NFL Power Rankings (Week 14!)
December 14th, 2017 by The Staff
Oh, goodness. Although the Eagles secured the 43-35 victory over the Rams (in what might be the most thrilling regular season game all year long), they lost something much more important went Carson Wentz (23 for 41, 291 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) exited the game with a torn ACL – an injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season and postseason. Which, naturally, gives us the million dollar question: can backup QB Nick Foles play this generation’s Jeff Hostetler, or are the high-flying Eagles destined to get poached come the first week of January?
It came down to the wire, but the Steelers nonetheless managed to stave off Baltimore 39-38 thanks to Chris Boswell’s 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left on the clock. The victory officially gives the Steelers this year’s AFC North crown – and with the Pats getting upset by the Dolphins, at least a week-long stay atop the very apex of the AFC standings. And hey, what do you know – the Pats just so happen to be visiting Pittsburgh this weekend. What are the odds, huh?
Tom Brady went 24 for 43 for 233 yards, one touchdown and TWO interceptions in the Patriots’ upset loss against the Dolphins last Monday night. Even worse, they could only muster a piss poor 25 rushing yards all game, while their defense allowed Miami to rack up 120 yards on the ground and let Jay freakin’ Cutler torch ’em for 263 yards and three scores. And even more amazing, the Pats went an astounding 0-11 on third down conversions – and nope, I have no explanation for that one, neither.
Case Keenum (27 for 44, 280 yards) went 2-and-2 on TDs-to-INTs, as his Vikes succumbed to the Panthers 31-24 Sunday. Once again, Adam Thielen had a hell of a game, wrapping up the contest with 105 yards and one touchdown on six receptions, but a good goddamn did Minnesota hunch the proverbial pooch when it came to the run game. They let Carolina outpace them on the ground 216 yards to 100 – with back Jonathan Stewart torching ’em for no less than three touchdowns.
With ten minutes to go in the fourth, the Rams held a narrow 35-34 lead over the Eagles. Alas, a 33 yard field goal from Jake Elliot gave Philly the two-point pad, and Brandon Graham’s 16-yard fumble recovery for a TD officially put the game away. Still, the tandem of Jared Goff and Todd Gurley looked pretty good – the former finished the game with 199 yards and two touchdown passes while the latter wrapped up the game with 96 yards and two end zone visitations.
The Jaguars held on to win a close one against the Seahawks Sunday, just narrowly escaping the home stand with a 30-24 victory. Blake Bortles went 18 for 27 for 268 yards, two touchdown passes and no interceptions, as no-name receivers Keenan Cole and Dede Westbrook combined for 180 yards and two touchdowns apiece. And of course, Leonard Fournette turned in another strong showing, carrying the rock 24 times for 101 yards and one touchdown run.
Drew Brees (26 for 35, 271 yards, two touchdowns) made a valiant comeback attempt, but ultimately his only interception of the game – lobbed into the arms of Deion Jones with less than 90 seconds left in regulation – wound up costing New Orleans the W against Atlanta last Thursday night. Another intriguing side note for 20-17 loss was the rushing game discrepancies; while Atlanta easily posted 132 on the ground, the Saints struggled to accumulate just 50 yards running the rock.
Cam Newton (13 for 25, 137 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, plus 70 rushing yards) had a pretty forgettable day, but running back Jonathan Stewart sure didn’t last Sunday against Minnesota. At the final horn he had 103 yards and THREE touchdowns off 16 carries, including the game-winning, one-yard saunter that broke a 24-24 deadlock with less than two minutes in the fourth quarter. Also looking pretty sharp for the Panthers? Receiver Devin Funchess, who wrapped up the game with 59 yards and a TD on three hauls.
|Well, if you’re gonna get ejected from a football game, you might as well try to fist fight 50 people before you head back to the showers.|
Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
Well, there’s some good news about Russell Wilson stemming from last Sunday’s 30-24 loss to the Jags, and there’s some bad news. The good news is that he had 271 passing yards on the day and three aerial touchdowns, in addition to 50 yards he collected with his cleats. The bad news? He also lobbed three interceptions in the losing bid, including two inadvertent completions to defender A.J. Bouye.
The Falcons chalked up a huge, potentially season-salvaging win Thursday night, besting arch-rivals New Orleans 20-17. Oddly enough, Atlanta managed to win the contest even with Matt Ryan turning in one of his worst performances of the season: he went 15 for 27 for 221 yards, one TD pass and three interceptions. Thank goodness they had Devonta Freeman (91 yards, one TD, 24 carries) around to bail out the sagging aerial offense, huh?
Marcus Mariota played like utter doo-doo in the Titans’ 12-7 loss to the Cardinals Sunday. The former Oregon standout went 16 for 31 for 159 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions, in addition to getting sacked thrice for negative 20 yards. Tennessee’s rushing game – on both sides of the ball – also underwhelmed, posting 65 yards themselves while allowing Arizona to trample ’em for 136 yards by game’s end.
Not since Wounded Knee have the Redskins been so overwhelmed. In a fairly facile 30-13 win, Phil Rivers went 18 for 31 for 319 yards and two TD passes, with both Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams posting reception yards north of 100. And Melvin Gordon looked fantastic setting the running game tempo, finishing the outing with 78 yards and one score on 22 touches.
Talk about a bitter loss – not only did the Ravens piss away a 38-29 lead with less than six minutes in the fourth quarter, they ultimately allowed Pittsburgh to post ten more unanswered points en route to a come from behind 39-38 win last Sunday night. Joe Flacco (20 for 35, 269 yards, two TDs, one INT) looked decent enough, I suppose, but hoo-boy, does the Raven’s pass defense suck the biggest of ding-dongs – shit, if they’re gonna’ let the fragments of what once was Big Ben roast ’em for 506 yards, just imagine what Tom Brady or Drew Brees could do to them?
The Chiefs got their first win in literally a month Sunday, besting their arch rivals Oakland 26-15 at home. Alex Smith went 20 for 34 for 268 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce combining for almost 150 yards as receivers. And Kareem Hunt had his best showing since early October, wrapping up the contest with 116 yards and one end zone visit on 25 carries.
Although the Eagles have the NFC East locked up, that doesn’t mean the Cowboys can’t make a mad dash into the postseason. That’s evident by the team’s 30-10 win over the Giants, in which Dak Prescott went 20 for 30 for 332 yards and three touchdown strikes. And even without Ezekiel Elliot in the backfield, Dallas still managed to post some pretty solid ground numbers, as Alfred Morris and Rod Smith tag-teamed it for about 100 yards (and Smith, by the way, also led all receivers in the game, with 113 yards and a score off five receptions.)
It wasn’t easy, but the Lions still squeaked past the Bucs last Sunday, 24-21. Matt Stafford went balls out lobbing the rock, ultimately wrapping up the affair 36 for 44 for 381 yards, one TD and two interceptions. If you gotta’ give it to somebody, I’d suggest giving the game ball to running back Theo Riddick – not only did he muster 64 yards on six receptions, his two rushing touchdowns on 10 carries for 29 yards pretty much kept Detroit out of upset mode.
|It’s so nice to see the Buffalo Bills temporarily relishing the opportunity to forget they’re the Buffalo Bills …|
Believe it or not, the Browns managed to take Green Bay to overtime over the weekend – where Brett Hundley’s 25-yard zip to Davante Adams sealed the 27-21 victory in extra innings. Despite Brett Hundley racking up 265 yards and three touchdowns, we’ve more than likely seen the last of him in yellow and green – I mean, Aaron Rodgers is expected to return to action this Sunday.
The Bills kept their longshot playoffs aspirations alive with Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Colts – which just so happened to transpire during the middle of a freaking blizzard. Obviously, passing yardage was at a premium in the contest, but you HAVE to give props to back LeSean McCoy, who pretty much was the Bills’ offense, collecting 156 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries. And in case you were wondering – yes, Nathan Peterman did somehow manage to lob one TD pass in the game. Like I said … somehow.
The Raiders did Jack Shit for three quarters against the Chiefs Sunday, but they almost had the mad comeback completed before a deflection off Johny Holton resulted in a game-closing INT for the Chiefs. In the 26-15 loss, Derek Carr went 24 for 41 for 211 yards, one TD and two interceptions, with Jared Cook leading the receivers corps with 75 yards on five catches. And, as always, you can relive the misery and dejection of the defeat anytime you want right here – you sick, callous motherfucker, you.
It only took, I don’t know, ten or so years, but Jay Cutler FINALLY got a win over the Patriots Sunday night. The Dolphins QB lobbed three touchdown passes in the 27-20 win, with Kenyan Drake collecting 79 yards on five receptions plus another 114 yards running the rock. And for the rest of his goddamn life Xavien Howard is going to be telling everybody about that time he intercepted Tom Brady twice in the same game – and rightfully so.
The Cardinals secured a pretty big upset win against the Titans Sunday, besting Tennessee 12-7 in a game that was about as exciting as watching grass dry. With A.P. out of action, Kerwynn Williams did a pretty decent job carrying the run game (73 yards on 20 carries), but holy hell, did THE BLAINE GABBERT have a nightmare of a game. Sure, he did go 17 for 26 for 178 yards, but he also got sacked EIGHT times for a cumulative minus 53 yards. All I can say is that motherfucker must be guzzling the Goody’s headache powder right about now …
As evident by the 23-0 final score, the Jets didn’t even bother showing up for their road game against the Broncos. And no, that isn’t just artistic hyperbole, these motherfuckers didn’t do anything on offense. At the final horn, N.Y. posted just 59 yards running the ball and an even more pathetic 41 yards passing the pigskin – shit, are we sure that wasn’t the Giants cosplaying as the Jets over the weekend?
The Bengals pretty much eliminated themselves from postseason contention when they got drubbed 33-7 by the Bears Sunday. Andy Dalton had a ho-hum day (14 for 29 for 141 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio) and backup QB AJ McCarron hardly played any better, finishing the game 4 for 8 for 47 yards. At least back Giovani Benard had a decent showing in his team’s otherwise miserable performance – he had 62 yards on 11 carries and 68 yards as a receiver.
The Redskins just couldn’t get anything going against the Chargers Sunday. In a 30-13 loss, Kirk Cousins could only muster a disappointing 151 yards on 15 completions, which came with a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. And the running game just flat out sucked; at the final horn, Washington had just 65 yards on the ground, while their defense allowed the Chargers to stomp all over ’em to the tune of 174 yards.
|Note to Tom Savage’s kids: this is why scientists will end up taking your daddy’s brains when he dies.|
Pretty much the only thing Sunday’s 26-16 loss to the Niners will be remembered for is the vicious hit that had Tom Savage LITERALLY knocked retarded for a couple of seconds. As in, he was making the little special ed claw with his hands and everything. Alas, the NFL being the stewards of safety they are, allowed Savage to exit concussion protocol and re-enter the game just two plays later. Hope the Savage brood saved a copy of the game to their DVR – something tells me you’ll be needing it for the inevitable wrongful death suit you’ll be filing in 20 years’ time.
Down 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay nonetheless managed to tie the game by the time the clock hit 8:05. Alas, Detroit still managed to notch a game-winning 46-yard field goal with only 20 seconds left in regulation, thus ensuring T.B. would fall 24-21. Oh well – at least Jameis Winston looked fairly decent, going 26 for 38 for 285 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Bears turned in their best performance of the season Sunday, throttling the Bengals 33-7 on the road. Mitch “The Bitch” Trubisky went 25 for 32 for 271 yards and one TD pass, with Kendall Wright wrapping up the game with 107 yards on ten receptions. And Jordan Howard ruled the gridiron, collecting two touchdowns and 147 yards on 23 carries.
The Broncos finally got to experience what “not losing” feels like after besting the Jets 23-0 over the weekend. Trevor Siemian went 19 for 31 for 200 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, with receiver Demaryius Thomas wrapping up the game with 93 yards and one end zone visit on eight catches. And the defense, obviously, came up big time, holding the Jets to just 100 yards of total offense all game long.
The Niners’ win late season win streak continued with Sunday’s 26-16 victory over the Texans. Jimmy Garoppolo went 20 for 33 for 334 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, with Marquise Goodwin hauling in six catches for 106 yards and one end zone trip. And Carlos Hyde looked quite solid as well, finishing the outing with 78 yards and a score on 14 carries.
In a snow-blanketed road trip, the Colts ultimately succumbed to the Bills 13-7 Sunday. Jacoby “Whisker Biscuit” Brissett went 11 for 22 for 69 yards and one TD pass, while Frank Gore carried the rock for 130 yards on 36 carries. And for those of you who STILL hold a grudge against the 2001-2002 Patriots, you’ll be happy to know that Adam Vinatieri schtoinked both his field goal attempts in the contest.
No, the Giants didn’t really play any better with Eli Manning back under center. After letting Geno Smith fuck things up last week, the Last Remaining Manning went 31 for 46 for 228 yards, one TD and two interceptions in a 30-10 loss to the Cowboys. Unsurprisingly, the G-Men’s rushing attack was anything but inspired; Wayne Gallman led the running back committee with 59 yards on 12 carries – with zero touchdowns, naturally.
Although Cleveland played well enough to take last Sunday’s game against Green Bay to O.T., of course they’d naturally fuck up and drop the contest 27-21. This, after heading into the fourth quarter with a 21-7 lead – which they squandered in the final 15 minute of play and ultimately relinquished via a terrible DeShone Kizer interception in overtime. Shit, and here I was about to give the kid a pat on the back for his 20 for 28, three touchdown performance …