• August 14, 2022

NFL Power Rankings: Week 10

It just bugs me when people constantly make assumptions every week, and accept these as truth based off one week. This is hard to do, as the NFL is always changing week to week. One week the Chiefs are good again, and the next week they get beat by a winless team at Arrowhead, which many say is the loudest stadium in the NFL. But, that’s why we love the NFL, because of the parity.

Last week, Eli Manning, of all people showed leadership and toughness, leading his team to a game winning drive on the road. It finally seems that he has the respect of the other 10 players in the huddle. The Ravens beat their hated rivals for the second time, and are currently on track for a home-playoff game for the first time of the Joe Flacco era. Both teams rise in the rankings. However, the Eagles fall in the power rankings, after a sloppy loss at home to the Bears. Same is said for the Bills, who were physically outmatched at home.

1. Packers- Another week, another Packers win. Regardless of the circumstances, the Packers always find a way to win. Evidence of a good club.
2. 49ers- A cross country trip is no problem for the consistent Niners, who took care of business on Sunday.
3. Ravens- Improbable win in Pittsburgh, but all that matters now for the Ravens is the playoffs. Like I said last week, I believe this team is getting better week-by-week.
4. Lions- A much needed bye week to get refreshed and prepare for an important division matchup against …Da Bears!
5. Steelers- Played the Ravens tough, but lost the game in the 4th quarter. This loss serves as motivation if they see the Ravens again in the playoffs. Still allot of upside for this team.
6. Texans- Good teams win games by taking care of lesser opponents early. The Texans do this, and they will get better when Andre Johnson returns from injury.
7. Saints- Drew Brees is yet again having another great year, which will propel the Saints to the playoffs yet again.
8. Giants-A win in New England showed the Giants toughness, and supported Eli’s off-season’s proclamation that he is “elite.” Still, a tough road ahead.
9. Bengals- They play tough defense, limit mistakes, and win on the road. Sounds like a good team.
10. Jets- Outplayed the Bills on Sunday, and got a much needed division win. Grudge match at home against the Patriots on Sunday.
11. Bears- Jay Cutler looked good, and the defense was able to limit Michael Vick and the explosive Eagles offense. Must win Sunday.
12. Falcons- Have finally got back to balanced football and playing sound defense, which is how they got to the playoffs last year.
13. Patriots- Lost their first game at home in a while. At least it’s a non-conference game. Unfortunately, it puts more pressure for the Pats to win on Sunday.
14. Bills- Outplayed at home against the Jets, but all isn’t lost. Must be more versatile on offense.
15. Chargers- At least they played the Packers tough. Must play more consistent to win the division.
16. Raiders- In Carson Palmer’s defense, most of his INTs were not his fault. If the Raiders want to win the division, they must all be on the same page on defense.
17. Bucs- Very, very inconsistent team. Maybe Albert Haynesworth will help jumpstart the defense. (Laughs)
18. Eagles- Just when you think the Birds are back, they once again play inconsistent at home and lose a game where they had the lead in the 4th quarter. Don’t get why the DEs were playing so wide when leading by 7 points. This allowed the Bears to just pound the ball down the field to win the game. It’s pretty obvious that they must run the ball on offense, and must have a more creative game plan to get the ball in DeSean Jackson’s hands.
19. Titans- Don’t have an explosive offense, and still haven’t gotten Chris Johnson going. No chance they win the AFC South, so expect Jake Locker to play very soon.
20. Cowboys- Beat another hopeless team at home. I still think the Cowboys are a better team than how they are playing.
21. Chiefs- Lost at home to a winless Dolphins team. They couldn’t match the Dolphins will to win.
22. Panthers- Cam Newton is “disappointed” with his play if his team is 2-6. Just the right attitude for a young QB. With the defense playing better, expect Cam Newton and the Panthers to end the season on a run.
23. Redskins- Have no weapons on offense. They just can’t score points. Number one offseason priority: weapons on offense, and get a long-term answer at QB.
24. Vikings- Tough test for Christian Ponder in Green Bay on MNF.
25. Browns- Same as Redskins. Offense is just dull and boring to watch.
26. Rams- Should start to play better with a healthy Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford playing together.
27. Broncos- Defense held tough in Oakland, and Tebow didn’t make many mistakes. The Spread worked this week, but it wont work long-term in the NFL.
28. Seahawks- Played better in Dallas, but making this team a contender will be a tough test for Pete Carroll in the future.
29. Jaguars- May be the victims of the Colts first win on Sunday. Still, I highly doubt it
30. Cardinals- John Skelton pulled out a win; Actually Patrick Peterson did. No chance against angry Philly team on Sunday.
31. Dolphins- Hard work has final paid off for the Dolphins, who went into a tough environment and pulled a win out of the sea on Sunday.
32. Colts- Saw allot of Andrew Luck support and even a jersey in the stands of Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. This would be the perfect transition for the Colts.

Matt McCool

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  • NFL dot com has an interesting article on how the Broncos adapted their offensive systems to fit his skill set. It includes video, as well.

    I apologize for the length. I had originally posted the link, but it was apparently rejected.

    Zone-read option leads to big results for Tebow, Broncos

    By Bucky Brooks NFL.com

    In a league driven by the performance of the quarterback, the most successful coaches are adaptable and willing to cater their offensive systems to fit the skill set of the signal caller.

    In Denver, John Fox and his coaching staff are undergoing a radical offensive makeover to maximize the talents of Tim Tebow. Part of the transformation includes featuring the zone-read option play that Tebow made famous at the University of Florida while winning two national championships and a Heisman Trophy.

    Other teams (like the Panthers with Cam Newton and the Bills with Brad Smith) have certainly sprinkled some elements of the formation into their playbooks. However, no team has featured the play as prominently as the Broncos did in their 38-24 win over the Raiders.

    To the surprise of traditionalists who have often dismissed the prospects of the zone-read succeeding in the league, the concept not only worked but also generated the kind of production that will lead others to explore the possibility of adding it to their respective playbooks.

    Let’s take a closer look at three ways the Broncos’ zone-read produced big results against the Raiders:

    Quarterback keeper

    The most dangerous element of the zone-read is the quarterback keeper. A quarterback with explosive running skills can wreak havoc on the edges, and the play often puts him in isolated situations with defenders in space. If he is able to elude the first defender, he often has a lot of running room on the outside and it typically leads to huge gains.

    Against Oakland, the Broncos were able to establish the threat of Tebow on the corner early in the game. On a play in the first quarter (right), the Broncos aligned in “Trips” — three receivers on the right and the tight end on the backside of the shotgun formation. Tebow took the snap and read Jarvis Moss’ (No. 94) while sticking the ball in McGahee’s belly. When Moss took a flat angle to pursue the runner, Tebow pulled the ball out and raced around the corner for a 32-yard gain.

    This was a pivotal play for the Broncos’ offense because it forced the Raiders to pay close attention to the quarterback, which prevented defenders from aggressively pursuing runners on the zone run.

    Inside zone
    The inside zone is the complementary run to the quarterback keeper. The running back will cross the face of the quarterback while taking a direct path to the inside foot of the opposite offensive guard. His approach to the line of scrimmage is important because it forces linebackers to flow aggressively to the frontside, which creates better blocking angles for the offensive line. The front five is simply asked to latch onto a defender in their assigned area and push down the line of scrimmage. The runner reads the initial flow of the defense and bursts through the first available hole once he hits his landmark. This eliminates the chances of a negative run and also leads to the possibility of a big gain if one or two defenders fail to stay in their assigned gaps.

    In looking at McGahee’s 60-yard run at the end of the third quarter (right), the lack of gap discipline led to the big play. The Broncos aligned in an unbalanced “Trips” formation. McGahee was set to the right of the shotgun formation beside Tebow. At the snap, McGahee took a path to the inside foot of the left guard with Tebow riding the handoff while reading Kamerion Wimbley (No. 96) on the right. Wimbley stayed home, which prompted the quarteback to hand the ball off before carrying out his fake. The extended action of Tebow caused Darryl Blackstock (No. 56) to hesitate, leaving a huge hole for McGahee to sprint through on the way to a score.

    Zone-read cutback
    When both elements of the zone-read are working effectively, offensive coordinators will routinely call a designed cut back to take advantage of aggressive linebackers. The play design and execution are the same, but the path of the running back is changed to give him the opportunity to get to the backside quicker. Rather than aim for the inside foot of the opposite guard, he will take a downhill angle in the direction of the center to allow him to cut back immediately at the line of scrimmage.

    In looking at McGahee’s game-clinching 24-yard touchdown run (right), it was the cutback element that led to the big run. The Broncos aligned in a “Trey” formation with McGahee set to the left. He stepped in the direction of the center while Tebow continued to read Aaron Curry (No. 51) on the left. When Curry flew up the field to chase the quarterback, Tebow slipped the ball to McGahee, who immediately bends it back to the left to take advantage of an overaggressive Blackstock flying to the frontside to stop the inside zone. With the linebacker out of position, McGahee skated into the end zone untouched for his second score of the day.

  • Tebow is 6’3 240 lbs and can handle a read option.

    Vick is 6′ (who are we kidding 5’11 max) and what? 180 lbs? Do you want him to run the option?

  • Good Rankings Matt, and I agree with you for the Top # 10
    I think you have the Eagles about 3 spots too high and should be #21 or so.. I just don’t see how you rank a team with 3 wins above teams with 4 wins (Bucs,Chiefs,Cowboys) and are at least .500, but that’s just me..
    Keep it up..

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