NFL Power Rankings Week 6: NFC East, Then The Rest

I completely agree that Power Rankings can be a little silly, but when it comes to football we have to fill the gap between games with some type of banter. (also featured on FanIQ)

This NFL season has been a mess, a wonderfully unpredictable mess at that, but week five didn’t offer up too many drastic shifts to our power rankings.

The state of the NFC East remains strong, very, very strong. Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins scored their second straight road divisional win and the New York Giants ship remains steady as she goes, and didn’t need Plaxico Burress to exploit the Seattle Seahawks defense. Dallas had some scary moments against a Bengals team slowly finding their way and Philadelphia is simply the victim of not being as good as the rest, nor as healthy.

The Week 6 Power Rankings are the NFC East, and then the rest…

1. New York Giants

Defending Super Bowl Champs and have won seven straight including the 2007 playoffs. Despite what looks like some holes on paper, the Giants have yet to show any on the field. Until they do, they’ll hold onto my top spot.

2. Washington Redskins

Two straight road wins in the NFC East. That’s good enough for the spot, except their lone loss comes to the Giants. Still no interceptions for Jason Campbell.

3. Dallas Cowboys

I don’t think any less of the ‘Boys, but they’ve fallen from number one simply based on their division mates performances. Perhaps he can’t handle the workload, but wouldn’t you double the amount of touches that Felix Jones receives after another sparkling run? He scores every nine times he gets the football. Unreal.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

So what if they’re 2-3? Kevin Curtis returns this week most likely, Brian Westbrook remains banged up, but don’t count the Eagles out of the playoffs. The sad fact is that one of these four teams will not be a participant in the postseason, despite being one of the Top 10 teams in the NFL.

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Chad Johnson Changes His Name Again: Cero Cinco

Fine work by the folks at Pro Football Talk: Chad Johnson’s latest name change

The NFL is just a better place when the Bengals are the butt of jokes.

Video: Reggie Bush Return Two Punts for Touchdowns vs Vikings

OK, so the Minnesota Vikings pulled off a much needed victory in the final minute, but let’s talk about Reggie Bush’s record night.

Bush returned not one, but two punts on Monday Night Football and if not for a shoe-string tackle would have had a third. His 176 punt return yards is a franchise record, and his two punt return touchdowns ties an NFL record. A dazzling performance befitting the grand (OK, not quite anymore) stage of MNF.

Is it safe for us to disassociate any hint of the word bust with Bush? Aside from his girlfriend Kim Kardashian, he’s no longer anywhere near that description.

He’s a unique talent that can’t be judged against the prototypical running back. His closest comparison may end up being Devin Hester. Bush has 199 receptions so far in his career, which places him ahead of anyone in NFL history through 33 games.

The trouble is his two punt returns still didn’t help the Saints win, but you can’t exactly hold that against him.

Vikings vs Saints, Reggie Bush vs Adrian Peterson, Monday Night Football As It Should be

Adrian Peterson getting his Purple Jesus on vs the Saints struggling defense? Yes, please.

Some fans may enjoy the hard-hitting action of a Steelers vs Ravens Monday nighter, and I did, but it’s nice to get a prime time game built for the fantasy football geeks out there. Tonight we speak specifically of Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Reggie Brown and Lance Moore owners.

AD should be able to run all night. Drew Brees will take advantage of the Vikings defense weakness: pass defense. Doubtful Reggie Bush gets his yards on the ground, but you know he’ll be used on the screen and Lance Moore has been a diamond in the rough.

Looking forward to this one. With apologies to Terrell Owens, I’m getting the popcorn ready. Prediction: Vikings 28, Saints 24.

Better Catch: Marty Booker or Reggie Wayne?

Marty Booker makes an unbelievable one-handed catch near the goalline against the Detroit Lions. Without question one of the best catches of this NFL Season, but it may very well have been outdone a few moments later in Houston.

Trailing the Texans by three, Peyton Manning connect with Reggie Wayne on a post where he makes a stunningly clutch one-handed grab. [3:00 mark below]

Which was better?

Ronnie Brown Wildcat Offense Leads Miami Dolphins To Win Over Chargers

Don’t look now, but the Miami Dolphins are a pretty good football team. Definitely not as good as the Titans and Redskins, but certainly off to a more shocking start.

Behind an error-free Chad Pennington (!) and a rejuvenated Ronnie Brown, the Dolphins beat the Chargers for the seventh straight time. Pennington was 22 of 29 for 228 yards and a touchdown, his best performance of the season. Brown rushed for 125 yards and scored the other Fins TD.

The most surprising development of the Dolphins is not Pennington’s success, but Brown’s success in the Wildcat package. They ran out of the direct-snap to Brown offense 11 times Sunday. While the Chargers weren’t fooled by the package, they didn’t exactly stop it. Brown scored his touchdown off a nifty run from the five-yard line. On several key moments throughout the second half, Brown powered his way to short yardage first downs and kept the clock moving.

Miami had a time of possession advantage of 36 minutes to 23. Not always the most indicative stat of success, but whenever you give LaDainian Tomlinson less chances to get hot, you’re going to win. Tomlinson had just 35 yards on 12 carries.

Bill Parcells, the Godfather, knows what he’s doing down in Miami and I wouldn’t be too quick to write them off for the postseason, seeing as how we all did before this season even began.

This Matt Ryan Kid Might Be Pretty Good [Falcons vs Packers Highlights]

After the first two weeks of the NFL season far too many fans and experts alike were quick to place Aaron Rodgers among the elite quarterbacks. That same weekend, Matt Ryan struggled mightily (2 INT, 1 Fuble) in his first road NFL game and there were doubts about whether he should be starting.

This afternoon, Ryan went up to Lambeau Field and won his first road game, lifting the Atlanta Falcons to 3-2 and firmly into the NFC South race. Across the field, the Green Bay Packers are seriously concerned with their current state of play, and now sit at 2-3.

Rodgers threw for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, but was arguably outplayed by the rookie Falcon signal caller. Ryan led the Falcons to an early 10-0 lead and kept his mistakes to a minimum. Just one interception, completing 16 of 26 passes for just under 200 yards. Most importantly, Ryan looks as comfortable as many veterans in the league and has clearly won over his teammates and fans.

Unlike many highly drafted quarterbacks in previous years, Ryan looks to be worth the investment.