New England Patriots (11-3) - Previously: #1 - I'm glad I moved the Patriots up to No. 1 prior to this past week. It was obvious going in that New England was better than Green Bay, and that the result between the two teams might have been radically different on a neutral field, given that the Packers are not the same outside of Lambeau Field. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick just seem like they're on a mission right now. Their dismantling of a solid Miami team was quite impressive.
Seattle Seahawks (10-4) - Previously: #2 - Congrats to Russell Wilson for beating the 49ers and winning an important war:
The Seahawks will have the No. 1 seed if they win out, which could be disastrous for the other five NFC teams that qualify for the playoffs.
Denver Broncos (11-3) - Previously: #4 - I still find it odd that the Broncos are barely throwing the ball, almost as if they're trying to hide something with Peyton Manning. Fortunately for them, their defense is insanely good. None of their opponents have been able to do anything against them since that Miami game. Oh, except for Kyle Orton's two bogus touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the Buffalo game. Ugh. So, Orton could get two scores to give him a crazy backdoor cover, but Philip Rivers couldn't even get one? So ridiculous.
Green Bay Packers (10-4) - Previously: #3 - Something was terribly wrong with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. I think you know what that means...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Derek Anderson: It's been 15 weeks now since I've last had a drop from my precious magic flask. I have to play a game this week, but it's against the Bucs, so hopefully Josh McCown has it. Hey Josh, you're playing especially drunk today! Any reason why?
Josh McCown: I'm not drunk. I just suck at life. Except for that part where the Bucs paid me lots of money to be their quarterback, lol.
Derek Anderson: Damn it, I thought you'd have my magical flask for sure. What a disappointment.
Josh McCown: Disappointment? That's what my teammates, coaches, and even my wife call me. Hey Derek, look, they're showing highlights of the Packers-Bills game, and Buffalo is winning!
Derek Anderson: Wow, let's take a listen.
Announcer: Aaron Rodgers drops back, and it's picked off by Bacarri Rambo!
Jordy Nelson: Heyyy Aaroroonn thrhrowowow mmeee ebbaalll aggeenn I pprommisssee I wooonnnn droroppsss iitt thisss titmmmeee looollzz hic!
Aaron Rodgers: Whooo thehee fuussskk areree yyeeww?? Hic! Whheheree Frrsannnss annnn Hannannss I nneeedd to shoototot annnotthehurr commemrrcchssualll hic!
Derek Anderson: Ugh! My magical flask is clearly in Buffalo, and I'm stuck here playing a stupid game against the stupid Bucs!
Indianapolis Colts (10-4) - Previously: #5 - It's not pretty, but the Colts continue to win. They'll have a shot with Andrew Luck, but they need to stop using bums who repeatedly make mistakes: Mainly Coby Fleener, Trent Richardson, and even a banged-up Reggie Wayne. Indianapolis should consider shutting him down because he's hurting the team right now.
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:
big game today @AndrewLuck12 u better not blow it
hey @ChuckPagano u better win or ill take away ur parking spot
yo @TYHilton i kno u had ur kid but its time 2 forget that cuz this is for the nfc south
PICK 6!!!! @AndrewLuck12 u fuxing suck u homo!!!
REGGIE WAYNES BELONGS IN NURSING HOME AND COBY FLEENER IS GAY WITH HIS HAIR!!!!
ok cool we have the lead sorry @AndrewLuck12 ur not a homo i was jk lol
HAHAHAHAHAHAH @RyanFitzPatrick broke his leg best day ever!!!!!!!!!!1
hey @RyanFitzpatrick i have some cruches and a wheelchair u can borow lololololololol
OOOHHH IMMMM SO SCARED OF BEN SAVAGE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
@TomSavage ITS OK U CAN COME HERE AND BE MY 5TH STRING BACK UP WHEN UR CUT LOLOLOLOLOL
And now @TomSavage is HUT HAHAHAHAHA CAN THE TEXANS QBS SURIVVE AGAINST MY GR8 DEFENSE!?!??
i meant hurt not hut
COLTS WIN COLTS WIN WE WIN THE NFC SOUTH LOLOL WUT A STUPID DIVISION EVERY1 SUCKS BUT US HAHAHAH
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) - Previously: #11 - The Steelers vault all the way up to No. 6. It's so unusual for them to win as road favorites following a victory, especially when the action is on them. I remember them having success in this type of situation during only one season: When Ben Roethlisberger won his second Super Bowl, back in 2008. Coincidence?
Perhaps Roethlisberger was able to lead his team to victory last week because he has a new role model:
Baltimore Ravens (9-5) - Previously: #7 - It'd be nice if the Ravens actually showed effort against the Jaguars on Sunday. It also would've been great if Justin Tucker had hit both field goals he missed to preserve the cover, since I had Baltimore in my shared entry with Matvei (Debaclators) in the LVH SuperContest. Tucker can hit the game-winning kicks, but the spread-covering kicks mean so much more.
Fortunately for the Ravens, they close out against Thad Lewis and Johnny Arena Football, so they'll be 11-5 heading into the postseason.
Detroit Lions (10-4) - Previously: #9 - The Lions were going to lose to the Vikings before Teddy Bridgewater gave them two gift interceptions despite being up 14-0. It would've been a classic Lions loss, as they've never been able to handle success under Matthew Stafford, but they somehow found a way to prevail and, for the time being, move into first place of Jim Irsay's NFC South.
Dallas Cowboys (10-4) - Previously: #12 - Speaking of teams that broke out of their bad habits, the Cowboys were able to pull through despite inexplicably blowing a 21-0 lead. Handling business at home, where they've been very mediocre, could be difficult, however.
In the meantime, Dallas fans will enjoy this:
Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) - Previously: #8 - If the loss wasn't bad enough, Philly fans were irate when they saw Chris Christie sitting in the box with Jerry Jones. That's why this tweet was the best thing I saw during the Eagles-Cowboys game:
Chris Christie could cover dudes better than Fletcher, he'd at least eat them at the line of scrimmage
Sad thing is, this tweet was 100-percent accurate.
Let's play "Why is Team X Not in the Top 10 Rabble Rabble Rabble!"
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals were a questionable top-10 team with Drew Stanton. They certainly don't belong up here with Logan Lindley. Poor Bruce Arians.
Cincinnati Bengals: Another horrible, late-season game from Andy Dalton. The Bengals will once again be one-and-done, assuming they even get into the playoffs. I don't see Dalton beating the Broncos, and the Pittsburgh game will be tough, so a 9-6-1 finish is highly possible.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 16 - Bottom 10
32. Tennessee Titans (2-12) - Previously: #32 - The stupid Titans couldn't even cover as 3.5-point home dogs against Geno Smith. Ken Whisenhunt just might be the worst coach in NFL history.
Speaking of coaches, it's time for the Andy Reid meme of the week!
Last week: More on the Denver-Kansas City game: Andy should have utilized this strategy against the Broncos:
This week: Andy feels pretty damn good about beating the lowly Raiders, so he decided to celebrate with a nice, long shower:
31. Oakland Raiders (2-11) - Previously: #31 - Last week, I posted the following picture, showcasing why the NFL has canceled preseason games between the Raiders and 49ers:
I speculated on what prompted that, but e-mailer Joe B. sent this over:
Look closely at the picture on your power rankings page. What is in the Raider fan's hand? Are those his tickets? I'm guessing this is how that fight started:
- Hey I've got some extra Raiders tickets. Do you want them? They're free.
- F*ck you I'm gonna fight you now!
The Raider fan should have defended himself with the Cable Uppercut.
I'm so ashamed of myself that I forgot to mention the legendary Cable Uppercut. Remember to hold the down button for three seconds and then hit up and X at the same time to use the Cable Uppercut.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) - Previously: #30 - My LVH Supercontest partner Matvei sent over this hilarious text recently:
The only Jag who shows up every week is their mascot, this guy is the best.
So true. He's their only valuable asset, so David Caldwell should consider trading him for a first-round pick, which he can then squander.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12) - Previously: #27 - Tampa fans will enjoy this:
I've vacationed in Tampa the past two summers, and believe me, that's actually there!
28. Washington Redskins (3-11) - Previously: #28 - I find it ridiculous that Jay Gruden didn't even know that Santana Moss was ejected in Sunday's game until a sideline reporter told him. He's so utterly clueless.
I expect Daniel Snyder to fire Gruden during the offseason. Unfortunately, he can't do it now because he's too busy feeding grapes to Robert Griffin this week.
27. New York Jets (3-11) - Previously: #29 - I found this amusing:
26. Chicago Bears (5-9) - Previously: #26 - Here's my NFL Game Recaps page where you can find analysis of the Saints-Bears game.
25. New Orleans Saints (6-8) - Previously: #24 - Is it a coincidence that Cam Newton got into a car accident just days after playing the Saints? Hmm...
That's taking Bountygate to a whole other level!
24. Cleveland Browns (7-7) - Previously: #19 - Johnny Manziel looked like the worst quarterback of all time in Sunday's loss. Here's a prime example of one of the many things that went wrong:
I just had to talk to him about it. Here's the transcript:
Me: Hey Johnny, thanks for agreeing to the interview.
Manziel: No worries, Walt. You've called me Johnny Doucheball and Johnny Arena Football before, but it's an honor to speak with you!
Manziel: Yeah, but only because every single call I make goes straight to voicemail. Like, I'll try LeBron right now. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing... voicemail. Hey, LeBron, it's Johnny for the 12th time today. Did you want to go to the club tonight? I have some tickets to that club tonight, you know, the one with the McDonald's sandwiches where I was a member before you were? Let's go there. Give me a call, OK bro!?
Me: Who else won't answer you?
Manziel: Everyone! Let's try my next-coolest friend. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing... Hey Ted Danson, it's Johnny Football! You know that part you promised me on CSI: Little Rock, Arkansas? Well, now that my team's not going to the playoffs, I can be a guest star in January! I know this is the eighth time I called you today, but call me back, bro!
Me: That sucks they're all ignoring you. Do you think it's because of yesterday's performance?
Manziel: No one's ignoring me! Everyone's phone just happens to be off at the same time! I'll try my next-coolest friend, Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing... WTF, voicemail! Lisa Turtle, it's Johnny. LeBron and I might be clubbing it up tonight, so bring all your friends tonight! We're going to have a party!
Me: I dunno, Johnny. Seems like more than a coincidence that everyone's phone is off. Speaking of phones, I have to try my girlfriend again. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing... Voicemail for the fifth time! Hey babe, what are we doing for dinner tonight? We're still having dinner, right? Sorry for losing $880 on the Browns again. Call me back, xoxo.
Manziel: Let me try Macaulay Culkin. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing.. voicemail, ugh. Hey Mac, it's Johnny! We doing drugs tonight? Call me back!
Me: Maybe I can get my sister to reach my girlfriend. Dialing... dialing... ringing... ringing... voicemail for the third time! Hey, it's Walt. I know I lost a lot on Johnny Doucheball, but no one will talk to me!
Manziel: Hey... uhh... Walt, I was considering asking you to hang out with me, but you did lose $880 betting on me...
Me: And it did seem cool to talk to you, but you didn't look like you belonged in the NFL...
Manziel: Hmm... yeah, I'll keep in touch...
Me: OK... I'll give you a call too...
23. Atlanta Falcons (5-9) - Previously: #22 - I'm highly disappointed that I didn't get much power rankings-related hate mail this week. Come on, Bengal-fan trolls, step it up!
There was one:
Cards @14? Loool ;o)
Yeah that offense with Drew Stanton (and now Ryan Lindley) is going to go so far!
Don't worry though; there's going to be a ton of hate mail in my NFL Picks page this week. Here's a preview:
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers (8-6). Previously: #6
12. Arizona Cardinals (11-3). Previously: #14
13. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6). Previously: #15
14. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1). Previously: #16
15. Miami Dolphins (7-7). Previously: #10
16. Buffalo Bills (8-6). Previously: #17
17. St. Louis Rams (6-8). Previously: #13
18. Minnesota Vikings (6-8). Previously: #20
19. San Francisco 49ers (7-7). Previously: #21
20. New York Giants (5-9). Previously: #25
21. Carolina Panthers (5-8-1). Previously: #23
22. Houston Texans (7-7). Previously: #18
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: