Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 8

For the first time in a long time, the twelve teams in the Top 12 all managed to stay on the board.  We also have a new #1 with Denver suffering its first loss.  We had one team rise five spots and one team fall five spots.   You really don't want to know who fell…


#1 – Seattle Seahawks

The top spot was up for grabs with Denver losing.  Seattle and New Orleans were the prime candidates to take over, and I ultimately went with the team that actually played last week and won.

Last Week: 3      Change: +2       Record: 6-1       Next Game: @ Rams


#2 – New Orleans Saints

A Saints/Seahawks NFC Championship is a distinct possibility.  Home field advantage may play a big role in who ultimately goes to New York.

Last Week: 2      Change: 0       Record: 5-1   Next Game: vs. Bills


#3 – Denver Broncos

Denver's offense looks great, but I have big questions of what will happen when they run into more solid teams than the scrubs they've been pummelling each week. 

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


#4 – San Francisco 49ers

I mentioned the Hawks and Saints above, but let's not discount the defending conference champs.  The NFC playoffs are going to be amzing…

Last Week: 5      Change: +1       Record: 5-2     Next Game: @ Jaguars


#5 – Indianapolis Colts

The Colts get a big leap up the board.  That's the prize for being the team that's knocked off Seattle, Denver, and San Fran.  The fact that the Colts are 5-2 and not 2-5 after those games is impressive.

Last Week: 10      Change: +5       Record: 5-2      Next Game: Bye Week


#6 – Green Bay Packers

Sooner than expected after that 1-2 start, the Pack are at the top of the division.

Last Week: 6      Change: 0       Record: 4-2       Next Game: @ Vikings


#7 – Kansas City Chiefs

7-0 is 7-0, but the Chiefs have yet to beat anyone of real substance.  That win over a reeling Houston team was less than convincing. 

Last Week: 7      Change: 0       Record: 7-0      Next Game: vs. Browns


#8 – Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals don't look like a team that will blow most opponents out, but they should be there week in and week out.

Last Week: 8      Change: 0      Record: 5-2    Next Game: vs. Jets


#9 – New England Patriots

Just to clarify, this ranking has nothing to do with the fact that they lost to the Jets.  I consider the outcome of that game to be highly fraudulant.  This week, I'm treating the Pats as if they had won that game, and yes, I'm still dropping them five spots.  The defensive injuries and offensive execution need time to heal and improve, regardless of the win/loss column.

Last Week: 4      Change: -5       Record: 5-2   Next Game: vs. Dolphins


#10 – Detroit Lions

And Detroit lets another big opportunity slip away…   They look good enough for a playoff spot this year, but they clearly are lacking the killer instint to impose their will on this season.

Last Week: 11      Change: +1       Record: 4-3    Next Game: vs. Cowboys


#11 – San Diego Chargers

The Bolts have the makings of a sneaky playoff team.  Still, it will be tough sledding since they have four games against Denver and KC on their schedule this year.

Last Week: 12      Change: +1      Record: 4-3     Next Game: Bye Week


#12 – Chicago Bears

For now, the Bears remain in the Top 12.  Although I suspect they won't be long for these rankings.  The most likely reason they'll be back on the board is that they have a bye week on tap.

Last Week: 10      Change: -2       Record: 4-3       Next Game: Bye Week


 

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 8

This week's edition of the Top 12 features a few small changes from last week.  There was some shuffling around of a few spots, and a new team at the #12 spot to replace the Cardinals, but no major rises or falls.  I'm heading to London this week with the Patriots, so there will not be a Top 12 next week.  I hope you all find a way to manage over the next 14 days without a dose of my completely arbitrary rankings.


#1 – Atlanta Falcons

Somtimes, the best thing you can do is not play a game.  The Falcons did nothing in the past seven days to make me respect them any less.  They keep the top spot this week. 

Last Week: 1      Change: 0      Record: 6-0       Next Game: @ Eagles


#2 – Houston Texans

If the Texans had pulled off a win like that against a non-decimated Ravens team, then that may have been a reason to bump them back up to #1.  However, a win over a decimated Ravens team is only good for a one-spot bump.

Last Week: 3     Change: +1      Record: 5-1     Next Game: Bye Week


#3 – Chicago Bears

When the season started, I thought my Top 5 of San Fran, Green Bay, Houston, Baltimore, and New England would be nearly untouchable.  How wrong was I?  Here come the Bears, not only breaking the Top 5, but planted firmly in the middle of it.

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


#4 – New York Giants

The G-Men pulled out the win, but a true #2 team shouldn't have needed a last-minute touchdown to beat the Skins.  Thus the drop to #4.

Last Week: 2      Change: -2       Record: 5-2       Next Game: @ Cowboys


#5 – San Francisco 49ers

San Fran's fall has nothing to do with their performance against Seattle, and everything to do with Chicago's strong run the past four games, as well as the fact that it's way too soon to rank them ahead of the Giants after that drubbing a few weeks ago.

Last Week: 4      Change: -1       Record: 5-2      Next Game: @ Cardinals


#6 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers seems to have settled the ship a bit, but that doesn't mean that their running game and defense issues have been completely put to rest.

Last Week: 6      Change: 0       Record: 4-3       Next Game: vs. Jaguars


#7 – New England Patriots

I have to believe that as the season rolls on, the Patriots are going to fix their 4th quarter woes.  However, until they do, I'm going to have a hard time justifying putting them much higher than this.

Last Week: 7      Change: 0       Record: 4-3      Next Game: @ Rams


#8 – Minnesota Vikings

The NFC North title isn't completely out of the question, but even if they don't take the top spot, there would be very few fans in Minnesota who'd complain about their likely Wild Card position.

Last Week: 9      Change: +1       Record: 5-2       Next Game: vs. Buccaneers


#9 – Baltimore Ravens

I pre-emptively crushed Baltimore last week after Lewis and Webb went down, so I won't kill them again for that thrashing by Houston.  Still, you gotta drop a little bit after a loss like that, right?

Last Week: 8     Change: -1     Record: 5-2      Next Game: Bye Week


#10 – Denver Broncos

The Broncos are coming out of their bye week in prime position to take control of the AFC West.

Last Week: 10   Change: 0      Record: 3-3       Next Game: vs. Saints


#11 – Seattle Seahawks

Seattle hung tough with San Fran this past week.  They've also hung tough and beat Green Bay and New England.  As we approach the halfway mark, it's pretty clear that the Hawks are not a team to be taken lightly.

Last Week: 11      Change: 0       Record: 4-3     Next Game: vs. Lions


#12 – Pittsburgh Steelers

I wasn't a big believer in Pittsburgh at the start of this season, and while I'm not ready to crown them for major post-season success, you have to like their chances more to make some noise in light of the Ravens' injuries.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 3-3       Next Game: vs. Redskins


 

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 8

Week 8 was rather crazy, well, at least for some teams.  Other than Green Bay, who was on the bye, the other Top 4 teams from last week all put up rather putrid performances, opening the door for two new teams to rise to the occasion and steal spots 2 and 3.  We also lost the Chargers after their two month long battle with mediocrity.  Replacing them are the Bengals.  No matter how you spin it, this is certainly not the Top 12 that anyone could have expected at the season’s mid-point.
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 7-0 @ Chargers
As was pretty much guaranteed, the Packers come off of their bye week hanging onto their top spot.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 8 +6 5-2 vs. Ravens
I think that you can take the teams in spots 2-8 and put them in any order without much argument.  The Steelers get to hold the top spot because they had the best win of these seven teams this week by far.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3

logo

5 +2 6-1 @ Redskins
Given the remaining schedule, it’s not completely unthinkable that the Niners could dethrone the Packers for the top spot in the NFC.  Unlikely, but not unthinkable.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 2 -2 5-2 vs. Giants
The last time New England had a stinker @ Pittsburgh, they won the Super Bowl.  Hopefully this loss can be last year’s “Cleveland game” and spur the team onto a big winning streak.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 4 -1 5-2 @ Steelers
The Ravens may have won, but it was an ugly win.  They have a huge challenge coming up that will likely determine which team takes the NFC North and gets a bye week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6

logo

6 0 6-2 Bye Week
The Lions get back on track by steamrolling Tim Tebow and the Broncos.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 7 0 5-2 vs. Jets
The Bills were dominant this week against a bad team.  Let’s see how they fare in a big division game against a mediocre one.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 3 -5 5-3 vs. Buccaneers
And out of the teams ranked 2-8, New Orleans had the worst loss, which drops them to spot #8.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 0 5-3 vs. Browns
The Texans took care of business to keep pace in the AFC South.  This team is looking like they may taste the playoffs for the first time. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 11 +1 5-2 @ Patriots
And now the schedule gets brutally tough.  @ New England who’s coming off a loss…  It’s a tall order.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 12 +1 4-3 @ Colts
Atlanta benefits from San Diego’s fall and jumps up a spot during their bye week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 5-2 @ Titans
And we have a new team on the board!  Making their debut are the surprising Bengals who are actually tied with Pittsburgh and Baltimore for the AFC North lead.  Everyone counts them out, but so far, there’s no reason to discount Cincy’s ability to take the division.


+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 8

Despite some blow-ups at the top of the rankings, it was a fairly calm week on the Top 12.  For the third week in a row, the league-leading New England Patriots top the charts.  The Saints came marching back as this week’s big riser, and Tennessee is the big faller as they failed to live up to the lofty expectations that I set for them last week.  Only the Chiefs fell off the board after their lackluster win against 0-7 Buffalo.  Replacing them is the Packers, who shut out last week’s #2 Jets team on the road.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 N/A 6-1 @ Browns
Once again, the Patriots were able to grind out another tough win.  They may not be flashy, but this team is effective.  They hold the league’s best record, and now just have to avoid falling into the trap game this week against Cleveland.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 4 2 5-2 vs. Dolphins
Sometimes it pays to not play a game.  The Ravens rise two spots thanks to the Jets and Steelers ineptitude. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 5 2 5-2 @ Seahawks
Ditto.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 3 1 5-2 @ Bengals
If you count that referee debacle in Miami, that’s two losses in a row for Pittsburgh.  Granted, both struggles came against Top 12 teams on the road, but I think it’s time that the Steelers stopped being everyone’s sweetheart team.  Especially with Rapistberger at QB.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 2 3 5-2 @ Lions
Getting blanked at home is never a good thing.  I think the honeymoon may be coming to an end for the Jets.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 N/A 5-2 vs. Buccaneers
Atlanta loves them some six spot! The Dirty Birds hold onto this perch for the third week in a row.  Big game this week against the surprising Buccs.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 8 1 5-2 @ Eagles
Last week, I questioned Indy’s ability to win the AFC South.  This week they shut me up. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 12 4 5-3 @ Panthers
New Orleans was a team on the brink after their ugly loss to Cleveland.  On Halloween Night, they came together and started to look like the Super Bowl team we remember.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 11 2 4-3 @ Ravens
Miami is a team that’s “almost” great.  They can run with anyone in this league but have killed themselves with bad mistakes. Unfortunately, given the strength of the AFC, they’ll likely “almost” make the playoffs.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo N/A N/A 5-3 vs. Cowboys
I really like my Top 9.  After that, things get a little foggy.  Green Bay did shut out last week’s #2 team on the road.  I think that counts for something, right?
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 7 4 4-3 Bye Week
The Titans blew a major chance to make a statement.  A win in San Diego would have put them in a serious race for the South with the Colts.  Now that Indy has them in the rearview mirror, I’m not so sure the Titans can catch up. .
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 9 3 4-3 vs. Chargers
A win against Indy would’ve obviously been phenomenal. However, I would have just taken a close game as a sign that Houston was for real.  The Texans didn’t even show up, proving that after nine seasons, this franchise still isn’t ready for the big time.
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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