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NFL 2017-2018 Season Discussion

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1 hour ago, Maynard_G_Krebs said:


I appreciate this stats babble from you, good sir, but I have watched these win probability tools grow and drop at a rate beyond reasonable. Any given game analysis looks like a lie detector test result.

 That's because it's giving a probability at any given pt in time.

 

I like looking at it to see the ebb a flow of the game beyond just looking at the final score. And to put our best data driven guess at quantifying to how unlikely a comeback was. 

 

Does ESPN let you toggle on and off the pre-game estimate. I dont remember. 

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19 hours ago, Maynard_G_Krebs said:

 

Frank Gore, my long-standing nominee for most underrated player in NFL history!

 

You specifically were the person I was thinking of when I made that post :)

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On 10/15/2017 at 2:20 PM, Maynard_G_Krebs said:

Welp, there goes Green Bay's season. Rodgers out for the year.

 

We all know Aaron Rodgers is amazing. He is the true g.o.a.t, with T Brade being a moderately close second. 

That said, there is still plenty of precedence for the Packers to make a run. 

 

     12 reasons Green Majik believes the Packers' season is not over without number 12:

 

1)   I'm typing this at a coffee shop, and Phil Collin's "In the Air Tonight" is playing on coffee shop fm. Could an amazing Rodgerless run be "In the Ware Tonight" for the Pack? 

2)   I'm a homer (apparently with a huge Patriots complex, like most Packer fans), so I believe the Pack can always find a way to win. 

3)   The Packers lost a winnable game last week against the Vikings, whose defense was beastly against Brett Hundley. With a week to game plan, Hundley and coach McCarthy will be                 ready for the Vikes next time at Lambeau. 

4)   This is back-up QB Hundley's third year in Mike McCarthy's offense. He was built for this moment -- not to take over the franchise, but to carry the team if Rodgers went down.  

5)   Crissakes, back-up QB Hundley's first name is "Brett." 

6)   As several of you have mentioned in this forum, this has been a topsy-turvy year in the NFL already. The only thing that seems definite is that the Chiefs are fierce, #Okoye. Would the               Packers making a deep run really be out of the norm for this crazy season, in which the BILLS could legitimately break their 17-year playoff drought? 

7)   The Packers are 4-2 and no one looks like they want to run away with the NFC north, which is precisely what the Packers were looking to do before Rodgers went down. It's a wide open race, fellas. Once you're in the playoffs, it's a brand new season. Especially if they get the division and that home playoff game, they could make a deep run. 

8)   For now, the Packers WR core is healthy in Adams, Cobb and ~Nelson. There are points to be scored. 

9)   Coach McCarthy's 2016 campaign -- last year the Pack ripped off ten straight wins to the NFC championship. A LOT of that had to do with Rodgers' greatness, but credit is also due to           McCarthy and other coaches for helping the team bounce back from that 4-6 deficit. 

10)   Packers 2013 campaign - The Packers win the division despite needing four quarterbacks to do it. Rodgers gets hurt in a week 10 match-up vs. the Bears early in the game. Their back-up, Seneca Wallace, is injured the next game. After their third stringer Scott Tolzein is benched mid-game in wk 12, Matt Flynn (who started the season on the Raiders) keeps the season alive so Rodgers can steal the division from the Bears in wk 17. 

11)   Guys named Kaepernick, Brady, Hostetler -- supported by that ferocious Niners defense, in week 12 of 2012 Harbaugh goes with his back-up QB even with Alex Smith healthy. Kaep almost wins the Super Bowl. Brett Hundley is not Tom Brady, but T Brade, like Kaep, was promoted over the natural starter Drew Bledsoe in week 11 in 2001. And won the Super Bowl. You know who else won the Super Bowl: Tecmo Giants natural back-up Jeff Hostetler. Supported by that ferocious 1990 Giants defense, Host helped lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXV.

12)   A guy named Flynn, again, in 2011 -- Sitting at 14-1 with the no. 1 seed clinched, the Packers rest Rodgers and several key starters in week 17 against the Lions. The Lions have the #5 seed to gain -- meaning they would be at the 9-7 Giants in the playoffs instead of the 13-3 Saints. Stafford played an incredible game, but back-up Flynn passes for 480 yd and 6 TD, and made hay in the offseason because of it. Hundley wants to make hay, too, and will be motivated to put good film for the league to see. 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Green Majik said:

 

We all know Aaron Rodgers is amazing. He is the true g.o.a.t, with T Brade being a moderately close second. 

That said, there is still plenty of precedence for the Packers to make a run. 

 

     12 reasons Green Majik believes the Packers' season is not over without number 12:

 

1)   I'm typing this at a coffee shop, and Phil Collin's "In the Air Tonight" is playing on coffee shop fm. Could an amazing Rodgerless run be "In the Ware Tonight" for the Pack? 

2)   I'm a homer (apparently with a huge Patriots complex, like most Packer fans), so I believe the Pack can always find a way to win. 

3)   The Packers lost a winnable game last week against the Vikings, whose defense was beastly against Brett Hundley. With a week to game plan, Hundley and coach McCarthy will be                 ready for the Vikes next time at Lambeau. 

4)   This is back-up QB Hundley's third year in Mike McCarthy's offense. He was built for this moment -- not to take over the franchise, but to carry the team if Rodgers went down.  

5)   Crissakes, back-up QB Hundley's first name is "Brett." 

6)   As several of you have mentioned in this forum, this has been a topsy-turvy year in the NFL already. The only thing that seems definite is that the Chiefs are fierce, #Okoye. Would the               Packers making a deep run really be out of the norm for this crazy season, in which the BILLS could legitimately break their 17-year playoff drought? 

7)   The Packers are 4-2 and no one looks like they want to run away with the NFC north, which is precisely what the Packers were looking to do before Rodgers went down. It's a wide open race, fellas. Once you're in the playoffs, it's a brand new season. Especially if they get the division and that home playoff game, they could make a deep run. 

8)   For now, the Packers WR core is healthy in Adams, Cobb and ~Nelson. There are points to be scored. 

9)   Coach McCarthy's 2016 campaign -- last year the Pack ripped off ten straight wins to the NFC championship. A LOT of that had to do with Rodgers' greatness, but credit is also due to           McCarthy and other coaches for helping the team bounce back from that 4-6 deficit. 

10)   Packers 2013 campaign - The Packers win the division despite needing four quarterbacks to do it. Rodgers gets hurt in a week 10 match-up vs. the Bears early in the game. Their back-up, Seneca Wallace, is injured the next game. After their third stringer Scott Tolzein is benched mid-game in wk 12, Matt Flynn (who started the season on the Raiders) keeps the season alive so Rodgers can steal the division from the Bears in wk 17. 

11)   Guys named Kaepernick, Brady, Hostetler -- supported by that ferocious Niners defense, in week 12 of 2012 Harbaugh goes with his back-up QB even with Alex Smith healthy. Kaep almost wins the Super Bowl. Brett Hundley is not Tom Brady, but T Brade, like Kaep, was promoted over the natural starter Drew Bledsoe in week 11 in 2001. And won the Super Bowl. You know who else won the Super Bowl: Tecmo Giants natural back-up Jeff Hostetler. Supported by that ferocious 1990 Giants defense, Host helped lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXV.

12)   A guy named Flynn, again, in 2011 -- Sitting at 14-1 with the no. 1 seed clinched, the Packers rest Rodgers and several key starters in week 17 against the Lions. The Lions have the #5 seed to gain -- meaning they would be at the 9-7 Giants in the playoffs instead of the 13-3 Saints. Stafford played an incredible game, but back-up Flynn passes for 480 yd and 6 TD, and made hay in the offseason because of it. Hundley wants to make hay, too, and will be motivated to put good film for the league to see. 

 

 

 

I fully support you in these delusions, as the adverse realities would lead to a very long and saddening season of games. :D

 

Let's hope Packers management doesn't try to push Rodgers back too soon, effectively Tony-Romo'ing him for the remainder of his career.

Edited by Maynard_G_Krebs

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On 10/18/2017 at 1:41 PM, gojiphen malor said:

Just SIM'd week 7 for my FB posts.

thought this might interest you @Green Majik

Goji's BASE ROM NO HACKS-58.png

 

So you're telling me there's a chance!

Drew Brees is hot right now. Packers 'D' needs turnovers BIG TIME in this one. Two picks sounds like a great place to start :) 

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The previously 2-4 Raiders just beat the widely #1 ranked Kansas City Chiefs. Leading everyone to suspect what should be common knowledge to anyone paying attention to the NFL for at least the last 5 years: the Chiefs are never #1. 

 

I am glad that first half of season warm-up games provide overachieving teams an outlet, and long-yearning fans something to hang their hats on before the enevitable drop off to reality.

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It's a Divisional game; in Oakland; 0-4 - in their previous 4 - Raiders were hungrier than GIANTS.  Don't even sweat it (your endless pompous rhetoric), Krebs.

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On 10/6/2017 at 5:59 PM, Bolt said:

This is why I love James Jones {an da hoodie}:

 

on 'NFL Players Only' (nfl network) just-now he

named "J-E-T- Jets! Jets! Jets!" his Biggest

Surprise team (so far),

AND

Todd Bowles his Coach O da Year prediction

 

 

4b44ddebd265cf9236b56c37b8a5ac3d--green-

 

J.J. bringin' it!

 

95a0cc64ef60dcdba4c6ddf717e7dc14

 

{^ This is from the latest 'NFL Players Only' - THIS Friday - after Heath showed him the above 2-Weeks-ago post}

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I hear A LOT of talk about Adrian Peterson and his BIGGG comeback.  Yes, he's a beast, yes, he's a bad a$$, yes, he's still "one of the" best backs in the league,......BUT.......I want people to really pay attention Sunday morning at around 10:00am when he goes up against "THE BEST" Tailback, if not the best player in the league... {Todd Gurley}.  He's gonna single handedly disassemble the PHX defense and put up major PTPN (Peterson Torch Passing Numbers) on his very challenging seemingly everlasting vision quest to becoming the 2017 NFL M.V.P.....................oh it's true...........IT'S DAMN TRUE!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

                                                                                         (Frodo Baggins with Todd Gurley's head insert here)

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On 10/21/2017 at 1:30 PM, ~Tailback King~ said:

I hear A LOT of talk about Adrian Peterson and his BIGGG comeback.  Yes, he's a beast, yes, he's a bad a$$, yes, he's still "one of the" best backs in the league,......BUT.......I want people to really pay attention Sunday morning at around 10:00am when he goes up against "THE BEST" Tailback, if not the best player in the league... {Todd Gurley}.  He's gonna single handedly disassemble the PHX defense and put up major PTPN (Peterson Torch Passing Numbers) on his very challenging seemingly everlasting vision quest to becoming the 2017 NFL M.V.P.....................oh it's true...........IT'S DAMN TRUE!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

                                                                                         (Frodo Baggins with Todd Gurley's head insert here)

 

Pocky Translation: Peterson is good, Gurley is better.

 

TBK was right today. 

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I was wrong, to have missed the {yahoo-Pickem} cutoff to change my PHX-pick to LAR (but, did the same thing with the Bears; so that's a wash).

 

 

Something I just-noticed with the Dolphins:

 

They have 10 total TDs - on the year - FOR LOWEST IN THE LEAGUE, and yet carry a 4-2 record / 3-game Win-streak

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2 hours ago, buck said:

Watching the patriots last night I realized one of my life's regrets is never getting to see the hoodie and the goat live in person.

 

You still have 3-4 more years to make that a reality!

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Funny story about yesterday (actually not funny in the least, but I'll share anyways...).

Sunday morning I woke up at 3:30am for no apparent reason and couldn't get back to sleep.  Went downstairs and started flipping through channels to see what was on TV.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the NFL Network was replaying the Pats/Falcons Super Bowl in it's entirety from 4-7am.  So I made some coffee and spent my morning re-watching it.  Wife and kids started waking up on queue at 7am.  The only downside was that I was toast by 9pm last night, crashed mid-1st quarter and basically saw none of the game (which now makes 4 in a row).  Cool story, Bodom.

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4 hours ago, Bodom said:

Funny story about yesterday (actually not funny in the least, but I'll share anyways...).

Sunday morning I woke up at 3:30am for no apparent reason and couldn't get back to sleep.  Went downstairs and started flipping through channels to see what was on TV.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the NFL Network was replaying the Pats/Falcons Super Bowl in it's entirety from 4-7am.  So I made some coffee and spent my morning re-watching it.  Wife and kids started waking up on queue at 7am.  The only downside was that I was toast by 9pm last night, crashed mid-1st quarter and basically saw none of the game (which now makes 4 in a row).  Cool story, Bodom.

 

Alternatively you could have ended with "then i found $20."

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NFL Power Rankings.  And now that I completely revamped my power rankings heading into Week 7, I finally flourished for the first time in several weeks in my weekly pick-em's.

 

32.  Cleveland Browns (0-7):  I'm just going to merge this choice with my number 31 pick since I will basically be repeating myself twice if I don't do so.  On the bright side, the Browns came so close to winning their first game against a fairly respectable, albeit frustratingly pedestrian Titans squad at home.

 

31.  San Francisco 49ers (0-7):  You know, following last season, we were all at least expecting your squad to at least be an improvement over last season's.  Not worse.  You're not supposed to digress from 1 and 2-win seasons the year before.  Alas, this is pretty much what we are going to expect from now on since neither squad has any semblance of talent whatsoever.  That's what you get when you're the squad that starts the National Anthem Protests going on recently.  Or in the Browns case, simply being the Browns.

 

30.  New York Giants (1-6):  Maybe if the Giants actually pulled away with the upset at home against the Seahawks, I'd at least respect the squad for coming into Denver and pulling away with a huge upset.  But alas, one must be reminded that the Giants have been utterly gutted on the offensive side of the ball, and Eli Manning isn't exactly a GOAT when it comes to football, unless it's playing the GOAT in a Super Bowl.  Unfortunately, these two teams do not play each other at all this season.  They at least get the 49ers this season.

 

29.  Indianapolis Colts (2-5):  This weekend against a Jaguars player not playing with their star running back is proof positive that the Colts really do not stand a chance against football teams with a win in the win column.  Translation, they've beaten the Browns and 49ers.  There are literally no winless teams remaining on the Colts schedule.  So unless Andrew Luck comes back, or the Colts catch a division rival sleeping on them, I'd say their last remaining win on the schedule would probably be against, mmm.....the Broncos.  Translation:  They're looking more and more like a 3-13 win team by season's end.

 

28.  Arizona Cardinals (3-4):  Okay, the blowout loss to the Rams may have been somewhat foreseen, but nobody expected this team to fail to reach the end zone a single time.  The main reason the Cardinals are even ranked this low is the devastating loss of Carson Palmer.  Say what you will about Carson Palmer as a QB, but it's highly doubtful that Drew Stanton will be much of a substitute.  So unless Adrien Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, and their defense can somehow carry this team on their shoulders, it's hard to picture that many wins left on their schedule.  But considering the wildly unpredictable nature of the NFL this season, I'd say this team leans closer to longshot than trash in the can.

 

27.  New York Jets (3-4):  You allowed Matt Moore to rally the Dolphins to victory after Jay Cutler got hurt!  Sorry, but Week's 3-6 Jets team was one that I never really took seriously as a football team.  If I have to make a guess, the Jets are going to be one of those NFL teams that will ultimately cash in on teams that are having a tough time getting their act together, or a team that downright sucks.  They've beaten the Dolphins who have yet to discover their identity; a Jaguars squad that just got back from London; and the fucking Browns.  They're not a good football team at all; they're just overachieving.  As a dark horse, I'm anticipating graduation from crap to mediocrity sometime this season.

 

26.  Cincinnati Bengals (2-4):  Boy that bye week sure did come in and kill whatever momentum they may have had heading into Pittsburgh.  Now they're back to the reality where the Bungles are nothing short of a shell of what they once were, and are struggling mightily against football teams that actually are capable of putting up a fight.  At least they get the Broncos, Browns and Colts later on this season.  Because they are otherwise not going anywhere this season.

 

25.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4):  This was a fairly difficult team to gauge, though given the hole they have dug themselves into, the Bucs by all accounts probably needed to come in and beat the Bills, a football team I still cannot put too much stock in yet.  Perhaps what is going to sting the most was how Hurricane Irma will ultimately derail this team down the road because they have to play the whole season without taking a break.  I predict some changes in the front office in the foreseeable future.  I don't really trust the Bucs to get it together anytime soon.

 

24.  Baltimore Ravens (3-4):  Everybody has aged horribly, Joe Flacco is mediocre, and there is next to no play makers remaining from their dominant 2008-2012 playoff runs.  Overall, I'm predicting a Ravens squad that will remain stuck in mediocrity for yet another season.

 

23.  Denver Broncos (3-3):   ..................................All I got to say is, they have the potential to look way, way worse down the road.  Especially given the teams they have left on their schedule; the Chiefs twice, the Raiders again, the Colts, Bungles, Eagles, Redskins, and Patriots.  5 or 6 wins seem to be the best-case scenario.  And just like the Ravens, it's gonna be yet another looooooong wait for relevancy.  And there's no telling whether or not there will be an NFL franchise by the time we can be considered contenders again.

 

22.  Green Bay Packers (4-3):  A very weird place for this Packers squad.  The upside is, the 4-win cushion established by Aaron Rodgers allows them to at least be considered a playoff dark horse.  The downside is, they still need to win games.  Because it's highly doubtful the Packers can possibly compete with the likes of the Lions or the Vikings for the division, and they still need to compete with a wild, wild, Wild Card spot alongside several other football teams, such as the Panthers, Seahawks, Falcons, and maybe the Redskins and Cowboys.  This team could just as easily find themselves a bottom-feeder quick unless everybody plays their part to the fullest.  Because there is simply no replacing Aaron Rodgers.

 

21.  LA Chargers (3-4):  And now the Chargers are back in the thick of things as far as playoff contention is concern.  They're still a dark horse; they still need to compete with the Chiefs and Raiders.  At least they got a win in against the latter though.  Plus, they still get the Browns and Jets.  We all know this team could have just as easily be 5-2 by this point in time.  But now, it's still hard to envision a playoff spot for a squad that's still digging their way out of a 0-4 hole.  With any luck, the Chargers may ultimately climb out of the basement in the foreseeable future.  That's a good thing, because Phillip Rivers has never played in a Super Bowl in his entire career.

 

20.  Miami Dolphins (4-2):  Truth be told, it's hard to make a debate as to whether or not the injury to Jay Cutler to make way for Matt Moore means the Dolphins should jump far ahead or not.  That's a question that remains to be answered at this point.  Still, considering their past couple of comeback attempts, they have the capacity to beat just about anybody left on their roster.  But for now, it's hard to pick them as anything but a dark horse.  Especially since, like the Bucs, they have to go an entire 16-week stretch without a break, and unless they go the rest of the season undefeated, it's hard to imagine them getting a week's break at all.  But for now, they actually look pretty good.

 

19.  Oakland Raiders (3-4):  They get a pretty big boost after their upset win against the Chiefs on Thursday Night.  I'm not terribly sure if they have found their groove again or not, because they're still digging their way out of a 4-game losing streak.  I can at least make the claim that Derek Carr is at least healthy enough to make the Raiders relevant again, but they're gonna need to steal some wins against some pretty darn good teams in order to turn their season around.  They still need to play the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles, and Cowboys this season.  They clean up their division the rest of the way, and then beat the Giants, the remaining teams will at least give the Raiders a realistic shot at the playoffs (I can see this team finishing anywhere from 4-12 to 12-4, so it's quite a wild range to foresee).

 

18.  Chicago Bears (3-4):  The Bears offense still looks like it needs work, but ever since Trubisky was named the Starter, the Bears running game and defense has been clicking on all cylinders.  They also get the remaining teams of the  AFC North, NFC South, and San Francisco 49ers, as well as a Packers team without their star QB.  I may consider them a dark horse now, but maybe they've found their way and they might actually be pretty good?  Even if they're not all that great, an easy remaining schedule that only has three more difficult matchups left in their schedule (Vikings, Eagles, and Saints) could still very well give them a chance.  At least they're competitive now.

 

17.  Atlanta Falcons (3-3):  And you get blown out by the Patriots in Foxborough during the Super Bowl rematch that is surprisingly lifeless for a squad looking to make amends for that collapse.  At least the Panthers and Broncos were competitive in defeat and the Seahawks actually avenged their Super Bowl loss.  And given that the Patriots were barely 1-2 at home heading into this week and the Patriots had a notoriously bad defense, it's actually pathetic that they made no attempt to actually try and win that game.  Eh, to be fair, they got what was coming to them anyways.  You're heading back to mediocrity, Falcon Nation!  So much for "Rise Up!"  Insert Erik Cartman laughter scene.  "RISE ABOVE IT!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

 

16.  Dallas Cowboys (3-3):  Okay, if you want to know why I dropped the Cowboys spectacularly low last week, that's because of Ezekiel Elliot's suspension being withheld.  And then he was reinstated shortly after I made that power ranking.  And it appears that Elliot will remain on the roster for yet another week.  Because with Zeke, they are at least going to remain a contender.  Without him, well, that's gonna make them a longshot without an appropriate cushion to lean on.  Still, the Cowboys best represent the state of the NFL landscape nowadays, well, outside the protesting; utter chaos and unpredictability.  So...how about dead center of mediocrity, but with the best shot at making some noise until the suspension is inevitably reinstated.

 

15.  Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3):  Yeah, you thought I was going to move the Jaguars to the top ten or close to it by now?  Because they blew out and shut out the Colts?  For all I know, the Jaguars will just sit back down on their thumb next week and beat themselves....no, wait!  It's their bye week.  Well, on the bright side, maybe they'll find a way to win back-to-back games, and finally settle in for a groove.  It's pretty clear Doug Marrone is the best head coach in this division.  They just need a quarterback that can play consistently.

 

14.  Tennessee Titans (4-3):  It's hard to take them seriously when they do everything in their power to throw the game away to the Browns of all teams.  They may have won, but they really need to do something about those pitiful dropped catches.  The Titans looked awful and unconvincing in victory.  They only rate higher than the Jaguars because while the Jaguars are chaos incarnate in the NFL, the Titans at least have the current tie-breaker over them....and it was played in Jacksonville too, no less.  Speaking of Jacksonville, the Titans also have the bye this week.  Unfortunately, their remaining schedule isn't exactly going to be peachy; other than rematches against each of their division rivals, the Titans also play the Bungles, Ravens, Steelers, Rams, Cardinals, and 49ers.  I'd say, wait and see for the time being.

 

13.  Washington Redskins (3-3):  They played admirably for a while, but it was pretty clear that they simply didn't stand a chance against the Eagles.  The Redskins notably have it very weird the rest of the way, although two games against the Cowboys and Giants apiece may help matters much.  As well as matchups against the Cardinals, Seahawks, Chargers, and Broncos to look forward to.  Their 3 wins were against the Rams, Raiders, and 49ers.  Their three losses, on the other hand, were against the Eagles twice and the Chiefs, two of the best teams in the league at this point in time.  All things considered, I think they are a contender for a playoff spot at this point in time.

 

12.  Detroit Lions (3-3):  The Lions had the bye this week.  So they remain as they are.  Be as it may, with the sudden resuscitation of the lowly Bears, the elite Vikings defense, as well as the Steelers, they are gonna have to fight through some competitive games.  If they truly are hungry enough to make a serious run for a Super Bowl, they're gonna have to prove it next week starting with an important matchup with the Steelers.

 

11.  Buffalo Bills (4-2):  Of all the NFL teams rated lower on the list the previous week, I'd say the Bills are the most deserving to have their rank increased.  Mainly because they only have two losses on their schedule so far this season, and because with the struggles of a great many AFC teams this year, the Bills finally have a clear cut path to the playoffs.  They still have two matches against the Patriots, two against the Dolphins, one more against the Jets, the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Colts, and Saints left on their schedule.  Even if they lose out against the Patriots, Chiefs and Saints, they still have a clear road to the playoffs if they beat win out against the rest of the AFC.  Especially against teams like the Chargers, Raiders and Dolphins, which could prove to be most invaluable tie-breakers.  Regardless, I still consider themselves a contender for now.

 

10.  Houston Texans (3-3):  They got the bye this week, so they maintain their current ranking for now.  They do have a bit of a challenge next week against the Seattle Seahawks.  If it's going to be played in Seattle, it's hard to imagine the Seahawks losing that battle.  But after that, they'll then get two matches against the Colts, rematches against both the Titans and Jaguars, the Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Ravens, and Steelers.  And let's just say they lose, say, two of these games, predictably against the Rams and Steelers.  10-6 is realistic for the Texans, which, if it's not enough to win the division, would be enough to win a playoff berth all the same.

 

9.  Seattle Seahawks (4-2):  Well, I suppose I have to give the Seahawks some credit for going into New York and not allowing the Giants to embarrass them like they did the Broncos.  Doesn't mean I'm gonna like 'em any more than necessary.

 

8.  Carolina Panthers (4-3):  Losing to the unexpectedly good Saints team, and then losing to the Eagles was one thing.  Maybe the Bears are like this, and the Panthers will come around again.  But for now, back-to-back losses like this pretty much means the Panthers must get docked down a bit.

 

7.  LA Rams (5-2):  The Rams are looking to become the future of the NFC West.  It's about time too, because with the 49ers in the gutter, and the Cardinals getting on in age, the Rams actually look like the best team in the West, in spite having lost to division rival Seahawks.  I think there's more longevity with this Rams squad than there is the Seahawks is all.

 

6.  New Orleans Saints (4-2):  The Saints nearly made the critical mistake of taking a road game against a Packers squad without Aaron Rodgers lightly, and throughout the first half, the Packers' underrated defense kept them in the game.  Like Brady, one cannot help but keep watch for Drew Brees at some point in time late in the season.  Still, the Saints came around, and beaten the Packers by two scores.  And it just goes to show that the Saints defense is actually pretty good for once, and Brees still has it in him.

 

5.  Minnesota Vikings (5-2):  It feels weird ranking the Vikings this high on the power ranking since they're the only team in the top ten not to have a quarterback.  Still, Case Keenum has been playing mistake free in relief of Sam Bradford.  And if Teddy Bridgewater can get healthy and return to full football form in the foreseeable future, this team can actually get far.  Keep your fingers crossed, Purple Nation and hope that defense of theirs is good enough to reach the Super Bowl this season.

 

4.  Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2):  Yay.  They found their form.  And they didn't let the Bungles come in and beat them.  Plus, their division sucks, and the AFC division they are matched up with?  Also sucks.  And for all I know, they'll probably end up taking the Lions, Packers, Colts, and each of their division rivals lightly later on in the season anyways.  Plus, I'm fully expecting a predictable loss to the Patriots too unless Brady gets hurt.  Eh, what the heck?  9 wins will probably be enough to win that pitiful excuse for a division, so anything else added to that would be bragging rights.  But, who knows?  Maybe his post-game comments a couple weeks ago might be his version of Bill Belichik's "We're on in Cincinnati," and the Steelers make a deep run to the Super Bowl.  Who knows, really?  At least they finally have a good defense for the first time since 2011.

 

3.  New England Patriots (5-2):  I knew better not to take the Patriots off the top ten list in spite the atrocious defense.  At the very least, their scoring defense has improved hundred-fold since the slow first four games of the regular season.  And predictably, I knew they'd come back to the top five eventually.  I think there needs to be some solid indication that the Patriots are definitively the best team in football before I put them back on top of the list again.  And if I may be so bold, by season's end, unless the worst happens to Tom Brady and he begins to fall off the cliff, the Patriots will eventually find themselves atop the list of best football teams in the league (unless either the Chiefs or the Eagles remain undefeated the rest of the way).  The Broncos may be the bane of their existence, but even in Denver, this year, I doubt the Patriots will lose.  In addition, they always beat the Steelers and Chargers; they'll probably beat the Raiders regardless; and they'll probably sweep the Jets.  The only question mark are the Dolphins and Bills, but by all accounts, the Patriots should, at the very least, split both of these games.  So in other words, this is looking more and more like your typical 12-win season and first round playoff bye for the Patriots.  Any better than that will for sure grant them homefield advantage.

 

2.  Kansas City Chiefs (5-2):  I didn't feel comfortable picking against them this week.  But I somehow had a feeling they would end up losing on a short week.  They probably shouldn't, but the refs refused to allow the game to end, and the Raiders were practically granted unlimited chances to clinch the game-winner.  They'll beat the Raiders later on in the year, and they'll probably end up sweeping the Chargers and Broncos as well.  Besides those games, they still have match-ups against the Dolphins, Bills, Jets, Giants, and Cowboys.  They'll probably end up needing to win at least 12 games to clinch homefield advantage, and they have an opportunity to win as many as 14 games on their schedule.

 

1.  Philadelphia Eagles (6-1):  That lone loss on the season so far came against the Chiefs, fyi.  And they still have two matches against the Cowboys, a rematch against the Giants, and matchups against the Bears, Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Broncos, and Raiders.  The only interesting matchup right away are against the Rams and Seahawks; if they win out against these two teams, we might just be talking about a Super Bowl team and an MVP candidate in Carson Wentz.  Which pretty much means they'll fail to win the Super Bowl altogether, because no team since the 1999 St. Louis Rams had won a Super Bowl after their player was named League MVP.  We might very well be watching the next NFL legend in the making.

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