The NFL regular season has reached the midway point and not without some surprises. Who would have thought that the Kansas City Chiefs would be the league’s lone undefeated team at 8-0? Equally as surprising, the Steelers, Texans, and Falcons are near the bottom of the NFL pile after being widely predicted to make a run at their respective division titles. I guess that’s why they play the games! A team has never won the Super Bowl without showing up and playing the games. Below are my top five power rankings for Week 9. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
1. Kansas City Chiefs 8-0
The Chiefs struggled late in the game against the Browns, but ultimately did what good teams do – they win ugly. In every championship season, winning teams will gut out some ugly wins and barely escape with the victory. But in the NFL a win is a win regardless of what it looks like.
2. Denver Broncos 7-1
Peyton Manning has finally shown signs of being human lately. He is also beginning to show his age. In the last few weeks his health has been the subject of much debate. No one can argue his Hall of Fame career or unbelievable season to date, but the retirement party is clearly on the horizon for Peyton. Meanwhile, the return of Von Miller has certainly strengthened the defense for their second half run.
3. Seattle Seahawks 7-1
Speaking of winning ugly… The Seahawks had a gut check week much like the Chiefs did. They went into St. Louis to play a bad team who recently lost their starting quarterback. The Rams reached out to Brett Favre last week but he turned down the opportunity to return for what would have truly been a spectacle. Things must be bad when you start calling senior citizen centers in search of a starting QB. Everyone expected a blowout in Edward Jones Stadium. Everyone but the Rams that is.
4. New Orleans Saints 6-1
The Saints are quietly putting up a great season. They have battled late in a couple of games this season, but held on to get the win. Drew Brees continues to just be a great quarterback and leader. The Saints may be the team that no one wants to face in the play-offs especially in the Super Dome.
5. 3 way Tie: Indianapolis 5-2, Cincinnati 6-2, and San Francisco 6-2
I don’t often list teams in a tie, in particular, a three-way tie. However, a really good case could be made for each of these teams to be at number 5. Andrew Luck has successfully lifted his team to the top shelf after replacing perhaps the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. Meanwhile, the Bengals are red hot and look prepared to run away with their division. If their offense begins to run smoothly with all of the parts in place the rest of the league had better look out. And we can certainly make a case for the Niners whose only losses have come to two teams also in the top 5: Indy and Seattle. The Niners are looking dangerously tough recently and we had better plan to see them playing deep into the play-offs.
After five weeks there are three teams that remain undefeated. The Broncos, Saints, and Chiefs sit atop the standings and power rankings headed into week 6. Statistically, teams that start 5-0 have a 90% chance of making the playoffs and a 40% chance of making the Super Bowl. Those are numbers that make the folks in the Rockies, the Midwest, and the Bayou very happy!
Here is my Week 5 power rankings. Don’t agree? Leave a comment and let me know about it.
1. Denver Broncos 5-0
Peyton Manning is absolutly insane right now. Barring a catastrophic injury to #18 the Broncos are going to cruise. Don’t forget… Von Miler is coming back soon too!
2. New Orleans Saints 5-0
Drew Brees is a tremendous quarterback and team leader. Add to that, Coach Sean Payton is back at practice every day. The Saints have raised some eyebrows in this remarkable resurgence.
3. Kansas City Chiefs 5-0
Coach Andy Reid has made believers out of many NFL fans who expected the Chiefs to continue sputtering. The only negative for the Chiefs right now is that they play in the same division as the Broncos. I would like to see the Falcons send Tony Gonzalez back to KC to help his former mates contend for a championship. That would be a fitting end to a certain Hall of Fame career.
4. Indianapolis Colts 4-1
Andrew Luck has played like he has 15 years experience under his belt. The only thing that is keeping the Indy fans from crying over the loss of Peyton Manning is Andrew Luck. In a few more years Peyton will be modeling for his Hall of Fame bust and Andrew will still be lighting up NFL defenses. The Colts have insured that they will have a top-tier QB under center for nearly 30 years.
5. Seattle Seahawks 4-1
Yes, they lost to #4 Indy last week, but the ‘Hawks are still a great team who look to be a force deep into the NFC playoff picture. Pound for pound, and inch for inch, Russell Wilson is as good a QB as there is in the NFL. If the ‘Hawks can remain healthy they will be hard to beat.
Week 4 presents a number of intriguing match-ups as the 2013 NFL season heads into the first turn. Among the interesting match-ups are:
1. New York Giants (0-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Can Eli and the Giants really start 0-4? I know that the G-Men are notoriously slow starters but 0 and 4? Really? Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium is one of the NFL’s toughest road environments and Andy Reid has his team hitting on all cylinders right now.
2. Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Houston Texans (2-1)
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks look really, really strong right now. The Texans, on the other hand, is a team that many believed would make a Super Bowl push behind Defensive star J.J. Watt. This might be the best game of the week and reminiscent of the O.K. Corral.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-2)
Round 1 of the Battle of Ohio will take place on the shores of Lake Erie. The Bengals are clearly the better team but the Browns announced last week that they were going to play with reckless abandon. A team with nothing to lose is always dangerous.
4. Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-0)
A battle of unexpected unbeaten teams. Are the Dolphins for real? Will Drew Brees be Drew Brees? There is no bigger stage than Monday Night Football and the world will be watching to see if Miami will shrink from the moment.