AFC Formidable Five: Week 11
Each week on your FAVORITE Midday Radio Program, Just a Bit Outside, Joe Giglio and myself reveal our Top 5 teams in each conference. We call this ground-breaking, highly anticipated feature: THE FORMIDABLE FIVE! I don’t quite know how to title this each week. Is this Formidable Five for Week 10? Week 11? Week 10.5? I don’t quite know. But here’s what I do know…these are the five best teams in the AFC.5. Oakland Raiders: Should this be the Cincinnati Bengals? Maybe. But I won't give my smug co-host the satisfaction. Plus I have nothing but RESPECT for division leaders. Their point differential isn't pretty, but getting shutout is a real party pooper to that end. Carson Palmer seems to be readjusted to the speed of the game, which provides them with a balanced offensive attack. Many thought Darren McFadden's injury would be a deterrent to their run game, but Michael Bush has come in and flourished in the spot light. The idea of using both backs in a Dual HB backfield probably has Hue Jackson salivating. Their defense is SCARY...not in a "OH MAN THEY ARE SO GOOD" way, not in a "JUAN CASTILLO IS CALLING THE PLAYS" way, but in a "These guys might honestly try to break my leg and then laugh at me" way. I think the Raiders are about to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the putrid AFC West.
4. New England Patriots: So I guess Tom Brady doesn't stink, huh? To me, nothing about the offensive is in question. They can run enough and pass a WHOLE lot. Its the defense you have to be worried about. The Jets didn't exactly challenge them downfield, but I feel that was more of a "Sanchez is limited" kind of deal. They *should* have no trouble winning the AFC East, but their troubling with vertical attacks is going to catch up with them come playoff time.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ahhh the Tyler Perry of the NFL. Why do I say that? Because no matter how much we "experts" like to complain about their team and opine about them being done for, here they come again with ANOTHER Super Bowl caliber team. We've heard it all..."Too old defensively", "Too young offensively", "Too slow", "Too fast"...Clearly, they continue to defy all of the critics. Roethlisberger's thumb problems may limit them in the coming weeks, but I genuinely believe that guy could throw for 300 yards on one leg. The one knock on them? They may eventually have to beat the Baltimore Ravens, which has been a tall task for them in 2011.
2. Baltimore Ravens: Before you start SHOUTING about how they should be #1 and how they are the best team in the AFC, and will be going to the Super Bowl, and I'm a moron who should lose his job (all things Joe Giglio's wife told me upon reading this), cool your jets. Next week will feature a seismic shift in the F.F., but I wanted to give a certain team (read on, fair readers) their moment in the sun. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know they are balanced offensively, tough defensively, and have beaten Pittsburgh Steelers twice. But they lost to the Seattle Seahawks. -1 in the Book of Krenek.
1. Houston Texans: *Sigh*. I was so excited to make the Texans #1. I've been waiting for their rise to glory since they took Tony Boselli in the Expansion Draft. After derailing the Buc Truc(k) on Sunday, it looked like TEXAN TIME was finally here. Until of course it was revealed that Matt Schaub was out for the season. After spending a solid 20 minutes weeping over the death of my "Super Bowl Bound Texans" campaign, I realized that they will probably still be a playoff team. Matt Leinart certainly won't be setting the world afire, but if he can take snaps and place the ball into the hands of Ben Tate and Arian Foster without fouling it up, they should be alright. Except a precipitous drop next week but for now...let's all enjoy the phrase "THE BEST TEAM IN THE AFC IS THE HOUSTON TEXANS!"