in their losses, but they can't buy a win at the moment     San Francisco is staring from a preseason hole, and finds themselves as the lowest undefeated seed, and despite Detroit being 0-2, have shown themselves as being far from the worst on the grading chart (that honor easily goes to St. Louis and Kansas City)

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 18, 2009 2:22 pm

Ranking the Tiers...

As some of you may or may not know, I've never been a fan of the 1-32 ranking system.   It's great cannon fodder talk for around the water cooler, but this is the NFL, if you're 11-5 and #5 or #6 in the AFC, you're still in the playoffs (Usually).  

So with that I decided I'm going to stick with the Grade Tier ranking system...  A, B, C, D, F.   

They'll get ranked by their performance each week, and an average will be put together for all the weeks/games to determine who's the most/least successful.   The weekly rankings are based ONLY on that weeks' games.. if you want the total check the bottom of the posting for the overall rankings.

So.. here goes.. Each team is listed, their total points scored, and their averages.  Note that there is no limit on to how many teams can appear in each tier.. so one week there could be NO A's, the next week , 8 or 9...

Week 1 Rankings:

Tier A  

    Baltimore (A, Running GradeTotal:  8.0 Average 4.0) - 300 yards from a Baltimore QB?   And the defense only gave up 188 yards total offense.
    Dallas  (C,  6.0, 3.5) - Probably the biggest jump, but as the Cowboys had a 4.9 YPC average on the ground to go with Romo, they deserve the jump
    Minnesota (A, 8.0 , 4.0) - The NFC-North's worst nightmare.   Favre actually managing a game and just letting AP still be the "man"
    New England  (A, 8.0, 4.0) - It took 55 minutes for Brady to shine through, but is there anyone else you trust to run a 2-minute offense more efficiently?
    New Orleans (B, 7.0, 3.5) - 6 Touchdowns.. and should have been 7 passing and 1 rushing.   Lions or not, that's impressive.  Now fix the ST issues or the "A" tier will be a short stay.
    New York Giants (A, 8.0, 4.0) - I thought about dropping these guys, but you know what... I really can't this week.  Another 'lackluster' game could move them down to "B".
    Seattle (B, 7.0 3.5) - a complete shutout.. Despite the early struggles, the Seahawks are my pick to win the West now that they're all on the field

Tier B

    Atlanta (B, 6.0, 3.0) - Much like GreenBay, they don't go up because their superstars weren't a factor.  Turner for only 60 rushing yards?
    Green Bay (B , 6.0, 3.0) - I wanted to raise these guys up to A, but ony 150 yards from the "Superstar QB of the future" hurt.   
    Indianapolis(A, 7.0, 3.5) - Gonzalez injury is huge.   But I don't expect Indy to stay down long.
    Philadelphia  (A, 7.0, 3.5)  - Could rebound easy , but the loss of McNabb automatically means a one-tier drop for a week.  Garcia signing is smart, but will it be effective for one week?
    Pittsburgh  (A, 7.0, 3.5) - If Tennessee hadn't gone into Prevent, I don't think Roethy makes the comeback, but then again, when Pit-TN meet, i never know what to expect.  Polamalu absence hurts for short term, but these guys will be back to the "A" ranks soon.
    Tennessee(B, 6.0, 3.0) - Had Pittsburgh beat, until they completely changed their defensive style.  If something works, stick with it!

    Buffalo (D, 3.0,  1.5) - I'm moving these guys up, simply because if it hadn't been for one fumble at an in opportune time, this game POSSIBLY goes in Buffalo's favor.  And yes, running it back out -was- the right call with 5 seconds until the 2:00 warning..  However, for some reason I"m seeing them getting blown out in the Rematch.
    Jacksonville (D, 3.0, 1.5) - Once again, the Jaguars give the Colts ALL they can handle, and a weird decision on the run by MJD cost them the tie.
    Miami (B, 5.0, 2.5) -  The Falcons showing that the Wildcat offense can be stopped, and that means that the Dolphins have to win with a standard game and defense.  I'm not sure they can.
    New York Jets (D, 3.0,  1.5) - Don't look now but the rookie QB's didn't do to bad.  Although Sanchez has to improve on the 58% completion rate for the Jets to get much higher than "C".
    San Diego (A, 6.0, 3.0) -   I counted 4 Chargers that came out due to injuries n the Raiders game.  Not to mention that for 58 minutes, the Oakland raiders literally punched the Chargers in the mouth. If Oakalnd can do that.. what can other teams do?

    Arizona (B, 4.0  2.0) -  For a prolific offense, they just looked inept way too often.   The NFC-West streak is over and the SB loser curse is lingering.
    Houston  (C, 3.0, 1.5)  - This is the Houston front 7 we're talking about.  They're still good, among the best.. But that being said, it was a bad day for them.  (190 yards?)
    Oakland  (F, 1.0,  0.5) - Can you believe that I'm taking Oakland off the bottom of the charts for a week?  But major thumbs up to Russell for coming back in after that layout and throwing bombs still, and Seymour looked like he was PO'd for being traded, he was a monster out there.  Bad defense over the middle at the end cost them the game.
    Chicago  (C, 3.0, 1.5) - Urlacher gone, Cutler with 4 INTs, and only 86 rushing yards.  I'd be getting nervous if I were a Bear fan.
    Cleveland (D, 2.0, 1.0) - For one half, the Browns looked like they had AP figured out.. Then the halftime gun and we had a new, er old... Dawg Pound Defense.
    Detroit (F, 1.0,  0.5) - Believe it or not, the Lions had some good things to take from this game.   Stafford to Johnson is going to be dangerous in time.
    San Francisco (D, 2.0,  1.0) - Sorry guys, but even with the win, I was not impressed.  21 yards total on the ground?


    Carolina (C, 2.0,  1.0) - Millions paid out... and 12 turnovers in 2 games  (but I don't blame him for that Fumble.. that was just a semi-truck that hit Delhomme).
    Cincinnati  (C, 2.0, 1.0) - Fundamentals!!   If you can't coach fundamentals, then Marvin Lewis needs to go.
    Denver (D, 1.0, .5) - I don't care if they won or not, when you win because of another teams after showing absolutley nothing for 59 minutes and 49 seconds, you don't deserve a "D".
    Kansas City  (F, 0.0,  0.0) - 188 yards and they still scored 24 points?   The KC Chiefs are the detroit lions of the AFC of the week..
    St. louis  (F, 0.0, 0.0) -  Not only were they bad, but even when they had a good play, they could only do it with 12 men on the field.
    Tampa Bay  (F, 0.0,  0.0) - The Josh Freeman countdown clock is running.
    Washington  (F, 0.0,  0.0) - The offense was HORRIFIC.  I took a ribbing for giving them an "F", but this defense can onlyn carry them so far

  4.0 - Baltimore, Minnesota, New England, New York Giants
  3.5 -  Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle
  3.0-  Atlanta, Green Bay, Tennessee, San Diego
  2,5 - Miami
  2.0-  Arizona,
  1.5 - Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, NY Jets
  1.0 - Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, San Francisco,
  0.5 - Denver, Detroit, Oakland,
  0.0 = Kansas City, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington

So after week 1:  The playoffs would be:

AFC - Balt, NE, Ind, Pitt, SD, TN... the usual six power players.
NFC = Minn, NYG, DAl, NO, Phil, Seattle - 3 from the East?   Eeep...

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com