Hey there. What a great weekend of football that was! We saw some pretty close games that were taken to the wire, we saw the return of Brett Favre and Tom Brady, and we got our first real glimpse of how the teams measure up to each other. I had the Pats in the top spot last week, but after seeing how their run defense is not up to par (maybe they miss Tedy more than they believed), I have to knock them down. Check it out.
1. Atlanta Falcons (prev. #4)
Altanta was the only team in my rankings that actually looked good last week. QB Matt Ryan and his new TE Tony Gonzalez are a forced to be reckoned with they showed the NFL world that there are here to play. Their defense isn't too shabby either, completely flustering the Dolphin defense. They should have no problem taking care of Carolina's Jake Delhomme and his horrible play. Next: Carolina Panthers
2. Philadelphia Eagles (prev. #8)
Philly looked great on offense. They seemed to imposed their will on the Panthers. The big question mark now is QB Donovan McNabb's cracked ribs. I don't see them beating the very potent New Orleans Saints this week. Next: New Orleans Saints
3. New Orleans Saints (prev. unranked)
Has anyone looked better in the pocket these last 2 seasons than QB Drew Brees? The man is on fire and he continues to light up the score board, torching the Lions for 350+ yards passing and 6 TD passes. Even with RB Pierre Thomas out for the game, RB Mike Bell stepped in and ran over the Lions to the tune of 140+ yards. Next: @Philadelphia Eagles
4. New England Patriots (prev. #1)
The Bills should have won the game against the Patriots if not for that costly fumble on the kick off return. QB Tom Brady is showing that his knee is working out great and he looks just as fearless as ever before, but without that stout defense of years past, Tom may be asked to carry this team, and then some. Next: @New York Jets
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (prev. #2)
QB Ben Roethlisberger put the Steelers on his shoulders and willed them to a victory last week in a tight game against the Titans. In a game where field position was key, the running game was a liability for the Steelers (only 30 or so yards for the game!). You don't win many games when your team rushes for less than 40 yards a game. Next: @Chicago Bears
6. Minnesota Vikings (prev. unranked)
QB Brett Favre makes his debut... and manages the game??? That's right. This is not Brett Favre's team and more RB Adrian Peterson's team. The RB ran for an astounding 180+ yards against the Jets to ease Brett's transition. If Adrian continues to run at this pace, he will shatter the 2000 yard mark! Look for him to have another incredible game against the lowly Lions. Next: @Detroit Lions.
7. Tennessee Titans (prev. #3)
The Titans matched up well against the defending champs and nearly came away with the victory. The defense looked great, despite the departure of Albert Haynesworth, and held the Steelers to 1 TD for the game. Next: Houston Texans
8. New York Giants (prev. #9)
The lack of a go to wide receiver for QB Eli Manning was apparent against the Redskins. Eli passed the ball to several receivers but when they needed the speed and strength of Plaxico Burress, the Giants fell short. The return of DE Osi Umenyiora is a huge boost to this defense. The defense came up with 3 sacks, and interception, and 2 forced fumbles. That defense will need to be in top shape now that they'll be traveling to Dallas. Next: @Dallas Cowboys
9. Green Bay Packers (prev. unranked)
The Pack was in a defensive battle with the Chicago Bears on Monday night, with the Pack just edging out the Bears. I don't know if that bodes well for the Packers, a team with Super Bowl dreams. Chicago QB Jake Cutler threw 4 interceptions and despite that, the Packers were behind in the fourth quarter. If not for the blown coverage by the Bears and a great pass to WR Greg Jennings in the final minutes of the game, the Pack could very well be down 0-1 in their division.
My Oakland Raiders: What a game against the San Diego Chargers! This was a definitely a game of two halves. The Raiders simply beat up on the Chargers in the first half. They ran all over their defense and RB Darren McFadden and RB Micheal Bush gashed them and drove down the field. The defense was just a good as the running game, with newly acquired DE Richard Seymour making an immediate impact in the game, recording 2 sacks and assisting in many tackles. The passing game is what hurt the Raiders. QB JaMarcus Russell is still having issues with accuracy. He over threw many passes and to wide open receivers too. The only bright spot in the passing game continues to be the Raider's TE Zack Miller. He had 96 yards receiving, coming up huge on several third down situations. That doesn't mean that the receivers didn't get theirs. WR Louis Murphy had 87 yards receiving and is developing to a go to receiver for Russell. Considering that the team believes that WR Chaz Schilens is their best receiver, the wide receiver corps may finally be coming of age. Next game: @Kansas City Cheif