Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback

For the third year in a row, the Indianapolis Colts have gone 5-0 to start the season. Yet, it utterly amazes me how the bulk of the sports pundits can rank the New England Patriots at #1 in the power rankings.

Greg, one of my readers, will take exception to this, I am sure. But, that's okay. He's a partisan for NE, as I am a partisan for Indy.

But let's look at this objectively, shall we?

NE is a damned good team, there's no denying this. They have re-tooled in the off-season and if you look at their record, they look invincible. Their scores are lopsided and their offense is dominating opponents. In addition, QB Tom Brady has thrown for at least three TD passes in each of their five games.

Indy is a damned good team, as well. Their scores aren't as lopsided, but they have won them all and appear to be in the same form as last year, when they won the Super Bowl. They are winning and yesterday they did it without four key players, to include WR Marvin Harrison, RB Joseph Addai, and S Bob Sanders, who is the leader of the Colts' defense.

So what's the argument?

Looking at the two teams' schedules, a football enthusiast can easily make an assessment that the Colts have played a much tougher schedule.

The Colts have played New Orleans, Tennessee, Houston, Denver, and Tampa Bay. All, except NO, had a winning record when they played the Colts. All five of those teams now have a combined win total of 11 games. NE has played the NY Jets, San Diego, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. All of those teams now have losing records, with a combined win total of seven games.

If we look at the strength of the two teams' respective divisions, we can also see some obvious disparity. NE plays in the AFC East. These four teams have combined for a whopping total of seven wins with one team winless and two with only one win each. On the other hand, the Colts are in the AFC South. All four teams there have a combined 14 wins, twice the number of the East. All four South teams have winning records. In addition to these little tidbits, we have to look at the winning percentages of the two divisions:

AFC South - .775
AFC East - .305


Admittedly, this means very little, because this issue will be settled on Sunday November 4th in the RCA Dome. For this reason, the power rankings mean even less. But, if sports pundits truly want to look at things objectively, they cannot discount these things I have outlined here, when doing their team evaluations.

Personally, I would rather have NE think they are the best team in the NFL. Maybe they will come in overconfident, like they did last January, when the Colts sent them home in the Conference Championship game. If so, it makes it that much sweeter, if the Colts send them home with a loss this time, as well.

10 comments:

All_I_Can_Stands said...

How 'bout them Bears!

LASunsett said...

Hi AICS,

Finally, eh?

I think the football story of the year is the slow start for last year's NFC Champs and the non-existent start for the runner-up. The Saints were picked to be the team to beat for the NFC. And, they have cooperated very well; they have been beaten badly. ;)

Dallas is a surprise, despite the fact they are losing to Buffalo, as of this writing.

Rocket said...

Besides being a Redskins fan, tonight's game is the reason I have always hated Dallas

LASunsett said...

Damn Rocket,

You stayed up all night to watch Dallas?

Greg said...

Oh, now you're just baiting me.

I agree that the rankings are useless now. And I agree that I'd rather have my team ranked under the Colts, if only to further motivate my team that feeds so much off of perceived "disrespect."

But they didn't lose to the Colts last year due to overconfidence. The Pats were using 3d string linebackers and cornerbacks due to injuries. They couldn't stop the Colts' offense in the 4th quarter. They also couldn't score in the fourth quarter because their best receiver in that game didn't even make this year's practice squad.

I don't really care who wins in November either. In fact, best case scenario is that the Patriots lose that game, but still manage to keep home field advantage in the playoffs, forcing the Colts to play the game that really matters in Foxborough, hopefully in freezing temperatures with wind-driven sleet, against an angry team bent on revenge. :)

I love football.

One upside to the Colts success is that I have Peyton, Clark and A. Gonzales in my fantasy team.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

Finally, eh?

Ouch, that hurt. I'll tell you what is really going to hurt. Rex Grossman will continue to suck for the bears until he is traded. Then he will be a supa' star.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//Oh, now you're just baiting me.//

How can you be so sure? ;)

//But they didn't lose to the Colts last year due to overconfidence.//

You are right, they didn't. And for the reasons you stated. They did a good job of re-tooling in some areas, the biggest area is adding Moss.

But, you cannot tell me that some of the sour grapes that were displayed after the game (like Brady's refusal to shake his friend's hand and congratulate him/ and Belichik's poor attitude at the press conference) wasn't because they came into the dome and fully expected to win.

The teams to beat are Indy and NE, do doubt there. I said this before the season began and many of the Colts fans here laughed at me for including NE in the mix. If there's one thing they may learn someday, it is LA does know his football. And he rubs it in, when he's right. ;)

Dallas will be a good test for the Pats this weekend. Dallas has been playing well and even pulled out the win, on MNF, when they clearly didn't deserve it. That's a mark of a champion, finding a way to win when you don't play well (something both NE and the Colts do sometimes).

Colts have a much needed bye. But the Jags loom in the picture the following week. I am telling my friends that Jax will be tough, as they always play the Colts tough. Again, they are mocking me.

Peterson always has the defense fired up because of his vendetta against his former team. They hit harder when they play Indy and they play dirty. Colts may win, but I doubt it will be easily.

LASunsett said...

AICS,

//I'll tell you what is really going to hurt. Rex Grossman will continue to suck for the bears until he is traded. Then he will be a supa' star.//

Maybe he needs a different offensive system or scheme. Many of these QBs today get thrown in too soon, before learning the ropes. The Bears have traditionally emphasized defense and do so now.

Maybe he would flourish after sitting on the bench behind a Brady or Manning for awhile. Joe Montana was the #2 QB for SF, when he first went pro and wasn't the first choice when he was at ND either. The problem with the Bears's rotation is, Griese isn't the best QB to learn from. He has made his share of mistakes and has built his career on "not blowing the game", not winning it.

Greg said...

Ok LAS, you get your wish. Who knew Dr. Z was a Poli-YY reader....

http://tinyurl.com/2rh5bj

LASunsett said...

Greg,

Dr. Z has good taste. Not for picking the Colts above the Pats, mind you. For reading PYY.

;)