Who knows? Nobody can figure this league out, especially me. I mean, I picked the, ahem, Tennessee Titans to win the Super Bowl this year. At least I picked
Anyway, back to the poll. Even with a couple of upsets here and there, the top ten remained virtually unchanged. And no, the Rams didn't make the cut. Sorry, one great win doesn't mean everything.
(5-1): The Dolphins deserved getting to the top spot this week, after knocking off a very good Broncos team in Miami . This team has some serious grit. They'll need more of that for the next month, as starting quarterback Jay Fiedler is out with a broken thumb. While Fielder isn't flashy or spectacular, he has been doing a nice job of getting his team in position to win games, without losing them. With that said, I still don't think he can come remotely close to carrying the offense without Williams running well. Denver (4-1): I won't bury the Raiders too much for their loss at Oakland this past Sunday. In fact, I sort of saw it coming, especially after Bob Costas decided to question Marshall Faulk's effectiveness in the Rams' offense in a cut off interview aired on HBO. Not surprisingly, Faulk walked out midway through Costas' diatribe, refusing to answer his question. Instead, Faulk answered his critic with a stellar performance against the Raiders, reminding people that he is still the best player on offense. But back to the Raiders. I am still not completely sold on them, but I will say this: They have a pretty good chance to beat the Chargers in a pivotal AFC West showdown, thus retaining their No.1 ranking from a week ago. St. Louis (4-2): Usually, I don't like ranking a team with more losses ahead of a team that has less, but I have to break the rule just this one time. If John Mobley is able to hold on to a gift interception thrown to him on the final drive of the game against Denver , then the Broncos would be hailed as the best team in football right now. Hey, even with two losses, they may just be the best overall team in the NFL. They really have very little glaring weaknesses. They can run the ball well, stop the run on defense and play well on special teams. Brian Griese is somewhat on an enigma as the main man running the offense, but he's shown that he can handle adversity. And I'll give you this: They will win the AFC West this season. If they grab the home field advantage, who's going to beat them in Miami ? Denver (5-1): If you prescribe to the theory that defenses win championships, then you have to love Tampa Bay . This is the third week in a row that I am talking about their stingy D, which is currently ranked No.1 in the league, because great defenses just don't get enough publicity. Overall, they are giving up less than ten points a game, which ranks first in the NFL. To add, they aren't too shabby against the run and pass, ranking second and fourth in both categories respectively. Granted, Warren Sapp and the crew will get a good litmus test against Philly this Sunday. But at this rate, it's safe to say that Tampa 's defense is back to being the most feared unit in football. Tampa Bay (5-1): The Saints keep on keeping on with their high powered offense, which put a 49 spot on Marvin Lewis' defense in New Orleans last Sunday. However, the defense, which is certainly opportunistic, keeps giving up a good amount of points. The Saints will likely be locked into another shootout this weekend, against Washington . San Francisco (5-1): The Chargers rebounded nicely by defeating the high powered Chiefs at home. The win was an impressive one for the Super Chargers, considering how bad of a beating they took the week before against San Diego . However, the bad news is the Chargers' stout defense has yielded a total of 60 points in the past couple of weeks. That total will likely grow even more, when they go visit the ticked off Raiders in the black hole. The Chargers better hope that they can run the ball as well as Denver did against the Raiders last Sunday, to keep their defense off the field as much as possible. St. Louis (5-1): I have to give the Packers their props this week. Winning against the Patriots, without four defensive starters isn't an easy feat, even if Green Bay New Englandwas depleted themselves. Even though the Pack seem somewhat vulnerable with those players out of action for some time, they still have enough juice to win the NFC North going away, especially considering that the Bears are more injured than they are. The question is: Will the Packers be able to win the NFC Championship without the home field advantage? I know; it's too early to speculate these things. (4-1): With the exception of the beating they gave the Rams, the 49ers have had to struggle through all three of their other victories so far this season. Still, a win is a win. And quite frankly, with San Francisco plunging to a 1-4 record, the NFC West seems all but clinched by the 9ers. Yeah, Seattle is in second place at the moment, with a respectable 3-2 record. But it's hard to believe that they will end up winning ten games, which is probably the amount of games that the 49ers will likely win by the tail end of the season. Arizona (3-2): Five games into the season and the Eagles already have a must win, and it's not even against an opponent in their division. Nope, they have to get a W against those dreaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, a team they have ousted out of the first round of the playoffs in two straight seasons. The Eagles must win this game if they are to be considered as a Super Bowl caliber team once more. They also must win this game because if they lose and the Cowboys beat the Cardinals, the Boys will have a half game lead in the NFC East. Philadelphia (4-1): The Colts' offense hasn't geared up quite yet, but they've been just good enough to win four games so far. Look for things to change some this week, once the Colts' starting spreading the field more. If Indy is to have any aspirations to score more points from here on out, they must setup the run by throwing the ball, not the other way around. So far, Manning's play-action fakes are just not as devastating as they've been before, and that has everything to do with the Colts' sagging rush attack not being respected by defenses. Indianapolis