Welcome to the Cheesiest Blog on the Web

Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hands Held High

"Hands Held High" comes from the album "Minutes to Midnight"
Now I'm not usually a huge fan of Linkin Park, or rap-like songs in general, but I've always found Hands Held High from their Minutes to Midnight album to be a very powerful song. Obviously, it about a touchy subject and many have different viewpoints and interpretations of this song. Being somewhat of a pacifist myself (my actual beliefs are not exactly pacifist, but I do view war as an extremely last option), I like a lot of what this song has to say. It may be considered political, but it doesn't have to be. In the beginning of the song, the singer declares that the government will not silence him anymore, and he won't be a mindless follower. One of my favorite lines in the piece is "Like it's stupid standing for what I'm standing for", which refers to his stance on being against the war. Those who were and are against the war are often ridiculed, and are claimed to "not care about our troops", while this is far from the case. Overall, I'm not really against the war as much as this song seems to suggest, however I do believe that most Americans need to be exposed to a lot of what this song has been saying and truly examine their beliefs for themselves, because we should have done (and should do) a lot of things differently. The overall message of this song isn't even really about war, or pacifism. It's about unity, with all people. Anyway, I've talked long enough, here are the lyrics:

Turn my mic up louder I got to say something
Light weights step to the side when we come in

Feel it in your chest the syllables get pumping
People on the street they panic and start running

Words on loose leaf sheet complete coming
I jump in my mind and summon the rhyme, I'm dumping

Healing the blind I promise to let the sun in
Sick of the dark ways we march to the drum and

Jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping
Fuck that I wanna see some fists pumping

Risk something, take back what's yours
Say something that you know they might attack you for

Cause I'm sick of being treated like I have before
Like it's stupid standing for what I'm standing for

Like this war's really just a different brand of war
Like it doesn't cater the rich and abandon poor

Like they understand you in the back of the jet
When you can't put gas in your tank

These fuckers are laughing their way to the bank and cashing the cheque
Asking you to have compassion and have some respect

For a leader so nervous in an obvious way
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
In their living room laughing like "what did he say?"


In my living room watching but I am not laughing
Cause when it gets tense I know what might happen

World is cold the bold men take action
Have to react or get blown into fractions

Ten years old it's something to see
Another kid my age drugged under a jeep

Taken and bound and found later under a tree
I wonder if he had thought the next one could be me

Do you see the soldiers they're out today
They brush the dust from bullet proof vests away

It's ironic at times like this you pray
But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday

There's bombs in the buses, bikes, roads
Inside your market, your shops, your clothes

My dad he's got a lot of fear I know
But enough pride inside not to let that show

My brother had a book he would hold with pride
A little red cover with a broken spine

On the back, he hand-wrote a quote inside
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die

Meanwhile, the leader just talks away
Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
both scared and angry like "what did he say?"

[Chorus x6]

With hands held high into the sky so blue,
As the ocean opens up to swallow you.

Link to song on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ0njClBKI

Copyright to this song goes to Linkin Park. If, for some reason, the want me to take this down from this Blog contact me. I would be happy to.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Miller Light needs to "Man-Up"

For those of you who have ever sat through a Football with me, you should know that I have a very real hatred for certain advertisements. Okay, most advertisements. Some are clever, some are funny, some I just don't care about one way or the other - but usually my favorites are either Beer commercials or Geico commercials (those guys are genius with their advertisements, too bad they can't put together a decent car insurance plan). A glaring exception began when I started watching NFL Football this 2010-2011 season, as Miller Light debuted its "Man Up" advertisement campaign.

Beer is serious business.
"Man Up" is a chain of commercials that follow a similar structure. An originally-appears-to-be stylish man walks into a bar and asks for Light Beer from an attractive woman bartender. They are then given a choice of whether they want a normal Light Beer or a "special one" (whether it is a special bottle, or "more taste"). In each of the commercials, the man does not really care. Then, the woman bartender is revealed to be a total bitch as she rips on his Light Beer choice, and ridicules him for a "flaw" the man possesses that was not originally seen. Then the slogan appears, "Man up", suggesting that people that are "losers" do not care about their Light Beer, so if you are not loser you should drink Miller Light. At the end of the commercial, the man seems to have "learned his lesson" and "manned up", ordering a Miller Light. Then, something semi-positive usually happens to him, but it is revealed he still has his "flaw".

I can't begin to explain how much these commercials bother me. First of all: While I am not really a fan of Beer in general, I have sampled most of the "popular" Light Beer brands, and I have not noticed a noticeable difference in taste, or anything else. It's like when Duracell tries to convince you that their batteries are somehow different, the fact of the matter is they're not or the difference is so insignificant you will never notice. Basically, if the normal Light Beer is less expensive than the Miller Light (which it usually will be since it is not a brand name), you would be a moron for paying extra money for the Miller Light. Next, the premise hardly leads to the conclusion. They're trying to say losers don't drink Miller Light, but the commercials really do not show at all that one leads to the other. Is it that if you do not drink Miller Light, you are a Loser? Possibly, but unlikely considering all of the men "repented" and are still losers. Or maybe it is that if you are a Loser than do not drink Miller Light? This makes even less sense ... Being a "loser" and drinking Miller Light are completely independent things... one can be a Loser and drink Miller Light or be Awesome and not drink Miller Light.

Maybe it is due to my upbringing, but maybe the reason I don't like the commercials is because the attitude of the woman bartenders... in all of the commercials, they are total bitches, plain and simple. None of the men's "flaws" really seem too significant, and they make a big deal out of nothing. Are they really mad that the men do not care about what Light Beer they drink? Seems sort of shallow... there is more to life than Light Beer. And if anyone thinks Light Beer = Life, they are the ones who need to "Man up". In fact... alcohol in general is for those who need to "Man up". I just don't see how it can be considered good advertising to INSULT the people you are trying to ADVERTISE TO... since that's pretty much what they are doing. Seems shallow, and I think this clinches that I will never buy Miller Light, ever.

Here are the "Man Up" commercials currently being aired / have been aired, so you can judge for yourself. Sorry about the crappy video quality, best I could find.

"Couger" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PacVvfhEB1Y
So a "crazy fan" wants to order a Light Beer in peace and doesn't really care about how it tastes. Therefore, the somewhat-attractive woman bartender has the need to ridicule him for his team spirit, a Couger-costume he is wearing? Granted, the costume was pretty gay but I've seen worse. And considering football fans are watching this commercial, I'm sure a good number of them have "pimped out" for a football game at least once in their lives. Then there is the ending... so if I drink Miller Light, completely hideous women will be attracted to me?? Noooooooooooooooooooooo! Must ... never... drink... Miller ... Light!

"Man-Purse" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUJ36nFdOyg
A pretty attractive dude asks for Light Beer from the woman bartender. Since he does not decide to order Miller Light like the other mindless peons in the bar, the bartender finds the need to ridicule him for his carry-on, which looks a lot like a purse. Actually seems somewhat responsible to keep all your things close to you. Questionable taste in appearance, but he hardly needs to "man up". Or are they implying that only women dislike Miller Light? If so, they not only insulted those who do not drink Miller Light in this commercial, but all women too! Good going.

"Sunglasses" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSTxwQthl14
Oookay ... I guess I'm wearing Sunglasses in a Dimly-lit bar 24-7 because I still do not see what makes the "grooves" on the Miller Light Vortex bottle so special... Maybe they should consider making a commercial about what exactly it does that is significant instead of blasting the people who are smart enough to realize that the container of which your beer is in means just as much as what kind of toilet paper you wipe your ass with. And then the ending... questionable taste in music = lack of eyesight? Isn't music about hearing? Hmm...

"Dragon-clothes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNumX3RHRQQ
Okay... granted, I am not the most "stylish" person on the planet, but I actually really like the dude's dragon clothes. They're pretty awesome. And the bartender's punchline in this commercial... "You're scaring the customers"?? What ??? How does someone's clothes scare customers? Are they all far too drunk on your crappy Miller Light that they do not realize they aren't actually real dragons? Miller Light must make you stupid... glad I don't drink it. Also the ending is completely unbelievable... why would he be embarrassed about his dragon jacket when he is still sporting his dragon clothes and seemed so confident in them in the first place? And the look the bartender gives him at the end... keep your judgmental bitch attitude to yourself, thanks.

"Man thong" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH82n4EXkII
Uh ... rather odd for a bar to require its customers to be "stylish in this country" to serve them, since she seemed to imply she would not serve him until he changed out of his European Man Thong... but she ends up doing it at the end because he has Miller Light but is still in the swimsuit. Once again, I'm not the most stylish person, but how much does the country you're in REALLY affect style? Or are they attempting to insult Europeans, too, now?

"Skirt" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02p-9SsmRME
Another commercial blasting women how they don't have good taste in Light Beer? I guess ... but I wonder why that guy was wearing a skirt in a bar to begin with ... seems rather unbelievable. Maybe he was Gay, best solution I can come up with. I guess according to Miller Light, Gay people don't have good taste in Light Beer, either.

"Peanut" http://millerlite.com/commercials.html, scroll down to Peanut
A Fantasy Football player wants a Light Beer so he orders one. The bartender decides that because he doesn't want a Miller Light, it must be because he is a "Mama's Boy", since his mother is in the same bar that he is. Dang... what a shot at Fantasy Football players! According to Miller Light, all Fantasy Football players are "Mama's Boys" and must live in their mother's basement. They also have no taste in Light Beer. When he finally decides to get Miller Light due to the peer pressure, he is still a mother's boy. So nothing changes for the protagonist. Guess he shouldn't have wasted the money on another beer.

Honestly, I'm frightened to find out what's next ... I hope they come to their senses and cancel this ad campaign before I'm forced to gorge my eyes out with a rusty spork, becuase I can't stand to watch another horrible Miller Light commericial. Okay, okay, so now I'm exaggerating but thank God for the Mute button on my TV remote.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: More crazy surprises in the NFL

So after a fairly "predictable" Week 6, Week 7 got back to the crazy shenanigans that made this season so full of parity to begin with. Tons of upsets occurred last week that I didn't think was possible - The Browns routing the former Super Bowl champs? The Bills forcing the Ravens into overtime? The Chargers dropping to 2-5? And Oakland scoring 59 points against the Broncos... in Denver...? I will now attempt to sort out all of these odd things in Week 8 of my Power Rankings!

Biggest Winner: Oakland Raiders (+8) 
Biggest Loser: New Orleans Saints (-5) 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1, +0): A close but solid win against the Dolphins in Miami secures this team's #1 status further. Ben Roethlisberger passed surprisingly well considering it was only his 2nd game of the season, passing for 19 / 27 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. There was some rust, however, as he fumbled three times, all of which questionable decisions by him... I would think, however, these kind of mistakes should become less and less of an issue as the season presses on for him. The defense of the Steelers played well, too. Despite two early turnovers in Pittsburgh territory, they allowed only 6 points and only allowed the Dolphins into the endzone once in the game despite the Fins moving the ball pretty well later in the game. And they continue to be absolutely dominant against the run. It wasn't a pretty victory, but they survived. 

2. New York Jets (5-1, +1): Although their victory at Denver was made a little less impressive yesterday by the Raiders, the Jets remain to be the creme of the crop in the NFL, moving to the #2 slot in their bye week. As I said earlier, the team has very little holes. They hope Darelle Revis can come back after the bye-week at full force, their pass defense could really use his assistance... especially against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. 

3. Indianapolis Colts (4-2, +1): The Colts are also coming off their bye week, and find themselves one spot higher on these rankings due to another team (namely, the Baltimore Ravens). It was rather nice timing for their bye, at least for me, since it meant I did not have to face Peyton Manning in my fantasy game... but that's besides the point. Their next matchup is a crucial Monday-night rematch against the Houston Texans. We'll see how deserving these Colts are of the #3 spot then. 

4. New York Giants (5-2, +1): Solid win at Dallas last week for the New York Football Giants. They were able to overcome some screw-ups early including two interceptions Eli Manning, a fumble by Brandon Jacobs and allowing a punt return touchdown from rookie Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. Throughout all this, the defense alone was able to keep them in it, limiting Dallas to just 49 yards passing and 36 yards rushing in the first half. Then when Tony Romo went out of the game, it was all but over for Dallas.

5. New England Patriots (5-1, +1): This team continues to concern me, but got a hard-earned victory at San Diego last week regardless. The fact of the matter is, though, they were given so many gifts due to stupid mistakes by the Chargers last week but failed to capitalize on them, and almost lost because of it. Their first half offense was nothing short of putrid. And it is becoming apparent that without Randy Moss to act as a deep threat, their short passing game and running game is starting to struggle. Tom Brady only passed for 159 yards on the day while BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead could not get anything going on the ground, rushing for a combined 2.5 YPC on the day. 

6. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, -4): Dropping four ranks in a win may seem harsh, but it was well-earned by the Ravens. At the end of the day, it is true that only the 5-2 record matters, but there was defiantly something wrong about the Ravens last week. I don't know if it is a deep-seeted problem or perhaps they were simply looking over the winless Bills, but something was wrong. The problem was not so much offensive, Joe Flacco passed well and Anquan Boldin had a good day while Ray Rice and Willis McGahee returned to their tandem dominance on the ground. However the defense, who was even getting All-Pro Safety Ed Reed back for the first time this game, allowed 374 passing yards from Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for four touchdowns... they could not stop him all day. If it were not for the epic strip in overtime by Ray Lewis, we could be talking about the upset of the year right now. 

7. Atlanta Falcons (5-2, +1): The Falcons survived the Bengals at home last week after a good offensive showing. Elite WR Roddy White had his best game of the season even after disrespecting the Cincinnati secondary before the game, catching 11 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Turner was able to run the ball well too after a forgettable performance against Philadelphia the week prior, getting back to his high YPC (5.3 against the Bengals) and two touchdowns on the ground. Defense is still a concern, however, as they allowed Carson Palmer to have a career day which almost allowed a Bengal comeback. 

8. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2, +2): Back at home, the Chiefs get back to their winning ways embarrassing the visiting Jaguars. They key was defense... they were able to contain Maurice Jones-Drew and even though the Jaguars starting QB Todd Bouman was a back-up, picked him off twice to end key Jaguars drives. Dwayne Bowe continued to look sensational, breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns. This Chiefs offense is improving at an alarming rate and the Chiefs could be a serious threat this season to any team they play. 

9. Tennessee Titans (5-2, +3): The Titans continue their winning ways but did it in flashy style this time against the visiting Eagles. Even without their starting QB, the Titans were able to get big plays in the air. Just a single look at WR Kenny Britt's numbers in this game is jaw-dropping. 225 yards receiving and three touchdowns?? Ridiculous! And they needed to go to the air, the Eagles were playing dedicated run defense all game to contain Chris Johnson. 

10. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3, -3): After such a poor showing by Kevin Kolb, Andy Reid declared unsurprisingly that Michael Vick would be the starter following the bye... I do not believe this move surprises anyone with the horrible play Kolb showed against the Titans last week. DeSean Jackson should be ready to go after the bye, which will be nice because they need him. Even with the improvement that Jeremy Maclin has shown this season, both of them together gives the Eagles some scary weapons.

11. Houston Texans (4-2, +0): Somewhat of an uneventful week for the Texans as it was their bye, they will be facing an extremely tough matchup next week at Indianapolis. While it is far from a must-win at this point in the season, it would be hard to see them winning the tough AFC South if they do not find a way to sweep the Colts on Monday night. Andre Johnson should be 100% good to go for this game, which is nice for the Texans since he has been dealing with a nagging injury for the majority of the season. 

12. Miami Dolphins (3-3, +1): They did lose against the #1 Pittsburgh Steelers, but they were a questionable call away from victory. Apparently "there was no concrete evidence that the Dolphins recovered the fumble in the endzone" but anyone who thinks that the Steelers may have recovered the ball is kidding themselves. And before anyone tries to argue that the whistle was already blown, it wasn't. Re-watch the play if you need to. Despite likely being robbed, the Dolphins had other factors for their loss. The inability to get into the endzone despite sustaining good drives against the Steelers was a major concern although Dan Carpenter was given another game to show how awesome he is. Despite the bad ruling, they had a chance to win the game at the end but fell short offensively. They also weren't able to stop the passing attack of the Steelers, which hurt them also. Their were also positives, though. The Dolphins offensive line looks like it could be one of the best in the league. Chad Henne had all day to throw the ball and played pretty well, all things considered, completing 63.9% of his passes for 257 yards and Miami's only touchdown. The Dolphins hope to rebound from their third disappointing home loss on the road against the Bengals next week. 

13. Green Bay Packers (4-3, +1): They needed a victory against the Vikings in the worst way, and were able to deliver. Aaron Rodgers still looked like he was getting used to his new receiving corps so he wasn't great but with Clay Matthews back, the defense was able to make big plays when they needed them most including Desmond Bishop's pick six and stopping two last desperation heaves into the endzone from Brett Favre to Randy Moss at the end of the game. Now they are in even more injury trouble as it has been confirmed two more defensive starters will be out for the season. 

14. New Orleans Saints (4-3, -5): So much for the "turnaround" they were on after beating Tampa Bay. They were dropped last week, ... no, not dropped, routed and humiliated by the lowly Browns in Week 7 by a score of 30-17. Defiantly NOT what you would expect to see from the former-World Champions. Drew Brees looks like he is falling victim to the Super Bowl curse this year throwing four interceptions to the Browns. He now has 10 on the season... completely unacceptable. And what were they doing while Punter Reggie Hodges ran for 68 yards against them? I suppose watching in awe about how a Punter could be running through their coverage... A bit of good news for them though... Reggie Bush should be ready to come back after his injury. 

15. Washington Redskins (4-3, +3): Holy DeAngello Hall, Batman! Four interceptions in a single game is absolutely crazy as the Redskins defeat the Bears 17-14. It's funny... Redskins QB Donovan McNabb did everything he could to keep his hometown Bears in that football game but in the end the Redskins were able to overcome their own QB and obtain the win. Their defense may allow big plays, but they can surely create them for themselves, too.

16. San Diego Chargers (2-5, +0): Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. And despite all that and a 2-5 record... I'm sticking with this team at their #16 placing. The injuries to both of their starting WR, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee was brutal, at least Antonio Gates played. The young players making their first starts of the season made quite a few mistakes. And yet, despite all of the offensive turmoil, their defense was able to give them a chance to win at the end still. Offensively and defensively, this team is good. Maybe even great. However, until they become more disciplined they won't be winning football games. And this falls directly on head coach Norv Turner. 2-5 is not a place you want to be, especially with the Chiefs playing so well and being 0-2 in the division. At least some good news is that Pro Bowl WR Vincent Jackson will finally report, ending his holdout. Even with sitting out half the season, you know he will want do well because he'll be looking to advertise himself for unrestricted free agency in the off-season.

17. Minnesota Vikings (2-4, -2): Brett Favre's Lambeau magic ended at last, as the Vikings dropped a big one to the Packers. Even after his big win against Dallas the week prior, Favre did not play well this time against his former team, throwing three interceptions. Adrian Peterson did, though. He is likely the best RB in the league right now, always making an impact. He runs hard while retaining quickness, agility and speed to create a true threat in the backfield. He also is a good receiver, too. He seemed to solve his biggest problem, too, as he has not fumbled all season. Percy Harvin is looking to be a legit WR in this league. He is absolutely scary anytime he touches the ball and is good in the slot. Despite good play from Harvin and Peterson though, the Vikings fall into a tough-to-recover-from 2-4 hole. There is some news floating around that Favre has fractures in his ancle that might sideline him for a few games, but I don't buy it. I expect him to play, because that's what Favre does.

18. Seattle Seahawks (4-2, +2): 4-2 brings them to a lead in the NFC West. I actually think this team has the potential to be deadly. Marshawn Lynch solves a lot of the problems that plagued them in the running game. His tough, powerful running style was exactly what the Seahawks needed to move the ball consistently down the field. The Seahawks defense continues to play well (even though it was only against an undrafted rookie QB and a reject Browns QB), only allowing 10 points to the visiting Cardinals offense. After this victory, they are the favorites in this division, no doubt. 

19. Chicago Bears (4-3, -2): Man, Bears QB Jay Cutler has formed quite a duo with DeAngello Hall! What's that you say? DeAngello Hall is a Redskin? Oh... nevermind then, someone should go tell Jay Cutler. He probably forgot he was a Bear after being sacked another four times last Sunday. Here's a reminder for you Jay... your guys are the guys in Black and Orange, and the Redskins are in Red and Yellow. DeAngello Hall may seem like a nice fellow, but he's not your teammate. Got it? On a side note, the Bears defense continues to play well... too bad they can't carry their hideous offense. 

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2, +1): I refuse to get high on this team. Yes, they are 4-2 but who have they beaten? The lowly Browns, Panthers, and Bengals and now the lowly Rams? Everytime they play a team even slightly good they don't simply lose, but are destroyed. Still, they are 4-2 and a big part of the game is winning games you are supposed to win. They were able to find something somewhat resembling a running game by benching Cadillac Williams for rookie LeGarrette Blount. The final game-winning drive engineered by QB Josh Freeman was memorable. However, I'm going to hold off calling them a serious contender until they beat someone worthwhile. 

21. Oakland Raiders (3-4, +8): 59 points. Read it again, let it sink in. The Raiders scored... Fifty-Nine points... They made it look like a game of Madden, setting a franchise record for points scored in a game. Darren McFadden ... 165 yards, three touchdowns, 10.3 yards per carry. But that's only three out of eight. EIGHT! EIGHT TOUCHDOWNS! ... IN DENVER! I don't know if the Raiders are for real, probably not, but still... wow. WOW. Maybe this is a sign of the apocalypse... 

22. Denver Broncos (2-5, -3): And... we get the other side of the coin, the team who had 59 points scored on them, courtesy of the Ra... Raid... er... Raiders. And I thought this team was pretty good... Head coach Josh McDaniels said it best, they were simply "out physicaled". Granted, this team probably lost all will after falling to 21-0 within the first 5 minutes due to a pick 6 and a Special Teams fumble... I severely hope that the remainder of the game was simply due to the Broncos being completely demoralized. There was simply no redeeming qualities of this game for the Broncos. They were dominated on offense, defense, and special teams. Kyle Orton may have thrown two touchdowns, but this is the second straight game where he completed less than 50% of his passes. I'm surprised he wasn't benched after the 1st quarter to give rookie Tim Tebow some NFL experience, because the game was honestly lost by then (at the end of the 1st quarter, it was already 24-0).

23. Arizona Cardinals (3-3, -1): This season really has been a roller-coaster ride for these Arizona Cardinals. They'll come out and play great one week, and be complete duds the next week. This was a dud-week apparently, in a game where they had a chance to become the favorites in the NFC West. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt must regret his confidence he showed in undrafted rookie QB Max Hall, who started this game and went 4/16 for 36 yards and a pick. Eventually, they decided to put in the Browns reject QB Derek Anderson, who played better but still wasn't able to throw a touchdown or complete half of his passes. Offensively, the only good thing that can be said is that Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower was able to rush for pretty consistent yardage to help their abysmal pass-attack.

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-5, +0): Bad news regarding starting QB Tony Romo's shoulder injury against the Cowboys last night - it has confirmed to be a left clavicle injury. Clavicle injuries are serious - it could sideline him for up to the entire season. Which would just be insult to injury for the Dallas Cowboys, going now 1-5. How they will proceed moving forward with backup Jon Kitna is anyone's guess, but now this is another team you mine as well stick a fork in. Even having everything going for them in the first half, they still lost to the rival Giants at home on Monday night.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4, +1): Oh, Bungles how I have missed you... it was depressing last season when I didn't have you to ridicule. Even with a ridiculously great game from Carson Palmer, who finally looked like everyone thought he would with both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns, they lose. And it really wasn't even as close as the score indicated. The Falcons led early, and was able to avoid the Bengals comeback that they attempted. Cedric Benson once again did not rush very well, which is a requirement for this team's success. And even though I thought the Bengals had a good secondary, they were not able to step up even despite the disrespect Roddy White showed them prior to the game. 

26. Cleveland Browns (2-5, +4): May be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL right now. They play teams close and put themselves in position to win games, as the Saints found out last week. They have a solid defense that was able to force a lot of turnovers from Drew Brees. Colt McCoy didn't really play well again, but he didn't really need to and they will be getting Seneca Wallace back soon... hopefully. Peyton Hillis is a workhorse. Teams beware- do not sleep on the Browns! They love to play the role of spoiler this season. 

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4, -4): They may be chilling at 3-4, but their division hopes are all but shattered now that they are looking up at three two-loss teams that control their division. Once again, their secondary got exposed against the Chiefs for their poor coverage and tackling skills. They were starting backup QB Todd Bouman, who did not play well. And neither did Maurice Jones-Drew, since teams can simply stack the box against them this season.This season may be the beginning of the end for head coach Jack Del Rio.

28. St. Louis Rams (3-4, -3): They had a chance to continue their surprising season and claim for the playoffs but fell short against Tampa Bay. Was a heart-breaking loss, too, the Rams controlled the game the whole way but were unable to put it away or stop the Buccaneers' late scoring drive that won them the game by 1. The lack of depth at the WR position is starting to show and the defense and RB Steven Jackson can't do everything themselves. 

29. Detroit Lions (1-5, -2): Coming off the bye, they get hopeful news about formerly-injured starting QB Matthew Stafford, who is now unrestricted at practice and should be good to go against the Redskins next week. Also, promising rookie RB Jahvid Best, who was battling a nagging toe injury, no longer appears on their injury report so that is good news. Dangerous team here - they could beat anyone and will look to catch the Redskins napping next week as Stafford hopefully plays his first full game of the season.

30. San Francisco 49ers (1-6, -2): Put a fork in them, they're done. At the end of the season, Singletary will be gone and this team will go into rebuilding mode... again. In the spirit of being fair, though, it wasn't entirely their fault that they gave the winless Panthers their first win of the season last week. Anytime your starting QB goes down and is replaced by David Carr, you are going to have a chance to lose the game.Honestly, they didn't even play too poorly. The 49ers defense was able to stop the Panthers running game and Frank Gore had a great game. Just wasn't enough. They will still win more games this season, but it is now safe to say they won't be sniffing the playoffs.

31. Carolina Panthers (1-5, +0): They got their first win of the season, but I'm still not convinced they are any better than #31. I mean, they still did not play well against the 49ers. And had starting 49ers QB Alex Smith not gone down with injury, I doubt they win this game. Neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart could get anything going behind this Panthers offensive line. And they were forced to rely in Matt Moore, the only player that really played well for the Panthers. Even after all this, they still only won by a field goal.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-6, +0): I want so bad to rank them higher than last for their epic showdown against Baltimore last week... but alas, I cannot. At the end of the week, the Bills are the only winless team, a completely imperfect 0-6. Don't look now but Ryan Fitzpatrick has a QB rating of 102.0, and has thrown 11 touchdowns in his four starts... Wow. He can thank a lot of his success to Lee Evans, who is also looking better recently. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to ditch Trent Edwards after all.

Formulaic Power Rankings

These Power Rankings are formula-based, the exact formula and explanation on how it is calculated can be found here on my blog.

Formulaic Biggest Winner: Tennessee Titans (+8) 
Formulaic Biggest Loser: Denver Broncos (-10)
  1. Pittsburgh (69.6, +3)
  2. New York Giants (68.8, -1)
  3. New York Jets (65.8, +0)
  4. Indianapolis (64.7, +1)
  5. Baltimore (63.8, -3)
  6. Philadelphia (61.2, +0)
  7. New Orleans (60.8, +0)
  8. Atlanta (58.7, +2)
  9. Tennessee (58.2, +8)
  10. San Diego (57.6, +1)
  11. Houston (57.5, +1)
  12. Miami (56.8, -3)
  13. New England (56.6, -5)
  14. Kansas City (56.3, +4)
  15. Green Bay (52.0, +1)
  16. Dallas (51.5, -2)
  17. Tampa Bay (49.9, +6)
  18. Chicago (49.8, -3)
  19. Cincinnati (47.6, +0)
  20. Seattle (47.2, +5)
  21. Washington (47.0, +1)
  22. Oakland (46.2, +6)
  23. Denver (44.4, -10)
  24. Minnesota (44.4, -4)
  25. St. Louis (44.0, -4)
  26. Arizona (38.3, -2)
  27. Cleveland (36.2, +3)
  28. San Francisco (34.8, -2)
  29. Jacksonville (34.6, -2)
  30. Carolina (32.0, +1)
  31. Detroit (31.9, -2)
  32. Buffalo (21.7, +0)
Predictions for Week 7

Prediction accuracy for Week 6: 7-7 (50%)
Overall prediction accuracy: 23-19 (54.8%)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has a QB rating of 102 this season.
Buffalo (0-6) @ Kansas City (4-2): Kansas City by 7. Ryan Fitzpatrick may be playing well, but so is the Chiefs defense. This isn't an unwinnable game by the Bills, but the improving Chiefs offense should be able to score big against a struggling Bills defense while Ryan Fitzpatrick and a Bills running game led by Fred Jackson and rookie C.J. Spiller should struggle against a Chiefs defense that has played well all season long.

Jacksonville (3-4) @ Dallas (1-5): Dallas by 3. I think the Cowboys will want to rebound in this game, prove at home that they aren't as bad as their record suggests. It is no longer an issue of playoff dreams for the Cowboys, but a matter of pride. For the Jaguars, they must feel in over their heads. While I would find it hard to believe that they sleep over the "poor" Tony Romo-less Cowboys, I do not think they really have the talent to compete with them, let alone win.

Washington (4-3) @ Detroit (1-5): Detroit by 3. Upset alert! The Lions are coming off their bye and will want to win at home with a rejuvenated team, finally healthy. For the Redskins, you can't imagine they will be completely focused on the "bad" Lions when after their bye they have teams like the Eagles, Titans, and Vikings coming up. They key for Detroit will not be giving the Washington defense turnovers, like Jay Cutler and the Bears did.

Miami (3-3) @ Cincinnati (2-4): Miami by 7. This is a game that the Dolphins should win. The largest problem for the Dolphins will likely be Terrell Owens. The Dolphins have struggled to cover the #2 WR this season, with CB Jason Allen likely to cover him. Carson Palmer will have to beat Miami through the air - this doesn't seem to be a likely time for Cedric Benson to get better - Miami did a good job with the Pittsburgh rushing attack last Sunday. The Dolphins offense should be able to overcome a struggling Bengals defense. I like Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall in this matchup. The Bengals do have the offensive firepower to take down Miami, but their chances are not too good.

How will the Broncos respond after being humiliated by Oakland?
Denver (2-5) @ San Francisco (1-6): Denver by 3. The Broncos should win this game but it's hard to be sure of anything about this team anymore after they give up 59 points to the Raiders. San Francisco will have to set up the running game with Frank Gore if they want to give themselves a chance to win. Kyle Orton has to return to his accurate ways, he will not get away with another game under 50% completion.

Green Bay (4-3) @ New York J (5-1): New York J by 7. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Jets fall to the Pack, but I don't see it happening, especially in New York coming off the Jets' bye. Aaron Rodgers has struggled recently, and it will get no easier against the Jets defense. If the Packers are to win this game, they will need to step up on defense (much like the Vikings game last week). Forcing turnovers from Mark Sanchez will be the key to victory. Denver was able to do so Week 6, and that put them into a position to win. That's what the Packers hope to do - put themselves in a position to win at the end of the game.

Carolina (1-5) @ St. Louis (3-4): St. Louis by 7. The Panthers are coming off their first win, but they will now face the Rams at home after they are angry about blowing one against the Buccaneers. I do not expect Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to allow it to become two losses in a row. The Panthers are the worst of these two teams, and the Rams should be able to shut Carolina's offense down, then give them a strong dose of Steven Jackson rushing.

Tennessee (5-2) @ San Diego (2-5): San Diego by 3. Um... another upset alert, please? I'm not ready to give up on this team I guess, especially at home. I have to believe that eventually the Chargers will stop it with their stupid mistakes and put a complete game together. I do not believe the Titans will be able to run effectively with Chris Johnson (even though he may get over 100 due to them feeding him carries, as with the Jacksonville game), and whoever starts at QB will be facing one of the best pass defenses in the league.

Tampa Bay (4-2) @ Arizona (3-3): Arizona by 3. Upset alert. Arizona can win at home, being 2-0 at home this season. I have to believe they will put together a nice gameplan to bring down the overrated Buccaneers. They should do it the same way they have all season - force turnovers defensively, set up a consistent running game, and make just few enough mistakes passing to win the game.

Favre has thrown 10 interceptions this season, and has 5 fumbles.
Minnesota (2-4) @ New England (5-1): New England by 10. Minnesota's playoff hole looks to get even deeper in Week 8 against the Patriots. Luckily for them, their schedule looks to lighten significantly after this game but if they drop to 2-5, it may be too late. New England's defensive weakness is in the air, so Brett Favre will really need to play like last season if they want a chance to win this game... and for goodness' sake, stop turning the ball over. That's if he even plays at all, but we all know he will. Will be interesting to see Randy Moss's return to New England as an opponent.

Seattle (4-2) @ Oakland (3-4): Seattle by 7. Is it really bad that I don't know who to pick in this game? I chose to pick Seattle because I somewhat doubt that Oakland can lay out that kind of domination as last week two weeks in a row and not against a divisional opponent, but we'll see. Darren McFadden is a dangerous back for the Raiders, and could kill the Seahawks. But the Seahawks have been pretty good after their bye and seem to have finally gotten balanced on offense.

Pittsburgh (5-1) @ New Orleans (4-3): Pittsburgh by 3. It will be a close game, but I think the former-Champion's woes will continue. First of all, Pittsburgh will shut down the Saints run game. Without being able to run, Drew Brees will be forced to pass into a playmaking Steelers secondary. And if he threw four picks to the Browns, who knows what will happen against the Steelers.

Houston (4-2) @ Indianapolis (4-2): Indianapolis by 10. Historically, the Colts have been very good at home and you know they will be looking to put the Texans back in their place after the embarrassment they were handed Week 1 in Houston. The Texans will want to once again rely on Arian Foster. The weakness of the Colts defense is the run, Matt Schaub passing into this secondary would be just asking for a blow out. Peyton Manning will want to win this game, and put the Colts in a position to be the favorites in the AFC South... and he could do it against a Texans defense ranked last against the pass. If the Texans pull this off, though, it would surely shake up the AFC.

Byes: Atlanta (5-2), Baltimore (5-2), Chicago (4-3), Cleveland (2-5), New York G (4-2), Philadelphia (4-3)

Results of Last Week's Poll

Last week, I asked my readers "Which one-win team, if any, will make the playoffs?" between the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers or No one-win team will make the playoffs.

The result of the poll was a three-way tie between the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and No one-win team will make the playoffs, all at 33%. I voted that no one-win team will make the playoffs, and the one-win teams for the most part proved me right last week.

This week's poll is "Which team is most of a surprise this season, for better or worse?" between the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Minnesota Vikings.

Vote on the right-sidebar of my blog!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: Week 6 shakes up Top 10

For the most part, Week 6 was a game with good football. A few surprises, but for the most part very little has changed between the league's top teams. Let's see how this shakes up the power rankings. Added this week to my weekly post is the formulaic power rankings I introduced in a post earlier this week. My prediction accuracy also improved this week, maybe I'm on a roll!

Biggest Winner: Houston Texans (+5) 
Biggest Loser: Chicago Bears (-7) 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1, +1): While they only defeated the Browns, who were also starting a rookie QB, a Ravens loss and a strong showing from Ben Roethlisberger on his return makes me pretty confident with this #1 placing for the Steelers. Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers proved they were a good team. With Roethlisberger, the Steelers proved they are a great team. Great defense, good run game, and now, a good passing team. 

2. Baltimore Ravens (4-2, -1): Well, the mighty won't fall too fall after their overtime loss to the New England Patriots. The Ravens defense still played extremely well, limiting a good Patriots offense to 20 points in regulation, and forcing two interceptions from Patriots QB Tom Brady. It was puzzling they were unable to score more than 20 on offense, though. Joe Flacco played extremely well. Maybe Ray Rice still needs some time to recover from his injury, he needs to average more than 3.1 YPC. 

3. New York Jets (5-1, +1): It was scary for the Jets last week against Denver. After 5 weeks of no turnovers from QB Mark Sanchez, he threw not one but two last week against the Broncos. He's a lot better than he was last season, but he's still learning and he's still a young guy. Luckily for him, the Jets defense still is playing great and they can still run the ball well. Even without Darelle Revis at full, they were able to limit Kyle Orton to a mere 14 completions on 34 attempts. That's some good defense. 

4. Indianapolis Colts (4-2, +1): Winning a tough game on the road is a good sign from this Colts team. Especially when you consider the injuries that the Colts have sustained on both sides of the game, including S Bob Sanders (and his backup Melvin Bullitt) and now RB Joseph Addai. Even without WR Anthony Gonzalez, who is still out with his nagging injury, the Colts have one of the deepest WR core in the game. How do you cover Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Austin Collie at the same time? Quick answer... you can't. And you can count on Peyton Manning finding the open man. 

5. New York Giants (4-2, +2): Wow, how this team has responded to its poor 1-2 start is amazing. Facing an underrated Detroit team carrying huge momentum after destroying St. Louis, the Giants continue their win streak. They did not let the Lions run the ball, much like they did against the Texans, and Eli Manning continues his solid mistake-free play. Must be nice to live in New York right now, they have two great teams to root for. Is it too early to start talking about a New York - New York Super Bowl (in Dallas no less)? 

6. New England Patriots (4-1, +0): They proved they were worthy of the 6th spot I gave them last week with their big win over the former-#1 Baltimore Ravens. The thing that still concerns me about this team still is the toll on offense created by the lack of Randy Moss. Don't get me wrong, Deion Branch played great, even better than I expected. He may even be better for the accurate type of passer Tom Brady is... he has great hands and runs excellent routes. However, he does not get separation on deep routes and cannot stretch the field like Randy Moss can. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was not able to run the ball effectively, and there were no big-plays now that teams can play more men close to the line of scrimmage. 

7. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2, +2): If there is one team in the NFC that can rain on the Giants' parade, they need not look further than their own division. This Eagles team is scary. Andy Reid said it best - he is very lucky to have two good QBs. Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, I guess it doesn't matter, they'll find ways to win no matter what. Their only losses remain to be games in which their starting QB has gone down mid-game. One thing though... they better hope that the "severe concussion" that DeSean Jackson suffered won't sideline him for long ... he is a key component of this Eagles offense.

8. Atlanta Falcons (4-2, -4): It wasn't so much that they lost, it was how they lost which results in their drop from the Top 5 this week. It was things like Michael Turner's inability to get consistent yards while rushing... Things like Matt Ryan not being able to make key completions... Things like the Falcons defense unable to stop Kevin Kolb from completely lighting them up. They weren't just beaten, they were destroyed. They better be able to identify their mistakes before the Bengals come into town next week. 

9. New Orleans Saints (4-2, +3): Finally, we see some of the dominating play that made this team so special last season. Going into Tampa Bay and winning the way they did against a division opponent who had high hopes starting 3-1... big win. Drew Brees had a comeback game, avoiding throwing key interceptions and throwing for three touchdowns. They were also able to get back to running the ball even without Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, rookie Chris Ivory rushed for a ridiculous average of 10.5 YPC. 

10. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2, -2): Rounding off the Top 10 is yes, still, the Kansas City Chiefs. With how San Diego and the other teams in the AFC West has been playing, they are still the favorites to win this division despite the loss against the Texans and actually played very well. WR Dwayne Bowe made up for his drops last week with two touchdowns this week and if it were not for a horrible Defensive Passer Interference call (when it was actually Offense Passer Interference) on Brandon Flowers, they could have won this game. They should have won this game. Oh well, they can't cry over spilt milk, they need to lick their wounds and focus on their next opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

11. Houston Texans (4-2, +5): Well yes, while I did say they probably did not deserve the victory, they still played very well. Arian Foster got back to running the ball well, rushing for two touchdowns and Matt Schaub got back to his dominating passing performance, which may have something to do with elite WR Andre Johnson getting over his injury. Defense is still a major concern. Not only did the Chiefs run the ball with consistency, but Matt Cassel, who has been by all ways mediocre this season, had a 122.9 QB Rating against them. Like I said last week, until they can improve their pass defense, ANY team in the NFL is going to have a chance to beat them. What makes this even worse is the reports claiming LB DeMeco Ryans is out for the season. 

12. Tennessee Titans (4-2, +2): The Titans have been a team that is simply quietly winning games. They aren't making much noise, not many people are talking about them, but not many teams have executed as well consistently as the Tennessee Titans. They have one of the best RB in the league in Chris Johnson, and Vince Young is becoming a great starter. They hope he is okay after a scary injury against the Jaguars Monday night, but if he is not ready at least they have one of the best backup QB in the league, Kerry Collins, who can step in. 

13. Miami Dolphins (3-2, +2): You could say that all they did was defeat a beaten up Packers team, but winning games you are supposed to win is a major part of the game... the AFC East remains very competitive. The Dolphins are 3-0 on the road, sustaining both losses at home to division rivals. Brandon Marshall has improved this passing offense so much, he is really starting to build chemistry with QB Chad Henne. Also Dan "The Carp" Carpenter showed today why the Dolphins had confidence in him, he may be one of the best kickers in the game right now. 

14. Green Bay Packers (3-3, +0): If you're a Packers fan right now, you have to be really concerned with the impact of all these injuries are having on your football team. Aaron Rodgers was able to play, but he did not really play well with the losses on offense including Jermichael Finley. While its stats don't appear too bad, his completion percentage was way down against a tough Dolphins coverage unit, and his yardage was inflated by a torching TD reception by Greg Jennings. Hopefully they will get LB Clay Matthews back before their next game, a big one against the Vikings, because this game showed that the Packers defense cannot get any pressure on a QB whatsoever without him. 

15. Minnesota Vikings (2-3, +2): The Vikings did won the Panic Bowl, for whatever that's worth, against the Cowboys last week. But they'll need to continue this success if they want to turn this season around. They have a very hard schedule coming up, including a meeting against Brett Favre's former team and division rival, the Green Bay Packers, next week. One thing I really liked to see from this team last week was them relying on Adrian Peterson more. He got 24 carries, as opposed to Favre's 19 attempts (which Favre played well with, by the way). This is how this team is going to win football games, at least until Sidney Rice comes back... banging the ball with Peterson, setting up the play-action pass for Favre. 

16. San Diego Chargers (2-4, -5): I suppose I need to stop making excuses for this team... there is a reason why they are 2-4. Special Teams continues to be an issue for this team, and it has become a consistent problem for this team. These Special Teams woes continued against the Rams, who blocked a key Chargers field goal. Philip Rivers had his worst game of the season which really emphasizes Antonio Gates' importance to this offense. They better hope that the first-half injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game won't cause him to miss any additional games. 

17. Chicago Bears (4-2, -7): Maybe I should have trusted my better judgment last week when I ranked them 10th... I won't make the same mistake twice. Their great "legit" defense? Allowed 353 yards against a struggling Seahawks offense. I'm not saying they aren't legit, because they are, but they aren't as good as some make them out to be. On offense, they are just as bad as always. Jay Cutler played okay, made some big plays, but was still inconsistent. The offensive line still remains a HUGE problem. They allowed another six sacks of Jay Cutler, a guy coming off a concussion, one for a Safety. And they failed to run the ball effectively at all, yet again. Only 12 rushing attempts, for only 42 yards. And that's including a 24-yard run by Chester Taylor. They even had a Special Teams touchdown thanks to Devin Hester, but that still couldn't push them over the edge. They just aren't that good.

18. Washington Redskins (3-3, +0): I think I had them in the right place last week, honestly. They actually had some promising plays against the Colts on Sunday Night, they remain to be a team that is executing very well. Ryan Torain played a lot better (even if it was against a Colts defense that struggles against the run), but they will still be very happy to get Clinton Portis back in a couple of weeks. The NFC is still wide-open, but they would feel a lot better if they weren't in the NFC East.

19. Denver Broncos (2-4, +0): Despite falling to the Jets last week, they remain to be a very underrated, and dare I say dangerous team. I must say that I'm a bit disappointed with Kyle Orton's performance against the Jets, I thought he would be a little more accurate than he was, but that may be more of a tribute to the Jets' great pass defense than Orton's failure. Tim Tebow's first touchdown in the NFL was a memorable one, too bad it didn't include a victory. Nice job by the Broncos defense by forcing Mark Sanchez's first turnovers of the season. 

20. Seattle Seahawks (3-2, +2): They came out hot off their bye, defeating the 4-1 Chicago Bears in a spectacular fashion. They were able to set up a running game against a good Chicago defense, sporting their new RB duo of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett for the first time. While Lynch's first game as a Seahawk didn't carry too much fruit, it did include a few receptions and a touchdown, and he proved he could carry the majority of the workload for this Seahawks team. 

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, -1): Leave it to the Super Bowl champions to bring the Buccaneers back to Earth after their 3-1 start. They may have three wins, but in all of their real challenges, they have lost (and in terrible fashion, too). Cadillac Williams has 2.5 YPC on the season. This isn't enough to take the pressure off of young QB Josh Freeman, this offense quite simply cannot score points against good defenses. They rely on defensive turnovers, and a football team should not be relying on turnovers to win games. Eventually their record will even out. This Buccaneers team is better than last season's Buccaneers team, but they aren't a real contender quite yet. 

22. Arizona Cardinals (3-2, +1): It is good for them that they are coming off their bye week, because their next game is probably the most important game of their season so far, going to Seattle to battle for division supremacy. The question is, which Cardinals team will show up? The Cardinals who took down the World Champions, or the Cardinals that were blown out by the Chargers and Falcons?

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3, +0): This Jacksonville secondary continues to get lit up by every and all Quarterbacks they face. What's more, they are killing themselves offensively, they turned the ball over four times against the Titans on Monday night. Trent Edwards showed why the Bills were so confident cutting him... he was downright awful when he was forced to come into the game due to David Garrard's injury. This Jaguars teams seems to have too many weaknesses to really compete, at least this season. They are playing in probably the hardest division in football, the AFC South, and all of their rivals are clearly better.

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-4, +0): For the losers of the Panic Bowl, the season is looking to get even more and more out of reach. With a 1-4 record and an intensely difficult schedule in front of them, they will need to be nothing short of amazing for the rest of the season if they even want to finish at .500. Wade Phillips has lost his team, and this team has lost its confidence. For arguably one of the most talented teams in the NFL, they are also likely the least disciplined. Mistakes, penalties, and turnovers are the reason they are 1-4. 

25. St. Louis Rams (3-3, +4): They dared to be great, and succeeded, beating a good Chargers team. The key was solid defensive play and tough running by RB Steven Jackson. They aren't the most talented team in the NFL, but they are in a division where anything can happen. Next week, they will play another overachieving team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will be a game that the team who wants it more will win.

26. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3, -1): This upcoming week, the struggling Bengals, coming off their bye, will travel to a hostile Atlanta environment to take on the Falcons. This is a team that had high hopes coming into this season, but has struggled due to inconsistent QB play from Carson Palmer, and seemed to have abandoned the Cedric Benson-led running game that led to their success last season. They were 10-6 last season because of solid defensive play, few offensive mistakes, and a tough running game. They must get back to this if they want to turn this season around.

27. Detroit Lions (1-5, +0): They are headed in the right direction behind head coach Jim Schwartz. They may be 1-5, but their schedule thus far has been absolutely brutal. The bye week will help them a lot, since this gives a chance for RB Jahvid Best to get healthy and QB Matthew Stafford will finally return after his Week 1 shoulder injury. They played tough against the Giants, exceeding even my expectations for them. Looking at their schedule and considering their injuries, they have a chance to win several more games by the end of this season. 

28. San Francisco 49ers (1-5, +2): Getting their first win of the season must feel good, but they have a lot of work to do. As sad as it is, the NFC West isn't out of reach for the one-win 49ers, who still have five of their six division games still in front of them. And they have a legitimate chance to extend their win-streak to two games, as they travel to Carolina to face the still-winless Panthers. One thing they need to do is get Frank Gore involved in the game more. They are ranked 28th in rushing, this needs to improve for a team like the 49ers. 

29. Oakland Raiders (2-4, -3): Now I see how Jason Campbell lost his job to Bruce Gradkowski to begin with. When your QB goes 8 out of 21 for a mere 83 yards (while throwing two interceptions in the process), that is a very real problem. You won't win many games when you score only 9 points. They hope that Darren McFadden and Bruce Gradkowski will be ready to go by next Sunday, because this offense desperately needs them. Or maybe they will give up, by, I don't know, saying all of their players are for trade?

30. Cleveland Browns (1-5, -2): No one expected the Browns to beat the Steelers, and this team seemed content with meeting expectations. It's safe to say that Colt McCoy wasn't quite ready for his first NFL start, they need Seneca Wallace to come back quickly from his injury. Also, their defense allowed Ben Roethlisberger throw for 257 yards and three touchdowns against them in his first game of the season. Are the Browns better than they were last season? Yeah, probably. But they still have a lot of work to do. 

31. Carolina Panthers (0-5, +0): Will it be the Panthers' turn to get their first win of the season? Possibly at home coming off a bye against the 1-5 49ers, but the only thing I'm going to say is that a victory will have more to do with how well the Carolina offensive line is able to play, rather than which crappy QB John Fox decides to start. 

32. Buffalo Bills (0-5, +0): I wonder if the Bills Front Office are kicking themselves for passing up on Perry Fewell for Chan Gailey on their Head Coaching decision this offseason. Because this team hasn't won and quite honestly, doesn't look like its going to win anytime soon. There were some talks about them shopping Lee Evans, but it looks like they're going to keep their current roster instead of trying to trade more players to try to rebuild for next season. Would have been amusing, though, since this would've caused their starting QB, RB, and WR at the beginning of the season no longer with the team by Week 6.

Formulaic Power Rankings

These Power Rankings are formula-based, the exact formula and explanation on how it is calculated can be found here on my blog.

Formulaic Biggest Winner: Miami Dolphins (+7) 
Formulaic Biggest Loser: Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

  1. New York Giants (68.8, +3)
  2. Baltimore (66.2, +0)
  3. New York Jets (65.5, +1)
  4. Pittsburgh (65.3, -3)
  5. Indianapolis (64.6, +2)
  6. Philadelphia (62.8, +5)
  7. New Orleans (62.4, +6)
  8. New England (61.8, +4)
  9. Miami (61.2, +7)
  10. Atlanta (61.1, -7)
  11. San Diego (57.8, -5)
  12. Houston (56.3, +5)
  13. Denver (52.3, +2)
  14. Dallas (51.8, +0)
  15. Chicago (50.9, -6)
  16. Green Bay (50.3, -6)
  17. Tennessee (49.9, +4)
  18. Kansas City (48.3, -10)
  19. Cincinnati (47.6, +0)
  20. Minnesota (46.8, +2)
  21. St. Louis (45.3, +5)
  22. Washington (43.7, -2)
  23. Tampa Bay (43.0, -5)
  24. Arizona (42.5, +0)
  25. Seattle (42.3, +3)
  26. San Francisco (39.7, +4)
  27. Jacksonville (39.3, -2)
  28. Oakland (36.9, -5)
  29. Detroit (34.3, +0)
  30. Cleveland (32.2, -3)
  31. Carolina (25.3, +0)
  32. Buffalo (19.2, +0)
Predictions for Week 7

Prediction accuracy for Week 6: 10-4 (71.4%)
Overall prediction accuracy: 16-12 (57.1%) 

Cincinnati (2-3) @ Atlanta (4-2): Atlanta by 7. The Falcons will work hard to avoid two straight losses, and the Bengals have not been able to emulate their success after their vastly overrated season last year. I expect the Falcons to get back on track, running the ball well with Michael Turner and forcing a turnover or two from Carson Palmer.

Will Ben Roethlisberger's resurgent return continue?
Pittsburgh (4-1) @ Miami (3-2): Pittsburgh by 3. Unfortunately, I expect the Dolphins' homefield woes to continue for another game against the visiting Steelers. It will likely be a low-scoring affair, both teams have solid defenses against the run and the pass. The winning team will be the one that makes the least mistakes. The key for the Dolphins will be forcing turnovers from a likely-rusty Ben Roethlisberger, while trying to get a passing game going with Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall. The Steelers will have to set up the run with Reshard Mendenhall, who did not run well against the Browns. They will also need to get pressure on Chad Henne, who is very deadly when he has time to throw.

Buffalo (0-5) @ Baltimore (4-2): Baltimore by 14. If there was ever a game that Ray Rice could bounce back, it would be against the visiting Buffalo Bills whom are winless and 32nd against the run this season. Should be a nice bounce-back game for the Ravens, who fell to the Patriots last week.

Jacksonville (3-3) @ Kansas City (3-2): Kansas City by 3. Kansas City's solid defense should be able to contain Maurice Jones-Drew, and if that happens, I think Matt Cassel will have a good day against a poor Jacksonville secondary. The Chiefs played well on the road against the Texans and Colts, despite losing those games, and will want to avoid their third straight loss against an AFC South opponent.

The Saints want to continue their dominating performance against Cleveland.
Cleveland (1-5) @ New Orleans (4-2): New Orleans by 10. Should be another easy victory by the Saints. I say "should be" because the Saints have had trouble putting teams away this season (except last week) and the Browns can be a dangerous team. For the Browns, they would feel a lot better about this game if Seneca Wallace is able to go, Colt McCoy did not play well against Pittsburgh and it is doubtful he would do too much better against New Orleans.

Washington (3-3) @ Chicago (4-2): Chicago by 3. Tough game to predict, either of these teams could win with all their inconsistencies. I'll give Chicago the edge at home and with the superior defense. I also think Jay Cutler will put up good numbers against a Washington secondary ranked 31st against the pass (but of course, he will probably get sacked a few times too).

San Francisco (1-5) @ Carolina (0-5): San Francisco by 7. The 49ers defense is quite solid and I doubt with Carolina's offensive line problems they will be able to run or pass very effectively. If they can set up the run early with Frank Gore, and Alex Smith can avoid costly turnovers, I like San Francisco in this game. Then again, this may be the Panthers' best chance so far this season to get their elusive first win... both teams are hungry. And the Panthers are coming off their bye... who knows.

St. Louis (3-3) @ Tampa Bay (3-2): Tampa Bay by 3. In games like this, I need to go with the home team but honestly, it could go either way. Both teams have over-performed this season given their roster talent, and are in contention for a playoff spot in an NFC that is as wide open. Both teams have a chance to strengthen their playoff claim in this game... the real question is: which team wants it more?

Philadelphia (4-2) @ Tennessee (4-2): Philadelphia by 3. This will be a close game, but it is one I think that the Eagles will pull out of with the win. The Titans defense has already been torched this season by Eli Manning, Kyle Orton, and Tony Romo... why not add Kevin Kolb and/or Michael Vick to that list? For the Eagles, they will need to contain Chris Johnson if they want to be victorious. Although they have been better recently, they have struggled to contain the run this season and Chris Johnson is easily the most talented running back (and best offensive line blocking for him) they have played all season.

Arizona (3-2) @ Seattle (3-2): Seattle by 3. I'll probably regret this pick later since the Seahawks have been like Jackle-and-Hide this season, but I do like the Seahawks in this game, a battle for NFC West supremacy (whatever that means, since the NFC West is easily the worst division in football). The Cardinals struggle on the road and I question if the Cardinals defense can win a game that their defense doesn't force many turnovers. I like Marshawn Lynch in this matchup to come out and have a big game for his new team.

Oakland (2-4) @ Denver (2-4): Denver by 10. The Broncos are a lot better than their 2-4 record would suggest, and Mile High Stadium is one of the hardest places for visiting teams to win in the NFL. I believe Kyle Orton-led Denver offense will be able to get back on track against the Raiders.

New England (4-1) @ San Diego (2-4): San Diego by 3. Upset alert! Even at 2-4, San Diego has not lost at home yet this season. And they have to get over all this under-performing at some point this season... right? If they study the defensive gameplan of the Ravens against the new-Patriots offense and get back on track offensively (and get Antonio Gates back from injury) I believe the Chargers will get the win at home. Philip Rivers has the ability to absolutely torch the New England defense. Of course, if this game were at New England, I'd probably pick New England by 21.

Clay Matthews is an integral part of the Packers defense.
Minnesota (2-3) @ Green Bay (3-3): Minnesota by 3. Wow, what a match-up for Sunday Night Football... Vikings and Packers, one of the best rivalries in recent history magnified by the Brett Favre saga last year and now both teams are struggling to stay in the division hunt with three losses. Even if Clay Matthews comes back, I expect Minnesota to pound the Packers defense running the ball with Adrian Peterson with Green Bay's injury woes continuing to haunt them. To win this, Green Bay will need to shut down the run, force turnovers from Brett Favre, and find a way for Aaron Rodgers to get into a rhythm since it is unlikely Green Bay will be able to run too well against the Vikings.

New York Giants (4-2) @ Dallas (1-4): New York Giants by 7. The Giants have been playing great football as of late. If they are able to shut down the dual running threat Dallas possesses between Marion Barber and Felix Jones, the Giants should be able to force turnovers from Tony Romo. Offensively, the Giants should be able to run the ball with Ahmad Bradshaw. Eli Manning will need to avoid mistakes. Basically, the Giants will need to beat the Cowboys the same way every other team has beaten the Cowboys this season... by forcing them to make costly mistakes.

Byes: Detroit (1-5), Houston (4-2), Indianapolis (4-2), New York Jets (5-1)

Results of Last Week's Poll

Last week, I asked my readers "Which long-term injury sustained this season will be most of a problem for their team moving forward?" between Jermichael Finley of the Packers, Michael Clayton of the Rams, Sidney Rice of the Vikings, Ryan Grant of the Packers, or Clinton Portis of the Redskins.

The winner of the poll was Ryan Grant with 50% of the vote, with second place belonging to the Sidney Rice with 33%, and third belonging to Jermichael Finley. Even though I voted for Sidney Rice, I think last week really proved Jermichael Finley's importance to that Packers team. Aaron Rodgers struggled to complete passes without him.

This week's poll is "Which one-win team, if any, will make the playoffs?" between the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers or No one-win team will make the playoffs.

Vote on the right-sidebar of my blog!