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Mike Gordan

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Mike Gordan last won the day on December 12 2018

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About Mike Gordan

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  1. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    Consider me done with the NFL. Call me when the Patriots actually fall apart. They'll probably end up closing their next season at 7-9 and still be handed another trip to the AFC Championship game, if not another Super Bowl berth, on a silver platter. This is ridiculous at this point. And to think, the NBA experts were calling LeBron James vs. Golden State Warriors 5 years in a row good Basketball. This is just as bad because it basically demonstrates that either how the NFL handles things like Free Agency, the Salary Cap, and the reffing to be an absolute failure, or--if you are of the conspiratorial mind that the modern NFL as a whole is exclusively beneficial to the Patriots--a glorious success. I don't care if my Super Bowl pick is wrong. I do not care if I'm right. It's a disastrous product, and it seems to have gotten worse every year since 2012. At least prior to Peyton Manning's retirement, it wasn't necessarily a given that the Patriots would reach the Super Bowl, much less secure a first round playoff bye. Heck, the retirement of the old Steelers and Ravens defenses, as well as Manning's retirement basically means the Patriots are the de facto AFC Champions every year until Brady's knees give out...presumably in another 20 years and after winning another 20 rings. This is flat out ridiculous, as the league--whether they are even aware of this or not--have basically become a rigged state.
  2. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    I'm locked into 1st place, so no need to explain my reasonings as to why I'm picking the home team both times in the Conference Championship games. Worth noting that we've never had a Super Bowl between two 2 Seeds, and the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens were the last teams to win a Conference Championship game on the road--both in 2012. Also since then, the 2016 Atlanta Falcons were the only team ranked below the 1 Seed to have reached the Super Bowl (they were the 2nd Seed).
  3. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    @Knobbe Don't forget to put in your picks. You can still contend for 2nd Place, you know.
  4. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    Time to make my picks. Seeing as I only need to get one more pick right in order to win this whole thing, I might as well play: Picking the Chiefs to beat the Colts simply because the Chiefs are by far the most explosive offense in the NFL this year. Granted, they've slowed down quite a bit ever since Kareem Hunt wrecked his career by being a dumbass, but you know what? I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, here. The Rams, I am picking because while the Cowboys are formidable on defense and can score points when necessary, they lack the firepower necessary to keep pace with the Rams. Todd Gurley should be healthy by then, and even if he isn't, there's still CJ Anderson. And then LB Aaron Donald. I rest my case. Honestly, the Patriots have been sluggish, and no clobbering two bad teams at home doesn't help matters much. They look old and well past their prime. They only got a first round bye wrapped up for them because the Texans AND Steelers both had to have a meltdown to close out their respective seasons. The one thing that might spoil the upset, however (aside from the fact that Philip Rivers has never bested Brady and Belechick, not even during the 2008 season where the former was lost for the entire year), as well as how bloody mistake prone they tend to be in spite their immense talents. Don't screw this up, Chargers! And then I'm picking the Saints to beat the Eagles. While I do believe the game will be much more competitive than it was when they last played this season, the fact remains that the Saints demonstrated just how many bloody lightyears ahead they are of the Eagles. Definitely as close to a lock as they come. I await the rest of you guys' choices. I'll keep @drummer4god and @Miles Prower active for one more week just to be safe. Especially since even with their no-shows, they are still ahead of TecmoSuperFan in the win column. Don't forget to put your picks in by Saturday.
  5. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    @Miles [email protected]'t forget to make your picks before tomorrow. There are games on Saturdays and Sundays during the Wild Card and Divisional rounds.
  6. Mike Gordan

    Poetry Hour

    There was once a man from Venus, With a rocket for a penis. There was once a woman from China, With a popsicle stick in her vagina. And then my friend, you die. - Butthead
  7. Mike Gordan

    Playoff Pick 'ems 2018-2019--End Game

    @Mike Gordan: IND, SEA, LAC, CHI; KC, LAR, LAC, NO; NO, KC; NE @TecmoSuperFan: HOU, SEA, BAL, CHI; KC, LAR, LAC, NO; LAR, KC; @gojiphen malor: IND, DAL, LAC, PHI; IND, DAL, LAC, PHI; n/a, n/a; @Knobbe: HOU, DAL, LAC, CHI; n/a, n/a, n/a, n/a; NO, KC; @BigCat71: HOU, SEA, LAC, CHI; KC, LAR, NE, NO; LAR, KC; @drummer4god: LAR, KC; 1st: Mike Gordan: 0-0 (176-90) 2nd: BigCat71: 6-4 (167-99) 3rd: gojiphen malor: 4-6 (166-100) 4th: Knobbe: 2-8 (165-101) 5th: drummer4god: 1-9 (151-115) 6th: TecmoSuperFan: 4-6 (150-116)
  8. Mike Gordan

    NFL 2018-2019 Season Discussion

    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!
  9. Mike Gordan

    Week 17 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    And here's how the Playoff bracket is looking like: AFC: 1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) 2. New England Patriots (11-5) 3. Houston Texans (11-5) 4. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) 5. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) 6. Indianapolis Colts (10-6) NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints (13-3) 2. Los Angeles Rams (13-3) 3. Chicago Bears (12-4) 4. Dallas Cowboys (10-6) 5. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) 6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) See ya all soon when we enter the Playoffs! Who will win the Super Bowl? We are heading into the Endgame now! Should have gone for the head!
  10. Mike Gordan

    Week 17 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    Since I plan on sleeping in and hopefully taking good care of my little illness (at least it wasn't post Christmas 2016...), I'm going to make my picks right here and now: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills: Last time these two teams played one another, the Bills outright annihilated the Dolphins in Miami. Now it's December, and they're playing in Buffalo. I personally think that the one thing that might motivate the Dolphins to play the Bills tough enough to get back into 8-8 is simply to avoid another losing season, and to at least make Adam Gase's job security look better and better. Do I like their chances? Not really. I don't like this game, but I am leaning more towards Buffalo in this one. Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers: Aside from a home game against a Panthers squad that, little did we know it at the time, was heading towards a steep collapse, the Lions have been absolutely miserable since trading away Golden Tate--by far their best receiver on that team. Aaron Rodgers wants to play out the rest of the season with the hope of carrying some much-needed offensive momentum going forward. And since it's a home game, I'm going to go with the Packers for a big win. One of my locks this week. New York Jets @ New England Patriots: Maybe the Patriots are at that point where they are now officially falling apart now that all of their best players this decade are getting old as dirt. Brady and Gronk especially have been looking well past their prime as of late. Though until I see otherwise, I have no reason to pick against the Patriots at home, especially with a first round bye--and perhaps even home field advantage if they're lucky (or if the NFL is indeed rigged in their favor; watch out for Ref Ball). Though not as solid a lock as the Packers (as Sam Darnold and the Jets have been playing surprisingly well on offense as of late), I am pretty confident in them still. 2 Seed at the very least. Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints: In a vacuum, this game is a lock, for Cam Newton is officially done for the year after their playoff hopes all but disappeared a couple weeks ago. Their backup quarterback is also lost for the year. But the Saints no longer have anything to play for. But there is a catch; the Saints probably want to give backup Teddy Bridgewater a shot to start a game for the first time since Blair Walsh kicked wide left on a potential game-winning gimme. We don't really know how many starters will be playing, though from what I've gathered, Drew Brees is definitely taking the week off. I do like Bridgewater, and I do hope for the best for him. So I'm going to see the Saints beating the Panthers on a meaningless final game that is all the more meaningful for a once top quarterback draft pick. Not a lock though because of these circumstances. Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants: Yet another game where one team has literally nothing left to play for. Though it is not a lock for the Giants because I have heard word that Ezekiel Elliot wants to beat Saquon Barkley for the Rushing Title this season--now that Todd Gurley is hurt, Kareem Hunt is on the exempt list, and Philip Lindsey is on IR. But in the month of December, I just prefer the home team, especially if they are a cold weather team playing a dome team that will likely be resting most of their starters. I'm going with the Giants. Though if they do announce that they will be plugging in their starters, watch out (but since it's Jason Garret as their head coach, I have a hunch that even Zeke will be missing some snaps). Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Yuk! Two explosive offenses with major deficiencies and next to no defense playing a meaningless (other than pride) game against one another. So you know what? I'm going to throw a bone in favor of the Falcons. Why? Well, between my two biggest competitors--Knobbe and gojiphen malor--might as well throw one a bone and do the same to the other later on the list. This time, I'm going with Knobbe on this one. That and I do prefer Matt Ryan to Jameis Winston. Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans: Really, the fact that the Texans haven't been looking too hot ever since their 8-game losing streak got snapped does seem like the Texans have regressed significantly. Now, unless the Patriots somehow lose at home to the Jets, the Texans have basically lost their shot at a first round bye. And they may even lose their shot to potentially win their division. Especially since the Jaguars match up well against the Texans, if only their offense can get things going. But all things considered, I still have to give the Texans the edge, here. Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos: The Chargers are my next lock to win this weekend, and pretty much my only lock of the week to do so on the road. Why? Because Phillip Lindsey, Emmanuel Sanders, and Chris Harris Jr. are all lost for the year, and Vance Joseph is a hack of a head coach. And before anybody calls me racist, do note that at least Anthony Lynn has led the Chargers to back-to-back winning seasons, and made them one of the best teams since starting the previous season 0-4. And with a shot to potentially clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, of course I'll pick the Chargers to win on the road against a team that couldn't even handle a much maligned Oakland Raiders unit. Even if they do fall to the 5 Seed anyways, they are likely going to be a much more dangerous team having to travel on the road to the Super Bowl than they would be at home following a bye (worth noting too that aside from the Rams, the Chargers have not lost a single road game all season long). Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs: Speaking of teams competing for homefield advantage, even though Kareem Hunt's expulsion from the team has basically sent this team on a downward trajectory, with their only win coming off of a miracle against the Ravens since then; but at least back then, their two losses and barely a win all came against really good football teams. I'm picking the Chiefs as lock number 4. San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams: The Rams, likewise, have been rather sluggish ever since Todd Gurley got hurt. Though last week on the road, they were able to acquire former Bronco/Panther CJ Anderson, and they seemed to have reestablished their running attack since. At home, and with a shot at a first round bye on the line, I definitely have to go with the Rams in this one. Lock number 5. Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings: There's a couple reasons why I think the Bears are going to win; first up, is the shot at a possible first round bye in case the Rams can't shake the Todd Gurley injury. Second, to possibly eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention. Now, if the Bears are struggling, they might remove their foot from the gas and let the Vikings win (especially if the Seahawks and Rams both win, and the Eagles end up losing anyways). But considering just how much the Bears match up well against the Vikings, and that they would want to enter the playoffs red hot anyways, I would like to give the Bears a bit of credit. Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Lock number 6. The Bungles are a complete mess ravaged with injuries across the board. And the Steelers are desperate for some help just to make the playoffs. As such, they still need to do their part in order to win. Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks: Not only is this my 7th and final Lock on the week, it's also my Survival Pick. The Seahawks, contrary to popular belief, are not locked in to their seeding (if they lose, then the Vikings can leapfrog the Seahawks in the seeding order). My thought process is that the Seahawks would much rather play the Cowboys in Dallas in the Wild Card round than the Bears or Rams. On top of that, the Cardinals have nothing left to play for, and their offense is well past their prime. Even though the Cardinals have been known to have the Seahawks' number in Seattle, that was back when Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton were their quarterbacks, and Bruce Arians was still their head coach. They are all gone, and the pieces that still remain are in desperate need to retire at this point. As such, definitely think the Seahawks are going to win and will in turn lock up the number 5 seed. Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins: Now for something interesting. While the Vikings would likely match up better with the Bears than the Vikings, I just have this inkling that the Eagles will make it back to the playoffs as the 6th and final seed. Though considering the fact that the Redskins' defense is still formidable (even with Alex Smith lost for the season, and Adrien Peterson showing his age), it isn't really a given. So take it with a grain of salt here that a loss would automatically grant the Vikings a playoff berth by default. But in the end, I just can't bring myself to pick against the Eagles. Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens: Strangely enough, there's a ton of people in this group picking the Browns to win. I suppose it has something to do with Baker Mayfield elevating the Browns, and the fact that the Browns also have a lethal defense to boot. My initial thought was that the Ravens are going to take care of business this time and end their playoff drought. Especially since a loss here may cost John Harbaugh his job. But you know what? A lot of people seem to like the Browns here. Let's see what they're having. Especially since it best counteracts what I said about the Falcons @ Bucs game. Favoring gojiphen malor this time. Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans: The big one. Ever since starting the season a miserable 1-5, the Colts had suddenly became the most dominant team in the NFL since then, with only a hiccup in Jacksonville as their only blemish. Does Andrew Luck's Comeback Player of the Year campaign reach its conclusion in the playoffs? I'm going to assume so. Going with the Colts here. Okay, gonna put our picks in, and then I'm going to bed. Good night, everybody!
  11. Mike Gordan

    Week 17 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers New York Jets @ New England Patriots Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans @Mike Gordan: BUF, GB, NE, NO, NYG, ATL, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, CHI, PIT, SEA, PHI, CLE, IND @TecmoSuperFan: MIA, GB, NE, NO, DAL, TB, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, CHI, PIT, SEA, PHI, CLE, IND @gojiphen malor: BUF, GB, NE, NO, DAL, TB, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, CHI, PIT, SEA, PHI, CLE, IND @Knobbe: BUF, GB, NE, NO, NYG, ATL, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, MIN, PIT, SEA, PHI, BAL, IND @BigCat71: BUF, GB, NE, NO, NYG, ATL, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, CHI, PIT, SEA, PHI, BAL, IND @Miles Prower: MIA, GB, NE, NO, DAL, ATL, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, CHI, CIN, SEA, PHI, CLE, TEN @drummer4god: BUF, GB, NE, NO, DAL, ATL, HOU, LAC, KC, LAR, MIN, PIT, SEA, PHI, CLE, TEN 1st: Mike Gordan: 0-0 (159-81) 2nd: Knobbe: 0-0 (151-89) 3rd: gojiphen malor: 0-0 (150-90) 4th: BigCat71: 0-0 (148-92) 5th: drummer4god: 0-0 (140-100) 6th: Miles Prower: 0-0 (137-103) 7th: TecmoSuperFan: 0-0 (135-105) As some teams are bound to be resting their starters, I'm going to hold off on making my selections right away. As for my locks in the meantime, I'm going with the Packers, Patriots, Chargers, Chiefs, Rams, Steelers, and Seahawks. With my Survival Pick of the Week being the Seahawks (they may be locked into the Wild Card, but there's no way to convince me that they wouldn't rather play the Cowboys in the Wild Card Round than the Bears or Rams).
  12. Mike Gordan

    Week 16 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    Merry Christmas, everybody! Merry Christmas Merry Christmas Merry Christmas Kiss my ass Kiss his ass Kiss your ass Happy Hanukkah!
  13. Mike Gordan

    Week 16 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    Okay, might as well explain my picks now. Better late than never, I guess. No point in explaining my reasoning behind the Titans and Chargers since we know the out come of their respective games already, so let's move on: Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns: The Bungles are falling apart, and the Browns are red hot. As such, I'm picking Cleveland to win, even though with the Ravens victory, the Browns are now officially eliminated from playoff contention. Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys: If they beat the Bucs, the Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with one week to go. The Bucs have nothing left to play for and are offensively dysfunctional, with explosive stats, yet turnovers out the wazoo. As such, I'm picking the Cowboys. Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions: With the Redskins loss, the Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with a win and Eagles loss. Even though the Lions have been a mess ever since they traded away Golden Tate, it should be noted that the Lions could still pull away with an upset. But I'm still picking the Vikings. New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have the potential to establish a winner-take-all season finale against the Titans next week with a win and a Steelers loss. Their defense is pretty scary, and their offense has been productive. The Giants are done. So I'm picking the Colts. Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins: While the Jaguars' defense could potentially steal a win and seal the Dolphins' fate, the fact remains that Cody Kessler is even worse at QB than Blake Bortles was. Honestly, I have to lean more towards the Dolphins here. Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots: In the Brady-Belichick era, the Patriots have never lost at home to a rookie quarterback. Additionally, they've lost three in a row only once back in 2002. As such, I have to go with the Patriots by default. God forbid the Patriots somehow land homefield advantage for the 8th time in the Brady-Belichick era. Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets: Oh, boy! Neither team is any good, truth be told. And while I like Aaron Rodgers a lot more than Sam Darnold, they did lose to the Arizona Cardinals at home before. This one is going to be on the road, too, and they have yet to win on the road this season. As such, I pretty much don't have much choice but to default to the Jets. If nothing else, but so that I'm not potentially giving up a pick to somebody close by for no real reason. Don't worry though; I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities to think things over. Houston Texans @ Philadelphia Eagles: Yeah, even though the smart choice is probably to stick with the Texans here, do note that they barely came away with a win a week ago against the Jets in New York last week. In the month of December, homefield advantage is as big a deal as it has ever been before. And on top of that, the Eagles are going to be hungry for a chance to make it back to the playoffs, and will find ways to greatly overachieve with a shot at possibly clinching the 6th and final seed a week later, if not the division itself should the Cowboys fall apart down the stretch. Tough call, but I'm still going to go with the Eagles here. Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers: Even though the Panthers are still technically alive in the hunt for playoff contention--at least until the Cowboys and Vikings both win their respective games. But considering the fact that the Panthers are amidst an epic collapse following a dominant 6-2 start--losing their last six games all in a row. The Falcons have been pretty shitty as of late as well, but at least they've demonstrated just how much they've been underachieving with their dominant win against the Cardinals a week ago. It's really hard to justify picking either team at this point. But I am pretty much going to stick with the Falcons pretty much by default simply because Cam Newton is definitely not at 100%. Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals: Even though the Rams seem to have been figured out offensively speaking (that an Todd Gurley isn't healthy), I still think they're going to defeat the Cardinals and at least remain in contention for a first round bye. Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers: Same logic applies to the Bears as it does to the Rams, even though the 49ers are not quite as bad by comparison. If nothing else, the Bears have a really good defense. Then again, they did beat the Seahawks last week, so who knows? Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints: Definitely a potential spoiler pick for the week. I'd still go with the Saints though, simply because I don't think the Steelers match up well against the Saints. But if they do somehow pull away with a major upset....good for them.0 Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks: I'm pretty much picking the home team to win this one. I realize that everyone in this group is picking the heavily favored Kansas City Chiefs. But a major red flag that let me know that the Chiefs might not actually get it done this week came two weeks ago, shortly after the Kareem Hunt situation arose and the Chiefs barely escaped home with a win over the Baltimore Ravens defense. Now they have to travel on the road to play the Seahawks and deal with their 12th Man! Considering my constant paranoia about how the current NFL landscape appears to be shaping up, I still have a sneaky suspicion that not only are the Patriots going to secure a first round playoff bye, but possibly home field advantage as a whole. And based on that suspicion alone, I believe that the Chiefs will lose against a team that's notoriously difficult to defeat at home and have literally everything on the line tomorrow night. Win and they're in. As such, I'm picking the Seahawks. Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders: As bad as the Raiders are, I'm pretty much just done with the Broncos. Vance Joseph has proven time and time again that not only is he an incompetent head coach who does not give a shit about winning, but is an utterly gutless coach in must-win situations. At least the Raiders have some semblance of swagger behind Jon Gruden. May Vance Joseph take his diversity in his background (which was helpful exclusively in getting him hired in the first place and nothing else), and be shown the guillotine for gross incompetence. Now, for my Weekly Survival Pick. I'm picking the Colts.
  14. Mike Gordan

    Week 16 Pick 'ems 2018-2019

    No Thursday Night games this week, or for the rest of the season for that matter. Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans Baltimore Ravens @ Los Angeles Chargers Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets Houston Texans @ Philadelphia Eagles Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders @Mike Gordan: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, NYJ, PHI, ATL, LAR, CHI, NO, SEA, OAK @TecmoSuperFan: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, GB, HOU, ATL, LAR, CHI, NO, KC, DEN @gojiphen malor: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, GB, PHI, CAR, LAR, CHI, NO, KC, DEN @Knobbe: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, NYJ, HOU, ATL, LAR, CHI, NO, KC, DEN @BigCat71: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, DET, IND, MIA, NE, GB, PHI, ATL, LAR, CHI, NO, KC, OAK @Miles Prower: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, NYJ, HOU, ATL, LAR, CHI, NO, KC, OAK @drummer4god: TEN, LAC, CLE, DAL, MIN, IND, MIA, NE, GB, HOU, CAR, ???, CHI, NO, KC, OAK 1st: Mike Gordan: 0-0 (146-78) 2nd: Knobbe: 0-0 (141-83) 3rd: gojiphen malor: 0-0 (139-85) 4th: BigCat71: 0-0 (136-88) 5th: drummer4god: 0-0 (130-94) 6th: Miles Prower: 0-0 (126-98) 7th: TecmoSuperFan: 0-0 (124-100) Still am not sure on three of those games, though I am leaning more towards the Packers, Eagles, and Falcons. Which is why I am lowercasing those three picks instead of the usual capitalizing. Edit: After a day or so of being frozen out of the comment section, I finally got to update the main topic. As I don't feel all that confident in the Packers vs. Jets game, I'm pretty much going to change that pick to the Jets, while doubling down on the Eagles and Falcons. Every other pick I've made is going to stand pat here.
  15. Mike Gordan

    NFL 2018-2019 Season Discussion

    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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