Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NFL Week 13 (Top 10) Power Rankings

Let me say this first, it's been 20 days since I put out the last Power Rankings. 20! It feels like 3 hours.

Life goes fast, and a lot of things can change in 20 days, yet the past 20 days in the NFL has remained pretty much status quo. Until now...

The next 5 weeks are gonna get loco, because the top teams play each other (a lot), and it starts this week.

Six of (my) top ten play each other, with #2 Eagles @ #10 Seahawks.. #4 Vikings @ #7 Falcons.. And #5 Saints v. #9 Panthers.

Buckle up!!

1. Patriots- Yes, I realize the Eagles have won 9 straight, and are arguably the most compete team in the league, but if your life depended on it, would you really bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? I didn't think so.
2. Eagles- Not sure if there's enough accolades for Carson Wentz anymore, but the kid just keeps getting better. He basically saved Nelson Agolhor's career. Nelson Agolhor! And quick, name 3 Eagles defenders!! Exactly. Yet, they're killing it. Can't put them ahead of the Pats, but I'd sure like to see that Super Bowl.
3. Steelers- I could care less if the Steelers play down to their competition. They're 9-2, and look awesome on both sides of the ball when it matters. But something about the Steelers just screams to me they're an obvious #2 to the Pats (like usual).
4. Vikings- The next two weeks for the Vikings will tell us if they get the overall #1 seed or not. At the Falcons, followed by a trip to Charlotte to face the Panthers. The Vikes are for real screen if they lose them both, but win both of those, and they just might be the first team to play the Super Bowl in their hone stadium.
5. Saints- I'm giving the Saints a pass on their loss to the Rams on Sunday. Okafor was lost for the season last week, which they'll have to overcome, but they were down their two starting CB's, too. Kudos to the Rams for winning, but the Saints were handicapped. "Who dat" is still legit. And Alvin Kamara is ridiculous.
6. Rams- Really nice bounce-back win against the Saints after getting handled by the Vikings last week. Aaron Donald is back to being a f**king beast, and the defense is really humming under Wade Phillips. Keep an eye on the o-line, though. Goff has been sacked 10 times in the last 3 games.
7. Falcons- Julio Jones has 3 250+ yd games in his career- 2 more than anyone else. Physically, he may have the best WR body ever, along with T.O., and throw in some of the best ball skills ever, and he's on the fast track to Canton. Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings come to town this week.
8. Chargers- After an 0-4 start, the Chargers have won 5 of their last 7, and are looking more and more like they're the AFC West king. Unfortunately, season-ending injuries to Keenan Allen the last two seasons have deprived all of us of what we're seeing now; Philip Rivers and him are special.
9. Panthers- Cam Newton was 10 of 27 in their win against the Jets Sunday. I realize all quarterbacks can have an off day, but there's something about Cam that's a miss. It seems like he just doesn't give a shit at times, but luckily for him, he has a defense, led by Luke Kuechly, that is putting the hurt on folks. They travel to New Orleans this week in a throw-down for NFC South supremacy.
10a. Jaguars- Could you imagine if Blake Bortles was actually good? Throw Eli Manning at QB, and we're talking potential Super Bowl with the talent this team has. And who knows, maybe Tom Coughlin can acquire Eli Manning for a bag of chips, and throw him in there?
10b. Seahawks- There's nobody who means more to their team than Russell Wilson. The guy is an absolute joy to watch. Unfortunately, the lack of a running game, and the loss of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor will be the ultimate undoing of this team that even Wilson himself can't overcome. Oh, and Philly comes to town this week.. Sheesh!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NFL Week 10 (Top 10) Power Rankings

Some may ask, "Why wait until Week 10 to start doing your NFL (Top 10) Power Rankings?" And that would be a really, really good question. Unfortunately, there's no good answer.
I'm not very good with following through on things, but I'm even better at procrastinating, so I guess that's the unromantic truth- I just didn't feel like doing it until now.. So here you go.. my NFL Week 10 (Top 10) Power Rankings.

1. Eagles- It's not often that you get a team that's both dominant offensively and defensively, especially with salary cap restrictions like the NFL has, but the Eagles are that team.
Carson Wentz looks like a 10-yr vet, and he's making everyone around him better (is Nelson Agholor proof enough?). The defense is quick to the ball, and pressures the QB as good as anyone in the league. And the addition of Jay Ajayi makes the Eagles scary good. Their next 4, after this weeks' bye, should tell us everything we need to know about this young team:
@Dallas, v. Bears, @Seahawks, @Rams. Oof-da.

2. Patriots- As good as the Eagles are playing, I still don't know if I could pick them to beat the Patriots on a neutral field (i.e. The Super Bowl). As long as Tom Brady's at QB, you'd have to be an idiot to pick against him, and with how the defense has gone from absolutely terrible to above-average, the Pats should be there in the end- especially with playing the Bills (twice), Dolphins (twice), Jets, and Broncos in 6 of their last 8. Can you say home-field advantage? Pats can.

3. Steelers- I'd put them at 2 with how they've been playing, but they always lose to the Patriots, so there's that. With that said, Big Ben is back after many thought he was done, LeVeon Bell is ridiculous, and the surprise play of Juju, combined with Antonio Brown, has the offense at the top. But the defense (THE STEELER DEFENSE!), which is giving up just 16 per, is why Steeler fan(atics) should be excited. Shazier and Co. hit ya like ya stole something, and Joe Haden (JOE HADEN!!), Artie Burns and the secondary has made it tough on opposing QB's. They'll be there in the end, they'll just lose in Foxborough, like usual.

4. Vikings- To those of you screaming, "Homer!"... I say Suck it. 2nd string QB. 2nd string RB. Diggs playing half the season.. AND THEY'RE STILL 6-2? Yes, the defense is one of the best in the league, but the Vikings rush game ranks 9th after finishing dead last a year ago, and even though they may not throw for 300 per, they're passing ranks 14th- just good enough to keep defenses from loading the box. They're next 4 of 5 are on the road, though, so the litmus test begins. But with the defense playing lights out, this team will be in every ballgame.

5. Saints- The Saints are ROLLING!! I've said for years that Drew Brees and Peyton Manning's careers are mirror images of one another; Two Hall of Fame QB's with shit defenses. Until now..??The Saints have won 6 straight, outscoring their opponents 182-90. Yes, that's a 30 per average offensively, but more importantly, only 15 per defensively, and take away the 38 given up to the Lions (in a win), and their only giving up 10 per (10!). That's 2000 Ravens good! A legit defense in The Big Easy? Peyton Manning's soooooo jealous!

6. Rams- The Rams have the best point differential in the league at +108. Read that again. In the words of the immortal Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on around here!" After averaging 14 per offensively a year ago, and being outscored by 170 points, this year's Rams are anything but offensive. They've turned the tables with a do-everything back in Todd Gurley, a Montana-esque looking QB in Jared Goff, and an oppressive defense led by one of the best defensive minds ever, Wade Phillips, and arguably the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald. And they're 4-0 on the road. The 2nd half schedule is ridiculously brutal, so we'll see if this young team can keep up, but no doubt, the future is bright and sunny in Los Angeles.

7. Cowboys- It remains to be seen if Ezekiel Elliot will ever have to serve his 6-game suspension, but as long as he's able to play, the Cowboys will be players. Dak Prescott continues to surprise, and the offensive line, who struggled earlier in the season, looks to be jelling back into the best in the league. And the defense, hardly dominant, is flying around and making plays, led by DeMarcus Lawrence. Still, to me, it's all about Zeke. If he's playing, I give the Cowboys as good a chance as anybody. Without him, all bets are off...

8. Chiefs- So much for that 5-0 start, huh? The Chiefs are 1-3 in they're past 4, and there's numerous things contributing to the slide, but none more important than the loss of Eric Berry. I realize it was Week 1 that Berry went down, but it's been a slow burn for the Chiefs D, and it's finally taken it's toll. Throw in the rapid decline of Kareem Hunt's production, and the Chiefs are in a tailspin. As a Vikings fan, I know all too well how quickly a 5-0 start can fade to black. If this continues for the Chiefs, don't be surprised if Alex Smith goes from MVP talk to the bench in favor of rookie, Pat Mahomes.

9. Jaguars- Jax has the 3rd best point differential in the league at +89, and that's because their D is THE SHIT!!!! The're letting up a league-low 14 per, and twice (TWICE!), they've registered 10 sacks in a game. TWICE! Jalen Ramsey is already one of the best corners in the league, and Calais Campbell is the no-brainer, best Free Agent acquisition in years. Throw in the second coming of AP in Leonard Fournette, and the Jags- like the Rams- have an impressive future. With the loss of DeShaun Watson in Houston, the Jags are squarely in control of the AFC South, even with the Titans leading the division, via tie-breaker, at the moment. Speaking of the Titans...

10. Titans- Tennessee has won 3 straight, but it's the equivalent of kissing your sister. It took til the 4th quarter against the Colts to pull away, then they barely escaped the Browns (THE BROWNS!!), and this past weekend, they beat the Ravens by a field goal. Not what you call dominant, but wins nonetheless, so there's that. I have them in the 10-spot because we're coming into the cold season of the schedule, and the teams who run the ball well, and play good defense usually rise to the top. Tennesse does both of those. If Mariota can stop throwing picks, the Titans should sneak in come playoff time.

There you have it; my Week 10 Top 10. For those of you wanting to bitch about your team not making the cut, maybe you should cheer a little harder. See ya next week.