Oct. 30, 2018
Totally Biased Power Rankings: Week 15
Before I get into the rankings, I have a few thoughts. First of all, this was one of the more difficult weeks because practically every team in the Top 5 lost (Philly won, but lost in other ways) while the middle of the pack (13-23) was full of crap performances as well. Second of all, and I can't stress this enough, is how much it must suck to be an Eagles fan right now. As someone who once dated an Eagles fan, who is close still with her Eagles loving family, I feel the disappointment by proxy (because I was hoping they'd finally win a Super Bowl). Heartbreaking.
1. Minnesota Vikings (10-3, LW 1): So how does a team lose and stay in 1st? Because losing to the Panthers in Charlotte by one possession is less embarrassing than other losses this week. With the Eagles practically done without Wentz, the Vikes have the inside track to homefield throughout now.
2. LA Rams (9-4, LW 4): They wouldn't be here if Carson Wentz didn't get injured, but considering they showed they are on the same level of those Eagles (as opposed to the ones now) they slide in at number 2 despite the loss.
3. New Orleans Saints (9-4, LW 5): Like the other two, despite the loss (on TNF in Atlanta) the Saints move up because a certain other team looked terrible and everyone else in the Top 5 lost. They still own the South, but just barely. The last 3 games are huuuge for the whole division (not the Bucs, sorry).
4. Atlanta Falcons (8-5, LW 7): A huge win for the Falcons, who needed it to stay in contention for both the wild card and the division. But I can't help but wonder if they're going to miss the playoffs because there are simply too many good NFC teams this year.
5. New England Patriots (10-3, LW 2): The Pats got straight up owned by the Dolphins in Miami, which seems to happen every year. Aside from one drive where Miami played prevent defense and the one drive where they were the beneficiaries of a bs PI call (surprise), the Pats couldn't move the ball to save their life. Also, Brady looked old and slow, and missed a lot of throws. Kinda like how he looks around this time every year, yet no one seems to notice...
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2, LW 6): As I've made it clear by now (I hope), I don't trust the Steelers, no matter who they beat and by how much. Let's put it this way, if they beat the Pats next week, I'll rocket it them to either #1 or #2 (probably), but until they can get over that hump I can't trust they are as good as advertised.
7. Carolina Panthers (9-4, LW 9): That was a pretty big win over the Vikings this week, and while I would like to move Carolina higher, I won't. Getting swept by the Saints doesn't sit well with me, nor does that horrible loss to the Bears. Still, they're playing good football at the right time.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4, LW 10): Jacksonville secures their first winning season since the days of the Roman Empire, and at the same time, proves they are legit. Of course this win would have been more impressive on the road, but it is still impressive nonetheless. This team reminds me of the early 2000s Ravens and Bucs. Minimal QB play, strong run game, elite defense. Not a bad formula.
9. LA Chargers (7-6, LW 12): The Chargers claw their way into the Top 10 for the first time this season by destroying Washington. If they can keep this train going, they will be the cliched team no one wants to play in the playoffs. And why would you?
10. Seattle Seahawks (8-5, LW 8): I haven't looked at the playoff standings, but one more loss may be too much to overcome in the NFC this year. The Seahawks were straight up outplayed by the Jags, but some of Wilson's INTs were nothing more than punts. Huge game against the Rams this coming week which may decide the fate of the NFC West, as well as the fate of the playoffs.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (11-2, LW 3): Look, I shouldn't have to explain this drop after a loss, but the Eagles are now the 2016 Oakland Raiders. A great season, a late QB injury, and now they are a lame duck playoff team. It's kind of a shame, too, because there are so many good NFC teams that could replace the Eagles and make the playoffs more exciting. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong and Nick Foles will blow the doors off the Linc like he did during the Chip Kelly years.
12. Baltimore Ravens (7-6, LW 11): A one spot drop for a one point loss. Jimmy Smith's loss hurts and it was obvious with Big Ben throwing 66 times for over 500 yards. That's just insane. Luckily for Baltimore, they have the Browns, Colts, and Bengals left, which means even if Kizer, Brissett, and Dalton throw 66 times a game they probably still won't lose.
13. Detroit Lions (7-6, LW 17): Though they beat lowly Tampa Bay, they get a big jump because so many other teams in front of them lost to terrible teams. The Lions have an outside shot at the playoffs, but they need some help.
14. Dallas Cowboys (7-6, LW 21): Despite how bad the Cowboys looked the first few weeks without Zeke, they have looked pretty damn good the last two weeks. Of course, they have played the mediocre Redskins and the god awful Giants. That probably helps. But like the Lions, they still have an outside chance at the playoffs, and Zeke comes back in a few weeks.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6, LW 22): KC makes a big jump for two reasons: a lot of teams ahead of them lost, and they still have the potential to be really good. It appears the offense is heading in the right direction again, which they will need with this week's super important game against the Chargers which could decide the AFC West division winner.
16. Green Bay Packers (7-6, LW 19): A part of me wants to move them higher since Rodgers is coming back this week, but I don't know how rusty he'll be after missing a few months. Also, to be fair, they should have lost to the Browns. But, ya know, Cleveland is going to Cleveland.
17. Miami Dolphins (6-7, LW 24): Two straight weeks, two straight dominate performances. Despite the 27-20 final score, Miami was in control from start to finish. If it wasn't for a bs pass interference in the first half, or a dropped TD bomb in the 4th, this game would have been 34-13. What's concerning, though, is how Miami refused to run the ball with a 10 point lead in the 4th. For as brilliant as Gase and Cutler can be at times, they are sometimes equally stupid.
18. Buffalo Bills (7-6, LW 20): The Bills won the Snow Bowl in OT, needing two backup QBs, against a team who plays indoors. I think that's really all I should have to say. They have two huge divisional games against Miami coming up, which will determine who gets a wildcard and who stays home in January.
19. Tennessee Titans (8-5, LW 13): I think Tennessee, despite the record, is a fraud, and I think most people agree with me. The Cardinals game just kind of proves it.
20. Arizona Cardinals (6-7, LW 23): As bad as Arizona has looked at times this year, it astounds me that they still have a shot at a winning season. I would move them higher than Tennessee, but the Titans do have a better record. That's the only reason.
21. Oakland Raiders (6-7, LW 15): A big drop, but they also lost pretty badly to a divisional foe. In all honesty, I think they should can Jack Del Rio. This has the stink of the job he did in Jacksonville, where he was at the helm of a really good team for a few years before it bottomed out into a decade of trash.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8, LW 16): It's clear the Bengals gave up after losing in primetime to the Steelers. How else do you explain losing that bad to such a terrible team?
23. New York Jets (5-8, LW 14): With McCown done for the year with a broken hand, we're about to see the Jets team we thought we were getting at the beginning of the year. Expect 5-11.
24. Washington Redskins (5-8, LW 18): Kirk Cousins had a bad game, which is fair, because the Chargers defense is full of badass dudes. But like so many teams with above average QBs who take top dollar, when the QB struggles the team struggles because there's no one to pick up the slack.
25. San Francisco 49ers (3-10, LW 28): Look, I know people are all amped about the undefeated Jimmy G, and I'm all for excitement and hope, but he's beaten the Bears and the Texans. It would be one thing if it was the Vikings and Rams. But it isn't, so calm the hell down.
26. Chicago Bears (4-9, LW 29): Maybe they were playing for their coach? The hell if I know, but in previous weeks the Bears looked to be hibernating early, and this past week they went out and mauled the Bengals. Good win? For the skipper?
27. Houston Texans (4-9, LW 25): There's really not much to say here. They've been lost for months now. On to 2018.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9, LW 26): Another week, another loss. At least it was to an elite QB and not a backup.
29. Indianapolis Colts (3-10, LW 27): The only thing I can say is Pagano should be fired, and Frank Gore should keep getting fed. Let's see how close we can get him to the all-time rushing leader list.
30. Denver Broncos (4-9, LW 32): I begrudgingly have to move them out of last place with a shutout over the Jets. Vance Joseph should still be fired though.
31. New York Giants (2-11, LW 30): It was nice Eli got the standing ovation at the beginning of the game, but I still hate what they did to him. Was it really necessary to break his streak to start Geno Smith? I would put them in last place, but the damn Browns keep finding ways to lose.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-13, LW 31): YOU HAD THEM CLEVELAND. YOU HAD THE GAME AND YOU LOST IT. Oh well. They still have the Bears left. So maybe 0-16 isn't inevitable (though methinks it is).