There are two key questions that have been plaguing me this week. When will the Tennessee Titans lose, and when will the Detroit Lions win? The Titans held on to the top spot in my rankings and remained undefeated with a 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. They play at Jacksonville this weekend in a game they will definitely be favored to win, and then they have to face the suddenly deadly New York Jets on November 23rd. Detroit travels to Carolina to take on the Panthers this weekend and then will tangle with Tampa Bay at home on November 23rd.
It wouldn’t be out of the question for Tennessee to be 11-0 when they face Detroit on Thanksgiving. It also wouldn’t be out of the question for the Lions to be 0-11. I really don’t know the stats on something like this happening, but I have to assume that rarely if ever have two teams met this late in a season with one team undefeated and the other winless. But we have a few weeks to go before we hear any statistics on this issue. If that happens, I guess we NFL fans should be thankful that Dallas is playing Seattle… oh wait, that one should be a stinker too. Luckily the Cards play the Eagles in the nightcap; too bad it’s on the NFL network. Who has the NFL network anyway?
Last week’s rankings in parentheses.
1. (1) Tennessee Titans [9-0]: The Titans have only given up twenty or more points once this season (21), and they have given up the least number of points overall (117). That’s good.
2. (2) New York Giants [8-1]: Is any team in the NFC even close to being as talented on both sides of the ball as the G-men?
3. (3) Pittsburgh Steelers [6-3]: Ben Roethlisberger has more interceptions than touchdowns, but the defense is #1.
4. (4) Carolina Panthers [7-2]: Has anyone seen a worse quarterback performance on a team that ended up on the winning side than Jake Delhomme’s game against the Raiders?
5. (6) Washington Redskins [6-3]: Need to get back on track against Big-D this Sunday night. Prime time, baby!
6. (7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers [6-3]: Do the Bucs really need to add Cadillac Williams to the running back mix? It doesn’t seem fair to teams with no legit running backs, let alone three.
7. (8) Arizona Cardinals [6-3]: Remember when Dennis Green went crazy a few seasons back? He had that amazing “We let them off the hook!” rant. Well, we almost had another one of those, until the Niners ran into a brick wall.
8. (11) New York Jets [6-3]: Remember in There’s Something about Mary when Brett Favre shows up at Cameron Diaz’s house and Ben Stiller says, “What about Brett Fav-rah?” It’s a great scene. That’s all.
9. (9) New England Patriots [6-3]: Where did BenJarvus Green-Ellis come from, and why did it take me four tries to spell his name correctly?
10. (5) Chicago Bears [5-4]: All of Chicago is praying for the quick return of Kyle Orton, ASAP.
11. (12) Philadelphia Eagles [5-4]: Congratulate Hank Baskett on his engagement to former Hugh Hefner arm candy and Girls Next Door star, Kendra Wilkinson–and her terrible laugh.
12. (13) Dallas Cowboys [5-4]: Dallas fans, all hope is not lost. Tony Romo will play this week against the Redskins. Keep an eye out for Jessica Simpson, though.
13. (14) Atlanta Falcons [6-3]: Everyone is impressed with the poise of Matt Ryan, but one of the biggest reasons for the Falcons success is defensive end John Abraham and his eleven sacks.
14. (15) Baltimore Ravens [6-3]: The Ravens average over 150 yards rushing per game and only give up 65. That’ll win you a few games.
15. (16) Indianapolis Colts [5-4]: What is the deal with the Colts? Another big win? Are they still one of the best in the AFC? I think so.
16. (19) Miami Dolphins [5-4]: Nobody thought the ‘Fins would win five games all season, let alone be in the playoff hunt this late.
17. (10) Buffalo Bills [5-4]: The Bills have gone from first to worst in the AFC East in three weeks; that’s impressive.
18. (20) Denver Broncos [5-4]: Got off the shnide by beating the Browns on Thursday night in a game only seventeen people watched.
19. (21) Minnesota Vikings [5-4]: Adrian Peterson is just plain ridiculous.
20. (17) Green Bay Packers [4-5]: Two losses in a row by a combined four points. Nobody wants to sit in -14 degree wind-chill if your team isn’t winning.
21. (18) New Orleans Saints [4-5]: The Saints air the ball out so well, you almost forget that they have no defense or running game whatsoever.
22. (22) Jacksonville Jaguars [4-5]: One of my buddies went to high school with Jags punter Adam Podlesh.
23. (23) San Diego Chargers [4-5]: How much you wanna bet the Bolts still make the playoffs? Not much, I bet.
24. (24) Houston Texans [3-6]: Someone other than Mario Williams needs to get to the quarterback soon. Otherwise, we’re in for a few more stinkers like we saw last Sunday against the Ravens.
25. (25) Cleveland Browns [3-6]: The Browns don’t seem that much better with Brady Quinn at quarterback. Sorry Dawg Pound.
26. Texas Tech Red Raiders [10-0]: Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree is as good as any duo in the NFL.
28. (26) St. Louis Rams [2-7]: How the Rams won two
games I’ll never know.
29. (27) San Francisco 49ers [2-7]: Frank Gore looked pretty mad on the sidelines after not getting a nod on the final play of the game.
29. (28) Oakland Raiders [2-7]: Had 259 total yards against the Panthers, a much better effort this week. Way to go, boys.
30. (30) Seattle Seahawks [2-7]: I want to yell “Matt Hasselbeck is here!” over and over again like Steve Martin yelling about his phonebook in The Jerk.
31. (29) Kansas City Chiefs [1-8]: Tyler Thigpen looked like a real NFL quarterback against the Chargers this week.
32. (31) Cincinnati Bengals [1-8]: The Bengals haven’t lost in two weeks. Please disregard the fact that they just had a bye week, though.
33. (32) Detroit Lions [0-9]: Daunte Culpepper was not the answer. Unless the question was, “What washed up quarterback won’t help the Lions win?”
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