(Philadelphia, Pa) —- This week it was the poor Bills turn to get the boot in the butt as the Patriots throttled them 56-10 in Buffalo on Sunday Night Football. Some may not like the “childish” way that Bill Belichick is proving his point that his team is more than a bunch of cheaters (told you when it happened forget “spygate” this team is special). But I have no problem with a professional team “running the score up” against another professional team. This is not the University of Miami beating up on Division 1-AA Florida A&M circa the ‘90’s; these are big boys being paid to stop each other. Over the past few months I have constantly been on the side that the “America’s Team” will not make it unscaved through the 2007 season, but I may have to eat some crow. The Boston pretty boys still need to navigate tough games coming up against the Steelers in week 14 and Giants in week 17 to reach the 1972 Dolphins Holy Grail, but I don’t even know if these two potential playoff teams have enough to compete with the Pats. Someone has to step up though, right ??? I am guessing that there has to be one team out there that will get hype enough to fight the town bully –1985 Bears and 1998 Vikings, both finished 15-1 with lower level teams rising to knock them off for their only regular season losses — and I know everybody in the league will be pulling for all of the Pats’ future opponents due to their presumed “arrogance”.There are now 18 teams with a .500 or better record after 11 weeks including the undefeated Patriots. There are also 14 teams with losing records including the poor winless Dolphins (0-10). We are now in the time of the NFL schedule that I like to call the “championship rounds” — Late November and Early December — because byes are over and teams are making their final push towards making the playoffs. The key for all potential playoff teams is they need get “hot” and string wins to together in the championship rounds (ex. 2006 Eagles went from a record of 5-6 to 10-6 and playoff spot).
Happy Thanksgiving, Don’t eat too much (bring on the candy yams) and enjoy the NFL !!!
1. Patriots (10-0) – The poor Bills were embarrassed by America’s team. This week it is the Eagles turn at “Mission impossible” as they travel to New England for Sunday Night Football.
2. Cowboys (9-1) – This team has a lot of the pieces to challenge the Packers for NFC supremacy and maybe give the Patriots a scare. Won a shootout over the Redskins as T.O showed why he has been reborn in Dallas. Host the better than their record Jets on Thanksgiving.
3. Colts (8-2) – They have not seemed like the same team since the 2nd half of their loss to the Patriots due to turnovers and injuries. Limped home with a win over the Chiefs and they should feast on the Falcons on Thanksgiving.
4. Packers (9-1) – Count me in as a believer in the Pack as they have continued to dominate. Exploded on the reeling Panthers as Favre looks like the ’96 version of himself. Better not look past their traditional rival the Lions as they travel to Detroit for Turkey Day.
5. Giants (7-3) – Showed that they are a legitimate contender by out-muscling the host Lions. Will host the Vikings, who are still dangerous without Peterson due to a hard charging Chester Taylor.
6. Steelers (7-3) – I thought they could crack the upper echelon of my list, but they are too inconsistent as displayed by their OT loss to the Jets. Will try to pick up the pieces on Monday Night Football versus the winless Dolphins, who may have Ricky back.
7. Jaguars (7-3) – This team may not be flashy, but they are sure tough and they could challenge the Colts for AFC South dominance. Showed the Chargers that they were not afraid in a big road win. Host the upstart Bills in a possible letdown game.
8. Browns (6-4) – Road the leg of the Phil Dawson in a wacky overtime win over the reeling Ravens. Cannot rest on their laurels as they want to keep the “save Romeo” campaign going at home against the upstart Texans.
9. Buccaneers (6-4) – Did just enough to get by the Cardinals as the veteran combination of Garcia to Galloway turned back the clock to the 90’s again. Have a well deserved week off to get healthy.
10. Seahawks (6-4) – Even though they don’t have Alexander running, they have seemed to make a push towards the playoffs. Got revenge against the Bears for last year’s divisional playoff round. Need to guard against a letdown as they travel to St. Louis to face divisional rival the upstart Rams.
11. Titans (6-4) – V.Y passed for a ton of yards in a MNF loss to the Broncos, but he also had two bad picks. Will travel to Cincy to face the Bengals in an old-time AFC Central battle.
12. Redskins (5-5) – Lost a track meet to the Cowboys as Al Saunders finally opened up the playbook. Will travel to Tampa Bay to face the tough Bucs in a potential wild card battle.
13. Lions (6-4) – Yapped way too much in a bad home loss to the Giants and appear to be a “fraud” in my opinion. Host the Packers in a traditional Thanksgiving game that will tell everything you need to know about the Leos.
14. Chargers (5-5) – Were out-muscled by the Jags as Merriman got his lights put out. Host the Ravens in a game that both teams need to keep their playoff hopes alive.
15. Broncos (5-5) – Won on Monday Night Football as they harassed the Titans into several turnovers. Will travel to Chicago to face the dangerous Bears.
16. Texans (5-5) – Were singing “Hallelujah” as big play receiver Andre Johnson returned to the field in a win over the Saints. Will have to face the Browns in the dog pound this week.
17. Bills (5-5) – They are improving, but they had no answer for the Patriots in a landslide loss. Have another tough battle against the physical Jags in Jacksonville.
18. Eagles (5-5) – Struggled in a home victory over the winless Dolphins. Will be facing Mission Impossible as they travel to New England for Sunday Night Football.
19. Cardinals (5-5) – Led by gritty leader Kurt Warner, showed the Bengals that they are going in opposite directions. Host the reeling Niners in a key NFC West battle.
20. Chiefs (4-6) – This team looks lost as they cannot decide on a quarterback and they may have lost LJ and Priest for the season. Put up a fight with the Colts, but it wasn’t enough. Host the Raiders in a “Just Get a Win Baby” game.
21. Bears (4-6) – Continued their Superbowl loser hangover by losing to the Seahawks. Host the upstart Broncos in a game Da’ Bears have to win to keep their flagging playoff hopes alive.
22. Saints (4-6) – I thought they had turned the corner after reaching .500 after four straight wins, but they have looked like a “pretender” the past two weeks. Lost on the road to the Texans. Need to come up big on the road against the Panthers, who are also fighting for their NFC South lives.
23. Panthers (4-6) – This team is falling apart and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Were dominated by the Packers in a loss that showed they will be rebuilding soon. Host the Saints in the NFC South’s version of the “Desperation Bowl”.
24. Ravens (4-6) – They are reeling as their team is falling apart from the inside after two straight losses including their recent strange home loss to the Browns. Travel out west to face the Chargers in a match-up of two ’06 playoff teams that are underachieving this season.
25. Vikings (4-6) – Proved that they are not a one-man gang by running over the Raiders. Travel to the Meadowlands to take on the improving Giants.
26. Jets (2-8) – Mangini is starting to look like Man-genius again as the J-E-T-S physically beat up the Steelers in an overtime win. Travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving Day special.
27. Rams (2-8) – Have now won two straight after the bye including their rivalry win over the Niners. Host the Seahawks in another NFC West rivalry game.
28. Falcons (3-7) – Still cannot decide on a quarterback, but does it matter. Were throttled at home by the Bucs in a game that showed that they have a long way to go. Host the Colts in NFL Network’s Thanksgiving Night Special.
29. Raiders (2-8) – They have equaled their ’06 season total, but they need to show me more. Couldn’t stop Chester Taylor as they were dominated against the Vikings. Travel to KC to face the Chiefs in an old-time AFL rivalry game.
30. Bengals (3-7) – Maybe seeing the end of the Marvin Lewis era as the Bungles are limping home. Had way too many turnovers in a bad loss to the Cardinals. Host the angry Titans in a pride game.
31. 49ers (2-8) – Have not won a game after starting 2-0 and now they are looking like one of ‘07’s biggest frauds. Lost at home to the Rams, who also passed them in the standings. Travel to Arizona to face a rising Cardinals team.
32. Dolphins (0-10) – Despite a thrilling return for a touchdown by Teddy Ginn, they didn’t have enough versus the Eagles. Travel to the Steelers on MNF in the welcome back Joey Porter game.