Thursday, October 27, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings - Week 7!

ESPN and Sports Illustrated can eat it - these are the only pro football power rankings anybody needs.


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@Jimbo__X


THIS WEEK'S EPISODE:
"Yes, your team really is that bad"

THE ELITES

01
New England Patriots (5-1)
Season Point Differential: +69

Tom Brady and pals once again find themselves perched atop the pro football power rankings in the wake of their 27-16 win over the Big Ben-less Steelers. While Brady looked as solid as ever in the showing (222 yards and two touchdowns on 19 completions), the x-factor in the Pats' victory was certainly running back LaGarrett Blount, who finished the contest with 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.


02
Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +68

After back-to-back losses, the Eagles finally got back in the win column following a 21-10 victory over the previously undefeated Minnesota Vikings. Carson Wentz's play was ho-hum to say the least (138 yards, one TD and two INTs on 16 completions), but Philly's defense (which sacked Sam Bradford six times and forced him to fumble the ball away four times) and special teams (did you see Josh Huff's 98-yard kickoff return?) certainly succeeded where the pass and rushing game faltered.


03
Buffalo Bills (4-3)
Season Point Differential: +56

The Buffalo Bills wound up losing a crucial divisional game last Sunday, dropping a 28-25 squeaker to the Miami Dolphins. Up 17-6 late in the third, Buffalo's defense went into sleep mode during the fourth quarter, allowing the Fins to rattle off three consecutive touchdowns over the course of just four minutes of playing time.


04
Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Season Point Differential: +52

If the last weekend seemed oddly devoid of Jerry Jones, it's for a good reason - the Cowboys had a bye. America's self-professed team reemerges this Sunday night for a pivotal divisional game against the Eagles. Averaging 401.5 yards per game, the Cowboys possess the League's third ranked offense. Allowing 358.3 yards per game, the have pro football's 17th best defense.


05
Denver Broncos (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +50

The Broncos had no trouble getting past the Texans last Monday, winning a rather facile prime time outing 27-9. With just 157 yards on 14 completions, QB Trevor Simien didn't do a whole lot to spark Denver's offense - which means it's a good thing C.J. Anderson's steady run game (107 yards and a TD on 16 carries) was there to keep the chains a' movin'.


06
Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1)
Season Point Differential: +49

The only people who would've loved last Sunday night's dreadfully boring 6-6 sister-kissin' session against the Seahawks more than field goal aficionados would have to be fans of missed field goals. Right after Arizona's kicker whiffed on what should've been an easy game winner, how did their foes respond? How else - they decided to go out there and whiff on what would've been an even easier game winning field goal as time expired.


07
Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
Season Point Differential: +45

The Vikings offense, which had been fairly potent all season long, finally went limp against the Eagles. In the team's first loss of the year, the Eagles' defense absolutely pounded Sam Bradford all day, hitting him behind the line for a cumulative loss of 35 yards. By the time the offensive finally got cracking, it was too little, too late, with the Vikes' only TD of the game nothing but garbage points late in the fourth.


08
Atlanta Falcons (4-3)
Season Point Differential: +30

The Falcons only have themselves to blame for their 33-30 overtime loss to the Chargers. Not only did they squander away a 27-10 lead nearing halftime, they got the ball back first during O.T. and couldn't convert on a pivotal fourth and one situation. In that, who cares if Julio Jones is racking up 174 yards per contest and Matt Ryan is lobbing the rock for 273 a game when they can't collect the one yard that matters most?


THE PLAYOFF HOPEFULS


09
Seattle Seahawks (4-1-1)
Season Point Differential: +27

Nobody really wins when NFL games result in ties, and the Seahawks' 6-6 deadlock against Arizona last Sunday night more than backs up the assertion. Despite the self-cancelling final score, it's pretty obvious the Cardinals got the better of the Seahawks in the all-for-naught outing: not only did the Cards outpass Seattle 311 to 205 yards, they also managed to outrush them 132 to 52 yards.


10
San Diego Chargers (3-4)
Season Point Differential: +21

Don't look now, but the "Bad News Chargers" are riding high on a two-game winning streak, which includes back-to-back wins over both the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. If nothing else, the team's resilient 33-30 O.T. win last weekend (in tandem with Phillip Rivers almost guaranteed 300 passing yards per game) suggests this a much better team than their current record reflects.


11
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)
Season Point Differential: +20

Landry Jones played surprisingly well (281 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio on 29 completions), but the Steelers' defense had no answer for the Patriots' stellar run game. Still, the production numbers for Le'Veon Bell (81 yards rushing) and Antonio Brown (106 yards receiving) were fairly decent in the 27-16 home loss.


12
Green Bay Packers (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +17

Yeah, the Packers' home stand against the Bears last Thursday was pretty much everything you expected. In the 26-10 win, Aaron Rodgers absolutely lit up the Bears, collecting 326 passing yards and three touchdowns on 39 completions. Meanwhile, the Packers' defense totally shut down whatever meager offensive putsches Chicago could muster, limiting their aerial attack to just 120 yards and their rushing game to only 69.


13
Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +13

The Saints put up a valiant effort, but the Chiefs nonetheless managed to outlast Drew Brees and pals 27-21 last Sunday. Alex Smith went 17 for 24 in the outing, recording 214 yards and two touchdown strikes, while Spencer Ware rushed for 77 yards on 17 carries. Perhaps the biggest playmaker of the day, however, was defender Daniel Sorensen, whose 48-yard pick-six off Drew Brees proved to be all the cushion the Chiefs needed to amble off the field with a "W."


14
Oakland Raiders (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +06

The Raiders had their best game all season against the Jaguars, ultimately bumping off Jacksonville 33-16 in their home stadium. The Raiders' big money defense FINALLY looked like the multi-million dollar free agent bonanza we thought it would be, and where Derek Carr's passing game sputtered the consistent rushing attack from Latavius Murray keep the offense rolling. And as always, you can revisit the game in its entirety right here.


15 
Detroit Lions (4-3)
Season Point Differential: 0

The Lions were triumphant over the Redskins last Sunday in a thrilling 20-17 win featuring two teams that very well could sneak their way into the playoffs. Matt Stafford's track record of solid play continued, as he finished the latest outing with 266 yards and a touchdown on 18 completions.


16
Washington Redskins (4-3)
Season Point Differential: -3

Even in defeat, the Redskins' offense looked WAY better than it had any right to be. In Washington's 20-17 loss to the Lions last Sunday, Kirk Cousins nonetheless managed to rack up 301 yards and a TD, going 30 for 39 on pass attempts, with top receiver Jamison Crowder leading the herd with 108 yards on seven catches.


THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK

17
Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -6

Why did the empirically superior Ravens drop Sunday's contest to the empirically inferior Jets 24-16? Well, one could argue that Joe Flacco's lackuster play - he went 22 for 44 on pass attempts for 248 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions - was the driver for Baltimore's failure, but methinks the rushing disparities tell the whole story: the Jets concluded the outing with 155 yards, while the Ravens finished the game with a head-spinning final rushing tally of just six stinkin' yards.


18
Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -6

Andrew Luck had HUGE numbers in the Colts' 34-26 win over the Titans. In addition to going 27 for 39 on passing attempts for 353 yards, he also lobbed three touchdown passes, with leading receiver T.Y. Hilton finishing the contest with 133 yards and a solo end zone visit on seven completions.


19
New York Giants (4-3)
Season Point Differential: -8

Even in a rather disappointing offensive outing, the Giants still managed to break .500 following their latest trip to jolly old England. In the team's 17-10 win over the Rams, Eli Manning posted only 196 yards on 24 completions - which is still a considerable amount of firepower, compared to the Giants' lackluster 36 yard tally on the ground.


20
Miami Dolphins (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -13

Are the Fins on a slow crawl back to playoff contention? Eh, it's probably a bit too early to make proclamations so bold, but by that same token, you can't help but be impressed by Miami's come-from-behind 28-25 win over the Buffalo Bills defense juggernaut - especially the play of running back Jay Ajayi, who finished the contest with 214 rushing yards on the day.


21
Tennessee Titans (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -15

The Titans did a pretty good job moving the ball in their 34-26 loss to the Colts. Marcus Mariota concluded the game with 232 yards and two touchdowns, while DeMarco Murray called it a day with 107 yards and a TD on 25 carries. Still, Tennessee's pass defense couldn't do shit all day, allowing Andrew Luck to effortlessly chuck the pigskin for a grand total of 353 yards.


22
Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Season Point Differential: -15

The Panthers' disastrous season won't get any easier when they return from a bye this Sunday - they've got a hard as hell home stand against the Cardinals. Seven weeks into the NFL season, Carolina - averaging 394 yards per game - still has the League's fourth best offense statistically. Allowing 371 yards per game, however, their much touted defense ranks 24th overall.


23
New Orleans Saints (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -19

The Saints put up a good fight, but they still wound up dropping a close one to K.C. 27-21. Alas, even in a losing effort, you can still expect Drew Brees to light it up in the air. His final tally when the clock struck triple zeroes in the fourth? 367 yards and three touchdowns on 37 completions.


24
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -22

Not that it was any surprise or anything, the Bengals easily dispatched the wayward Browns 31-17 over the weekend. Andy Dalton has a good showing with 308 yards and two touchdowns on 19 completions, while back Jeremy Hill finished the contest with 168 yards and a score on nine carries. Also looking solid was receiver A.J. Green, who walked out of the contest with 169 yards and one end zone trip on eight catches.


ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE DRAFT

25
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -31

Down 14-o at the beginning of the second quarter, the Bucs quickly turned on the proverbial sprinklers and started dousing the Niners with points. After a slow start, Jameis Winston finished the game with 264 yards and three touchdowns on 21 completions, with lead receiver Mike Evans hauling in two TDs and finishing the game with 96 yards on eight catches. Then, there's the Bucs solid run game, which dropped 249 yards on the Niners' defense - with Jacquizz Rodgers alone racking up 154 yards on the ground.


26
Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -34

The Rams couldn't get much going in their 17-10 loss to the Giants in England. While Case Keenum had big numbers (291 yards and a TD on 32 completions), he also lobbed FOUR interceptions into the all-too-welcoming arms of Giants' defenders ... on top of getting sacked three times for a net yardage loss of 20.


27
Houston Texans (4-3)
Season Point Differential: -37

It was NOT a good return engagement for former Broncos QB Brock Osweiler Monday night. In a nationally televised 27-9 drubbing, Houston's signal caller could only produce 131 yards on 22 completions - with none of them, naturally, resulting in touchdowns.


28
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -43

The Jaguars certainly had a day to forget last Sunday, as ex-head coach Jack Del Rio's Raiders absolutely bitch slapped them across the field en route to a 33-16 loss. Just how bad of a day was it for the Jags? So bad that even when the Raiders managed to botch a punt on 4th and 24, they still were able to pick up a new set of downs.


29
Chicago Bears (1-6)
Season Point Differential: -58

And with Brian Hoyer hurt, the Bears now entrust their season to the veteran hands of ... uh, Matt Barkley? Not that you need me to tell you this, but the new Chicago play-caller didn't have the best outing against the Packers last Thursday - in his big primetime debut, he recorded just 81 yards on six completions ... as well as two interceptions.


30
New York Jets (2-5)
Season Point Differential: -61

Hey ya'll, the Jets finally won another game! In New York's 24-16 win over the Ravens, Geno Smith got hurt fairly early on, which meant it was time for Ryan Fitzgerald to go in there and do what Ryan Fitzgerald normally does, which is lose pro football games. However, the Jets rushing attack and surprisingly fantastic run defense kept them in this one, in turn giving Gang Green something they probably won't be seeing much of for the remainder of the season - that being, more integers on the left side of the win-loss column.


31
San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Season Point Differential: -75

This may come as an absolute shocker, but despite all of the publicity Colin K.'s anti-National Anthem rhetoric has drawn, none of the media spotlight has been converted into points on the board. The Niners' woes continued following their 34-17 loss to Tampa Bay ... which is especially bitter, since they - believe it or not - actually jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the beginning of the second quarter.


32
Cleveland Browns (0-7)
Season Point Differential: -77

Yeah, things aren't looking any better for the down-and-out Browns following their 31-17 loss to in-state rivals Cincinnati. Even worse, with Cody Kessler out, that means the Browns will have to rely upon super-duper unproven QB Kevin Hogan, who went 12 for 24 for 100 yards and two interceptions in Sunday's losing effort. On the plus side, though? Apparently, he has all the makings of a hell of running back, judging from his 104 rushing yards on just seven carries.


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