Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Oct 2005

Dr. Z's Power Rankings: Three Pages?!?

I could mention whether I agree with Paul Zimmerman that the Chargers deserve a major drop after losing a heartbreaker to the Eagles. Instead, I'll leave that for everyone to discuss in the comments and merely say that I'm getting a little sick of SI.com. Yes, I like Zimmerman and Peter King, but come on already. It was bad enough when you spread Dr. Z's power rankings across two pages, but three? Give me a break. Why not just make every team its own page? Even the printer-friendly version is three pages.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 26 Oct 2005

55 comments, Last at 28 Oct 2005, 7:17pm by thad


by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:36pm


Link doesn't go to si.com, it goes to footballoutsiders.

Granted, you guys are much more fun to read.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:37pm

The link is apparently not working -- I just keep coming back to this page -- no SI, not even as a pop-up.

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:45pm

OK, now it's working.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:51pm

See? Point something out to MDS, and 9 minutes later it's fixed. Point something out to Vivek, and he makes the same mistake four weeks later. :)

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:51pm

If you have to resort to trickeration to increase your page hits, at least provide us with controls to view a single-page version or to view a specific page. The New York Times has been paginating articles for a long time, but at least you have some control over how you view them.

I'm pretty much done with subjective rankings anyway. There are better ways to rank teams ... FO, Sagarin, tunesmith ... I'd rather read paragraphs from Dr. Z instead of snippets.

by krugerindustrialsmoothin (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:21pm

btw, anybody else having difficulty accessing the voa stats via the drop down box at the top left of this page? anybody?

by James (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:23pm

These ranking are f'ing useless.

Anyone can report on what has already happened. How about telling us which teams are gonna get better or worse.

How about telling us who is playoff ready and who couldn't win a playoff game if they finished 14-2.

Who cares how well a team plays through week 8 if they can't a. stop the run and b. rely on the qb

Without further ado.....

AFC top 5
1 Pitt
2 KC
3 SD
4 Jax
5 Indy

If NE defense can gel at all then put them at no. 1. Denver is a fraud, but a great reg season team though. A couple of my top 5 probably won't make the playoffs but that will be attributed to playing a tough schedule where it is hard to win week in and week out in the NFL.

NFC top 5
1 Philly
2 Washington
3 Seattle
4 Carolina
5 Atl

All of these teams should make the playoffs. Vick and Bledsoe are both unreliable but I chose Atl over the Cowboys for the sole reason that Vick can run. Delhomme is a loose cannon but sometimes makes awesome plays when blitzed. Seattle is not getting enough credit for how much better they have gotten. Washington is getting better every week. Philly is still the champ until someone beats them. Put any vet qb on Chicago and I would throw them at no. 2/3 right now.

by Flux (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:57pm

I'd comment on SD, but I only made it through the first page, and pretty well lost interest after seeing that the NYG jumped from #16 to #5. Talk about irrational subjective scores? Let's see, a team squeaks out a home win in the last seconds against a team that traveled cross country, solely because the visitors dubbed a gimme FG early in the 4th quarter = 11 point jump in the rating. kthx.

by James (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:06pm


1. ne
2. pitt
3. kc
4. sd
5. jax

Changed my mind. Put them in order of who has the qb I would want leading a last second drive. P.S Indy is about to start looking less than sharp so I dropped them. They play a top 10 schedule from here out as opposed to the easiest.

1. philly
2. was
3. seattle
4. giants
5. dallas

Again best five teams in order of which qb I'd want leading a last minute drive.

Decided to go with schedule strength and estimated wins as qualifications. Basically went to 1st ranked team in schedule and looked at est. wins. If better than .500 they're in. Then I placed in order of qb ability to lead in 4th quarter.

What does everyone think.

by James (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:20pm

Speaking of estimated wins...
I like that "stat" as a predictor of success the more and more I look at it.

What I think I see from 2002-2004 is Philly team that had a terrible strength of schedule and was therefore either a. never as good as we all thought or b. not battle tested enough as a group to pull through in the clutch.

by thad (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:26pm

Don't you think the Pats defense is horrible, and if they gel at all, they will just be pretty bad. Also i have zero faith in the Cowboys late and close. I don't want to put all the blame on Bledsoe but it seems like way too often its
first down run
second down run
oh my god its third and seven again here come the pass rush good god i hope Bledsoe does not throw a pick or get sacked.
I would say the Dallas o line is ok at best and Parcells gets pretty conservative.
the solution: break into Andy Reid's house, and maybe not steal the whole playbook but definately a couple of sections

by Whatever0 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:30pm

The actual rankings, themselves, are useless. The little comments on each team, however, are insightful and entertaining almost every week.

by Larry (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:32pm

Well, Dr. Z is on the anti-Vick bandwagon. That counts for something, no?

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:32pm

James -

I'm with you on estimated wins. I prefer to look at that over DVOA when the new rankings come out this week. I mean, it is supposed to correlate better to future wins, right?

But I don't get what you're saying about using the schedule. Going by your method, shouldn't the Bears be in your top 5? I'm confused.

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 9:08pm

David, I believe that estimated wins primarily combines DVOA with strength of (past) schedule. Therefore it's useful for determining which teams are better or worse than their record.

DVOA is king when it comes to predicting future performance (i.e. quality of play), although of course you have to consider strength of schedule here as well to predict future wins and losses (slightly different than performance).

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 9:12pm


Nonono: estimated wins don't have anything to do with strength of schedule. Estimated wins are the number of wins expected had the team faced a normal schedule.

It differs from DVOA in that it stresses things that help you win. DVOA just measures how well you play.

As a simple example: a good team with low variance has a higher estimated wins. Why? Because a high variance doesn't help a good team. When they fluctuate upwards, they don't get more than 1 win for crushing a team. When they fluctuate downwards, however, they could lose a game they shouldn't've (The opposite is true for a team with negative DVOA).

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 9:14pm

re #7: Interesting comment at the end there. I also think Chicago is a really good team if you don't consider the QB position. Unfortunately, in football you kinda do have to consider the QB position, I guess, but with any kind of decent quarterbacking they'd easily win that division.

by Rodafowa (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 9:56pm

Ravens coach Brian Billick mistakenly referred to Chicago running back Thomas Jones as Terry.

Brian Billick is a Monty Python fan?

by admin :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:26pm

The CONTACT FORM has an entry for technical problems. While it is good that we sometimes catch the comments people make in discussion threads about technical problems, a far better way to let us know about technical problems is to use the contact form. This way you won't feel offended because we didn't see your complaint. Thanks. We return you to the Dr. Z discussion now.

by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:46pm

Re 11
"Don’t you think the Pats defense is horrible, and if they gel at all, they will just be pretty bad."
How do you figure? Sure they'll be down Harrison still, but add in Bruschi and get Seymour back and you've effectively got the D that did pretty well last year.

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 11:38pm

Re 16: I'm getting confused. At first I looked in the FO glossary, which states that Estimated Wins is what you say it is and that Forest Index is what I was originally thinking (estimating how many wins a team should have based on DVOA, situation and opponent strength).

However, the weekly DVOA breakdowns state that Estimated Wins are calculated using the Forest Index. These are the only estimated wins shown in these tables, which leads me to believe that your statement as well as the FO glossary may be out of date.

Any FO insiders care to clear up this confusion?

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 11:41pm

Oops, sorry, a re-read of the Forest Index definition indicates that opponent ability is not taken into consideration. My bad.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:00am

#7: Chicago's problem isn't lack of a veteran QB. Orton is plenty good, probably better than Grossman is, and while not as good as most starters, good enough for a team that has a defense and a pretty-darn-good running back. The problem is that someone has to CATCH the ball. Just looking at the Baltimore game, there are a good number of drops, and even a couple spots where the reciever wasn't even paying attention, or was getting ready too late. Overall bad play and route running by people not named Muhsin Muhammad.
Of course, he does make some strange decisions. The "It wasn't intentional grounding even though he was in the pocket because he wasn't actually under pressure" throw comes to mind. Maybe a Favre-calibre QB might help, but just plunking in an average veteran wouldn't give you that much of a boost. If Chicago can keep most of the team intact and pick up a WR and TE, they could be scary next year with an experienced Orton. Provided they don't just go back to Rex "The Human Injury" Grossman.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:21am

James #10:

The 2001-2004 Eagles won 54 games and lost 20 in 4 years, and never won a Super Bowl. Only three other teams winning 50+ games over a four year span have accomplished a similar "feat" in the 16 game season era.

1990-1993 Bills won 58 and lost 19. Consistently tormented by the NFC East.

1978-1981 Cowboys won 52 and lost 21.

1995-1998 49ers won 51 and lost 20. Consistently tormented by the Packers.

And those Cowboys and 49ers were just off Super Bowl wins.

A number of teams have won 49 in 4 years with no rings (1996-1999 Jaguars, 1997-2000 Vikings, 1994-1997 Steelers, 1984-1987 Broncos, etc.).

I'm sure this tells us something about the Eagles, although I am not sure what. It is certainly a record of futility to be only surpassed in both winning and losing by the 1990-1993 Bills.

Even more "impressive" is the five year record of futility in winning 65+ games with no rings. 2000-2004 Eagles are 66 wins and 26 losses. 1989-1993 Bills are 67 wins and 27 losses.

by rk (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 1:34am

I think futility is a harsh word to describe those runs. Over any 4 year stretch there are at least 28 (fewer before expansion) teams that don't win the Super Bowl. The teams that scrape together 20 wins seem like the futile ones to me, not the teams that are dominating the regular season and consistently making the playoffs.

by 2 cents (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 2:59am

Phylli has lost its chance of winning the SB. This year may perhaps be the last chance if at all possible, but they will have to play out of their skins. Too many things are against the Iggles, no run game, leading to a bruised McNabb, and a stronger NFC (east especially). I see other teams catching up with them next year onwards.

In their SB game, a strong running game would have gone a long way in perhaps beating Pats. Iam amazed that Reid didnt move a finger (a fat one at that) to shore up the run game in the off-season. Inspite of the fact that Owens' grumling had begun the moment 04 season ended! I would put a good amount of blame on the coaching staff/front office.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:34am

Things I am officially sick of this football season:

1) The colts getting everyone swooning over them and their defense - I'm a big believer in Dungy and I do like the Colts, but come on! Have they played a halfway decent offense yet? I mean, rank them #1 if you must, but please include a caviat about their SOS. Swap their schedule with the Chargers' and I can easily believe their records would be reversed.

2) Everyone excusing Pittsburgh's embarrassing loss to the Jags "because of Tommy Maddox." Every team deals with injuries, and if your complete team cannot compete without just one player, frankly, you don't deserve to be ranked #2.

3) The complaining about the Eagles lack of a running game. The Eagles have a top offense which puts points on the board. Can we please stop having every article talk about the lack of a running game? Please? Just one?

4) The complete lack of respect Alexander is getting as a rusher. A top rusher last year. A top rusher this year. Always a good TD guy. Always a threat to break any run for a TD. Why do I always read gushing reviews about LT, Edge, McGahee or whomever but rarely anything about the best overall RB over the past 3 years?

5) Houston losing.

by MdM (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:04pm

Philly's record is of course partly because of the poor state of the NFC East the last several years. But I don't see them falling off the map here. Although they have suffered some hits this year, until further notice they are still the most consistently run and coached team outside of NE or Pittsburgh. Does anyone really think Gibbs is going to hang around forever, or Parcells? The Giants look to have the best long-term prospects of the competition. But what reason is there to think they will surpass the Eagles--Coughlin? Manning? Consistency is the rarest quality in the Not For Long league, so we'll see...

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:16pm

The 2001-2004 Lions won 16 games in four years. That, my friends, is futility.

Eagles fans may be at the point where they can't take it any more. However, I'd say pretty much everyone else (other than Patriots fans, obviously) would take a performance like the 01-04 Eagles from their team in a heartbeat.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:51pm

Houston was 7-9 last year. What the hell happened? Why are they threatening an 0-16 run at the 76 Bucs?

by James (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 1:00pm

re 14 David H,

Removed the Bears for lack of a qb. In the playoffs they don't stand a chance. But I love the Bears during the regular season, especially at home. Real bad break that Garcia healed from his for them. I would put the
Bears at 6, tied with Detroit.

by Nate (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 2:31pm

The 2001-2004 Lions won 16 games in four years. That, my friends, is futility.

So, if I owned a team, and that team won 16 games over four years, what would I do???

I know!!! Let's sign the GM over that time to an extension!

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:01pm

If Bill Ford is going to post on this website, he can at least have the decency to use his real name.

by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:02pm

I think it's worthy to note once more, as Zimmerman did, that the Dolphins essentially traded a no. 2 and a no. 6 pick for Cleo Lemon.

by Fiver (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:05pm

Re: #30 and Houston. A cursory glance at their 2004 stats vs 2005 stats suggests a couple things that might explain their collapse.

1) Their OLine is just terrible. They are on pace to give up 70+ sacks, and it's not like Carr is holding the ball and trying to throw deep. Check the numbers: Carr's YPA is down 2 full yards from last year, to a miserable 5.4 YPA. Check the average catch yardage for Andre Johnson, Gaffney, Davis, etc. All way down from last year. I'm guessing Carr doesn't have any time to wait for receivers to run routes, so it's just quick-outs and dump-offs against tight coverages. I know they tried to shuffle pieces and replace parts this offseason, but the 2005 Texans OLine is even worse than last year's awful version.

2) Their Run Defense has fallen apart. Last year, with Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman at ILB, and with Gary Walker on the DLine, they gave up 116 rushing yards per game. This year, with none of those players (Walker injured, Sharper and Foreman let go in FA), they are giving up 167 rushing yards per game. Morlon Greenwood and Kailee Wong at the two ILB spots didn't work, and Wong is now out for the season with a knee injury.

3) Jason Babin apparently doesn't want to play football anymore. He went from "solid rookie OLB with pass rush skills and a bright future who might have been worth 2 first round picks" to "inexplicable game-day inactive".

Those are just the things that jumped out at me from the numbers. Absolutely zero pass game, league-worst run D, players they were relying on not performing......it's pretty much a disaster.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:05pm

#27: The QB isn't just any player, though. Seasons of good teams have been destroyed when their QB went down. You need only look at PIT/JAX and StL/IND to see how well backups can perform.

Additionally, the Steelers were also without Hines Ward for the Jacksonville game, which (pregame) I thought would be a way bigger factor because the jags could (and did) just stack the run and let the passing game either not exist or destroy itself.

I agree completely about Indianapolis and Houston. I also really miss when the site recognized carriage returns in comments.

by X Coach T (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:06pm

James--interesting rankings and opinions--still too much credit on football outsiders for SD and JAX.
Here are my thoughts (not that anyone cares)
SD is talented and for the most part good but (just like a lot of Schottehiemer teams) lack leadership in crucial situations. The blocking on the field goal was pathetic--did anyone see that!? SD-potentially the best team in the NFL but will only get close in the end
JAX-potentially good some games against some teams but will not get close in the end
DEN-potential to be the best AFC team if the secondary can grow up and get healthy soon and they can stay ahead or within a TD of their opponent
INDY-the best period because of Manning--whether the defense is good or not, they can win with him, no matter who they play
CIN-potentially good but just a year away--still learning how to win against good teams

NFC--does it matter?
The East is all where the best team lies just depends on who is the healthiest and playing the best in week 17.

OK--now tell me where I am wrong

by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:16pm


I've promised myself not to go overboard with the confidence I'm feeling this year (as a Seahawks fan), so I'm not too concerned, but would you really go with Brunell or (a bruised) Mcnabb over Hasselbeck this year?

by Brian (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:18pm

#27: I do kind of agree with you about Indy, a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon and raving about the defense. There is NO question that it's better, but it's not the #1 defense or anything. I love what they're doing, but they're not quite there yet still, should be a solid top 10. They keep improving though so who knows? Small improvements are the difference between last years defense and how this years is playing currently, more small improvements could make them really tough. Still, an easy top 5 offense and a solid top 10 defense put them in the realm with only Pittsburgh currently.

by C (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:23pm

Mcnabb can only throw the ball 10 yards? I think I remember about 50 passes longer than that since the injury. I am so sick of the "Eagles need to run the ball" crap. The Eagles just need to win, period. If defenses think that they are one dimensional, just play in the dime formation and back off your safeties, and we'll see what Westbrook can do.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 5:50pm

I think the problem with the Eagles not running the ball is they're not showing that they can ice a game. Most good teams grind out the clock in the fourth quarter after they've built a good lead and the Eagles are either not good enough to have time to grind the clock like that or don't think having a short ToP is a bad thing. It just seems that if they're a great team they should have some of those rushing stats because they were winning by a good margin and running down the clock.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 6:02pm

The problem with the Eagles running the ball is thier best running back (McNabb) is hobbled by injury. He used to be good for 6-7 runs a game, which would drop the Eagles Pass ratio to about 65%, which is right where it should be for a "West Coast" offense.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:12pm

Most good teams grind out the clock in the fourth quarter after they’ve built a good lead and the Eagles are either not good enough to have time to grind the clock like that

Eagles so far have faced Atlanta, San Francisco, Oakland, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Diego. Except for San Francisco, they've spent the majority of those games coming back from behind.

First thing to notice is that all of those teams, save Oakland and San Diego, are quite good. The Eagles falling behind at Oakland was understandable - they were spotting the Raiders almost 20-30 yards field position every drive, and almost totally didn't have field goals as an option.

Other than San Francisco (where they *did* run the ball), they haven't really had a chance to ice the game because they've constantly been fighting for it. Is this bad? No, not particularly. They were playing good teams.

Wait until they play Green Bay, St. Louis, and Arizona to decide whether or not they're incapable of "icing" a game.

Out of curiosity, why aren't people talking about New England's inability to run the ball as well? It's not as bad as Philly's, but New England definitely is not running the ball anywhere near as well as last year.

by Shalimar (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 10:09pm

First thing to notice is that all of those teams, save Oakland and San Diego, are quite good.

Hey, San Diego is good. They've played the toughest schedule in the league and been ahead in the fourth quarter of all 7 games. They're just having trouble closing the deal.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 10:28pm

Out of curiosity, why aren’t people talking about New England’s inability to run the ball as well?
People are, just not as much.

New England has reasons similar to Philly's (tight games or come-from behind situations), plus their major issues on offense are related to the O-line, which affects the Patriots' ability to run more than their ability to pass. (Brady has that famous quick read/release, and they do the short passing game as well as anyone.)

Whereas Philadelphia's issues on offense are related to McNabb's rash of injuries, meaning Reid & staff should at least try to use the running game to take pressure off of Captain Franchise. They they don't seem to be even trying.

by james (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 10:58pm

re 38,

No, I think hasselback is at least tied for the best qb in the nfc this year. I however, don't think his defense can win it for them if he has a bad game. I think that PHilly and Wash can be better at theat.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:48pm


Okay. But in my mind, and I think in many others', the game against the Cowboys was a great example of Hasselbeck having a bad game, and the defense winning it for them.

And of course, we can't just assume that all offenses are equally likely to have an off-day - it's probably a safer assumption that such off-days are already accounted for by DVOA. Furthermore, while Washington is only 5 spots behind in DVOA rankings, speaking in terms of percentages, Seattle is performing a full 50% higher than DC is.

For what it's worth, I don't know that I expect Seattle to stay in the #1 spot. They certainly have the potential to, but I'd much rather see their defense crawl into the top 10 and their offense drift somewhere around the top 5.

by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 12:13am

"Hey, San Diego is good."

He meant San Francisco.

by james (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 2:28am

Actually Seattle has performed the best out of every NFC team according to my new favorite stat, Estimated Wins. I think it is the best stat. I'm thinking in terms of the playoffs. Seattle has not played a good offensive team. DVOA is a great stat but can be used in the wrong context just like any stat. Saying that Seattle is 50% better than Washington is an example of bad usage.

Washington has steadily gotten better and is much better than the team Seattle played in week 3 and lost against.

I like the way they are playing. I put Seattle 3rd, because two qbs who have a previous record of winning games in the playoffs (McNabb,Brunell) are on teams likely to make the playoffs.

I do think that Seattle will go 12-4 or 11-5 this season. I doubt they will lose against any of the sub par teams on their schedule. They score too easily.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 6:17am

Seattle has not played a good offensive team.

DC may not have been playing as well on offense, but if you look at the Week 8 DVOA ratings, they've played 4 teams with 16th or higher ranked offenses: Washington, Jacksonville, Dallas, and Atlanta. None of these are top 10, or were when they played them, at least, but I think you're being a little unfair.

Regardless, I think the most significant and substantial point that I can make here - as well as the most easily supported - is that Philadelphia probably does not belong at the top of your NFC list. DC over Seattle I can buy. I just think there's way to many question-marks and negative momentum for the Eagles, though, and I think this will be a relatively down year for them.

Skins/Seahawks in the playoffs? Rematch at Qwest Field? I should be so lucky.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:35am


The Eagles have gimme wins left versus Arizona, Green Bay, and St. Louis. If they only win 3 out of the 7 remaining NFC East games (4 of which are at home), they'll still go 10-6.

Granted, that might not be enough to make the playoffs thanks to the rest of the NFC East being strong. That being said, "Remember the Giants." Strong starts can lead to weak finishes for teams that don't have a lot of depth.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:28pm


I think you could add Tampa Bay fans to that short list (and if you want to go back six years, you could add Baltimore and St. Louis, too) As an Eagles fan I can say without a heartbeat of hesitation that I'd take an senario you can think of that involves a single SuperBowl victory.

by jds (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 1:32pm

That comment on the Vikings is priceless . I wonder if he sent a copy to Peter King.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 3:33pm


I certainly don't have any problems accepting that the Eagles will make the playoffs. I just don't think they're the strongest team in the NFC. I think James took a little liberty when he justified putting them at the top with his "they're still the champs until someone beats them" - which of course isn't true. They were the NFC champs last year. Nobody is the NFC champ this year. If it were boxing, sure..

by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 7:17pm

re 43
Pat, you are correct, the Pats run offense is horrible. I can't speak for everyone but why do i keep mentioning the Eagles and not the Pats.
several reasons
1. The Patriots defense is really bad. They are giving up over 27 points per game. Opposing passers have a 99.7 passer rating against them, plus the Pats have gotten only 10 sacks. They have given up 20 or more points in every game. These indicate to me that the Patriots are a bad team. I think they are doomed. The Eagles defense is much better. I think their secondary is great. I guess what I am trying to say is, if the Pats running game improves a lot immediately, i don't think it will matter, I think they will still get scorched, conversely, if the Eagles run the ball more or less than they are now, their defense can keep them in the game, yeah i know Dallas scored 33, in most games against the Eagles that will probably not happen. In a nutshell, the Pats have been written off, the Eagles have not, yet.