Eight games of the NFL season are in the books, the perfect time for us at Seesaw Sports to update our power rankings. Posers were exposed, studs fell off and the battle for NFL supremacy is anyone's to win. Yet the playoff picture has become crystal clear since our initial rankings in week four, so with half the season complete, how many teams are actually in the hunt?
Recap: [1st Quarter Power Rankings]
2nd Quarter Power Rankings:
[Numbers in parentheses equal difference in rank from Todd: i.e (+1) equals one spot higher]
32. Jacksonville Jacksonville (0)
31. Minnesota Tampa Bay (-1)
30. Tampa Bay Minnesota (+1)
29. Philadelphia Philadelphia (0)
28. St. Louis New York Giants (-6)
27. Oakland St. Louis (+1)
26. Houston Oakland (+1)
25. New York Jets Houston (+1)
24. Buffalo Buffalo (0)
23. Miami Atlanta (-2)
22. New York Giants Cleveland (-2)
21. Atlanta Washington (-2)
20. Cleveland Pittsburgh (-2)
19. Washington Arizona (-4)
18. Pittsburgh Miami (+5)
17. Tennessee New York Jets (+8)
16. Chicago San Diego (-3)
15. Arizona Baltimore (-3)
14. Dallas Tennessee (+3)
13. San Diego Carolina (-2)
12. Baltimore Chicago (+4)
11. Carolina Dallas (+3)
10. New England Detroit (-1)
9. Detroit Green Bay (-5)
8. Indianapolis Cincinnati (-1)
7. Cincinnati New England (+3)
6. Kansas City New Orleans (-4)
5. San Francisco Kansas City (+1)
4. Green Bay Indianapolis (+4)
3. Seattle San Francisco (+2)
2. New Orleans Seattle (+1)
1. Denver Denver (0)
Comments from the rankings:
We're halfway through the NFL season and a lot has changed in just four weeks. There are now three distinct groups in the rankings:
- The bottom, teams ranked 32-30, are clearly terrible. I wouldn't pick the Jaguars, Vikings, or Buccaneers to beat anyone else in the league under any circumstances. I know they won't all go winless but any wins they grab will be upsets.
- The top 10 is clearly established. I know the playoffs are 12 teams, so those final two spots are still up for grabs, but the top 10 teams seem set on making it. In related news, it took me a long while to decide who was the 11th best team in the NFL. I settled on Carolina, whose defense has been amazing all year, but now their offense is final clicking.
- The rest of the league, teams ranked 11-29, are pretty darn close, as funny as it sounds. There is certainly very little separating those teams at 29,28,27 from Tennessee or Pittsburgh at 18. We actually just saw this yesterday as Oakland toppled the Steelers.
A couple extraneous thoughts, all seemingly related to quarterbacks:
- Poor LeSean McCoy; that Philly QB situation is a MESS.
- St. Louis would be higher if Bradford hadn't gone down; their ranking is not totally reflective of their performance thus far.
- The Giants are rolling!...with two of the worst wins I have ever seen in my lifetime; but they are two wins nonetheless and that division is still up for grabs.
- Chicago is in a similar boat to St. Louis; their ranking reflects the current Cutler injury, not how they've played this season
- If the New England Patriots had a quarterback who could throw an accurate pass, there's no telling how good they could be!
Even though Kansas City has the best record in the league, and the best defense according to the numbers, I still don't trust them against the other heavy hitters. I'd take the four big NFC teams over them and still like Denver a little more. Of course, if Seattle loses tonight...
I don't see much having changed at all in the last four weeks, besides the masses really separating themselves. The bottom of the barrel sunk lower and the top ten just punched their playoff tickets a little more firmly. Otherwise, I see four groups here. That middle pack you lumped together is actually two groups now after eight weeks, teams with hope and teams that suck.
The four groups in my rankings:
- The bottom, which extends all the way to team number 28 and your New York Giants. The teams ranked 32 to 28 all stink, are having horrific seasons, and can't be trusted to win, period. I know you are dumping on St. Louis because they lost their QB, but that's not a bad team. They belong in our next group.
- The ones that suck, these are teams ranked 27 to 21. None of these teams are making the playoffs. Their seasons are over. You placed Miami and the Jets in this area of your rankings, but both those teams still have a shot and are way better, when they are playing well, than the likes of Cleveland, Washington and Atlanta who aren't breaking .500 this season.
- The ones with hope, these are teams ranked 20 to 12. All of these teams are in the hunt and are one winning streak or losing streak away from keeping hope alive or falling into the 'suck' category. Pittsburgh may have closed their door by losing to Oakland, but something tells me not to count out the Steelers just yet. Every other team has show flashes of greatness and I still like Chicago even with Cutler side lined for several weeks.
- The top, teams in the top ten of my rankings. And yes I realize I skipped over the Cowboys at number 11. They seem to have a hold on the NFC East by default, being better than everyone else in that division, but still managing to suck on a level that doesn't befit a top ten team.
We must both be NFL geniuses, or this season is such an open book its ridiculous, because our top ten contains the exact same teams. We do disagree on where four teams fall. I don't like Green Bay nearly as much as you. Same goes for New Orleans, who is simply out scoring people more than the league wants to admit. I'm also much higher on Indianapolis and New England, two teams with stellar QB play that has held things together. I think the Colts can withstand the loss of Reggie Wayne, but I do worry the Patriots have lost one too many players on defense.