There are old sayings, that a coach is only as good as his players, or that players make the coach. I can’t argue with either of these sayings, but Saints head coach, Sean Payton is trying to prove these sayings are just flat out lies. After serving a suspension for the entire 2012 NFL season, Payton is back on the sidelines and the Saints have looked invincible. As usual, the offense has looked great, but so far this season the defense has been spectacular.
Under the guidance of new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, the Saints D has been down right nasty. The Saints have always had Drew Brees and a host of offensive weapons. If the defense had been this good over the years, the Saints could easily have added another Trophy or two the trophy case at the Superdome. Of course, there is a long way to go in this season, but the Saints are looking like they could have a lot to say about who represents the NFC in NYC, for the Super Bowl. In the opening game of the season, the defense held the high powered Falcons offense to 16 points, and is giving up an average of 15 points per game. It remains to be seen if New Orleans can keep that up.
Elsewhere, the action in the NFL has been wild and unpredictable at times. Nothing was more wild or unpredictable than the Seahawks comeback heroics against the Texans. Down 20-3 and seemingly out of it, Seattle scored the last 17 points of regulation to tie the game, then scored late in the overtime to finish the comeback, 23-20. On second thought, maybe it wasn’t so unpredictable, seeing that Texans QB, Matt Schaub has thrown pick 6’s in each of the last 3 games. None more devastating than the one against Seattle. With under 3:00 to play, Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman picked off a pressured Schaub pass and took it the distance to tie the game. The Texans were one first down from sealing the game. Sherman had other ideas to keep the Seahawks unbeaten, and give the Texans their second loss in a row.
While the Saints and Seahawks are off to excellent starts, the entire NFC East looks lost. The Cowboys have two excusable losses. Other than that, the NFC East is a complete mess with no relief in sight. The Cowboys actually look like the best team in the division, which is news in itself. In the AFC, the Broncos continue to dominate, but several teams, including the Dolphins, Titans, Chiefs, and Chargers continue to surprise. Let’s see how many of these teams find themselves in the Power Rankings for Week 5 as we get ready for an incredible slate of games!
WEEK 5 NFL POWER RANKINGS (12-Pack)
1. Denver Broncos – (This Week: at Dallas). ‘Manning and The Mile High Machine continue to obliterate NFL record books. Can the Cowboys slow them down?
2. Seattle Seahawks – (This Week: at Indianapolis) We’ll keep Seattle here for now, but its no secret their best offense is their defense. Can Golden Tate or anyone step up in place of Percy Harvin?
3. New Orleans Saints – (This Week: at Chicago). Defense continues to play well under Rob Ryan. Granted, the best offense they’ve played were the wounded Falcons, but the Falcons weren’t so wounded week 1. Seahawks have edge for better wins so far but Saints may be more complete team.
4. New England Patriots – (This Week: at Cincinnati) It can’t be understated what a fabulous job Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have done to have the Pats unbeaten so far, and Gronk is due back soon. Pats are clearly 2nd best team in AFC right now.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – (This Week: at Tennessee) The Chiefs were thought to be much improved, but few expected them to still be unbeaten. The defense is clearly ahead of the offense. If Alex Smith and company get going consistently, look out.
6. Chicago Bears – (This Week: vs New Orleans) Still have to go with the Bears in this spot, even after the defense was lit up by Reggie Bush and the Detroit Lions. Bears offense nearly bailed the D out still. Should be outstanding game against the Saints.
7. Miami Dolphins – (This Week: vs Baltimore) Would like to have seen Miami a little more competitive, but there’s no shame losing in New Orleans. Dolphins have a chance to make another splash this week, when the defending Super Bowl champs come to South Florida. Two impressive wins on the road have Miami in this spot.
8. Indianapolis Colts – (This Week: vs Seattle) Can the Colts beat, arguably the top two teams in the NFC? They’ve already won at San Fran. They get the Seahawks at home, Sunday in one of several great matchups this week.
9. San Francisco 49ers – (This Week: vs Houston) The Niners looked more like themselves (so did the Rams for that matter) vs St. Louis on Thursday. Frank Gore and the running game seemed to get going some, but there’s still the question of who will provide that deep threat in the passing game. Expect Harbaugh to figure it out and for the 49ers right the ship.
10. Detroit Lions – (This Week: at Green Bay) Reggie Bush has been just what the doctor ordered for the Lions offense. The Lions are easily one of most pleasant surprises in the early going, with a 3-1 record. Odds of going to 4-1 are not very good, but they should put up some points on Green Bay’s mediocre D.
11. Tennessee Titans – (This Week: vs Kansas City)What a start to the season for Mike Muncjak’s Titans. They’re 3-1 and could easily be 4-0. Still the start is quite remarkable. Now, can they sustain it with Jake Locker out 4-6 weeks with a hip injury? Note: The Titans are 3-1 without a TD from Chris Johnson. Amazing.
12. Baltimore Ravens – (This Week: at Miami)The Ravens have to be second guessing themselves for not re-signing Anquan Boldin. No one misses Boldin more than Joe Flacco, however. Boldin was Flacco’s security blanket, and the Ravens offense looks lost without him. Despite all that, there aren’t 12 teams better than the Ravens.
4 more to keep your eye on…..
San Diego Chargers