NFL TOP 10 REPORT; WEEK 10
by Wayne Allyn Root
Thru the first 9 weeks, no team has held the top spot for more than three weeks and this week is no different as Denver must gracefully exit the mantle and move down to Number 3. But who is really Number 1? The 7-1 Cardinals that beat a Romo-less Dallas team and plays in the toughest division in the NFL, or New England Patriots who woke up 4 weeks ago embarrassed by Kansas City and has come back to destroy all opponents? The biggest surprise is the erratic play of the 49ers. I love the back to back games Ben and the Steelers have put together and that we will be able to see a “new and different” Mark Sanchez without the Rex Ryan team behind him. Many teams are coming off a bye week and we get to see if Green Bay and Chicago are ready for each other as they meet. The biggest news of the bye week is saved for Detroit as Reggie Bush and Megatron, Calvin Johnson, both are back for the 6-2 Lions.
1) NEW ENGLAND—It must be great to be a Patroit fan. Just when Kansas City sent you reeling into retro game film highlights, Tom Brady abandons girlfriend to concentrate more on the field and the results were unbelievable. In his 4 game climax, Brady lead the Pats to a decisive win and had it wrapped up by the first half as they scored more points (27) than the Broncos have allowed all year in a single game. Now that’s a statement. Maybe the AFC Championship game was in the back of his mind from a year ago. This week it’s back to the girlfriend as his team gets a bye-week.
2) ARIZONA—It’s great to be leading their division as it is the most difficult playing in the NFC West. But had the Cardinals still completed in the NFC East, with the Dallas win last week, that would have them at 4-0 in that division also. Carson Palmer is in desert heaven with his team. Great receivers and an even better defense. You better win the Super Bowl this year as next year, the Super Bowl will not be played in your hometown as it is this year, and your defensive coordinator will probably be a head coach somewhere. They host the Rams; fresh off a road win miracle at San Francisco.
3) DENVER—When you’re the Broncos and have Peyton Manning, you never fall very far after a loss. And a loss it was. Before he could finish lacing up his cleats, the Brady-led Pats had 27 points on the scoreboard at halftime. He may not have watch game film all the flight home leaving New England as is his history. Now it’s off to play against a bitter rival and get re-started in Oakland.
4) PHILADELPHIA—The injury to Nick Foles was alarming as he is out for 4 to 6 weeks. But it’s not the end of the Chip Kelly Eagles season as Mark Sanchez is as good a passer and much more mobile than Foles. I’d be more alarmed about safety Nate Allan out with a hamstring this time of year. Last week the Eagles scored a 10 point on the road win against Houston. This week, it’s MNF against Carolina at home as a touchdown chalk.
5) DETROIT—The Lions are coming off a much needed bye week. They are 6-2 and had to do so with 2 huge key injuries as mentioned above. They had to do it with defense as in their last 3 games, they scored 24 points or less in all three. This week the Lions better be prepared as a meaningful Dolphin team comes to play as a 2.5 underdog. It’s anybody’s game.
6) INDIANAPOLIS—The Colts got the win last week against the New York Giants but Andrew Luck got beat up. It looked like he was touched, tackled, hit or dropped on his back with every throw. But he still managed a 25-for-46 for 354 yards night and a win. But he is exposing himself more each week and as the future great quarterback of the NFL, something needs to be changed. This week is a much needed bye week scheduled at the perfect time.
7) PITTSBURGH—I love to see the Steelers playing great and in the Top 10. Ben Roethlisberger is a beast. His prior week it was 506 yards with 6 TD’s and he followed that performance up with 6 more TD’s to become the first person to have back to back 6 touchdown games. It was against Indianapolis and Baltimore so that made it that much more incredible. This week it’s time to fly to New York and see if he can make it a 3-peat vs the J=E=T=S.
8) GREEN BAY—The pack was back. Then a loss at New Orleans and a bye week made some forget about whether they’re playing, winning or losing. This week they play the team they always beat; the Chicago Bears. Five straight at Lambeau before last years 27-20 loss. And Jay Cutler didn’t play in that game. He’s 0-3 on the road vs Green Bay and has the worst QB rating collectively in all 3 games of 13.2 and lower.
9) DALLAS—Let’s not get too excited and lose the love for our Cowboys. They lost last week without Romo. Back to back home losses are horrific but not the end when you play Jacksonville this week and have a bye week following. My back hurts when I fly for 1 hour so why Romo is flying for 7 hours to sit around in London is all about Jerry Jones and his bottom line. He has Romo scheduled for some speeches so it’s not about the field. I doubt he will play. Let him rest for two more weeks believing that any 11 players you put on the offensive side of the ball should be able to defeat the Jags if you really are a quality team.
10) SEATTLE—It would be easy to leave the defending Champions out of the Top 10 with 3 losses but we’ll let the bad performance with the Raiders and the Panthers pass as they both got the win. They are the NFL’s worst at rushing the passer and Derek Carr had all day to set up and throw. If, and a big if, they make the playoffs, better QB’s will expose their defensive line and knock them out early. They better get things patched up. They play the Giants this week. Lastly, Pete Carroll is a fine coach. But he may be a better “front-runner” coach. It’s really hard visualizing him grabbing the face masks of a 350 lb defensive tackle during practice and explaining the importance of an effective pass rush.
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11) CINCINNATI—At 5-2-1 they are ok but in-state Cleveland rival is up next on Thursday Night.
12) KANSAS CITY—Alex Smith in his last 7 games has 10 TD’s and only 1 INT but none by a wide receiver.
13) MIAMI—Statement game of the year. Mia 37- SD 0. It was the Fish first shutout in 123 games.
14) NEW ORLEANS—The defeated the Packers at home, now really impress us with a huge 49er’s win.
15) SAN FRANCISCO—No more QB sneaks. Did they know that Frank Gore is their main running back?