NFL Power Rankings: AFC & NFC Midseason Top 5

This week in the NFL we saw some teams tested. We saw a few teams snap losing streaks, and we saw a few hot teams hit speed bumps.

Before you go any further, realize that these are my rankings based on the eyeball test. I believe records mean something, but not everything.

Charles Tillman has been stellar this year, and the Bears’ turnover-forcing machine of a defense has them quite high in the NFC rankings. (Photo credit: AP Photo via aol.sportingnews.com)

NFC Power Rankings: Top 5

5. New York Giants

The Giants are an enigma; they can impress you for a few weeks in a row, then lay an egg. That’s exactly what happened this week.

Although the Steelers are a good team, the Giants had it going their way into the second half and couldn’t pull out a game-winning drive like we are accustomed to them doing.

Eli Manning threw for only 125 yards and 0 TDs with 1 pick. He completed just over 40% of his passes, and that is just not going to get it done. The rushing attack wasn’t much help, as the G-Men totaled less than 70 yards on the ground.

Look for them to rebound, but for now, they are the 5th best team in the NFC.

4. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers looks as if he has finally found his groove, despite the fact that Greg Jennings and now Jordy Nelson have been bitten by the injury bug.

Randall Cobb has been a savior of sorts for the Pack, as his speed and versatility have been the highlight of the offense. James Jones also leads the NFL in TD receptions, proving sometimes it’s not quantity, it’s quality.

Dom Capers’ defense is continuing to improve, but the injuries are damaging the chemistry they are attempting to build in the defense. I think the key for the defense is getting after the opposing QB. They have suitable secondary players, but Clay Matthews MUST get to the QB and bring him down or cause chaos within the pocket to force the opposing QB to throw on the run.

James Starks provided a necessary help to the run game this week as Green Bay topped 100 yards rushing. I think they ran the ball too much, but keeping a defense honest with a capable run game is a must.

3. San Francisco 49ers

Not much to say since they were on a bye this week but what has been already said of them: they pound the ball with success, create turnovers, and don’t turn the ball over on their end.

The only reason they are #3 and not in one of the top 2 spots is Alex Smith. He has been good for the most part, but I worry when the 49ers need a big play down the field, he won’t be able to rise to the challenge.

2. Atlanta Falcons

I had no love for the Falcons last week, but after the win over the Cowboys I am a believer. I know what you are thinking, why does it matter? The Cowboys aren’t a great team. I agree, but their defense is vastly improved under Rob Ryan, and Matty Ice showed he can find his Big 3 (Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez) whenever he wants to.

The Falcons defense is also showing they can make plays, and I like Mike Smith’s schemes and overall mindset. He plays it conservative and trusts his defense, instead of panicking and taking unnecessary risks.

The run game concerns me a little bit. Michael Turner is on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t been consistent this season. He can still find the end zone from short yardage, but he lacks the burst and elusiveness he has had in years past. Jacquizz Rogers is a poor man’s Darren Sproles, which isn’t a bad thing. He can’t carry the load though.

1. Chicago Bears

Alright Bears fans, I hope you can all forgive me for snubbing them last week. The Titans are not a good team, but the Bears did what they were supposed to do: destroy them.

The defense and special teams play for the Bears is stellar, and when Cutler and Marshall are in sync as they were on Sunday, they are unstoppable.

That’s the million dollar question though: can Cutler keep his turnovers down and make good decisions?

AFC Power Rankings: Top 5

5. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens won unimpressively this week over the lowly Browns, an the injuries the Ravens have suffered on defense shows.

The losses of Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis still loom heavy, and Flacco has cooled off. Ray Rice is the key to their success, they go as he goes.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

I think the Steelers are trending upward.

Big Ben is a talented and sometimes forgotten franchise QB among the Bradys, Rodgers, and Brees of the world. However, Ben is special and can extend the play MUCH longer than anyone else, and he has an uncanny ability to make plays on the move.

Additionally, his receiving corps is stacked with targets. Mike Wallace is a speed demon, Heath Miller is a safety blanket, and Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, and even Jericho Cotchery are all great contributors.

Not having Troy Polamalu is a big loss, but Ryan Clark has played well. And although James Harrison is not playing at 100% either, the Steelers defense is still solid.

As great as the passing game is for Pittsburgh, they can line anyone up at RB and get solid production. The offensive line is doing a great job creating holes, and the tailbacks are patiently waiting for the space to open and hitting the seams hard.

3. Denver Broncos

I write this as I sit in the Denver Airport, surrounded by Denver Bronco fans. I see shirts, hats and coats all around me. These people love their football here in the Mile High City, and they have a lot to cheer about.

The Broncos are becoming the team people thought they could be and that is a scary thing for the rest of the AFC.

Peyton Manning has been excellent and has bonded well with the dynamic duo of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. He has also utilized his former teammate in Indianapolis Jacob Tamme, as well as Joel Dreesen.

Willis McGahee has run strong and downhill all season, creating a real threat for play action down the field.

The defense still has some room to improve, but as long as they can keep getting after the opposing QB they will hold up just fine.

2. New England Patriots

It was a real toss-up between the Texans and Pats at #2, but I have to put New England here.

Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, no doubt. Acquiring defensive help in the form of Aqib Talib at the trade deadline was a HUGE move for the Pats as well. It’s just not enough to put them over the top.

The run game has improved vastly and has been fairly consistent, but it’s hard to say their attack is equivocal to the Texans 1-2 punch of Foster and Tate. Brady’s line has been very good, but not great.

The Giants have shown us in the two Super Bowls they have faced the Pats in how to win: pressure Tom Brady.

1. Houston Texans

Arian Foster is a beast. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him, and most teams can’t even do that. He and Ben Tate make quite a combination, and Matt Schaub also has weapons in Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels if he chooses to go the aerial route.

The defense is tough, fast, and doesn’t give up big plays. The Buffalo Bills hung around probably more than most thought they would on Sunday, but remember that the Bills run the ball a lot. When you run the ball as much as they do, you eat up the time of possession.

You can make a strong argument based on the potent offense of the Pats that they should be #1, but I’m going with the Texans.

*****

What do you think? Are any teams left out? Have a problem with the order of either conference?

It’s Election Day, so cast your votes below!



About Trevor Stewart

Trevor Stewart is 25 years old and works as a corporate journalist, gathering stories and photos for magazines. He is a graduate of BIOLA University in La Mirada, Calif., with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. Originally from Spokane, Wash., he and his wife Abigail currently make their home in Lincoln, Neb.

Comments

  1. [url=http://citalopram-20-mg.webcam/]citalopram 20 mg[/url] [url=http://busparonline.webcam/]buspar[/url] [url=http://wellbutrin-generic.science/]wellbutrin generic[/url]

  2. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    awesome blog!

  3. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.|

  4. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I liked this post.

    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  5. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks, as I
    found this article at this web site.

  6. I was wondering if you ever considered changing
    the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve
    got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  7. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity to your submit is simply great and i can think you’re a
    professional in this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to grasp your feed to stay up to date with coming near
    near post. Thanks one million and please continue the gratifying work.

  8. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  9. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!

  10. Hello, I check your blog regularly. Your story-telling
    style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  11. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of
    your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  12. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
    tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading
    your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  13. Thanks , I have recently been looking for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I have found out so far. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain about the source?|

  14. Good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

  15. Wow! In the end I got a web site from where I know
    how to actually obtain useful facts regarding my study
    and knowledge.

  16. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly useful & it helped me out much.
    I am hoping to give one thing back and aid others like you
    helped me.

  17. Hi to every single one, it’s really a good for me to pay a visit this web site, it consists of priceless Information.

  18. Hello There. I found your blog the usage of msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thanks for the
    post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  19. I think that what you said was very reasonable. However, what about this?

    suppose you typed a catchier post title? I ain’t saying your content
    is not good., however suppose you added something that
    makes people desire more? I mean NFL Power Rankings: AFC & NFC
    Midseason Top 5 is kinda plain. You ought to look at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create article titles to grab people to open the
    links. You might add a related video or a pic or two to get
    people excited about what you’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it would bring your website a little bit more interesting.

  20. Great blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any tips? Appreciate it!

  21. I’m extremely impressed together with your writing skills and also with the structure on your blog.
    Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up
    the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a nice blog
    like this one nowadays..

  22. Wow, amazing weblog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made running a blog glance easy. The entire glance of your web site is magnificent, as smartly as the content material!

  23. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new
    initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have
    done a marvellous job!

  24. wh0cd361229 [url=http://buyrobaxin.us.com/]Robaxin Price[/url]

  25. This is a topic that is near to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where
    are your contact details though?

  26. I do not even understand how I stopped up here, but I thought this publish was once good.
    I do not understand who you are however certainly you’re going
    to a well-known blogger when you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

  27. The family can bond together by watching movies on DVD or by playing games collectively.

  28. Thanks for your posting. One other thing is the fact individual states have their unique laws which affect homeowners, which makes it very, very hard for the the nation’s lawmakers to come up with the latest set of rules concerning foreclosure on householders. The problem is that a state has got own legislation which may have impact in an unfavorable manner in regards to foreclosure policies.

  29. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Great work!

  30. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style
    seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!
    nuova maglietta roma

  31. Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a
    completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great
    choice of colors!
    garcia tøj

  32. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  33. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my
    blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.
    With thanks

  34. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve found out so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

Speak Your Mind