The Seattle Seahawks line up for a play during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. It pains us to say this, but Seattle is, at this point in the season, the class of the NFC. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Before proceeding into tonight’s Week 6 game between the New York Giants traveling to meet the Chicago Bears, I wanted to give my spin on where I think each teams ranks in the conference:
1. Seattle Seahawks (4-1) Key wins: 49ers, Texans
As much as it brings me pain to even write this, Seattle is the top power in the NFC. Russell Wilson has looked like there will be no sophomore slump. He is GOOD. Despite the loss to Indianapolis, I think the Seahawks have done enough body of work. And Percy Harvin hasn’t even played yet. Yikes!
2. New Orleans Saints (5-0) Key wins: Dolphins, Bears
Drew Brees is, well, Drew Brees. The Saints throw the ball A LOT. With Sean Payton back, the Saints are going to score points. But they get my number two ranking because they look shaky at times. They struggled at Tampa and survived Atlanta at home. But they are 5-0, but I’m still not sold on that defense.
3. San Francisco 49ers (3-2) Key wins: Packers, Texans
So does anybody know who the 49ers are? They, as I see it, survived opening day against Green Bay but took two thumpings back-to-back. Wins against St. Louis and Houston don’t look like much, but a stash of key injuries and an err… um… indefinite leave don’t have them at full strength. Just have to wait and see, I guess.
Will Aaron Rodgers get the Packers offense on a roll in the coming weeks?
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
4. Green Bay Packers (2-2) Key wins: Lions
Green Bay had a lead midway through the fourth quarter at San Francisco. They had a 16-point lead at Cincinnati. If they finish, they’re atop of the NFC. But they didn’t. They find themselves doubted. The offense needs to get into high gear. Right now the defense is carrying it. That should not be the case with that number 12 at quarterback.
5. Detroit Lions (3-2) Key wins: Bears
The Lions only go as Calvin Johnson goes. They made that painfully apparent by a beatdown at Lambeau Field last Sunday. I see them only in this spot because the rest of the NFC is pretty bad. The offense will keep them in games. If the front four of that defense doesn’t play lights out, things could become iffy really quick in Detroit.
6. Chicago Bears (3-2) Key wins: Bengals
Looks like the Bengals gave up a win opening day at Chicago. They barely eeked out a win against Minnesota. Pittsburgh is lost. Two chances to prove themselves and the Bears can’t capitalize. Is Marshall hurt? Nobody really knows. But we do know Jay Cutler and he is still playing like himself. Poorly.
7. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) Key wins: none
Dallas is loaded with talent. Dez Bryant is rivaling Calvin Johnson for best wide receiver in the NFL. Tony Romo looked great for 58 minutes against Denver. With all that said, Dallas is still a mess. Going on the road has proven to be their undoing. Are they going to be swept by the AFC West? They need consistency and they need it soon.
8. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) Key wins: Lions
It appears as if the Cardinals are still missing a key piece, the quarterback. Carson Palmer is still playing like the late Carson Palmer. They have a pretty good defense and Patrick Peterson is leading the charge. Like Dallas, they need consistency from their veteran quarterback. Maybe a run game wouldn’t hurt either.
Is Nick Foles the answer in Philly? Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
9. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) Key wins: none
Dare I say that the Eagles might be better with Nick Foles at quarterback? Yes, I will. They finally got back to winning albeit against the Giants, but Chip Kelly’s offense hasn’t looked decent since week 1. As dazzling as Michael Vick May be, he isn’t giving us any other option but to speak of quarterback controversy. My vote is for Foles.
10. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) Key wins: none
The loss of Julio Jones may prove to be unforgiving. Roddy White is not healthy and their prized offseason acquisition, Steven Jackson, is on the shelf. All the Falcons have left is to play with their hair on fire. They are still talented enough to make a run at the wildcard. When will the defense make a stand to help the offense?
11. Carolina Panthers (1-3) Key wins: none
Carolina should be better. I am going to place blame with offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, and the franchise they call Cam Newton. Enough with the excuses. The loss at Arizona was despicable. Ron Rivera and coordinators better find a turnaround quick or they might find themselves staring at pink slips.
12. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) Key wins: none
I think the real Adrian Peterson is back. It just took a London trip to cure him. I fully expect him to take off in the coming weeks. But the real question is who will be under center? The addition of Josh Freeman creates a quarterback carousel. I just have to know who is going to be the next quarterback Greg Jennings tries to subliminally say is as good as Aaron Rodgers?
13. Washington Redskins (1-3) Key wins: none
The Redskins are hoping the bye week gave RGIII time to become mobile again, Alfred Morris less sore ribs, and the defense a breather. A concussion-less Terrelle Pryor probably wreaks havoc on their defense so they’re fortunate there. There is still time to take the weak NFC east? Can they do it?
14. St. Louis Rams (1-4) Key wins: none
Where are the challengers to the Seahawks and 49ers? Because they have been absent so far. Jeff Fisher can’t get any running back to essentially run. It’s probably no secret that Sam Bradford can’t handle leading the Rams to the next level. Why weren’t they interested in Josh Freeman again?
Just what the heck is going on in New York? Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
15. New York Giants (0-5) Key wins: none
The New York Giants are well … so yeah I’m speechless about them. How does a team with their talent play THIS bad? Some serious changes are needed like yesterday. Somebody watch my back because I’m going to say it, Mr. Justin Tuck. Tom Coughlin has had a good run. Time to move forward.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) Key wins: none
How long is Tampa Bay going to wait before they part ways with Greg Schiano? They have embroiled themselves in a grudge between Schiano and Freeman and lost any hope of leading themselves out of the bottomless pit. Not even Revis Island can save the Bucs from opponents slaughtering Mike Glennon‘s confidence and the Bucs.