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Mike Gordan

NFL 2018-2019 Season Discussion

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Time for my updated Power Rankings after 7 weeks.  And we are starting to see the NFL landscape shaping up.  Here's where we stand so far:


32.  Oakland Raiders (1-5)*:  The bottom four or five are debatable in their ranks.  And the Raiders are now just gutted.  Marshawn Lynch--their best player after Khalil Mack was traded to the Bears--is now on Injury Reserve.  And then they traded away their best playmaker remaining in Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.  Their defense is atrocious.  And now Derek Carr no longer has anybody to spread the ball out to.  The main reason I am ranking this team at the bottom of the list for the time being is because this reeks of a team whose head coach in Jon Gruden plans on blowing up the whole organization and tanking on the year.  He's being paid 100 million to coach for 10 years, so we know he isn't going anywhere after this season.  But yeah!  Bring on the tank!


31.  Arizona Cardinals (1-6):  Prior to the Amari Cooper trade and the big reveal that Marshawn Lynch would be placed on IR, I was going to pick the Arizona Cardinals as the worst team in the NFL.  Their offense completely sucks, and their defense--while pretty good--is nothing capable of carrying the team on their shoulders to help this pourous offense score points.  And it's all because their offensive line is putrid, and all of their best receivers are well past their prime.  Even Running Back David Johnson is greatly underachieving.


30.  Buffalo Bills (2-5):  Technically, this should be viewed as a tie with the Cardinals, although that Bills defense does sort of give this team a chance to play spoiler on certain weeks.  With that said, the loss of Josh Allen for an unspecified period of time pretty much drops this team considerably.  Maybe he comes back.  But we also have the loss of both their starting Running Backs to take into consideration.  Now we have a Quarterback who was decent at best in his prime, and is well past that point; and then we have Nathan Peterman.  But even if Josh Allen does come back, he's pretty much all alone in helping this team stand anywhere close to a chance at winning anything.


29.  San Francisco 49ers (1-6):  Technically, this probably should have ranked lower on the Power Rankings than the Bills just because Josh Allen was never really designated for IR.  But even with the injuries the 49ers have sustained, they have been playing better football than the Bills on a Week-by-Week basis.  And they haven't won diddily squat since the loss of star QB Jimmy Garoppolo.  Trust me; they're going to get a win in sooner or later.  Maybe it's against the Raiders.  Or they pay back the Cardinals for their loss a week or so ago.


28.  New York Giants (1-6):  Honestly, among the 1-win teams, the Giants ought to be the one team I believe should be much better than they are right now.  Bad coaching, and poor offensive discipline across the board (as well as a little bit of bad luck--see Carolina Panthers game as an example) have otherwise crippled this team to the pathetic state that they currently find themselves in.  The Raiders are getting blown up; the Bills and 49ers are ravaged by injuries; and the Cardinals are well past my prime.  The Giants are relatively healthy; they have all of their best players back; and they even got some upgrades.  The Giants have no excuse for being anywhere near as bad as they are today.


27.  Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4):  Speaking of teams that have no business being as bad as they are.  But at least here, we can pinpoint that the problem is all on Blake Bortles.  Even Eli Manning is playing better football than the Jaguars this past month, and neither player has won a game since September.  I don't think this misery is going to last for too long.  But based on their last three games, they have suddenly found themselves comparably as bad as all the other teams ranked below them.  Maybe Blake Bortles bounces back.  But I smell an inevitable quarterback replacement in the next draft unless the Jaguars right the sales quickly, and they finish what they started last season and finally reach and win the Super Bowl.


26.  Cleveland Browns (2-4-1):  Didn't take all that long for the Browns to drop out of the top 20, didn't it?  That's what happens when your owner is Jimmy Haslam, and he plays Moneyball by trading away their best players for draft picks--even though said players weren't even on their contract years.  How long do you think it's going to be before Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett either get cut from the roster or traded away for even more draft picks.  Maybe then, those players will finally have a chance to win a Super Bowl.


25.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)*:  Yeah, they dropped down considerably.  Because they needed Overtime just to beat the Browns when they were in control for most of the game.  Jameis Winston is nothing short of a disaster.  He may scramble and extend plays.  But then he will either take sacks instead of getting rid of the ball; or he will make a bad throw.  The Buccaneers have playmakers and they can't do squat.  And their defense, while seeing some slight improvements last week, is still a dumpster truck.  Keep in mind that their first two wins were when Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starting QB, and Jameis Winston's first win since reclaiming his starting job had to come in Overtime.  This team is not good at all.


24.  Indianapolis Colts (2-5):  After a quality Week 2 win against a somewhat dominant Washington Redskins squad, the Colts finally got another one.  Granted, it was against the dumpster fire Buffalo bills.  But considering just how dominant they were on every phase of the game, they at least finally earn a vote of confidence somewhat.  But they still have a long way to go, as they are buried behind two games of the division title, and had lost a head-to-head matchup against the Texans.


23.  Denver Broncos (3-4):  I still do not have full confidence in the Broncos to continue to keep winning.  Though an upset in Kansas City would do great wonders in mitigating my worries about this team somewhat.  Like the Giants before them, the team has been greatly underachieving in spite the talent they possess.  And I have to blame it on Vance Joseph and his coaching staff.  We should probably be 4-3--maybe even 5-2--if not for bad coaching decisions and their inability to finish games.  Still, at least they crushed the Arizona Cardinals by the score of 45-10, so I'll give them some credit for not completely shooting themselves in the foot.


22.  Tennessee Titans (3-4):  I'll at least give the Titans some credit for grinding out games with the minimal talent that they have on offense outside of Marcus Mariota, who is definitely the team's MVP, all things considered.  Just these mental mistakes against games they could have won keeps haunting them.  They should have beaten the Bills in Buffalo; and while I did pick the Chargers, they probably could have stood a chance at pulling away an upset over the Chargers in London had they just went for the PAT and tried to win it in OT.  Now they are heading into their bye week, and I think they really ought to truly re-examine a few things, and get back on track.


21.  New York Jets (3-4):  A tough call between the Titans for this ranking, but the Titans are currently sitting on 3 losses in a row.  And the Jets really hit some teams like the Colts and Broncos hard.  The result of the Viking game went as I expected--I thought maybe the Jets defense could potentially make life difficult for Kirk Cousins, but then I realized that Sam Darnold is still very much a rookie QB.  It's a tough call between these two teams.  But I think they are right where I think they ought to be.


20.  Atlanta Falcons (3-4):  The Falcons did what they needed to do, and they grinded out a win against a strangely stingy Giants team.  Their secondary is still a dumpster fire as they constantly gave up big plays nearly every time Eli Manning threw them.  But at least the pass rush and defensive line is starting to clamp things down a bit.  And yes, that Falcons offense had to grind out that win, as the Giants defense did everything in their power to make their lives a living hell.  So yeah, I do think the Falcons deserve a handsome lift up in the Power Rankings.


19.  Philadelphia Eagles (3-4):  The problem with the Eagles is their inability to close out games, and more importantly, to bury their opposition.  They really do miss Running Back LaGarrette Blount, and they're going to miss Jay Ajayi, who is now on Injury Reserve.  As their running game has took a massive nosedive, and they find themselves constantly having to grind out wins.  Only once did they win rather handedly, and that was last week against the Giants.  Against the Bucs and the Vikings, they had to rally back from a deficit just to fall short; and the rest of the games, the Eagles are 2-2 in a grind fest against teams like the Falcons, Colts, Titans, and Panthers.  And they lost commanding leads to the Titans and Panthers.  Week 8 is now do or die for the Eagles as they have to face the Jaguars in London with both of their seasons on the line.


18.  Miami Dolphins (4-3):  At least the Dolphins had a pretty good start to their season.  Though how they even got that far still eludes me.  Outside of a stellar kick and punt return, I still have no idea how this team is able to put points on the board and limit the damage of their adversaries.  I suppose they benefited from an easy start to the season (as well as a couple freak weather delays in Week 1), though even then, they ended up besting the Chicago Bears defense.  Even moreso than any other team, I have no idea what the heck I'm even looking at, here.


17.  Seattle Seahawks (3-3)*:  They took a much needed break following their dominant London performance against the Raiders.  They face the next team on the Power Ranking, so we'll probably see where they both stand afterwards.  For now, I am leaning more towards the middle of the pack for both clubs.  Pass Rush and Secondary is still doing its job in spite the Legion of Boom having been completely ravaged.  And Russell Wilson is a strong enough quarterback to give his team a chance to win week in and week out.


16.  Detroit Lions (3-3)*:  I think the main difference is that the Lions have a strong identity now.  They have a very good defense, and a good offense.  And they finally have an elite Running game for a change.  And that's in spite of LeGarrette Blount, rather than because.  And now we have the most brutally competitive division in the NFL this year.


15.  Dallas Cowboys (3-4):  Yes, the Cowboys moved up in spite losing to the Redskins this week.  And in fact, they are the only team with a losing record that ranks in the upper half of my Power Rankings.  This is because they finally got a Wide Receiver for Dak Prescott to throw to, and thus opening up the receiving game even more.  Dak and Zeke are definitely the glue that's holding this team together and keeping them competitive.  I keep hearing about these considerations of perhaps moving on from Dak Prescott, but I can definitely tell the guy has some leadership skills, and has that thirst to win.  Now maybe if he decides to fleece the organization, then I would maybe consider moving on from him.  But you still need a foundation to build your team around, and Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot are definitely key to said foundation.


14.  Chicago Bears (3-3)*:  In spite losing two games in a row, I can't say the Bears are losing their way quite yet.  But considering how competitive that division has become, one should probably begin to check their own expectations a bit.  The Bears fought against the Patriots, and only due to a few key turnovers that the game was ultimately lost.  Even then, they were still a yard short on that Hail Mary against the Patriots from tying it up and forcing overtime.  So I can't say the Bears are lacking in confidence at this point.  They host the Jets next week, so the Bears definitely have an opportunity to get right back on track again.


13.  Houston Texans (4-3):  Going from 0-3 to taking the lead in the race for the AFC South!  Sure, Deshaun Watson isn't completely back to form, but this is now proof of just how resilient this team really is.  And they get to host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night.  Well the Texans continue to maintain their momentum?  Or the AFC South begin to equalize a bit more?  And you know what?  I was 100% right in picking both DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt as the team's co-MVP's after a month's worth of Football.  If they win again this week, it's going to be because of DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt once again.


12.  Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)*:  In spite the Packers week's worth of rest, in spite all the roster changes made to accommodate for what happened last season, the Packers still look like it's just Aaron Rodgers carrying this team on its back.  Keep in mind that they fell way behind against the 49ers last week and needed a comeback drive to tie the game, a miraculous interception, and then a miraculous final drive to kick a redeeming game-winning field goal as time expired JUST TO BEAT THE 49ER'S!  I do not see the Packers chances at winning against the Rams to be all that good to be honest with you.  Still, so long as he's around, the Packers will always have a chance to compete for a playoff berth.  But in a year where the NFC North is extremely crowded, the question still remains if they even stand a chance at this point in time.


11.  Cincinnati Bengals (4-3):  In spite that blowout loss, the game kind of went as expected.  I still like the Bengals team as a whole a little better than the Packers.  At least the Buccaneers are a much more winnable matchup for Week 8 than the Rams.


10.  Carolina Panthers (4-2)*:  Yet another team that is beyond resilient in spite the injuries and a general lack of weapons for Cam Newton to throw to.  The Panthers defense had really clamped down so far, and yet Cam and Christian McCaffrey are able to carry and elevate the rest of the team all the way to victory week in and week out.  And now they are about to get healthy again.  Nobody is going to want to play this team.  And nobody is going to look forward to picking games featuring the Panthers due to their ability to surprise us.


9.  Washington Redskins (4-2)*:  This team is in the top five or so in total defense, and their running game is also one of the absolute best in the league.  And even though he has no receivers to throw to, Alex Smith is still able to spread the ball around.  The Redskins are basically the stronger, more resilient version of the Cowboys, so whatever I said about the Cowboys sort of carries over to the Redskins as well.  Still, I do not think Alex Smith is as good a QB as Dak Prescott, he at least has experience and is one of the oldest veteran QB's in the league as a result.


8.  Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1):  It's kind of hard to gauge just how good this team is compared to several other teams when the Steelers had their bye week fresh off a comeback victory over the Bengals.  Now they get to host the Browns, who previously dueled them to a tie.  I definitely smell a potential trap game afoot, especially if the Steelers still to this day have not yet learned their lesson about thinking that their next game is a gimmie.  Still, this is definitely going to be the last year this team will be able to compete for a Super Bowl title with their current core, even though they are now well past their prime, and the balance of power is starting to shift around somewhat.


7.  Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)*:  We'll get a better look at just how good this team is on Sunday when they host the Saints in a rematch of last year's Divisional Round.  Though this time, they have a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins.  Still, ever since that inexplicable performance against the Bills, the Vikings have been rather dominant ever since.  Their lone loss was a competitive Thursday Nighter against the Rams.  So if they can steal one from the Saints, that'd go a long way in determining how good they really are.


6.  Baltimore Ravens (4-3):  Talk about being unable to finish while their opponent was down 17-7 in the second half.  That proved to be quite the resilient defense in spite being paired up with one of the absolute best QB's in the NFL.  There's no shame in having lost that game at all.  Even though they failed to force OT due to a strong gust of wind pushing the potential game-tying PAT wide right.  Laces in, Joe!


5.  LA Chargers (5-2):  Yes, they just came dangerously close to really blowing it in London against the Titans last week.  Again, not so sure what to think about the Titans since they seem to be that one team that refuses to go away.  The Chargers at least handled a sneakily dangerous opponent overseas and now get to relax from their trip in London.  This is the Chargers team I would have imagined last season had they not missed two game winning/tying field goals to start the season.  And Melvin Gordon is truly proving to be quite the beast indeed.


4.  New England Patriots (5-2):  Honestly, the rest of this Power Ranking is pretty much based on overall record.  I still do not feel comfortable in picking the Chargers as a shoe-in in any game.  But even with a sense of certainty for the Patriots just because their division always sucks ass, and all of these rules and regulations seem designed to rig games in their favor no matter what; the fact remains that their defense sucks, and Tom Brady is 41 years old.  No matter how much you coddle the man and protect him from any kind of defensive contact, the fact remains that there's one thing you cannot shield him from--his arm strength waning.  Even with a balanced running attack being implemented, Brady is still chucking it downfield like crazy.  And eventually, he's going to wear down and tire out.  I keep seeing a few signs that his arm strength might be fading a bit.  But so far, he is still a fairly accurate quarterback.  But these things are really subtle and won't rear their ugly head until later on in the season.  And they really won't show their true colors until the season after.  As such, I think this is the Patriots final season in which they will be able to try and reign supreme atop the AFC.  I know I've been saying this since 2015/2016.  But that's because Tom Brady continues to defy all expectations here.  Sooner or later, I'm bound to be right.


3.  Kansas City Chiefs (6-1):  I think my only hope for the Chiefs potentially sweeping us is that if the Chiefs somehow win out, they will secure homefield advantage and possibly even eliminate the possibility of the Patriots making it back to their fiftieth Super Bowl in just as many years.  Sure, I may be starting to borderline hate this team right now, but if they win it all, it might mitigate my increasingly negative feelings I have for this team.  Although they most likely won't win it.  More on that later.


2.  Drew Brees (5-1)*:  Outside of getting inexplicably torched in Week 1 by Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Saints have pretty much steamrolled every team to the point that they now rival our next team for being the team to beat on the NFC side of things.  Also congratulations are in order for Drew Brees not only becoming the fourth quarterback to throw 500 career touchdown passes, but also for finally defeating the Baltimore Ravens and becoming the third quarterback ever to win against all 32 teams.


1.  LA Rams (7-0):  They're still the last undefeated team in the NFL.  What more can I say that hasn't already been said.  Not only undefeated, but also the most complete team of the year.  And that's in spite the deficiencies in their Secondary.  Helps too that the NFC South outside of debatably the Seahawks is now a great big dumpster fire.  So we probably are going to end up seeing Rams vs. Patriots this year, with the Rams getting revenge or something.  I don't know.


Sorry, but I'm feeling extremely tired now.  Good night.

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Several Jags players have been arrested for a bar brawl in the UK. Players include:  CB DJ Hayden, S Ronnie Harrison, S Jarrod Wilson and S Barry Church. 

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2 hours ago, Yak said:

Blood is in the water, Patriots haters. May your loveless, partisan lives be enhanced by this offering: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ftw/2018/11/01/are-we-finally-seeing-the-start-of-tom-bradys-inevitable-decline/38358451


I would watch a reality show where Josh Gordon lives with Tom and Gisele because Brady needs Gordon to not get kicked off the team.

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John Gruden is employing the same strategy that I used for my current Browns franchise in Madden: trade everyone of value away for a giant crop of 1st-rounders. Then trade away one or multiple newly-acquired 1st-rounders for 1st-rounders+Interest in a future draft. He's gonna try to milk every year of his asinine 10-year contract for all its good. Either ownership lets him fulfill on his long-game strategy, or walks away early on the best coaches pension plan in modern sports, and then goes back to TV to make even more $$$.

Guy's a f*cken genius.

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If you're on a 10 year contract the first thing you should do is blow up the team.  They need to be good in 2 years when they move to Vegas, not now.

Carr seems like a viable qb but wayyyyy overpaid so I wouldn't be surprised to see him go and have success somewhere else.

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Blowing it up was the right thing to do. They were way too many players away from winning.

And if your gonna blow it up then you want thr highest pick possible


When you dont re-sign your only elite player its obvious what the intentions are.

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13 hours ago, Yak said:

Blood is in the water, Patriots haters. May your loveless, partisan lives be enhanced by this offering: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ftw/2018/11/01/are-we-finally-seeing-the-start-of-tom-bradys-inevitable-decline/38358451



Considering just how much the mainstream media hate the Patriots and specifically Tom Brady, the article reads like wishful thinking.


But with that said, even I am seeing signs of his decline.  Though for now, they do appear subtle enough to not completely dash the Patriots mystique.  Which is why the proverbial cliff that Brady is fast approaching is, like most other elite quarterbacks (Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, etc.,), it's going to be rather subtle.


So then why isn't it called a decent down a hill rather than a cliff?  Well, if Tom Brady decides to return next year, and the decline continues from where he leaves off by the end of the season, he's going to look an awful lot like Peyton Manning or Brett Favre's final seasons.  Really, really bad!

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(While objectively strange, this might actually be typical? . . .) Srange WEEK ...  I'm sensing a DECIDED lack of urgency from some teams.


raiders, dafuq's your problem?

jets (and dolphins), dufuq's YOUR problem?

lions, dufuq's your problem?


... You're supposed to be the professional Football league, not the professional DRAFT league, NDfuckingHell.


FUCKED product, "NFL."

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On 11/2/2018 at 12:18 PM, Yak said:

Blood is in the water, Patriots haters. May your loveless, partisan lives be enhanced by this offering: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ftw/2018/11/01/are-we-finally-seeing-the-start-of-tom-bradys-inevitable-decline/38358451




Brady writes these articles to motivate himself. No one is falling for this stuff.

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Time for my Week 9 Power Rankings.  Here are the results:


32.  Oakland Raiders (1-7)*:  This team is officially in full-blown tank mode.  Bruce Irvins was now cast to pasture, leaving Derek Carr as literally the only noteworthy player on that team with any semblance of talent.


31.  Buffalo Bills (2-6)*:  While their defense definitely gives this team a chance to at least pretend to be competitive, their offense is now in danger of being among the absolute worst in NFL history.  Why?  Simple!  Their three QB's all have the three worst Passer Ratings in the league (with rookie Josh Allen being the best of the bunch); all their runningbacks are injured; their offensive line is a complete dumpster fire; and they have no receivers.


30.  San Francisco 49ers (2-7):  Gonna give the 49ers some props for utterly routing the Raiders 34-3, as if Jimmy Garoppolo returned from the dead to revive this sorry excuse for an NFL team.  But I'm currently in a wait-and-see type of mood; I have no idea whatsoever if they can repeat what they just accomplished on a week-by-week basis.


29.  Arizona Cardinals (2-6)*:  Their two wins both came against the 49ers.  Hence the reason they still rank ahead of them.  Though based on overall talent level across the board, the Cardinals are probably the worst team in the league rivaled only by the Raiders.


28.  New York Giants (1-7)*:  They rate ahead of three 2-win teams because the Giants, in spite all of their talent, have won only one game.  Certainly, the fact that their offensive line is a dumpster fire, and their defensive players don't know how to, well, play defense, certainly does not help.  But let's keep blaming Eli Manning for the team's failures whilst ignoring all the other blatant issues.


27.  Cleveland Browns (2-6-1):  Yup.  Right back down to the general area in which they'd best fit in.  What else do you want me to say?  They decided to fire both their head coach and offensive coordinator at the halfway point of the season instead of, you know, dump them after they went 0-16.


26.  New York Jets (3-6):  The next eight or so teams are technically a statistical tie in my books, so the overall ranking is interchangeable.  So why did I choose to rank them this low?  Because Sam Darnold is, by a wide margin, the league's leading turnover machine.  Maybe he'll overtake Peyton Manning's record for most interceptions in a rookie season.


25.  Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5)*:  The team is talented across the board.  But their QB, Blake Bortles, has since reverted back to his old, Gus Bradley-coached self.  The end result is that the team is constantly trailing, and struggling to put together complete games.  They even got butchered three games in a row before falling short of 4-4 against another team with some blatant problems.


24.  Denver Broncos (3-6):  Welp, that ended as well as a Vance Joseph-coached team is expected.  It never seems like the team is playing like their jobs are on the line.  This is further evident by the fact that Demaryius Thomas basically called out the team and culture for not caring all that much about winning, as well as the fact that Vance Joseph made no attempt to gain as much yardage for the potential game-winning field goal.  Add in John Elway's complimentary attitude towards our team's failure, and what we are now witnessing here is a politically correct culture where the objective is to simply "do our best."


23.  Dallas Cowboys (3-5)*:  Came back from a bye week to host another team that in turn also came back from the bye week.  And in spite adding Amari Cooper to their roster at Wide Receiver, they literally couldn't do anything in the second half against a maddeningly inconsistent Titans squad.  They rate this low because their next few games are a brutally difficult stretch that include games against the Eagles, Redskins, and Saints among others.  This is going to end badly for Dallas.


22.  Detroit Lions (3-5)*:  The remaining ties that I mentioned back with the Jets are largely due to two different factors--overall statistics, and strength of schedule.  The Lions' problems are that they have a bunch of games against their division rivals left on their schedule, and they lack the necessary pass rush and offensive playmakers (thanks to the Golden Tate trade) to keep up with teams like, say, the Vikings, Bears (twice), and Panthers; and I doubt they'd be able score at will like they used to.  If there are any remaining wins on their schedule, it's probably going to come against teams like the Bills or Giants.  Not looking too good here.


21.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)*:  The Bucs, combined with the return of Ryan Fitzpatrick, are now back at a hopefully explosive offense.  They also pick up an incredibly easy streak of games the next couple of weeks, too--Redskins, at Giants, and the 49ers.  The Redskins do appear to be a formidable challenge, but given the way they function, the Bucs should be able to match up well against them.  The 49ers are a bit of a tricky team to rule down, but in all intents and purposes, let's just assume they can win that one.  Their real struggles, however, come when they have to challenge the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers in rematches after that three-game stretch.


20.  Indianapolis Colts (3-5)*:  How can I not rank them any lower than this?  Following a 1-5 start, the Colts are in a bit of a hot streak, having won their last two games heading into their bye week.  And they will get a chance to challenge the Jaguars, Titans, and Dolphins, which are all maneagable games.  I can't pretend to be ecstatic about their chances though; they did start the season 1-5, after all.  And that momentum of course came to a screeching halt with the bye week.  So we'll have to wait and see.  So long as Andrew Luck is their QB, they should have a chance to win every game going forward.


19.  Miami Dolphins (5-4):  Yes, in spite being one of 13 teams with a winning record, I'm still ranking the team well into the bottom half of these Power Rankings.  All they have going for them is the ability to force turnovers, and an excellent Special Teams.  While Brock Osweiller does give this team an offensive upgrade over Ryan Tannehill, it's not exactly Bledsoe to Brady here.  They go to Green Bay next week before heading into their bye week, so that will definitely go a long way in figuring out if they're for real or not.  Speaking of which....


18.  Green Bay Packers (3-4-1)*:  Yeah, go ahead and trade away one of your absolute best players on your secondary, and make no attempts to upgrade your roster right as the trade deadline expired.  Surely, you don't need an elite team when you've got Aaron Rodgers.  I'm sure that decision proved to be more than helpful in getting the team ready for New England.


17.  Baltimore Ravens (4-5):  Following a rather dominant 3-1 start, the Ravens have fallen apart, losing four of their last five games.  Now they get to contemplate where they are headed during their bye week just in time to host the Bengals, and then play the Raiders.


16.  Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)*:  The team was in great need of a bye week halfway through the regular season.  And they were in great need of that London victory over the Jaguars, too.  Though the schedule is only going to get tougher from here.  They have yet to play the Saints or Rams--two of the best teams in football right now; and they still have matchups against each of their division rivals as well.  And I do believe they still have to play Chicago and Green Bay as well.


15.  Seattle Seahawks (4-4)*:  The next three weeks are going to be difficult, but not unmanageable.  I do believe I pegged them to be one of 2-4 possible teams to beat the Rams this season.  But then they still have rematches against the Cardinals and 49ers to look forward to.  Though they still need to get past the Vikings, Chiefs and Chargers as well.  Definitely a challenging remaining schedule, but with Russell Wilson and Pete Caroll leading the way, definitely not impossible.


14.  Tennessee Titans (4-4)*:  The Titans get to host the New England Patriots next week.  After that, they pretty much have rematches against each of their division rivals.  But the Titans, similarly to the Dolphins, are such an oddity as far as NFL teams go that it leaves one to wonder just how is it that they are able to keep up with the Texans.


13.  Atlanta Falcons (4-4)*:  The Falcons' remaining schedule is going to be rather soft; matchups against the Browns, Cowboys, Cardinals, and each of their division rivals still remain.  I suppose it's better late than never to rally around one another to make yet another deep playoff run on the strength of their offense.


12.  Washington Redskins (5-3)*:  The remaining teams all have winning records, and if the regular season were to end now, they would all have made the playoffs.  The reason why the Redskins rank lower than all the other playoff contenders so far is because their loss at the hands of the Falcons have pretty much allowed the Eagles to close to within one game of reclaiming the division title.  They still have rematches against their division rivals, and their next opponent might give them a hard time in the form of the Buccaneers.  It's also worth noting that of the 12 teams, the Redskins have by far the worst offense.  Yes, even worse than the Bears or Texans in spite of their troubles here and there.


11.  Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)*:  The Bengals, meanwhile, have an opposite problem.  While the Redskins defense is pretty stout and their offense rather porous, the Bengals' offense is pretty good, while their defense is atrocious.  Starting with a home game against the Saints.  They additionally still have to play each of their division rivals, as well as the Chiefs and Chargers.  Definitely not an easy remaining schedule.  But if they are able to keep up with the Steelers, they could potentially challenge them for the division crown at the season finale.


10.  Houston Texans (6-3):  I thought about rating the Texans a little higher, but they did struggle in Denver a bit, and the Titans had beaten the Cowboys.  And since the Texans are heading into their bye week right before they get the chance to challenge each of their division rivals in a rematch.  The Redskins and Eagles are also beatable as well.  They are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.  So who knows what's going to happen in the second half of the season.


9.  Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1):  Another team heading into their bye week.  The Vikings' pass rush are a bit of a problem, which is why I rank them lower than my next team on the Power Rankings.  But otherwise, they are continuing where they effectively left off following the Minneapolis Miracle--only with a much better quarterback at Kirk Cousins.  Four of their remaining games are all against their division rivals as well--including two games against the Chicago Bears, so defending their division crown is not going to be easy.


8.  Chicago Bears (5-3)*:  The fact that I rate this team just slightly ahead of the Vikings is not an insult to the Vikings per se.  The Bears' defense simply matches up well against the Vikings and their horrendous offensive line.  Offensively, the Bears are not quite as dominant as these other teams in the top 12, but they definitely get the job done, and could in fact, surprise us from time to time.  They are definitely the league's premiere defense this season.


7.  Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)*:  From this moment on, I'm pretty much rating the teams largely based on record (among other things).  The Steelers remaining schedule is pretty easy all things considered.  Though they will have to first get past the Panthers this Thursday.  They still have to play the Saints, Chargers and Patriots as well.  But if my projections are any indication, all of these games are definitely winnable.  Well, except for the Patriots.  For whatever reason, this team have not been successful against them since 2008--and if you wish to draw a comparison against Brady, they haven't even been able to beat him since 2005 (and keep in mind, only Ben Roethlisberger is the only Steeler from that roster).


6.  Carolina Panthers (6-2)*:  Thursday Night's game is going to go a long way in shaping who between them and the Steelers is the better football team.  And the Panthers still have not yet played the Saints, either.  They additionally have rematches against the Bucs and Falcons as well.  But within the next couple weeks after Pittsburgh, they also have to play the Lions and Seahawks.  So in a way, they are all must-win teams for this Carolina Panthers squad as well as my personal MVP frontrunner in Cam Newton.


5.  Los Angeles Chargers (6-2)*:  The Chargers have had a couple of close calls against much inferior ball clubs the past couple of weeks, haven't they?  And yet here they are; in a comparable spot that they would have been last season had they not started the season off 0-4.  Plus, half of their games are going to be against division rivals--including a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs for the possible chance of claiming the division crown.


4.  New England Patriots (7-2):  It's the Patriots.  Tom Brady's arm strength is showing signs of deterioration.  Yadayadayada...moving right along.


3.  Kansas City Chiefs (8-1):  While Cam Newton is currently my personal MVP pick, it's abundantly clear that the frontrunner for the time being is QB Patrick Mahomes.  Who still have to play the Chargers and Raiders again.  They have yet to play the Rams or Seahawks as well.  So it remains to be seen just how much they actually stack with the best of the best.  So we'll see.  If they secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, that will definitely shake a few things in the AFC side of things, even though they had lost to the Patriots.


2.  Los Angeles Rams (8-1):  They finally suffered their first loss of the season.  So they drop down a spot.  But only one spot.  We'll see how the Rams fare against the Chiefs in a couple of weeks.  Of course, they also have to play the Seahawks next week as well.  My prediction is that the Rams will likely lose one of these games, but probably not both.  Their defense has largely deteriorated, in spite a career season for Aaron Donald.  Todd Gurley is also in the MVP race with Mahomes, though I think the latter is currently edging him out.  So we'll see.  Quarterbacks almost always win the award anyways.


1.  New Orleans Saints (7-1)*:  The team that handed the Rams their first loss of the season.  They still need to hold off the Panthers and the potentially storming Atlanta Falcons though in order to hold the division.  Which stands in stark contrast to the Rams or Patriots, who both have commanding leads over their respective divisions.  But that's pretty much the reason I am giving this team the top rank in the Power Rankings.  That, and because they beaten the Rams.

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12 minutes ago, Mike Gordan said:

Sam Darnold is, by a wide margin, the league's leading turnover machine.  Maybe he'll overtake Peyton Manning's record for most interceptions in a rookie season.


That'd be a good sign



(Personally, I would've been happy with the Jets benching Darnold by now, for McCown, to show him how NOT to throw so many INT's; but, whatevs... he's got to grow out of that college bullshit sooner or later.)

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This past Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans is the worst complete football I've seen the Patriots play since their drumming by Kansas City a few years ago. Yes, Gronk and Trent Brown were not available; yes, a bunch of other Patriots left the game shaken up... but no excuses. All three phases of the team were dramatically out-played and out-coached.

The bye week couldn't come at a better time for the Patriots, who will make the necessary adjustments to course correct the ship. It's highly unlikely the Patriots can catch up to the Chiefs for the #1 spot in the AFC prior to the playoffs starting. KC would have to go on an unbelievable losing streak for that to happen. Considering who they play to the end of the season, there is a chance KC loses 2, maybe 3 of their remaining 6 games, but that would mean that the Patriots essentially have to win outright, or lose no more than 1 game for the remainder of the season.

I believe in the Hoodie as much as I believe in anything in this world, but it's fast becoming a tall order to fill.

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      View attachment: tsb street var shots 1.png


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      it's a party, jerk. so enjoy it.

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