Week 9 of the NFL season is in this books, and we dissect which teams are moving on up in our Power Rankings, and which are dropping hard after a bad performance.
Didn't think firing Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton for Rob Chudzinski would make a difference? Wrong. All Andrew Luck and the Colts did this week was drop 27 points on the best defense int he NFL and win in LucasOil Stadium vs. a very motivated Peyton Manning. This was a huge game for the Colts in giving them some breathing room at the very top of the AFC South, and the performance should give them some scary momentum as they approach their bye week.
Cam Newton must have the strongest hands of any human on the planet. How did he not fumble the ball when slam dunking over the pile at the goal line? Although Newton's statistics this season have been pedestrian on paper, the most important one is that he and his Panthers remain undefeated at 8-0, and the Falcons slip up vs. the 49ers this week makes for a very positive forecast for winning the NFC South.
No, this isn't about Mike Mularkey. He is terrible and one win won't change that. Quite frankly, the Titans were quite lucky in this game, as it seemed that almost every single bounce and tipped pass seem to go their way. So why are they on the Three Up list if I am making them out to be terrible? Two Words One Duck - Marcus Mariota. The young QB has been every ounce as advertised and the Titans did absolutely the right thing in investing their #2 overall pick in Mariota.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
What the hell is happening with Green Bay? The offense has ranked 30th in the NFL the last few weeks, teammates are fighting, and Aaron Rodgers is throwing Microsoft Surface tablets into the earth's mantle. The fact of the matter is that this team is playing frustrated, and when you do so, you don't play your best football. Granted, the Pack lost to an undefeated and very good Carolina Panthers team this week, but it's all the off-field body language that has me sounding the alarms in Green Bay.
What the hell, Atlanta? The Falcons lost to a 49ers team with a bottom 3 offensive line and three-headed monster of Blaine Gabbert, Shaun Draughn and Quinton Patton. They literally had everything lined up in their favor to win comfortably by three possessions and they just blew it. Dan Quinn has a lot of work to do with this defense, but in the mean time, the Falcons fast start is beginning to look more and more like a fluke as Carolina steps down on the accelerator for the division.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
I feel terrible for Philip Rivers. He lost his #1 target in Keenan Allen and is left throwing to the likes of Javontee Herndon and Dontrelle Inman, not to mention running for his life behind a putrid offensive line. Melvin Gordon was brought in to be the LaDainian Tomlinson work-horse caliber back to take pressure of Big Phil and he has been more ineffective than Dugtrio using Dig versus a Pidgeotto. Losing to the Bears on Monday Night Football was a bad look for the Bolts, and I wouldn't be surprised if the seat under Head Coach Mike McCoy is starting to get toasty. Philip Rivers' window is closing and I don't think the ownership wants to waste any time.