Rob Bironas kicked a forty-one yard field goal in overtime to defeat the Green Bay Packers and keep the Tennessee Titans undefeated at the mid-point of the season. The Titans are one of the strangest stories of the ’08 season.
People expected them to be pretty good and perhaps challenge Indianapolis and Jacksonville for the AFC South Title. But of all divisions, the AFC South was the biggest toss-up. Some analysts even picked Houston to win. Now Indy, Jacksonville, and Houston are all on the outside of the playoff picture trying very hard to look in, while the Titans are rolling and literally running away with the division.
Is it too soon wonder whether the Titans can challenge the ’72 Dolphins record as the only undefeated team in NFL history?
Last week’s rankings in parentheses.
1. (1) Tennessee Titans [8-0]: When will the Titans lose? Maybe at Chicago this weekend? Nah.
2. (2) New York Giants [7-1]: Manhandling of Dallas reminds us that the Giants did indeed win the Super Bowl last year. Maybe they deserve a little more respect.
3. (3) Pittsburgh Steelers [6-2]: The Roethlis-burger is extremely popular in Steel town; maybe now we’ll see the Left-wich on Primanti Brothers menus.
4. (4) Carolina Panthers [6-2]: The Panthers didn’t play last week, but now they get to feast on Oakland and Detroit.
5. (7) Chicago Bears [5-3]: Ew, Rex Grossman is back in at quarterback. Uh oh!
6. (5) Washington Redskins [6-3]: Jason Campbell looked like his feet were made of cement while getting sacked seven times against Pittsburgh.
7. (9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers [6-3]: Did anyone even know Tampa Bay would be any good this year? They are in the top ten in both offense and defense.
8. (10) Arizona Cardinals [5-3]: Having one of the best offensive years of his career, Kurt Warner is a legitimate candidate for an AARP card….uh, I mean NFL MVP.
9. (12) New England Patriots [5-3]: All is not lost in New England. At the mid-point, the Pats are in a three-team tie for first in the AFC East.
10. (6) Buffalo Bills [5-3]: Two losses in a row that they should have won against divisional opponents. Why do the Bills want to torture their fans so much?
11. (18) New York Jets [5-3]: Brett Favre still has it. He orchestrated one of his token long drives to more or less run the clock out on any chance of a fourth quarter Buffalo come back last week.
12. (15) Philadelphia Eagles [5-3]: Don’t look now, the Eagles are creeping back into the NFC East picture and the way they are playing, they look like the best of that pack.
13. (11) Dallas Cowboys [5-4]:] Since starting off 4-1, the ‘Boys have taken a dive that would have won them gold in Beijing.
14. (13) Atlanta Falcons [5-3]: The Flacons are rolling, how often to do you see a rookie quarterback lead his team like Matt Ryan is doing?
15. (16) Baltimore Ravens [5-3]: The Raven still have the 2nd ranked defense and in their last three games they’ve started to throw up big point totals. Nobody wants to play the Ravens right now.
16. (20) Indianapolis Colts [4-4]: The Colts finally won a huge game. But, is it too little too late?
17. (14) Green Bay Packers [4-4]: The Packers need to shake off a tough loss at Tennessee and get ready for the Vikes.
18. (17) New Orleans Saints [4-4]: The Saints offense is really fun to watch. Their defense? Not so much.
19. (23) Miami Dolphins [(4-4)]: Why don’t more teams use the “Wildcat” offense? It’s working for the ‘Fins.
20. (16) Denver Broncos [4-4]: You may have noticed that I mistakenly put the Broncos much higher last week; my bad. This is where they belong, if not much lower.
21. (22) Minnesota Vikings [4-4]: Minnesota is still in the NFC North playoff picture… for now.
22. (19) Jacksonville Jaguars [3-5]: The Jaguars lost to Cincinnati? Come on! Not cool, guys.
23. (21) San Diego Chargers [3-5]: It would appear that Philip Rivers was having an MVP type year, if it wasn’t for that pesky 3-5 record.
24. (24) Houston Texans [3-5]: Who’s the Texans third string quarterback? We might find out after Sage Rosenfels get’s his head knocked off by the Ray Lewis this week.
25. (25) Cleveland Browns [3-5]: Brady Quinn’s time has come. It only took eight week’s of sub-par quarterbacking to make this decision.
26. (26) St. Louis Rams [2-6]: I bet the Rams wish they had Kurt Warner back right about now. Oh yeah, and an offensive line and receivers to throw to.
27. (28) San Francisco 49ers [2-6]: Remember when San Francisco was 2-1? They might not win another game this season.
28. (29) Oakland Raiders [2-6]: Wow, 77 yards of TOTAL offense against the Falcons. Total! Yeah, Al Davis was right; it was all Lane Kiffin’s fault.
29. (30) Kansas City Chiefs [1-7]: Two weeks in a row the Chiefs almost beat good teams… but they didn’t.
30. (27) Seattle Seahawks [2-6]: Weren’t the Seahawks picked to win their division?
31. (32) Cincinnati Bengals [1-8]: The Bengals aren’t winless and Chad Johnson looks like he still wants to play. Razzle Dazzle.
32. (32) Detroit Lions [0-8]: The savior has arrived. The Lions signed Daunte Culpepper. Oh wait, 8-8 won’t get them into the playoffs.
Chris Osburn is a 26 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist. On top of that, he writes about professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, visit his website http://www.chrisosburnwrites.com.
Article image by: Paige Foster, SXC
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn