Denver Broncos (6-1) - Previously: #1 - It's crazy to think that Denver's defense has been better this season than its offense. Then again, Peyton Manning is still very lethal.
Speaking of Manning, you'd think that ESPN would learn to spell his name amid all of his records and glory:
New England Patriots (6-2) - Previously: #9 - The Patriots make the biggest leap this week because of their incredibly impressive win. Casual fans may just think it was only against the Bears, but the sharps were all over Chicago, as Chad Millman pointed out on Colin Cowherd's show. What New England did was pretty incredible. Rob Gronkowski is finally healthy, while Brandon Browner played extremely well across from Darrelle Revis. If Browner can keep this up, it's going to be very difficult to throw on the Patriots.
Green Bay Packers (5-3) - Previously: #2 - I can't really downgrade the Packers for that loss because who knows what would've happened if Aaron Rodgers hadn't pulled his hamstring? Well, one person clearly doesn't know, as I saw this moronic post on the comment board on the NFL Picks page:
If Rodgers didn't tweak his hammy - Pack would have covered going away
Uhh... even though Brees didn't throw a single incompletion in the second half? Derp dee derp dee doo.
Seattle Seahawks (4-3) - Previously: #8 - I expected more out of the Seahawks against the Panthers. They won, but they didn't beat the spread. They continued to make mental errors that will cost them down the road unless they shore things up.
Having said that, I've decided to move the Seahawks up a bit because the Vegas power rankings still have them as the No. 2 team. Maybe I'm missing something, but the professional bettors and sportsbooks still think very highly of Seattle.
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) - Previously: #3 - I don't think the Colts expected that from the Steelers. I have no idea where it came from, but their lacking pass rush was disconcerting.
Jim Irsay has been able to tweet again, but not all of his tweets made it on to Twitter, as he was forced to delete some of them. I managed to capture these before he erased them:
were in pittsburg this city sux and were going to kill rapelisberger!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Please don't call him that >> shut up idiot ill do whatever i want!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay I'll suspend you and take your Twitter away again >> NOOO OK FINE!!!
wtf is this rapeyoursister just scored a td on us so easily cmon defense!!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Please don't call him that either >> shut up motherfukkcer!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay This could be your last tweet. >> this is bs ok fine ugh
@AndrewLuck12 were down 35-10 now your making me look bad cmon andrew i know you can do it
YES WERE COMING BACK NOW RAPISTBURGLAR IS GOING DOWN!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Banned from Twitter for 3 months! >> ok ok fine plz i wont do it nemore
@nflcommish @JimIrsay No. Strike three. You're out. >> no cmon roger were best friends dont do this 2 me
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Fine. Last chance. >> k thx!!!
@AndrewLuck12 wtf was that!!! you through a pass from your butt lol!!!!
a safety!!!?!? thats bs! fukkc this that wasnt a safety @nflcommish plaz stop this
@nflcommish @JimIrsay That was indeed a safety >> u fukkcing douche!!!!!!
@AndrewLuck12 we lost u idiot!!!! how could we loose to the freaking steelers this is so gay
@BigBen7 hey big ben u may have beaten us but your not rapping any of my sisters today!!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay I don't even know what to say anymore. >> lololol u love my tweets roger!
San Diego Chargers (5-3) - Previously: #4 - I saw the following comment on an ESPN board during the Chargers-Broncos game. This guy sounds like a Looney Tune, but I think he speaks for everyone who bet San Diego on Thursday night:
PRINCE PEYTON CAN THANK HIS NFL KINGDOM FOR ANOTHER UNWARRANTED TOUCHDOWN�.. CLEARLY A CROOKED CALL.. SHAMEFUL U CANT WATCH A GAME FROM THE NATIONAL FRAUD LEAGUE WITHOUT THE CROOKED ACE ZEBRAS SEVERELY DECIDING THE OUTCOME
Baltimore Ravens (5-3) - Previously: #6 - Facebook friend Jay B. shot me an appropriate message about Joe Flacco:
Flaco Flaco Flaco why u keep picking!!!!!!!!!!!!
I miss Taton. Anyway, the Ravens were hurt by two offensive linemen going down and that ticky-tack call on Steve Smith at the end of the game, which numerous talking heads on TV criticized. I'm not going to penalize Baltimore very much.
San Francisco 49ers (4-3) - Previously: #7 - The 49ers will be getting two talented players back into their lineup soon in NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith. They'll definitely provide a boost, but San Francisco needs to cut the mental errors that have haunted them throughout the first half of the season.
Dallas Cowboys (6-2) - Previously: #5 - Cowboy fans love sending me hate mail or posting negative comments on the board below. Here's some of last week's hate mail:
I'm neither a Dallas or Philly fan. But I'd have to agree with dallasgoon - Walt is just a tool. Do you guys think he's really dumb enough to think when he slices out one sentence out of a whole paragraph and puts it in his dur dur hate mail that the people reading don't know he's doing that. Seriously Walter the way you ignore actual football conversations on here is pathetic; I can't blame you with how your readers cut up your writeups every week
I usually slice out 2-3 sentences; not just one. Don't shortchange me.
Sure we'll just name our next team the Compton N1ggers or wait, is that offensive because society has jammed down our throats that it's offensive. Redsk1n has the same bad connotation and was used as a derogatory word towards once specific group of people. How is it any different?
Except the N-word is a derogatory term for blacks. "Redskins" is not a derogatory term for American Indians. It never was, and never will be. Don't be stupid and listen to a few dumb people in the media who have absolutely no clue what they're talking about.
Football: It's that game you're really bad at handicapping
If being up $12,000 over the past 6 years is bad handicapping, Vegas must be going broke with so many other better handicappers out there.
Not only are the Rams comically too low, but they are also not 1 and 4.
The Rams have fans? This is the first time I've ever seen a Rams fan complain about their ranking.
Walt, I am honored you would use my comment to show Cowboy fans throwing a fit. How you were able to completely take my comment out of context was amazing. I mean you could just scroll down where I said that the 9 ranking was right for the Cowboys last week and it was other issues with your logic that made me question the validity of this site.
Thanks! One of my great talents is taking things out of context to fit my narrative.
ok you ARE 100% a whiner azz jocky. i bet you think montanna was the best QB ever. fudge go back and watch there games. then bet me my 25 year girlfriends ass. they will not make playoffs. i keep telling my 55 year old ex-wife I wish i could go to Vegas and bet the under win our house on it.Walt rank and bet with your brain not your kapernot loving coke! L O L you re way to smart to be stupid.
You have a 55-year-old ex-wife and a 25-year-old girlfriend? I am highly impressed!
New Orleans Saints (3-4) - Previously: #14 - I should've never bounced the Saints out of my top 10. That was a big mistake. They're just 3-4, but if you look beyond that, you'll see that they're three plays away from being 6-1, and they've outgained their opponents by about 350 yards this season.
A couple of noteworthy missing teams from my top 10 include the Eagles and Cardinals. I considered Philadephia here, as it'll get Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce back soon, but I don't trust Nick Foles or Philadelphia's secondary. As for Arizona, the team has been outgained by 300-plus yards this year, and the advanced metrics say that it's just a mediocre squad.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 - Bottom 10
32. Oakland Raiders (0-7) - Previously: #32 - It's a shame that Reggie McKenzie's frivolous spending this offseason didn't lead to more success. McKenzie was so confident too - just take a peek at what he looked like when he was throwing money around this spring:
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) - Previously: #31 - Blake Bortles was so awful that he must have been under the influence...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Derek Anderson: It's been eight weeks now since I've last had a drop from my precious magic flask. Blake Bortles was so bad that he must have had a sip from it, so that's why I've made my way to Jacksonville. Hey, Blake, how's it going?
Blake Bortles: Ugh, terrible. I'm such a terrible quarterback.
Derek Anderson: Wait... you don't sound drunk at all. I figured you drank out of my magic flask.
Blake Bortles: Magic flask? Nope, haven't seen it. I just really suck. I really, really, really suck. And it's because... ugh...
Derek Anderson: What?
Blake Bortles: Please don't tell anyone this, Derek. But... I'm... I'm... color blind. That's why I never know whom to throw to. Thank God they didn't have color matching on the Wonderlic, or I would've scored a zero.
Derek Anderson: Ah, wow, that sucks. I guess I'll search elsewhere for my magic flask. See ya later.
Blake Bortles: Sorry, Coach, I'll figure out colors one of these days. I mean, I'll get better, I promise.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) - Previously: #30 - "Tampa Bay is two years away from being anythang." - Deion Sanders, reading off a paper after the game.
Two years? Buccaneer fans just cheered up because they thought it would be five.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-6) - Previously: #29 - It seems weird that the Titans would just bench Jake Locker following his brilliant first half against the Browns, but I think they're making the right move because they can't count on Locker staying healthy. Plus, they need to see what they have in Zach Mettenberger before they decide to pick either Marcus Mariota or James Winston in the 2015 NFL Draft (go here for my 2015 NFL Mock Draft).
28. St. Louis Rams (2-5) - Previously: #25 - The poor Rams. First, Sam Bradford. Then, Chris Long. Now, Jake Long and Brian Quick. They can't ever stay healthy.
Speaking of Bradford, my LVH SuperContest partner Matvei made a great point about him: "I'm thinking Sam Bradford has almost the ideal NFL career: He was way overpaid, can blame bad luck for his lack of success, and will eventually retire with minimal brain damage."
Unfortunately, this might mean that ESPN won't hire him because he won't have any stupid things to say.
27. New York Jets (1-7) - Previously: #27 - I forgot to mention this last week, but the bit that CBS/NFL Network had before the Patriots-Jets game was ridiculous. It was some black guy from New York sounding tough and saying things like: "We 1-5. But us New Yawkas don't roll ova for nobody!"
Technically, the Jets are in North Jersey, but OK. This guy then began listing all of the occasions the Jets beat the Patriots, including the one time they had Brett Favre. He remarked, "We roll in with our own future Hall of Fama!"
Uhh... yeah, the Hall of Famer you rented and gave you nothing in return? And what about all of the times the Patriots beat you? How convenient that you don't mention any of those occasions.
26. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) - Previously: #26 - I'll refrain from making fun of the Vikings again. This is the second week in a row in which they've edged out a spread victory to make me money. If Mike Zimmer keeps this up, he'll have to be a groomsman at my future wedding.
25. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) - Previously: #24 - Mike Smith's clock management at the end of the London game was one of the worst I've ever seen. It was so bad that I had to sit down with Smith to find out what he was thinking. Here's the transcript:
Me: Hey Mike, thanks for agreeing to the interview.
Smith: Absolutely, Walt. I'm about to get fired, but I can make time for you right now.
Me: Great! So, what happened on that final drive? Why didn't you just kneel down so the Lions would've had the ball with 20 seconds left instead of 1:50?
Smith: Why would I, Walt? I don't kneel. I'll never kneel! Never!
Me: Whoa, why is that?
Smith: That's what they want you to do in England! Kneel before the queen, kiss the queen's hand. I kneel to no one!
Smith: When they took me to meet the queen, they asked me to kneel, and I said no. I don't kneel! They yelled at me to kneel, so I cursed back at them, and then the guards through me out of the palace!
Me: Wow, really?
Smith: Yeah, so if my quarterback kneeled during the game it would be like I kneeled before that old c*** in the palace, and I'm not kneeling for any old c***!!!
Me: I don't get how...
Smith: Now you're probably asking me to kneel! I kneel to no one! No one! I don't kneel!
Me: So, you'd rather lose a football game than just kneel down when it has nothing to do with kneeling before the queen?
Smith: I'D RATHER LOSE A THOUSAND FOOTBALL GAMES THAN KNEEL! F*** KNEELING AND F*** THE QUEEN AND F*** ENGLAND I'M NEVER GOING TO F***ING KNEEL EVER AGAIN, AND YOU'RE PROBABLY A SLEEPER AGENT FOR THE F***ING QUEEN ASKING ME TO KNEEL AND I WON'T DO IT, SO F*** YOU AND F*** THIS INTERVIEW, PEACE OUT!!!
Me: OK... See ya.
24. Chicago Bears (3-5) - Previously: #19 - If Jay Cutler doesn't care enough to play well, then I don't care enough to post anything about his crappy team.
Instead, it's time for the Andy Reid meme of the week!
Last week: The Chiefs-Chargers game nearly went to overtime, and Reid definitely had this thought on his mind:
This week: Aaron Rodgers calmed down Packer nation with five letters. Andy Reid did the same with Chief nation (thanks, Nate P.):
23. Washington Redskins (3-5) - Previously: #28 - E-mailer Daniel H. sent this over during the Monday night game: "Great line from Gruden just before the half: 'Anything can happen on any given Sunday, especially on Monday night.'" Classic Gruden, who called Santonio Holmes "Santana Holmes" last week.
Anyway, here's my NFL Game Recaps page where you can find analysis of the Cowboys-Redskins game.
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: