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Mike Gordan

NFL 2018-2019 Season Discussion

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What happened to Hauschka?


Did the Jets brutalize him somehow?




If he's such a sally, we ought to call him "Tara"

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Time for me to update my Power Rankings:


32.  Arizona Cardinals (3-11):  Honestly, even though they swept the 49ers, I decided to rank the Cardinals as the absolute worst team in the NFL.  Their remaining two games are against a reeling Rams team at home, and then on the road in Seattle.  And while the Cardinals tend to have their number in Seattle, the fact of the matter is, it's a whole new regime; and what's left is tattered, old, bruised, and ready to be put out to pasture.  Their defense is fairly solid, but aside from delaying an early eliminationg by derping against a Packers squad is disarray, there's nothing there to write home about.  Between them and the next team on my list, the Cardinals are by far the team most likely to stay at 3-13.


31.  Oakland Raiders (3-11):  Considering the fact that Jon Gruden decided to trade Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper--two of their best players--for some draft picks heading into next season, it pretty much goes without saying that Gruden intended to blow up the entire organization and try to start from scratch.  Who knows even if Derek Carr or Marshawn Lynch--who is lost for the season--will be in his plans in the foreseeable future.  But considering that next year's draft class is a pretty poor QB draft class to say the bloody least, I'd say the Raiders are likely stuck with him.  At least for one more year (the one good quarterback prospect I could see them potentially getting decided to go into baseball instead).  The reason why I rank the Raiders ahead of the Cardinals is that aside from a much better offense (though being decent would be considered much better than that old man's home down in Phoenix) and a head-to-head win, the Raiders also have a better shot at going 4-12.  Next week, they host the reeling Broncos led by the most gutless coach remaining in the league.  But after that, they play the Chiefs.  And then the door pretty much closes on getting a slightly better record.


30.  New York Jets (4-10):  The Jets best shot at another win is probably next week at home against the reeling Packers.  Considering the fact that they lost to the Cardinals while Mike McCarthy was their head coach, you can't rule out the possibility of the Jets doing the same against a Packers squad led by Joe Philbin.  After that, they go to Foxborough, and unless the Patriots have aged so badly that they can't beat a couple of rookies at home, their window is gonna close after that week, too.  Even though I'm ranking them ahead of the Raiders, they're really not that much better when you think about it.  While the Raiders have little to no defense to speak of, the Jets have a turnover machine at QB.  The sad truth of the matter is that if Sam Darnold cut the turnovers by half, the Jets would probably have one of the most dominant offenses in the league.


29.  Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10):  The Jaguars' defense alone pretty much makes them better than every other team ranked below them.  That, and actually having some quality victories over teams like the Patriots and Colts help, too.  Okay, maybe the Colts win wasn't exactly a quality win.  But it was against a quality opponent.  But it was as I feared it'd be heading into this season when I ranked the Jaguars in the polarizing category--ranging anywhere from good to bad--Blake Bortles would ultimately be the deciding factor in whether or not the Jaguars would succeed or not.  And they're even worse offensively with their current QB than they were with Bortles, believe it or not.  They do play in Miami this weekend, which could go either way to be quite honest.  And after that, they play the Texans to close out the season.  On paper, their window has already closed, but considering what they did against the Colts a couple weeks ago, it really all depends on how well the Jaguars perform on offense.  But I don't like their chances.


28.  Denver Broncos (6-8):  Similarly to the Jaguars, the Broncos, in spite all their talent, was let down by one person.  And unlike the Jaguars, it isn't the fault of the quarterback, but of their head coach, Vance Joseph.  Against the 49ers, the Broncos have shown that they made no attempts to prepare for the best player that the 49ers had left, took them for granted, and got their asses kicked as a result.  And then again against the Browns, late in the 4th quarter.  You're down by 4; need a touchdown to retake the lead; and you're deep in enemy territory.  YOU DO NOT settle for a field goal.  Even if you fail, you settle to win it all right then and there.  You go for the win.  You do not settle for a field goal and hope you get the ball back with plenty of time left on the clock.  Considering that Mike McCarthy--a highly accomplished Super Bowl winning coach with the Green Bay Packers--got fired in the middle of the season for similar nonaggressive tactics, then Vance Joseph--who had demonstrated to be nothing short of an absolute failure for this team--doesn't deserve to be here for another season.  That decision ultimately cost them whatever shot at a playoff berth the Broncos once had a couple weeks ago.  Good luck losing to the Raiders and Chargers over the next couple of weeks!


27.  Cincinnati Bengals (6-8):  In spite a fairly convincing win at home against the Raiders, the Bungles are now officially out of the playoff hunt.  They couldn't afford to have both the Ravens and Steelers win last week, but I digress.  To be fair though, the Bungles have been absolutely ravaged by injuries.  But even before they got hit hard by the injury bug, the Bungles still had one of the absolute worst defenses in the league, and not being able to outscore opponents at will have ultimately came to cost them in the end.  Outside of possibly beating the Browns next week, the Bungles' window at another win have similarly closed.  I predicted a 6-win season, and now it looks like it's going to happen.


26.  San Francisco 49ers (4-10):  I would have ranked them a bit lower than the Broncos, but at least the 49ers actually did show up and beat them.  Plus, they beat the Seahawks--which they haven't been able to do since 2013 when we all thought Colin Kaepernick would be a good quarterback (well, not me; I always thought he was simply surrounded by an amazing assortment of talent as well as a good head coach).  Besides that, I am sensing a possible late blooming for this team.  Imagine how good this team could be if they could actually stay healthy.  And not pay a couple of players hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.  They do host the Bears next week, followed up by another matchup with the Rams.  Even though both teams are significantly better than the 49ers, you just never know at this time of year.  Now if only they didn't start CJ Bearthead.


25.  Detroit Lions (5-9):  If they are better than the 49ers, then it isn't by much.  Ever since trading away Golden Tate, the Lions have been a complete mess no matter how you look at it.  I'm not going to say that their window at another win has officially closed, but they are officially eliminated from playoff contention.  They still have two games against fellow division rivals in the Vikings and Packers left.  Both games are winnable.  But I'm not going to count on it.  Matthew Stafford's best offensive weapon is now gone and there's very little of what you can consider talent behind them.  The Lions are the epitamy of what I'd call a team that simply isn't very good simply because there isn't much there in terms of talent.  It isn't because they're old; it's not because of quarterback play.  And it isn't due to injury luck or bad coaching.  The Lions have had their moments this year; they've beaten both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, after all.  But they're simply not a good team overall.


24.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9):  In stark contrast, the main reason why the Bucs are now officially eliminated from playoff contention--and after such a promising start--is due to one specific thing; turnovers.  I'd include their defense in there as well, but at least they've gotten better on that side of the ball over the course of the season.  But when you lead the league in total offense, and can't muster up a winning season out of that?  Especially in this era?  It pretty much boils down to an inability to rack up points.  If both Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick weren't such colossal turnover machines and played smart football, the Bucs would probably be looking at either of these men as potential MVP candidates.  I'm serious; some of the statlines overall are just downright ridiculous.  And yet it doesn't matter because they can't score points.  And they can't kick field goals, either.  No matter who their kicker is.  And they do get the Cowboys and Falcons--both beatable with their offenses, though neither pick is reliable due to their turnovers.  You could perhaps make the case of head coaching too warranting his sacking after their season is over.  But even I can tell that it isn't entirely Dirk Koetter's fault.  If they thought about drafting a quarterback when they had the chance this past offseason, they probably would have been in a much better spot than they are now.  Now, they are likely stuck with Jameis Winston and/or Ryan Fitzpatrick for yet another disappointing season.  Have fun, Tampa!


23.  Washington Redskins (7-7):  Beating a Jaguars coach quarterbacked by a guy that couldn't even get 60 yards of passing, and doing so just barely isn't exactly what I would call much to celebrate.  With clashes against the Titans and Eagles--both teams with serious playoff aspirations--on the horizon, the Redskins are basically a dead team walking.  Even if they do somehow run the table, they will either be edged out by the Minnesota Vikings, or bounced immediately from the playoffs by the Chicago Bears.  And while this situation isn't entirely Jay Gruden's fault--quarterback Alex Smith suffered a potentially career-ending injury, and Adrien Peterson is so far past his prime that he is no longer able to be as productive as he once was.  What I think boggles the mind the most is that the Redskins could have had a contingency plan had they chose to draft Lamar Jackson when he fell onto their lap.  I may not be a Lamar Jackson fan (at least not this year), and I'll explain why in a bit; but he could have served as an understudy to Alex Smith, who himself was nearing the end of his career.  I think what teams like the Redskins and 49ers show us is the consequences of putting all your eggs into one basket by paying a couple of guys all of the money you have does, especially when they get injured.  The whole team falls apart.  I ranked the Redskins ahead of the Bucs and many other teams because aside from matching up well against said teams, I'm not a completely kneejerk person who assumes one team is the worst team in the league just because your offense has been rendered completely useless by said injuries.  At least the Redskins have a defense.  And besides that, they are still very much alive in the playoff hunt.  But they are by far the worst playoff contending team left in the NFL.


22.  Carolina Panthers (6-8):  Following a glorious 6-2 start, the Panthers have now officially fallen apart with a 6 game losing streak.  Ever since that Steelers game, the Panthers simply haven't been able to perform.  Compounding matters even further is the fact that TE Greg Olsen is out for the year; their defense aside from one or two players is atrocious; and Cam Newton is being made to play with such a bum right shoulder injury that it stuns me that he isn't being placed on injury reserve.  Even though they are still barely alive in the playoff hunt (they would need to win out, the Vikings to lose out, and then the Eagles and Redskins to go 8-8, with the former winning the finale), it's pretty much a lost cause at this point.  Put him on injury reserve, and explain to him that his health is now their number one concern.  Especially since their only offensive points against the Saints all game long came from a Christian McCaffrey pass that went 50+ yards for a touchdown.  And aside from a Safety, the Panthers were completely unable to put points on the board.  They still get a home game against the Falcons followed up by a road season finale against a Saints team that may or may not decide to rest their starters by then.  But really, they shouldn't be thinking of playoffs by this point!  Their best player is not playing his best football under any circumstances, and you need to think about the future rather than the here and now.


21.  Buffalo Bills (5-9):  Right back to talking about teams eliminated from playoff contention.  They go to New England, and then they play the Dolphins at home for their season finale.  6 wins seems possible.  Maybe 7 if the situation with the Patriots is as bad as it may look.  But considering just how well Josh Allen's been doing lately, I can definitely see this team making a big splash next season, provided they actually go and draft some offensive weapons for the Bills.  He still needs an offensive line and a receiving core, after all.


20.  Miami Dolphins (7-7):  Yet another team still alive in the playoff hunt.  Though at least they have a couple of avenues left open to them.  They could win out; either the 6th seed or 4th seed via tie-breakers (they would either have head-to-head over the Titans, provided they beat the Colts, or divisional tie-breaker over the Patriots).  They host the Jaguars, but then have to travel on the road to Buffalo though.  So while plenty of avenues are still open to them, I really don't like their chances.  Even though both of their games are winnable, they would still be bounced from the playoffs right away.


19.  New York Giants (5-9):  What a way to be proven wrong.  I picked them to win at home against the Titans, and they never even came close.  And now they are officially eliminated from playoff contention.  I think the worst part about it all is that they stand a really good chance at being dropped even further in the power rankings; their remaining opponents are going to be against the Colts and Cowboys.  Of course, it is possible that the Colts look too far ahead, and the Cowboys might find themselves resting their starters if they end up locked into the 4th seed (they would need a win and a Redskins loss though).  This is what happens when your offense does not consistently perform week in and week out.  And frankly, unlike so many other so-called "experts," I can't exactly put all of the blame on Eli Manning's shoulders, here.  This level of dysfunction has been around the entire time Eli has been a Giant, and yet I still see signs that he's got it still.  You just can't sustain success by finding ways to win after starting the season out looking like a helpless 1-6 team.


18.  Atlanta Falcons (5-9):  Speaking of a team once ranked significantly lower than many others, where the hell has this team been the last 6 weeks?  This is proof that the Falcons should be a lot better than their record indicates.  So much so that it's possible that they could win out; against an injury-ravaged Panthers and against a mistake-prone Buccaneers, it's entirely possible.  So why did they play as though they've quite on their season up until now.  Even if I did expect them to beat the Cardinals and had no reason to believe otherwise, that level of annihilation is not seen amongst teams that are 5-win teams bad.  It's actually rather disgraceful the more you think about it.  Not that it matters because with the Vikings win over the Dolphins, the Falcons are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.


17.  Green Bay Packers (5-8-1):  Good news is, the Packers have the Jets and Lions left on their schedule.  The bad new is, their three-game losing streak--four in the last five games--eliminated them from playoff contention.  All with a perfectly healthy Aaron Rodgers, mind you.  Talk about greatly underachieving all season long.  And with their loss and Vikings win, the Packers were officially eliminated from playoff contention.


16.  Cleveland Browns (6-7-1):  Unless the Colts and Titans both close out their season 8-7-1, and the Browns hold some sort of weird tie-breaker over the Colts, the Browns are pretty much all but mathematically eliminated at this point.  Still, the way they've been playing ever since firing Hue Jackson (going from 2-5-1 to 4-2 is one hell of a good turnaround), you can't help but wonder if the Browns could indeed run the table against the Bengals and Ravens to close out their season.  Just imagine living in a world where one minute, they go 1-31; the next minute, they have their first winning season since 2007!  Dogs and cats living together!  Mass hysteria!


15.  Baltimore Ravens (8-6):  From this point forward, my Power rankings will start to become even more convoluted than before.  Especially since my entire top 15 list consists of teams I honestly think can compete for a playoff spot, if they haven't done so already.  And of those 15, I think the Ravens not only have the worst shot at a playoff berth, but also would be the team most likely to be bounced right away should they get there.  While I did state that the Redskins of all teams should have drafted Lamar Jackson in the first round when they got the chance, it's only from the standpoint of being an understudy to Alex Smith.  Here with Baltimore, I knew right away the only reason they would trade up in order to draft him was to potentially replace Joe Flacco should things start to go south.  And while we still need another year or two to figure out whether or not Lamar Jackson could in fact develop into a proper and/or elite quarterback, the fact of the matter is, he does not play like a quarterback half the time.  And honestly, not only is it really easy to figure out how to beat; but playing more like a runningback or receiver will likely get him hurt if anything.  Even if they get the Patriots in the Wild Card round, they will likely get utterly destroyed by them.  Or if they somehow win their division, chances are, they're going to have to host either the Chiefs or Chargers (granted, they nearly beaten the Chiefs a couple weeks ago in their stadium, but I digress).  Speaking of which, their remaining games are going to be a Chargers team hoping to lock down homefield advantage, and a Browns team red hot and waiting to turn their whole culture around.  Definitely winnable games, but again, I don't like their chances when they do get there.


14.  Philadelphia Eagles (7-7):  A difficult team to read at times, but at least last night basically reminded us how out of sheer habit we constantly finding ourselves in error over assuming the fact that Nick Foles equals the end of their season as we all know it.  They're not winning the Super Bowl this year, but with the Panthers and Redskins falling apart, the Eagles do have a shot at a playoff berth.  And honestly, beating the Rams will likely have a ripple effect, too; as the Bears are almost certainly are not going to be heading into Week 17 thinking about resting their starters, this in turn could potentially result in the Vikings getting eliminated from playoff contention.  Thus opening the door to the Eagles making it in.  Of course, whoever they do end up playing in the Wild Card round--likely the Bears at this point--will almost certainly eliminated them from playoff contention right away.  The Eagles' biggest problem all season long seems to be their inability to close out games.  Mental errors in the 4th quarter or in overtime have cost them so many more games than you can even imagine.  Imagine an alternate reality where they did finish out nearly all of their close games?  We might be talking about returning division champs once again.  They do host the Texans though, followed up by a rematch with the Redskins.  So hey?  Anything can happen on any given Sunday.


13.  Tennessee Titans (8-6):  Ranked them just outside the top 12 because regardless of who they've got left on their schedule, you never know what you are going to get.  And they get the Redskins and Colts at home to close out the regular season.  Take that for what it's worth.


12.  Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1):  After their road trip to Detroit, they have to host the Chicago Bears again.  And since the Rams lost, the Bears most likely won't have any insentive to rest their starters against the Vikings, much less cover up their best plays.  Regardless, for the time being anyways, the Viking still edge out teams like the Eagles since the Vikings are not as mistake-prone.  Their biggest problem is more or less their atrocious offensive line.  That, and having to travel on the road to play the Patriots and Seahawks--which it doesn't take a super genius to figure out the Vikings weren't going to win those games.  But they can clinch with a win against the Lions, plus losses from the Eagles and Redskins.


11. Dallas Cowboys (8-6):  Not sure how to feel about this team after they got shut out on the road against the Colts.  They do host the Bucs, so if they win that, and then the Redskins lose, then the Cowboys have secured the NFC East by default though.  All before having to worry about the Giants.  They just need to take care of one of these heavily mistake-prone offenses, and they'll be fine.  I don't rate them much higher because at the end of the day, unless they play the Vikings, I don't think the Cowboys would last all that long in the tournament.


10.  New England Patriots (9-5):  The question isn't so much whether or not the Patriots will make the playoffs, but rather when and under what qualifiers.  To secure the AFC East, they would need a win or a Dolphins loss this weekend.  Both seem like probable outcomes if you ask me.  Meanwhile, the Patriots look like they are slowing down due to old age and fatigue.  Any semblance of the 8 years of dominance and horror that the Patriots had wrought across the entire AFC all these years seem to be slipping away.  I need not remind anyone that Brady is not the same player that he once was, much less last year.  And with each passing week, it is starting to show slowly but surely.  And given how underwhelming that defense is, and it doesn't exactly look like Brady is going to ride off into the sunset with Ring number 6 behind an all time great defense, either.  The good news is, their remaining games are home games against rookie quarterbacks from the Bills and Jets respectively, so it's not like they're staring at possible elimination here.  The bad new is, the loss pretty much all but takes homefield advantage away from them (their only realistic hope for a first round bye is to win out and then hope for the Texans to lose one).  And then what?


9.  Seattle Seahawks (8-6):  Speaking of teams whose Super Bowl aspirations appear to be slipping away, the fact that the Seahawks lost to the 49ers yesterday (or was it two days ago) pretty much makes it a toss-up as to whether or not they can even make the playoffs here.  Reminder that all the Seahawks need are a win, plus losses from either the Vikings or the Eagles and Redskins.  Though winning out does give them the keys to face the NFC East in the Wild Card round.  They have to host the Kansas City Chiefs, and then the Arizona Cardinals.  At least both of these games are going to be at home though.  So we'll see.  At least they're playing better than the Patriots lately.


8.  Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1):  The Steelers can clinch the AFC North this weekend with a win plus a Baltimore Ravens loss.  Unfortunately, they have to go to New Orleans, so hopefully (for them, anyways), they can do to Brees what they did to Brady.  It's not likely to happen, but it is a start.  After that, they get a season finale against the Bengals, and the rest is history.


7.  Indianapolis Colts (8-6):  As far as I can tell, the Colts are the only team in the top 12 that cannot clinch a playoff spot this weekend.  Though a win will go a long way in deciding who the 6th seed might very well be.  After getting shut out 6-0 by the Jaguars, they bounced back with a much more convincing shut out of the Cowboys by the score of 23-0.  They host the Giants this weekend, and then they will have their season finale against the Tennessee Titans--presumably as the regular NFL season finale--to decide the 6th and final seed.


6.  Houston Texans (10-4):  After very nearly blowing it against the lowly Jets, I am a little bit hesitant about rating the Texans this high.  Bug considering just what a strange week this has been, at least the Texans were able to get it done unlike so many other teams ranked so far.  In a vacuum, I'd easily pick the Texans to beat the Eagles next week, but unfortunately, as it's being played in Philadelphia, it's a little hard to be certain about that.  Then their season finale will be against the Jaguars.  Though if the Texans want that first round bye, they absolutely must beat the Eagles next week.  Otherwise, all the Texans need to clinch the AFC South is a win or losses from the Colts and Titans.


5.  Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)*:  Now we finally get to talk about the teams that have officially clinched playoff berths of their own.  The Chiefs needed a win against the Chargers to clinch not just the division but also a first round bye as well.  And now they find themselves having to go to Seattle--definitely not an easy place to play--and considering how much they struggled against the Ravens, it might not be so pretty for the Chiefs over there.  Especially as a chance to win their division in spite of a ridiculous MVP season from Patrick Mahomes may very well slip away.  Honestly, in my last Power Rankings, I dropped them down all the way from number 3 to number 5 because of the Kareem Hunt situation.  And when I found out about it, I knew the Chiefs weren't going to be as dominant.  In fact, even if they do secure homefield advantage, they are likely going to end up getting bounced right away by the Chargers, or get annihilated by whoever the NFC Champion happens to be this year should they actually make it to the Super Bowl.


4.  Los Angeles Rams (11-3)**:  It's really funny how at one point in time, the Rams looked like they might be capable of securing homefield advantage throughout the playoffs following a really bad loss from the Saints.  And now, they are gazing behind their backs, having to worry about the Bears possibly securing that second seed in their stead.  And now, any chance to secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs is all but completely gone.  At least their remaining schedule looks easy enough--then again, they're rematches against the lowly Cardinals and 49ers, so not really saying much.  They can secure a first round playoff bye with a win and Bears loss, btw.


3.  Chicago Bears (10-4)**:  Combined with how poorly the Rams have been playing the last couple of weeks, which included an upset loss at the hands of said Bears team, it's no wonder I decided to rank them as high as I have.  Of all the teams to play spoiler for a chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, the Bears are my biggest spoiler to do so right now.  Add to that that if they win out, then one more blunder from the Rams will give the Bears the first round bye in their stead.  Their remaining games?  They go to San Francisco before closing out their regular season in Minnesota.


2.  Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)*:  Honestly, once upon a time, the Chargers would have been my number 1 choice to play Spoiler in the AFC to go to the Super Bowl.  But if they somehow end up securing homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, then chances are, that term would no longer apply here.  Regardless on whether or not they do win the division, this is by far the best, and perhaps final opportunity this team is going to have to getting Phillip Rivers to a Super Bowl.  He's waited far too long for this opportunity.  Even as a Bronco fan, I do hope he can finally get his ring.  But they have to first overcome the Ravens and Broncos before we can talk Super Bowl.


1.  New Orleans Saints (12-2)**:  The Saints had quite a few close calls tonight in Carolina, but at least they were able to get the job done.  All they need to secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs is a win and a loss from the Rams, too.  If that does happen this weekend, then the Saints could potentially head into Week 17 with nothing to play for.  Hopefully, that is not in any way, shape or form the case, because in all seriousness, teams that rest their starters?  They tend not to do so well in the postseason, regardless of how good they were.  They do host the Steelers and Panthers though, so we'll see.


Now what an interesting pair of matchups to see when it comes to Super Bowls?  The idea of Super Bowl LIII being either a Battle of LA narrative, or a clash between two quarterbacks whose history goes way back 12-14 years ago when the Chargers were still in San Diego?  I honestly don't know whether to be upset that the parade that the people of San Diego have been hoping to experience all these years would never come in spite them possibly winning, or to be happy that Phillip Rivers would finally be able to earn the opportunity to get the monkey off his back?  At the very least, I should probably consider saying the following:


"Congratulations, Philip Rivers!  You did it!  Fuck you, Spanos!"

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@~Tailback King~ :  describe your emotions leading upto a Seahawks battle against Cowboys

@davefmurray :  describe your emotions leading upto a Colts battle against Texans

@gojiphen malor :  describe your emotions leading upto an Eagles battle against Bears

@Bolt :  describe your emotions leading upto a Chargers battle against Ravens



... thank you for asking.


Okay, I'll go first:  I have very few compunctions about this





, although I would like to see the Bolts represent


(because now picking the Bolts is the bold prediction, you see.)

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Time for an updated Power Rankings.  For now, I'm pretty much am just going to rank all the teams based off of draft order (so far):


32.  Arizona Cardinals (3-13)

31.  San Francisco 49ers (4-12)

30.  New York Jets (4-12)

29.  Oakland Raiders (4-12)

28.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)

27.  New York Giants (5-11)
26.  Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
25.  Detroit Lions (6-10)
24.  Buffalo Bills (6-10)
23.  Denver Broncos (6-10)
22.  Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
21.  Green Bay Packers (6-9-1)
20.  Miami Dolphins (7-9)
19.  Atlanta Falcons (7-9)

18.  Washington Redskins (7-9)
17.  Carolina Panthers (7-9)

16.  Cleveland Browns (7-8-1)

15.  Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1)

14.  Tennessee Titans (9-7)

13.  Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)


And the top 12 teams are all playoff teams.  My arrangement here is based relatively on where I think the 12 teams rank in relation to one another as far as who the best teams in the NFL are going to be.  Might as well, after all:


12.  Philadelphia Eagles (9-7):  Yes, the Eagles have had an incredibly strong finish in order to clinch the 6th seed.  But when you get right down to it, I do think the Eagles are the least good team in the NFL right now.  Yes, that is in spite a vivid sense of deja vu overcoming me in regards to the Eagles.  Remember how I continuously kept the Eagles in the bottom three or four teams amidst all the playoff teams?  Remember how we continuously picked against the Eagles in every single playoff game even as they won it all?  Well, here's the thing; the Eagles have demonstrated just how much they miss Frank Reich as Offensive coordinator, as their offense has become incredibly mistake prone through long stretches of the season.  Not to mention their defense struggling many times over to close out games, which in turn cost them whatever shot they may have had at repeating as division champions.  As a result, they are now the 6th seed, when they had secured homefield advantage throughout the entire playoffs.  Does that mean they can't beat the Bears?  No.  But at some point, one has to recognize that they most likely are not going to be repeating as Super Bowl champions this time around.  How ironic, yet eerily familiar here, indeed.


11.  Houston Texans (11-5):  Yet another team that now I suddenly feel does not stand that great a chance at actually making it to the Super Bowl.  Keep in mind that following a dreadful 0-3 start on the season, the Texans had won 9 straight, only to close out the season going 2-2.  And mind you, both of these losses came against playoff-caliber teams.  This basically means that even if, say, the Texans make it past the Colts, I doubt they'd stand much a chance against the Patriots, much less the Chiefs or Chargers.  Maybe the Ravens, but considering that no rookie quarterback has ever played in a Super Bowl, that's pretty much the only pointer I can afford the Texans; that as they are now, they probably do not stand much chance at getting to the Super Bowl, and even if they did, they'd lose to whoever the NFC team happens to be--yes, I'm even including the Philadelphia Eagles, here, but who knows.  And it's all based on the fact that the Texans simply haven't looked very good as of late, which in turn leads me to believe that the Texans will not make it far, if anywhere past the Wild Card round at all.


10.  Indianapolis Colts (10-6):  Long story short; they beat the Texans in the opening round in the playoff.  And then they have to go to Kansas City.  Just let that sink in.  Even if the Chiefs do the unthinkable and win a home playoff game (or maybe it's not a huge stretch given the fact that the Chiefs are an outright better team than the Colts), they still have to play an outdoor conference championship game.  In other words, their season is almost certainly going to end short of a trip to the Super Bowl.


9.  Dallas Cowboys (10-6):  Honestly, I think the best shot the Cowboys have at making the Super Bowl is if the Eagles beat the Bears; then the Cowboys beat the Seahawks at home; travel to LA and beat the Rams, and then travel to New Orleans to beat the Saints (who they did manage to defeat earlier this year); or host the Eagles and beat them at home.  So a pathway to the Super Bowl for a dome team that most likely will have to travel a bit in the playoffs will likely have the opportunity to at least play in the NFC Championship game inside a dome.  But only if the Eagles upset the Bears.  Otherwise, they're SOL.  Of course, that's without taking into account that they still need to survive the Seattle Seahawks--a team that has never lost a playoff opener behind coach Pete Carol or QB Russell Wilson.  Let's see how they do.


8.  Baltimore Ravens (10-6):  I'm ranking the Ravens right here because while I do think the Ravens are talented enough to make it far, the fact of the matter is, there are two things working against rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs; none have ever made it to the Super Bowl; and none have ever won in Foxborough during the Brady/Belichick era.  In other words, the Ravens pretty much have two road blocks in the Chiefs and Patriots on the road, and one at home against the Colts (though considering that no dome team has ever won an outdoor conference championship game, I wonder which precedent would break should the two teams meet).


7.  Seattle Seahawks (10-6):  While the Seahawks are a significantly better team at home than they are on the road, they are going to be a much more formidable force than most other NFL teams up to this point in time.  They have also been known for having New Orleans' number as of late.  Though chances are, the Seahawks probably are not going to match up well against the Bears or Rams.  Still, their Super Bowl chances are not the most improbable; they do match up pretty well against most of the frontrunners in the AFC.


6.  New England Patriots (11-5):  Aside from obliterating the Jets and Bills at home--which, let's face it; isn't that big an accomplishment--they've been looking really sloppy lately, and I don't care how badly they've beaten the Bills or Jets; Brady has not been himself lately.  And really, all it takes is a team that knows how to play defensively against this Patriots squad, and then unleash points at will to end their run at a third straight Super Bowl appearance.  The Ravens' defense can definitely match up well against Brady; I just don't trust Lamar Jackson on the road against a Patriots squad that has never lost at home against a rookie quarterback in the Brady/Belichick era.  And no dome team has ever won a conference championship game outside in the history of the NFL, so that rules out the Colts as well.  But when you get right down to it, I just don't think the Patriots have what it takes to beat the Chargers or Chiefs in the playoffs.  The only reason I am ranking them this high?  Because they're the New England Patriots, and they have the first round bye.  And if the Chiefs end up suffering a one-and-done in the playoffs, chances are, you're going to be seeing the Patriots making it back to YET another Super Bowl regardless.  But outside of maybe the Rams, I don't see the Patriots beating anybody in the Super Bowl.  They're just too old.


5.  Los Angeles Chargers (12-4):  Here is where we get to the true Super Bowl contenders.  Though the Chargers rank the lowest of all of them due to how bloody mistake-prone they tend to be.  It's just not an outright reliable choice to lean so heavily on the Chargers to win the Super Bowl.  Though if they do get there, they have every possible opportunity to actually compete with the hope of actually winning one.  They are probably the one AFC team that matches up well against each of the NFC juggernauts.  If only they can get past the Patriots, however.  And I suppose by extension, the Chiefs as well.


4.  Kansas City Chiefs (12-4):  Mahomes is for sure the League MVP now that he has entered the oh-so-prestigious 50-TD club alongside Brady and Manning (although he failed to break the record, but I digress).  The Chiefs have digressed significantly since the Kareem Hunt incident though, but if they can continue to score at will, there's very little reason not to think the Chiefs can't make it.  Their biggest threat are the Patriots (because Patriots) and Chargers, both teams having beaten them earlier in the season.  With that said, I don't like their chances at winning the Super Bowl unless they get some sort of Cinderella story in there (like the Cowboys or Eagles).


3.  LA Rams (13-3):  The Rams have an explosive offense that hasn't been all that productive lately (except in resounding victories over the lowly Chargers and 49ers to close out their season).  Part of the reason has to do with Todd Gurley being hurt.  But they have since signed CJ Anderson to fill in for Todd Gurley and to inevitably serve as a one-two punch at running back once the latter gets healthy.  As for defense, aside from Aaron Donald (who, btw, is nothing short of absolutely incredible), there really isn't much to say.  They could make a run at the Super Bowl, but only if everything clicks on all cylinders.


2.  Chicago Bears (12-4):  The best defense in the NFL, mixed with a young offense.  I can definitely see this team making a deep run for the Super Bowl, and possibly even being crowned Super Bowl champions as well.  Although I do not consider Mitch Trubisky to be an elite quarterback, he is fine at what he does.  Definitely can extend plays, and has his moments of greatness.  At least he's not Rex Grossman.


1.  New Orleans Saints (13-3):  Something worth noting is just how many of these top tier teams have been struggling quite a bit over the last month.  The top 3 seeded teams in each conference and the LA Chargers have each been plagued with mistakes, and some lackluster offensive play.  And yet Seeds 4-6 have all lost just one game, if even that, in the month of December.  At least with the Saints going 2-2 to close out their season, their final game was a meaningless season finale that they blew big time.  Similar too to the Patriots, one could perhaps contribute some of the struggles of Drew Brees to his age--he's soon to turn 40, so the Saints, if they are to make another run for the Super Bowl, absolutely must win right here and now.  As such, they are not the biggest lock to get there.  But they do have the best shot at making it to the Super Bowl out of everybody at this point and time.


Maybe after the NFL season comes to a close, I'll update the Power Rankings to better reflect their overall skillsets, coach and culture, warts and all, for all 32 teams in the NFL.  As an overall evaluation of how well each team did (their records will be taken into consideration, though they won't tell the whole story).  Good night, everybody!

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On 12/31/2018 at 12:41 PM, Bolt said:

@~Tailback King~ :  describe your emotions leading upto a Seahawks battle against Cowboys

@davefmurray :  describe your emotions leading upto a Colts battle against Texans

@gojiphen malor :  describe your emotions leading upto an Eagles battle against Bears

@Bolt :  describe your emotions leading upto a Chargers battle against Ravens



... thank you for asking.


Okay, I'll go first:  I have very few compunctions about this





, although I would like to see the Bolts represent


(because now picking the Bolts is the bold prediction, you see.)


My emotions tell me that NO ONE wants any part of the SEAHAWKS right now.  Fear the Wilson/Carson combo.....I know the Cowgirls are.

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@~Tailback King~

@gojiphen malor


Good, good ...  If 2 out of 3 ROMs had their say, one of you will be very happy come SB time.  Until then, therapy will continue for both of you... in a good way! (they say.) ;)

#[email protected]#%$#($&#*@&)#!

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There's a culture brewin' within

Frank Fatty Reich's enterprise,

and look for the Colts to handle

the Texans WITHOUT care...


Colts are a professional football fixture /

Texans are lazy.


-- Cole.  Cole?  Beasley.  Beasley.  Beasley

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Posted (edited)

Painful choke by the Texans. 


Good game in Dallas. I was more worried about the Seahawks winning (for the Patriots’ sake), so I’m happy with the outcome, no matter how much I personally dislike the Cowboys. 


Nice opening Saturday playoff football!

Edited by Yak

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Curse of the dark jersey!



On 1/1/2019 at 8:00 PM, gojiphen malor said:



... All winning teams wore white jerseys, this Wild-Card weekend. :eek:

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SEAHAWKS, got taken a page out of their own book /


Got SOCKED in the mouth


On 11/20/2018 at 12:19 PM, Bolt said:

That Cowboys team looks ready to sock some teams in the mouth. ÔĽŅ



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2 hours ago, Bolt said:

Yes, Greetings.  Bears own a typically horrendous home-record against Eagles of-late, Jack Frost.

You know, it used to be the Bears won every single home-game - 15 in-a-row, to be exact - over the Green Birds, dating all the way back to their first, in 1939.

Beginning in 1999, however, Iggles have really taken flight, going 7-2 in such Windy City contests.¬† No, Se√Īor!



I was at the game in Chicago, October 17th 1999 (my Birthday yay!). I got to ride a school bus from the parking lot to the stadium to see Doug Pederson start at QB with a few snaps for McNabb (His first regular season game action). It was Andy Reid's very first road win also. Quite a memorable day.

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@gojiphen malor , your emotional state before Eagles at Saints:  Describe it

@Bodom , your emotional state before Chargers at Patriots:  Describe it

@kamphuna8 , your emotional paradigm before Cowboys at Rams ...  Deconstruct it

@TecmoSuperFan , your emotional state before Colts at K.C.:  Transcribe it


Thank you


(But happy new year.)

Edited by Bolt
t.b. vvunderlicc

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Well, so far it's going how i want it. Wasn't expecting Colquitt to be blocked, but Vinatieri whiffing that last second FG was awesome



Edited by TecmoSuperFan

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On 1/12/2019 at 5:08 PM, TecmoSuperFan said:



Edited by Bolt

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