Way too busy to make comments this week… sorry for ruining your Sunday. :(

September 20, 2012

Week 3 Power Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
  2. Houston Texans (2-0)
  3. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
  4. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
  5. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
  6. San Diego Chargers (2-0)
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
  8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
  9. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
  10. New England Patriots (1-1)
  11. Denver Broncos (1-1)
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)
  13. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
  14. New York Giants (1-1)
  15. New York Jets (1-1)
  16. Detroit Lions (1-1)
  17. St. Louis Rams (1-1)
  18. Washington Redskins (1-1)
  19. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
  21. Carolina Panthers (1-1)
  22. Chicago Bears (1-1)
  23. New Orleans Saints (0-2)
  24. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
  25. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
  26. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
  27. Miami Dolphins (1-1)
  28. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
  30. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
  31. Tennessee Titans (0-2)
  32. Oakland Raiders (0-2)
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From Monterey Bay to Green Bay, the 49ers are week two’s number one.

September 13, 2012

Week 2 Power Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)-An impressive win at Lambeau gives the Niners the top spot entering week two. San Francisco continued their winning formula with efficiency in the air, big yardage on the ground (186 yards), and a great showing on defense. They held the Packers to twenty-two points which only two teams (KC, NYG) did all of last year.+2
  2. New England Patriots (1-0)-The Patriots didn’t meet much resistance in Nashville and came away with an easy win. New England rushed for 162 yards thanks to Stevan Ridley’s best game as a pro, and held Tennessee to just twenty yards on the ground. Defensive and running performances like these could make the Patriots the runaway favorites in the AFC.+2
  3. Houston Texans (1-0)-Houston overmatched Miami and got their first win of the season thanks in part to a three touchdown outburst within the last two minutes of the first half of the game. Defensive end J.J. Watt was a major factor on defense recording 1.5 sacks and causing two interceptions with pass deflections at the line.+2
  4. Atlanta Falcons (1-0)-Matt Ryan and his monstrous receiving core looked intimidating on offense in Kansas City. Unfortunately for Atlanta, former Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes tore his Achilles and will miss the rest of the season. That’s not the position the Falcons want to lose depth at with Peyton Manning coming to town on Monday night.+2
  5. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)-‘The High-Flying Baltimore Ravens’ doesn’t have a familiar ring to it but Joe Flacco let it be known that his offense can score after their blowout win on Monday night. Ed Reed broke the career interception return yards record, and the Ravens, like the rest of this week’s top five, did not commit a turnover in their season opener.+4
  6. Green Bay Packers (0-1)-The Packers were clearly the second best team on the field in their loss to San Francisco. Aaron Rodgers’ throw picked off by Navarro Bowman was one of the ugliest and most costly interceptions of a week in which five rookies made their first NFL starts. Green Bay now has just three days to prepare to host the Bears on Thursday night.-4
  7. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)-Tony Romo and the Cowboys didn’t ‘Ogle-treat’ the Giants like Super Bowl champs, and left the tri-state area with a decisive divisional win. The Dallas offense did it all with a balanced passing and rushing attack, and controlled the clock with a more than eight minute advantage. Romo looks poised to etch his name next to Eli Manning’s on the “elite” list.+7
  8. New York Giants (0-1)-The Giants allowed 433 yards to the ‘Boys, and were outplayed more outright than the 24-17 final score will tell you. The good news for New York is that of their first eight games this year, only one will be played against a 2011 playoff team (49ers). That gives them some time to either nurse their Super Bowl hangover or to let us know that they’ve regressed.-7
  9. Denver Broncos (1-0)-The Broncos pass rush battered Big Ben throughout a tight game in Denver. Peyton Manning looked more like a game-manager whose stats got a boost on a 71-yard screen pass than a Hall of Famer, but he was nearly flawless nonetheless. Denver will be tested early this season with three of their next four against the Falcons, Texans, and Patriots.+3
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)-The Steelers were actually leading the Broncos five minutes into the fourth quarter before things got out of hand. They controlled the clock, converted more than half of their third downs, and were competitive without James Harrison or Ryan Clark. Pittsburgh opens up at home versus the Jets this week.-3
  11. New York Jets (1-0)-Fortunately for the Jets, un-scored preseason touchdowns don’t count for anything. Mark Sanchez was stellar and un-sacked, Stephen Hill had an impressive debut, and the Jets’ top three corners all intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick last week against the Bills. Though Gang Green made it look easy last week, dropping Pittsburgh to 0-2 will be a difficult task.+4
  12. Washington Redskins (1-0)-Robert Griffin III was the lone victor of the five rookie quarterbacks that debuted on Sunday, and what a debut it was. RGIII hit eight different receivers and led the Washington offense to a touchdown and a field goal in all four quarters against the maligned Saints. We’ll see what this team can muster against a weak Rams squad on the road this week.+11
  13. Chicago Bears (1-0)-Give credit to offensive coordinator Mike Tice for making early adjustments to the Bears’ offensive strategy and to Jay Cutler for executing them at a high level. After realizing their pass-protection was futile, Tice used extra blockers and quick routes for Cutler until Chicago built a comfortable lead. We’ll see how this storyline develops throughout the year.+3
  14. Detroit Lions (1-0)-A win is a win, and it better be a win when you’re a playoff contender playing the Rams at home. Maybe the freakish safety blanket that is Calvin Johnson is what made Matt Stafford comfortable enough to throw three lazy interceptions in the first half. The Lions face a daunting task visiting San Francisco this week.-4
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)-The Philadelphia defense was completely dominant against the Browns, and anything short of that could have easily led to a disappointing loss. Michael Vick threw four interceptions and had to peel himself off the ground throughout their week one win. If the Eagles can’t buy Vick a bit more time, he might not survive Baltimore this weekend.-2
  16. New Orleans Saints (0-1)-The Saints porous defense allowed the Redskins to control the clock for nearly two thirds of their home opener, and it’s hard to blame the defense when New Orleans only handed it off ten times all game. Without Sean Peyton’s playbook, the Saints may have to take a more blue-collar approach in order to succeed this year.-8
  17. San Diego Chargers (1-0)-Five Nate Kaeding field goals helped the Chargers to a fairly easy win in Oakland last week. It looks like they’ll be without Ryan Matthews again when they host Tennessee next.+2
  18. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)-The Bengals weren’t as awful against Baltimore as the final score made them look. They trailed by just four points midway through the third quarter before surrendering twenty-seven unanswered. Cincinnati will have to wait nearly four months for another shot at their AFC North rivals.-6
  19. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)-The Cardinals didn’t let a little thing like extra timeouts for their opponent get in the way of them earning a win. It’s a bit ironic that Arizona was flagged for a delay of game penalty when they attempted to call consecutive timeouts near the end of the first half.+6
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)-Holding your opponent to ten net rushing yards will always lead to a win. That is all.+8
  21. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)-Jamaal Charles returned from injury and had an encouraging rushing day for the chiefs, but injuries in the secondary made stopping Atlanta’s offense impossible. Matt Cassel turned the ball over in his own territory three times, and KC fans watched their old tight end, Tony Gonzalez, dunk on them for the first time since his departure.-1
  22. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)-All good news from Minnesota this week. Adrian Peterson was activated and active with eighty-four rushing yards and two touchdowns while Blair Walsh’s 55-yard field goal set up his 38-yard game winner in OT giving the Vikings an opening day victory. They play Indianapolis next week in their second straight out of conference game.+4
  23. Carolina Panthers (0-1)-Accumulating only ten net rushing yards will always lead to a loss. That is all.-6
  24. Seattle Seahawks (0-1)-Seattle came out on the losing end of a back-and-forth battle at the Cardinals. They had seven attempts at a last minute score from inside the Cardinals’ fifteen yard line but just couldn’t find a way to convert.-2
  25. Oakland Raiders (0-1)-Darren McFadden was completely bottled up by the San Diego defense, and Carson Palmer’s offense was unable to put together anything close to a big play against the Chargers. Pretty boring…-5
  26. Buffalo Bills (0-1)-The Bills new and improved pass-rush was nowhere to be found against the Jets in a pathetic week one effort. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw three interceptions last week, has now been picked off twelve times in his last five games dating back to last year. -6
  27. Tennessee Titans (0-1)-The Titans never had a chance against New England and didn’t show any strengths in week one. Chris Johnson was held to an astonishingly low four yards on eleven carries in a failed attempt to quiet critics still focused on last year’s rushing slump that followed a holdout and massive payday.-3
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)-Blaine Gabbert was solid in Jacksonville’s loss particularly during a fourth quarter drive that left them a booming, game-tying kick away from a win. Cecil Shorts officially owns the best name in football.-1
  29. Cleveland Browns (0-1)-Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson were ineffective in their NFL debuts, but the Browns as a team put up a physical fight against a true contender. The Browns have a vicious schedule this year with half of their games being played against teams that made the playoffs a season ago.+2
  30. St. Louis Rams (0-1)-A tough loss for the Rams who played hard against a far more talented Detroit team. There isn’t a whole lot you can do to stop a team that features Calvin Johnson when all they need is one more score. St. Louis will try to keep RGIII off of the highlight reel this week against the Redskins at home.+2
  31. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)-Reggie Wayne put together a clinic of spectacular catches that may help Andrew Luck build some more confidence. Last year’s worst team did some decent things on offense in their loss to the Bears, but it’s nearly impossible to win while compiling five turnovers.-2
  32. Miami Dolphins (0-1)-The Dolphins turned the ball over four times in their loss to the Texans. Aside from a disastrous second quarter, Miami wasn’t atrocious against an outstanding opponent which could bode well for a season with very low expectations.-2

Can the Giants repeat? Is Peyton still elite? Can the coachless Saints compete? How fast is your heart beat? Holy crap, football is back!

September 5, 2012

Week 1 Power Rankings

  1. New York Giants (0-0)-The Super Bowl champions get the top spot as their quarterback continues to grind his way towards the title of ‘NFL’s Best QB’. Get this: in Eli Manning’s seven years as the Giants starting QB, he’s won two Super Bowls, started every game, and has led New York to zero, count ’em, zero losing seasons.
  2. Green Bay Packers (0-0)-The Packers were the anti-Giants last season. After cruising to a 15-1 record following their Super Bowl XLV win, the Packers were sent packing by the surging, 9-7 G-men in their first playoff game. Expect Green Bay to get right back on track with the magnificent offense that scored 40 points six times in 2011.
  3. San Francisco 49ers (0-0)-One of last year’s biggest and stingiest surprises was the San Francisco 49ers and their impenetrable run defense. The additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham should make life a little easier for the team’s ceaselessly questioned quarterback: Alex Smith.
  4. New England Patriots (0-0)-Before NFL defenses age, they mature. The 2012 Patriots will send out a youthful yet experienced, core-group of defensive talent that includes Vince Wilfork, Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo, and Devin McCourty to compliment one of the league’s most difficult to match-up with offenses.
  5. Houston Texans (0-0)-It’s not uncommon for a team to find success while battling the injury-bug, but winding up eight points short of an AFC Championship berth with a third string quarterback was outstanding for the Texans. They’re in an incredibly weak division and could make a Super Run in 2012.
  6. Atlanta Falcons (0-0)-The Falcons have been bounced in their first playoff game by the eventual Super Bowl champion two years in a row. With the best receiving duo in the NFL in Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Falcons can capitalize on their division rival Saints’ bad fortune and make another push towards glory this year.
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)-Ben Roethlisberger will be armed with an unbelievably deep receiving core this year, but their starting running back is Isaac Redman if Rashard Mendenhall can’t go. If their mostly-over-thirty year old defense can stay healthy, the Steelers should once again be a force to be reckoned with.
  8. Baltimore Ravens (0-0)-The Ravens didn’t make any big splashes this offseason which suggests they’re confident that last year’s group can make another run in 2012. They did lose a top offensive lineman in Ben Grubbs which could come back to haunt them later. This has to be the last we’ll see of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, right?
  9. New Orleans Saints (0-0)-How much of New Orleans’ recent dominance is credit to Drew Brees and how much praise should we be giving Sean Payton? Either way, the Saints have enough weapons on offense to survive in turmoil. How the defense develops is the biggest elephant in the room as usual for this team.
  10. Detroit Lions (0-0)-Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson is about as reliable as sunrise to sunset and the depth and ferocity of Detroit’s defensive line is as good as it gets in this league. But if Detroit wants to compete with the other score-crazy, top dogs of the NFC, they’ll have to mightily improve their rushing attack and aerial defense.
  11. Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)-Cincinnati once again addressed a major need in the draft by snagging guard Kevin Zeitler to start on the offensive line. The Bengals sport a solid secondary, solid linebackers, and a solid to d-line to go with a solid offense. Those units will all need to make strides this year for this team to have a chance at competing in the grueling AFC North.
  12. Denver Broncos (0-0)-Tebow’s out, Manning’s in. What that really means is the greatest mystery of the upcoming season. The Broncos gave up a lot of points last season (24.4 per game) and don’t really have a go-to guy on offense. It’s really all about Peyton though as it always was when he was a Colt.
  13. Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)-“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” That may have been the Eagles offseason motto as their starting offense and defense are nearly identical to last year’s disappointing ones. An early preseason Michael Vick injury scare reminds us just how fragile this team is.
  14. Dallas Cowboys (0-0)-Last year, the Cowboys begrudgingly watched their rival Giants win the Super Bowl while they missed the playoffs for a second straight season. The additions of Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne at the cornerback positions could have a massively positive impact for this team that always looks good on paper.
  15. New York Jets (0-0)-Along with the Eagles and Cowboys, the Jets were a major disappointment in 2011. New starting safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell should make Rex Ryan’s defense much more athletic than a year ago. The Jets may also want to consider trimming down on the thirty-four giveaways they coughed up last season.
  16. Chicago Bears (0-0)-The Bears have quite a few question marks entering 2012. While it can’t hurt to add an athletic pass-catcher like Brandon Marshall, have he and Jay Cutler smoothed things over since their days in Denver? Also will aging, defensive standouts Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, and Lance Briggs be able to keep youth on their side?
  17. Carolina Panthers (0-0)-Cam Newton was legendary last season. Accounting for thirty-five passing and rushing TDs is epic for anyone, but simply unheard of for a rookie. If their sub-par defense can find a way to get to the QB and create some turnovers, the Panthers could find themselves in the mix for the NFC South crown.
  18. Buffalo Bills (0-0)-It isn’t possible to make a much better defensive pick-up than what the Bills did when they signed Mario Williams. They also snagged Mark Anderson from New England to solidify the defensive end positions. Those two are sure to help, but making an atrocious defense reliable isn’t something you can do with just ink and numbers.
  19. San Diego Chargers (0-0)-One of three teams to finish 8-8 in the muddling AFC West, the Chargers missed the playoffs for a second straight season with a conference record one game worse than the Broncos. They finished 2011 by winning four of their last five, but losing Vincent Jackson could take a toll on their fifth best scoring offense.
  20. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0)-The Chiefs beefed up their offensive line this off-season and adding Peyton Hillis should do the same for their backfield. Their biggest concerns this year will be creating a pass-rush, stopping the run, and figuring out if Matt Cassel has any future in Kansas City.
  21. Oakland Raiders (0-0)-Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, and Jacoby Ford give Carson Palmer a slew of speedsters to scorch the sidelines if he can start to sling the pig-skin the way he used to. Darren McFadden’s health is a big concern for the Raiders who have little depth at halfback.
  22. Seattle Seahawks (0-0)-Seattle became one of the league’s better defenses by the end of last season by allowing an average of just seventeen points over their last nine games. They’ll need to play at that level again to keep their lackluster offense in games. How long can Russell Wilson hold off expensive backup Matt Flynn?
  23. Washington Redskins (0-0)-Robert Griffin III was drafted after Andrew Luck but may have gotten the better end of the bargain as Washington is a bit better equipped to make a quarterback happy. Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, and Fred Davis give RGIII a diverse group of pass-catchers to work with, and the Redskins have one of the better linebacker units in the NFL.
  24. Tennessee Titans (0-0)-Chris Johnson’s disappearing act last year completely threw off the Titans game plan. With the amount of money Johnson is being paid, it will be mandatory for him to return to elite form especially with an extremely inexperienced Jake Locker at quarterback and few notable targets for him to throw to.
  25. Arizona Cardinals (0-0)-Last year, the Cardinals won seven of their last nine games despite not scoring more than twenty-three points in any of them. Their 8-8 record may have been one of last year’s biggest overachievements. Kevin Kolb’s chances at ever starting in this league seem bleak when John Skelton is capable of taking his job.
  26. Minnesota Vikings (0-0)-The Vikings’ defense tied the Giants with a league leading fifty quarterback sacks last year, but also tied the Colts with an NFL worst eight interceptions. Minnesota may want to cut their losses this year by letting Adrian Peterson’s ACL and MCL heal properly instead of rushing him into the field and risking their future on false hope.
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)-The London… I mean Jacksonville Jaguars can take a collective sigh of relief as Maurice Jones-Drew has opted to report to the team and should be ready for their opener. The Jags are one of many teams leaning on a very young quarterback (Blaine Gabbert) to help settle their franchise.
  28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)-October 16th, 2011: the last time the Bucs won a game. The defense was laughable allowing more than thirty points eight times last season, and four teams more than doubled their twenty-three quarterback sacks. Vincent Jackson aims to take a little pressure off of Josh Freeman and the aforementioned defense that can’t get any worse.
  29. Indianapolis Colts (0-0)-Like the Cleveland Cavaliers after losing Lebron James, the Colts went from perennial contenders to bottom-feeders when Peyton Manning went down. The Andrew Luck era begins on Sunday, and the future of Indianapolis football rests on his shoulder.
  30. Miami Dolphins (0-0)-You know you’re in for an odd season when your rookie quarterback’s girlfriend is the most popular topic of conversation about your team. Miami’s defensive front-seven is stout, but the secondary could spell disaster for the Dolphins.
  31. Cleveland Browns (0-0)-Trent Richardson may not be ready opening day, but his arrival in Cleveland couldn’t have been better timed. He’ll be given plenty of opportunities to run with rookie Brandon Weeden behind center, and it won’t hurt having the best left tackle in football (Joe Thomas) clearing a path for him.
  32. St. Louis Rams (0-0)-Don’t let the Rams seventh best passing defense fool you; when you allow over 150 yards on the ground per game, no one’s putting the ball in the air. The Rams added a pair of new cornerbacks in former All-Pro Cortland Finnegan and rookie Janoris Jenkins, but they won’t have much to do if this team can’t improve its run defense.

The Packers win, the Colts lose, and Tebow does the impossible. Just another Sunday.

December 14, 2011

Week 15 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-0)-The Packers absolutely trounced a Raiders team that was playing with first place in the AFC West on the line. Green Bay scored 42+ points for the fifth time this season. New Orleans has only done that twice.=
  2. Baltimore Ravens (10-3)-Regardless of whether or not it’s against the Indianapolis offense, allowing just 167 total yards is mind-boggling. Baltimore allowed 76 of those yards on a meaningless fourth quarter drive in the game’s final 2:18.=
  3. New Orleans Saints (10-3)-The Saints notched their fifth win in a row in a playoff like atmosphere on the road in Tennessee. San Francisco’s recent struggles are giving them a great chance to snag a first-round bye.+1
  4. Houston Texans (10-3)-The Texans must be feeling a bit more confident in T.J. Yates and their Super Bowl chances after coming-back against a desperate Bengals team that is already in playoff mode. They can’t have those three fumbles though.+1
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)-Ben Roethlisberger’s gritty effort after being injured against Cleveland is why players like Jay Cutler and LaDanian Tomlinson caught so much slack for sitting out playoff games in recent seasons.+1
  6. New England Patriots (10-3)-The Patriots keep on winning despite allowing huge yardage to nearly everyone they play. Will they be the team to end the Tebow dream?+1
  7. San Francisco 49ers (10-3)-San Francisco did nothing with the twelve minutes they had to score and avoid a bad loss to the Cardinals. While the rest of the 10+ win teams are on win streaks of four games or better, the 49ers have lost two of three and are losing their grip on the NFC’s second seed.-4
  8. Denver Broncos (8-5)-Matt Prater’s game-tying 59-yard field goal looked like it would have been good from about 70 yards away. Though there don’t seem to be many non-believers left, Tim Tebow still has work to do with New England up this week.=
  9. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)-Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes and the Falcons scored the final 24 points of the game to edge Carolina. With a scary visit to New Orleans in week 16, Thursday’s matchup with Jacksonville becomes a must-win for their playoff hopes.=
  10. New York Jets (8-5)-A dominating all around performance by the Jets gives them a one game lead over Oakland, Tennessee and Cincinnati in the AFC Wildcard race. Mark Sanchez’s five rushing touchdowns are second to only Cam Newton’s thirteen this year.+2
  11. Detroit Lions (8-5)-If officials saw an obvious facemask on the final play last week or if the Vikings were competent enough to run said play without fumbling the ball 50 yards backwards, the Lions might be in desperation mode right now. They are only ranked this high because of their record. +4
  12. New York Giants (7-6)-Eli Manning’s naturally clutch performance, and some big plays by Jason Pierre-Paul helped the Giants simultaneously end their four-game losing streak and retake first place from the Cowboys. Their final three games will be played at Metlife.+5
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)-The Bengals are now 0-6 against teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today. They are 7-0 against teams that would not.-3
  14. Oakland Raiders (7-6)-The Raiders waited until they were down 34-0 to score for the second week in a row. Not a good habit for a team in a race with the Tebows. They host Detroit in this week’s most crucial matchup.-3
  15. Tennessee Titans (7-6)-Chris Johnson only ran the ball eleven times last week which is a good way to mike life hard on the Titans in the first place. But in a state of desperation for a win, the Titans gave New Orleans everything they could handle in a tough loss. -2
  16. Chicago Bears (7-6)-You.Just.Got.Tebowed.-2
  17. Arizona Cardinals (6-7)-The Cardinals have somehow done it again. They are only allowing an average of 17.5 points to opposing offenses over their last six games. Dim playoff hopes still have a bit of a glow.+1
  18. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)-The Cowboys are torturing their fans this season. They have collected excruciating losses all season to the Jets, Lions, Patriots, Cardinals, and now to the division rival Giants. Somehow, they still control their own destiny.-2
  19. Seattle Seahawks (6-7)-The Seahawks must be kicking themselves over their week 12 debacle against the Redskins. Had it not been for that loss, they would be just one game out of a Wildcard spot with three games to play.=
  20. San Diego Chargers (6-7)-The Chargers have flipped the switch with back-to-back beat downs of Jacksonville and Buffalo. With Tebowmania in full effect and the Ravens up next, this December run by San Diego seems a bit too far out of reach.+3
  21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)-The Eagles are a long shot. But with the sadomasochistic Cowboys and Giants just two games ahead of them, anything seems possible in the shaky NFC East.+3
  22. Miami Dolphins (4-9)-Miami looks to finish off the Bills and claim third place in the AFC East by handing them their seventh loss in a row. It would be a modest tribute to the innovative Tony Sparano and his short tenure with the Dolphins.-2
  23. Buffalo Bills (5-8)-I know I just said it but I’ll say it again. This team might lose is seventh game in a row this week.-2
  24. Kansas City Chiefs (5-8)-The Chiefs were held to ten points or less in a game for the sixth week in a row and the tenth time this season against the Jets last week. It seems to be the right time for a change. Sorry, Todd.-2
  25. Carolina Panthers (4-9)-Their spoiling was spoiled by Atlanta’s comeback victory over them last week. All they can do now is affect the seeding and first-round bye statuses of Houston and New Orleans. They seem to have a bright future though.=
  26. Washington Redskins (4-9)-The Redskins hung with the Patriots until the last moments of a highlight-reel type game last week. Unfortunately for them, they’ve dropped eight of nine.=
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)-The Jaguars scored over 20% of their points this season in last week’s shellacking of the Bucs. They had a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown, a defensive touchdown, and a special teams touchdown in the second quarter alone.+2
  28. Cleveland Browns (4-9)-This week’s matchup against Arizona looks like a soft spot in a brutal end to the year for the Browns. But don’t be fooled. The Cardinals are winners of five of their last six.-1
  29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)-Their seven turnovers last week equal their current consecutive loss streak. At one point this season, they were fresh off of beating New Orleans and sitting pretty at 4-2.-3
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-11)-They’ve been getting closer and closer to taking down contending teams over the past five weeks. Jared Allen needs five more sacks in three games to take Michael Strahan’s single-season record.=
  31. St. Louis Rams (2-11)-It’s a shame they don’t play Indy this year.=
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-13)-They lost, whatever. I have no funny jokes.=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. NYG+5 2. Det+4 3. SD, Phi+3… Top 3 fallers-1. SF-4 2. Cin, Oak, TB-3… The hold steadys-#1GB, #2Bal, #8Den, #9Atl, #19Sea, #25Car, #26Wash, #30Min, #31Stl, #32Ind… Best collective division-AFC North-12 avg… Worst collective division-AFC South-19.5 avg.

The NFL’s elite get cozy at the top.

December 6, 2011

Week 14 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (12-0)-The Packers twelfth win was their closest of the season. But Aaron Rodgers showed he doesn’t even need all of the fifty-eight seconds the Giants left him to lead his team to victory.=
  2. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)-Ray Rice and the Ravens’ biggest challenge for the rest of the regular season may be finding a way to keep their intensity level high while facing teams with little to play for.=
  3. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)-The 49ers held an opponent under twelve points for the sixth time this season. 2011’s best defense became a bit more memorable by finally pitching a shutout against the Rams.=
  4. New Orleans Saints (9-3)-The Saints are scorching, and have a four-game win streak to show for it. Five New Orleans receivers have at least three touchdown grabs through twelve games.=
  5. Houston Texans (9-3)-Resiliency, thy name is Texan! Houston beat a talented and desperate Falcons team with their third-string quarterback for their sixth win in a row.=
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3)-James Harrison had his second three-sack game of the season, and the Steelers let the Bengals know they still have some work to do to keep up with the big boys of the AFC North.=
  7. New England Patriots (9-3)-New England is the AFC’s current number one seed despite having just one win against a team that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. The Pats and the rest of the 9-3 or better teams have at least a two-game cushion on their playoff positions with only four more to play.=
  8. Denver Broncos (7-5)-With Von Miller on the sideline, the Denver defense was not as up to snuff against Minnesota as it’s been lately. But please raise your hand if you’re at all concerned with anything going on on this team other than #15 winning again. No one? +7
  9. Atlanta Falcons (7-5)-The Falcons’ lackluster offensive showing against the Texans was more of a testament to the Houston defense than anything else. Fortunately for Atlanta, all of the teams they are up against in the NFC Wildcard race lost as well.=
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)-It’s been awhile since the Bengals didn’t have a playoff spot all to themselves. Must-win-mode begins with a tough test hosting Houston.-2
  11. Oakland Raiders (7-5)-The normally strong-running Raiders were outrushed by 163 yards in Miami. They drop into a first place tie with the Tebows, and are in trouble at Green Bay this week.-1
  12. New York Jets (7-5)-The Jets waited until the last third of the last quarter to put away the Redskins in blowout fashion. They have one of the easier remaining schedules out of the AFC Wildcard hopefuls, but the worst tie-breakers.+4
  13. Tennessee Titans (7-5)-No turnovers and a strong rushing attack generally lead to wins. The Titans helped prove that theory against the Bills last week, and kept pace in the AFC playoff hunt.+4
  14. Chicago Bears (7-5)-Murphy’s Law is hitting the Bears right in their MCLs lately. Next week’s matchup with Denver has major playoff implications for eight teams other than the two competing.-3
  15. Detroit Lions (7-5)-Matt Stafford’s 400-yard game last week was the thirteenth of its kind for a quarterback this year. Unfortunately for the Lions, it was the tenth such performance that was accompanied by a loss.-3
  16. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)-Some of the weirdest uses and non-uses of timeouts in NFL history cost the Cowboys their fifth win in a row. They’re still in first place, but that’ll be on the line when they play the Giants this week.-3
  17. New York Giants (6-6)-The Giants got screwed on a plethora of blown calls last week in a strong effort against Green Bay. But the bottom line is that they are now a .500 team that needs to beat Dallas this week. Can you believe they have the NFL’s worst rushing attack?-3
  18. Arizona Cardinals (5-7)-The Cardinals have become experts in the field of winning tightly contested, low-scoring games. It would have benefited their season if they had developed this proficiency about two months earlier than they did.+3
  19. Seattle Seahawks (5-7)-Marshawn Lynch has been in maximum ‘Beast-Mode’ over his past five games averaging 118.2 yards on the ground. He has at least one touchdown in his last eight games.+6
  20. Miami Dolphins (4-8)-The rejuvenation of Reggie Bush and the efficiency of Matt Moore have turned the Dolphins into a terror for the Raiders and other teams trying to secure a playoff spot. My dark horse Super Bowl matchup for 2012 has to be Dolphins vs. Cardinals.+3
  21. Buffalo Bills (5-7)-The Bills’ tedious fall from grace continued with an ugly loss to the Titans last week. Is Stevie Johnson concerned with anything besides end zone celebrations?-3
  22. Kansas City Chiefs (5-7)-The Chiefs are 1-0 as a spoiler after their win in Chicago. They try to increase the heartbreak by taking down the Jets in New York this week.+4
  23. San Diego Chargers (5-7)-December loves the Chargers. Though it isn’t likely they’ll have time to make a push, they are just two games out of the division lead.-4
  24. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8)-The Eagles have now lost four of their last five games, and were blown out in their last two. Vick returns this week to begin the end of a failed season.-5
  25. Carolina Panthers (4-8)-Cam Newton doesn’t have the agility that Mike Vick does, but he sure does look smooth on all those rushing touchdowns.+3
  26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)-Thanks to San Diego’s win over Jacksonville, Tampa Bay now owns the league’s longest non-Colts losing streak at six games. They are the eighth worst scoring offense, and third worst scoring defense.-6
  27. Cleveland Browns (4-8)-The Browns’ defense can’t be feeling very good after allowing 290 rushing yards on fifty-five carries to the Ravens. Three straight road games follow.-5
  28. Washington Redskins (4-8)-Fred Davis’ breakout season is quickly forgotten after his alleged steroid use. In other unfortunate news for the team, the Redskins have now won nine or more games only three times in their past twenty seasons.-4
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)-Their starting quarterback was cut, their head coach was fired, and nineteen players are on injured reserve. I think “The Casualty Cats” is a fitting nickname.=
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-10)-You.Just.Got.Tebowed.=
  31. St. Louis Rams (2-10)-Statistics are often unreliable. But they gain some credibility when the league’s lowest scoring offense gets shutout by the league’s best scoring defense.=
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-12)-The Colts scored twenty-one points in the fourth quarter against New England last week. They’ve only scored that many points in one other game this entire season.=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. Den+7 2. Sea+6 3. NYJ, Ten, KC+4… Top 3 fallers-1. TB-6 2. Cle, Phi-5… The hold steadys-#1GB, #2Bal, #3SF, #4NO, #5Hou, #6Pit, #7NE, #9Atl, #29Jac, #30Min, #31Stl, #32Ind… Best collective division-AFC North-11.25… Worst collective division-NFC East-21.25 avg.

How do you spell Quarterbacks? Four top fifteen teams are finding out.

November 30, 2011

Week 13 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (11-0)-Aaron Rodgers’ QB rating was a lowly 116.6 against the Lions on Thursday. That’s his third lowest rating of the season. His worst so far was a 111.4 stinker against Chicago in week three.=
  2. Baltimore Ravens (8-3)-Nine sacks is scary, and five on third-down is terrifying. The combined records of the teams the Ravens have beaten this year add up to 52-35 (counting the Steelers twice), and that includes the 2-9 Rams. These guys are playoff ready.+3
  3. San Francisco 49ers (9-2)-The only two current division leaders the 49ers have played this year (Baltimore and Dallas) account for their two losses. A showdown with Pittsburgh is their only remaining game versus a contender before the post-season.-1
  4. New Orleans Saints (8-3)-With Peyton Manning out of commission (and assuming Aaron Rodgers has evolved into some sort of creature incomparable to humans), is Drew Brees the best QB in football? He made a good case for himself with five touchdowns against the Giants last week.-1
  5. Houston Texans (8-3)-Third-string quarterbacks can get by when they have a rushing attack and defense like Houston’s. They host Atlanta in next week’s best matchup.-1
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)-The perpetually bruised, battered and still-smashing-Steelers scored all of their thirteen points in the second quarter of an ugly win in Kansas City. They can just about wrap up a playoff spot if they take down the Bengals at home this week.=
  7. New England Patriots (8-3)-Hell has completely defrosted now that the Patriots two-game losing streak is a thing of the past. New England pounded their third straight opponent last week, and will now set their sights on a first-round bye if not home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.+1
  8. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)-Cincinnati shutout the Browns’ in the fourth quarter to keep them at least a game up on the rest of the AFC teams looking to nab the last playoff spot. They get their rematch against the ailing Steelers this week.+2
  9. Atlanta Falcons (7-4)-Remember when Roddy White chased down Nate Clements and forced him to fumble his interception last year? I think Chris Owens did when he chased down Percy Harvin last week. The hustling Falcons are currently the sixth seed in the NFC.+2
  10. Oakland Raiders (7-4)-Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechler and the Oakland Raiders kicked the Bears while they were down to keep their AFC West lead over Denver. Can you recollect a fellow named Darren McFadden? He’s been inactive throughout Oakland’s three-game win streak. +3
  11. Chicago Bears (7-4)-Caleb Hanie made some big mistakes in a loss to the Raiders, but threw several excellent passes as well. Brian Urlacher and Matt Forte are more vital to this team’s success than quarterback play anyway.-4
  12. Detroit Lions (7-4)-The Packers made it clear to the Lions that they won’t be winning the NFC North anytime soon. Atlanta has tie-breaker over them, and if they got stomped (yeah, I said it) by New Orleans this week, a playoff spot will become a bit less attainable.-3
  13. Dallas Cowboys (7-4)-Their four-game win streak hasn’t been accomplished against the NFL’s most impressive teams, but wins are wins. If they handle Arizona and the Giants lose to the Pack, their first showdown with NY won’t even threaten their grasp on first place in the NFC East.+1
  14. New York Giants (6-5)-After being destroyed by the second most recent Super Bowl champion Saints and their second best scoring offense, the Giants will have to face the defending Super Bowl champion Packers and their league best offensive assault.-2
  15. Denver Broncos (6-5)-It will be a real shame if Denver misses the playoffs. This is the best story in the NFL by far.=
  16. New York Jets (6-5)-A series of unfortunate events for Antonio Chromartie made last week a tough win for the Jets. They still need a lot of help to get back into the playoff mix.=
  17. Tennessee Titans (6-5)-The Titans will be rooting against the same teams as the Jets next week. They’ll also be rooting against the Jets.=
  18. Buffalo Bills (5-6)-Stevie Johnson was the biggest turkey of the NFL’s Thanksgiving week. The formerly fairytale Bills are now in the midst of spooky-story-like freefall.=
  19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7)-For some reason, the Eagles appeared to be able to trounce New England early on in last week’s game. That image didn’t last long, and the Eagles may have to start looking towards 2012.=
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)-Both teams had four turnovers while Tampa Bay was driving for the win in Tennessee. It’s only fitting that Josh Freeman fumbled his team’s chances away on the Bucs’ final snap.+1
  21. Arizona Cardinals (4-7)-What a game for Beanie Wells, and what a rookie season for Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals are 3-1 since ending their six-game slide.+5
  22. Cleveland Browns (4-7)-Whoever makes the schedules for NFL teams must really have it in for the Browns. Four of their final five games are against Baltimore and Pittsburgh.+3
  23. Miami Dolphins (3-8)-Though they lost to Dallas, Miami has really turned their season around. That’s largely due in part to Matt Moore who has thrown eight touchdowns and only two interceptions over his last six games.-1
  24. Washington Redskins (4-7)-Washington’s six-game losing streak is over, and it took an impressive fourth-quarter comeback to make that happen. I didn’t want to bump them up five spots this week, but the Chargers’ awfulness left me no choice.+5
  25. Seattle Seahawks (4-7)-The possibility of a magical run to the playoffs vanished with last week’s stunning loss. They square off against the Eagles on Thursday (both teams made the playoffs last year… and are 4-7 now… and have bird names).-5
  26. Kansas City Chiefs (4-7)-Kansas City’s goose is just about cooked at 4-7. Their remaining opponents are either fighting for a playoff spot or named the Green Bay Packers. Time to do some spoiling. And I recommend letting Kyle Orton be responsible for that.-3
  27. San Diego Chargers (4-7)-Adios, Norv Turner. I hear Penn State is hiring.-3
  28. Carolina Panthers (3-8)-Cam Newton added to his statistically splendid rookie season, but there’s only one statistic we use to judge quarterbacks in this league. Here’s a hint: it starts with a “W”, and Newton only has three of them.-1
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)-The Jaguars look to embarrass the Chargers even further by beating them on national television this week. If you’re ever going to work late on a Monday and miss the game, this is the week to do it.-1
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-9)-It looked to me like Percy Harvin crossed the goal line on third-down during the Vikings last drive. Regardless, how can Leslie Frazier not challenge that play? What could there possibly be to lose for a team that’s five games out of third place?=
  31. St. Louis Rams (2-9)-I know I brought it up last week, but seriously, how did they beat New Orleans? Did they roofy Sean Payton or something?=
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-11)-Can they beat Jacksonville to get their first win of the season? The Jaguars are the Colts’ week 17 opponent, but I’m asking now because they won’t beat any of the teams they play before them.=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. Ari, Wash+5 3. Bal, Oak, Cle+3… top 3 fallers-1. Sea-5 2. Chi-4 3. Det, KC, SD-3… The hold steadys-#1GB, #6Pit, #15Den, #16NYJ, #17Ten, #18Buf, #19Phi, #30Min, #31Stl, #32Ind… Best collective division-AFC North-9.5 avg… Worst collective division-AFC South-20.75 avg.

The Colts find a way not to lose.

November 22, 2011

Week 12 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (10-0)-The Packers end their season with six games against playoff hopefuls. Their defense needs to improve if they want to get back to the Super Bowl.=
  2. San Francisco 49ers (9-1)-Arizona became the eighth team held under twenty-one points against San Fran’s league best defense. No team has scored more than twenty-seven against them, and that was in week 2.=
  3. New Orleans Saints (7-3)-The Saints have watched next week’s opponent Giants lose two heartbreakers since New Orleans took down Atlanta. They look to bury Big Blue this week.=
  4. Houston Texans (7-3)-Jacksonville’s inept offense should give Matt Lienart a little leeway if he makes some mistakes in his return to a starting role. Foster and Tate are sure to pitch in as well.=
  5. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)-If there’s a team destined to end the 49ers’ win streak, it has to be Baltimore on Thanksgiving. They only beat good teams, right?+5
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)-Though Baltimore took over first place in the AFC North by beating the Bengals, Pittsburgh looks a bit safer with that pesky third team a bit farther behind them.-1
  7. Chicago Bears (7-3)-The Bears have surged their way into great position to make the post-season. If David Garrard doesn’t hear his phone ring now, it’s clearly been on vibrate for the past four months.=
  8. New England Patriots (7-3)-BREAKING NEWS: Sources claim Philadelphia Science Program on the verge of molecularly fusing Nnamdi Asomugha and a tyrannosaurus. If successful, Eagles may be able to stop Rob Gronkowski this week. +1
  9. Detroit Lions (7-3)-Don’t be fooled by the score. Detroit was tied at thirty-five with the then 2-7 Panthers late in the fourth quarter. Over or under 300 points scored when they finally play Green Bay on Thanksgiving?+2
  10.  Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)-They could’ve been healthier, they could’ve been luckier, and they could’ve won in Baltimore. They continue their season in control of the last AFC Wildcard spot.-2
  11. Atlanta Falcons (6-4)-Big days from Atlanta’s core offensive units (Ryan, Turner, White, Gonzalez) kept the Falcons in the playoff mix. Three of their four losses have come against 7-3 or better teams.+1
  12. New York Giants (6-4)-Maybe should have held off on those post-Patriot game celebrations… -6
  13. Oakland Raiders (6-4)-Tough running and an efficient performance by Carson Palmer kept the Raiders rolling last week. Hosting Chicago this week won’t be as big a challenge with Caleb Hanie under center.=
  14. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)-Up until the officials confirmed Dan Bailey’s overtime field goal went through the uprights; this looked like another disaster for the Cowboys. They have somehow found their way into first place.+1
  15. Denver Broncos (5-5)-With John Elway, Von Miller, and The Lord by his side, Tim Tebow is poised to have a short but spectacular career.+3
  16. New York Jets (5-5)-It only took four days for the Jets to slide from being in control of the AFC East into a muck of nine teams between 6-4 and 4-6 vying for the last AFC Wildcard spot.-2
  17. Tennessee Titans (5-5)-Chris Johnson was just awful running the ball for the seventh time this season last week. Jake Locker may have stolen Matt Hasselbeck’s job with a promising second half effort.=
  18. Buffalo Bills (5-5)-Uhhh… what happened?-2
  19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)-Technically speaking, the ruling on the DeSean Jackson taunting penalty was illogical. While from a moral standpoint, it may not have been drastic enough. Big win though.+5
  20. Seattle Seahawks (4-6)-That’s two in a row for Seattle. Marshawn Lynch has a rushing touchdown in the last six games he’s played.+2
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)-LeGarrette Blount and the onside-kick-crazy Bucs played their hearts out against Green Bay. But you have to do more than that to take down the Packers.-2
  22. Miami Dolphins (3-7)-Whatever had possessed the Bills to be so deadly at the beginning of the season has now infected the Dolphins. They look to overcook Dallas’ turkey on Thursday.+4
  23. Kansas City Chiefs (4-6)-Like so many teams over the past few seasons, the Chiefs failed to capitalize on early opportunities against New England, and suffered the consequences.-3
  24. San Diego Chargers (4-6)-A ridiculous receiving performance by Vincent Jackson was overshadowed by an even more ridiculous five-game losing streak by the Bolts.-4
  25. Cleveland Browns (4-6)-Congratulations to Brown’s fans on the win, and sorry you had to watch the first fifty-five minutes and fifty-seven seconds of that game.+3
  26. Arizona Cardinals (3-7)-Arizona controlled the clock for only 15:44 against the 49ers. They also had five turnovers. That’s a giveaway every three minutes and nine seconds of football.-3
  27. Carolina Panthers (2-8)-Last week’s loss was the seventh time Carolina allowed twenty-eight or more points this season. While they average over 400 yards a game on offense, the only team they’ve held under twenty points is Jacksonville.+4
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)-The Jaguars (or anti-Panthers) have scored twenty points only once, but have the NFL’s fifth best scoring defense. Conclusion: these two feline foes should join forces!-3
  29. Washington Redskins (3-7)-A pair of receivers in their thirties caught touchdowns in a tough loss to Dallas. Washington’s losing streak is now at six.=
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-8)-They’ve only beaten Arizona and Carolina.=
  31. St. Louis Rams (2-8)-Props to whoever fabricated the story about this team trampling New Orleans a few weeks ago. And the one about them having twelve players on injured reserve!-4
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-10)-The quest for imperfection resumes this week!=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. Bal, Phi+5 2. Mia, Car+4… Top 3 fallers-1. NYG-6 2. SD, Stl-4… The hold steadys- #1GB, #2SF, #3NO, #4Hou, #7Chi, #13Oak, #17Ten, #29Wash, #30Min, #32Ind… Best collective division-AFC North-11.5 avg… Worst collective division-AFC South-20.25 avg.

The Texans enter the top 5, but bad news follows.

November 15, 2011

Week 11 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (9-0)-A typical 2011 Aaron Rodgers performance gives the Packers a guaranteed winning record in as few games as possible.=
  2. San Francisco 49ers (8-1)-It’s odd to see the San Francisco 49ers as run-happy, defensive monster, but that’s their new identity. Time for the rest of the NFL (including Green Bay) to beware.=
  3. New Orleans Saints (7-3)-Another huge day from Drew Brees combined with an absolute wallop of a fourth-and-one gamble put the Saints in the driver’s seat of the NFC South.+5
  4. Houston Texans (7-3)-Houston essentially pitched a perfect game against Tampa Bay by dominating ball control, rushing yards, passing yards, turnovers, sacks, and of course points. Can Leinart keep it going?.+7
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)-It wasn’t pretty, but the Steelers got the win over the Bengals. After being sacked five times, the bye couldn’t come at a better time for Big Ben.+1
  6. New York Giants (6-3)-Eli Manning did some incredible things in a second half clash with San Fran, but a terrible fourth quarter pick gave the 49ers control of the game.-3
  7. Chicago Bears (6-3)-With the entire AFC West, Seattle, and the Vikings accounting for six of their last seven games, the Bears have a legit shot to steal the NFC North from the Packers… who they also play.+5
  8. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)-The Bengals lost, but they showed the Steelers that they aren’t backing down from anyone. Cincy gets another shot at Pittsburgh in less than three weeks.-1
  9. New England Patriots (6-3)-Ridiculous individual efforts from Rob Gronkowski and Andre Carter placed the Patriots alone atop the AFC East. Their remaining opponents are 21-43 combined.=
  10. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)-This team should be 9-0 and owning the AFC North. A loss to the Bengals next week would drop them to a disappointing third place.-5
  11. Detroit Lions (6-3)-Detroit was in desperation mode so early that Matthew Stafford had to throw 66 times last week. He needs to be fined for taking his frustrations out on D.J. Moore’s neck.-7
  12. Atlanta Falcons (5-4)-If it was fourth and nine from their own 49, I could see where Coach Mike Smith was coming from. But from the 29?+1
  13. Oakland Raiders (5-4)-A big game on the ground and six sacks of Philip Rivers positioned the Raiders a game up on the rest of the AFC West. They don’t play against their division until weeks 16 and 17.+4
  14. New York Jets (5-4)-The Jets have only four days to get over the countless mistakes that cost them a relatively easy path to the AFC East crown.-4
  15. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)-I’m not even sure that the Cowboys themselves realize they’re just a game behind the Giants with two still to play against them… including a tasty one in week 17.+3
  16. Buffalo Bills (5-4)-The Bills are starting to look a lot like the Bills. Was getting David Nelson a TD in front of his girlfriend the only thing they practiced last week?-2
  17. Tennessee Titans (5-4)-The Titans are above .500 and on the bubble of a playoff berth. Just keep giving that fast guy with the dreadlocks the football.+3
  18. Denver Broncos (4-5)-The Broncos knew their quarterback wasn’t Aaron Rodgers (and barely John Skelton). So they decided to man-up and ran the ball 55 times. Cheers to a ‘man win’.+4
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)-The Bucs have lost four of five, and three in a row. Green Bay looks to add to that this week.-4
  20. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)-When the going gets tough, pretend your remaining schedule is not against NE, Pitt, Chi, NYJ, GB, Oak, and Den.-4
  21. San Diego Chargers (4-5)-Like I said last week, they’re just a game out. No big deal.-2
  22. Seattle Seahawks (3-6)- Pete Carroll rode the Lynch-wagon 30 times despite Marshawn’s longest run being just eight yards. And the Seahawks beat Baltimore. Run the damn ball and you’ll win. +6
  23. Arizona Cardinals (3-6)-It’s too bad the 49ers are doing what they’re doing this year because the Cardinals or the Seahawks could reach 2010’s magical 7-9 with just a 4-3 finish.+6
  24. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)-When they said “Dream Team”, did they mean they would make other team’s dreams come true in the fourth quarter nearly every week?-3
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)-Not even Peyton Manning’s… uhh… Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky’s mighty Indianapolis offense could crack Jacksonville’s sixth best scoring defense.+1
  26. Miami Dolphins (2-7)-After two tough losses that dropped them to 0-7, the Dolphins have responded with a nifty two-game win streak.+4
  27. St. Louis Rams (2-7)-It was the lucky number seventh time the Rams were held to 13 or fewer points in a game this season that finally produced a win.+4
  28. Cleveland Browns (3-6)-If you didn’t predict the Browns would lose 13-12 to the Rams due to a botched 22-yard field goal attempt, you have no business being involved in American Football.-5
  29. Washington Redskins (3-6)-Not counting the Colts, the Redskins now have the longest losing streak in the NFL at five games. They haven’t had a lead since October 2nd.-5
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-6)-No one likes getting bullied… especially not in front of a large group of people. The Vikings torment at the hands of the Pack on MNF raises awareness for such heinous acts.-3
  31. Carolina Panthers (2-7)-A sloppy first quarter against the Titans left Carolina in a 14-0 whole less than ten minutes into play. Twelve penalties won’t help anyone’s cause.-6
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-10)-When they return from their bye in week 12, it is guaranteed that they will still be at least two games ahead of the entire LFN (the backwards NFL).=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. Hou+7 2. Sea, Ari+6… Top 3 fallers-1. Det-7 2. Car-6 3. Bal, Cle, Wash-5… The hold steadys-#1GB, #2SF, #9NE, #32Ind… Best collective division-NFC North-12.25 avg… Worst collective division-AFC South-19.5 avg.

New York takes Giant step to enter the top 3

November 8, 2011

Week 10 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (8-0)-Aaron Rodgers continues to dazzle, but the Packers have yet to face a top ten defense. They rank in the bottom half of total points allowed as well.=
  2. San Francisco 49ers (7-1)-If it weren’t for a blown ten point lead late in the fourth quarter in week two, we would be talking about two undefeated NFC teams here in November.=
  3. New York Giants (6-2)-They didn’t beat an 18-0 juggernaut last week, but Eli Manning once again out-Brady’d the Patriots. A win in San Fran could start Super Bowl chatter.+5
  4. Detroit Lions (6-2)-How do they still have two games to play before they finally face Green Bay?=
  5. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)-Four of their six wins have come against teams that are currently two or more games above .500. Sweeping the Steelers is exceptional. +2
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)-Torrey Smith pushed off to make his game winning grab, but there’s no whining allowed in a Ravens vs. Steelers grudge match.-3
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2)-The Bengals are currently the number one seed in the AFC. Dalton has fewer picks than Rivers, Brees, Brady, Fitzpatrick, Roethlisberger, and Vick to name a few.+2
  8. New Orleans Saints (6-3)-The Saints can take control of the NFC South with a win in Atlanta this week. They rank behind only Green Bay in points per game.+2
  9. New England Patriots (5-3)-This week’s opponent, Jets, are the only above .500 team the Patriots have beaten this year. Brady has been sacked multiple times in four straight games.-3
  10. New York Jets (5-3)-Mark Sanchez is on pace for a 26 TD, 14 int season that slightly bests Brett Favre’s career averages. The Jets have scored 24 or more points in six of eight games this year.+4
  11. Houston Texans (6-3)-The Texans have run the ball 313 times this season. That’s 64 more times than the Jaguars who have the second most rushes. Houston ranks second in time of possession as well.=
  12. Chicago Bears (5-3)-The Bears dominated the final twenty minutes to win in Philly. They can tie Detroit in the North by handing them their first road loss of the season this week.+3
  13. Atlanta Falcons (5-3)-Julio Jones delivers in ‘Magatron-esque’ fashion as the Falcons continue to surge back to respectability.+4
  14. Buffalo Bills (5-3)-The Bills were demolished by the Jets last week. Encores with New York and New England are Buffalo’s only remaining games against above .500 teams.-9
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)-The Buccaneers have been outscored 196-147 this year. They have yet to win by more than a touchdown.+1
  16. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)-Their momentum was obliterated by the Dolphins last week as Matt Cassel was sacked five times.-4
  17. Oakland Raiders (4-4)-Outscored 31-7 in the second half versus the Broncos, the Raiders look to rebound against the ‘Chargeless’ Chargers. Oakland has thrown nine picks in the past two games.-4
  18. Dallas Cowboys (4-4)-442 yards should lead to more than twenty-three points, but props to Dan Bailey who hasn’t missed a FG since the Cowboys’ first drive in week two.+3
  19. San Diego Chargers (4-4)-Their division is so terrible that ending their three-game losing streak against Oakland this week is not particularly crucial.=
  20. Tennessee Titans (4-4)-Chris Johnson is 28th in the league in rushing yards, and I’m not going to count how many qualified leaders have more yards per rushing attempt.-2
  21. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)-Not to discredit the Bears, but if the Eagles can’t beat them at home, what relevant teams can they even compete with?-1
  22. Denver Broncos (3-5)-The Broncos are a game behind every team in their awful division. And have the NFL’s ambassador to heaven on their side.+2
  23. Cleveland Browns (3-5)-The NFL has so many awful teams this year that the Browns have a better record than eight of them.=
  24. Washington Redskins (3-5)-If it not for a last second touchdown last week, I could have written “The Redskins have averaged an impossible 1.5 points per game over the past two weeks.” Curse you, John Beck!-2
  25. Carolina Panthers (2-6)-With an offense capable of putting up big yardage every week, the Panthers exit their bye as one of the NFL’s best spoilers.+1
  26. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)-With an offense incapable of putting up big yardage any week, the Jaguars exit their bye as one of the NFL’s worst spoilers. +2
  27. Minnesota Vikings (2-6)-Out of contention in the ridiculous NFC North, the Vikings serve as a record booster for seven playoff contenders in their final eight games.-2
  28. Seattle Seahawks (2-6)-This second place team is five games back in their division entering week nine. You have to love the NFC West.-1
  29. Arizona Cardinals (2-6)-Evenly-matched, atrocious teams make for great football. Can Patrick Peterson play quarterback?+1
  30. Miami Dolphins (1-7)-Matt Moore is my mid-season MVP choice because he had the best mid-season game out of anyone in the NFL. That’s how it works, right?+1
  31. St. Louis Rams (1-7)-The Rams have forced safeties on back to back defensive plays as many times as they’ve won games this year.-2
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9)-[Insert generic insult to this team and their integrity here]=

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. NYG+5 2.NYJ,Atl+4… Top 3 fallers-1. Buf-9 2. KC,Oak-4… The hold steadys- #1GB, #2SF, #4Det, #11Hou, #19SD, #23Cle, #32Ind… Best collective division-AFC North-10.25 avg… Worst collective division-NFC West-22.5 avg.

Did we really think the Steelers would stink?

November 6, 2011

Week 9 Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers (7-0)-The league took a break from the Packers last week. Two battles with the Lions highlight their remaining schedule.=
  2. San Francisco 49ers (6-1)-Keeping the ball out of Alex Smith’s hands is working for San Fran. Smith is 24th in the NFL in pass attempts.+25
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)-Now riding a four game win streak, the Steelers try to avenge an embarrassing week one loss to the Ravens.-1
  4. Detroit Lions (6-2)-Detroit responded to their game two game slide by clobbering the Broncos. They rest up before visiting the Bears next.+12
  5. Buffalo Bills (5-2)-The Bills sacked the life out of John Beck last week. They host the Jets in a huge divisional matchup this week.+25
  6. New England Patriots (5-2)-After a big loss in Pittsburgh, the Pats invite the Giants into New England for a Super Bowl XLII rematch.-2
  7. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)-After giving Jacksonville their second win of the season two weeks ago, the Ravens nearly fell to the one-win Cardinals.=
  8. New York Giants (5-2)-The Giants remaining nine games include four divisional matchups, four against first place teams, and no games against teams that are currently worse than 3-4.+6
  9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)-An easy win in Seattle shows that the Bengals are somewhat for real. They control their own fate with two games remaining versus both Baltimore and Pittsburgh.+22
  10. New Orleans Saints (5-3)-After dishing out one of the biggest blowouts in NFL history, the Saints lost decisively to career backup quarterback A.J. Feeley and the then 0-6 Rams.-2
  11. Houston Texans (5-3)-The Texans are leading one of the worst divisions in the NFL, and play only one team better than 4-3 (Cin) the rest of the year.+6
  12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)-The Chiefs are back on top in the AFC West thanks to a much needed four game win streak.+1
  13. Oakland Raiders (4-3)-The Raiders were looking up at San Diego entering their bye week, but Kansas City now leads their division by percentage points.+13
  14. New York Jets (4-3)-The Jets can take over first place in the AFC East by winning in Buffalo this week and taking down the Pats at home after that.-11
  15. Chicago Bears (4-3)-Matt Forte still leads the league in total yards from scrimmage after a Bears bye last week.-5
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3)-Tampa Bay looks to add insult to injury with another win over New Orleans. They take first place if they do so.-5
  17. Atlanta Falcons (4-3)-Atlanta can keep pace with whoever wins the Tampa Bay versus New Orleans game by beating the pathetic Colts this week.-11
  18. Tennessee Titans (4-3)-Chris Johnson is averaging well under fifty yards per game. A loss to Cincinnati this week could terminate their playoff chances.+5
  19. San Diego Chargers (4-3)-San Diego is reeling. A visit from the Packers this week is not what the doctor ordered.-7
  20. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)-The Eagles embarrassed the Cowboys last week.  They look like the best team that currently has a losing record.-15
  21. Dallas Cowboys (3-4)-The Cowboys just can’t seem to keep it together this season. A mild remaining schedule gives them a glimmer of hope.-1
  22. Washington Redskins (3-4)-The once surprising Redskins have lost four of their last five games, and host the still surprising 49ers next.+7
  23. Cleveland Browns (3-4)-The Browns offense continues not to excite by averaging just 8 points over their last two games.+5
  24. Denver Broncos (2-5)-Don’t blame Tim Tebow for the Broncos troubles. This team has just about nothing going for it.+1
  25. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)-After their bye week, the Vikings will face the Packers for the second time in three games.-3
  26. Carolina Panthers (2-5)-The Panthers have allowed 24 or more points in all five of their losses and less than that in their two wins. They can blame the kicker this week though.+6
  27. Seattle Seahawks (2-5)-The Seahawks one upped (or downed) the Browns over the past two weeks by averaging a mere 7.5 points per game.-12
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)-The Jaguars defense sits at a respectable 10th in the NFL. But their dead last offense is not quite so adequate.-9
  29. St. Louis Rams (1-6)-Steven Jackson and the Rams trampled the Saints in one of this season’s biggest upsets to date.-11
  30. Arizona Cardinals (1-6)-The Cardinals nearly joined the Rams with a tight loss to the Ravens, but instead extended their losing streak to six.-6
  31. Miami Dolphins (0-7)-The Dolphins’ record is at least three games worse than any of their remaining opponents.-10
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-8)-The Colts have allowed 27 or more points in six of their first nine games. They’ve scored 20 or more just twice.-23

NOTES: Top 3 risers-1. SF, Buff+25 3. Cin+22… Top 3 fallers-1. Ind 23 2. Phi-15 3. Sea-12… The hold steadys- #1GB, #7Bal… Best collective division-AFC North-10.5 avg… Worst collective division-AFC South- 22.25 avg.