Seattle Seahawks (10-1) - Previously: #1 - I love these late byes. I think all teams should have off between Weeks 5-12, maybe even 6-12. I don't see how a Week 4 bye can help anyone (though it did save Chuck Pagano's life last year). Week 4 just seems too early for a football team to have rest.
Oh, and speaking of weeks, I much prefer it that the Thanksgiving games are held on Week 13 instead of Week 12. They should keep it that way going forward, even if Week 13 falls completely in December. I'm sure Roger Goodell can have the government change Thanksgiving to December in those instances. The NFL is that powerful, after all.
New England Patriots (8-3) - Previously: #6 - I'm at a loss in terms of which team to put at No. 2. It's effectively a tie between the Patriots, Broncos, Saints and Panthers. All of these teams have one issue that sticks out: New England can't stop the run; Peyton Manning has problems in freezing, windy conditions; New Orleans can't win outside; Carolina isn't completely trustworthy because of Cam Newton, who is the least-established quarterback on these four teams.
The team I have the most faith in is New England. Tom Brady is playing his best football of the season right now, and he has all of his weapons back. Sure, he just lost at Carolina, but it was a road game in which he was screwed twice by a shady officiating crew.
Denver Broncos (9-2) - Previously: #2 - I can remember which NFL TV analyst said this yesterday - it may have been Rodney Harrison - but the quote went, "This is one of the biggest games in Peyton's career. Win this one and the next one, and the Broncos have homefield advantage."
Manning has been involved in countless postseason contests, yet this matchup at New England, which didn't even directly decide homefield advantage, is one of the biggest games of his career? I wish I knew Harrison said this for sure so I could make fun of him for taking some hallucinogens before the show.
What good does homefield do for the Broncos, anyway? They had it last year, and that didn't net them very much. In fact, I feel like Denver would be better off playing postseason games elsewhere. Manning's passes floated around Sunday night in the heavy winds. It makes you wonder why he went to Denver in the first place. He could be in Arizona right now, throwing to Larry Fitzgerald in a dome, being backed by that awesome defense.
Carolina Panthers (8-3) - Previously: #4 - How much film study did Cam Newton do for the Miami game? A few hours? One hour? Fifteen minutes? None? He didn't look like he knew what was going on in that game. In fact, I'd be surprised if he actually knew who the Dolphins' quarterback was. Still, that would be better than Ryan Tannehill, who wasn't even aware Miami played in the AFC East.
Newton's ability to lead his team on a game-winning drive was pretty amazing considering how unprepared Carolina was as a whole. Still, it makes me worried for the playoffs. If Carolina is favored as the No. 5 seed over the lowly NFC East winner, will Newton and his squad be equally lethargic?
New Orleans Saints (9-2) - Previously: #3 - You almost lose to the Falcons, you drop at least two spots in the power rankings. It should be a rule.
Assuming the Saints lose at Seattle - they're six-point underdogs as of this writing - they'll probably have to play two outdoor games in the postseason. Make it three if the Panthers catch them. In that case, New Orleans doesn't have much of a shot to win the Super Bowl. The Saints are unbeatable at home, but they've lost to the Jets and nearly went down to the Buccaneers and Falcons on the road. That's pathetic.
San Francisco 49ers (7-4) - Previously: #5 - Go to my NFL Game Recaps page for analysis of the 49ers-Redskins game.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) - Previously: #7 - I'm not going to bump the Chiefs down because they lost Tamba Hali and Justin Houston in the second quarter. In-game injuries are extremely difficult to adjust for.
I've been using this spot for my power rankings hate mail, so I might as well keep it that way...
This list is a just a mix of how Walter felt teams were going to do this year; teams he has a fancy for, and teams he won't give credit to because, for some reason, he doesn't like them. Clearly basing his choices on emotion and not how the teams are actually performing. As Bill Parcells says, you are what you're record says you are.
As I've said in the past, the adage "you are what your record says you are" is a fallacy that has been exploited by numerous sharp bettors over the years. Again, if you want power rankings based on records, just go to nfl.com/standings.
are you deleting the comments that hurt your feelings now, walt. I love watching you lose money. I check back every week because I know my 1 hit earns you less than you will inevitably lose with idiotic reasoning
How dare you say I'm deleting comments? I love moronic comments that call me out. They're so easy to make fun of!
Wait, didn't Alex Smith almost reach the SB in 2011 only to run into the then-unreal Giants and lose by 3 in overtime in the rain? The 2013 Chiefs have more talent then the 2011 49ers and thus is a SB-caliber squad. He's a relatively decent starter.
You mean the Alex Smith who converted ONE third down during the entire NFC Championship? Alex Smith is a below-average starter being coached up, but elite competition will expose him, as always.
So Raiders better records than Hou and Pit, the same record as SD and BEAT ALL THREE! Someone explain how they are ranked behind them?
I feel like Raider fans complaining that their team is ranked too low is one sign of the apocalypse. Shouldn't they all be depressed?
I will always say that I hold my breath when Cam throws the ball because I am realistic about my chosen team. Still, I think he's more butt-hurt about losing $990 the last two weeks with his bets against the Panthers.
I will be truthful when my butt hurts, and my butt does indeed hurt from those two losses. You got me.
Is this opinion based? If so, do you even watch football? These are by far probably the worst rankings I've ever seen in my life!
I can imagine this guy combing through every football Web site and magazine, perusing their power rankings and cataloguing all of his notes on them. In that case, I'm kind of proud that I've composed the worst rankings he's ever seen in his life.
Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) - Previously: #8 - Again, I'm holding the Packers here for when Aaron Rodgers returns from injury. The defense blows, but Rodgers is just that damn good that Green Bay will always be in top-10 consideration with him on the field.
The adage goes that tying a game is like kissing your sister. For those not in the Appalachians, here's something for you to get that image out of your head:
Arizona Cardinals (7-4) - Previously: #15 - The Cardinals, who have a sick defense, are the last team to beat Carolina. They definitely deserve a spot in the top 10, though it's difficult to trust Carson Palmer.
Here's an image that TDAP provided from NFL.com. Let's see if you can spot the two glaring errors:
Give up? Well, the Cardinals have somehow stolen the New England and Tampa Bay offenses. No wonder they're so good!
Detroit Lions (6-5) - Previously: #10 - I'm not going to dock the Lions for their loss to the Buccaneers. They're just yet another favorite that lost to an inferior opponent prior to playing a Thursday game. They had bigger fish to fry with the Packers coming into town, so they were more focused on that game. Besides, there were so many odd bounces in that contest that they could've easily won.
Speaking of Lions-Packers, I'll have my Thanksgiving NFL Picks up earlier than usual. I'm aiming for Tuesday evening.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 12 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) - Previously: #32 - What a dumb, senseless victory for a franchise that can't even lose right. Say goodbye to Teddy Bridgewater, Jacksonville. Or is it Teddy Waterbridge? Brian Griese has me confused (2:30 mark). Thanks to Mike M. for this glorious video.
31. Houston Texans (2-9) - Previously: #24 - Wow, how do you lose to the Raiders and Jaguars in consecutive home games? This team has quit on Gary Kubiak. Speaking of Kubes...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Kubiak is preparing extremely hard for his upcoming game against the Jaguars. Derek Anderson stumbled into his office.
Ben Tate: Cannn I jjoiinn I wanannnn runnn feerrr onnne yaaarrdd onnn sseevvenn carreiisss hic!
Gary Kubiak: YYYEEAAAHHH!!! I'mmm gonnana geesss myy whoollee teeammm drrruunk!!!
30. Atlanta Falcons (2-9) - Previously: #31 - I think by "Rise Up" the Falcons meant rise up the 2014 NFL Draft order. Getting Jadeveon Clowney would be awesome, though my LVH contest partner Matvei pointed out that Clowney's career would probably be ruined in Atlanta because of all of the strip clubs. Maybe Anthony Barr, then?
29. Washington Redskins (3-8) - Previously: #26 - I already discussed the Redskins, so this is a good time for more Andy Reid memes!
Last week, here's what happens when there is too much NOM NOM NOM:
This week, here's what Reid looks like on those fancy LED HDTVs:
28. Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1) - Previously: #30 - I'm still extremely stupified by what the Vikings did in overtime against the Packers. Way to get your tie, losers. I'm sure it'll come in handy for the playoff race. If tying a game is like kissing your sister, then the Vikings are essentially Jaime Lannister.
27. Oakland Raiders (4-7) - Previously: #28 - The Raiders' kicker blew a potential victory. As for the Raiders' punter? Well...
This is obviously an error, but it reminded me of my high school's punter. He was so inept that he booted the ball straight up into the air once. It was pretty windy, so the blew actually blew backward and then continued to bounce the wrong way. It ended up being a net loss of 15 yards.
26. New York Jets (5-6) - Previously: #21 - You may have expected the Derek Anderson Magic Flask bit for the Jets' write-up, but Geno Smith was so inept that I think he's way worse than just being drunk. He was so bad at Buffalo and Baltimore that he may just have brain damage.
25. Cleveland Browns (4-6) - Previously: #25 - Here's this week's Gong rant. He tried to warn me against betting on the Browns...
Never bet on the Browns unless you are betting a delusional Browns fan side bets cuz they think the Browns will win the division, and you don't have to give them odds.
Easy money, and I don't even bet anymore. Stupid Browns fans refuse to believe their team is trash, for reasons beyond anything I could conceptualize as logic or reason.
Browns suck. Browns are the Browns. The answer is always going to be they are the Browns. the theme in Cleveland is, "but they didn't lose by more than 7 points, they are really showing well, I think in ten years they may get to 8-8."
Reality is they are a suck team, in a suck city, with little to no offensive playmakers in a league that almost has eliminated defense.
24. Tennessee Titans (5-6) - Previously: #27 - Kendall Wright is emerging as a stud receiver, but before anyone gets too excited, it must be noted that he gets around. Don't believe me? Check out this Rotoworld blurb:
What a whore. Here's another blunder:
Really? You think the guy who randomly punched someone in college is going to be a running back who goes around and praises people?
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) - Previously: #29 - Bobby Rainey was stymied by Detroit's great defensive front, but he has still been awesome for the Buccaneers during their three-game winning streak. In fact, he's been so good that he has produced even when he hasn't been on the field (thanks, TDAP):
If Rainey can post stats while on a bye, he might just be a first-round fantasy pick next year.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Baltimore Ravens (5-6). Previously: #14
12. San Diego Chargers (5-6). Previously: #12
13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4). Previously: #11
14. Indianapolis Colts (7-4). Previously: #9
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6). Previously: #17
16. Dallas Cowboys (6-5). Previously: #18
17. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5). Previously: #16
18. Chicago Bears (6-5). Previously: #13
19. New York Giants (4-7). Previously: #19
20. Miami Dolphins (5-6). Previously: #22
21. St. Louis Rams (5-6). Previously: #23
22. Buffalo Bills (4-7). Previously: #20
Fantasy Football Studs and Scrubs
Top Fantasy Quarterbacks:
Philip Rivers: 27-of-39, 392 yards. 3 TDs, 0 INTs.
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: