NFL Week 13 Power Rankings

Five Quick Hits

* Didn't understand the replay review in overtime of the New Orleans/Washington game. Isn't a fumble unreviewable if the whistle blows before it's recovered? What made this different than the infamous whistle from Ed Hochuli in the Denver/San Diego game last year?

* Even if it's reviewable, does referee Carl Cheffers not understand that a player is down once his elbow or forearm hits the ground? Furthermore, Cheffers clearly does not realize that an existing call should only be overturned on indisputable evidence. "I bet on the Saints" or "I'm cold and want to go home" are not valid reasons. Strange call.

* Jim Zorn should be fired just for this: timeouts every time New Orleans was about to try a field goal. Have you ever seen icing the kicker work in the NFL? I haven't. Quit wasting everyone's time, jackass.

* I criticize refs all the time, but John Parry's crew in the Sunday night game was excellent. Let 'em play without ignoring obvious penalties.

* I'm breaking one of my own rules this week. At the beginning of this season I swore not to use Brett Favre's name, and I've held to that. The ban is off, for one week. This needs to be said. You hear a lot these days about how bad Tony Romo is in December. But you never hear about how terrible Favre is. Since 2006, Romo's first season as starter, he has better December statistics than Favre in every single passing category. Every one. Completions, completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, yards per completion, touchdowns, TD%, fewer interceptions, INT%, passer rating. Literally every one. Romo can't play in December, but Favre is clutch and a hero and everything else. Right.

Romo in December: 303-500, 60.6%, 3,387 yards, 6.8/att, 17 TD, 19 INT, 76.3 rating

Favre in December: 278-483, 57.6%, 3,033 yards, 6.3/att, 14 TD, 23 INT, 66.0 rating

This is why Favre didn't make my Pro Bowl team. You can't trust him when it counts.


Those of you who watched the Cardinals pound Minnesota on Sunday night also heard NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth say some things about Brett Favre that might have seemed a little strange: "By any statistical measure that you can come up with, this is without question the greatest football that he has ever played in his career."

By any statistical measure? Without question? The man is a three-time MVP, that sounds pretty impressive! But, of course, it's not true.

There is one major statistic in which he's having a career year, passer rating. What about the other primary passing stats, yards and TDs? He's on pace for 4,199 yards — that would be the third-highest of his career, not "without question" the greatest. He's on pace for 34-35 touchdowns, the fourth-highest of his career.

Those are just the really major stats. What about touchdown percentage (4th-best), one of the components of the passer rating formula? Or yards per completion (ninth-best), the closest stat we have to "degree of difficulty" for QBs? It's even grimmer for rushing yards (worst of his career) and rushing TDs (he doesn't have any). Same story on sacks per game (14th-best). What Collinsworth said is absolutely untrue. And remember, Favre tanks in December, so it's only going to get worse.

And it does get worse. After the game, discussing this year's MVP race, Cris claimed, "If you just go statistically, among the three quarterbacks, it's not close. Brett Favre's statistically had the best year."

That doesn't seem right, does it? Better than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees? Wow! That would be a great argument for Favre, if it were true. It isn't.

This is obvious pretty quickly:

			Yards	TDs	Rating
P.Manning		3,685	25	101.9
D.Brees		3,536	29	111.3
Cris's BFF		3,149	26	108.5

The TDs and passer ratings are all comparable, but someone is way behind in yardage. "It's not close?" That's true, but only because Brees and Manning are way ahead. Favre doesn't lead in any of the most important passing statistics. Brees and Manning also lead Favre in yards/att, yards/comp, completion percentage, sacks, and sack yardage. He's ahead of the pair in only one major category, interception percentage. Collinsworth's first statement may have been just an irresponsible, unprofessional exaggeration. This one — "It's not close. Brett Favre's statistically had the best year." — is an outright lie. That's strong language, because I believe this was a knowing and deliberate lie.

In fact, let's go deeper to see how far down the chart of quarterback MVP candidates we'd need to go to make Collinsworth not be a liar:

		Yards	TDs	Rating
T.Brady	3,638	22	96.9
P.Rivers	3,311	21	104.9
B.Favre	3,149	26	108.5

Brady and Rivers have more yardage, plus they lead in hidden statistics like rushing (both have TDs on the ground) and sacks. Remember, Collinsworth said, "If you just go statistically, among the three quarterbacks, it's not close." This is close. In fact, I think Brady and Rivers have had better statistical seasons than every announcer's favorite John Deere wrangler. Keep in mind also that Minnesota has played the softest schedule in the league and that Favre is awful in December. His stats will just go downhill from here.

		Yards	TDs	Rating
M.Schaub	3,449	22	97.2
A.Rodgers	3,399	25	103.3
B.Favre	3,149	26	108.5

Honestly, Rodgers and Schaub's stats are just as good as those of Brady and Rivers. Let's keep trying to make an honest man of Collinsworth, slightly larger group this time.

		Yards	TDs	Rating
T.Romo	3,325	20	96.3
Big Ben	3,145	19	100.2
K.Warner	3,003	23	100.7
B.Favre	3,149	26	108.5

Okay, now I think Favre is clearly ahead at least on pure stats. But by enough that it's "not even close"? Ehh, that still seems pretty close to me.

		Yards	TDs	Rating
E.Manning	2,925	20	89.2
D.McNabb	2,427	16	94.7
B.Favre	3,149	26	108.5

Okay, Cris. You've got me. It's not close. Brett Favre's statistically had a better year than Eli Manning and Donovan McNabb. And we only had to go through Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, and Kurt Warner to get here. Liar.

On a non-Collinsworth note, we learned on Monday night that The Greatest Quarterback Ever to Play and the Greatest Person Ever to Walk this Earth has three 14-point comebacks in his 19-year career, a total of 307 games. Peyton Manning has four 14-point comebacks in the last two seasons, a span of 28 games. I wrote last week that "the Colts go down 17, and you figure they're still probably going to win." When Minnesota fell behind 27-10, did anyone think the Vikings would pull it out? Favre is not half the field general Manning is, and he trails Brees in every primary passing statistic. He's not a reasonable MVP candidate, and anyone who says he is has an agenda.

Sorry about the rant, but hopefully I've set the record straight. Let's move on to this week's rankings. Brackets show last week's rank.

1. Indianapolis Colts [2] — See-sawing with New Orleans for the top spot. The Colts have gone 12-0 against a much more impressive schedule. Their opponents are a combined 65-79 (.451), and only one is worse than 5-7 (the Rams, whom Indy beat 42-6). The Saints' opponents are 56-88 (.389), and they've faced the 2-10 Lions, 1-11 Rams, and 1-11 Buccaneers, as well as 4-8 Buffalo and 3-9 Washington.

2. New Orleans Saints [1] — They didn't win; Washington lost. If the Saints don't recover a freak bounce on a terrible punt, they lose. If Kareem Moore tries even a little bit to protect the ball on that interception return, the Saints lose. If Shaun Suisham hits a 23-yard field goal, the Saints lose. Nothing New Orleans did caused Suisham to miss that kick; the Saints just got lucky. Moore's bad decision doesn't make New Orleans a better team. This wasn't a great team finding a way to win, it was a great team laying an egg and getting lucky. They got a couple of big plays out of the offense, but didn't play well on defense. Jason Campbell had a career day and Washington scored 30 points for the first time in two years. Those injuries in the defensive backfield seem to be an issue, after all.

3. San Diego Chargers [3] — Defense had a disappointing game statistically, but most of that was in the fourth quarter, when they were already up 27-7. The Chargers have won seven in a row and have scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games. Philip Rivers might be the third-best quarterback in the league right now. Apart from Brees and Manning, I don't think there's anyone I'd rather have, including Brady. Best QBs in the NFL five years from now: Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.

4. Arizona Cardinals [10] — What a game from their receivers. Larry Fitzgerald (143 yards, TD) broke 5 tackles on one play. Anquan Boldin (98 yards, 2 TD) beat tight coverage, grabbed a pass with one hand, deked Tyrell Johnson to the ground, and outran everyone else. Steve Breaston started the Cardinals' rally with a 64-yard punt return. As great as Arizona's offense was, the defense was even better. They shut down Adrian Peterson (13 carries for 19 yards, the second-lowest total of his career) and made 2 big interceptions. The good tackling was especially impressive, and the front seven played at an extremely high level. Two players who quietly had very good games: blocking TE Ben Patrick and punter Ben Graham.

5. Green Bay Packers [11] — Won a strange, ugly game, only the fourth in NFL history with over 300 combined penalty yards. Both teams were called for double-digit penalties and well over 100 yards in infractions. The Packers won this game with their quarterback and their defense. Rodgers made big plays with both his arm (263 yards, 3 TD) and his legs (31 yards and 2 first downs). He threw 2 interceptions, but one was basically a punt and the other was a freak deflection. Even more than Rodgers, though, credit the defense. Green Bay gained almost twice as many yards as the Ravens (350-185) and forced 4 turnovers. Rookie LB Clay Matthews III had the best game of his young career.

6. Tennessee Titans [5] — I dropped them behind Arizona, whom they beat last week, because the Cardinals were missing Kurt Warner for that one. But the Titans have still won five of their last six, with the loss to a team nobody has beaten. Chris Johnson rushed for 117 yards and caught 6 passes this week, and we all said he slowed down. Johnson has rushed for 1,041 yards in the last seven games. People are talking about 2,000 yards, but the mark I'm really keeping my eye on is 6.40, Jim Brown's 1963 single-season record for yards per carry. Johnson is at 6.18, and catching Brown would be more impressive than two grand. Tennessee's next three games are all at home.

7. Minnesota Vikings [4] — I've been saying it all season. They're more lucky than good, they're not a great team, but they'll get to 10-1 because of the schedule, half their wins came against teams that were 1-8, they haven't had to deal with injuries. The Vikings are a good team, and though they haven't shown that they can beat top competition, they are better than we saw last night. The Cardinals played great, and they were a bad matchup for Minnesota. Clearly, though, this team still has a ways to go. The secondary is vulnerable.

8. Cincinnati Bengals [7] — The focus is all on the offense, which ranks 18th in the league. Who cares about Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, and Sideshow Chad? How about this defense, fourth in yards allowed and leading the NFL in fewest points allowed? Let's talk about Jonathan Fanene, who returned an interception for a touchdown this weekend. Let's talk CBs Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall, with a combined nine interceptions. Let's talk rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga, who has a sack and two forced fumbles. Or fellow rookie Michael Johnson, a backup DE who has used his 6'7" height to deflect 4 passes, a stat that places him in elite company. They're the reason this team is 9-3.

9. Philadelphia Eagles [12] — Played their first really impressive game in a month, but they're 1-3 against teams with winning records. Michael Vick, who was in on six plays, got the headlines after their 34-7 win. And deservingly so! Did you see his 85-yard interception return for a touchdown? Oh, that wasn't him? Well, he made that other interception, though. That was Sean Jones? Hey, he had that 59-yard pass play to Leonard Weaver. That was Donovan McNabb? Okay, but he threw the 56-yarder to Jeremy Maclin. For real, that was McNabb, too? Vick ran a ton, though, right? 17 yards, same as McNabb? Man, what the hell were we fussing about Vick for?

10. Denver Broncos [19] — This team obviously had a very happy Thanksgiving. The Broncos started 6-0, then turned mysteriously terrible in November, going 0-4 and getting outscored 117-37. The Browns were starting to feel sorry for them. Then Thanksgiving rolls around, and they're on a two-game win streak, up 70-19 on their opponents. I don't understand what was going on for those four weeks, but apparently it's over. Denver overcame three Kyle Orton turnovers for an easy win over Kansas City this week. If the Broncos can win remaining home games against the Raiders and Chiefs, they'll get to 10-6 and probably qualify for the playoffs.

11. Baltimore Ravens [9] — This wasn't a good matchup for Baltimore, but there's reason for larger concern. Joe Flacco's decision-making was not good on Monday night, especially in the second half. In fact, it seems to have been getting worse all season. I don't know if he's overconfident, confused, or just trying to do too much, but it's a problem. The issue that's been there all season is the secondary. This team struggles in pass defense even when Ed Reed is healthy. WR Derrick Mason drew his second unsportsmanlike conduct foul of the season for arguing a call with an official. You very rarely see that sort of call. I don't know what Mason says to those guys, but it must be naaasty.

12. Dallas Cowboys [8] — Ahh, December. When the weather gets crisp, Romo gets criticized after a 392-yard, 3-TD, no-turnover performance, and Wade Phillips dresses up as the Michelin Man. Until Romo is the one who rushed for 45 yards on 23 attempts, couldn't cover the Giants' receivers, and missed two field goals, let's give him a break on this one. I know he's underperformed at the end of past seasons, but he played great this weekend. The guy I'm looking at is Nick Folk. Two more field goals wouldn't have won the game, but Folk is missing way too often. The NFL should suspend Flozell Adams for starting a fight at halftime. How do you trail by four at the half after controlling time of possession for more than 21 minutes, anyway?

13. New England Patriots [6] — They don't typically struggle on the road. Since 2001, the Pats are 56-14 (.800) at home and 47-22 (.681) away. Everyone is somewhat better at home, so that's not a radical difference, about one game per season. The last four years, New England actually had an equal or better record on the road. But this season, the Patriots are 6-0 at home and 0-5 away, which is a stunning disparity. They're also 1-0 at neutral sites, beating the Buccaneers in London. I expect a big, ugly win at home against the Panthers this week.

14. Miami Dolphins [16] — Chad Henne didn't play well last week, but he responded with the first 300-yard passing day of his career and helped one Bill Parcells disciple (Dolphins coach Tony Sparano) best another (New England HC Bill Belichick). As long as I'm at it, this was also Wolverine vs. Wolverine, as both Tom Brady and Henne went to Michigan. Henne doesn't look like the next Dan Marino, but the Dolphins are 6-3 with him as starter.

15. New York Giants [17] — Only the second win in their last seven, but it was a big one. As long as I'm defending Romo this week, here's another QB who's worse than him in December: Eli Manning.

Romo in December: 303-500, 60.6%, 3,387 yards, 6.8/att, 17 TD, 19 INT, 76.3 rating

Eli in December: 240-450, 53.3%, 2,714 yards, 6.0/att, 18 TD, 11 INT, 74.8 rating

Every September, Eli comes out guns-a-blazing, and people talk about how he's finally turned the corner. Every November, he comes back to earth. He's inaccurate, his decision-making is bad, he panics under pressure. This September, Eli put up a 104.1 passer rating. Since then, 84.5. That's not Jake Delhomme, but it ain't Peyton, either. His interception in the end zone this week easily could have cost New York the game. Eli is a decent starter, but he's never going to be a great quarterback. If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now.

16. Washington Redskins [23] — I try to be consistent. When a team we think is good, like Baltimore, loses a bunch of tough games in a row, they stay high in the rankings and we sympathize, "What a brutal schedule." When a team we think is bad, like Washington, does the same thing, we should treat them the same way. They haven't played a team with a losing record since Week 6. In the last four weeks, they've beaten Denver and lost to Dallas (by 1), Philadelphia (by 3), and New Orleans (in overtime). Washington is playing well, and I wouldn't want them on my schedule right now, especially when they're at home. Levi Jones at left tackle has made a positive difference.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars [21] — If they beat Miami this week, they'll probably make the playoffs. Jacksonville deserves credit for playing hard, and a playoff berth would probably save Jack Del Río's job. But this just isn't a very good team. They're 7-5, yeah, but everyone they've beaten has a losing record. They've been outscored. They have five very close, arguably lucky wins.

18. Houston Texans [13] — This loss came down to the absences of Matt Schaub and Steve Slaton. While Schaub was out with a shoulder injury, the Texans went down 17-0. He came back, and they made an 18-6 rally that almost won the game. Houston had 3 interceptions this week, and Schaub only threw one of them. Since the beginning of last season, they're 13-12 when Slaton starts and 0-3 when he doesn't. The loss on Sunday was a little bit of a fluke, but it's their fourth in a row and probably eliminated them from playoff contention.

19. San Francisco 49ers [15] — Started 3-1, 2-6 since. They're 4-2 at home, but 1-5 on the road. Lost fumbles and lack of rushing game really hurt them this weekend. Repeatedly faced with third-and-long, the Niners converted only 1/13 third downs. Frank Gore either isn't healthy or isn't getting enough touches.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers [14] — They're 4-1 with Troy Polamalu, 3-0 when he plays the whole game. Without him, they're 2-5. Polamalu leads the team in interceptions despite having played for less than half the season. Hines Ward hurt his hamstring this week and is "very questionable" for Week 14. Some teammates are questioning, it's just a hammy. Come on, Ward, this is almost like a playoff game. Obviously, Ward is just soft.

21. New York Jets [22] — Does there come a point at which the quarterbacks in a game are so bad that whichever team just passes less will win? After an uncharacteristically good first half from rookie QB Mark Sanchez, the Jets were up 16-10. Sanchez sprained his knee halfway through the third quarter and was replaced by Kellen Clemens. Clemens threw only 2 passes in the final 22:42 — more than a third of the game — but the Jets' defense held and they ran the ball effectively enough to close out a victory. Clemens was also sacked 3 times, for a remarkable sack rate of 60%. Sanchez, with the same linemen and the same opponent, was a little under 12%. The Jets are good enough to beat bad teams with their running game and turnover-free QB play. Against good teams, though, that's not enough, and they can't manage the turnover-free QB thing anyway.

22. Carolina Panthers [20] — With Jake Delhomme on the sidelines, Carolina watched an opposing quarterback throw 5 interceptions. You're always happy to get a win without your starting QB and stud running back, but this was a not a strong performance against one of the worst teams in the league. The Panthers were out-gained by 160 yards.

23. Atlanta Falcons [18] — Yeah, this is a harsh rank for a 6-6 team. That was the old Falcons. They started 4-1; they're 2-5 since, and the defense has dropped to 28th in the league. They haven't beaten a team with more than 3 wins since October 18th, and they haven't beaten anyone with a winning record all season.

24. Seattle Seahawks [26] — Not the most impressive win ever, but they made more of their opportunities than San Francisco did. Seattle has won two in a row for the first time all year.

25. Oakland Raiders [28] — Whoa, Bruce Gradkowski, where did that come from? Gradkowski is 2-1 as starter for a team that was 2-7 with JaMarcus Russell, but I wonder if we aren't jumping the gun a little by getting excited about him. Russell had a game like that less than a year ago (236 yards, 2 TDs, 128.1 rating) against Houston. If Gradkowski goes off like that again against Washington or Denver in the next couple weeks, then I'll get plenty excited. Oakland seems to play to the level of its competition. Against teams with losing records, they're 1-2 (.333) and have been outscored 55-29 (1.9:1). Against teams at or above .500, they're 3-6 (.333) and have been outscored 227-113 (2.0:1). That's almost exactly equal.

26. Buffalo Bills [25] — Started the season 1-4 with Trent Edwards at QB. Since then, Edwards has played part of two games, but it's mostly been Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Buffalo is 3-4. But can I suggest that Buffalo won those three games because they intercepted Sanchez, Delhomme, Henne, and Ricky Williams a combined 12 times? Fitzpatrick flatly is not as good as Edwards. I know he gets the ball to T.O., I know he went to Harvard. He can't play. Fitzpatrick has twice as many INTs as TDs and his passer rating is 15 points lower than Edwards'.

27. Chicago Bears [27] — Punter Brad Maynard, who has one pass for 0 yards, has a higher passer rating (79.2) than Jay Cutler (75.3). Does that tell us more about the flaws in the rating system, or Cutler? I'll go system, but Cutler has been a monumental disappointment. I draw no conclusions from their win over St. Louis this weekend. If you lose to the Rams at home, you're ... well, I suppose you're the Lions.

28. Kansas City Chiefs [24] — Looking for something positive to say about this team after its second straight blowout loss to a division rival. The Chiefs have actually won three of their last seven games since an 0-5 start. Tamba Hali had 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles against Denver, both of the fumbles recovered by Glenn Dorsey.

29. Detroit Lions [31] — This offense is ready to be good. Calvin Johnson is an elite receiver and Kevin Smith is a good running back. Once Matthew Stafford grows up a little, they could really make some waves. The issue is the defense, which made a couple plays this week but gives up way too much. Address that in the offseason, and the Lions could surprise some people. They're years away from being a contender, but probably only one or two from respectability — if they handle their business in the offseason.

30. St. Louis Rams [29] — Here's something nice: they haven't gotten blown out in a month and a half. The last five games have all been single-digit losses, plus their lone win.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers [30] — You're not going to win any time you throw 3 red zone interceptions. Tampa did some good things in this game, but it's tough to lose like that when you play well for most of the game.

32. Cleveland Browns [32] — Last in the NFL in yards gained, worst in the league in yards allowed.

Comments and Conversation

December 8, 2009

Jim Peplinski:

I didn’t know Ted Thompson was writing a blog now.

This post was hilarious. The Pack as the 5th best team in the league? Ahead of a team that beat them not once, but twice already this season?
It’s good to be objective, you should try it some time.

December 8, 2009

C Sherman:

Have you ever watched a football game???

December 8, 2009



Thanks for calling out Collinsworth. This Favre Fable he’s perpetuating is just one of many whopper-sized fabrications he’s made that can’t hold water under any sort of scrutiny. Mixing arrogance with ignorance is becoming a trend with that character.

Well done.

December 8, 2009

Marc James:

Jim, these rankings are different; what happened earlier in the season has no relevance. Brad ranks the Packers better than the Vikings RIGHT NOW, which is a pretty solid claim. You’re the misinformed one here as Brad has made this pretty clear.

Right on with the Favre criticism. He’s falling apart in December again, and as a Packer fan, I’m thrilled to have a young QB and team on the rise, rather than one on the decline. And with a No. 1-ranked defense, it’s not a wild claim. Welcome to reality.

December 9, 2009

Jim Peplinski:

Marc - or should i say Brad ;)

Saying the Packers are a better team than the Vikings based on the last game is ridiculous.

The Pack beat a .500 Ravens team in a really sloppy game on both sides. The Ravens were the 1st team to have 5 PI’s in one game! The Ravens also gave up 2 turnovers in the end zone. This apparently is a *dominant* performance over a *high-quality* opponent, that deserves bumping the Packers from 11th to 5th? Then if it was so dominant, why are the Ravens only dropped from 9th to 11th?

The reality, if you so choose to open your eyes, is that a 2 point bump for each team is realistic. But to put the packers in 5th is an embarrasment for the author, and anyone who agress.

The author is clearly a fan of the Packers, and bias like that is never good in journalism. Most of the reputable sites, like espn, si and cbs has the Vikings ranked 3rd and the Packers somewhere between 7 and 10th, which is accurate.

BTW, I am a Colt fan, so I do agree with your pick for #1.

December 9, 2009

Marc James:

Jim, I’m the Managing Editor and Owner of the site, as you can see here: Brad is from Maryland, definitely not a Packers fan. He was harsh of Favre when Favre was a Packer and I used to defend Favre. Brad’s rankings have no bias, no more than any other site at least. Your allegations that Brad would comment under another name, and that he is a Packers fan, are completely false.

December 9, 2009


Good God. The entire Vikings have a truly lousy game and Favre is on his december slide? My thought through the whole article was : “Why is this so important to you?” What’s your problem you want to rip apart Brett Favre in any way you can.

Many pros will tell you that high QB yardage with a losing record, as the Packers had last year, is a sign something is seriously wrong with the team.

Brett is playing efficiently and does not have to put up big yardage. His % of interceptions is better than Bart Starr’s and this year better than either Brees or Manning. Going into the Arizona game Brett’s QB ranking was .05 off Bree’s QB ranking and several points above Manning.

Article is a waste of time.

December 9, 2009


evalu8er- I think you misinterpreted the Farve bit— Brad was deconstructing and disproving Collinsworth’s claim about Farve rather than putting Farve down. Farve does have some impressive numbers, as Brad clearly included, but those numbers when put into a comparison with other QBs disprove Collinsworth’s argument, which was the point.

December 9, 2009

Marc James:

evalu8er: I’m not saying Favre is on his December slide JUST because he had one bad game. I’m saying it because he had a bad game COMBINED with the fact that he has a recent history of falling apart in December. It’s a legit pattern over several years…

December 9, 2009

Brad Oremland:


The Packers have won four in a row, including two against playoff contenders. Aaron Rodgers is down to 2 sacks/gm during that stretch, down from 4.6 earlier in the season. The defense continues to adjust to the 3-4 and is also playing its best football of the year.

In their last four games, the Vikings have beaten Detroit, Seattle, and Chicago (who are all awful) and lost decisively to the Cardinals. They also lost their starting middle linebacker, and their quarterback has a history of slumping at the end of the season. Green Bay is playing better right now.

The Packers’ six-place rise was also due to lackluster performances from teams ranked ahead of them, like Dallas and New England.

The other sites you mentioned just copy and paste the standings. These are real power rankings, aimed at identifying who the best teams are right now. Record is obviously part of that, but so are strength of schedule, margin of victory, injuries, and other trends.


You can’t compare Favre’s statistics to those of Bart Starr, who played in a much different era. It’s grossly misleading. JaMarcus Russell has the same career passer rating as Joe Namath. Jason Campbell has a higher rating than John Unitas. These comparisons are meaningless.

Efficiency stats are certainly important, but production figures like yardage help us determine how much a quarterback is really contributing to his team, what portion of the burden he bears. Brees and Manning are the primary play-makers for their teams. Everyone who plays the Colts tries to stop Manning, everyone who faces the Vikings tries to stop Adrian Peterson. It’s easier to put up good efficiency numbers when you’re facing defenses designed to stop the run.

Becca already made the rest of my argument. This is more about Collinsworth than Favre.

December 9, 2009

joe fast:

I agree with G Bay higher then Minn the article is right
G bay will destroy Chi this week while Minn
might lose another

Favre is like a fine bottle of wine excellent
but this is the last bottle and there may not be enough left
for the playoffs

ps dont let that RB from Minn carry that last bottle
he may drop it

December 10, 2009

Anthony Brancato:

Actually, Brett Favre has superior December numbers over Tony Romo from 2006 to the present in two categories: W-L record as a starter straight up - 8-6 to Romo’s 5-9; and record as a starter against the spread - 6-8 to Romo’s 2-12.

December 11, 2009

Brad Oremland:

I’ll bet that record against the spread is really keeping him up at night.

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