Dominic Bonvissuto Tue, 09 Sep 2008 20:20:18 GMT NFL Game Rankings, Week 1: A Look Back <p>Last Thursday, <a href="/blogs/post/244983"><strong>we ranked</strong></a> the watchability of every game on the Week 1 NFL slate. Today, we look back and re-rank the games based on what actually went down. <br /><br />At the end of the season, taking into account each week&#39;s pre-rankings and post-rankings, we definitively will determine the NFL&#39;s most exciting team to watch, the least exciting team to watch and where the other 30 teams fall.</p><p>So, here are the Week 1 rankings revisited.</p><p><strong>Carolina&nbsp;26, San Diego</strong> <strong>24</strong><br />Pre-Ranking: 9<br />Post-Ranking: 1<br />Comment: A no-brainer. How Delhomme got <a href=""><strong>the winning TD pass</strong></a> through two defenders is beyond us.</p><p><strong>New England 17, Kansas City 10</strong><br />Pre-Ranking: 15<br />Post-Ranking: 2<br />Comment: An expected blowout turned into a nightmare for Pats fans, who first lost Brady and then had to agonize through the Chiefs&#39; last possession.</p><p><strong>Green Bay 24, Minnesota 19</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 2<br />Post-Ranking: 3<br />Comment: We were tempted to drop this solid game due to the constant Favre-blabbering by Kornheiser. </p><p><strong>New Orleans 24, Tampa 20&nbsp;<br /></strong>Pre-Ranking: 10<br />Post-Ranking: 4</p><p><strong>N.Y. Jets 20, Miami 14</strong><br />Pre-Ranking: 4<br />Post-Ranking: 5</p><p><strong>Chicago&nbsp;29, Indianapolis 13</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 8<br />Post-Ranking: 6</p><p><strong>Dallas&nbsp;28, Cleveland 10</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 1<br />Post-Ranking: 7<br />Comment: This expected shootout sorta fizzled out, thanks to a hapless Browns offense.</p><p><strong>Arizona&nbsp;23, San Francisco 13</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 3<br />Post-Ranking: 8<br />Comment: It was a stretch to put them at No. 3, we admit. Still not giving up on that Niners offense yet, though.</p><p><strong>Tennessee 17, Jacksonville 10</strong><br />Pre-Ranking: 5<br />Post-Ranking: 9<br />Comment: Close game, and some late drama with Vince Young&#39;s injury, but these teams just play some ugly football.</p><p><strong>Baltimore 17, Cincinnati 10</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 16<br />Post-Ranking: 10</p><p><strong>N.Y. Giants 16, Washington 7</strong><br />Pre-Ranking: 6<br />Post-Ranking: 11<br />Comment: Not the best game to kick off the 2008 season. We found ourself watching the Vanderbilt-South Carolina game more than this one. </p><p><strong>Atlanta 34, Detroit 21</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 14<br />Post-Ranking: 12</p><p><strong>Buffalo 34, Seattle 10</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Pre-Ranking: 13<br />Post-Ranking: 13</p><p><strong>Pittsburgh 38, Houston 17</strong>&nbsp;<br />Pre-Ranking: 11<br />Post-Ranking: 14</p><p><strong>Denver 41, Oakland 14&nbsp;<br /></strong>Pre-Ranking: 7<br />Post-Ranking: 15<br />Comment: A MNF doubleheader sounds like a good idea in theory, but not so much&nbsp;if the Raiders are involved.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>St. Louis at Philadelphia<br /></strong>Pre-Ranking: 12<br />Post-Ranking: 16<br />Comment: We talked to Eagles fans who turned away from this game in the third quarter.</p> Tue, 09 Sep 2008 20:20:18 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto NFL Game Rankings, Week 1 <p>Game Rankings is back for its second season. Every Thursday, we&#39;ll rank that week&#39;s games, from least watchable to most watchable. Plenty of factors will be used to determine watchability, but there&#39;s no set formula. You&#39;re basically subject to our whims. <br /><br />A new twist this season: On Tuesdays, we&#39;ll look back at how the previous week&#39;s games actually unfolded and re-rank them. At the end of the season, taking into account each week&#39;s pre-rankings and post-rankings, we definitively will determine the NFL&#39;s most exciting team to watch, the least exciting team to watch and where the other 30 teams fall.<br /><br />Without further adieu ...<br /><br />Rating the watchability of Week 1&#39;s games while hoping Chris Cooley <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>never retires</strong></a> ...</p><p><strong><u><img src="" height="70" alt="" width="80" style="width: 80px; height: 70px" />ONLY IF YOUR OTHER OPTION IS YARDWORK<br /></u></strong><br />This is normally the spot where we list the games you wouldn&#39;t even let your mother-in-law watch. However, Week 1 doesn&#39;t offer any of those. Every game has something worth seeing, even if it&#39;s a game between two teams that will A) combine for less than 10 wins by season&#39;s end (we&#39;re looking at you, Bengals at Ravens); or B) turn into a ridiculous blowout (::cough::Chiefs at Patriots::cough::). So enjoy the free pass, NFL games. It&#39;ll be your only one.<br /><br /><strong><u><img src=";uid=%7BADCE12CA-D844-450B-8D1C-23DB8381F875%7D" height="78" alt="" width="80" style="width: 80px; height: 78px" />IT AIN&#39;T GONNA BE EPIC, BUT HEY, IT&#39;S FOOTBALL</u></strong></p><p><strong>16. Cincinnati at Baltimore 1:00 pm CBS</strong> <br />OK, so there will be drama to see if No. 85&#39;s jersey indeed says &quot;Ocho Cinco&quot; instead of &quot;Johnson.&quot; But the Ravens are gonna be baaaad, and not in a good way. <br /><br /><strong>15. Kansas City at New England 1:00 pm CBS <br /></strong>Tune in to make sure Tom Brady is indeed under center and that his foot is still attached to his body. Then, turn away. Blowouts ain&#39;t watchable.<br /><br /><strong>14. Detroit at Atlanta 1:00 pm FOX <br /></strong>We&#39;re probably still scarred from living in Atlanta last football season, not having Sunday Ticket and being forced to watch the Falcons as our regional games. But the debuts of rookies Matt Ryan and Kevin Smith, plus the homecoming of former Georgia Tech star Calvin Johnson, will be worth flipping over to see. <br /><br /><strong>13. Seattle at Buffalo 1:00 pm FOX</strong>&nbsp; <br />We expect both the Seahawks offense and the Bills offense to sputter early on - Seattle&#39;s because of injuries and Buffalo&#39;s due to unfamiliarity with new coordinator Turk Schonert&#39;s system. If this was Week 11, this game would be higher on the list.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>12. St. Louis at Philadelphia 1:00 pm FOX</strong> <br />How much did Steven Jackson&#39;s holdout hurt the Rams? Tough test against the Eagles defense should give us a good idea.<br /><br /><strong>11. Houston at Pittsburgh 1:00 pm CBS<br /></strong>Is this the year the Texans get over the hump? Find out quickly if Houston is legitimate by tuning into this matchup against the Steelers.<br /><br /><strong>10. Tampa Bay at New Orleans 1:00 pm FOX</strong><br />Think it&#39;s too early for games to have playoff implications? You&#39;re right, but in the tight NFC South, this result could come into play in a tiebreaker scenario at the end of the season.<br /><br /><strong>9. Carolina at San Diego 4:15 pm FOX<br /></strong>Biggie and Tupac would be proud of this East Coast-West Coast matchup. It loses some of its luster without Steve Smith, but the When Will Shawne Merriman&#39;s Knee Tendons Snap game is fun for the whole family!<br /><br /><strong>8. Chicago at Indianapolis 8:15 pm NBC</strong> <br />The ineptitude at quarterback may be infuriating for Bears fans, but it also makes for pretty good TV, which is all we care about at GRs. Kyle Orton, it&#39;s your stage.<br /><br /><strong>7. Denver at Oakland 10:15 pm ESPN<br /></strong>If it&#39;s possible to be football-ed out, you will be by the time this game kicks off Monday night. However, that&#39;s no excuse not to tune in. If Jay Cutler is the real deal, then he&#39;ll have to prove it against Nnamdi Asomugha, DeAngelo Hall and the rest of the Raiders ridiculous secondary. <br /><br /><strong>6. Washington at N.Y. Giants 7:00 pm NBC</strong> <br />Defending champs vs. a division rival debuting a new coach. Intrigue galore, plus it&#39;s the first professional football game in seven months. Dare you to watch Ugly Betty instead.<br /><br /><strong>5. Jacksonville at Tennessee 1:00 pm CBS<br /></strong>Emotions will be even higher for this underestimated rivalry, as the Jags no doubt will be fired up to win for recovering teammate Richard Collier. The Titans offense looked terrible </p><p><strong><u><img src="" height="80" alt="" width="40" style="width: 40px; height: 80px" />SUPERGLUE YOURSELF TO THE COUCH</u></strong></p><p><strong>4. N.Y. Jets at Miami 1:00 pm CBS</strong>&nbsp; <br />The Dolphins in a Superglue game, you ask yourself? Take it as the surest sign it ain&#39;t 2007 anymore. Chad Pennington, less than a month removed from being released by the Jets, gets the chance to stick it to the man who forced him out of town. Drama at its finest. Would be the No. 1 game, but it gets points deducted for the inevitable fawning over Mr. Favre by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Sorry - dem&#39;s the rules.<br /><br /><strong>3. Arizona at San Francisco 4:15 pm FOX<br /></strong>Big time in love with this game and it has everything to do with offense. Joltin&#39; Joe he ain&#39;t, but Journeyman J.T. O&#39;Sullivan could be the next best thing for Niners fans if our prediction comes true (see NFC West). And the Cardinals can pile on the points as well. Fantasy folk: Start every Card and Niner you can, then sit back and see if announcers Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan can keep up.<br /><br /><strong>2. Minnesota at Green Bay M7:00 pm ESPN<br /></strong>A better breakdown than I could ever write can be found on on Friday (link to come). With apologies to Cowboys-Redskins, this might be the NFC&#39;s best rivalry.<br /><br /><strong>1. Dallas at Cleveland 4:15 pm FOX <br /></strong>How big is this game? On <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>this indispensable site</strong></a>, red indicates where this game will be shown. Tony Romo against the Browns porous secondary has been the biggest angle, but I&#39;m more interested to see how the Cowboys front seven stacks up against the Browns running game. Plus, who can complain about gratuitous cutaways of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Miss Jessica</strong></a>?</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 04 Sep 2008 17:46:54 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto Don Banks' Backup QB Rankings <p>With a rash of QB injuries (<strong>Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Tarvaris Jackson</strong>, etc.) sweeping the NFL, senior writer <strong>Don Banks</strong> takes the opportunity to look at every team&#39;s Plan B, ranking backup QBs 1 through 32. </p><p>A few highlights:</p><p>3. <strong>Sage Rosenfels</strong>, Texans</p><p>11. <strong>Brad Johnson</strong>, Cowboys</p><p>31. <strong>Dan Orlovsky</strong>, Lions</p><p><strong>You can find the whole list </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>here</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p><p>Agree or disagree with Banks&#39; picks? Let him know in the comments below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 26 Aug 2008 15:50:06 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto's Inaugural Beat Writers' Mock Draft <p>Since we couldn&#39;t convince the GMs of all 29 teams with first-round draft picks to carve out some time for us today, we opted for the next best thing.<br /><br />Newspaper beat writers.<br /><br />For the next five hours, will conduct a mock draft with the people whose job it is to follow the NFL team in their city 365 days a year. The picks will be published <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>here</strong></a>, every 10 minutes or so, until the first round is complete. The goal is to have the most informed mock draft this side of <strong>Don Banks</strong>. At worst, we know we&#39;ll get one pick right (thank you, <strong>Mr. Parcells</strong>). <br /><br />And we&#39;re off...</p> Thu, 24 Apr 2008 00:42:48 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto Have the Pats been taping since 2000? <p>Big news out of NFL commissioner <strong>Roger Goodell</strong>&#39;s <img src="" height="150" align="right" alt="" width="100" style="width: 100px; height: 150px" /><br />meeting with Sen. <strong>Arlen Specter</strong> on Wednesday. The Pennsylvania senator told the media that Goodell said <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>the Patriots have been illegally taping</strong></a> opponents&#39; defensive signals since 2000, the year <strong>Bill Belichick</strong> took over as head coach.</p><p>Let that sink in for a minute.</p><p>On a day when <strong>Roger Clemens</strong> testified before Congress and <strong>Jason Kidd</strong> was nearly traded to the Mavericks, this nugget from the Goodell-Specter meeting may fall down the pecking order, but its significance shouldn&#39;t be ignored. Belichick has been taping games for the past eight seasons, Specter says Goodell told him. That&#39;s a little too he-said-he-said-he-did for me (I&#39;d feel better if Goodell was the one to deliver the news) but if this proves accurate, the offseason just became a lot more interesting.</p><p>Specter says that Goodell claims Belichick thought the taping was legal. Do you buy that? I&#39;m sure there will be a lot more on this in the days to come, but feel free to share your initial&nbsp;thoughts in the comments below.</p> Thu, 14 Feb 2008 02:41:42 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto NFL Game Rankings, Year-End Review <p>With only a handful of meaningful games in Week 17, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at what we learned in the inaugural season of NFL Game Rankings. For each team, we added up all its weekly rankings to determine an overall value to its 2007 watchability. Like golf, the lower the score the better. </p><p>The results weren&#39;t all that surprising: The teams with the worst records were generally the least watchable, while the teams at the top of the standings drew the most interest. However, sprinkled in with the predictable results are some surprises, including a team that may not even make the playoffs checking in at No. 3. </p><p>Peruse the following list and feel free to share your thoughts on the rankings, either in the comments below or straight to my inbox at <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong>.</strong></p><p><strong>32. Miami Dolphins (186)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 8th twice (Week 2 vs. Cowboys, Week 16 at Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last four times (Week 5 at Texans, Week 7 vs. Patriots, Week 10 vs. Bills, Week 15 vs. Ravens)<br />Inside the numbers: An average just under 12, with 11 games ranked in double-digits</p><p><strong>31. Atlanta Falcons (179)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 4th (Week 4 vs. Texans)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last four times (Week 2 at Jaguars, Week 13 at Rams, Week 14 vs. Saints, Week 16 at Cardinals)<br />Inside the numbers: Only three games ranked in single digits and only one higher than 7</p><p><strong>30. New York Jets (168)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 2nd (Week 1 vs. Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 4 at Bills, Week 6 vs. Eagles)<br />Inside the numbers: Would have challenged for worst overall had two games against the Pats (No. 2 in Week 1, No. 4 in Week 15) not skewed their total </p><p><strong>29. St. Louis Rams (166.5)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 16 vs. Steelers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 11 at Niners, Week 13 vs. Falcons)<br />Inside the numbers: Slew of injuries led to eight-week stretch of double-digit rankings</p><p><strong>28. San Francisco 49ers (161)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 3 at Steelers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 11 vs. Rams, Week 12 at Cardinals)<br />Inside the numbers: Interest fell off a cliff at the end of the season, finishing with nine straight double-digit rankings</p><p><strong>27. Baltimore Ravens (160)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 4th (Week 1 at Bengals)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 9 at Steelers, Week 15 at Miami)<br />Inside the numbers: Double-digits in seven of final eight games</p><p><strong>26. Carolina Panthers (154)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 5th (Week 6 at Cardinals)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 14th twice (Week 12 vs. Saints, Week 13 vs. Niners)<br />Inside the numbers: The high overall total plus the lack of dead last rankings should tell you how consistently uninteresting this team was.</p><p><strong>25. Kansas City Chiefs (150)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 5th (Week 13 vs. Chargers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last (Week 1 at Texans)<br />Inside the numbers: No Superglue games; four games ranked 7th</p><p><strong>24. Oakland Raiders (143)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 3rd (Week 8 at Titans)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th three times (Week 1 vs. Lions, Week 11 at Vikings, Week 15 vs. Colts)<br />Inside the numbers: Can hang hat on being worst AFC team not to have a dead last ranking all season.</p><p><strong>23. Arizona Cardinals (135)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 3rd (Week 4 vs. Steelers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 12 vs. Niners, Week 16 vs. Falcons)<br />Inside the numbers: Bad division and Matt Leinart&#39;s early injury helped empty the interest bandwagon.</p><p><strong>22. Cincinnati Bengals (132.5)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 16 vs. Browns)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th (Week 14 vs. Rams)<br />Inside the numbers: Exciting offense made woeful team relatively interesting to watch.</p><p><strong>21. Buffalo Bills (129)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 11 vs. Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last three times (Week 3 at Patriots, Week 4 vs. Jets, Week 10 at Dolphins)<br />Inside the numbers: Scrappy bunch hurt by two horrendous teams and one phenomenal team in its division</p><p><strong>T-18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (127)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 2nd twice (Week 6 vs. Titans, Week 12 vs. Redskins)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 14th (Week 2 vs. Saints)<br />Inside the numbers: Playing in a bad division killed this team, which actually had pretty good watchability makeup (great defense + mediocre offense = close games)</p><p><strong>T-18. Seattle Seahawks (127)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 2nd (Week 4 at Niners)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 14th (Week 16 vs. Ravens)<br />Inside the numbers: Like the Bucs, playing in a bad division hurt; both share the honor of being lowest-ranked playoff teams.</p><p><strong>T-18. Philadelphia Eagles (127)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 3rd (Week 2 vs. Redskins)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 6 at Jets, Week 8 at Vikings)<br />Inside the numbers: Ranked 8th four times</p><p><strong>17. New Orleans Saints (126)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 1 at Colts)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last (Week 14 at Falcons)<br />Inside the numbers: Strong mid-season interest wasn&#39;t enough to make up for the skepticism after an awful start</p><p><strong>16. Minnesota Vikings (120)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 2nd (Week 7 at Cowboys)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last (Week 8 vs. Eagles)<br />Inside the numbers: Adrian Peterson&#39;s late emergence as featured back tempered the buzz, as did his late-season injury; no team fluctuated as much as this one</p><p><strong>15. Houston Texans (113)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 12 at Browns)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 1 vs. Chiefs, Week 5 vs. Dolphins)<br />Inside the numbers: Four straight 9ths to end the season; helped by being in league&#39;s strongest division</p><p><strong>14. Denver Broncos (105)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 4 at Colts)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 14th (Week 14 vs. Chiefs)<br />Inside the numbers: Unpredictability of young QB kept interest relatively high until late, when it finished with three double-digits in its final four games</p><p><strong>13. New York Giants (104)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 10 vs. Cowboys)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 13th (Week 2 vs. Packers)<br />Inside the numbers: A weak schedule led to seven games ranked between 8 and 10, which kept this team out of the top 10</p><p><strong>12. Chicago Bears (100)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 3rd twice (Week 1 at Chargers, Week 13 vs. Giants)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th (Week 2 vs. Chiefs)<br />Inside the numbers: Finished strong with no double-digit rankings after Week 7</p><p><strong>11. Cleveland Browns (98.5)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st twice (Week 12 vs. Texans, Week 16 at Bengals)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 13th (Week 1 vs. Steelers)<br />Inside the numbers: Three 2nds gave them five top-2s; not bad for a team many thought would be transitioning</p><p><strong>T-9. Tennessee Titans (97)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 2nd three times (Week 2 vs. Colts, Week 6 at Buccaneers, Week 14 vs. Chargers<br />Lowest-ranked game: 13th (Week 16 vs. Jets)<br />Inside the numbers: Will they be a bridesmaid to the playoffs, too?</p><p><strong>T-9. Detroit Lions (97)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 3rd four times (Week 5 at Redskins, Week 7 vs. Buccaneers, Week 11 vs. Giants, Week 14 vs. Cowboys<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th twice (Week 1 at Raiders, Week 16 vs. Chiefs) <br />Inside the numbers: Hot start kept interest high around this team, even as schedule toughened and losses mounted</p><p><strong>8. Jacksonville Jaguars (94)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st twice (Week 7 vs. Colts, Week 15 at Steelers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last (Week 2 vs. Falcons)<br />Inside the numbers: Never ranked lower than 10th after Week 2</p><p><strong>7. Green Bay Packers (88)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 13 at Cowboys)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 13th twice (Week 2 at Giants, Week 4 at Vikings)<br />Inside the numbers: Jobbed by two No. 13 rankings in early-season games that would have been top-5 had they occurred a month later. </p><p><strong>6. Pittsburgh Steelers (87.5)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 1st four times (Week 3 vs. Niners, Week 14 at Patriots, Week 15 vs. Jaguars, Week 16 at Rams)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last (Week 9 vs. Ravens)<br />Inside the numbers: No team finished stronger, with three straight No. 1 rankings </p><p><strong>5. San Diego Chargers (86)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 2 at Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th (Week 12 vs. Ravens)<br />Inside the numbers: Consistently generated high interest, with only two double-digit rankings all year</p><p><strong>4. Dallas Cowboys (80)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st three times (Week 6 vs. Patriots, Week 10 at Giants, Week 13 vs. Packers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 13th (Week 12 vs. Jets)<br />Inside the numbers: Surprisingly, not even the most watchable team in its own division, finishing second to ...</p><p><strong>3. Washington Redskins (78)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st (Week 8 at Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 14th (Week 1 vs. Dolphins)<br />Inside the numbers: Nine games ranked fourth or better; definitely fall into the strong defense/mediocre offense category that always makes for good games</p><p><strong>2. New England Patriots (77)</strong><br />Highest-ranked game: 1st six times (Week 2 vs. Chargers, Week 6 at Cowboys, Week 8 vs. Redskins, Week 9 at Colts, Week 11 at Bills, Week 14 vs. Steelers)<br />Lowest-ranked game: Dead last twice (Week 3 vs. Bills, Week 7 at Dolphins) <br />Inside the numbers: League-best six No. 1s;its total dominance against weaker teams hurt since blowouts ain&#39;t watchable</p><p><strong>1. Indianapolis Colts (73)<br /></strong>Highest-ranked game: 1st five times (Week 1 vs. Saints, Week 4 vs. Broncos, Week 5 vs. Buccaneers, Week 7 at Jaguars, Week 9 vs. Patriots)<br />Lowest-ranked game: 15th (Week 15 at Raiders)<br />Inside the numbers: Opened the season with unprecedented six straight Superglue games and eight of their first nine; injuries kept this team from becoming like the Patriots in terms of expected blowouts, thus giving them the 2007 crown</p> Thu, 27 Dec 2007 16:55:19 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto NFL Game Rankings, Christmas Edition <p><font size="2">Rating watchability of Week 16 games while hoping Ol&#39; St. Nick delivers an exciting month of playoffs in January...</font></p><p><em>(As always, comments welcome below or straight to my inbox at </em><a href=""><strong><em></em></strong></a><em>)<br /></em></p><p align="center"><strong><u><img src="" height="45" alt="" width="53" style="width: 53px; height: 45px" />ONLY IF YOUR OTHER OPTION IS WRAPPING PRESENTS</u></strong></p><p><strong>16. Atlanta (3-11) at Arizona (6-8) 4:05 p.m.</strong> -- So after getting all bent out of shape about Bobby Petrino quitting on the team, the Falcons go the hypocritical route and lay an egg in a 37-3 loss to Tampa. That team doesn&#39;t deserve an audience.</p><p><strong>15. Kansas City (4-10) at Detroit (6-8) 1 p.m. </strong>-- Thirteen straight losses between these two early-season sleepers means&nbsp;you can snooze through this one. </p><p><strong>14. Baltimore (4-10) at Seattle (9-5) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- The Ravens have lost eight straight and the Seahawks have already locked up the NFC Worst, er, West&nbsp;title. Move along, nothing to see here.</p><p align="center"><strong><u><img src="" height="52" alt="" width="50" style="width: 50px; height: 52px" />IT AIN&#39;T AT THE TOP OF YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST, BUT HEY, IT&#39;S FOOTBALL</u></strong></p><p><strong>13. N.Y. Jets (3-11) at Tennessee (8-6) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- A win here and the Titans will guarantee themselves at least a one-game improvement over last year&#39;s 8-8 mark, good momentum for Vince Young and company as the playoffs look like a pipedream. </p><p><strong>12. Denver (6-8) at San Diego (9-5) Mon. 8 p.m.</strong> -- Good rivalry, bad drama. The Chargers have the division all wrapped up and will be careful with their stars, while the Broncos start auditions for their 2008 roster early.</p><p><strong>11. Tampa Bay (9-5) at San Francisco (4-10) 4:05 p.m.</strong> -- While the Bucs hold out hope to hop the Seahawks for the No. 3 seed, the Niners will use their final two games to find out if career backup Shaun Hill is anything more than that.</p><p><strong>10. Oakland (4-10) at Jacksonville (10-4) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Want proof the Pro Bowl is not an accurate portrayal of which teams had the best seasons? The Raiders have 1 pro bowler (punter Shane Lechler) and the playoff-bound Jags have none. </p><p><strong>9. Houston (7-7) at Indianapolis (12-2) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Tony Dungy says all the starters will play, even though the Colts can&#39;t help or hurt their playoff situation. But that was before Mario Williams was snubbed for the Pro Bowl. Can&#39;t imagine Peyton Manning wants to face a ticked off defensive end with 13.5 sacks.</p><p><strong>8. Miami (1-13) at New England (14-0) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- Two more wins &lsquo;til history. Fitting the Pats will have to go through the franchise that owns the only other perfect regular-season record. </p><p><strong>7. Dallas (12-2) at Carolina (6-8) Sat. 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- There hasn&#39;t been this much attention on a thumb since <a href=";image_width=300" target="_blank"><strong>Gene Siskel died</strong></a>. Cowboys fans are anxious to see how Tony Romo&#39;s infamous digit is doing -- the length of team&#39;s playoff drive may depend on it.</p><p><strong>6. Philadelphia (6-8) at New Orleans (7-7) 1 p.m.</strong> -- The Eagles&#39; playoff hopes are dead, but the Saints are still very much alive. If Philly wants revenge for last season&#39;s loss in the divisional round, it will need to pressure Drew Brees, who had just four incompletions in 30 attempts last week.</p><p><strong>5. N.Y. Giants (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Pretty much a must-win for the Giants, as they do not want to need a win against the perfect Patriots next week&nbsp;to make the playoffs. </p><p align="center"><strong><u><img src="" height="51" alt="" width="50" style="width: 50px; height: 51px" />SUPERGLUE SANTA TO THE COUCH (AND MAKE HIM WATCH WITH YOU)</u></strong></p><p><strong>4. Green Bay (12-2) at Chicago (5-9) 1 p.m.</strong> -- The high in Chicago on Sunday? Twenty-four. That&#39;s not a temperature, it&#39;s a <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>TV show</strong></a>. Despite the fact the Bears are only playing for pride, this should be one of the weekend&#39;s best. Brian Urlacher and Brett Favre will make certain of that.</p><p><strong>3. Washington (7-7) at Minnesota (8-6) 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- The Vikings have the inside track to the final playoff spot, but the Redskins are anything but a gimmee. With so much riding on this game, plus Adrian Peterson vs. the inspired Washington D, this is easily the NFC game of the week.</p><p><strong>Tie-1. Cleveland (9-5) at Cincinnati (5-9) 1 p.m. &amp; Pittsburgh (9-5) at St. Louis (3-11) Thu. 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- The only division still up for grabs is the AFC North. Neither game deserves a higher ranking than the other. If you&#39;re a fan of the Browns, Steelers or the NFL as a whole, you&#39;re not missing either.</p> Thu, 20 Dec 2007 07:51:19 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto NFL Game Rankings, Week 15 <p>Rating the watchability of Week 15&#39;s games ...</p><p><em>(As always, comments welcome below or straight to my inbox at </em><a href=""><strong><em></em></strong></a><em>)<br /></em></p><p><strong><u><img src="" height="50" alt="" width="50" style="width: 50px; height: 50px" />ONLY IF YOUR OTHER OPTION IS YARDWORK</u></strong></p><p><strong>16. Baltimore (4-9) at Miami (0-13) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Don&#39;t even think about tuning in, even if what <a href="/peter_king_challenge/pickoff" target="_blank"><strong>Peter King is predicting</strong></a> comes to fruition. </p><p><strong>15. Indianapolis (11-2) at Oakland (4-9) 4:05 p.m.</strong> -- If your idea of fun is watching Jim Sorgi play two quarters, then by all means...</p><p><strong>14. Cincinnati (5-8) at San Francisco (3-10) Sat. 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- Watch it because it&#39;s the only game on, not because it&#39;ll be a good game. (And if you haven&#39;t seen 49ers rookie linebacker Patrick Willis, now&#39;s your chance to catch the NFL&#39;s leading tackler in action.)</p><p><strong><u><img src="" height="50" alt="" width="50" style="width: 50px; height: 50px" />IT AIN&#39;T GONNA BE EPIC, BUT HEY, IT&#39;S FOOTBALL</u></strong></p><p><strong>13. Seattle (9-4) at Carolina (5-8) 1 p.m.</strong> -- The Seahawks are sizzling, winners of five straight, and No. 6 should be a snoozer against the woeful Panthers, who are 1-5 at home.</p><p><strong>12. Atlanta (3-10) at Tampa Bay (8-5) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Nothing against the Bucs, but we&#39;ll be rooting for the Falcons to win this game just to shove it in the face of that classless coach in Fayetteville. </p><p><strong>11. Green Bay (11-2) at St. Louis (3-10) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Like with Comeback Player of the Year, the NFL should award a Came From Nowhere Player of the Year. Ryan Grant would be a shoe-in.</p><p><strong>10. Philadelphia (5-8) at Dallas (12-1) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- Terrell Owens loves sticking it to his old team and Tony Romo will make sure his receiver gets what he wants.</p><p><strong>9. Denver (6-7) at Houston (6-7) Thu. 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- If this was Week 15 of 2008, this might be a Superglue game. Plenty to look forward to down the road for these two teams.</p><p><strong>8. Detroit (6-7) at San Diego (8-5) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- Can the Lions, losers of five straight, stop the bleeding? Anything&#39;s possible against the Chargers, since you&#39;re never sure which San Diego team will show up.</p><p><strong>7. Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (4-9) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Like many teams on the outside looking in, the playoffs start this week for Vince Young and company.</p><p><strong>6. Chicago (5-8) at Minnesota (7-6) Mon. 8:30 p.m.</strong> -- Fantasy owners that survived Adrian Peterson&#39;s soul-killing performance last week will be glued to this broadcast to see if it was indeed a fluke. </p><p><strong>5. Arizona (6-7) at New Orleans (6-7) 1 p.m.</strong> -- We&#39;ve made<strong> </strong><a href="/throwdowns/show/87417" target="_blank"><strong>our feelings</strong></a> about the Saints known already. Expect to see two top-10 passing offenses lighting up the Superdome scoreboard. </p><p><strong>4. N.Y. Jets (3-10) at New England (13-0) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Nothing&#39;s gonna happen in this game that they won&#39;t show on SportsCenter 12,000 times. Still, it&#39;s worth flipping to during commercials of other games just to check out <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>the C-ry B-aby S-nitches and other signs</strong></a> that Pats fans bring to Gillette on Sunday.</p><p><strong><u><img src="" height="36" alt="" width="64" style="width: 64px; height: 36px" />SUPERGLUE YOURSELF TO THE COUCH</u></strong></p><p><strong>3. Washington (6-7) at N.Y. Giants (9-4) 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- Their Week 3 battle was epic (remember the Giants <a href=";displayPage=tab_gamecenter&amp;season=2007&amp;week=REG3" target="_blank"><strong>goal-line stand</strong></a> in the final minute?) and there&#39;s no reason to believe Sunday will be any different. In their first game without having Sean Taylor&#39;s death or funeral in the forefront of their minds, the Redskins will need the focus with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance.</p><p><strong>2. Buffalo (7-6) at Cleveland (8-5) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Snow showers are in Sunday&#39;s forecast as they should be for a mid-December Bills-Browns battle. Two QBs who have come out of nowhere to have big seasons, Cleveland&#39;s Derek Anderson and Buffalo&#39;s Trent Edwards, will have their first chance to prove they can perform with playoff-like pressure, as both the Bills and Browns are fighting for the final AFC wild-card berth. </p><p><strong>1. Jacksonville (9-4) at Pittsburgh (9-4) 1 p.m.</strong> -- A preview of a potential wild-card weekend game. Neither team can afford to mail this one in, so don&#39;t expect buttoned-up play-calling and kid-glove treatment of the stars. The match-up to watch here will be the Steelers&#39; No. 2 run defense against the Jags&#39; No. 2 rushing offense, led by Fred Taylor, who has quietly hit the 100-yard plateau in three straight games and needs only 56 yards to reach 1,000 for the season for the 7<sup>th</sup> time in his career.</p> Thu, 13 Dec 2007 07:05:10 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto React: Petrino resigns as Falcons coach <p><em>&quot;<strong>Bobby Petrino</strong> is leaving the Falcons?? Holy </em><em>#&amp;%$</em><em>!&quot;<br />--</em>An actual text message that hit my cell phone Monday night when <a href="" target="_blank">the news broke</a> that Petrino would be leaving Atlanta to take the Arkansas head-coaching job. </p><p>In eight words, my friend pretty much sums up everyone&#39;s feelings on this stunning turn of events, especially mine. Less than a year ago, I sat in the interview room at the Falcons complex in Flowery Branch, Ga., and listened to Petrino describe his new gig as &quot;the best job in the National Football League.&quot; Tomorrow, I&#39;ll sit in that same room and listen to owner <strong>Arthur Blank</strong> and general manager <strong>Rich McKay</strong> introduce Petrino&#39;s interim replacement. Crazy.</p><p>My gut reaction to the news is this: If I&#39;m Blank, I&#39;m not crossing the street anytime soon. How much can go wrong for him this year? First, your star QB is found to have run an illegal dogfighting operation and will spend the next two years in jail. As a result, your team is left without its star QB and loses 10 of its first 13 games. Now, the man you pledged to pay almost $5 million per year to coach the team is leaving you to take a job at a university where&nbsp;crazed fans rule&nbsp;the roost. </p><p>I&#39;ve shared my feelings on Tuesday&#39;s news, and now it&#39;s your turn. Was Petrino smart to jump ship? Or is he just the latest in a long line of smarmy coaches who can&#39;t be trusted? Share your thoughts in the comments below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 12 Dec 2007 00:52:10 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto NFL Game Rankings, Week 14 <p>Rating the watchability of Week 14&#39;s games ...<br /><br /><em>(As always, comments welcome below or straight to my inbox at </em><a href=""><strong><em></em></strong></a><em>)<br /></em></p><p><strong><img src="" height="50" alt="" width="54" />ONLY IF YOUR OTHER OPTION IS YARDWORK</strong></p><p><strong>16. New Orleans (5-7) at Atlanta (3-9) M8:30 p.m.</strong> -- We&#39;ll be in attendance for this epic Monday night clash. Look for us next to the tumbleweed blowing through the Georgia Dome stands.</p><p><strong>15. St. Louis (3-9) at Cincinnati (4-8) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Let the 2008 personnel evaluations begin.</p><p><strong>14. Kansas City (4-8) at Denver (5-7) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- Blah-blah-blah, great rivalry. Blah-blah-blah, two young QBs. Blah-blah-blah, pass the remote.</p><p><strong><img src="" height="53" alt="" width="50" />IT AIN&#39;T GONNA BE EPIC, BUT HEY, IT&#39;S FOOTBALL</strong></p><p><strong>13. Miami (0-12) at Buffalo (6-6) 1 p.m.</strong> -- There&#39;s something intriguing about watching a team trying to avoid going down in infamy against a team trying to keep its faint playoff hopes alive.</p><p><strong>12. Minnesota (6-6) at San Francisco (3-9) 4:05 p.m.</strong> -- A.P. gets all the attention, but the first-ranked run defense, under first-year coordinator Leslie Frazier (who replaced Mike Tomlin), is the biggest reason the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt.</p><p><strong>11. Cleveland (7-5) at N.Y. Jets (3-9) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- This year&#39;s surprise playoff-contending team against last year&#39;s surprise playoff team. Is it that we don&#39;t expect much from ex-Patriots defensive coordinators?</p><p><strong>10. Carolina (5-7) at Jacksonville (8-4) 1 p.m.</strong> -- If you get past all the teal (we never can), there should be some good defensive football played here. The Jags are 7<sup>th</sup> in points allowed (18.6) and the Panthers are 10<sup>th</sup> in total yards (315). </p><p><strong>9. Tampa Bay (8-4) at Houston (5-7) 1 p.m.</strong> -- The Bucs can clinch the NFC South division title with a win while the Texans curse the football gods for putting them in the wrong conference. </p><p><strong>8. N.Y. Giants (8-4) at Philadelphia (5-7) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Maybe the Eagles could <a href=";amp;displayPage=tab_gamecenter&amp;amp;season=2007&amp;amp;week=REG4"><strong>protect the quarterback</strong></a> this time. This may not be the best time for Donovan McNabb to return from injury.</p><p><strong>7. Arizona (6-6) at Seattle (8-4) 4:05 p.m.</strong> -- The last game ended on a Neil Rackers&#39; field goal. The Seahawks have won four straight. The Cards can&#39;t afford to lose. The exciting NFC West! Yeah, we&#39;re watching. </p><p><strong>6. Indianapolis (10-2) at Baltimore (4-8) 8:15 p.m.</strong> -- Baltimore-ians(?) will be psyched for this game against the franchise that (allegedly) stole their beloved Colts, but the Ravens unfortunately used all their energy complaining about officials this week&nbsp;and are pretty well spent. </p><p><strong>5. Oakland (4-8) at Green Bay (10-2) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Upset alert? The red-hot (for them) Raiders are getting their second wind thanks to Josh McCown&#39;s arm and Justin Fargas&#39; legs. And the Packers may be just a little too comfortable with a four-game lead atop the NFC North.</p><p><strong>4. Chicago (5-7) at Washington (5-7) T8:15 p.m.</strong> -- If you like watching a team&#39;s season end, you&#39;ll enjoy this one -- the loser&#39;s playoff hopes vanish. How will the Redskins bounce back after an emotional week and coach Joe Gibbs&#39; gaffe in the loss to the Bills?</p><p><strong><img src="" height="35" alt="" width="55" />SUPERGLUE YOURSELF TO THE COUCH</strong></p><p><strong>3. Dallas (11-1) at Detroit (6-6) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Roy Williams&#39; injury puts the skidding Lions in an even deeper hole but, like the Packers, the Cowboys look a little too comfortable at the top of their division. Detroit is desperate and Jon Kitna <a href=";amp;displayPage=tab_gamecenter&amp;amp;season=2006&amp;amp;week=REG17"><strong>has had success</strong></a> against the Cowboys before. The key will be if the Lions&#39; 31<sup>st</sup>-ranked pass defense can hold up against Tony Romo. </p><p><strong>2. San Diego (7-5) at Tennessee (7-5) 1 p.m.</strong> -- Vince Young and Shawne Merriman. LaDainian Tomlinson and Albert Haynesworth. We were <em>this</em> close to bumping Steelers-Pats from the top spot, but couldn&#39;t pull the trigger. Still, this preview to a potential wild-card round match-up has the makings of a fantastic game. </p><p><strong>1. Pittsburgh (9-3) at New England (12-0) 4:15 p.m.</strong> -- As if this game needed <a href=""><strong>any more hype.</strong></a> The Steelers, who&#39;ve looked sloppy for three straight weeks, can take solace in the fact that the Pats have looked old in their close wins against the Eagles and Ravens. But New England also showed the kind of resiliency that only comes with having a team full of veterans. Pounding Willie Parker and keeping the ball out of Tom Brady&#39;s hands late are the Steelers&#39; best chances to win. </p> Thu, 06 Dec 2007 06:59:05 GMT Dominic Bonvissuto