10. San Diego Chargers – I think Philip Rivers is an elite quarterback, their weapons are amazing and if they can kinda get through September, where they have struggled, Philip Rivers has been fantastic in late November and December. I don’t love Norf Turner but I got them at #10
9. New England Patriots – I’ve been down on New England all year, you know that via the blog I try to come across as a Patriots homer but folks, they are 31st in defense. They’ve slowly become the Houston Texans. Lots of points, lots of fun but they can’t get anybody off the field. I’ll probably have people direct messaging me on my twitter account asking “How can you drop them to 9?” I had them 7th (though this is the first Top 10 I’m releasing this season), I just don’t buy into this team, they let go of Meriweather, they don’t have a kicker back there, or someone that can pop somebody. I don’t like the team, they are not intimidating defensively and other teams now know it
8. Philadelphia Eagles – Now I know you’re saying “Andrew, they are 1-2” no, they’re 3-0 if Vick is healthy. Listen, they’re still 6th in offense and nobody is faster in this league. Michael Vick does not have a broken hand, he’s got contusions, and it’s painful! But if you can keep Michael Vick healthy – I know it’s a bad offensive line, but my gut feeling is that Michael’s going to get 10-12 games in. Philadelphia is a fireworks show! They are very very tough to defend when Vick is healthy!
7. New York Jets – Too many people are selling on the New York Jets. The New York Jets can beat anybody in this league, including the Green Bay Packers. New York is a B+ defense, Rex Ryan is an excellent defensive head coach and I would say this. Mark Sanchez, to me – I don’t know what the numbers say so far, looks better than he did in his first 2 years. He made a throw to Plaxico Burress against the Raiders that was as good as any throw any quarterback has made in this league so far this year. The Jets are fine, they’re not as good defensively – that’s really the story here, and that means more close football games. Don’t be shocked if they upset Baltimore this weekend. I love the Jets this weekend…too many sellers on this team.
6. Detroit Lions – I buy in! Matt Stafford is a monster. This team has not only nailed their first five #1 picks, but they’ve also all become stars in this league. Ndamukong Suh, Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Jahvid Best, by the way…they’ve only been sacked once this year and their offensive line was one of their liabilities – it’s certainly better than what we thought. So right now, the only problem with this team is that they’re not really good defensively on the backend.
5. Dallas Cowboys – When healthy, and right now they’re not healthy, it’s a good football team, and they should be 3-0. San Francisco is better than we thought; they went out there all banged up and won. The Jets are a pretty good football team, had them beat. They won this past Monday without a healthy starting receiver. Dez Bryant was about 70% and he said later after the game “I may have sat, but Tony Romo played and I played” If they can get through the next month of schedules, I think they are a pretty good football team.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers –Yes the offensive line is sort of a mess at tackle and the cornerback questions linger. Head coach, quarterback pass rush is still an A grade in my books. This is a very good culture and they have earned my respect. There have been different times during the last 5 or 6 years we have felt not great about the Steelers. They’ve gotten to what? 3 Superbowls and they haven’t really had a great running game for the last several years. They are a “flawed at points” football team, but they have earned my respect.
3. New Orleans Saints – They may be the best team in the league. To be honest with you though, I thought about putting them at #1 or #2. They’ve got a tough schedule so far: Green Bay, Chicago and Houston and they are 2-1. The schedule gets almost laughably easy. They’re only loss is a shootout in Green Bay, offensively they are averaging about 440 yards and 34 points a game and that’s against the Bears and the Packers. This team may be the best in the league.
2. Baltimore Ravens- I still have my reservations with Joe Flacco. The good news for Joe Flacco thought is that in 2 games this year – no interceptions, 3 TD’s no interceptions, that’s always been the key here. This is a very good football team, but can Flacco get you to the next level? Well, you look at how they thumped Pittsburgh and St. Louis…it’s a very good football team.
1. Green Bay Packers – Confident, talented, great quarterback, good coach, exceptional organization. Green Bay is #1 in the NFL until somebody knocks them off their perch.
Now I’m probably going to get a lot of Buffalo Bills fans, who have just gone absolutely crazy “Andrew, how could you not have a team that’s 3-0 in your Top 10?” First of all, 3 games in a 16 game season is a tiny sample size it’s your first win over New England since 03’, it was at home, with some breaks and a last second field goal. Buffalo, you have not earned the respect this early in a season to be rated above a San Diego – which has a guy who is going to be a Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best receivers in the league. Buffalo fans are saying “Well what about Detroit? You’ve got Detroit at 3-0?” Yeah but Detroit’s top 5 guys are superstar level guys. Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, Kyle Vanden Bosch already has 3 sacks. Those are all Pro Bowl type players!