NFL Power Rankings (Week 9!)
November 9th, 2017 by The Staff
This Week’s Episode:
“Let the 20-team race for four wildcard playoffs slots commence!”
Philadelphia was hitting the end zone so often during their 51-23 drubbing of Denver the in-house pyrotechnics crew actually ran out of celebratory fireworks. Carson Wentz went 15 for 27 for 199 yards and four touchdown passes, with top receiver Alshon Jefferey finishing the game with 84 yards and two scores on just six receptions. And Jay Ajayi looked great in his first game as an Eagle, collecting 77 yards and one TD run on the day.
Jared Goff had his best day as a pro football player ever Sunday, as he led the Rams to a hilarious 51-17 demolition of the Giants. Goff managed to rack up 311 yards and four touchdowns passes during the game, and even more amazingly, he manged to do so completing only 14 passes. And fantasy football players were probably happy with Todd Gurley’s performance – he finished the blowout with 59 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Starting the season off 0-2, not only did it look like New Orleans was destined for a dismal year, they were on pace to put up the WORST defensive numbers in NFL history. Well, flash forward six weeks later and New Orleans is on a six game winning streak and their D isn’t just holding steady, it looked downright DOMINANT against the Bucs over the weekend. In the Saints’ 30-10 win, they managed to hold Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick to 113 yard combined and limited Tampa Bay’s rushing production to a ho-hum 87 yards on the day.
The Vikes had a bye last week and return this Sunday for a one o’clock scrap against the Redskins (local time, of course.) It’s pretty amazing to think that Case Keenum and Latavius Murray could be taking the team further than Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson ever did, especially considering how, well, underwhelming their actual stats are. Thus far in the season Keenum has racked up 1,610 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions, while Murray has only carried the rock 78 times for 249 yards, one TD and 9 first downs.
The Patriots were out of action last week but they’ll be back this weekend for a Sunday night road contest against the free-falling Denver Broncos. It’s no surprise, but Tom Brady is currently leading the League in passing yards with 2,541 at the midpoint of the season. Alas, as good as their offense may be (they lead the League with 411.1 yards a game), their defense remains the bottom of the barrel; allowing 417 yards a contest, there’s no denying the Pats have the WORST ‘D’ in pro football.
Yep, the Steelers were out of action last week, too – they’ll be back on the gridiron this Sunday afternoon for a road game against the Colts. Offensively, the Steelers are pretty well set, with top receiver Antonio Brown leading the League in receiving yards and back Le’Veon Bell posting the third most rushing yards in the NFL thus far. And their defense is quite underrated, too: allowing 286.6 yards a game, they currently have the fifth-ranked D in the League.
Although Alex Smith had good numbers – 25 for 34 for 263 yards, two TDs and his very first INT of the season – the Cowboys still drubbed the Chiefs Sunday 28-17. Methinks a lot of that can be blamed on Kansas City’s approach to the run game; after all, their defense DID let the Cowboys backfield collect 131 yards and two end zone visits, while their own rushing attack could only muster a paltry 68 on the day – with star running back Kareem Hunt finishing the game with just 37 yards on nine carries.
The defense let ’em hang in there late, but the Panthers nonetheless held on to a 20-17 win against NFC South rivals Atlanta. Cam Newton didn’t do a whole lot passing the ball – he went 13 for 24 for 137 yards and no TD passes – but he did scramble like a motherfucker, ultimately collecting 86 yards and one touchdown on nine carries. Alas, somebody give this guy a crash course on how to make analogies – sorry, Cam, but comparing your offense to the fuckin’ Titanic isn’t exactly the best way to inspire your teammates.
|Give Jalen Ramsey some credit – I never would’ve thought of using a fireman’s carry to escape from a rear naked choke.|
Jacksonville’s defense continues to impress, as they held the Bengals to just one TD in Saturday’s 23-7 win. “Sacksonville” – in case you’re wondering, this is the sound I make every time I hear that – limited Andy Dalton to just 136 yards passing and, despite giving up one Joe Mixon TD, ultimately cut off the Bengals’ rushing attack at an absurdly low 29 yards. Oh, and Jalen Ramsey almost became the first NFL player in history to get choked out on the gridiron – this, you HAVE to see.
Sunday’s 28-17 victory over Kansas City makes it three wins in a row for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott had a hell of a game, going 21 for 33 for 249 yards and two touchdowns – plus another 27 yards as a carrier, complete with an additional rushing TD. But while you’re too busy hugging his nuts, do not sleep on receiver Terrence Williams – with 141 yards on just nine catches, this dude could be a huge breakout player heading into the second half of the season.
Even though they got upset at home 17-14 by the visiting Redskins, the Seahawks still posted some fairly respectable numbers. Russell Wilson went 24 for 45 for 297 yards and two touchdowns, but then again, he DID throw two interceptions, as well. But his 77 yards on the ground was pretty impressive – even though neither he or anyone else on the team could whiff end zone while carrying the rock.
The Bills’ wildly inconsistent play continued Thursday night as they got beat 34-21 by AFC East rivals New York. T-Mobile went 29 for 40 for 285 yards and two touchdowns, plus he ran for another 35 yards and one scrambling TD. Alas, that was about it for the team’s rushing production; the Bills could only muster 63 yards running the ball, while their highly touted defense let the Jets stomp ’em half to death for 194 yards on the ground and three rushing TDs.
The minimalist Titans continue to roll, securing a 23-20 win over the Ravens last Sunday. Marcus Mariota went 19 for 28 for 218 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, while Derrick Henry collected one rushing TD and 26 yards on eight carries. That makes it three victories in a row for Tennessee – they have an opportunity to extend their winning ways (and, by proxy, their lead in the AFC South divisional standings) when they host Cincinnati this weekend.
Matt Stafford became the youngest player in NFL history to record 200 touchdown passes in Monday night’s 30-17 win on the road against Green Bay. The former Georgia QB finished the game 26 for 33 for 361 yards and two touchdown passes, with wide outs Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, Jr. each reeling in more than 100 receiving yards apiece. The team now has a chance to break .500 this weekend – and since they’re hosting the Browns, yeah, they’ll probably do just that.
At 4-4, I think it’s safe to say the Super Bowl hangover is in full effect for the Falcons. In the team’s latest outing – a 20-17 loss to Carolina – last year’s MVP Matt Ryan went 24 for 38 for 313 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT split. Not bad, but both sides of Atlanta’s run game were atrocious; not only did their D let Carolina collect 201 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, their own rushing attack could only accumulate 53 yards and no scores all day long.
Well, the good news is that backup QB Brett Hundley recorded 245 yards and no interceptions against the Lions Monday night. The bad news is he didn’t lob any TD passes, either, and the Packers ultimately succumbed to Detroit 30-17. He did, however, manage to sprint for 22 yards and even record a scrambling TD – which, demonstrating how bad Green Bay’s rushing attack is these days, made him the second most productive running back for the team.
|I guarantee you that, for as long as you live, you will NEVER see anything this fat ever again.|
Give the Redskins credit – it ain’t easy beating Seattle on the road, and sure as sugar, they managed to upset the Seahawks 17-14. Kirk Cousins went 21 for 31 for 247 yards, but recorded no passing touchdowns. Thankfully, the Skins’ rushing attack was able to sniff enemy end zone twice, with Rob Kelly recording two crucial touchdown runs on the day.
Drew Stanton looked pretty good in the Cards’ 20-10 win over the Niners. He went 15 for 30 for 201 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT split, while Adrian Peterson tore it up for 159 yards (but no touchdowns) on 37 carries. The run defense wasn’t too shabby, either, holding Carlos Hyde to just 41 yards on the day; alas, their pass defense was a whole different story, allowing C.J. Beathard to rack up nearly 300 yards in the air.
Even with Jay Cutler racking up 311 yards and three touchdown passes, the Fins’ D just couldn’t keep the Raiders out of their end zone in Sunday night’s 27-24 loss. Nor could Miami’s rushing game do much to add points to the scoreboard, as they wrapped up the game with 86 yards on the ground but no TDs. Boy, you think these guys are kinda’ regretting trading Jay Ajayi now?
Joe Flacco’s inconsistent play continues to plague the Ravens. In Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Titans, he went 34 for 52 for 261 yards, two touchdowns and two costly interceptions. With ten INTS on the year, Flacco is tied with Trevor Siemian for most interceptions lobbed this season. In case you are wondering, only DeShone Kizer and Cam Newton have registered more interceptions so far in the 2017 campaign.
Following their 34-21 win over Buffalo, the Jets – believe it or not – are in the thick of a wild and woolly playoff race that, at this juncture, consists of pretty much every team in the AFC that ain’t called “the Browns.” Running back Matt Forte had one his best performances in quite some time Thursday night; he finished the outing with 77 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 14 carries, while over-performing QB Josh McCown wrapped up the game 14 for 20 for 140 yards and one passing TD – and, amazingly, one rushing touchdown.
It was a must-win game for the Raiders and sure enough, they pulled out the W in a 27-24 victory over the Dolphins in south Florida. Derek Carr went 21 for 30 for 300 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, with Jared Cook leading all receivers in the game with 126 yards on eight catches. Oh, and Marshawn Lynch, just one week removed from suspension for grabbing a referee, notched up 57 yards on 14 carries … and two rushing touchdowns to go along with ’em. As always, if you missed the game as it happened, you can check out our LIVE coverage of the tilt anytime you want right here.
With a fluke ACL tear ending DeShaun Watson’s season, Tom Savage wasn’t up to task to salvaging the 2017 campaign as Houston fell to Indianapolis 20-14 over the weekend. The Savage one wrapped up the game 19 for 44 for 219 yards and one TD pass, but you might as well scale that production back to 194 yards if you factor in the yardage lost to sacks. Eating an additional eight post-release hits, we’ll see just how long Savage lasts before entering a concussion protocol – I’ve got the over/under at plus or minus two weeks, personally.
The Chargers were out of action last week but they’ll be back in action Sunday for a tough road test against the Jags. Averaging 332.8 yards per game, the Chargers have the League’s 17th-ranked offense at the midway point of the season. Allowing 337 yards a contest, their defense is currently ranked 19th overall.
|Now THAT’s how you become a role model to millions of impressionable young children.|
The Bengals offense COMBINED could only muster 165 yards against the Jaguars in Sunday’s 23-7 loss. Meanwhile, the Jags’ passing yardage was easily double that of Cincy, and their ground production was literally FIVE times greater than the Bengals’ rushing attack. But on the plus side, at least Cincinnati’s A.J. Green got an opportunity to demonstrate the proper way to sink in a rear naked choke on somebody wearing a football helmet …
The Bears went into hibernation for their bye, but they’ll emerge from their one week hiatus for a home stand against Green Bay this Sunday. With eight games behind ’em, the Bears currently rank 29th overall in terms of total offense, averaging about 287.6 yards per game. Defensively, though, they fare much better – allowing 312 yards a game, their defense ranks seventh in the League.
After starting off the season 3-1, the Broncos have now lost four games in a row, including Sunday’s 51-23 ass-blistering at the hands of the Eagles. Brock Osweiler went 19 for 38 for 208 yards, one TD pass and two interceptions, and the run game completely sputtered out with just 35 yards on the ground for the day. Their rush defense, somehow, was even worse, allowing the Eagles to post 197 rushing yards and three end zone visits.
Jacoby “Whisker Biscuit” Brissett had a respectable outing in the Colts’ 20-14 win over the Texans. The ex-Pat (get it?) went 20 for 30 for 308 yards and two touchdown passes, both of which were collected by T.Y. Hilton, who finished the game with 175 yards on only FIVE catches. Indeed, Hilton is the League’s second most productive receiver this year, whose 702 total through nine games is second only to Antonio Brown’s 835.
After last Sunday’s 30-10 drubbing from the Saints, Tampa Bay’s going to let Jameis Winston take a few weeks off while Ryan Fitzpatrick does his damnedest to right the sinking pirate ship. If the numbers he put up last Sunday were any indication, it’s probably not going to be a fun season for the Bucs’ faithful – he could only muster 68 yards on eight completions and with 30 yards scrambling, was just a few inches away from being the most productive runner in Tampa Bay’s backfield.
Even with Eli Manning lobbing the rock for 220 yards and two touchdowns and the rushing attack racking up 111 yards on the day, the Giants STILL got their asses kicked 51-17 by the Rams. The Giants ultimately gave up three turnovers in the contest and by the time the fourth quarter started, it was already a 48-10 wash. Although not mathematically eliminated from playoffs consideration, everybody in that front office knows this season is an absolute disaster – expect PLENTY of management and personnel changes in the offseason, if not even by the time Thanksgiving gets here.
After a bye last week, the Browns return to (in)action Sunday for a road trip to Detroit. It’s no surprise that the Browns’ offense is pretty bad – indeed, with an average of 301.3 yards a game, they rank 28th overall – but (and this was just as shocking to me as it will be to you), Cleveland actually POSSESSES A TOP TEN DEFENSE AT THE MIDPOINT OF THE SEASON. Allowing an average of 313.5 yards per game, Cleveland ranks 9th in total NFL defense – which is doubly surprising, seeing as how they rank 28th in points allowed per game with 25.3
The Niners are the first team to officially post a losing season in 2017, as their 20-10 loss to Arizona makes it nine L’s in a row. Thankfully, San Fran has their biggest opportunity of the year to notch up a W when the lowly, lowly New York Giants come to town this Sunday; and if you just so happen to miss that one when it airs live, don’t worry – rumor has it the whole game will be screened indefinitely as the placeholder program on all of hell’s public TV monitors.