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NFL: 1st Quarter Recap

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Five games into this season we’ve learned a lot from many teams, surprised by some and we’re ready to write off a few others. An end to week 5 finds 3 teams sitting atop the standings unbeaten and on the short end of the stick, 3 teams yet to see the win column. Some divisions are split evenly all under 500, still with an opportunity to win out, while some divisions feature just one runaway team and the rest almost assuredly missing the playoffs already.

Power Rankings


After an old western shootout with Tony Romo and the Cowboys, Peyton Manning and the undefeated Broncos are 5-0 and still the #1 team in the power rankings, surprise-surprise. Manning, who’s set all kind of passer records so far this season, threw for 5 TD’S and over 400 yards in a 51-48 victory, which ended as the 2nd highest scoring game in regulation. Although anything can happen on any given Sunday, the Broncos are staring 6-0 in the face after hosting the Jags next Sunday. Their undefeated streak could soon be put to the test when they square off against division foe Kansas City who also is undefeated but playing better defense. Regardless of what the record will be heading into the playoffs, Denver is stem rolling their way in, but can they sustain it all the way to a Superbowl?

With a new defensive coordinator and their head coach back on the sidelines, the Saints are back to terrorizing the NFL. Since Sean Peyton resumed leadership, the Saints offense has looked nothing short of phenomenal. Brees is averaging 350+ yards and 2TD’S a game and baffling secondary’s every Sunday. His favorite target, Jimmy Graham is statistically the best tight end in the league, averaging least 8 catches, 120 yards, and 1 touchdown a game. The 3 headed monster in the back field, Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson, and Darren Sproles are running through defenses with Sproles leading the way. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan has turned the worse defense in NFL history into a stifling bunch, smothering offenses each week. With such a prolific offense and a new well discipline D, the Saints are no question the team to beat in the NFC.

Although Andy Reid and the Chiefs are 3rd in the rankings, they could make a strong case for the best team in the NFL. After getting down late Sunday against Tennessee, the Chiefs turned to offseason acquisition Alex Smith and all-purpose back Jamal Charles, together, both helped the Chiefs secure a lead and they never looked back, staying undefeated. Charles might be the most valuable player for his team through five games, averaging 80 yards rushing and 50 receiving, with at least 1 touchdown in each game. Statistically the Chiefs have the best defense in the league, holding all opponents to 17 points or less this season. Chiefs have rebounded tremendously from a 2-14 season, to 5-0 and on a collision course with division mate Denver who also sits undefeated.

Picking up where he left off last season, Andrew Luck looks posed like a veteran pro-bowler. Luck isn’t averaging over 350 yards and 3 TD’s a game like Manning and Brees, but the way he’s managing the game and making sound decisions at critical times have the Colts sitting at 4-1. He’s making all his weapons look like studs and he recently acquired a new one. Coming over from Cleveland for basically nothing in return is Trent Richardson. Richardson will pick up where Bradshaw left off and carry the load along with Donald Brown. Indy’s Defense with the exception of 2 games has held opponents to 17 or less and is 6th overall against the pass. At this pace a lot of teams should fear this Colts team as we creep closer to playoff time.

Despite an unlucky loss to the Colts, the Seahawks are still 5th in the power rankings. Andrew Luck pulled off his 9th career 4th quarter comeback and was able to knock off the unblemished Seahawks. Even in this loss to the Colts, Russell Wilson looked sharp, finishing with 200 yards through the air, 100 on the ground and 2 touchdowns. The weapons are still firing on all cylinders, and just think how strong this team will be once Percy Harvin returns. A talented speedy offense and the best defensive backs in the leagues makes the Seahawks a balanced team to be reckoned with throughout the rest of the season.
Bottom of the barrel

For the 5th consecutive week, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s worst team. The Jags new uniforms are about the only thing looking good in Jacksonville these days and after week 5’s injuries to Rookie Luke Joeckel, and wideout Justin Blackmon, it’s going to get worst before better. Adding insult to injury, the Jags face Peyton Manning and Denver in week 6. The Broncos are rolling like an unstoppable tank right now, destroying defenses at will. The 48 points the Broncos defense allowed to Dallas is the only flaw Jacksonville can use to find hope in winning this matchup. A little more momentum the Jaguars can use against this scoring machine, the Jags did score a season high of 20 this Sunday against St. Louis. I don’t think anyone expected a stellar season from the Jags right of the bat, not even their new head coach. In Guy Bradley’s first season he’s had some uncharacteristic scenarios but hopefully he starts to add a few W’s in the win column or his first season could be his last. 

Tom Coughlin is no stranger to the hot seat in New York. The Giants head coach has had his share of dismal spells but managed to bounce back hard each time, including a pair of Superbowl victories.. So far this season Eli Manning has had nightmares of defensive lineman and interceptions. With an inexperienced offensive line and almost zero help from the run game, Eli has to play nearly perfect to have a productive Sunday outing. Giants reacquired running back Brandon Jacobs to open things up for speedy back David Wilson but the two compiled with the o-line have not been in sync. Where they lack in offense they usually make up on the defensive end but not his year. With veteran Osi Umeniyora gone, the line is faltering and the ship has been swaying. The good news is with the rest of the NFC East under 500, the Giants still have a shot at the playoffs if they start to win immediately. Digging Coughlin out of a hole is one thing this Giants team has done for years, but is this one escapable we’ll soon find out.

If you’re franchise makes an addition like cornerback Darelle Revis to your defense to go along with a maturing offense, you definitely have a season to look forward to. Well since Revis Island came on board, the Bucs have yet to win a game. Revis for the most part has done his part holding premier wide receivers to minimal games but hey let’s face it he can’t be everywhere nor can he play offense, which is where the real struggle lies. Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano had high hopes for QB Josh Freeman but that ship has sailed. With Freeman landing in Minnesota now, QB Mike Glennon has control of the offense, and it’s going to take the maturity of Glennon along with the strategic use of running back Doug Martin to turn around this season for the Buccaneers. 

If someone were to say the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be winless after 4 games, I’m sure anyone would place bet against those odds. Winless and hurt would be a more appropriate statement. An ailing Steelers team has injuries across the offensive line as well as their defense. With several veterans out for the season, the pressure solely rest on the shoulders of safety Troy Polamalu and big Ben Roethlisberger. Bens most impressive game was a 4th quarter comeback that ended in an empty handed goaline opportunity in London against Minnesota. Nothing is working at all for Pittsburgh this season and despite the losses coming due to lack of personnel, big changes could be in store this offseason for this Steeler team. 



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