Broth’s First Round Mock Draft

Kansas City (2-14) – Geno Smith QB West Virginia – The Chiefs have a major QB problem it is by far their biggest need and Geno Smith seems to be slowly separating himself from the pack. While he may not be a top 5 overall player in this draft he could still be the #1 overall pick.

Jacksonville (2-14) – Bjoern Werner DE Florida State – The Jags had the fewest sacks in the entire NFL last season. Ownership has also been pretty desperate to bring in a Florida guy to invigorate the fan base which is what breaks the tie between Werner and Moore.

Oakland (4-12) – STAR LOTULELEI, DT, UTAH – Oakland is rumored to see either Tommy Kelly or Richard Seamore leave via free agency Lotulelei is arguably the best prospect in this draft and easily the best defensive tackle.

Philadelphia (4-12) – Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M – Anyone who watched the
Eagles last season knows how awful the offensive line was. To put it in numbers BOTH Nick Foles AND Mike Vick were sacked more than Eli Manning this season. That makes Joeckel a no brainer for the eagles.

Detroit (4-12) – Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia – The Lions are always a BPA team not only are they a BPA team but they are also a team that has a bad habit of ignoring injury red flags. Add to that that he plays a dual role as OLB and DE two things that can be big needs for Detroit.

Cleveland (5-11) – Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M – Cleveland only had 13 sacks last season from the DE position Jaqua Parker is reaching 35 years old additionally the value is just there.

Arizona (5-11) – Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan – Copy and paste philly’s analysis onto arizona I think they gave up the most sacks of any team this season. They need to shore up that O-Line and Fisher is going to be a mainstay at the position for the next 10-12 years.

Buffalo (6-10) – Ryan Nassib QB Syracuse – The Bills want Nassib they have a big need at the QB position, they have his entire offensive staff from Syracuse, Nassib has been working with the Bill’s new Offensive Coordinator’s dad for a large part of the off season including playbooks. when there is this much smoke there is bound to be fire.

New York Jets (6-10) – Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas – This is the hardest pick to make because the Jets have so many needs it is amazing that they won as much as they did. The long and short of it is that the Jets are looking to move Tebow and Sanchez is obviously not the answer. I highly doubt the Jets go back to that USC QB hole again which leaves Tyler wilson to be the top guy.

Tennessee (6-10) – Chance Warmack OG Alabama – CJ2K needs a hole to run through Warmach will make that hole.

San Diego (7-9) – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – Philip Rivers was the second most sacked QB in the NFL last season next to Aaron Rodgers. While they have a few other needs on that offense the Offensive Tackles are not going to make it to the second round.

Miami (7-9) – Dee Milliner CB Alabama – Miami got rid of Vontae Davis in mid season their secondary was never the same not to mention that this is a major steal at this point. Very basic Jeff Ireland philosophy draft the best player at a top three need.

Tampa Bay (7-9) – Johnathan Banks CB Miss State – Tampa traded Aqib Talib during the season and Eric Wright didn’t get it done Banks is easily the second best CB in the draft.

Carolina (7-9) – Kenny Vaccaro S Texas – The Panthers have many needs WR, CB, DT, and S so there are many places they could go here but they go with the best player at one of these needs.

New Orleans (7-9) – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon – The Saints are going to the 3-4 defense they are going to need a pass rushing OLB to make Rob Ryan’s system work.

St. Louis (7-8-1) – DJ Fluker OT Alabama – In order to take the next step in the NFC West the Rams are going to have to do better protecting

Pittsburgh (8-8) – Barkevious Mingo DE/OLB LSU – With the possibility of James Harrison not being on the roster creates a need at the position.

Dallas (8-8) – Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU – The Cowboys needs players for Monte Kiffen’s tampa 2 defense. They already have one DE in Ware but having a second on the other side is the mainstay of how the scheme works. Also stealing this piece from the Giants is just an added plus.

New York Giants (9-7) – Sharrif Floyd DT Florida – The Giants cut Chris Canty this off season that means they have a need at the middle of the defensive line it is also good value at this point in the draft.

Chicago (10-6) – Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame – The Bears miss the boat as far as top flight offensive linemen are concerned in this scenario the pick is really going to depend on what happens with Brian Urlacher. If he goes I can really see Te’o being the pick for chicago.

Cincinnati* (10-6) – Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee – The prospect of Patterson starting across from AJ Green has to make Andy Dalton drool.

St. Louis – from Washington* (10-6) – Keenan Allen WR Cal – The Rams were so desperate at the WR position that they even brought in Titus Young for a shot. That ended even faster than it started which means that St. Louis still needs a starting WR. Allen is the best available.

Minnesota* (10-6) – Sheldon Richardson DT Mizzu – The other member of the old Williams wall is going to be 33 years old coming into the season he won’t last forever and another inerior pass rusher could be what the doctor ordered.

Indianapolis* (11-5) – Johnathan Jenkins NT Georgia – The Colts have been gashed up the middle often a new NT is just what the doctor ordered and instantly improves that young D.

Seattle* (11-5) – Robert Woods WR USC – The free agency period will tell us a lot more about the plans of the Seattle Seahawks they have needs is four or five spots but WR might be the biggest one Woods is likely the best available.

Green Bay* (11-5) – Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia – Best player available and also fills a need.

Houston* (12-4) – Kevin Minter ILB LSU – The Texans are in a position where they can think about depth. Their team captain Brian Cushing hasn’t been able to stay healthy the past two season and having a top flight backup for the position could bring Houston to the next level.

Denver* (13-3) – Eric Reid S LSU – A corner could also be an option here but when you look at the game against the Ravens they safeties got beaten deep a few times so I went safety.

New England* (12-4) – DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson – Hopkins is a good player who can get separation it is also likely that Wes Welker finds himself in a different uniform although I think they may resign Endlemen who was playing well at Welker’s position. But, they could do so much better than Dion Branch.

Atlanta* (13-3) – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame – With Gonzo retiring they have a need to fill at the TE position that is often utilized in that offense.

San Francisco* (11-4-1) – Justin Hunter WR Tennessee – The 49ers are another team that will tell us much in free agency depending on who they can and can’t retain will really give us a better idea on who they draft.

Baltimore* (10-6) – Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State – With Joe Flacco’s big contract the Ravens may have to let Darnell Ellerbe leave for free agency and of the other free agents that may have to leave Baltimore the only one without a suitable backup is Ellerbe/Lewis.

The Case Against Paying Joe Flacco Big Money

Now that the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl the NFL is now going through the grueling task of getting their teams ready for the 2014 season. Some players will cash in and some will see their careers ended. A lot of current talk has come to the future of Baltimore’s top signal caller Joe Flacco who has come out and said that he is expecting money comparable to the 5 year $100 million dollar contract that New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees inked in July, making Flacco potentially the highest paid QB in the NFL. Most people would consider this a no brainer, he’s the franchise quarterback give him what he wants. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a post about the need to get rid of Joe Flacco because lets be honest that is just not good sense.

First Argument: This isn’t baseball.

While I think that most fans know that the NFL has a cap they forget that “ataking care of the quarterback” also means not taking care of other positions. As of right now the Ravens have between 15 and 20 million dollars in salary cap space depending on which source you reference. So if the Ravens give Flacco the same contract as Drew Brees, his cap figure would be 10.4 million dollars for the 2013 season [source]. Which leaves them with a grand total of 4.6 to 9.6 million dollars to resign four starters in Maake Kemoeatu, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, and Ed Reed. All this while having to spend approx 5 million dollars singing the upcoming rookie class. This also will create a real issue when trying to resign LT Oher, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Jacoby Jones, and FB Vontae Leach in the 2014 free agency period.

Second Argument: Teams that win the Super Bowl don’t put all their cap space on a quarterback.

Year Super Bowl Winning QB Cap Number Cap Rank
2000-01 Trent Dilfer $1000300 36
2001-02 Tom Brady* $314993 78
2002-03 Brad Johnson $6803150 6
2003-04 Tom Brady $3323450 21
2004-05 Tom Brady $5062950 13
2005-06 Ben Roethlisberger $4225090 17
2006-07 Peyton Manning $10571068 5
2007-08 Eli Manning $10046666 3
2008-09 Ben Roethlisberger $7971920 13
2009-10 Drew Brees $10660400 13
2010-11 Aaron Rodgers $8250000 13

The table above is a list of the quarterbacks who won the Super Bowl since the last time the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl (2000-2001 season) until the 2010-2011 season. (Data shown here). As you can see from the data only two teams (likely three if we include the past two seasons being Eli Manning) have a quarterback who is in the top 5 as far as cap number. Only three in the time frame (likely four when we include the second giant’s super bowl) were in the top ten in QB salary cap. More than half of the quarterbacks in this year’s playoffs were still in their rookie contracts. Which is generally (save the last few years prior to the rookie wage scale) are generally cheaper than the veteran contracts.

Third argument: He’s just not that good.
NFL organizations just can’t pay guys based on the euphoria of winning a Lombardi Trophy and winning isn’t a statistic for quarterback play. Things that are considered quarterback statistics are yards, attempts, yards per game, passer rating, and completions all of these Joe Flacco has not rated higher than 11th among quarterbacks in any of these statistical categories through the regular season. Yet he is asking for top 5 quarterback money. I understand the ways of supply and demand but an above average at best quarterback shouldn’t be asking that much money.

So in conclusion I can honestly say that I see the Ravens keeping Flacco one way or another be it via the franchise tag or via a new reasonable contract Ozzie Newsome is a great general manager and he’ll make the right decision.

Sport City Chefs Interview with Author David Shields

Author David Shields

Author David Shields Interview on The Sport City Chefs

The Sport City Chefs welcomed David Shields author of many books like Reality Hunger: A Manifesto and Black Planet : Facing Race During an NBA Season to discuss his new book published by The Penguin Group called “Baseball Is Just Baseball”: The Understated Ichiro.  A book where David introduces an MLB wordsmith on par with Yogi Berra.  This book of quotes selected by Shields covers a wide range from inspirational to humorous.  A great selection from a true lover of people who use language in a truly interesting way.

show_3702193

 

Go to David’s Website

Buy the book on Amazon

Barns and Noble

Follow David on twitter

David Shields page on Facebook

 

Season Obituary: 2011-2012 Indianapolis Colts

Here lies the season of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been,perennially, a playoff team since Peyton Manning came into his third season with the team. Now this year’s Colts team has secured the worst season record in the team’s history and nearly joined the 2008 Detroit Lions and the expansion Bucs as the third team to go winless in a full season.

 

Causes of Death:

 

1. Severe neck injury – The injury and subsequent surgeries to the nerves in Peyton Manning’s neck have held him out of play for the entire season. The lack of depth that they had at the QB position forced them to go after Kerry Collins who then got injured and placed the season in the hands of Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. Very few teams can win with those two.

 

2. A team built around one player – This is a bit redundant but I think it bears repeating the entire offensive and defensive scheme is based around one player being there and that guy is obviously Peyton Manning. The offense is built for Manning to read the defense and surgically pick apart the opposition. The defense was built around the team being ahead and the ends being able to pin their ears back and getting after the QB. Losing Manning essentially made the offense and defense inoperable.

 

3. The Defense – While I’ve already said that the D was based off from Manning, the fact still remains that the Colts D needs a major overhaul. The Colts have only drafted three defensive players in the first round in the past eight years. None of whom are starting, and only one of whom is still on the team. The Polians have completely and utterly ignored the defensive side of the football for years now. When it hasn’t been completely ignored it has been poorly addressed. Even without the best player on the team the defense should at the very least be able to be respectable.

 

What’s For The Future:

Now I can’t begin to think what Jim Irsay will actually do but if it were me Polian and Caldwell would both be out as the GM and Head Coach of the organization respectively. While Polian has been considered a genius this season’s record has shown that his draft picks have been carried by Peyton Manning for years now. Its time to clean house and start again as for head coaches here is what I see as the top coaching candidates for the Colts organization.

 

1. John Gruden – Gruden is an offensive mind and the Colts have been basically going from one coach to the next from that 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs team Gruden is now available could be the choice.

 

2. Mike Zimmer – Zimmer has transformed the Bengals Defense to a top 5 D in the league what wonders could he do with a ton of draft picks and two of the most dominant DE’s in the league. The mind wonders or he could slowly build a D who does have some talent (be it most of it injured) and have Peyton Manning do what he’s done for years now.

 

3. An unknown – The way it is right now if Polian is let go (which seems less and less likely by the week) then there is no telling who would be the next head coach of the organization will be. The new GM will bring in one of his guys to be the new head coach.

 

Suck For Luck:

Right now in spite of their recent winning streak the Colts are still in the drivers seat when it comes to the suck for Luck sweepstakes if they lose to the Jags they get a draft pick rumored to be worth between three and six first round draft selections.  I usually never suggest a team lose on purpose but I don’t think either of these franchises really want to win on New Years Day.

Harbaugh The League Over

by Caleb Parkinson

This is a story about two Harbaughs, their journeys through the football world, and the quest to bring toughness back in a league with rising puffcake-penalties and fines.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the success speaks for itself.

The Harbaughs were both born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan. Their father Jack, was an assistant coach for the Wolverines under legendary head coach, Bo Schembechler.

John, now 49, graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. He then later went on to play defensive back (mostly safety) at Miami of Ohio. He almost immediately moved on to coaching.

Weeks before his twenty-second birthday, he was hired as a linebackers coach at Western Michigan in 1984. John later added other universities like Morehead State, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati to his collegiate coaching resume. Then, he made the jump to the pros and became the special teams/defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles for ten years that included three conference championship appearances, and one conference title. In his three and a half years thus far as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, John has an impressive record of 38-18.

Jim, two years younger than his brother, attended Pioneer H.S. initially, but graduated from Palo Alto High School in California. He went on to play quarterback for Bo Schembechler at Michigan, and led the Wolverines to a #2 national ranking after dramatic wins in 1986 against Nebraska and Ohio State, in Columbus. He earned Big Ten Conference POY honors and finished third in the Heisman ballots.

Jim was drafted by Mike Ditka’s Bears in 1987 and played in Chicago through ’93, then played for the Colts, Ravens, and Chargers from ’94-’00.

He parlayed his professional success in to a coaching career by starting out at Western Kentucky as an assistant in 1994, while he was still and active NFL player. He was of course unpaid, but enjoyed the opportunity to coach alongside his father.

He then returned to the Bay Area in 2002 and was hired as QB coach for the Oakland Raiders. After five years between QB coaching for the Raiders (QB Rich Gannon was Pro-Bowl MVP in ’02) and making football matter for three years at the University of San Diego, he returned to the Palo Alto area.

Jim Harbaugh revived football at Stanford. Toby Gerhart was a Heisman finalist in 2009. Yes, I said ultra-slow Toby Gerhart. in 2010, the Stanford Cardinal went 12-1 and won their first BCS bowl game (Orange Bowl) by thumping Virginia Tech, 40-12. Jim won the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year Award as a result.

The man is responsible for recruiting and grooming a young stud quarterback you may have heard of who is likely to be the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Yeah, you get the point, Jim knows the QB position.

But in Jim Harbaugh’s first season as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, not only has his formerly estranged QB Alex Smith vastly improved, but his 49ers sport a top-ranked rush defense and a 7-1 record.

In a division where no other team has more than two victories, the Niners look poised towards creating their first playoff berth since 2002. So aggressive hand shakes and near fist fights with Mike Ditka aside, “captain comeback” as he’s known from his playing days, is rebuilding another dynasty in the Bay as we speak.

There has never before in the history of the NFL been a pair of head coaching brothers.  They way things are looking right now, they could become the first pair of brothers to both win their divisions, and possibly more?

Last night in Pittsburgh, the Ravens came away with a 23-20 victory to complete their regular season sweep of the Steelers. Everyone knows about the Ravens “three levels of dominance” defensively as described by Ray Lewis. We also know that last year the Steelers came away with the victory that counted most, and that was in the playoffs.

That game proved that the offensive playmakers for Baltimore still had something to learn about closing out games in the second half. Well, for what it’s worth, Joe Flacco appears to have learned a few things about performing under pressure. So it looks like Jim isn’t the only Harbaugh who knows how to get production from the QB position.

These Harbaugh brothers have produced positive impacts virtually everywhere they have been. There is absolutely no reason not to believe that they will both continue to excel in the NFL for a long time to come. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the success is speaking for itself.

 

Season Obituary: Miami Dolphins

by James Broth Greenwood

Here lies the season of the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins were a promising team back in 2008 when the “wildcat” offense was new and the phins were in the playoffs. But, since then they have fallen back into the den of inequity from whence they came and this year seems to be the franchises worst yet.

Cause of Death:

1. A lack of support from ownership to the coach: The fiasco that happened last off-season when Dolphin’s owner Steve Ross tried to give then Stanford now 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh the head coaching job in Miami. Only problem is, that the Dolphins neglected to tell Tony Sporano that his job was currently vacant, because it wasn’t they tried to give Harbaugh the job before firing Sporano. So what? some might say so if your owner doesn’t respect the head coach why would the players? Currently, the players are working for a lame duck coach so they have to only play good enough to not have some rookie take their jobs.

2. Chad Henne’s injury: Unlike the aforementioned players who for the most part won’t lose their starting jobs Chad Henne’s goal for the season was to win enough games to put the Dolphins in no position to draft a top QB prospect this season. The Dolphins had a chance to beat San Diego had Henne not left the game and lets face facts the Jets game and the Broncos game were very winnable had Henne been at the helm.

3. The schedule: To this point in the season the Dolphins have only played one team with a sub 500 record seven weeks in the NFL season. Looking at the rest of the season they are only playing one more team that currently has a sub 500 record. That ladies and gentlemen is a brutal schedule.

The rest of the schedule:

@Kansas City

WASHINGTON

BUFFALO

@Dallas

OAKLAND

PHILADELPHIA

@Buffalo

@New England

NEW YORK JETS

Currently I can see a maximum of 1 or 2 wins over the rest of the season. I can easily see the Dolphins going 0-16 for the rest of the season as the pressure mounts to get a win and on the other side teams don’t want to be the one. All of the teams save Philadelphia has a 500 or better record. Philadelphia is getting vastly better and so are the Chiefs.

Looking into the Crystal Ball:

Head Coach Wish List: I’m not going to pretend to predict the future but from what I see out of the front office this is what I think is the wish list for Miami.

1. Bill Cowher – If you look at the off season moves made by Miami it screams a team built for Bill Cowher to take over. You can make the comparison between Reggie Bush and Willie Parker while Daniel Thomas is no Jerome Bettis he would be able to play that role. The team already runs a 3-4 D with some very interesting talent at the LB positions. Bill Cowher wants complete organizational control something that only Miami can give at this point.

2. Rob Ryan – I may be reaching here but seeing Rob Ryan’s defenses continually stifling the biggest threat in the division (Tom Brady) has to put this guy on the list. Finding a great offensive coordinator will be tough but that small piece aside this can be a match made in heaven and also make the AFC East the most entertaining division in the league.

3. John Gruden – Will be a longshot considering he signed a huge deal with ESPN but this owner wants a big name at the head coach position. John Gruden is a well known Super Bowl winning coach who could really bring out the best in Davon Bess.

4. Urban Meyer – When it is all said and done the NFL is a business.  Nothing will put more rumps in the seats of a struggling franchise more than a beloved hero coach returning to the bench.  Add a ill informed trade for Tim Tebow and the people of Florida will sell out Sun Life Stadium for years to come.

Suck for Luck Sweepstakes:

Can it be possible that the Dolphins go 0-16 and still come in second in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes? It very well could happen if the Colts also go 0-16 they have the weakness of schedule to steal the #1 overall pick from the Dolphins. If that happens it becomes very interesting do the Dolphins trade up with the colts? Do they trade for Peyton Manning? I’d be willing to bet that one or the other happens.

 

What’s Going On?

- By Caleb Parkinson

Since when was an average quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap in over nine months worth not one, but two first round draft picks? I know this is the Raiders, but I think this might have been considered to be a little crazy even by the late Al Davis’ standards. Palmer better be more productive than he’s been the past couple of years.

Super Bowl rings can’t be found in cereal boxes, Rex.

I’ve always loved Rex Ryan, for better or worse, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not hear to call him on his crap too. Stop talking about Super Bowl championships! Over and over, every friggin’ time I turn around I hear Rex Ryan talking about championships! Shut up and play the game one week at a time. You have enough to worry about in defending Mark Sanchez every week, releasing veteran receivers, and tolerating yet another disappointing season with Shonn Greene.

If you can’t run straight, better Luck next time? – As in Andrew Luck. Things are going so bad for the Miami Dolphins right now that Brandon Marshall can’t even re-direct himself while not being touched to simply run straight, and to the house. About the only thing the Dolphins are taking to the house these days are their strong contention in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Can the Colts actually uproot the Dolphins in this sweepstakes? I sure hope not. After all this time of having Peyton Manning, I just don’t think  that would be fair. Yes, they are a horrid team right now, but in my opinion, they haven’t suffered long enough to deserve that pick. But how bad they have been terrible isn’t what will decide if they get this pick or not. Rumors are that Luck might not be willing to go to a team like Indy. If Manning is still there and expected to start healthy next year, than Luck will not want to be back up. Even though I am beginning to believe that Peyton Manning is almost done, I sure hope this ends up affecting their ability to possibly get Luck.

Yeah, that happened…

The Rams seem to be worthy of mention in the topic of worst teams going right now, but they have a commitment to Sam Bradford. – About 50 million commitments, to elaborate just a little. They also acquired receiver Brandon Lloyd from the Broncos for just a sixth round pick after letting go of Mike Sims-Walker. I think it was a nice move, and one that shows Bradford that they are serious about getting the right guys around him. However, they still have a lot of work to do with their offensive lime. I would predict that they go after one of the better linemen early in the 2012 draft.

What’s the deal with Bucs this year? Seriously, I just don’t know about these guys? They barely brush off the Colts, get destroyed by the 49ers, and then beat the Saints the following week. Mike Williams is continuing to prove that he is not a guy who can be a number one receiver on a weekly basis, and now Blount looks likely to not be back until week 9 or 10. So that’s whats going on with Tampa I guess?

Will the Packers ever lose this year? It sure looks like this team could possibly run the table if that was their goal, but they are after another Lombardi Trophy. So with that said, I believe in a very Colt-like mindset, they will drop at least one of their final six games which include tough divisional games versus the Bears and twice against the Lions. Aaron Rodgers is a better passer than you ever were Brett Favre, so shut up and go sext-message someone who still cares about you.

So everyone knows by now that both the Lions and 49ers are for real this season. The 49ers proved their legitimacy in 2011 by taking a game in Detroit, and exploiting the Lions’ running game as well as running defense. After a very close and intense game, we find ourselves talking about a handshake.

Harbaugh, go jump around once you get in the locker room. Heck, take your shirt all the way off once you get there. We don’t care, as long as we don’t have to see it. I’m sure that’s what Jim Schwartz was thinking too before you pushed him out of the way at his home stadium after beating him. And Swartz, settle down and stop crying. Chasing the guy down doesn’t make you look any better, and if you were a player, I believe you would have been heavily fined for doing that. So grow up, and take a loss like a man, Mr. Schwartz. Figure out how to stop the run, or get used to opposing coaches being in a jubilant mood after games against your Lions.

Brian’s NFC and AFC top 5 Power Rankings

 

Welcome NFL sports fan! Were three weeks into the season, and already the top teams are starting to separate themselves from the others teams in their conference. Today I’m rolling out my week 4 power rankings, based on what we have seen thru the first three weeks of the season.Small disclaimer here. I am not a fan of any of the teams in my top 10 so no e-mails about how bias I have been. I do encourage comments and rebuttals of why you believe you team deserves to be in the top 5.Without further a dew here are my power rankings.

 

NFC:

 

 

– The Packers are one of only two undefeated teams left in the NFC conference. Led by the Super Bowl MVP from last season Aaron Rogers, this team is tested and Tough. Rogers has already tossed 8 touchdown passes, to only 1 int. Aaron’s 120.9 passer rating and 71.8% completion percentage are both tops in the league. You add that to a very  good pass rushing defense (4th in the league in sacks) who get after the QB, and have play makers at all three levels of their defense, and you get the #1 team so far in the NFC.

 

 

 

 

The Saints Check in at #2 for me. Their only lost came against the Packers on the road week one of the NFL season. Beating the Houston Texans this last week, in a come from behind performance really showed me some resilience in this team. Drew Brees the unquestioned leader of this offense has them hitting on all cylinders right now averaging 34.7 points per game. Good for 3rd best in the league. On defense their is a great blend of veteran leadership in guys like LB Johnathan Vilma,CB Jabari Greer, and NT Aubrayo Franklin. Meshing with young guns like S Mike Jenkins, CB Tracy Porter, and rookie DE Cam Jordan out of cal.This team has a serious shot to be in the Super Bowl this year if they can stay healthy.

 

 

 

 

The Cowboys have bee a very resilient team so far this year. Starting the season 2-1 despite the fact that they have trailed in all three games in the 4th quarter. Dallas is one of those teams who have been decimated by injuries to this point. Players who have missed games, or have been injuried for Dallas so far( Miles Austin #1 WR, Terrence Newman #1 CB, Orlando Scandrick #3 CB, Dez Bryant #2 WR, Mike Jenkins #2 CB, Tony Romo #1 QB, Felix Jones #1 HB, Anthony Spencer Starting OLB, Jason Witten #1 TE. Looking at what Dallas has overcome so far this year injury wise, coupled with the fact that the combine record of the three teams Dallas has played so far is 6-3. I think Dallas has done well and deserves this spot for now.

 

 

 

Ah.. the Detroit Lions. Were to put them. Sure some will argue that a undefeated team deserves to be much higher in the power rankings, but I disagree. Looking at what they have accomplished this year, They have beat a 0-3 Kansas City Cheifs, a 0-3 Minnesota Vikings teams, and a 2-1 Tampa Bay team. I need to see more from this ball club before I put them any higher in my power rankings.

 

 

 

The Redskins were flying high heading into their Monday night match up with the Dallas Cowboys. They  were 2-0 and could take sole possession of first place in the division with a win. I thought the Redskins played well in that game, especially the defense. It’s hard to win on the road on Monday night, and it’s even harder when that Monday game is against your division rival. Tim Hightower and rookie Roy Helu out of Nebraska have really got the running game going thru the first three weeks of the season. The tight ends have also been a big part of this offense. My only grip, get your WR more envolved on offense, and stop playing man to man coverage so much on defense.

 

 

AFC:

 

 

 

 

At #1 I have no choice but to put the Buffalo Bills. They have beaten in my opinion two top five teams from the AFC conference in back to back weeks. Beating the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots should let you know this is not the Buffalo Bills from the last 10 years. Buffalo’s offense is led by Harvard grad QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who thru three weeks has orchestrated two fourth quarter comebacks against top tier teams, and who currently is tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns tosses 9, and sixth in QB rating at 103.5. Defensively Buffalo is very opportunistic, ranking second in the league with nine takeaway thru three games.Look for Buffalo to continue this trend this week against a very young Cincinnati Bengals offense.

 

 

 

The Ravens have the #1 score against defense in the NFL. This defense lead by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata, have looked solid against division rival Pittsburgh, and the upstart St. Louis Rams. The big surprise so far this year is how solid the offensive passing game has looked. Joe Flacco QB has thrown 7 touchdowns and just threw for a career high 389 passing yards last week on the road. The running game is solid. Ray Rice is one of the better duel threat running backs in the league. With the addition of  FB Vonta Leach during the offseason, who is the best run blocking FB in the league in my opinion. The Ravens have alot to be hopeful for. My biggest question mark for this team… can they stay healthy.

 

 

 

The New England Patriots have been a mainstay among playoff teams for the better part of the last decade. New England has been prolific on offense through three weeks. #1 in total offense. #2 in points scored. #1 in passing offense by a wide margin, and #1 in touchdown passes. So why are they ranked so low? Their defense thus far is so bad, it is almost hard to watch them play. Defensively they are ranked dead last in total yards given up. At a whopping 468.7 yards per game..wow. Also this defense is near the bottom of the league in penalties given up. Perhaps the most telling sign though New England ranks near the bottom of the league in 3rd down %. This defense just can not get off the field allowing almost 47% conversion on 3rd downs. Bottom line is New England’s offense will cover up many of the deficiencies of this teams defense, until they play the better teams.

 

 

 

Houston is a very good team, make no mistake about it. They are 2-1 for a reason, and could easily be 3-0. On Offense this is one of the most explosive teams in the NFL period. Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Owen Daniels need I say more? Houston has averaged an impressive 138 yards per contest on the ground. Despite the fact that last season’s leading rusher Arian Foster has played only a handful of snaps this year. My questions come on the defensive side of the ball. Houston is transitioning to the 3-4 scheme and so far so good. If Houston wants to be considered an elite team, they need to beat other elite teams. Twice last week Houston had the lead against New Orleans, and twice Drew Brees and that offense went down the field and scored. Houston’s defense played well but faltered big time when the team needed them the most.

 

 

 

 

The last time the Oakland Raiders made the playoffs, was back in 2002. The poor play of  this franchise has been well documented by many. It is now 2012, and I think it’s time to except the fact that the Oakland Raiders may just be for real. Oakland’s only lost came in week two on a short week, on the road, to my #1 team in the AFC, The Buffalo Bills. Oakland is currently the #1 rushing team in the NFL and Darren McFadden is averaging a crazy 6.5 yards per rush attempt. The front four on defense for the Raiders may be as good as any team in the league. They will get pressure on the opposing QB and make life difficult. After physically man handling the New York Jets they have a tough task taking on the New England Patriots this week. If they can pull the upset win though, that just might be the signature win this team needs to make everyone believe.