RankingsOctober 16, 2009

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2009 NFL Barometer: Week 6

By R.J. White

Cleveland Browns v Buffalo Bills

Week 5 promised that there would be many uninteresting games to watch. Sorry to those of you that suffered through that Browns-Bills epic (fail) battle. A few more teams solidified their spots in our minds: I don’t think anyone can doubt Denver’s legitimacy, Miami showed they’re not dead yet, while Tennessee showed the exact opposite.

An intriguing Wild Card battle appears to be shaping up in the NFC. If we consider New York, Minnesota and New Orleans as the cream of the crop, that leaves Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta (all one-loss teams) to battle for the two extra playoff spots. Two of those teams face this week in what could end up being a crucial game for each team’s playoff hopes. Chicago is coming off a week of rest, while Atlanta is coming off a dominating win against what previously appeared to be an excellent 49ers team.

In the AFC, the Colts and Broncos may run away with their divisions. In the AFC West, a lot will hinge on the Broncos-Chargers Monday night game. If Denver can travel to San Diego and win a huge battle under the national spotlight, you can just about mark them in ink for the AFC West crown. And as far as tiebreakers are concerned, the Dolphins now have a 2-0 AFC East record, though they’re one game behind the Patriots and Jets.

Enough jibber jabber, let’s check out the Barometer.

RankChangeTEAMAvg RankD
1upNew York Giants (5-0)1.51131
Last week: Win 44-7 vs. OAK. This game had the feeling of one of those USC vs. San Valdosta Tech JuCo barn-burners.
2upIndianapolis Colts (5-0)22222
Last week: Win 31-9 at TEN. 30 years from now, they’re going to rename the MVP award after Peyton Manning.
3upNew Orleans Saints (4-0)2.53313
Last week: Bye. Not that the Giants look beatable, but I wouldn’t give the Saints two weeks to prepare for anyone.
4upMinnesota Vikings (5-0)44444
Last week: Win 38-10 at STL. How great it must be to have E.J. Henderson back in the middle of that defense.
5upDenver Broncos (5-0)5.255556
Last week: Win 20-17 vs. NE (OT). Kyle Orton is the best QB the Broncos have had since John Elway. Yeah, I said it.
6upPhiladelphia Eagles (3-1)7.256995
Last week: Win 33-14 vs. TB. You didn’t forget about them, did you? This looked like a scrimmage for Donnie Mac.
7upCincinnati Bengals (4-1)8.5711610
Last week: Win 17-14 vs. BAL. How many ugly victories can this team pull out? Oh, they’re already 3-0 in the division.
8upAtlanta Falcons (3-1)8.5101077
Last week: Win 45-10 at SF. Completely dominant victory over supposed contender San Fran. Another contender is next up.
9upPittsburgh Steelers (3-2)9871011
Last week: Win 28-20 at DET. Rashard Mendenhall is sick (no, not in the good way), which means more RB drama in Pitt.
10upNew England Patriots (3-2)9.2596139
Last week: Loss 17-20 at DEN (OT). Was Bill Belichick just out-Belichicked? Was Tom Brady out-Bradyed? What’s going on?
11upBaltimore Ravens (3-2)10.51181112
Last week: Loss 14-17 vs. CIN. A loss like that, at home to the division leader, is something that comes back to haunt you.
12upChicago Bears (3-1)10.75121588
Last week: Bye. It looks like both Denver and Chicago were winners in that offseason trade. Imagine if Forte gets going.
13upNew York Jets (3-2)12.513121213
Last week: Loss 27-31 at MIA. It took a few weeks, but the Jets have been unmasked as pretenders. Is the WC within grasp?
14upSan Francisco 49ers (3-2)14.7514131418
Last week: Loss 10-45 vs. ATL. Good teams aren’t defeated by halftime in any game, and certainly not at home.
15upSan Diego Chargers (2-2)15.518141515
Last week: Bye. OK, Bolts. You’ve had a week to regroup. With Denver good, you have to start winning — now.
16upArizona Cardinals (2-2)15.7516161714
Last week: Win 28-21 vs. HOU. Tough win for the Cardinals and they’re right back in it. Kurt Warner refuses to age.
17upGreen Bay Packers (2-2)1715181916
Last week: Bye. Thank God for the bye week. The Packers get their left tackle back this week and signed Mark Tauscher.
18upMiami Dolphins (2-3)18.2519171621
Last week: Win 31-27 vs. NYJ. With the game on the line, the Phins ran an offense with 4 RBs, 5 OLs and 2 TEs. Gotta love it.
19upDallas Cowboys (3-2)18.517192117
Last week: Win 26-20 at KC (OT). Way to show Roy Williams up, Miles Austin. You think that trade with Detroit was a bad one?
20upHouston Texans (2-3)19.521201819
Last week: Loss 21-28 at ARI. Winnable game for the Texans. It’s nice to have Kevin Walter back if you’re Matt Schaub.
21upSeattle Seahawks (2-3)20.7520212220
Last week: Win 41-0 vs. JAC. Jim Mora might have hired Mike Sims-Walker’s “lady friend” last Saturday night. Can’t blame him.
22upJacksonville Jaguars (2-3)22.2522222322
Last week: Loss 0-41 at SEA. It speaks to how bad the following teams are that they couldn’t leap JAX after that travesty.
23upCarolina Panthers (1-3)23.2523242323
Last week: Win 20-17 vs. WAS. Yay! We beat a terrible Washington team at home! This team made the playoffs in 2008?
24upTennessee Titans (0-5)2424232524
Last week: Loss 9-31 vs. IND. And this team did too? Is it too early to begin the Jevan Snead era in Tennessee?
25upWashington Redskins (2-3)2525252426
Last week: Loss 17-20 at CAR. You can’t play winless teams five weeks in a row and come out of it 2-3. You just can’t.
26upDetroit Lions (1-4)25.7526262625
Last week: Loss 20-28 vs. PIT. Another frisky loss by the Lions. One more season and they just might be winning these games.
27upKansas City Chiefs (0-5)27.527272828
Last week: Loss 20-26 vs. DAL (OT). If a WR is 9 for 190 and a TD, I’m doubling a safety deep in OT. Inexcusable loss.
28upBuffalo Bills (1-4)2830282727
Last week: Loss 3-6 vs. CLE. Most embarrassing loss of the season. Cleveland completed two, TWO passes!
29upCleveland Browns (1-4)29.2528293030
Last week: Win 6-3 vs. BUF. I don’t know how they can rank under Buffalo after that game. At least CLE can stop the run.
30upTampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5)29.2529302929
Last week: Loss 14-33 at PHI. Kellen Winslow has to love having Josh Johnson under center. Too bad management doesn’t.
31upOakland Raiders (1-4)31.532313132
Last week: Loss 7-44 at NYG. Hey, look on the bright side …
32upSt. Louis Rams (0-5)31.531323231
Last week: Loss 10-38 vs. MIN. If St. Louis played Oakland, who would win? The answer: Nobody.



DZ = daullaz
DN = Dan Lambskin
BC = 204BC
UH = utility-hook

R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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