Well, tonight's game is pretty much in the bag at this point, even with some struggles with the field goal game, the Saints have officially put the game away. Now it's time for the bi-weekly Power Rankings update:
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-4): With every team in the league with a win, it pretty much boiled down to the outcome of a game between the Cardinals and 49ers yesterday, in which case, the Cardinals traveled on the road to demolish the utterly devastated team. A good thing Jimmy G. helped secure a win for this team while he was still present, because this looks to be yet another really long year for the 49ers.
31. Arizona Cardinals (1-4): Congratulations are in order for Josh Rosen and the Arizona Cardinals for getting their first win of the season last week. Though your offense is still trash. I can't fault you guys; everybody over there is now old as dirt and well past their prime. It's a sad thing to witness, but that's how the cookie crumbles.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-4): This was a pretty tough call on my end, especially after the high-powered effort they put into their Week 4 victory over the Browns. Only for all of that to come crashing down against a Chargers team that has proven to not have much of a defense thanks to the absence of Joey Bosa. They couldn't even put up that much of a fight. It leads me to believe the reason for the explosion of points a couple weeks ago was due to it being a turnover fest from both sides. Perhaps a rarity an offense still prone to making mistakes facing a defense that otherwise can't stop a refrigerator from running, means the Browns were able to score a ton of points while simultaneously coughing up scoring opportunities to the Raiders. If that's how the Raiders are expected to win games going forward, then I have no faith in the Jon Gruden experiment working out.
29. Denver Broncos (2-3): Yes, believe it or not, the bottom four teams in the NFL come from the two Western Divisions And yes, as of right now, I can not imagine this Broncos team possibly coming in and defeating teams like the Colts, Falcons or Giants in spite possessing slightly better records than either of these two clubs. Not only are we bloody soft up the middle, but the playbook is so bloody shallow, and the playcalling is so bloody atrocious that even rookie teams that are works in progress are able to beat us up. The only reason I am not ranking them as the worst team in the league so far is because the Broncos still have additional games on their schedule against the 49ers, Cardinals, and Raiders. So with any luck, we might actually match our win total from last season.
28. Indianapolis Colts (1-4): The Colts are similarly bad to the Denver Broncos. The only difference is that I at least have more faith in the Colts ability to win games thanks to one Andrew Luck. Even though he had lost his best receiver due to injury. And if you want proof that the Colts could still bounce back, their next three games are all theoretically winnable games for the Colts. Then again, so too were games against the Texans, Bengals, and Eagles, and yet look where we are at.
27. New York Giants (1-4): Twice this team was undone by a ridiculously long field goal attempt by an opposing team. Could that possibly signal the Carolina Panthers as our next Super Bowl champions? Probably not. But given the current dysfunction of the NFC East, the Giants at least still have a pretty solid chance at stealing the division from the Eagles. Starting this Thursday night in fact when they host the Eagles and hope to pay them back for the close losses they had to endure by their hands.
26. Buffalo Bills (2-3): Perhaps one of this season's great overachieving football teams. Still, they did nab some quality wins against teams like the Titans and Vikings. The Bills offense for the most part still looks like shit, but at least their defense is now doing just enough to try and help them win games for them. That and rookie QB Josh Allen extending plays trying to make whatever he can work with the nonexistent offensive line and nonexistent playmakers.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)*: The Bucs have had their bye week this week, but the last couple games against the Steelers and Bears have shown just how spectacularly bad this defense was. And that's in spite being the league's top ranked passing offense thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick's gaudy early season stats. All coming to a screeching halt, by the way, thanks to the mountains of interceptions against the Steelers and Bears. Now he's getting benched, and in his place, we are going to get the return of Jameis Winston. What could possibly go wrong?
24. Atlanta Falcons (1-4): And here we are. The Falcons stared down a Steelers team that has finally begun to figure out its own shit on defense, while the Falcons were completely helpless in stopping the Steelers--much less anybody else--from running up the score on them. You can shift all the blame to all the injuries they sustained on defense all you want; it's next man up by this point. And this defense is complete and total garbage. The only reason I have not rated this team any lower is because honestly, I do think they can win against the Bucs this weekend.
23. New York Jets (2-3): Yeah, I'm only giving this team a slight boost because the Falcons, Giants, Colts, and Broncos have been utter trash as of late. While the Jets were able to seal a couple of blowout wins already. I honestly do not think this team is necessarily ready to make a deep run for the playoffs. Especially since Sam Darnold can make some rather foolish decisions with the football.
22. Dallas Cowboys (2-3): The Cowboys are just starting to lose control over their season. They lost a game they most certainly should have won, and now they are facing a fairly difficult stretch moving forward. It's hard to win games when all you have on offense is Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. At least with the Carolina Panthers, they are well coached; have solid defenses; and Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are transcendent physical talents. I don't think Dak and Zeke are anywhere close to the same level as Cam and Christian; I know Jason Garret pales in comparison to Ron Riveira; and their defense cannot even come close to being capable of winning games for them.
21. Miami Dolphins (3-2): The Dolphins early perfect season was rather confounding. Especially given the fact that neither their offense nor defense have been anything worth talking about. It was pretty clear that the Dolphins benefited heavily from an incredibly light early schedule, as well as a dominant special teams unit. And ever since then, the Dolphins have been facing real teams week in and week out. What perhaps hurt this team the most was the fact that the Dolphins probably could have won yesterday had they not removed the foot from the gas. Definitely the most overrated team over the course of three games so far. At least the Bucs got the win over the Saints in their home opener.
20. Washington Redskins (2-2)*: As I suspected, that early bye week didn't do this team any favors. Not that the Redskins had much of a chance against a Saints team that was playing with history on the line. Regardless of their defensive talents, it's pretty clear that the Redskins would have a rather tough time winning games against loaded rosters. Especially since Adrien Peterson is this team's MVP by a long shot, and he didn't last long in tonight's game. And Alex Smith is definitely not the kind of guy that you would think of when you think of QB's that can carry a team on his shoulders. He rates higher than the Dolphins, Cowboys and Jets because through all intents and purposes, I consider the Redskins to be the kind of team that will likely be able to shape the playoff landscape with an upset here and a victory there.
19. Cleveland Browns (2-2-1): Could it be? The Browns not only have (for the time being, anyways) escaped the gutter of the NFL, but are now in the top 20 for the first time since 2014? Unfortunately, Baker Mayfield is still very much a rookie, and that kicking situation may continue to come back to haunt this ball club. So far, the Browns and Cardinals (and perhaps even the Packers at this point) have the worst kicking situations among all other teams currently in the NFL. Otherwise, their defense and playmakers are able to help Baker Mayfield do just enough to give this team a chance to win games week in and week out. Even as the refs attempted to do everything in their power to screw the Browns over yet again.
18. Houston Texans (2-3): The Texans have bounced back from an 0-3 start, and are now a game off from first place in their own division. We haven't had a team bounce back from an 0-3 start to make the playoffs since the 1998 Buffalo Bills. Deshaun Watson is still a little sluggish, but the team as a whole is starting to find its rhythm again. And as I predicted, DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt are definitely proving to be this team's co-MVP's so far this season. They were the ones that pretty much helped the Texans win their last couple of games in overtime no less.
17. Detroit Lions (2-3): Yes, it is true that the Lions benefited greatly from a complete lack of production from their kicking team. But at the same time, that win against Aaron Rodgers really confirmed my suspicions following their victory over the Patriots that the Lions might not have been as bad as their early record would have suggested. They're entering their bye week alongside the Saints, which might prove problematic. But then they come back from their bye with a chance to winning again--as their next two games are at Miami and against the Seahawks. So we'll see how things pan out going forward. At the very least, the Lions should be able to impact the playoff picture in the NFC.
16. Seattle Seahawks (2-3): Talk about a rough start for the once known Legion of Boom. Of course, their 2-3 start was the start that most people were projecting for the Seahawks. But again, Russell Wilson pretty much gives this team a chance to win every week. They even came within 2 points of winning an epic home shootout against the Rams no less. So even though the talent the Seahawks once had is largely gone, this team should still be rather competitive. At the very least, I expect this team to have an impact on the playoff race.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3): Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Admittedly, their start to the season has been rather rough, and filled with all kinds of mental mistakes. From getting blown out by the Bucs to giving up a couple 4th-and-longs in OT against the Titans and now having lost far more convincingly than what the final score would lead you to believe against the Vikings. And now they have to travel on the road for a Thursday Night matchup against a Giants team that is hungry for some redemption. I have not lost all hope that this Eagles team could still win games. But they are in a rather strange and foreign territory by this point in time.
14. Tennessee Titans (3-2): Speaking of which, similar to the Miami Dolphins, the Titans are a very strange type of good team. They don't really have any offensive playmakers on either side of the ball; and their defense, while decent, is really nothing to write home about. In fact, it became so bloody apparent that there's definitely something very strange and unusual about the Titans that I decided to name QB Marcus Mariota the team's MVP in spite missing 1 1/2 games due to injury. That was because Mariota was the guy that was pretty much making everything happen all by himself. The only question remains as to whether or not that would even be enough to make it back to the Wild Card spot. Yes, they currently lead the division thanks to a head-to-head tie-breaker over the Jaguars. But the Titans are a very strange type of team for a 3-2 club.
13. Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1): With their backs against the wall following a disappointing tie and two brutal losses in a row, they finally got right back on track and are now back at .500 yet again. Outside of games against the Bears, Saints, Patriots, and possibly Seahawks, their schedule definitely lightens up a bit, too. Although they would have to win out against everybody else, and then win one or two other games on top of that if they wish to make it back to the playoffs. Because even with only really three or four teams to worry about, those victories are definitely are not going to come easy for this ball club.
12. Green Bay Packers (2-2-1): Sort of an honorary tie over the Vikings. Honestly, if I have to choose who the better team might be between the Packers and Vikings, then it really has to boil down to who I like best at QB. And that man happens to be Aaron Rodgers. Even with less weapons to throw to, Rodgers is one of those transcendent QB talents out there. And whatever happens, I do believe that the Packers will find a way to bounce back. Of course, they still have to play the Rams, Seahawks, Patriots, and Bears a second time. As well as the Falcons no less. But I have no reason to believe they can't win manage things from here on out and make the playoffs. At least not yet.
11. LA Chargers (3-2): Honestly, I consider all the other teams from here on out to be the cream of the crop. So far, I'd probably pick the Chargers to be that one team that does really well and still miss the playoffs because the Chargers are not allowed to have nice things, and their best players are not allowed to play in the playoffs, much less in the Super Bowl. They are getting a little better as of late and have since begun the process in cutting down on mistakes. The only question remains--can they take Cleveland?
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1): The funny thing about this is that the Steelers are still technically in last place in their own division. But the margins are very close, and the Steelers look like a team that is finally starting to get its shit together and is about to make some noise. A road game against the Bengals will go a long way in figuring out if the Steelers are any good or not. But they definitely still have it, with or without Le'Veon Bell. And if they do win, they get their Week 7 bye, and the rest of the league will have more than an ample reason to take the Steelers seriously yet again.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2): Blake Bortles did Blake Bortles-type stuff on the road against the Chiefs, and their defense never had a chance because of that. That pretty much means their own quarterback is more of a potential hindrance rather than an asset. Maybe they really should consider grabbing another quarterback in the draft. Not in the first round, but maybe think of picking a mid or late rounder if possible.
8. Baltimore Ravens (3-2): The Ravens suffered the effects of the Overtime jinx. Basically, any game that goes into overtime, the team I pick ends up losing, or at least ending in a tie, which then costs me a game for a given week. They do have to travel on the road to face the Titans, and after that, they get a really brutal stretch in which they have to play the Saints and Panthers shortly afterwards. It wouldn't surprise me if Joe Flacco may potentially lose his starting job if the Ravens can't beat any of these teams. At the very least, he would find himself on the hot seat after the season ends.
7. Carolina Panthers (3-1)*: One of the reasons I decided to bump the Panthers so low is because this team is able to thrive in spite the lack of talent that they have on offense. Again, I cannot stress this enough that Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are pretty much it as far as the Panthers are concerned (at least until Greg Olsen returns...hopefully). That, and the rest of the top six is rather crowded, and the next couple of weeks for the Panthers is going to prove to be rather challenging. They have to travel on the road to face a potential trap game in the Washington Redskins; then they have to go to Philadelphia to face an Eagles squad whose back may or may not be against the wall by that point; and then they have to host a Ravens squad that's also hoping to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
6. Chicago Bears (3-1)*: I think the one downside to this Bears defense is that they were given their bye week too early. The Khalil Mack trade was pretty much the biggest move in the offseason by far, as it single-handedly reshaped and restructured the entire playoff landscape. A team that was once considered a playoff longshot is now looking like a playoff contender. Right here, I am starting to see a possible Super Bowl contender from the NFC side of things so far. The only reason why they are not in the top five is because as far as I'm concerned, Mitchell Trubisky is far and away my least favorite quarterback out of the top six. Even following a career day a couple weeks ago.
5. New England Patriots (3-2): Top 5's looking pretty crowded. But at least the Patriots--so far, anyways--are looking to be back in a position that they would want to be in. Just in time to host the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. While it would be funny to see this team suffer a similar fate to the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday, I can't rule out Brady and Belichick. Not until Brady falls off the proverbial cliff. And who knows? Maybe that will begin to happen this week. We'll see.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1): The Patriots are not the only team with a big test. The Bengals have to host their sworn enemy in the Pittsburgh Steelers. A team that has haunted them since late in the 2015 season when the Steelers took out QB Andy Dalton with an injury, and then the end of the Wild Card game in which the Bengals bungled away their best shot at a playoff victory since 1990. Incidentally, had the Bungles properly finished that game, they probably would have set New England up to potentially defend their Super Bowl crown rather than the Broncos (believe it or not, I did not want my Broncos to face the Chiefs in the playoffs that year). The Bengals are another team with some rather peculiar rankings across the board, though at least they have a modestly good offense overall. Thanks in large part to Andy Dalton.
3. New Orleans Saints (4-1): Again, congratulations, Drew Brees for breaking Peyton Mannings' all-time passing record. If he hadn't cracked 72,000 already, then he's already on the brink of doing so. A truly dominant team and perhaps one of the three or so solid Super Bowl contenders in the NFC right now.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0): One of two perfect teams so far. But now you have a big test coming up. Going on the road to face the Patriots. Somehow, I have a feeling the Chiefs will begin to slip from here. After the Patriots, they then have to host the Bengals before getting their rematch against the lowly Broncos. And even then, history has a strange way of repeating itself, especially as far as the Chiefs are concerned.
1. LA Rams (5-0): The Rams look like the class of the NFC as of right now, and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon. Their next couple of games are going to be against the Broncos and Rams before they get the chance to host the Green Bay Packers. In other words, there's a good chance the Rams might end up at 8-0 heading into the halfway point. We know the reasons why. You know it. And I know it. The Rams are the current #1 team in the NFL.
And no more talk about Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. I get it! We get it! I already made a whole topic about Team MVP's discussing why they're the Team co-MVP's.
Good night, everybody!