Posted by Mike Wendt on December 1, 2010 Jump To Comments
Has it really been seven weeks since the last power poll? My how time flies during the NFL season. I wanted to get this out sooner, but between Randy Moss, Wade Phillips and Brad Childress, we’ve had more than enough talking points this season. For this power poll I decided only to do the top 16 teams, because let’s be honest, who cares where the Bills, Bengals, and Vikings rank. Onto to poll.
#1 New England Patriots (9-2)
I have the Pats #1 because they lead the league in scoring, and in this day and age, great offense trumps great defense. If they fall to the Jets on Monday night though, a Super Bowl berth will almost certainly take them through the New Meadowlands in January.
#2 Baltimore Ravens (8-3)
Joe Flacco is starting to get in a groove, and he has plenty of weapons to work with. A Sunday night showdown with the Steelers looms, but Pittsburgh is pretty banged up and Baltimore has avoided the injury bug for the most part, so they get the edge in my book.
#3 New Orleans Saints (8-3)
I know that they aren’t even in first place in their division, but it’s hard to bet against the defending Super Bowl champs who have won four straight games. Brees is hitting his stride at the perfect time.
#4 Atlanta Falcons (9-2)
Yes, they’ve won five straight, but if the Packers had any running game Green Bay, would have ran away with that game. Matty Ice has developed nicely, and if they get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs they’ve got to be a favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
#5 New York Jets (9-2)
Quick, which QB drafted in 2009 has the most career 4th quarter comebacks? If you said Mark Sanchez……. you’re wrong. The Dirty has four, which Josh Freeman down in Tampa Bay already has six fourth quarter come from behind wins. The Jets are overblown media darlings whose record is inflated.
#6 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)
If God hadn’t got in the way of Steve Johnson, the Steelers would be 7-4, but apparently the big guy got a kick out of watching Buffalo fans get there hopes crushed. A win in Baltimore could go a long way in securing a playoff birth.
#7 Chicago Bears (8-3)
I have really only watched the Bears twice this season. The first time, every break went their way against the Packers, but the second time, they dismantled one of the hottest team’s in football in the Philadelphia Eagles. Cutler isn’t making as many mistakes and Julius Peppers is a force on the D-Line. The Lions are already guaranteeing a win this week though, so the Bears need to come ready to play Sunday.
#8 Green Bay Packers (7-4)
Four losses by a combined 12 points has Packers fans optimistic that they could be 9-2 or better with a couple of lucky bounces. In fact, the Packers are leading the league in net points, with a +103, but they only have seven wins to show for it. At some point this season the Packers need to start winning these games, or a Week 17 matchup against the Bears will be for a Wild Card birth at best.
#9 Philadelphia Eagles (7-4)
Mike Vick was shut down by the Bears last week, but their offense has shown time and time again that they came put up points. They should have enough gas left in the tank to beat out the banged up Giants in the NFC East.
#10 San Diego Chargers (6-5)
They are playing hot right now and should be able to catch the Chiefs in the AFC West, but their defense has been shaky at times and I don’t see the warm weather Bolts winning road games in the playoffs in New England, New Jersey, Pittsburgh or Baltimore.
#11 Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
Peyton Manning, ‘nuf said.
#12 Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Cupcake schedule could allow this team to be one-and-done in the super competitive AFC playoffs. Dwayne Bowe is quietly having a Pro-Bowl caliber year.
#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)
Remember when I said the Packers have a +103 point differential but only seven wins to show for it? At the other end of the spectrum, the Bucs have a -4 point differential, yet they also boast seven wins. Too competitive in the NFC South for Cinderella to make the playoffs though.
#14 New York Giants (7-4)
Battered and bruised, the Giants are limping toward the end of the season. Unfortunately for them, it looks like the Wild Card representatives in the NFC will come from the North and the South, so they need to edge out the Eagles if they want to make the playoffs.
#15 Houston Texans (5-6)
If it wasn’t for their uncanny ability to wrestle defeat from the jaws of victory, Houston could be sitting atop the AFC South. They need to take care of business against the Eagles this Thursday if they want any hope of making the playoffs.
#16 Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)
The Jags are starting to find a rhythm in the passing game, and Maurice Jones Drew has been on a hot streak lately. I see no chance at an AFC South title, but 9 wins would be more than most expected out of them at the beginning of the season.
Like the picks? Got your own? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org