Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2015-16 NFL Power Rankings (Week 8)

In which "logic" no longer helps you...

By: Jimbo X


New England Patriots
Season Point Differential: (+116)

News flash: the Patriots are freaking great. In their 36-7 throttling of Miami last week, Tom Terrific had four touchdown passes for 356 yards, with Gronk posting 113 years and an endzone trip and Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman combining for two TDs 174 receiving yards. As the score suggests, the Pats defense also factored prominently in the demise of the Dolphins: they intercepted Ryan Tannehill twice and sacked him five times for a cumulative loss of 45 yards. 

Arizona Cardinals 
Season Point Differential: (+110)

The Golden Ginger had 374 yards and four touchdown passes in the Cards 34-20 win over the Browns. Palmer may bemoan throwing an INT, but seeing as how he averaged 9.8 yards per throw, that seems like a bit of an aside. Receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd combined for two touchdown hauls and 190 yards, and Chris Johnson topped 100 yards again. And the defense shined, as well: they limited Cleveland to a meager 39 rushing yards throughout the contest. 

Cincinnati Bengals
Season Point Differential: (+66)

With two INTs, just one TD pass and a relatively low 231 yards, Andy Dalton had arguably his worst game of the season on Sunday. Regardless, his Bengals remain undefeated, holding off the Steelers for a 16-10 win in one of the ugliest games all year. While Cincinnati had trouble with the Steelers' aerial attack, they did a much  better job stopping the run. Clearly, the Bengals' defense was the key to victory, having sacked Big Ben three times and reeling in an impressive three interceptions.

Denver Broncos
Season Point Differential: (+56)

Peyton Manning's cold streak may continue, but he didn't really need to throw any touchdowns in the Broncos' impressive 29-10 win over the formerly undefeated Packers. The elder Manning finished the game with an INT and 340 yards on 17 passing attempts, while 'backs C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman teamed up for three scores and 160 yards on the ground. And their defense absolutely shut down Green Bay, who could only muster 90 yards rushing and an almost unimaginable 77 yards receiving at Mile High. 

Carolina Panthers
Season Point Differential: (+55)

It took overtime to make it happen, but Cam Newton and the boys managed to thwart a late Colts comeback and win the whole she-bang Monday night, 29-26. Cam concluded the game with two touchdowns, an INT and a respectable 258 passing yards, as running back Jonathan Stewart held steady with a solo end zone run and 82 yards on 24 carries. 

Green Bay Packers
Season Point Differential: (+44)

Aaron Rodgers had one of the worst nights of his career last Sunday, racking up a staggeringly low 77 passing yards (with no corresponding touchdowns) in the Packers' embarrassing 29-10 ass-whooping at the hands of Denver. And while Green Bay did keep Peyton Manning from hitting any targets in the endzone, they still let him wallop up them for 340 receiving yards -- a sum that eclipses their own air yardage in the game almost five-fold. 

Atlanta Falcons
Season Point Differential: (+40)

Matt Ryan's 397 yard, two TD day was for naught, as the lowly Bucs shocked the Falcons at the Dome and handed Atlanta their second loss of the season, a 23-20 overtime heartbreaker. While Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme had two touchdowns and 165 yards, offensive miscues absolutely crippled the Dirty Birds, as they were the victims of no less than four turnovers.

New York Jets
Season Point Differential: (+33)

The Jets had arguably the League's best defense heading into week 8. Then, the Oakland Raiders dropped 450 yards on them in their 34-20 victory by the Bay. Ryan Fitzgerald went out early, and Geno Smith's play fluctuated from OK to flat out bad. And the rushing game was just atrocious, as top back Chris Ivory could only produce 17 yards on 15 fruitless rushing attempts. 


Seattle Seahawks
Season Point Differential: (+27)

To crib a line from iconic pro rasslin' commentator Jim Ross, the 'Hawks 13-12 win over Dallas was "bowling shoes ugly." Alas, Seattle did manage to emerge triumphant, as Russell Wilson put up a 1:1 touchdown-to-INT ratio and a just OK 210 yards on 30 attempts. There's no denying the excellent job Seattle's defense did against the Cowboys, however: they limited "America's Team" to 129 rushing yards and a measly 97 yards receiving. 

Minnesota Vikings
Season Point Differential: (+25)

Teddy Bridgewater may not have set the world on fire with his stats (17 for 30, 187 yards, a 1:1 TD-to-INT ratio), but he sill did enough to help the Vikes top the Bears 23-20. AP once again hit the 100-yard mark (although he had no touchdowns) and Stefon Diggs continues to look impressive, posting 95 yards and a solo TD on six catches. 

Philadelphia Eagles
Season Point Differential: (+23)

The Eagles had a bye this week, as the await a divisional showdown the Cowboys on Sunday night. Averaging 353 yards per game, Philadelphia heads into week nine with the League's 12th most productive offense; allowing 360.4 yards per game, they currently ]share the League's 17th-ranked defense alongside hated foes Washington. 

Pittsburgh Steelers
Season Point Differential: (+21)

Pittsburgh is known for its iconic "Terrible Towel," but by this season's end, the Steelers might just be more renowned for its terrible luck. Just as soon as Big Ben returned from injury, top rusher Le'Veon Bell went down with a season-ending injury in Pittsburgh's 16-10 loss to hated divisional foes Cincinnati. While Rape-lisberger's three INTs were no doubt costly, perhaps Steel City can take a little bit of solace in their run defense, which was able to hold the Bengals to just 78 yards on the day. 

Kansas City Chiefs
Season Point Differential: (+13)

Was Sunday's 45-10 beatdown of the Lions in London an aberration, or an indication that the Chiefs' highly-touted offense is FINALLY coming back to life? Although Alex Smith's numbers were anemic (two touchdowns, but just 145 yards), the KC backs had a field day, with no less than four players rolling into the endzone. 

St. Louis Rams
Season Point Differential: (+10)

Todd Gurley HAS to be the frontrunner for rookie of the year at this point. The UGA standout had another impressive showing Sunday, racking up 133 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 27-6 thrashing of the Niners. With the rest of the running back corps combining for almost 200 yards, Nick Foles' fairly humdrum day (one TD, 191 yards, 14-for-23 on passing attempts) can be easily dismissed. 

New York Giants
Season Point Differential: (+07)

Seeing as how it was Halloween weekend, you really have to applaud the Giants and Saints for cosplaying as TCU and Baylor. Despite tossing SIX touchdown passes and racking up 350 yards on the day, the Giants defense absolutely collapsed against Drew Brees' aerial assault, allowing New Orleans to put up 505 receiving yards at the end of the 52-49 barn burner. And prepare to have your minds blown folks: following this game, Eli officially has more touchdown passes than JOE FREAKING MONTANA. 

Oakland Raiders
Season Point Differential: (+05)

At 4-3, the Raiders are above .500 for the first time since 2011 following a 34-20 pummeling of the Jets.. Much the same way the Silver and Black pounded San Diego into submission two weeks ago, the Raiders did a majority of their damage against in the first two quarters and basically coasted for the next 30 minutes. Carr had four TD passes for 333 yards, Latavious Murray ran for 113 yards and Michael Crabtree topped the list of Raiders receivers with 102 yards and a solo touchdown. Oh, and just because? Old Man Woodson decided to reel in his fifth interception of the season, just because he can


Buffalo Bills
Season Point Differential: (+03)

Rex Ryan's upstate squad took the week off, which is just peachy considering they have a tough in-division match-up against Miami this Sunday. Posting 340.6 yards per game, Buffalo owns the 24th most potent offense in the League; allowing 347 per contest, they own the 13th best defense in pro football. 

Miami Dolphins
Season Point Differential: (-19)

With no touchdown passes, Ryan Tannehill's 300 yard, two-INT day is hardly an afternoon he will want to remember. Sure, the Fins D can take some sucor in limited the Pats to 95 yards on the ground, but by that same token, how exactly is Miami supposed to feel good about themselves when they wrapped up Thursday's night affair with a laughably low 15 total rushing yards?

Washington Redskins
Season Point Differential: (-20)

Following a bye week, the Skins have their sights set on the Patriots this weekend, in a game that it is almost certain Washington is going to lose. With 340.3 yards per game, the Redskins possess the League's 25th-ranked offense; they share the 17th spot in total defense with Philadelphia, allowing an average of 360.4 yards per game. 

New Orleans Saints
Season Point Differential: (-21)

After a slow start, the Saints have crawled back to .500, thanks to a thrilling 52-49 victory over the Giants on Sunday. Brees tied the NFL record for most touchdowns tossed in a game, racking up seven TDs for an absurd 505 yards. While Drew definitely deserves the game ball, you can't discount the team's defense, either; the Saints' D may have given up 350 yards in the air, (along with three Odell Beckham touchdowns) but they managed to limit the Giants to just 87 yards rushing. 

Baltimore Ravens
Season Point Differential: (-24)

Baltimore's receiving corps put up 319 yards in their 29-26 win over the Chargers. Alas, it was a bit of Pyrrhic victory, seeing as how top wide out Steve Smith suffered a season -- and quite possibly career -- ending injury in the contest. Despite the win, the Raven's run game still lags, as the team could only muster 72 yards on the ground.  

Indianapolis Colts
Season Point Differential: (-30)

Despite posting 17 points in the fourth quarter, Andrew Luck and pals just couldn't seal the deal in overtime, as the Colts succumbed to the still-unbeaten Panthers 29-26. Carolina's defense just ate the Colts up on Monday night, with the black-and-blue forcing five fumbles and intercepting Captain Neckbeard three times. 

Houston Texans
Season Point Differential: (-31)

The Texans may have only posted 290 or so yards of total offense, but that was all they needed to best divisional foes Tennessee 20-6. DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington combined for two scores and around 160 yards, as Brian Hoyer finished the game with two TDs and a little over 200 yards passing (after you factor out the ground lost to sacks.) The run game still sucked, though, as Houston's backs posted a puny 56 rushing yards. 

Tennessee Titans
Season Point Differential: (-34)

Remember after week one, when the Titans drubbed the Bucs, and we all thought this team was going to be a drastic turnaround success? Well, since then, Marcus Mariota got hurt and the Titans haven't won a single damn game. The Zach Mettenberg show continued to draw the LULZ, as the Titans got hammered 20-6 over the weekend by Houston. In what may indeed be an oblique nod to the Texans' original QB, the Zach Attack got sacked seven times for a loss of 46 yards. Forget what his brother is doing out in Oakland, that feat must really impress David Carr


Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Season Point Differential: (-36)

Jameis and amigos shocked the Falcons over the weekend, besting their loathed NFC South foes 23-20 in overtime. With 177 yards thrown, a solo TD pass and another touchdown scramble, everybody's favorite crab legs enthusiast looked solid, while Doug Martin kept the rock rolling in the rushing department. Of course, the team still gave up almost 400 yards in the air to Atlanta, so it may be just a tad premature to do too much celebratin'. 

San Diego Chargers
Season Point Differential: (-36)

While Philip Rivers had three touchdowns and about 300 passing yards, his Chargers still fell to the Ravens, 29-26. Losing Keenan Allen to injury is a big blow to the team, even if they are still stacked at the wide receiver position with guys like Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates in the mix. The sloppy run game and poor defense is just killing the team, however, rendering them effectively toothless in spite of having, statistically, the most potent offense in the League. 

Dallas Cowboys
Season Point Differential: (-38)

Even with Dez Bryant back in the lineup, the Cowboys still played like dung against Seattle, barely posting 250 all purpose offensive yards during Sunday afternoon's 13-12 loss. With about 100 yards receiving and rushing, Darren McFadden was the sole bright spot for Dallas ... especially since Romo replacement Matt Cassel couldn't hit triple digits in passing yardage. 

Cleveland Browns
Season Point Differential: (-49)

With three touchdowns and 211 yards, Josh McCown didn't fare that bad against the Cardinals on Sunday. Of course, the Browns still lost 34-20 and failed to capitalize on no less than three Arizona turnovers. Making matters worse, with a plum pitiful 18 yards, McCown ended up being Cleveland's most productive rusher during the contest. 

Jacksonville Jaguars
Season Point Differential: (-60)

The Jaguars put in their most impressive showing of the season so far this Sunday ... primarily, because they had a bye week. Up next for the Blake Bortles Experience? They've got a date with a super pissed New York Jets team at the Meadowlands. With 342.7 yards per game, the Jags are the 23rd ranked offensive in the League; allowing 367 yards per game, Jacksonville possesses the 16th ranked defense in the NFL ... which if you can believe it, is actually better than Cincinnati, Green Bay and Pittsburgh. 

Chicago Bears
Season Point Differential: (-62)

The Bears' offense just couldn't get clicking against the Vikes. In their 23-20 loss over the weekend, Chicago had just 211 receiving yards and just 97 rushing yards. Alshon Jeffrey looked good (116 yards and a touchdown haul on 10 catches), but the rest of the Chi-town O looked lackluster ... and on top of it all, Matt Forte got injured, as well. 

Detroit Lions
Season Point Differential: (-96)

Detroit's sour luck continued over the weekend with a disastrous 45-10 loss to the Chiefs in jolly old England. Matt Stafford tossed two picks, one TD and finished the game with 217 yards, while Megatron posted no scores and 85 yards on five receptions. The Chiefs defense stifled the toothless Lions; not only did they hold Detroit to a paltry 81 yards rushing, they wound up sacking their QB six times. 

San Francisco 49ers
Season Point Differential: (-98)

When BLAINE GABBERT gets called up to replace you, you KNOW you've messed up royally as a starter. Such a fate befell Niners' QB Colin Kaepernick, whose score-less, 162 yard day against the Rams signaled the final damn straw for head coach Jim Tomsula. San Fran has been playing poorly all season, but this past weekend thrust the team even further into the abyss; they finished the 27-6 loss with just 162 receiving yards and a comically low 38 total yards on the ground. 


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