Seattle Seahawks (12-3) - Previously: #1 - From the people who brought you "The Patriots are done without Rob Gronkowski," and "The Chiefs have the No. 3 offense in the NFL," the clueless NFL TV analysts now have this to say about the Seahawks:
1. "The Seahawks can now be beaten in Seattle."
2. "Now that the Seahawks lost, there is no dominant team in the NFL."
3. "Seattle absolutely needs Percy Harvin to have success in the playoffs."
Wow, all of that from a loss in a game that meant absolutely nothing to Seattle? You sure you don't want to add "Marshawn Lynch is done" or "The Seahawks will never complete a pass ever again?"
I'd like to thank these bozos for making NFL handicapping so much easier than it should be.
Carolina Panthers (11-4) - Previously: #2 - Cam Newton put together an awesome final drive, but he hadn't converted a single third down prior to that. I'd criticize him for this, but I'd receive a dozen hate mails from Carolina homers for each word.
Amazingly, there are Panther fans out there who aren't completely nuts. I actually heard from one a few days ago when a Nick O. e-mailed me:
Hey Walt, I just want to apologize for my fellow Panthers fans. Not all of us are complete morons with an inferiority complex. We have been so bad for so long, and Cam did get some unwarranted bad press coming out of college... but for you to even consider putting his name with some of the best name QBs in the game today... wow.. those fans are simply retarded to think that he even belongs in the conversation. Keep up the great work! I love your mock drafts.
Color me surprised. Based on the feedback I've received, I figured all Panther fans were deranged lunatics who sniffed glue and whacked off to pictures of Newton.
New England Patriots (11-4) - Previously: #6 - I loved the Patriots as my December NFL Pick of the Month, but I didn't think it would be that easy. Oh, and congratulations to New England for winning the AFC North! (thanks, Shreyas R.)
New Orleans Saints (10-5) - Previously: #5 - That Saints +3 loss was very frustrating. And not just at the end; when the skies opened up, I cursed at the heavens. After all, no rain was expected per this Rotoworld report:
Thanks, weather.com. You guys are worse at predicting stuff than I am.
Denver Broncos (12-3) - Previously: #4 - The Broncos suffered a very damaging loss Sunday. Yeah, they beat Houston, but they watched Von Miller, one of the NFL's top defensive players, tear his ACL. The defense, which was already bad, is suddenly much worse. That's why I'm dropping Denver to No. 5.
Speaking of Miller, I was flabbergasted that both ESPN and NFL Network barely mentioned this injury. Their analysis went something like this:
Oh, and throw a "Julius Thompson" in there, because that's what Michael Irvin called Julius Thomas, who hauled in Manning's record-breaking score.
San Francisco 49ers (11-4) - Previously: #3 - Here's my NFL Game Recaps page where you can find analysis of the 49ers-Falcons game, which includes my reasoning for dropping them this week.
San Diego Chargers (8-7) - Previously: #8 - It may seem odd to have an 8-7 team as high as No. 7, but basing power rankings on records is pretty dumb. You can go to NFL.com/standings if you want a list of teams sorted by records.
The Chargers are one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL right now. Their offense has been sharp ever since getting King Dunlap back from injury, while their defense has improved tremendously in the past month. Peyton Manning couldn't even do anything against them. San Diego is one team I would not want to face if I were the Bengals (**) or Colts.
(**) Yes, I realize Cincinnati beat the Chargers in San Diego recently, but that was without Dunlap. San Diego is a much different team if Philip Rivers has quality pass protection.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) - Previously: #7 - No. 3 offense in the NFL. Thanks for the useless stats, ESPN.
I've been using this spot for my power rankings hate mail, so I might as well keep it that way...
Still thinks the Vikings aren't a bottom 10 team? Idiot.
Umm... I still don't have the Vikings in my bottom 10. Why would one road loss to a very good team change my opinion?
Ok, Bears win and they drop in rankings. Thats real smart Walt.
Right, because your Chicago team definitely deserved a gold star for beating the crappy Browns. Nice work!
DO YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE THE VIKINGS OVER THE RAMS?!?!
Does that question really warrant capital letters, and not one, but two exclamation points?
Where the heck are the Colts man? No power rankings that have a Peyton Manning team outside the top 10 is legitimate, especially since I am hearing that Peyton is having the season of his life. That should put the Colts in the top 5.
Did this guy just come out of a coma?
Walt is a hypocrite.
So because the Redskins don't have a first-round pick, they are not allowed to tank? You spend all your time talking about how terrible it is that Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Atlanta win games even though they are well out of playoff contention so they "have nothing to play for" yet the Redskins who are 3-11 don't have the same excuse even though they have a very early second-round pick if they tank? Plus any extra picks they get for trading Kirk Cousins? Maybe before you go around accusing people of sniffing glue, you should look in a mirror. I have never read such awful analysis in my life. You are a disgrace to gamblers & football fans alike. Maybe you should get the sand out of YOUR vag.
Why would the Redskins tank just to move up in the second round? Derp dee derp dee derp dee derp derp.
LOL. You bash the Browns continuously but in the 2012 draft you bashed them for not doing it all to get RGlll. Now you bash him in the same vein. I have bad dreams too. I wake up screaming because the Brown's have hired you as GM!
Do you wake up hard after dreaming of me? I think so, because trading for Robert Griffin still would've been the right move.
Wow, Walt, you sure have a thick skin. Why can't people just disagree with you without descending into vicious personal insults? I know why, they are nasty little adolescents who get bullied on a daily basis and use you as a punching bag to relieve their frustration and shame. How pathetic. I find your rankings no better or worse than any other "expert" out there and at least you TRY and give a rationale for your choices.
This is not hate mail. This is awesome mail.
Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) - Previously: #13 - Someone named Marvin Lewis posted this below:
So much for not overreacting to a single game. Walt picked the Steelers to beat Cincy. Then the Bengals, who haven't been nearly as good on the road as they are at home, lose at Pittsburgh in a game highlighted by freak plays on special teams. Naturally, Walt drops the Bengals four spots.
Marvin Lewis is right. That was a derp moment on my part. I'm glad I have Cincinnati's head coach posting here to remind me how stupid I can be at times.
Arizona Cardinals (10-5) - Previously: #11 - It's a shame the Cardinals don't play in the AFC. It's possible that they could be winning three of the divisions right now. Instead, they need the Buccaneers to upset the Saints. Good luck with that.
Speaking of the Cardinals, I saw this tweet recently: " Shoutout Arizona Cardinals Michael Floyd real a** n***a when you see him #Salute."
Twitter frustrates me sometimes. This idiot has more than 30,000 followers, which is much more than I have. So, please follow me @walterfootball so I may pass this bozo and feel better about myself.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 - Bottom 10
32. Houston Texans (2-13) - Previously: #32 - I found it kind of stupid that the Texans played Matt Schaub this past Sunday in front of the same "fans" who cheered when he got injured and threatened him at his own house. Why didn't Bob McNair just light Schaub on fire during halftime to appease a crowd that has watched an awful team all year? Everyone would've loved it, and the people of Houston would never have forgetten this particular fan appreciation day. I really can't find any downside to this.
31. Washington Redskins (3-12) - Previously: #31 - Ross F. posted the following on my Facebook wall:
Boomer Esiason said that London Fletcher has been a great Cowboys player his entire career (he's never played for Dallas) and said this was probably his last career game (he's retiring after the season) even though the Redskins play again next week, as does every other NFL team.
Please forgive Boomer. Anyone who has to spend half the year listening to Shannon Sharpe is bound to go senile at a relatively early age.
30. Oakland Raiders (4-11) - Previously: #30 - Sports Illustrated recently ran a story about how firing Dennis Allen would be foolish. Many would disagree, including my LVH Supercontest partner Matvei, who offered the following suggestion:
They really ought to honor the spirit of Al Davis by sacrificing Dennis Allen to the memorial torch at halftime next week.
Again, I see no downside to this.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11) - Previously: #29 - No Jaguar fan should be optimistic about this upcoming offseason. Here's why:
Wow. Caldwell, if you happen to be reading this, here's some advance metrics for you: Quarterbacks who close their eyes when throwing the ball suck all the time.
28. Cleveland Browns (4-11) - Previously: #26 - This week's Gong rant:
Never bet on the Browns. They will do whatever it takes to lose your money, your faith, your values and integrity, your ability to get a job, your entire everything. It's the Browns. Think of them like Captain Picard would think of that Black Hole on his viewer screen while the Enterprise is barreling toward it wondering how in the hell he can escape its gravitational pull.
Fade to Black. Series over. They all died in a Black Hole cuz even in fiction, there is no hope for life when it comes to anything the Browns.
27. New York Jets (7-8) - Previously: #27 - I'm in the minority here, but I don't think the Jets should fire Rex Ryan. The fact that this team is 7-8 is actually quite impressive. There's no talent in the secondary, they lack play-makers on offense, and the top two quarterbacks on the roster either have no functioning brain or wear their hair like a pretty little girl:
Perhaps the Jets can hire a scientist to fuse Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez together to make a brain-dead person who has girly hair. They can then use that individual as a cheerleader. That would be the best thing the Jets have done in years.
26. Buffalo Bills (6-9) - Previously: #28 - I put a ton of work into my picks, so I hate when I get them wrong. At least I can now take solace in knowing that at least one of my detractors is aware of how I feel:
There are so many holes I can poke in your reasons for taking Buffalo "1. They're a solid home team. They nearly knocked off the Patriots, defeated both the Panthers and Ravens, almost upset the Bengals and Chiefs with backup quarterbacks and then destroyed the Jets. They own a 5-1 spread record in Buffalo. " I'll give you the Patriots one. But they only barely beat Carolina and Baltimore much earlier this year and neither team was playing like they are right now. The Chiefs beat the Bills by 10. I would hardly call that a near-upset. And the Jets and Bengals are two of the worst road teams in the league. "2. The Dolphins are coming off an emotional win, so they'll be flat against a "lesser" opponent. The Patriots' victory was the biggest one in this new regime, so how can the team possibly focus for Buffalo?" This "emotional win" BS is the dumbest argument ever. You do realize you're writing about PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL, right? Miami is fighting for their playoff lives. Miami knows that if they can't make the postseason, then their precious win over New England becomes meaningless. So of course they're gonna focus for Buffalo. "4.The public is pounding the road favorite. The sharps, meanwhile, are all over the Bills." The "sharps" aren't always correct. Last week they pounded Oakland, The Giants, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay. How did that work out? That handicapper argument made me LOL. You shouldn't include that your relying on other people to pick games. It ruins whatever credibility you have left.
I'm all about ruining my own credibility, so that's perfectly fine. I'm just sad this guy doesn't have a forum of his own so people can send him hate mail.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) - Previously: #23 - Forum member Farland sent me this message Monday morning:
As a fan of the Bucs I must apologize for that game. Penn was out the night before the game and ran into someone with, I think he called it a magic flask, and Quinn feasted on poor Glennon. Granted Quinn is a great young player but I think he managed to even get by Penn and hit Glennon on a punt despite Glennon not being on the field. I believe he also beat Penn so fast one play that Quinn got bored, ran back and beat Penn again before sacking Glennon.
Donald Penn is certainly a candidate for Derek Anderson's magic flask, but there's an even better one...
24. New York Giants (6-9) - Previously: #25 - The Giants won, so I won't make fun of them this week. I'll be discussing the Lions instead...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Head coach Jim Schwartz is barking at the booing fans.
Jim Schwartz: Hey you, you in the stands! F*** you! Yeah, you! F*** you!
Derek Anderson: Heyy cooachch whhaatchaa doooinn?
Jim Schwartz: These jerks are booing my team so I'm going to curse at them! F*** you buddy! Yeah, you! F*** you, pal! Wanna piece of me!? You can't handle a piece of me!
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: