Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 10

After a week break, the Top 12 is back.  And with two games taking place between our rankings, there's a ton of activity on the board with teams flying up and down.  Here's the damage after 14 days away…


#1 – San Francisco 49ers

After a slow start, the Niners have been quietly pummeling their competition.

Last Week: 4      Change: +3       Record: 6-2       Next Game: vs. Panthers


#2 – Denver Broncos

In the next four weeks, the Broncos will play three road games.  They go @SD, vs. KC, @NE, @KC.  This will be a very telling stretch for Denver.

Last Week: 3      Change: +1       Record: 8-1   Next Game: @ Chargers


#3 – Indianapolis Colts

I almost dropped the Colts for a sloppy win over the Texans, but the rest of the field surrounding them played worse, and so the Colts rise. 

Last Week: 5      Change: +2       Record: 6-2      Next Game: vs. Rams


#4 – Kansas City Chiefs

KC gets a week of rest before it's first true test of the season against Denver.  10-0 will be very tough to come by.

Last Week: 7      Change: +2       Record: 9-0     Next Game: Bye Week


#5 – New England Patriots

The Patriots appear to be quietly gearing up for a big finish after a rocky start.  Don't sleep on this Patriots team.

Last Week: 9      Change: +4       Record: 7-2      Next Game: Bye Week


#6 – Seattle Seahawks

The Hawks have won the past two weeks, but it's been incredibly ugly.  Style points count in the Top 12 and Seattle has been in the negative lately.

Last Week: 1      Change: -5       Record: 8-1       Next Game: @ Falcons


#7 – New Orleans Saints

The Saints don't look nearly as invincible as they once did after that loss to the Jets. 

Last Week: 2      Change: -5       Record: 6-2      Next Game: vs. Cowboys


#8 – Detroit Lions

Look out, the Lions may have just had the door opened for them to the NFC North title.  What are the odds they slam it shut on their own fingers?

Last Week: 10      Change: +2      Record: 5-3    Next Game: @ Bears


#9 - Cincinnati Bengals

A bad loss to the Phins this week.  Their losses on the D-line have been even worse.

Last Week: 8      Change: -1       Record: 6-3  Next Game: @ Ravens


#10 – Green Bay Packers

This precipitous drop has everything to do with Aaron Rodger's collar bone.

Last Week: 6      Change: -5       Record: 5-3    Next Game: vs. Eagles


#11 – Chicago Bears

The Bears continue to hang around in the NFC North, as well as the 8-12 area of the Top 12.

Last Week: 12      Change: +1      Record: 5-3     Next Game: vs. Lions


#12 – Carolina Panthers

San Diego played its way off the board.  I almost considered putting the Jets here until I remembered their two bogus wins over Tampa and New England and the fact that they really should be 3-6.  The last spot then goes to Carolina, who will need to show up against the #1 team this week to stay here.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 5-3       Next Game: @ 49ers


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 10

After a week in Europe and a hurricane, I'm back with this week's Top 12!


#1 – Atlanta Falcons

I toyed with dropping Atlanta after a less-than-stellar performance against Dallas, but ultimately, I have to respect the undefeated record. 

Last Week: 1      Change: 0      Record: 8-0       Next Game: vs. Saints


#2 – Chicago Bears

The Bears made a serious argument for taking the top spot in their spanking of Tennessee.  This team is on fire.

Last Week: 3    Change: +1      Record: 7-1     Next Game: vs. Texans


#3 – Houston Texans

Was I wrong for dropping the Texans a spot?  We will find out on Sunday.  Whoever is ranked higher between Houston and Chicago next week won't be due to simple opinion.

Last Week: 2      Change: -1       Record: 7-1       Next Game: @ Bears


#4 – San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco comes off the bye looking to cement their dominance of the NFC West by defeating the Rams. 

Last Week: 5      Change: +1       Record: 6-2       Next Game: vs. Rams


#5 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers enter the bye week on a high note, but still have to figure out a way to overtake the Bears.

Last Week: 6      Change: +1       Record: 6-3      Next Game: Bye Week


#6 – New England Patriots

The Patriots are coming off the bye week looking strong.  They thrashed the Rams and the signing of Aquib Talib may be the recipe for what's been ailing New England.

Last Week: 6      Change: 0       Record: 5-3       Next Game: vs. Bills


#7 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh is coming on strong down the stretch and making a legit run at the AFC North.

Last Week: 12      Change: +5       Record: 5-3      Next Game: vs. Chiefs


#8 – New York Giants

Dropping four spots is a bit tough for the 6-3 G-Men, but with the teams above them performing well, it's the #8 position for them this week.

Last Week: 4      Change: -4       Record: 6-3       Next Game: @ Bengals


#9 – Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning is starting to make believers out of us all again.

Last Week: 10     Change: +1     Record: 5-3      Next Game: @ Panthers


#10 – Denver Broncos

A close win against Cleveland?  Color me unimpressed.   The Ravens have not looked very good since their rash of injuries and have a lot of tough games left on the slate.

Last Week: 9   Change: -1      Record: 6-2       Next Game: vs. Raiders


#11 – Seattle Seahawks

The Hawks are hanging in there for the 6th NFC playoff spot.  If they can take care of business against the Jets, it will go a long way towards holding down that spot.

Last Week: 11      Change: 0       Record: 5-4     Next Game: vs. Jets


#12 – Pittsburgh Steelers

The Colts are currently the surprise feel-good story of the season.  Let's see if they can hold onto that title a little longer than the Cardinals and Vikings did.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 5-3       Next Game: @ Jaguars


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 10

There’s chaos brewing on the board this week, with teams flying up and down all over the place.  Both Pittsburgh and New England plummet four positions, but not as far as the Bills who went from #7 last week, to off the board this time around.  Then there’s the Giants who have strung together some impressive wins and are rewarded with a swift climb up the rankings.  And despite all the volatility last week, there’s no way of telling what we’re in for now as 8 of our 12 teams are going head to head this week.
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 9-0 vs. Buccaneers
The Packers dominated the Vikings, finally laying an undeniable smack down on an inferior team.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2

logo

3 +1 8-1 vs. Cardinals
If there was any doubt that the Niners are for real, it was erased on Sunday when they took down the Giants and proved that I was wrong for pegging them #3 last week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 2 -1 6-3 vs. Eagles
No shame in losing a close game on the road to a solid team.  The Giants still have my respect for their win at Gillette.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 6 +2 7-3 Bye Week
As do the Steelers for their win over New England.  Pittsburgh may have lost to Baltimore twice this season, but at least they haven’t blown multiple gimmee games against teams like Seattle.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5

logo

8 +3 6-3 vs. Chiefs
Without question the win over the Jets on Sunday night was the best Patriots victory since…   Well, the last time they routed the Jets on National TV.  Shame on anyone who doubted them these past few weeks.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 7 +1 7-3 Bye Week
The Saints pulled out a big win on the road to cement their dominance of the division – just not as impressive as the Patriots’ big win on the road to cement their dominance of the division.  Spots 3-7 could really go in any order, so that’s my logic for this one.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 4 -3 6-3 vs. Bengals
The Ravens show up against the good teams and completely fall apart against the bottom-feeders.  Sorry, I want to respect them, but they are giving me every reason not to with their inconsistency.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 10 +2 6-3 @ Ravens
The Bengals looked solid in Pittsburgh, but couldn’t get the job done.  If they want to be taken seriously in the AFC North, they absolutely must pull out a tough road win over Baltimore.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 0 7-3 Bye Week
The Texans would be right up near the top had they not lost Matt Schaub for the season. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo N/A N/A 6-3 vs. Chargers
Suddenly, the Bears are back from the dead and are looking like they may just be the only thing that stands between Green Bay and a 16-0 season.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 0 5-4 vs. Titans
The Falcons almost had their big win, but couldn’t pull it out in overtime.  Still, given their division, I think they have the inside track for the 2nd wild card spot over the 3rd place NFC North team.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 5 -7 6-3 vs. Panthers
Which brings us to the Lions, who are in a bit of a tailspin after that 5-0 start.  A 1-3 follow up is pretty disappointing and is bringing some doubt into that playoff spot they seemed to all but have locked up a few weeks back.


+1
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 10

It’s a strange week for the Top 12.  The Top 6 teams are all the same, but none of them are in the same spot they were last week.  Then there’s a stagnant group in the middle, followed by a little shifting of the bottom three spots.   This week’s big riser is the Patriots, who whupped on the Steelers, and the big faller is the G-Men after their disheartening loss to Dallas.  Only the Titans, losers of two straight, fell off the board.  Replacing them is a team you might now expect.  Oh, and there’s a new #1 team as well.  You’ll never guess who…

Or maybe you will…

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 5 4 7-2 vs. Colts
After a bad loss dropped them out of the #1 spot, an even bigger win has the Patriots back at the top of the standings.  Even the best of teams have a bad game every now and then.  What makes a great team, is being able to bounce back from that adversity, and New England did just that on the road against a tough Steelers team.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 4 2 7-2 @ Rams
Don’t look now, but the Falcons are quickly on their way to the NFC’s #1 seed.  You put them in the dome during the playoffs and they’ll be a very tough “out”.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 1 2 6-3 @ Panthers
You can’t fault Baltimore too much for losing to a quality team like Atlanta.  Two of their three losses are to this week’s Top 2 teams. But to be the best, the Ravens will have to learn to beat the best.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 6 2 7-2 vs. Texans
Another garbage win for the Jets.  Their luck will run out eventually.  I think Week 13 @New England is a pretty safe bet.  They rise two spots after their bogus victories against Detroit and Cleveland, but only becuase the Steelers and Giants laid eggs, and the #7 and #8 teams were on a bye.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 3 2 6-3 vs. Oakland
If Pittsburgh doesn’t get that O-line fixed, their Super Bowl hopes will go up in smoke.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 2 4 6-3 @ Eagles
The Giants left the door to the NFC East wide open by losing to Dallas.  Now we’ll see if Philly walks right through it this weekend.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 7 N/A 6-3 vs. Seahawks
Not a whole lot to say this week.  The Saints hold firm on their week off.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 8 N/A 6-3 @ Vikings
As do the Packers.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 N/A 6-3 @ Patriots
I wanted to raise Indy a bit, because #9 just seems to low.  Still, the win over the reeling Bengals was less then overwhelming.  If they win the Brady/Manning bowl, I’ll be sure to give them a nice lift.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 11 1 6-3 vs. Giants
The Eagles are my new frisky team after Houston and Tennessee have fallen to pieces of late.  Don’t sleep on them.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 12 1 5-4 vs. Bears
Miami pulled out a big win, edging out theh playoff hopeful, Tennessee Titans.  Still, with their tough schedule, I don’t see how they end up with a Wild Card spot.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 4-5 vs. Broncos
A sub-.500 team in the Top 12 after Week 10?  Yup.  There were any number of teams I could place here – Oakland, Chicago, Tampa, Tennesse, Jacksonville.  But at the end of the day, do you really believe any of those teams are better than the Chargers?  I don’t.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 10

This week was supposed to be the triumphant return of the Patriots to the top of the NFL rankings.  Heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday Night’s game, you would’ve been declared certifiably insane to not regard New England as the league’s #1 team.  Even though the Saints remained undefeated, their recent narrow-escapes with teams like Miami, Carolina, and, of all teams, St. Louis, clearly hurt the “invicible” status they held during the season’s first month. Yes, with the Patriots piling it on the Colts like Rex Ryan at the Sizzler buffet, it seemed like all was finally right in this fan’s football world.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I won’t relive the horrific details which have been beaten to death on this blog already, but needless to say, what was once an easy ballot to fill, has left me racking my brain for three days.  You see, I honestly believe that the Patriots are a better team than the Colts.  Yet at the same time, that could easily just be my bias talking as the Colts have clearly had the better of the Pats during the second half of this decade.  If the Patriots are so much better, then why have we dropped five of the last six to Indy?  On the flip side, one could argue that had the Patriots’ entire team not had the flu in the AFC title game, had Dave Thomas not killed Matt Cassel’s game-winning drive with an egregious unncessary roughness penalty last season, and had Bill Belichick not coached this team like a complete ninny in the fourth quarter, then we’re talking about how the Patriots have completely owned the Colts in the 00′s.  But then I start sounding like a Steelers fan, coming up with lame excuses for my teams short-comings in big games, and I just want to hurt myself.

So you see, either way I call this thing, I lose.  I either rank a team that I believe with all my heart are beyond over-rated above my beloved Patriots, going against all my principles and actually over-rating them myself, or I come off as a complete homer, ranking a 6-3 team above a 9-0 team that just beat them this week.  Dillemmas, dillemmas…

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 7 6 7-2 @ Raiders
Which team had the most impressive victory last week?  Which team could be 8-1 if not for a freak play against Denver?  Which team is 5-0 in its division, which just happens to be the best division in football?  It’s time for people to stop down-playing the Bengals just because they’re the Bengals.  Now watch them go and lose to the Raiders this week…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 1 1 9-0 @ Buccaneers
Bottom line, if you truly are the best team in the league, you shouldn’t need a kickoff return for a touchdown to beat the lowly Rams.  I don’t care if they were “taking it easy”, that’s not championship football.  New Orleans is ripe for a fall.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 3 None 9-0 @ Ravens
Vomit.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 3 1 6-3 vs. Jets
I had plenty of reasons to put the Patriots ahead of the Colts.  Yet when push came to shove, the Colts have found numrous ways to rally from behind this season, while the Patriots have found numrous ways to lose their lead.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 5 None 8-1 vs. Seahawks
And the cupcakes keep on coming.  The Vikings are really going to actually beat a good team before they move any higher.  And no, last-second hail Mary’s agsint the Niners, and missed field goald by Baltimore dont’ count.  I’m talking about decisive victory.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 2 6-3 @ Chiefs
The Steelers have a pretty cushy schedule the rest of the way, but do have two games against the Ravens.  If they drop both of those, it could knock them out of the post-season.  The defending champs are a mere 1-2 in the AFC North right now.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 10 3 6-3 @ Broncos
Whoever wins the matchup this Sunday will likely take the AFC West.  Call me a front-runner, but I’m taking the team that’s won four in a row over the team that’s lost three straight.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 8 None 6-3 vs. Redskins
It just seems wrong to give Dallas a free pass after a loss against Green Bay, but they’re still in the driver’s seat in the NFC East.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo N/A N/A 6-3 vs. Rams
Well look who showed up to the party!  They’ve won 5 out of 6 and have the most pathetic of teams left on their plate.  Two vs. the Rams, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee, and San Fran.  If they can rally in their one tough game against Minnesota, they may find themselves with a bye-week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 12 3 5-4 vs. Colts
This one’s a must-win for Baltimore.  The Colts are banged up.  They’re playing at home.  If they don’t pull this off, nothing less than a season sweep against Pitssburgh will save their season.   
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 6 2 6-3 vs. Chargers
The Broncos are in a free fall.  Luckily for them, a win next week changes everything.  On the flip side, a loss sends them to the glue factory.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 9 3 5-4 @ Giants
I really believe that Atlanta’sa good team, which is why they’re on this list instead of 3-4 other worthy teams.  However, the G-Men are coming off a bye week and have got to be hungry after dropping four straight.  Big statement game for the dirty birds, and one that could put them in or out of the playoffs.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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