SPORTS YAPP: Week 9 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers- If they want to go undefeated, they will.

2. Baltimore Ravens- Joe Flacco and the Ravens got a much-needed confidence boost by completing their sweep against the Steelers.

3. San Francisco 49ers- We may not know the names of the players that score their touchdowns, but the 49ers keep winning.

4. New York Jets- They were humbled with their slow start to the season. But they appear to have things back on track.

5. New York Giants- They don’t always look pretty when they win, but that’s all they seem to do.

6. Detroit Lions- I’m curious to see how their running game looks the rest of the year. Will Jahvid Best get back on the field?

7. Pittsburgh Steelers- The regular season is always important, but the playoffs are more important. That’s when we will find out what the Steelers are all about.

8. New Orleans Saints- The Saints got their bad game of the year out of the way last week against St. Louis and responded very nicely on Sunday against the Bucs.

9. Cincinnati Bengals- It’s great to win games, and that’s what the Bengals do, even if they haven’t beaten any good teams yet.

10. Chicago Bears- Jay Cutler actually had time to throw the ball and took advantage of that against the Eagles. It was surprising that Matt Forte fumbled the ball twice, but he’s had an amazing year, and I expect him to respond next week with a great game.

11. Buffalo Bills- They didn’t show up against the Jets. There is no need to panic, but it was a poor performance on Sunday. They lucked out because the Patriots lost, with all three of these teams fighting for the AFC East title.

12. New England Patriots- It was surprisingly a low-scoring game for most of the day against the Giants. The Patriots are good, but they aren’t great anymore.

13. Atlanta Falcons- With Julio Jones healthy again, the Falcons’ offense dominated a bad Colts team. I still think the Falcons are a team on the rise.

14. Houston Texans- They had their way with the Browns. It’s remarkable what the Texans have been able to do without Andre Johnson on the field. Just wait until he gets back.

15. Dallas Cowboys- They are another team that I think is good, but not great. However, DeMarco Murray has been a great running back since becoming the starter.

16. Philadelphia Eagles- So much talent and such little success. On a bright note, LeSean McCoy is having a tremendous year. His ability to “juke out” defenders is so fun to watch.

17. San Diego Chargers- They put together a great comeback against the Packers, but we all know that Green Bay is just too good. Phillip Rivers really got going in the second half and finished the game with four passing touchdowns.

18. Oakland Raiders- I liked the decision by the Raiders to bring in Carson Palmer, and I thought he played really well. He will have to cut down on the interceptions though if they want to win games.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They need all their weapons fully healthy before they can start winning consistently.

20. Kansas City Chiefs- It looked like they were still celebrating their win over the Chargers on Monday Night Football and forgot to take the Dolphins seriously. That was a big letdown game.

21. Denver Broncos- Tim Tebow looked much better against the Raiders. The Broncos running game was dominant, and Tebow didn’t throw an interception. They still have a chance to win the division with the three other teams all losing on Sunday.

22. Tennessee Titans- They are a mediocre/bad team but one of the toughest teams to beat every week.

23. Carolina Panthers- How many more rookie records will Cam Newton break this year?

24. Jacksonville Jaguars- A bye week has to be a good thing for the Jaguars.

25. Washington Redskins- It doesn’t matter who the coach is for the Redskins, it seems like the same story every year. They show glimpses and then fall apart.

26. Minnesota Vikings- It’s a season of rebuilding.

27. Miami Dolphins- They have improved the past few weeks, so they were due for a win.  Matt Moore has done a nice job as the starting quarterback and I was glad to see them get the victory.

28. Arizona Cardinals- They made the right decision by drafting Patrick Peterson. He is a major playmaker, and he’s only going to get better.

29. St. Louis Rams- They should have beaten the Cardinals, and I can’t believe they lost the game by giving up a punt return for a touchdown in overtime.

30. Seattle Seahawks- They are too young and lack firepower.

31. Cleveland Browns- They can’t move the ball at all, they couldn’t stop the run against the Texans, and I don’t see things getting any better this year. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on Colt McCoy though.

32. Indianapolis Colts- Keep up the good work, and Andrew Luck will be yours!

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter -@sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP Podcast: Episode No. 7

Join host Bryce Johnson and Sports Spectrum staff writer Aaron May for Sports Spectrum Magazine’s podcast called “SPORTS YAPP.” Today on the show, they yapped about all the close games in the NFL on Sunday, LSU beating Bama, and discussed Palmer, Hillis, and Tebow. Click here to listen.

Last Wednesday, Bryce talked to ESPN’s NBA expert, Chris Broussard. Chris talks about his life, his career, his faith, LeBron James, his relationship with Skip Bayless, and a little Christian hip-hop. Click here to listen…

To keep up with all of the show’s updates with the most recent episode, show news, etc. head over to the show’s webpage at www.sportsyapp.com.

SPORTS YAPP – Week 9 Fantasy Football Predictions and Midseason Review

Mid Season Recap:

We are beginning week 9 and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the first 8 weeks in Fantasy Football.

Most Impressive Player: Aaron Rodgers continues his dominant ways week after week.  I would guess that most people who have him as their starting quarterback are in first place (like me) or at the top of your league.  There are only a couple of other quarterbacks who even come close to the fantasy numbers he puts up.

Pleasant surprise: Cam Newton has been incredible.  He clearly has the best value in all of fantasy because most owners drafted him really late or even picked him up off waivers.  He can score touchdowns on the ground or in the air, which allows more options for fantasy points.

Disappointing surprise: Anytime someone talks about disappointments in fantasy this year, they have to start with the name Chris Johnson. He decides to hold out during training camp and isn’t at his elite level this year. If you drafted him early, you are probably out of your league’s playoff hunt.

Walk the Plank: I must “walk the plank” for my poor predictions about Arian Foster. I was worried that he might be a “one hit wonder” in Houston, but he has been a stud again. He was a little injured early in the season, but he has gotten back on track in a big way.

I was right: Jimmy Graham has been the best tight end in the first half of the season. He has been one of Drew Brees’ key targets. He was my “keeper” in one of my fantasy leagues because I had real high hopes and expectations for him. He has been great and even exceeded what I anticipated.

What’s Boiling Bryce: Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were supposed to take a step in the right direction this season, but instead they have been very inconsistent and unreliable. I still hold out hope that they will get it together the rest of the way, but I’m frustrated they struggled in the first half of the year.

Convinced he will improve: I really believe that Steven Jackson continues what he has done the past couple of weeks. He put the Rams on his back last week to upset the Saints and I’m convinced that this type of production will be what we can count on the rest of the way.

Week 9 Predictions:

Best Matchup: I really like the Atlanta Falcons this week against the Colts. We saw the Colts give up 62 points to the Saints, so I think the Falcons could have a nice day as well. I hope the Falcons worked on a few things during their bye week to allow their offense to be even more dynamic moving forward.

Sleeper of the Week: I was impressed with the way Jackie Battle played for the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. I think the team will be more comfortable with him and he’ll have more confidence this week against the Dolphins.

Bandwagon Riding: I’m still not ready to hop off the Tim Tebow bandwagon. He has the ability to put up numbers running and throwing and that is intriguing to me in fantasy football. The Detroit Lions have a really good defense and that was a major reason Tebow had a terrible day.

Bandwagon Jumping: Darren McFadden is banged up for the Raiders and it looks like he’ll be out this week. He was playing as well as any running back in the league before his injury, but now he’s going to hurt his fantasy owners until he’s back on the field.

Dare you to start: Javon Ringer for the Titans against the Bengals. Chris Johnson continues to struggle and the Titans will have to give more carries to Ringer. If you have multiple running backs on a bye this week, Ringer could be a good guy to slide into your starting lineup.

Dare you to bench: Mike Williams from the Bucs. He has had an issue with drops all year long and he’s only scored one touchdown. It’s hard to have confidence in him at this point.

Player I’m counting on this week for my own team: I traded for DeSean Jackson and I need him to be a solid starting receiver for me.

SPORTS YAPP: Week 8 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers- They probably had the best bye week, too, since they are the best at everything else.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers- Troy Polamalu is all over the field on defense. He’s amazing, and the Steelers need to be taken seriously again.

3. San Francisco 49ers- They are making plays by throwing the ball to lineman. Are you kidding me? The 49ers are unbelievable at this point. Wow, I’m impressed.

4. Detroit Lions- The defense was the story this week by absolutely dominating the Broncos. The Lions really needed a win after they dropped two in a row.

5. Buffalo Bills- The offense has gotten most of the attention this year, but the defense put together an impressive shutout against the Redskins this week.  The Bills continue to roll.

6. New England Patriots- It’s weird to me how bad their defense is. Tom Brady is still excellent, but the defense lets the Patriots down in close games.   

7. Baltimore Ravens- Something might have clicked in the second half against the Cardinals on Sunday. They needed to get their passing game going by getting the ball to Anquan Boldin more often, and that’s exactly what they did. He had a big game against his former team with seven catches and 145 yards.

8. Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles were extremely exciting on Sunday night, and they quieted their critics for now. I’ve been on the bandwagon, so I’m expecting things to continue to get better for them.

9. New Orleans Saints- Did they really follow up a 62-point performance with a loss to the Rams? I love the NFL!

10. New York Jets- If the running game continues to be solid and Mark Sanchez limits his mistakes, they will be in the playoff mix again.

11. Cincinnati Bengals- It’s time I give them some major respect on the power rankings.  They keep getting it done week after week. I’m impressed that they decided to keep their head coach, Marvin Lewis, around this year, and it’s definitely paid off.

12. Atlanta Falcons- Will they have a strong second half of the season like they did last year? They should be able to if they get wide receiver Roddy White playing at a high level again each week.

13. Dallas Cowboys- They were embarrassed against their rival on Sunday Night Football, but they will be fine. Their defense got dominated by the Eagles offense, and the Cowboys must fix those problems.

14. Chicago Bears- Will Matt Forte be able to carry the offense as much as he has the rest of the way? They need to find other answers on offense.

15. Oakland Raiders- I expect Carson Palmer to play much better after the bye week.  We shouldn’t give up on the Raiders just yet.

16. Houston Texans- They are starting to establish themselves as the team to beat in the AFC South, even though that may not be saying too much.

17. New York Giants- I still don’t know what to make of this 5-2 team, but they keep finding ways to win so you have to respect that.

18. Kansas City Chiefs- As bad as they looked early in the season, they have made the right adjustments and are playing much better. They pulled out the victory they needed last night against the Chargers to stay even with the Chargers and Raiders in the AFC West.

19. San Diego Chargers- During Monday Night Football I learned that Phillip Rivers has six kids! He married his high school sweetheart, too. I also learned that the Chargers offense isn’t as strong as it has been in years past, and I can’t figure out why. They played a fun game against the Chiefs, but Phillip Rivers fumbled at the worst time.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- I’m intrigued to see how the NFC South shakes out this year with the Saints, Falcons and Bucs all putting in a good fight.

21. Tennessee Titans- They realize they can’t rely on Chris Johnson, but Matt Hasselbeck and the passing game have been solid. I’m still surprised any time they win though.

22. Carolina Panthers- They should have beaten the Minnesota Vikings at home, but they fell short at the end. The Panthers are a fun team to watch, but there is a lot of frustration when a team loses so many close games.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars- They continue to be competitive, but they are still too young to be a consistent winner each week.

24. Minnesota Vikings- Christian Ponder has given the Vikings the spark they needed, and they have looked much better the last two weeks. This is a year to watch him develop, and fans can see that their future is bright with him under center.

25. St. Louis Rams- I was really glad they pulled the big upset over the Saints. I know it sounds crazy, but I think they have the talent to put together a nice winning streak.

26. Cleveland Browns- They aren’t a very good team, and they can’t keep their running backs healthy.  Plus their division is one of the toughest in the league. On a positive note, Josh Cribbs had a great game against the 49ers.

27. Washington Redskins- They are a mess. It will be tough to find many answers for their problems this season.

28. Seattle Seahawks- Marshawn Lynch averaged 1.5 yards per carry. If your starting running back puts up those kinds of numbers, it’s not good.

29. Denver Broncos- The defense must improve, Tebow needs more time, and the media/fan frenzy surrounding Tebow is crazy.

30. Arizona Cardinals- It’s going to be a long season for the Cardinals.

31. Miami Dolphins- On a positive note, Reggie Bush ran for over 100 yards. It’s amazing that he’s only done that twice in his career.

32. Indianapolis Colts- It’s hard to feel bad for a team that has had so much success in the last decade, but it’s painful to see how far they have fallen.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter – @sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Podcast No. 4 And Ten Things We’re Yappin’ About

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1. Tim Tebow and the Broncos had a terrible game, but it doesn’t mean he should be benched already. He moves to 1-1 on the season, and he needs to improve. But the Lions have a really tough defense, and they dominated. Give Tebow time. The Broncos also need to understand the lack of weapons that he has to work with, and yes, I’m a Tebow apologist.

2. The Baltimore Ravens are the worst great team right now. They lost to the Jaguars on Monday Night football and then struggled all day against the Cardinals to barely escape with the win. I think they are really great when they want to be, but they fall asleep too often.

3. The Steelers are lighting it up right now and are no longer “under the radar” after beating the Patriots. New England’s defense has some serious issues, but the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger look amazing.

4. The Eagles showed a national audience that their issues are figured out. I know it’s just one game, but that was a big game against a rival. The Eagles not only won, but they dominated. Vick looked like he did last year, and LeSean McCoy looked like the best running back in the league last night.

5. What team will we still be talking about at the end of the season…the Bengals or the 49ers? I like what the Bengals are doing, but I think it’s tough to expect rookies to play this great all season long. The Bengals would have to be better than the Ravens and Steelers to win the division, and I don’t see that happening. However, the 49ers are so far ahead of the rest of their division that they can coast the rest of the season. I don’t expect the Cardinals or the Seahawks to catch them anytime soon.

6. The St. Louis Rams pulled the upset of the day by beating the Saints. It was convenient that it happened the same weekend that the Cardinals won the World Series. I have to admit that I believe the Rams will make a nice run this year and win a lot more games.  With Steven Jackson running the way he did yesterday, they can surprise some more teams along the way.

7. The Colts are the most consistent team in the league. We can count on them to lose every week.

8. Cam Newton had another amazing performance for the Panthers by throwing three touchdowns. However, their kicker, Olindo Mare let everyone down after he missed a game-tying field goal opportunity. The Panthers are close every week and that’s positive, but it’s hard when you lose a game you should win against the Vikings.

9. The Giants are 5-2?! I’m not counting on them to keep that pace up. They had a rough time against the Dolphins yesterday.

10. The Bills are here to stay and one of the more fun teams to watch. The Redskins are done and missing too many playmakers to move the ball.

Click here to listen to Podcast No. 4. And if you missed last week, be sure to check out our interviews with ESPN’s Dave Pasch and Switchfoot’s Tim Foreman here.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter - @sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Podcast #2

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Today we are joined by broadcaster Dave Pasch from ESPN and bassist Tim Foreman from the band Switchfoot.

We also yapp about Owens, Bartman and do a segment called “Tap Drill.”

Click here to listen.

Look for Bryce’s NFL power rankings column to return next week.

SPORTS YAPP: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Fantasy Predictions

Week 6 Recap:

Most Impressive Performance: Ahmad Bradshaw had three rushing touchdowns and over 100 yards rushing against Buffalo. The goal line carries usually go to Brandon Jacobs, but since he was out on Sunday, Bradshaw was the beneficiary, and so was your fantasy team if you own him.

Pleasant surprise: It’s amazing that anyone kicks or punts to Devin Hester. When the ball is in his hands, he’s one of the most dangerous players on the field. On Sunday night he had two touchdowns, one receiving and one returning, to go along with 91 receiving yards. I doubt many fantasy owners started him, but if you did you were rewarded big time.

Disappointing surprise: Steve Smith (Panthers) only had 66 receiving yards and zero touchdowns on Sunday against the Falcons. He has had a monster season, and there is no need to panic, but it was a down week for him.

Walk the Plank: I must “walk the plank” for my poor predictions about Jermichael Finley. He was supposed to have a big game against the Rams, but the Packers tight end only had one catch for 20 yards. He has been very quiet this year while the rest of the Packers offense has been putting up huge numbers.

I was right: I dared you to bench Darren Sproles last week because the Saints were trying to get Mark Ingram more carries. I was right about that because Sproles only had one carry. However, in PPR leagues Sproles was pretty valuable with eight catches.

What’s Boiling Bryce: Santana Moss has not had much of a fantasy impact this season, and I was counting on him to be one of my key wide receivers. Rex Grossman hasn’t gotten the job done, especially last week, and now there is uncertainty on the chemistry between Moss and the new starting quarterback John Beck. I’ll hope for the best, but I’m frustrated with the recent lack of production.

Convinced he will improve: I see so much potential in Dez Bryant even though he only had 71 yards and zero touchdowns against the Patriots. He is so athletic and has shown glimpses of greatness. He needs to be more consistent to be an elite fantasy receiver each week, and I think he will.

Week 7 Predictions:

Best Matchup: The Saints are coming off of a loss and they are playing against the winless Colts. I expect really strong days all around for the many weapons on the Saints offense. I even think it’s worth starting New Orleans’ defense this week as well.

Sleeper of the Week: Demaryius Thomas has not been a very productive wide receiver for the Broncos since being drafted in the first round, but part of that has been due to injuries. With Brandon Lloyd getting traded and Tim Tebow taking over at quarterback, I like Thomas to be a sleeper.

Bandwagon Riding: Anquan Boldin had his first 100-yard receiving day of the season, and I believe we will see more production like that the rest of the year from him.

Bandwagon Jumping: Ryan Grant has only had one good game all year for the Packers and at this point he’s pretty much fantasy irrelevant. James Starks is the better Packers running back to own on fantasy teams.

Dare you to start: Carson Palmer is now with the Oakland Raiders, and since they decided to start him this week, I dare fantasy owners to do the same. The Raiders offense has been playing well, and I know it will take Palmer some time to get acclimated with his new team, but I think it would be fun to take the risk this week because I’m expecting good things the rest of the season from Palmer and the Raiders.

Dare you to bench: Jermichael Finley continues to struggle like I mentioned earlier, and I don’t think it’s out of the question to bench him this week. The Packers will probably get an early lead on the Vikings and then just hang on the rest of the way. I hate to say it, but Finley MIGHT have another bad fantasy day.

Player I’m counting on this week for my own team: Beanie Wells needs to keep up what he’s been doing all year long (when healthy) because he’s been a huge bonus on my fantasy team. Wells and the Cardinals are coming off a bye, and I hope their offense is clicking on all cylinders for a big fantasy day.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter – @sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Thoughts and Power Rankings

Ten Things We’re Yappin’ About

1. The Carolina Panthers are a tough team every single week to beat, but they can’t seem to pull out the wins. Cam Newton has brought new life to the franchise and has helped make the Panthers’ games one of the most entertaining games each week. They always have a chance in the fourth quarter, but the more veteran teams routinely find a way to seal the victory.

2. The Green Bay Packers are clearly the best team in the league. I wondered if their motivation and drive would be the same as last year, but I’m convinced they’re even more focused and determined. Aaron Rodgers completes passes each week that I can’t even comprehend.

3. Speaking of the Packers, did you see the jerseys they wore on Sunday? I’m not a huge “jersey guy,” and I’m more concerned about football than fashion, but I have to admit I like old school jerseys. It let’s everyone remember the history of the team and may trigger memories of former players and coaches. Some of the new jerseys are too cute. Just stick to the classics.

4. The 49ers and Lions game was great, especially the ending. It’s not good for coaches to have a “scuffle” during the handshake, but it certainly adds to the storyline and potential rivalry between Coach Harbaugh and Coach Schwartz. There is a good chance they meet each other again in the playoffs, which would be fantastic. Coaches do need to have better self-control and class after a game, and I personally didn’t think that Coach Harbaugh did anything that deserved Coach Schwartz to go after him…but either way, I’m hoping they meet again.

5. I’ve been really intrigued with how well the young quarterbacks across the league have been playing. Andy Dalton has helped the Bengals win three in a row, Blaine Gabbert has kept the Jaguars in games, Cam Newton is putting up huge numbers, and Christian Ponder was sharp late in the game against the Bears last night. Even Curtis Painter played pretty well yesterday.

6. The Eagles finally won again, but I was surprised they didn’t capitalize more on the four interceptions they forced against Rex Grossman. The best play of the day was when LeSean McCoy celebrated a great run by punching his coach in the gut. It was hilarious to see Andy Reid’s reaction.

7. Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Steelers, gives the best press conference interviews every week. He’s so passionate that it’s hard to tell if he just won or lost.

8. I’m really surprised that Rex Grossman, Alex Smith and Jason Campbell began the season as their team’s starting quarterbacks. Rex Grossman helped the Redskins get a couple early-season victories, but now he’s playing like he used to and might lose his starting gig. Alex Smith may not be putting up huge numbers for the 49ers, but he is playing well enough for the team to be 5-1. Jason Campbell got injured yesterday, but he has helped restart the Raiders’ offense this year. All three have had up and down careers, and I’m curious to see how this season turns out for all of them.

9. Finally, the Bengals traded Carson Palmer.  I think Palmer will be really good in Oakland.

10. Predicting the AFC South champion is usually easy because of the Colts. But not this year. I pick the Texans to pull it off even though they’re 3-3.

Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers puts on a show every week. It’s not unrealistic to wonder if they can go undefeated.

2. Baltimore Ravens- I think the Ravens are the best team in the AFC. Ray Rice is a top running back that can hurt opposing defenses in so many different ways.

3. New England Patriots- Many people thought the Cowboys would knock them off this weekend (me included), but the Patriots continue to role. The Patriots are now 2-0 against the “Ryan Brothers,” too.

4. San Francisco 49ers- Jim Harbaugh is Coach Of The Year at this point. He’s brought such an inspiring and positive attitude to the organization.

5. Detroit Lions- They probably should have held on to the lead against the 49ers, but one loss may be beneficial for them. They were starting to get a lot of attention, and this loss can be a mini wake up call.

6. New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees has been such a clutch quarterback in New Orleans, but he was the opposite of that down the stretch against the Bucs. No need to panic, but it was surprising.

7. Oakland Raiders- They held on to get the win despite Jason Campbell going down and a Cleveland onside kick. They’ve continued to impress me this season. They will keep rolling with Carson Palmer now.

8. Buffalo Bills- Ryan Fitzpatrick took the blame for the loss to the Giants. Fitzpatrick continues to understand what it takes to be a starting quarterback. It’s all about leadership and owning mistakes. The Bills have a lot of good things going for them despite the loss.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers- At least they’re winning again, but they need to beat top teams in the league to prove they’re here to stay.

10. San Diego Chargers- They better get Phillip Rivers playing at a higher level if they want to hang on to the division lead. The Raiders are right at their heels.

11. New York Jets- It was nice to see them beat the Dolphins, but their true tests are coming up with games against the Chargers, Bills and Patriots.

12. Chicago Bears- They needed a game like they had against the Vikings on Sunday night. They were dominant in all aspects of the game, and it was good to see the defense play better, too.

13. Atlanta Falcons- I still can’t figure out why their offense isn’t more dynamic, but they did pull out a good win against the Panthers by giving the ball to Michael Turner. The Falcons desperately need a winning streak.

14. Philadelphia Eagles- The turnaround has begun. I think this team will get it together and start winning games. Their bye this week should really help.

 

15. New York GiantsI still can’t figure this team out. One week I’m impressed, and the next week I’m disappointed in their performance. They rattled the Bills on Sunday and pulled away with a nice win.

16. Cincinnati Bengals- They finally traded Carson Palmer, and now they can completely move forward with their solid young team.

17. Dallas Cowboys- They need to stop talking and start winning. Dez Bryant must become more involved.

18. Houston Texans- When everything clicks and they are healthy…they are a really good team. However, injuries have held them back so far this year, and inconsistency has been a big issue.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Freeman seemed to look more like he did last year in Tampa’s solid divisional win against the Saints. They showed that we can’t rule them out just yet.offense and young receiving core.

20. Cleveland Browns- They deserve credit for recovering an onside kick and giving themselves a chance against the Raiders, but they need more production out of their

21. Washington Redskins- The Rex Grossman experiment was cute, but the team needs to transition to John Beck.

22. Carolina Panthers- It’s the same story every week with the Panthers: playing good teams down to the wire. Cam Newton showed he’s only a rookie by throwing three interceptions, but he continues to make dynamic plays.

23. Denver Broncos- We have to wait a whole extra week to see Tim Tebow as the starter. That’s better for him and the Broncos, though, because it gave them two weeks to prepare.

24. Tennessee Titans- The biggest question for them is…will Chris Johnson be an elite running back at all this year?

25. Jacksonville Jaguars- They may be competitive, but they won’t win many games this year.

26. Arizona Cardinals- Let’s wait and see how the bye week helped them.

27. Seattle Seahawks- They’ve been better than I thought they would be, but what production will they get out of the quarterback position moving forward?

28. Kansas City Chiefs- They can throw the ball all over the field, but will that translate into wins?

29. Minnesota Vikings- Christian Ponder is their future at quarterback, and I’m curious to see how Donovan McNabb will handle being benched.

30. St. Louis Rams- I hoped they could turn it around, but it’s not looking very good.  With Sam Bradford banged up, they take a step back. Steven Jackson ran the ball well on Sunday which is obviously a positive sign.

31. Miami Dolphins- Who will they spend their top draft pick on?

32. Indianapolis Colts- They still can’t win a game without Peyton Manning. It’s truly amazing how important he’s been to their success.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter - @sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Week 5 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers- The Packers aren’t blowing teams out by any means, but they will soon. We’ve only seen a hint of their dominance.

2. Detroit Lions- In a nationally televised game, the Lions proved to the entire country that they’re the real deal and that they’re here to stay. Sure, the Bears aren’t an elite team, but the Lions took care of them and showcased their well-roundedness on both sides of the ball.

3. New Orleans Saints- They had a tight game against the Panthers, but the Saints can count on Drew Brees to get the job done. Jimmy Graham is becoming a top tight end as well.

4. Buffalo Bills- They did a nice job responding to their loss against the Bengals in Week 4. Jackson is doing a wonderful job at running back right now, and their defense was really impressive against the “high powered” (haha) Eagles. Dream Team. Psh.

5. New England Patriots- They aren’t the dominant team that they used to be, but they’re still a well-oiled machine with Tom Brady as their quarterback.

6. Baltimore Ravens- This is a team I truly believe will catch fire after their bye week. They’ve been quiet and inconsistent so far this year, but that’s about to change.

7. Oakland Raiders- This could end up being a really special season for the Raiders as they deal with the emotions of losing their owner. They’re gelling well, and they’re playing for more than themselves.

8. San Francisco 49ers- It’s time to take the 49ers seriously. I’m certainly taking them seriously, and that’s why they’re making the biggest jump in my power rankings this week. I’m shocked at how well Alex Smith is performing, and their defense is playing consistently every game.

9. San Diego Chargers- They barely hung on to the win over the Broncos on Sunday after Tim Tebow almost put together a comeback. Phillip Rivers hasn’t put up his usually big numbers yet this year, and you have to wonder what the problem is.

10. New York Jets- People will hop off their bandwagon, but I still believe they will get things turned around. Their defense has to improve, but I think it will.

11. Dallas Cowboys- They needed the bye week to get healthy. The division title continues to be up for grabs, especially with the Eagles and Giants losing over the weekend. Tony Romo is the player to watch because the team will go as far as he takes them.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers- Big Ben shut everybody up after his five-touchdown performance against the Titans. Will this game get the Steelers heading in the right direction?

13. Chicago Bears- Matt Forte is playing as well as any running back in the league, but the rest of the team needs to step it up. The atmosphere was crazy last night in Detroit, but the Bears still had their opportunities.

14. Washington Redskins- They still have to prove what type of team they are. Will Rex Grossman continue playing well enough for the Skins to win games?

15. Houston Texans- This was supposed to be their year (as always), but now with Mario Williams out for the season and Andre Johnson banged up, it’s hard to have high hopes for them at this point.

16. Cincinnati Bengals- This is a young team that continues to impress. They are here to stay.

17. Atlanta Falcons- I think Atlanta’s problems stem from their offensive strategy and play-calling. We know how many offensive weapons they have, and they are underachieving. The season is flying by, and it’s time for the Falcons get it together.

18. Philadelphia Eagles- They remind me of the Miami Heat in the NBA. Do you remember when everyone doubted the Heat midway through the season? Things finally clicked for them once they figured out how to mesh their talent, and I think the same will be true for the Eagles. I realize its Super Bowl or bust for the Philly, but there is still time for a turnaround.

19. Cleveland Browns- Let’s see what adjustments they make coming out of the bye week and look to see if Greg Little can be a key target in the passing game.

20. Carolina Panthers- They are so close to turning the corner and actually winning games. They’re playing elite teams (like the Saints and the Packers) down to the wire. Cam Newton continues to show why he’s one of the next great quarterbacks, but it’s time to squeak out some wins.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They are the “mess” of the week. They played so bad against the 49ers, and their offense isn’t close to looking as strong as it did last year.

22. Denver Broncos- The Broncos finally made the right decision by naming Tim Tebow their starting quarterback. He is exactly what they need on this team. He will bring confidence and energy, and I think they will make a nice run the rest of the season. Tebow is a winner even if he plays the QB position differently than most.

23. New York Giants- That was an ugly loss to the Seahawks, especially the way it ended. I’m not a believer in the Giants this year.

24. St. Louis Rams- If Steven Jackson is back to full strength after the bye, I expect the Rams to look much better.

25. Tennessee Titans- The Steelers game was a wakeup call for the Titans. They have some nice pieces, but overall they don’t have enough.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jack Del Rio has had a nice run in Jacksonville, but he will have a difficult time keeping his job after this year.

27. Minnesota Vikings- It’s simple. Get the ball to Adrian Peterson as much as possible, and the Vikings will be in a position to win the game.

28. Arizona Cardinals- Kevin Kolb is playing too mediocre for the Cards right now, and that must change if they want to have any success this season.

29. Seattle Seahawks- They deserve some credit for making a really ridiculous interception at the end of the Giants game to hold on to the victory, but they are still one of the worst teams in the league.

30. Kansas City Chiefs- Dwayne Bowe made some incredible catches on Sunday. But it’s hard to get too excited about beating the Colts.

31. Miami Dolphins- Matt Moore is the new QB, and I think he will be a good change for the Dolphins. He was never good at being “the guy” in Carolina, but he was always a good replacement QB. With Henne out for the year, look for Moore to get the offense moving a little better.

32. Indianapolis Colts- The Colts are better off losing the rest of their games and drafting Andrew Luck with the top pick. The players would never admit to that or want to do that, but it doesn’t really matter because they aren’t good enough anyway. It’s going to be a long season, but there’s the potential for a wonderful prize at the end.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter – @sportsyapp

SPORTS YAPP: Ten NFL Thoughts to YAPP About on Monday

1. The NFL does a great job bringing awareness to breast cancer. For a league that is so concerned about the uniform code, they allow great pink integration. But in all seriousness, we all know someone that has been affected, and it’s important to continue to fight against it.

2. When I heard the news that Tim Tebow was coming in to save the day, I got excited. He put together a nice comeback and provided Broncos fans with hope. Even though they came a bit short, Tebow got me off my couch and on my feet in anticipation of an epic finish. I truly believe that Sunday was the start to something special in Denver. Move over, Kyle Orton. It’s Tebow Time!

3. It’s been crazy to me how many matchups this early in the season have had players going up against their former teams: players like John Kasay, Jeremy Shockey, Michael Vick, Richard Seymour, Roy Williams and Justin Smith. Then we also saw former teammates Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb go up against each other, too, on Sunday.

4. It’s easy for me to say this from the comfort of my own couch, but I see too many wide receivers go down right after a catch, instead of trying to stay up and gain a few extra yards. The most impressive wide receivers, to me, are the ones that fight for the tough yards instead of going to the ground or stepping out of bounds. Calvin Johnson always falls to the ground, but he falls into the end zone…and that’s a different story.

5. I watched an Aaron Rodgers interview with Michael Irvin on the NFL Network, and I’m constantly amazed with the way Rodgers handles himself and deals with the constant Brett Favre cloud that hangs over his head. Favre needs to sit back and keep quiet because it’s all about Rodgers now. No need to keep Favre in the conversation at this point. Also, I hope you saw the Aaron Rodgers commercial for State Farm…it’s hilarious.

6. I enjoy a good end zone celebration, but I’m getting tired of the ones that are self promoting and obnoxious. I’m not anti-celebration, but enough of the dancing and chest pounding, please. Also, can we please stop the celebrating for routine plays like a five-yard run or a seven-yard catch?

7. I was really glad to see the Raiders win against Houston in honor of their owner Al Davis who passed away this weekend. It was also good to see somewhat recent Oakland draft picks Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey make key plays in the game as well.

8. TV Networks should stop going to commercial breaks after touchdowns and again right after the kickoff. Kickoffs are worthless now because they always result in a touchback. There is too much commercial time between action, and it frustrates me. It’s not like I’m going to turn the channel and start watching a TV movie, but hey, I could probably fit one in.

9. It’s officially time to start panicking if you are the Philadelphia Eagles. They appear to be a mess, and it’s hard to believe that everything is going to be fixed overnight. I still think they can make the playoffs, but they will have to string a ton of wins together in a row. We know they have the talent to do it, but they can’t brush off the losses anymore. They have to make some serious adjustments moving forward.

10. Will the Green Bay Packers ever lose a game? I don’t see any weaknesses.  They know what it takes to win, and they seem just as hungry as they were last year. I really thought Atlanta had a great chance to knock them off on Sunday Night Football, but the Packers are just too good. Atlanta, like the Eagles, is in a really bad spot at this point in the season. They have so much talent and they have yet to truly click.

Email SPORTS YAPP radio host and Sports Spectrum staff member at bryce.johnson@sportsspectrum.com. Also, follow him on Twitter - @sportsyapp

Uncommon Challenge