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The Stack is here today with plenty to talk about.  October playoff baseball is alive and well. We have NFL power rankings to get to as well as other interesting thoughts so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, Occtober 9:

Texans hang on to beat Jets

Most peopl, inculding myself thought this game would be a blowout.  After the Texans took the ball down the field and scored on the opening possession, it looked that way.  But the Jets played like their backs were against the wall (they are) and almost came away with a big upset win.  Mark Sanchez threw a pick off of his tight end's hands that was picked with just under two minutes to go, all but sealing the Jets fate.  Arian Foster was amazing, rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown.  But the star of the game was defensive end J.J. Watt.  Three pass deflections, a sack, the man does it all.  He is thee best defensive player in the NFL hands down and the Texans are the best team in the NFL regardless if they struggled a little bit against the Jets.

 

Cardinals knot series with Nationals, Orioles tie it up with the Yankees

If you lose game one in a best of five series, game two becomes that much more important.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles both realized how difficult it would be winning three games on the road in a playoff series so they took care of business Monday.  The Cardinals put up a dozen runs in an easy 12-4 win over the Washington Nationals to tie the series up 1-1.  Jon Jay made a spectacular catch running into the wall and hanging onto the ball in the sixth inning that pretty much summed up what type of day it was going to be for the Cardinals.  Carlos Beltran belted two home runs for the Cardinals who now head to Washington where the Nationals have been awfully good this season.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles knew it was their time to try to take momentum heading to the Bronx to finish out the series with the New York Yankees and they beat the Yankees...playing small ball.  No homeruns, just a couple of hits here and there including Chris Davis' two run single in the third inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.  Wei-Yin Chen was great for the Orioles, going 6 1/3 innings giving up just two runs, one of them earned.  But it was closer Jim Johnson who was the most clutch coming back after a dreadful performance Sunday night in which he gave up five runs in the ninth inning.  All he did was shut the top of the Yankees order down one, two, three.  Orioles hang on to win 3-2 and now go to the Bronx with some confidence.  We'll have to see how they handle Yankee Stadium in a playoff atmosphere.

Two playoff game three baseball games will take place today.  First the San Francisco Giants try to keep their playoff hopes alive against the Cincinnati Reds with first pitch at 5:37 PM ET.  After that, the Detroit Tigers look to sweep the Oakland Athletics with first pitch at 9:07 PM ET.  Both games are on TBS.

 

Bobby Valentine thoughts

So Bobby Valentine was fired as manager from the Boston Red Sox last week.  What a shock!  I mean he did so well in his first year as manager of the Red Sox.  He had a lot of injuries to deal with, he was always great with the media and he did a great job in the clubhouse.  The players really seemed to like him.  Alright that is complete false and sarcastic.  There have been nightmare seasons for the Red Sox and their fans and then there was this year.  The Red Sox finished a dismal 69-93 good for last in the AL East.  Valentine never created good chemistry with the team (see Kevin Youkilis).  He wasn't always pleasant to interview (see several WEEI radio clips).  Yes, Valetine was not a good fit in Boston.  The Red Sox have a long road ahead of them.  But things have to get better for them next year regarldess of who is hired as manager.  This year certainly was the season from hell.

 

NHL cancels regular season games, both sides heading back to negotiating table

In a move that should have surprised no one, the NHL cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season due to no progress in getting a new CBA done.  That's 82 games.  Both sides were in contact over the weekend and each side said they want a new proposal from one another.  Both sides are expected to meet again this week.  With so many players signing deals overseas to play in leagues in Russia and througout Europe, it is important to get a deal done so the NHL can have a partial season.  The good news is that at least the two sides are talking, something they didn't do when the league cancelled the entire 2004-05 season.  But a deal needs to get done soon so the league can salvage as much of the year as possible.  Here's hoping the two sides have productive talks this week that lead to a new deal in the near future.

 

Week 5 NFL power rankings

1. Houston Texans 5-0

Had more a test against the Jets than they probably would have liked, but the Texans still are the best team on each side of the ball.

2. San Francisco 49ers 4-1

The Minnesota Vikings awoke a sleeping giant.  Since losing to the Vikings, the 49ers have outscored their last two opponents 79-3.  621 yards against Buffalo is pretty impressive too.

3. Atlanta Falcons 5-0

Good for the Falcons to have a test like that on the road against the Redskins.  Matt Ryan didn't play his best game and the Falcons know they can improve which will keep them hungry and focused.

4. New England Patriots 3-2

When this team is clicking on all cylenders as they were for most of the game against the Broncos, they are the best at what they do.  The balance they have running and passing makes them especially dangerous.

5. Baltimore Ravens 4-1

When will Cam Cameron realize that Ray Rice is the best player on the Ravens offense and give him the ball more?  Ravens fans know that.  Cameron obviously doesn't.

6. Chicago Bears 4-1

Three weeks in a row with at least one defensive touchdown.  Five overall.  That's a formidable defense and with an offense that shows flashes with Jay Cutler, the Bears have the makings of a very good team.

7. Minnesota Vikings 4-1

The Vikings beat a team they were supposed to...handidly.  Shows a sign of maturity with this team.  But will injuries to Adrian Peterson and Jerome Simpson derail this surprising start to the season?

8. New York Giants 3-2

Despite all of the injuries around him, Eli Manning continues to excel and that means the Giants are a force to be wreckoned with.

9. Philadelphia Eagles 3-2

Michael Vick has to figure out a way to hang on to the ball.  Two more fumbles Sunday.  If he doesn't, he'll find himself on the bench pretty soon.

10. San Diego Chargers 3-2

Good to see Ryan Matthews play well for the Chargers.  They looked good, but Sunday night just belonged to Drew Brees.

11. St. Louis Rams 3-2

That front seven is really, really tenacious.  They'll keep the team in it.  The injury to Danny Amendola will hurt an offense that is already struggling.

12. Arizona Cardinals 4-1

The offensive line play is a huge concern plus with the injuries to running backs Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells, the Cardinals will have to be completely one-dimensional and opposing defenses will hone in on that and make them pay.

13. Seattle Seahawks 3-2

The defense is really good.  And Russell Wilson will continue to improve.  Things are looking brighter in Seattle.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-2

A win is a win, but the Steelers didn't look too convincing against the Eagles and they've lost Troy Polamalu again to injury.  Rashard Mendenhall looked good though.

15. Green Bay Packers 2-3

Bad loss for the Packers.  You shouldn't blow an 18-point halftime lead against a rookie quarterback.  And now Cedric Benson could miss the entire season with the Lisfranc injury.  Doesn't look like it's meant to be in Green Bay this year.

16. Cincinnati Bengals 3-2

What kind of performance was that against the Dolphins, Cincinnati?  And can someone find the Lawfirm?  He was M.I.A. against MIA.

17. Denver Broncos 2-3

It's been a tough schedule for the Broncos and Peyton Manning looked good Sunday, but this team can't shoot themselves with turnovers and they still have some work to do on defense.

18. Dallas Cowboys 2-2

The Cowboys have a chance to make a statement and make everyone forget about the MNF debacle two weeks ago if they can beat the Ravens this Sunday.

19. Indianapolis Colts 2-3

The comeback win against the Packers was a signature win for Andrew Luck and could be the turning point for the Colts this season.  They did this for you Coach Pagano.

20. Washington Redskins 2-3

RGIII sounds like he'll be able to play on Sunday.  That's good, because he gives the Redskins the best chance to win a game.  He's got to learn how to slide though. 

21. Miami Dolphins 2-3

Great win by the Dolphins in Cincinnati.  Ryan Tannehill played really well.  Maybe the Dolphins knew what they were doing when they drafted this kid.

22. New York Jets 2-3

Much better performance than what most were expecting from the Jets, but once again they came up short.  They just don't have enough weapons to make a run this year.

23. Buffalo Bills 2-3

Sure you don't want a refund on all of that money you shelled for Mario Williams in the offseason Buffalo?  Sheesh, it's gotten ugly by the lake.

24. New Orleans Saints 1-4

Great job Drew Brees passing Johnny Unitas with 48 straight games with a TD pass.  Turning point in the season?

25. Detroit Lions 1-3

Lions were on the bye and still gave up a special teams touchdown.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-3

The Bucs were on the bye and still blacked out in Tampa.

27. Carolina Panthers 1-4

What has happened to Cam Newton?  He certainly doesn't look like the Cam we saw last year as evidenced by the Panthers 1-4 record.  Going to be a long bye week.

28. Oakland Raiders 1-3

At least the Raiders didn't get embarrassed by the Broncos again this past weekend.

29. Kansas City Chiefs 1-4

Nineteen turnovers.  That's a recipe for a disasterous 1-4 season.  For this week, the Chiefs outrank their fans who would be 32nd after cheering when Matt Cassel got injured.  You're better than that Chiefs fans.

30. Cleveland Browns 0-5

Sure they're winless, but this team has made some strides.  Brandon Weeden seems more comfortable and they get cornerback Joe Haden back this week from suspension.  So there's hope Browns fans, there's hope.

31. Tennessee Titans 1-4

Chris Johnson officially is a bust.  Bad decision to give him all of that guaranteed money Bud Adams.  Then again, it's not like the rest of your team is that good either.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-4

Why let Blaine Gabbert throw at all?  I see nothing good about this team. 

 

Coming up Wednesday: MLB playoffs and more.

October 9, 2012  10:01 PM ET

On Bobby Valentines thoughts:

Valentine never had a thought in his head that he didn't share with the entire world and that's not good, since it rarely causes harmony within an organization, right from the get go he lost this club to not only injuries, but, to hard feelings and bitterness, I don't think the players respected him....

 
October 9, 2012  10:43 PM ET

I agree Foxy. Blame can be spread to all sides; Valentine, players and management. I think the Red Sox need a good shake up.

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