By Joe Ostrowski—
1. Giants (6-2)
Tom Coughlin’s crew picked up right where they left off coming out of their bye week. They went across the country to thump Seattle The New York football Giants have the league’s #2 total offense & #2 total defense. Dallas comes to town with the Wade Phillips era over.
2. Ravens (6-2)
It looked like Baltimore worked some of their defensive issues out during their off week. They held Miami, a tough road team, to 10 points. Ed Reed has been back for 2 games & picked off 3 balls. Ray Lewis doesn’t like it, but the Ravens visit Atlanta on Thursday night.
3. Steelers (6-2)
Even though the Bengals had a chance to take the lead late, you knew Pittsburgh’s defense wasn’t going to allow that to happen in front of the nation. Mike Tomlin has led the Steelers to a 6-2 start in all 4 years he’s been the head coach. One less day to prepare for the Pats.
4. Packers (6-3)
Green Bay is on fire, but they’ll take the bye week to heal up. Their D has allowed 7 points in the last 9 quarters. Clay Matthews leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks. The pressure is on the Bears to keep up.
5. Jets (6-2)
After Matthew Stafford’s injury & Detroit’s missed extra point, the Jets were able to put together a nice comeback road win. Mark Sanchez had his 1st career 300 yard game, but LT is slowing down. The Jets stay on the road & face a Browns team that dismantled New England.
6. Patriots (6-2)
The hoody finally felt the loss of Moss. A 20 point loss to Belichick’s nemesis Eric Mangini? This can’t be a pretty week for everyone on New England’s roster. They’re in danger of dropping back-to-back games as they head to Pittsburgh.
7. Falcons (6-2)
Atlanta was expected to show Tampa Bay that they’re the best in the NFC. The Bucs hung in to the very end. The Dirty Birds are as good as it gets at home. Matt Ryan has won his last 13 in the dome. They host the Ravens tomorrow in the first Thursday night game of 2010.
8. Saints (6-3)
Every time New Orleans wins, you’ll see experts jump up and down preaching that the Super Bowl champs are back. They’ve won back-to-back games for the first time since Week 2. The 34 the Saints put on the scoreboard was the most all season. However, their defense is the one that’s turned the corner. It’s the best in football allowing just 166 yards a game.
9. Titans (5-3)
They didn’t play, but the addition of Randy Moss has brought Tennessee into the top ten. Before Moss, they led the league in scoring at 28 ppg. Uh oh. They dare you to put 8 in the box against Chris Johnson. Jeff Fisher takes his club down to Miami where the Dolphins haven’t won this year.
10. Eagles (5-3)
Make Andy Reid 12-0 after the bye. That’s not a coincidence. Michael Vick hasn’t thrown an interception in his 5 starts. Vick now owns the NFL’s highest passer rating. Who said there was a quarterback controversy? On Monday night, Philly has revenge on their minds as they visit their old friend Donovan, in the nation’s capital.
17. Bears (5-3)
It took a month, but the Bears collected a much needed win. As long as Jay Cutler doesn’t turn the ball over, they have a chance. I can’t find anyone that was impressed on Sunday, but they did what they had to. In his 3 games against Minnesota, Cutler has a qb rating just shy of 99. Those games were against a better Vikings defense, who is winless on the road.
I’m pretty sick of people writing the Bears off for the playoffs because of their schedule. Yes, the opponents in the 2nd half are tougher than the 1st half. However, winning 4 of the remaining 8 games isn’t out of the question. Green Bay is playing their best ball right now, but their road isn’t a walk in the park. They still have to take on the Vikes, Falcons, Patriots, & Giants. The Bears want to stay within striking distance of the Packers, but there is this thing they call the “wild card.” Let them play it out & actually enjoy the ride.
Joe Ostrowski is the executive producer of The Laurence Holmes Show, co-host of The Joe O & Rock Show Saturdays 8pm-midnight, & a scoreboard update anchor on 670 The Score.