Houston Texans (8-1) - Previously: #2 - I suppose the Texans are No. 1 now, but you have to wonder how much differently Sunday night's game would have gone had Jay Cutler not suffered a concussion. The Bears had a good drive going before a Houston defender blasted Cutler in the head, prompting an ill-advised interception a couple of plays later.
Speaking of the concussion, I wonder how the Bears' medical staff determined that he was fit to play after getting dinged...
Chicago Medical Staff: Hey, are you OK? Do you have a concussion?
Jay Cutler: I'm fine. And no.
Chicago Medical Staff: How many fingers am I holding up?
Jay Cutler: Three.
Chicago Medical Staff: OK good. What day is it and where are you?
Jay Cutler: Sunday and Soldier Field.
Chicago Medical Staff: Good, good. What's your name?
Jay Cutler: ...I am Batman.
Chicago Medical Staff: Uhh... What'd you say? Your name is Jay? OK, great! Hey, Lovie, Jay's ready to play!
And then he threw the interception, so they changed their minds, of course.
Atlanta Falcons (8-1) - Previously: #1 - The Falcons desperately need to fix their red zone problems. They're one of the worst teams at converting in the red zone over the past month, and their ineptness deep in opposing territory killed them at New Orleans.
I don't want to take anything away from the Saints though. Most of the media people picked against them even though they were small home favorites. Mike Ditka even said there was only one way they'd win: "They gotta outscore em guys!"
And here I thought the Saints could win without outscoring the Falcons. Stupid me.
Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Previously: #5 - I'm ranking the Packers over the Bears because I think Green Bay would beat Chicago at least six out of 10 times if the two teams were to play on a neutral field.
I'm sure this will anger some people. For instance, Jay H. sent me this message a few weeks ago:
dude you have a f***ing 3 loss packers team rated about an undefeated houston team in the power rankings. what the f***? update it or be unfriended and lose like 100k hits. the f*** man?
Unfriended? Jeez, I never knew people took these power rankings so seriously.
Chicago Bears (7-2) - Previously: #3 - If you missed it on my NFL Picks page, some lunatic Bears' fan once again ranted about how I didn't slot his team No. 1:
YOU WILL LOOK EXTRA RETARDED W-H-E-N THE BEARS WIN THE WHOLE THING. AS I SAID, YOU WILL BOW TO THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CHI BEARS. 6 ABOUT TO BE 7-1, WITH AN OFFENSE STILL LEARNING TO GEL. WHAT A LUXURY, TO BE SO SUPERIOR. HIGH CEILING BEARS, YOU B1TCHES, BUT YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND KEEP GOBBLING THE GIANTS WHO BARELY SQUEAKED BY DALLAS (WHOM THE BEARS THRASHED). YOU TARDS AT WALTERSOCCER (AGAIN, YOU DONT HAVE THE CRED TO BE LABELED "FOOTBALL") WILL BE HUMBLED AND HUMILIATED FOR YOUR ANAL-YSIS. BEARDOWN ON ALL YOU H0MOS, THE WORLD CLASS CITY OF CHI WILL TAKE THEIR RESPECT BACK FROM YOU OUT OF TOWN BLOWHARDS.
MORE DOUBLE STANDARD HYPOCRISY FROM THE CLOWNS AT WALTERSOCCER, WHO KNOW D1CK ABOUT REAL FOOTBALL. BEARDOWN ALL DAY
I hope this guy didn't commit suicide in the wake of Chicago's loss to Houston.
New England Patriots (6-3) - Previously: #6 - The Patriots will be much better with Aqib Talib in the secondary. He'll shut down one side of the field, allowing Bill Belichick to run the things he used to be able to do when Ty Law and Asante Samuel were on the roster.
Speaking of Belichick, I'm glad he graduated to wearing a long-sleeve shirt under his sleeveless hoodie this past week. Quite the step up because he looked like a homeless person in just the sleeveless hoodie. Now it appears as though he has at least a box that he can sleep in every night.
Denver Broncos (6-3) - Previously: #8 - If it wasn't for Aqib Talib, the clear run-away winner for mid-season addition of the year would be Trindon Holliday. Why did the Texans cut him? I blame them for costing me $220 Sunday.
Speaking of betting, I can't figure out the Broncos. I'm 0-9 when picking their games. When I have them cover, they don't, and when I fade them, they beat the spread. I hope John Elway is reading this because a cunning strategy would be to pay me to pick against his team every week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) - Previously: #9 - Here's a recap of Steelers 16, Chiefs 13:
- Why does it seem like something bad happens to the Steelers whenever they play the Chiefs? This game was essentially meaningless for them with two battles in three weeks against the Ravens coming up. The Chiefs, who hadn't led all season in regulation, were a massive underdog and didn't stand a chance according to the ESPN analysts. All the Steelers would have to do is bring their C-game and avoid numerous turnovers, and they'd be able to eke out a victory.
Well, Pittsburgh managed to win despite a key give-away and an injury to their starting quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger hurt his shoulder in the third quarter. It didn't look too bad at first, but he walked into the locker room and later left the stadium to go to the hospital. The Steelers have played well without Big Ben before, but he will obviously be sorely missed if he's out for an extended period of time.
Roethlisberger went 9-of-18 for 84 yards and a score to Mike Wallace (3-14), who made an amazing one-handed grab while falling down. Big Ben was uncharacteristically out of rhythm on third down. He also missed Mike Wallace for an open touchdown in the middle of the second quarter and then was nearly intercepted by Javier Arenas.
Byron Leftwich stepped in and went just 7-of-14 for 73 yards. He made a couple of nice throws, but his long delivery will be a problem against teams that can put consistent pressure on the quarterback. He was lucky to get away with a fumble returned for a touchdown; it was determined after a review that he still had possession with his arm going forward.
- Romeo Crennel threatened to bench the first player who committed a turnover in this game. Perhaps he should have made this declaration earlier because the Chiefs took great care of the football. In fact, their one and only give-away came in overtime; it was a Matt Cassel interception that immediately led to Pittsburgh's game-winning field goal.
If Crennel keeps his promise, Cassel will be benched. That would be a good move because the Chiefs should at least find out what they have with Ricky Stanzi because Cassel sucks. He went just 11-of-26 for 154 yards and the pick. The Chiefs were terrified to be aggressive with him all evening.
- The Chiefs were able to move the chains at times because they ran the ball extremely well. Jamaal Charles rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. It's good to see offensive coordinator Brian Daboll actually utilize him, unlike the Oakland contest a couple of weeks ago in which Charles had just five touches.
- Kansas City could have easily won this game. The team avoided turnovers for once all year, but it made numerous other blunders. The most glaring one was an excessive celebration penalty on Leftwich's aforementioned fumble recovery for a touchdown. The score was negated, but the infraction gave Pittsburgh a first down and an eventual field goal on the drive.
Other mistakes: The Chiefs whiffed on a 33-yard field goal. Dwayne Bowe, who is completely overrated, dropped two passes (which probably gives him a dozen drops or so on the year). Bowe (4-55) had an impressive touchdown, but it was wiped out by a questionable Branden Albert hold. Jonathan Baldwin also dropped a pass while suffering a concussion. Tony Moeaki had a big gain eliminated because of offensive pass interference. The Chiefs kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff, giving the Steelers great field position. They also bobbled the ensuing kickoff and were consequently pinned inside their own 10-yard line.
In other words, if you had the Steelers in survivor, thank your lucky stars.
- ESPN also made a boo-boo. If you watched Monday Night Countdown, you may have heard Chris Berman apologize for something written on the left side of the screen. Here it is:
Whoever is responsible for that is my hero.
New York Giants (6-4) - Previously: #4 - My Eagles' homer friend Gary posted this on my Facebook wall Monday morning:
Do the Giants finally get the credit they deserve for bring terrible? Or are they still in the top 10 regardless?
Of course they are. That would be require me admitting that I was wrong, and I'm just not into that. Also, I picked the Bengals to beat New York because it was a meaningless game for the Giants. That loss will be good for them because it'll have the national media and fans like Gary doubting them - which is when they thrive.
San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1) - Previously: #7 - I'm excited to see this 49er team with Colin Kaepernick. He has so much potential, and if he lives up to it, the sky's the limit for San Francisco.
If I were Roger Goodell, I'd suspend both of those idiots for a game just to prove a point. It just blows my mind that NFL players don't know about ties. There are 14-year-old kids playing Madden who know about ties. It is inexcusable that Amendola and Goldson were so clueless about this, and it's amazing how stupid NFL players can be, although we already knew how dumb they are based on their stints on ESPN and the NFL Network.
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) - Previously: #10 - Ruskell Wilkens, MVP canadate, tried his best to lose the game in the first half versus the Jets, but luckily, he was a billion times better than New York's starting quarterback, who also happened to be a billion times worse than his backup... but I'll get to that later.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) - Previously: #31 - Chapter 14 of Mike Mularkey's upcoming book, 101 Ways to Lose a Football Game After Establishing a Big Lead:
Sometimes, you have to put little effort into blowing a big lead. No, really, it's true! If you're an aspiring head coach, make sure you latch on to a team with a general manager who not only reaches for players in the first round and overpays for mediocre talents in free agency; but will keep riding them because he's too stubborn to admit his mistakes. If you're lucky enough to be hired by such a man, he'll set you up with craven quarterbacks, receivers who can't get open and defenders who can't tackle.
Don't think that this can't happen to you! I have been fortunate enough to be employed by the Bills and Jaguars, two franchises with completely inept front offices. Because they did all of the work for me, I barely had to try to surrender big leads!
31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-8) - Previously: #32 - If you're trying to build an NFL team, it's probably a good idea not to emulate the Browns. @SaveOurChiefs posted this amusing picture on Twitter:
It really makes you wonder what Kansas City's front office was thinking. "Oh, the Browns suck, but maybe if we take everyone they had and put them in Kansas City, maybe they'll be better derrr!"
Why hasn't Scott Pioli been fired already?
30. Oakland Raiders (3-6) - Previously: #28 - I can't believe how stupid I am for expecting the Raiders to play hard for their defensive line coach, who lost his 4-year-old son over the weekend. This would have galvanized every other team, but not Oakland.
The main culprit, once again, was Tommy Kelly. He's been sluggish all year because he just doesn't give a damn, and he once again sucked against the Ravens. Head coach Dennis Allen lost all credibility when he failed to cut Kelly after that disgraceful debut on Monday Night Football against the Chargers. Then again, Allen didn't have much credibility to begin with because he looks like he's 15 years old.
29. Carolina Panthers (2-7) - Previously: #24 - The Panthers fired special teams coach Brian Murphy. Upon hearing the news, I tweeted ( @walterfootball), "Cam Newton gets even more change!"
That's two people Newton has fired already. It saddens me to say this, but it's only a matter of time before Commander Adama himself is axed. So say we all? Not Cam.
28. Cleveland Browns (2-7) - Previously: #30 - Dustin Fox tweeted this out during the week: "#Browns WR Josh Cooper just told us he isn't sure who is calling the plays for the #Browns. I find that very very interesting..hmm."
Why am I not surprised by this? If you were to walk up to any casual football fan and ask them, "Hey, there's a team in the NFL where the receivers don't even know who's calling the plays. Which team do you think that is?" nine out of 10 would say the Browns, guaranteed.
27. Buffalo Bills (3-6) - Previously: #29 - Umm... you guys do know C.J. Spiller is better than Fred Jackson, right? Right!?
26. New York Jets (3-6) - Previously: #26 - Umm... you guys do know Tim Tebow is better than Mark Sanchez, right? Right!?
What is with these dumba** AFC East teams keeping their best players on the bench (including the Dolphins and Reggie Bush)? No wonder they're all below .500 except for the Patriots.
25. Tennessee Titans (4-6) - Previously: #27 - The Titans just crushed the Dolphins, so it's time for the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: Man servant, come in here quickly. Did you hear the news?
Vince Young: Derrr, I no watchded news except I hearded Obamna make president, is true?
Bud Adams: Weh? Everyone knows the president is Jimmy Carter. I'm referring to our big win on Sunday. We crushed the Dolphins!
Vince Young: Oh ha I no realized football can be newsed. I sawed game with you, you no remember?
Bud Adams: Are you questioning my memory? I think I'd recall something like that, man servant. I'm just thrilled we kicked that idiot Don Schula's a**!
Vince Young: Derrr, I never hearded of man name Don uhh... I already forgetted what last name is ha.
Bud Adams: Don Schula. He's coach of the Dolphins. Of course, when you employ an awesome head coach like I do...
Vince Young: Oh ha I know name of guy his name Mitch... uhh... Man... uhh... I forgetted again.
Bud Adams: Mitch Man? No, we have Bum Phillips on our side!
Vince Young: Derr, I thinked bum is guy on street and have no house and asked for monies.
Bud Adams: Weh? Tere's a bum in this office? Man servant, call security and have him escorted out of the building immediately!
24. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) - Previously: #20 - Mark my words, Andy Reid will be back next year if Nick Foles plays well to close out the season. If Foles looks promising, owner Jeffrey Lurie will give Reid one more chance with Foles because he drafted him.
I also can't see Foles losing the job this year unless he gets hurt. QB Dog Killer is done in Philadelphia. Speaking of him, I've called him by that moniker and QB Eagles No. 7 on this Web site over the past several years. Forum member McNulty came up with another nickname:
23. Arizona Cardinals (4-5) - Previously: #23 - The Cardinals had a bye, so I'm going to use this space for my exclusive interview with Norv Turner. I just had to talk to him after watching him freak out at Sunday's press conference.
Me: Hey Norv, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
Norv Turner: It's my pleasure Walt. It's an honor to talk to you even though you've been writing about how I should be fired for years now.
Me: Well, thanks for being a man about it. I do have to bring up the press conference though. Do you regret lashing out at the reporter like that?
Norv Turner: What do you think!? I mean, what do you think the answer to that question is!?
Me: I don't know. That's why I asked you the question.
Norv Turner: Answer it for me! Is it acceptable!?
Me: Well, I guess you do regret it, and no it's not acceptable.
Norv Turner: I'm sorry, Walt, I'm so stressed out over this recent loss. I still don't understand how we could have allowed a punt... uhh... kick... uhh... fumble... uhh... fumble... uhh... pick... uhh... fumble... uhh... kick... uhh...
Mysterious Voice: If you do that, I will kill you!
Me: What? Who said that?
Mysterious Voice: Look down here!
Me: What the... why is Norv Turner's turkey neck talking?
Norv Turner's Turkey Neck: Because I am the one controlling Norv. Norv is just a host body. I am the mastermind behind the Chargers' demise, and I will never get fired because the owner is terrified of me! Muhahahaha!
Me: Wow, why would you dick over the Chargers like that?
Norv Turner's Turkey Neck: Because it is just the first step in my master plan to rule the galaxy! Muhahahaha!
Me: I feel like I should contact the authorities about this.
Norv Turner's Turkey Neck: Do that, and I will use my turkey neck powers to eliminate you. Now, excuse me while I bring in my Norv host body into Best Buy so that the Geek Squad can make repairs. And then I will rule the galaxy! Muhahahahaha!
2012 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4). Previously: #12
12. Baltimore Ravens (7-2). Previously: #13
13. New Orleans Saints (4-5). Previously: #18
14. Indianapolis Colts (6-3). Previously: #21
15. Dallas Cowboys (4-5). Previously: #15
16. Washington Redskins (3-6). Previously: #17
17. Minnesota Vikings (6-4). Previously: #19
18. Detroit Lions (4-5). Previously: #11
19. San Diego Chargers (4-5). Previously: #16
20. Miami Dolphins (4-5). Previously: #14
21. St. Louis Rams (3-5-1). Previously: #22
22. Cincinnati Bengals (4-5). Previously: #25
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Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: