Updated: Jan. 15
Cleveland Browns (0-16) - Previously: 32.
The Browns did it! An 0-16 record! I never thought I'd see the day where I'd witness an 0-16 record, except for the time that the, uhh, Lions did it.
OK, maybe it's not worth celebrating, but that won't stop the Browns from throwing a parade:
Houston Texans (4-12) - Previously: 31.
Were the Texans the worst team in the NFL not named the Browns down the stretch? They weren't competitive to close out the year. In fact, I'm willing to say this - and cover your eyes, Houston fans...
I think the Browns would've beaten the T.J. Yates-led Texans had they played each other.
Green Bay Packers (7-9) - Previously: 30.
You know how the city of Green Bay names streets after Packer legends? Do you think the converse applies for the worst players in franchise history? Like, if there's a toxic waste dump in Green Bay, they can call it the Brett Hundley Toxic Waste Dump.
Not to pile on Hundley, but he was atrocious, and the Packers need to find a legitimate backup quarterback this offseason.
Indianapolis Colts (4-12) - Previously: 29.
Do you think that Jim Irsay realized that the Colts potentially hurt their draft positioning by winning? I could imagine him tweeting:
WE WONNN YEAAAH NOOWW WE HAVE THE 2ND PICK SUCK IT GOODEELL!!!"
At least he was actually lucid enough to fire Chuck Pagano this offseason. It appears as though his 2-year bender has come to an end.
New York Jets (5-11) - Previously: 28.
It should be apparent that the Jets need to find a franchise quarterback. If this wasn't obvious already, just take a look at this:
New York Giants (3-13) - Previously: 27.
The good news? The Giants preserved the No. 2 overall pick despite winning, thanks to Indianapolis' victory.
The bad news? Eli Manning didn't look too hot during the game:
Denver Broncos (5-11) - Previously: 26.
It's a shame the Broncos didn't get a better look at Paxton Lynch this season. They simply couldn't have because he was hurt so often, but they almost have to spend big-time resources on a new quarterback this offseason without fully knowing what they have in Lynch. I mean, sure, they probably have a pretty good idea, but it's not ideal that Lynch didn't have much of a shot.
Miami Dolphins (6-10) - Previously: 25.
It was nice of the Dolphins to give Jay Cutler the start so his spread record could worsen to 47-79, not counting Monday Night Football. What a truly prolific career.
By the way, teams should learn from Miami's mistake and not use a quarterback named Fales. David Fales is right up there with Billy Loss and Terry Interception.
Oakland Raiders (6-10) - Previously: 24.
I'm still in shock over the Jack Del Rio firing. Check here for my coach firing grades if you haven't seen them yet.
It would have been nice to know that Del Rio was on the hot seat more than 12 hours prior to kickoff, by the way. I hate betting on teams in Week 17 that will be firing coaches, and thus Oakland was the only wager I lost this past week.
Arizona Cardinals (8-8) - Previously: 23.
Bruce Arians has announced his retirement, which I posted a rating for in my Disaster Grades page. Hopefully this doesn't mean Arizona will hire someone horrible like Jeff Fisher. I can't imagine a smart organization like the Cardinals doing that, unless, of course, they've decided that their new goal is to go 4-12 each year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) - Previously: 22.
"Will the Buccaneers ever stop making stupid mistakes? They need a better coaching presence, and Dirk Koetter is not the answer."
I wrote this last week, and the Buccaneers have since announced that Koetter will return next year for some reason. If there was any doubt that the Buccaneers organization was utterly clueless, there shouldn't be any now.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-9) - Previously: 21.
I had the Bengals listed as underrated last week, but I suppose I can't do that anymore after they upset the Ravens. That said, I was right for the wrong reasons. I suspected that Cincinnati would be better with Vontaze Burfict back on the field, but he didn't even play, and Baltimore won. Perhaps Burfict's presence, which would've allowed the team to clamp down on Alex Collins, would've meant that the Bengals would've won in a blowout.
Chicago Bears (5-11) - Previously: 20.
Underrated NFL Team: The Bears dropped four in a row prior to beating the Bengals, but they were without Danny Trevathan or top safety Adrian Amos for all four of contests. Trevathan is not only the heart and soul of Chicago's defense, but he also happens to be the brains of the operation. Amos, meanwhile, has been playing on a Pro Bowl level. The Bears frequently blow coverages with Trevathan being out of the lineup, so it's no surprise that their defense has been much better with him back on the field. They lost to the Lions and Vikings recently, but they outgained Detroit and averaged more yards per play. As for the Vikings loss, well, just chalk that up to Minnesota's dominance.
By the way, check this out from the Twitter trends:
See the "St" in Starting 2018? My mind keeps playing tricks on me, and I keep reading "Star Fox is out as Bears head coach." If only he did a barrel roll!
Washington Redskins (7-9) - Previously: 19.
There are lots of Redskin fans upset that their team lost to the Giants in Week 17. Why!? I'd be pissed if they had won! There's nothing good about ruining draft positioning in a meaningless game. The Redskins should be commended for showing up flat against the Giants.
Speaking of Terrelle Pryor (or not)...
Terrelle Pryor's Race for 1,800:
Current Receiving Yards: 240
Currently on Pace for: 240
Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: Infinity
It's over. I can't believe Pryor once again failed to hit 1,800 receiving yards in a single season. Charles Woodson promised that it would happen, but yet it hasn't. How can I ever trust ESPN again after this!?
Detroit Lions (9-7) - Previously: 18.
Underrated NFL Team: The Lions seldom had anything close to a complete roster this season. In their most crucial game of the year, they were missing three starting offensive linemen. Detroit will be better in 2018 with improved injury luck.
Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) - Previously: 17.
"The Eagles aren't having much luck."
I wrote this a week ago, referring to all of the injuries and the weather. Well, someone in the front office found a four-leaf clover during the one non-freezing day we had here this past week. I still can't believe that bounce on the Keanu Neal near-interception that effectively gave Philadelphia the win. If that play doesn't happen, the Falcons probably win, 13-12.
Dallas Cowboys (9-7) - Previously: 16.
It's hard to completely blame the Cowboys for the Seattle loss because they saw Tyron Smith get knocked out of the game on the very first drive. That just killed their game plan. There was no excuse, however, for nearly losing to a Philadelphia team playing its backups. The Cowboys need to be legitimately concerned about Dak Prescott's regression, as he's not a functional quarterback when missing one of his key offensive linemen.
Seattle Seahawks (9-7) - Previously: 15.
Had the Falcons lost to the Panthers, Blair Walsh would have garbage dumped on his lawn today. Fortunately, he gets to escape that.
While Walsh can avoid scrutiny, the other 52 Seahawks certainly cannot. They couldn't stop Drew freaking Stanton in a must-win game. In fact, they were so bad that my dad, a big-time Eagles fan, was devastated that Seattle didn't make the playoffs so that Philadelphia could beat up on them.
Tennessee Titans (10-8) - Previously: 14.
The Titans battled injuries, an angry Patriot team and the officials on Saturday night. They're lucky they only lost by 21!
Oh, and by the way, thanks to Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis for that late touchdown to take the game over the total. I really appreciate it, guys!
Buffalo Bills (9-8) - Previously: 13.
There have been pictures of this circulating around the Web:
You know, I think there's a good chance Andy Dalton ends up on the Bills somehow. Marvin Lewis talked about starting from scratch, so what if that involves trading Dalton? I'm sure Buffalo would love to have him.
Baltimore Ravens (9-7) - Previously: 11.
I get the feeling that if the Ravens had to play the Bengals again tomorrow, and if Vontaze Burfict would once again be out, Baltimore would destroy Cincinnati. I think the Ravens took the Bengals lightly because they crushed them in a shutout victory in the season opener. It just goes to show that you can't ever take a team for granted - unless you're playing the Browns, of course.
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) - Previously: 12.
Overrated NFL Team: Oh boy. The Jaguars beat the Steelers, and now they are awesome again. Let's not forget that they almost lost to the Bills at home, and that they lost at Tennessee in Week 17, and that they were blown out in San Francisco the week before, and that they lost to Blaine Gabbert in Week 12, and that they were up just 10-7 at Cleveland the week before. The Pittsburgh win was nice, but the Steelers have been listed as overrated on this site for almost two months now.
By the way, here's a live shot of Tom Brady preparing for the Jaguars:
San Francisco 49ers (6-10) - Previously: 10.
Underrated NFL Team: It's amazing what a competent signal-caller can do. The 49ers have had bad (Brian Hoyer) and abysmal (C.J. Beathard) quarterbacking this year, but Jimmy Garoppolo has been great against the Bears, Texans, Titans and Jaguars. With Garoppolo, the 49ers are so much better than 6-10. They have a solid running back, two talented tackles, and several impressive play-makers in the front seven. They still have some glaring holes at receiver, center and cornerback, but had Garoppolo started all year, I get the sense that the 49ers would be 11-5 or better right now.
Carolina Panthers (11-6) - Previously: 9.
It was nice of the Panthers to clear Cam Newton from a concussion so quickly to allow him to get the back-door touchdown, despite the fact that he looked like this:
Awesome. Anyway, it's unclear if Newton was still concussed after the game when he said that changes will need to be made. I imagine he meant the lack of receivers. I personally hope it's to his ridiculous wardrobe.
Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) - Previously: 8.
I loved how the Charger players said stuff like, "No one wants to see us in the playoffs." Uhh... how about the Chiefs, who destroyed you guys twice?
Still, there's some truth to that. The Chargers would be the fourth-best team on the AFC side of the playoff bracket had they qualified for the postseason. It's kind of ridiculous that the Bills qualified over them, if you think about it. The Chargers destroyed Buffalo, and they finished with the same record, so why can't common sense prevail and allow the Chargers to play in the postseason?
Kansas City Chiefs (10-7) - Previously: 7.
Another year, another Chiefs choke job...
To be fair, Kansas City probably would've won had Travis Kelce not gotten hurt, so it's not completely fair to blame Andy Reid and Alex Smith. Still, the two likely won't be together next year, as the Chiefs will need to do something with Smith's $17 million salary.
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4) - Previously: 6.
Overrated NFL Team: The Steelers are definitely not the same without Ryan Shazier, as they couldn't stop Alex Collins runs and Joe Flacco passes without him. The freaking Ravens scored 38 points against them! No one should be surprised that they lost to Jacksonville.
By the way, what was up with that terrible coaching? All the horrible fourth-and-1 calls as well as trying the onside kick didn't make any sense. Here's what may have transpired...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Mike Tomlin: How much time we got? Hmm... 2:18 and two timeouts. Let's kick it off deep.
Los Angeles Rams (11-6) - Previously: 5.
The Rams were the better team, but they were jittery and tight. Maybe next time, a team with no playoff experience shouldn't be a six-point favorite over the defending NFC champions.
By the way, what was up with Al Michaels during the telecast? Michaels constantly sounded like he wanted the game to speed along, as he complained about stoppages more than anyone usually would. Matvei took notice of this as well, sending me this text:
"Michaels must have booked some in-demand escort at 10:30 sharp, so much fretting about totally normal delays tonight."
Atlanta Falcons (11-7) - Previously: 4.
Overrated NFL Team: The Falcons were two kicks on national TV away from being 8-8. They also beat Dallas when the Cowboys lost Sean Lee and already didn't have Tyron Smith or Ezekiel Elliott. Even the win over the Rams was misleading; Los Angeles made so many mistakes, and the Falcons couldn't really do anything offensively until Michael Brockers got hurt.
It's not a surprise Atlanta lost. The defense was soft, and the guards on the offensive line were exposed. Oh, and then there was this:
New Orleans Saints (12-6) - Previously: 3.
Blew dat. Blew dat. Blew dat tackle, so Vikings beat dem Saints.
Meh. I tried.
Anyway, how does New Orleans recover from that crazy loss? More importantly, how do Viking -5.5 bettors recover from that extra point not being kicked?
Minnesota Vikings (14-3) - Previously: 2.
Wow. Did anyone make sure that the 100-year-old grandma is OK following that inexplicable win? And did anyone get her granddaughter's phone number? Wowwa weewa.
Anyway, I wonder if this means Minnesota is a team of destiny ... or if this means the Vikings are in for more heartbreak.
New England Patriots (14-3) - Previously: 1.
I imagine the Patriots had this much fun laughing about ESPN's fake news about them:
But can we please stop it with the narrative that New England's defense is suddenly better? The Patriots crushed a Tennessee squad that barely beat the Browns and Colts twice. New England seems to be getting too much credit for an easy victory. Then again, they could have another one versus a similar caliber-team in Jacksonville.
The MVP race:
1. Tom Brady
2. Cam Newton
3. Drew Brees
4. Matt Ryan
5. Harrison Smith
Yeah, so, I think Brady has this thing wrapped up.