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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carolina Panthers Worst Team In NFL?? No Solid Quarterback!

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings

32) Panthers
1-9-0 - 25/32

What a miserable team to watch. Yikes! At least their defense is somewhat competitive. It just goes to show that it's very difficult to win in the NFL when you don't have a solid quarterback.

The Jets are making it interesting, folks. Sure, they are finding a way to win the close games, but they aren't really winning in dominant fashion, either. But that's what the NFL is all about this season -- no dominant teams.

And as I've been saying for weeks in this space, it's all about health at this time of the season. Teams that are the healthiest have the best chance to go far into the playoffs. Just look at the top-four teams. None of them have any major injury issues. If that continues, those teams figure to be in the thick of the playoff race deep into January. utilizes its football simulation to rank all 32 NFL teams based on their likelihood of winning the upcoming week. To come up with the rankings, each upcoming game is simulated 10,000 times and teams are ordered by winning percentage. The predictions use the most up-to-date stats, rosters and depth charts.

Visit to learn more about these Power Predictions and other fantasy football simulation analysis.

NFL Team Rankings:

1) Jets
8-2-0 - 1/9

Well, the Jets found a way to hold the No. 1 spot, but barely. You have to give them credit for finding a way to win the close games. However, that could come back to bite them in the end. Expand Description

2) Falcons
8-2-0 - 2/16

Last week's win road win over the competitive St. Louis Rams was an important one. The Falcons must continue to win on the road if they want to go deep into the playoffs this year. They are getting great balance on offense, and the defense is playing consistently solid football. Expand Description

3) Patriots
8-2-0 - 1/13

New England's defense almost let them down last week, but the offense is really starting to come on of late. Most probably didn't see it happening, but New England has become more a two-tight end offense. Expand Description

4) Ravens
7-3-0 1 1/17

Baltimore is starting to look like a complete team on offense, but there are still some issues on the back end of the defense. It will be interesting to see if Tampa Bay can exploit some of Baltimore's weaknesses this week. Expand Description

5) Saints
7-3-0 3 1/12

The Saints are starting to get it cranked up on offense of late. And once they get RB Reggie Bush back on the playing field, the Saints will be complete on that side of the ball. He's a matchup nightmare for defenses. Expand Description

6) Eagles
7-3-0 3 6/20

Philadelphia was able to win a game last week where it didn't get a super-human effort from veteran QB Michael Vick. It was important for the Eagles to get major contributions from players from both sides of the ball. Expand Description

7) Steelers
7-3-0 - 1/7

Last week's game really was a blueprint on how Pittsburgh will win games going forward. They must make big plays on offense, with the defense getting turnovers. And their schedule over the next two weeks is about as easy as it gets until they face the Jets at home in Week 15. Expand Description

8) Packers
7-3-0 2 2/16

You have to be impressed with the play they have been getting from both sides of the ball of late. Despite suffering some key player losses this season, the Packers have found a way to win consistently. Expand Description

9) Bears
7-3-0 2 5/20

I still have issues with their offense, but the Bears are really starting to play very good football. And keeping QB Jay Cutler under control is a huge key for their success. Chicago's defense is good enough to keep them in every game -- and that wasn't the case last season. Expand Description

10) Buccaneers
7-3-0 2 10/29

There is no question that the Buccaneers have to be the NFL's biggest surprise this season, especially when you consider how bad they were in 2009. But getting consistently solid play from the quarterback position is a big reason for their success. Expand Description

11) Giants
6-4-0 7 1/21

It was just three weeks ago that the Giants looked to be perhaps the NFL's top team. But it just goes to show you that injury issues are very difficult to overcome. The Giants are now without three of their top- our receivers. Expand Description

12) Colts
6-4-0 6 2/12

I still believe they will wind up winning the AFC South, but the Colts aren't the once-dominant team from years past. It could be the injury issues from both sides of the ball, but the Colts simply don't seem to be scaring teams like they have in past seasons.

13) Chiefs
6-4-0 2 8/27

As much as I've bashed QB Matt Cassel, he has really been coming through of late. He has only turned the ball over five times this season while throwing for 18 touchdowns. He's making a strong statement for why he should come back behind center next season and beyond.

14) Jaguars
6-4-0 2 14/28

Call it what you want, but the Jaguars are finding ways to win games. It will get tougher on the road this week against the Giants, but they'll face a team that has some major injury issues to deal with. Expand Description

15) Chargers
5-5-0 4 9/27

If the special teams issues can be a thing of the past, the Chargers could win the AFC West. And that would be saying something considering how bad they started the season. But they'll get a stiff test on the road against the Colts this week. Expand Description

16) Titans
5-5-0 3 3/18

Like many teams toward the bottom half of these rankings, Tennessee has a major quarterback issue that is not going away. It will be very difficult for the Titans to win going forward. They no longer can count on their defense, either.

17) Raiders
5-5-0 3 14/30

Oakland fell apart on both sides of the ball last week against the Steelers. The Raiders really will have a hard time winning when they can't run the ball well. At least they'll face a struggling Miami team this week.

18) Redskins
5-5-0 5 11/25

Give credit for a great win at Tennessee last week, but Washington's issues from both sides of the ball are still there. They have major injury issues at running back which will be around for a while. Expand Description

19) Seahawks
5-5-0 2 13/31

Once again, Seattle played poorly on the road. Yet at 5-5, the Seahawks are still in first place. The NFC West may be a mess, but they might be the best team in that division, not that it's saying much.

20) Dolphins
5-5-0 2 8/20

They are still very limited offensively. It has been surprising that Miami has not run the ball well this season; the running game was supposed to be the foundation of their offense. Without success in that area, they have been easier to defend.

21) Cowboys
3-7-0 5 5/30

Interim head coach Jason Garrett is off to a nice start at 2-0. You can see how the players have responded since the coaching change. The discipline on both sides of the ball has really improved, but reality could set in against the visiting Saints.

22) Texans
4-6-0 2 4/22

In a game where the offense brought this team to the brink of winning a tough road game, the defense, once again, let the Texans down. I had picked them to be a wildcard team this season, but I thought they would get much better play from the defense.

23) Rams
4-6-0 2 16/32

The Rams aren't as far as you think from being a playoff team. They have improved in a big way at quarterback and on the offensive line. They need to add at least two really good receivers to be a complete offense going forward. Expand Description

24) Browns
3-7-0 2 22/30

Head coach Eric Mangini, based on the competitiveness of this team each week, deserves to come back in 2011. But the front office must add much more talent on each side of the ball if the Browns are to be a playoff team in the future.

25) 49ers
3-7-0 1 17/31

While Troy Smith had really been a positive surprise in his two starts prior to last week's game, he struggled mightily to get things going against Tampa Bay. The reality is that Smith probably will be a much better backup than starter. Expand Description

26) Broncos
3-7-0 1 14/28

The Broncos probably thought they would be a much better team this season, which explains why they signed so many older defensive players earlier this year. Unfortunately, that decision has backfired in a big way. At least their offense is decent.

27) Bills
2-8-0 2 27/32

As I've been saying for many weeks here, Buffalo is at least competitive despite issues mostly on the defensive side of the ball. If I was put in charge of the personnel decisions, I would add at least two quality pass rushers next season.

28) Vikings
3-7-0 1 8/28

Well, the fans and a lot of the players got what they wanted -- an in-season coaching change. But these types of moves rarely mean much of anything. Minnesota will not go to the playoffs, so don't expect any miracles from this team. Expand Description

29) Cardinals
3-7-0 1 15/29

As expected, Arizona has struggled on offense due to Kurt Warner's retirement. But I'm sure the Cardinals thought they would get decent play out of QB Derek Anderson. However, the biggest reason for Arizona's fall from grace can be tied to the regression on defense.

30) Lions
2-8-0 - 23/30

Detroit's inability to run the football is an ongoing issue. Rookie RB Jahvid Best can't seem to get it going due to a lingering turf toe injury. And defensively, they simply have too many issues on the back end.

31) Bengals
2-8-0 - 3/31

The wheels have totally fallen off for this football team. It's almost hard to believe that I thought they had a decent shot to win the AFC North before the season started. What was I thinking?

32) Panthers
1-9-0 - 25/32

What a miserable team to watch. Yikes. At least their defense is somewhat competitive. It just goes to show that it's very difficult to win in the NFL when you don't have a solid quarterback.

Can QB Situation Get Any Weirder For Panthers?

The Panthers continue to play musical chairs -- by necessity -- with the most important spot on the field. Today The Observer is reporting that the team will sign Keith Null, a former sixth-round draft pick who started four games in 2009 for the St. Louis Rams, to the practice squad (but he could be promoted if Jimmy Clausen isn't cleared to play due to his concussion).

A few QB notes while we've got a minute (and here's the link to my column on John Fox and his chipper attitude during these strange times):

1) This is the oddest Panther QB season since 2007, when Jake Delhomme's season-ending injury early gave rise to Vinny Testaverde, David Carr and Matt Moore all starting games. But that group had loads of NFL experience (except Moore) compared to this one.

2) Do you know when Brian St. Pierre actually won the job last week? In Wednesday's practice. It was apparent then to a large majority of the people on that practice field that BSP -- even without a training camp with the team -- understood more about cadences, snaps, play variations, etc., then Tony Pike did. Simply put, last Wednesday was an audition, and St. Pierre got the part.

3) Of course, now BSP has a sore arm. Not as serious as Clausen's concussion which kept him out last week, but still problematic.

Let's say both couldn't play due to injury Sunday at Cleveland. Would Fox actually skip over Pike again and play Null? Again, Wednesday's practice would be the key, but I think this time Pike would have the edge (after all, the Panthers weren't impressed enough with Null to sign him immediately after working him out).

4) As for Cleveland, the Browns may actually start Jake Delhomme this week, which I'd love to see simply because of all the possible story angles it would provide. Jake has only started one game for the Browns all season -- against Tampa in a Week 1 loss -- before he got a high-ankle sprain while throwing a key interception. That -- and rookie Colt McCoy's emergence (he's 2-3 as a starter) -- has kept Jake on the bench. But McCoy now has his own ankle injury and is questionable for Sunday. If he can't play, the Browns will choose between Jake and Seneca Wallace.

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Sources: Fox Sports, MSNBC,, Smart Market Network, McClatchy Newspapers, WCNC,, Youtube, Google Maps

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