What is wrong with Peyton Manning and the Colts? They had a 14-6 lead in the third quarter and looked to be shutting down Tennessee’s offense when I changed the channel to watch the World Series. When I returned, what seemed like minutes later, the Titans had a 31-14 lead. Manning scored on a QB plunge with just over a minute left to make the score 31-21, but the outcome of the game was already decided.
It’s the midpoint of the season for some teams and the Titans are still the only undefeated team at 7-0. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants got back on the winning track and are the only one loss team left after Buffalo fell to a tenacious Miami squad and Pittsburgh lost to the champs by a touchdown.
Halfway point biggest surprises:
Of the teams with great records at the midpoint, one of the biggest surprises has to be the Buffalo Bills. I know they have had a fairly easy schedule and just lost a winnable game to the ‘Fins, but the Bills are still sitting pretty at 5-2. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs in the new millennium. The newest generation of Bills fan doesn’t even remember that Buffalo was one of the most dominant franchises of the 90’s. It’s time for a return to the glory days, the city needs this.
Of teams with not-so-great records the biggest flops so far have to be San Diego, Cleveland and Indianapolis. All of these teams were predicted to not only make the playoffs, but possibly win their respective divisions. All of them are below .500. It’s not too late to get back on the winning track, but the clock is ticking.
Last week’s rankings in parentheses.
1. (1) Tennessee Titans [7-0]: Keep winning even though old greybeard Kerry Collins has only thrown three touchdowns.
2. (2) New York Giants [6-1]: Proved that they can still run with the best of the AFC in win over Pittsburgh.
3. (3) Pittsburgh Steelers [5-2]: Santonio Holmes seems to have forgotten that he plays for the Steelers, not the Bengals.
4. (5) Carolina Panthers [6-2]: Panthers top two receivers have combined for 1120 yards so far. Holy offensive output, Batman!
5. (6) Washington Redskins [6-2]: Clinton “Sheriff Gonna Getcha” Portis is on pace for 2042 total yards.
6. (4) Buffalo Bills [5-2]: Looked like the ghost of recent past against Miami.
7. (7) Chicago Bears [4-3]: Bye week, big game against Detroit this week… not.
8. (13) Denver Broncos [4-3]: ‘Fins wildcat offense won’t make Denver’s 30th ranked defense smile much this Sunday.
9. (8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers [5-3]: The Buccaneer’s defense already has twelve interceptions. Only the Packers have more (13); surprisingly (sarcasm) Detroit (1) is in last place in that category.
10. (9) Arizona Cardinals [4-3]: Kurt Warner is averaging 298.4 yards per game. He’s only done better than that two other times in his career. One was in ’00 when the Rams took home the title. Did I mention that he’s 74 years old?
11. (10) Dallas Cowboys [5-3]: ‘Boys won a stinker against Tampa Bay, better learn to play as a team before they head to Giants Stadium this weekend.
12. (12) New England Patriots [5-2]: Matt Cassel has looked more like Tom Brady and less like Matt Cassel the last few weeks.
13. (11) Atlanta Falcons [4-3]: I’m just waiting for SNL to bring back the “Falconer” skit with Matt Ryan playing the lead.
14. (14) Green Bay Packers [4-3]: News flash, Aaron Rodgers is putting up much better numbers than Brett Favre.
15. (16) Philadelphia Eagles [4-3]: Brian Westbrook ran for 167 yards against the Falcons even though he had two broken arms, turf toe, broken ribs and had just had his wisdom teeth removed an hour before kickoff.
16. (17) Baltimore Ravens [4-3]: Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is also a boxer. He knocked out his opponent forty-nine seconds into his first professional fight.
17. (18) New Orleans Saints [4-4]: Huge win in London heading into the second half of the season.
18. (21) New York Jets [4-3]: Which Brett Favre will we see this Sunday? The one who threw six touchdowns against the Cards or the mistake prone old gunslinger who leads the NFL with eleven interceptions?
19. (15) Jacksonville Jaguars [3-4]: Jags should get back on the winning track with tilts against the Bengals and Lions in the next two weeks. There’s a cat joke in there somewhere.
20. (19) Indianapolis Colts [3-4]: Wow, the Colts are 3-4. I was right, this is bizarro world.
21. (20) San Diego Chargers [3-5]: Chargers, always famous for their slow starts and fast finishes, are really pushing it this year.
22. (22) Minnesota Vikings [3-4]: Two of the Vikings best players are being accused of steroid use; this is bad news for a team already treading water.
23. (23) Miami Dolphins (3-4): Man, was I wrong about my Ted Ginn comment in last week’s rankings.
24. (28) Houston Texans [3-4]: The Texans have won three in a row and nobody seems to notice. That’s probably because they beat Miami, Detroit, and Cincinnati.
25. (24) Cleveland Browns [3-4]: Cleveland is creeping back into contention in the AFC North, but they won’t get far if they can’t find a way to jumpstart their 30th ranked offense.
26. (25) St. Louis Rams [2-5]: The Rams almost had a three game win streak, but this isn’t horse shoes and/or hand grenades so it doesn’t count.
27. (30) Seattle Seahawks [2-5]: Seneca Wallace showed that even a wide receiver can play quarterback and beat the Niners.
28. (26) San Francisco 49ers [2-6]: Will Condoleeza Rice please save the Niners?
29. (27) Oakland Raiders [2-5]: Without Darren McFadden, the Raiders rushers don’t scare anyone.
30. (29) Kansas City Chiefs [1-6]: Tyler Thigpen looked solid on Sunday, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but… the Chiefs still lost.
31. (31) Texas Longhorns [8-0]: I’m debating whether or not to put them ahead of a few other teams.
T32. (32) Cincinnati Bengals [0-8]: When does the season end? It’s only half over? Crap!
T32. (32) Detroit Lions [0-7]: I’m really starting to wonder why we have to put up with the Lions every thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble.
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