Power Rankings Week 6: It's Harbaugh Mania!

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 19, 2011



By Jonathan Comey
Cold, Hard Football Facts Power Ranker

1. GREEN BAY (6-0)

Last week: 24-3 win vs. St. Louis
Next three weeks: at MIN, bye, at SD
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Packers took over the top spot in our Quality Stats power rankings this week, but it’s worth noting that only one of their six games has come against Quality Opponents. Only San Diego and Washington can say the same.

2. BALTIMORE (4-1)

Last week: 29-14 win vs. Houston
Next three weeks: at JAX, vs. AZ, at PIT
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Ravens are No. 1 on our Relativity Index, which measures play relative to the difficulty of the schedule, No. 1 on the Defensive Hog Index and No. 1 in Defensive Quarterback Rating. With Ray Lewis still leading the charge, it has to be asked: Is he the greatest defensive player of all time?

3. NEW ENGLAND (5-1)

Last week: 20-16 win vs. Dallas
Next three weeks: bye, at PIT, vs. NYG
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Despite being on pace to throw 21.3 interceptions, Tom Brady’s passer rating is 104.8. Only Kurt Warner was able to top 100 in rating in a season where he threw 20+ INTs – in 2001, when his Rams lost to Brady’s Patriots in the Super Bowl. Bonus fact: Benjarvus Green-Ellis ran for 1,008 yards, 13 TDs and a 4.4 YPC average in 2010; in 2011 he’s on pace for 1,043 yards, 13 TDs and a 4.3 YPC average.

4. SAN FRANCISCO (5-1)

Last week:25-19 win at Detroit
Next three weeks: bye, vs CLE, at WAS
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: It’s pretty amazing that San Francisco has ridden defense to 5-1 without the corresponding success with the offensive running game. The Niners rank 31st in negative runs (14.3 percent of all carries), and have our No. 24 Offensive Hogs, setting Alex Smith out of his comfort zone too often.

5. DETROIT (5-1)

Last week: 25-19 loss vs. San Francisco
Next three weeks: vs. AZ, at DEN, bye
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The great and powerful (and a bit overhyped) Ndamukong Suh only has two sacks and 12 solo tackles in six games, with no forced fumbles, no interceptions and no pass deflections.

6. BUFFALO (4-2)

Last week: 27-24 loss at NYG
Next three weeks: bye, vs. WAS, vs. NYJ
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Fred Jackson is averaging 6.9 yards a carry on first down, is leading a football revival in Buffalo, and plays a lot like Tony Dorsett in his prime. Yet he came to the NFL from Coe College. Who has the Fred Jackson movie rights?

7. NEW ORLEANS (4-2)

Last week: 26-20 loss at Tampa Bay
Next three weeks: vs. IND, at STL, vs. TB
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Saints have already gotten 105 first downs by the pass in six games; back in 1975, Archie Manning and the Saints only had 82 passing first downs in a full 14-game season. Maybe Manning was distracted by his wife’s pregnancy that year, with little baby Peyton on the way.

8. SAN DIEGO (4-1)

Last week: bye
Next three weeks: at NYJ, at KC, vs. GB
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Chargers’ four wins came against teams with a collective 4-18 record thus far.

9. OAKLAND (4-2)

Last week:24-17 win vs. Cleveland
Next three weeks: vs. KC, bye, vs. DEN
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Is Carson Palmer a good replacement for Jason Campbell? Campbell’s career passer rating is 82.8; Palmer’s rating in 2010 was 82.4.

10. PITTSBURGH (4-2)

Last week:17-13 win vs. Jacksonville
Next three weeks: at AZ, vs. NE, vs. BAL
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Where’s the D this year? The AFC North. Pittsburgh is second in yards-per-play allowed – behind No. 1 Baltimore and ahead of No. 3 Cincinnati and No. 6 Cleveland.

11. CINCINNATI (4-2)

Last week:27-17 win vs. Indianapolis
Next three weeks: bye, at Seattle, at Tennessee
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Cedric Benson is the football equivalent of Mariano Rivera this year. The Bengals have won late behind Benson, the second-most used back in the fourth quarter (35 carries for 172 yards), trailing only Benjarvus Green-Ellis (36 carries, 149 yards).

­­­12. TENNESSEE (3-2)

Last week: bye
Next three weeks: vs. HOU, vs. IND, vs. CIN
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: It might be worth noting that in Chris Johnson’s 2,000-yard season of 2009, he was at 93.6 yards per game with two total TDs through this point in the season … before reeling off 11 straight 100-yard games and 12 TDs to close the season.

13. NEW YORK GIANTS (4-2)

Last week: 27-24 win vs. Buffalo
Next three weeks: bye, vs. MIA, at NE
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Here’s a fact that no one but Lawrence Tynes probably cares about: The Giants have attempted an oddly low number of field goals over the past two seasons – just 29 of them in 22 games (1.3 per). The average team attempts roughly 1.9 field goals a game.
 

14. DALLAS (2-3)

Last week: 20-16 loss at New England
Next three weeks:vs. STL, at PHI, vs. SEA
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Dallas has the dubious distinction of having outgained the opposition in all five games this year but only winning two of them. Why? Because they’ve settled for 15 field goals and have only punched it in 10 times.

15. TAMPA BAY (4-2)

Last week:26-20 win vs. New Orleans
Next three weeks: vs. CHI, bye, at NO
The Cold, Hard Football Facts:The Bucs are now 14-8 since the start of 2010, and 9-5 in games decided by seven points or fewer. Impressive stuff.

16. HOUSTON (3-3)

Last week: 29-14 loss at Baltimore
Next three weeks: at TEN, vs. JAX, vs. CLE
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Texans’ Offensive Hogs, which were No. 3 in 2010 and, slipped to No. 17 this week as “Operation: Kubiak Face” continues in Houston.

17. CHICAGO (3-3)

Last week: 39-10 win vs. Minnesota
Next three weeks: at TB, bye, at PHI
The Cold, Hard Football Facts:Devin Hester is f---ing incredible. If he puts another three or four good years together as a returner, could he become the first Hall of Famer selected almost exclusively for that skill? Well … he is still almost 15,000 all-purpose yards shy of Brian Mitchell, who isn’t exactly booking reservations to Canton, so maybe not.

18. WASHINGTON (4-2)

Last week:20-13 loss vs. Philadelphia
Next three weeks: at CAR, at BUF, vs. SF
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Redskins have the fumble part down, but not the recovery. They’ve caused 2.8 fumbles a game and a total of 14 most in the league, but only have three recoveries.

19. PHILADELPHIA (2-4)

Last week:20-13 win at Washington
Next three weeks: at WAS, bye, vs. CHI
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Tight end Brent Celek has been about as unproductive as you can be while playing just about every down for the Eagles. He’s only got 115 yards on 29 targets (3.96 yards an attempt), and three of Michael Vick’s INTs have been thrown toward him.

20. ATLANTA (2-3)

Last week:31-17 win vs. Carolina
Next three weeks: at DET, bye, at IND
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Roddy White has been targeted 60 times, second-most in the league, but only ranks 20th in yards and has as many interceptions on balls thrown his way as touchdowns (2).

21. NEW YORK JETS (3-3)

Last week: 24-6 win vs. Miami
Next three weeks: vs. SD, bye, at BUF
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Monday’s win over the Dolphins was the first time in 2011 that the Jets had the game’s leading individual rusher (Shonn Greene, 74 yards). They’re down from 4.4 yards a carry in 2010 to 3.3 yards a carry this year.

22. CAROLINA (1-5)

Last week:31-17 loss at Atlanta
Next three weeks: vs. WAS, vs. MIN, bye
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Panthers rank dead last on our Defensive Hog Index, but No. 6 on the Offensive Hog Index. Hogs giveth, and taketh away.

23. CLEVELAND (2-3)

Last week:24-17 loss at Oakland
Next three weeks: vs. SEA, at SF, at HOU
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Colt McCoy has had to throw 87 fourth-quarter passes in just five games, a ridiculous average of 17.4 per quarter. Note to Browns: stop getting down by double digits.

24. SEATTLE (2-3)

Last week: bye
Next three weeks: at CLE, vs. CIN, at DAL
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Seattle Seahawks are an NFL franchise representing the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. They came into the league in 1976 as an expansion team. Their colors are Seahawks Blue and Seahawks Navy. That’s all we got on Seattle right now.  

25. KANSAS CITY (2-3)

Last week: bye
Next three weeks: vs. GB, vs. SD, vs. MIA
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Despite the loss of Jamaal Charles and the general struggles in Kansas City, the Chiefs are averaging a healthy 4.6 yards a carry and are on pace to top 2,000 yards as a team.

26. DENVER (1-4)

Last week: bye
Next three weeks: at MIA, vs. DET, at OAK
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Broncos have played all five games against Quality Opponents, and still have five games left against teams with winning records right now. In other news, TEE-BOW! TEE-BOW!

27. MINNESOTA (1-5)

Last week:39-10 loss vs. Chicago
Next three weeks: vs. GB, at CAR, bye
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Vikings replaced the ultimate gunslinger (Brett Favre, all-time interceptions leader) with the ultimate non-gunslinger (Donovan McNabb, third all-time in interception percentage, 2.2 per 100 passes). And now, it’s Christian Ponder, who’s not the ultimate anything yet. Just another year in Minnesota.

28. JACKSONVILLE (1-5)

Last week:17-13 loss at Pittsburgh
Next three weeks: vs. BAL, at HOU, bye
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Jaguars had been steadily declining on defense, from No. 4 in scoring D in 2006 to 10th, 21st, 23rd and 28th. This year, they’re 12th  … but the offense is No. 31. Just another year in Jacksonville.

29. ARIZONA (1-4)

Last week:bye
Next three weeks: vs. PIT, at BAL, vs. STL
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Cardinals are -4 in turnover margin, no big surprise – they haven’t been on the positive end in any of Ken Whisenhunt’s four previous seasons as head coach.

30. MIAMI (0-5)

Last week:24-6 loss at New York Jets
Next three weeks:vs. DEN, at NYG, at KC
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: My Sparano has a first name, it’s C-O-A-C-H, my Sparano has a second name it’s F-I-R-E-D …

31. INDIANAPOLIS (0-6)

Last week:27-17 loss at Cincinnati
Next three weeks: at NO, at TEN, vs. ATL
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Colts lead the league in fumbles lost (7) and rank fourth-worst with 14 dropped passes … but have only thrown two interceptions, none in the first half. Not sure what it all means, other than going toward the 2011 Colts’ status as one of the weirdest teams in history.

32. ST. LOUIS (0-5)

Last week:24-3 loss at Green Bay
Next three weeks: at DAL, vs. NO, at ARI
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Why did the Rams bother to trade a pick for 11 games of Brandon Lloyd with the season already in the tank? The Rams are on pace to score 157 points this year, which would be the third lowest total for a full season since the offensive rule changes of 1978. So yeah, maybe a little help would be nice.

Read more: NFL, Week 6
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