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Tennessee Tumbles in Tuscaloosa

The Vols nearly take down #1 Alabama, but the defense can't keep up for long enough as Abdoul Pearson rushes it in to clinch it 26-23 in 2OT.

Ceci N'est Pas Un Pipe

The pipe stepped up this week, taking out Malcolm Davis, Norris Brooksheer, Kenji Sagatomo, and LaMichael Jones among others.

Rumblin' Raekwon

Northern Iowa RB Raekwon Thomas is looking to prove himself to NFLHC scouts, putting up 125 yards and 3 TD in a convincing win over Montana.

Fib Uring It Out

The Lions clinched at least a .500 record as they knocked off the Packers, 17-12, to jump to a surprising NFC North lead.

McLean on Me

Rice QB Eric McLean becomes the presumptive #1 QB prospect after receiving an 83 overall grade from scouts.
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    bingo415

    [2022] Week 10 Power Rankings, #1-12

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    football-dallas-cowboys-roy-williams-in-

     

    Week 10 was chalk full of interesting nuggets: the AFC South ran into a few speed bumps in the NFC East, the Dolphins rode Zombie Marcus Berry to a big win over the Steelers, and few more major injuries have cropped up that will no doubt alter the course of the rest of the season. There's a ton of football still to be played, but playoff-caliber teams have stood out on the field and will stand out in this edition of the Power Rankings. I'm gonna try a little bit of a different tack with Part 1 here, by praising an aspect of each team's season so far. Too often we get bogged down in what teams AREN'T doing that we can lose sight of what teams are doing really well. @Jieret, my current PAC-12 and former Broncos homie, will handle the write-ups for Part 2, due out tomorrow or Friday. Thanks for tackling it, Jieret. 

     

    Remember, if you don't like where you are in these rankings...play better!

     

    Power Rankings – Following Week 10

     

    1. Miami Dolphins (8-1) :dolphins:

    Miami is absolutely stoked about Zombie Marcus Berry (he is alive, after the re-sim where he died), and they should be. The offense is the headliner in Miami, but Coach Smackems has an underrated, wonderfully-balanced defense that is currently tied for 2nd fewest TDs allowed. DEs Dexter Flowers (25 tkls, 6.5 sacks) and Benjamin Blankenship (14 tkls, 5 sacks) head up a very accomplished front seven, and CB Justin Davis continues to be the best AFC cover corner, while not putting up ridiculous, eye-popping stats. If the Dolphins motor toward a Super Bowl title, it won't solely be on the arm of Brian Brown or the mitts of JC Weldon...the defense is for real. 

     

    2. Green Bay Packers (8-1) :packers:

    GB and MIA stand out as the two best teams in the League for a few reasons, and I'm going to focus on the defense again. Green Bay, minus Marquise Reed, have a classic no-name defense that is extremely effective. Like Miami, they are tied for 2nd for fewest TDs allowed. While a bit more bend-don't-break than Miami and other stellar defenses, they are just don't concede points, and also don't give up 3rd down conversions (3rd in the League at 26.54%). They've got four guys all over 20 tackles, and two super-productive DEs in Anthony and Groth. In fact, the ONE player on the Pack defense that everyone knows--Reed--hasn't made a stat sheet this season. Probably smart for QBs to ignore his side of the field. 

     

    3. Detroit Lions (7-2) :fibur:

    Detroit is a team (and especially a defense) littered with stars, and they do one thing extremely well, which then impacts other aspects of their defense: they get after quarterbacks. Tied for 2nd most in the League with 25 sacks, DET uses serious pressure just from their front 4 to harrass and cajole quarterbacks into making poor throws. But the real improvement for DET this season has come in their offensive efficiency. Currently, the Lions are 4th in the League in OYPP, their best mark in years. Balance on offense has been the buzz word for Slinky's men, as the Lions sit 4th in rush yards per game, and are tied for the 2nd fewest INTs thrown. This writer cannot wait for GB-DET 2. 

     

    4. Dallas Cowboys (6-3) :cowboys:

    The Cowboys had the big win over the Titans this week, and the startling thing about that W was that it came with Luke Williams at the helm, not Graham Burnett. The A-Rob-led running game took pressure off the pass rush of the Titans and gave young Williams time to find an underrated cast of wideouts. Everyone knows that the Dallas OLine is still formidable, and those pass protectors have given both young QBs time enough to average 7.36 YPAA, good for 8th in the League. Not many would have expected the C'boy passing game to be quite as effective as it has been this season. That's one reason for their rise to #4 in this week's Power Rankings. 

     

    5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) :steelers:

    The reason I dropped the Steelers from their lofty perch is not just the back-to-back losses. It's that I think they have most question marks of any of the top teams. They really need to keep Brooksheer upright (currently giving up the most sacks in the League), and they need to diversify their offensive attack (13th in pass yards per game, 28th in rush yards per game). But one thing that PIT does extremely well--aside from letting Carlos Washington loose on the rest of the world--is their offensive efficiency. The Steelers are #2 in OYPP in the League, and that's despite being the 8th highest 'usage' team, in terms of number of plays run. In fact, the efficiency bonus isn't contained to the offense: Joedchi's men are top 5 in both YPCA and YPAA defense, which is a stellar set of statistics. I think the Steelers are the best team in their division, here's hoping they can stay there and avoid any further injury problems.

     

    6. Las Vegas Raiders (6-3) :raiders:

    I DID say I was going to say nice things about each of these teams, right? Does that HAVE to include the Raiders?!? ;) Just kidding, Alien. Here's the nicest compliment I can pay the Raiders this year: in what is certainly a down-year for LVR, they are STILL a Top 6 (or better) team i the League, and are wining their division hands-down. Why is this a down year? Well, the Raiders have been hit by serious injury problems on the offensive line. Plus, they have zero run game. They are in the bottom half of the League in most traditional defensive stats. Doesn't matter, Nick Hall (in statistically his worst year since his rookie campaign), his WRs/TEs, and that ball-hawking, pressure defense (4th in sacks, 8th in DYPP) led by Gradishar, Pennington, and Martin are STILL gonna be a #2 or #3 in the Playoffs. 

     

    7. Indianapolis Colts (6-3) :colts:

    All hail Aaron Shea and the 4-wins-in-a-row Colts! They were the lone AFCS team to avoid an upset this week, and it is because they found yet another weapon for Mr. Shea...and ALMOST had a 100-yrd rusher. The Colts are simply the best volume passing team in the game. In fact, there isn't another stat that stands out in the positive for the Colts than that. It's all on Aaron Shea, and so far he's been up to the task. An area that I think is a bit underrated for the Colts is their ability to force negative plays behind the line of scrimmage: either by sack or TFL, the Colts use a high-risk defense to good effect. 

     

    8. Tennessee Titans (6-3) :titans:

    It was difficult to write that the Colts are the best volume passing team in the League...I was expecting that to be the Titans. But, instead, we'll just have to call TEN what they really are, which is the most scoring prolific team in the League. 38 total TDs. 38!! Next closest is the Panthstars with 33. Most YPG: TEN. Best OYPP: TEN. Lord, they convert 3rd Downs at NEARLY a 50% clip. Despite their recent loss to the Cowboys, the Titans are 6-3 and on a playoff route because they add to the great offense a balanced and stacked defense at all three levels. Again, another team with four players >20 tackles. Extreme play-makers at both CB spots (Ramsey 2 INTs, 4 PDs; Harris is at 3/7), pass-rush galore (Tyler Jones is beast, in case anyone forgot), and solid-to-excellent production from their linebackers (rookie Tyrese Thompson + David Doherty is exactly what the doctor ordered). In the toughest division in the League, the Titans are RIGHT THERE. 

     

    9. Carolina Panthers (7-3) :panthers:

    Carolina took it on the chin in the beginning of the season. But they have bounced back and look to be the clear class of the NFC South--and that's with New Orleans and Atlanta playing really good football. Usual suspects are playing at high levels again for the Panthers: great tackle and pressure numbers from the front 7, timely running from Mike Latta (4th in yards, 2nd in TDs), and Skaggs leading the only passing offense with a +8.0 YPA...yep, sounds like Cade's Carolina. While I think the NFC as a whole is down a bit this year, the Panthers will have the crucible of the playoffs to prove themselves, and it certainly appears as though CAR is up to the challenge. 

     

    10. Philadelphia Eagles (6-3) :eagles:

    The Eagles are returning to health at just the right time. BIG win over the visiting Titans this week saw their three-headed-monster rushing attack again churn out big numbers. PHI is the top rushing team in the League, in volume if not pure efficiency, and they couple that with a very stingy run defense (8th in rush ypg). Here's a fun stat for you: the Eagles are 7th best in the League at both OYPP and DYPP. 7th! That's efficiency writ large. They protect the ball, but cause turnovers and disruption plays on the other end with good frequency. That whole team balance is why I think the Eagles are going to emerge victorious in the NFC East battle with DAL and WAS, and likely be a top 2/3 seed in the NFC playoffs. After that, who knows?!

     

    11. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) :jaguars:

    The Jags have a reason to be a bit angry with this precipitous drop to #11 after their stinker against WAS on the weekend. Now that I look at it, it's too low. They've got a couple HUGE AFCS games remaining, and those will go along way to determining if the Jags make the playoffs or not (I can't really see a scenario where they don't...). If and when they get there, this is team that playoff opponents will face: #2 yardage offense in the League, #1 in YPC, #6 scoring offense. While the Jags can be had a bit on defense, especially through the air, you still have Preston Bryant and Ron Rice to deal with, and two other players in the front 7 with 3+ TFL. To make matters scarier, I think Soluna knows that this team is a year away. They're tied for the lead in the trickiest division in the game, and NEXT YEAR might be their year. Get ready, everyone. I, for one, welcome our JAX overlords. 

     

    12. Atlanta Falcons (6-2-1) :falcons:

    ATL just beat my Denver Broncos by 6 at home. That was a bit of an ugly stinker. But, you look up, and all of a sudden, the Falcons find themselves in the dead middle of the NFCS race, with only two losses. Their rookie backup QB played two games...NO ONE thought the Birds would be here. Atlanta is essentially the Eagles with a more balanced offense, and just NOT QUITE as explosive. Defensively, they are one of the best per-play teams in the League (top 6 in both YPCA and YPAA), even if they give up slightly too many points. Offensively, they have shown that there is wonderful depth on the roster, as both backups to the QB1 and RB1 have had stellar step-in starts. And they have one of the most accurate kickers in the League. For an offense that is weak on explosion, but strong on grinding teams down, that's an asset. 

     

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    5 minutes ago, bingo415 said:

    12. Atlanta Falcons (6-2-1) :falcons:

    ATL just beat my Denver Broncos by 6 at home. That was a bit of an ugly stinker. But, you look up, and all of a sudden, the Falcons find themselves in the dead middle of the NFCS race, with only two losses. Their rookie backup QB played two games...NO ONE thought the Birds would be here. Atlanta is essentially the Eagles with a more balanced offense, and just NOT QUITE as explosive. Defensively, they are one of the best per-play teams in the League (top 6 in both YPCA and YPAA), even if they give up slightly too many points. Offensively, they have shown that there is wonderful depth on the roster, as both backups to the QB1 and RB1 have had stellar step-in starts. And they have one of the most accurate kickers in the League. For an offense that is weak on explosion, but strong on grinding teams down, that's an asset. 

    hell yea brother cheers from atlanta

     

    I'm super proud of the way that this team was played even with the weird makeup of this roster.  And for us to be where we are with major injuries to AJJ, Akili and Early Davis all at different times of the year is a testament to the coaching.  I couldn't be happier at this stage of the year.

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    1 hour ago, bingo415 said:

    DEs Dexter Flowers (25 tkls, 6.5 sacks)


    I've been really happy with Dexter.  He's a guy who has gotten better each season while being a consistent impact maker for the team.    

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    57 minutes ago, cultur3 said:

    How have we given ATL 1 of their 2 losses?? It’s like we played that game in the twilight zone. 

    Honestly, I think it was because Akili went down and the team didn't know what to do. Other games where we played close games I don't really know what to say, but that one is for sure pinned on a bit of panic

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    Pleased that our only losses are to #4 (albeit with a backup QB), #5, and #11. All but the loss to Jax were close, and all were away games. I do think head to head wins over LV and the Colts (42-10) should put us at 6. But with the betting line being against us @ Miami, it likely won't matter. I'll be interested to see how the loss of Furrey impacts the offense as we can't afford to slow down on that side of the ball.

     

    I'm most disappointed in the backward slide on defense. Of course, our slate of games went/goes:

    @ IND

    vs. PHI

    vs. LV

    vs. JAX

    @ HOU (RIP Doug Kirby)

    @ DAL

    @ Miami (this coming MNF)

     

    Can't say I'm too disappointed in the defensive output against any of those teams, which are all top 10 teams in PPG (except Houston). But still, I think TEN moving from a slightly below average defense to a good defense would mean the difference between 6-3 and 8-1 or better. I would love to know what our defense would have looked like with Charles Woods still on the team. He's not exactly making waves at New Orleans. But being paired with Tyler Jones at Tennessee really upped his game. Regardless, we got incredible trade value out of that deal. So even if we don't contend this year, the multiple first round picks next year will allow us to shore up that defense. Unfortunately, being in the AFCS, well really sucks. I expect/hope we get 3 playoff teams. The ultimate division champ could be anyone. Fortunately, the back third of our schedule is pretty favorable. We should have good matchups against NE, NYG, HOU, and @ BUF. Then we get JAX and IND at home. The playoff spots and division winner will almost certainly come down to those last two games. 

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    8 minutes ago, TheTodd15 said:

    Pleased that our only losses are to #4 (albeit with a backup QB), #5, and #11. All but the loss to Jax were close, and all were away games. I do think head to head wins over LV and the Colts (42-10) should put us at 6. But with the betting line being against us @ Miami, it likely won't matter. I'll be interested to see how the loss of Furrey impacts the offense as we can't afford to slow down on that side of the ball.

    Can't say I'm too disappointed in the defensive output against any of those teams, which are all top 10 teams in PPG (except Houston). But still, I think TEN moving from a slightly below average defense to a good defense would mean the difference between 6-3 and 8-1 or better. I would love to know what our defense would have looked like with Charles Woods still on the team. He's not exactly making waves at New Orleans. But being paired with Tyler Jones at Tennessee really upped his game. Regardless, we got incredible trade value out of that deal. So even if we don't contend this year, the multiple first round picks next year will allow us to shore up that defense. Unfortunately, being in the AFCS, well really sucks. I expect/hope we get 3 playoff teams. The ultimate division champ could be anyone. Fortunately, the back third of our schedule is pretty favorable. We should have good matchups against NE, NYG, HOU, and @ BUF. Then we get JAX and IND at home. The playoff spots and division winner will almost certainly come down to those last two games. 

     

    This may be over-simplifying, but if TEN improved the Run Defense by five places (League-wide), I think you're 8-1 or better. 

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    10 minutes ago, bingo415 said:

     

    This may be over-simplifying, but if TEN improved the Run Defense by five places (League-wide), I think you're 8-1 or better. 

    It is tough to get a read on what exactly is going "wrong" with the defense. We are T-#1 in interceptions at 13. #12 in YPCA and #10 in YPAA. Yet give up over 25 points a game. We are #21 in 3rd down conversions though. And, interestingly we are #11 in TDs allowed but #21 in PPGA. So far I can only read that as we are a bend, don't break D and people are good at attacking under the zone. The disparity between TDs allowed and points allowed must mean we are giving up a lot of FGs? So it seems like we need to clamp down on giving up those third downs, I think, and not let people drive to the redzone. 

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    I think we're in a good spot at this point of the season. The Oline and our young secondary is playing much better of late. The rookies Evans and Babb are emerging as legit receiving threats in the middle of the field, something we've never really had on this offense.

     

    IIRC, something like 5 of our remaining 7 games are at home. Barring any major injuries I'm optimistic we could crack the top 6 by seasons end.

     

    Edit: Also glad to see two of our losses came at the hands of teams ranked #7, #8 (third was WAS) all on the road. We also have wins this season @GB ranked #2 and vs DET ranked #3.

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    One more win and we’ve matched last year’s total. We’re back bby 

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    7 hours ago, bingo415 said:

     In fact, the ONE player on the Pack defense that everyone knows--Reed--hasn't made a stat sheet this season.

     

     

    That's not true. Its just whoever does the wiki doesn't include him, probably because he's a CB/WR or some reason like that.

     

    EDIT: eg. Reed intercepting and batting down Foster.

     

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