Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings - Week Six!

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

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"All Hail Our (Former)Respective Glories!"


Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +59

Yes, for one week at least, the goddamn Buffalo Bills are indeed the best team in pro football. In their 45-16 destruction of the Niners, you saw just about everything that makes a modern NFL team playoff-ready - a solid quarterback (T-Mobile had 178 yards and two TD passes), a stellar run game (how about LeSean McCoy's three touchdown, 140-yard day?) and a dynamite defense that looks great against the pass and the rush. The big question now is, can the Buffalo Bills sustain this phenomenal play throughout the remainder of the season (and punch their tickets to the post-season for the first time since 2000) or will they ... well, play more like the Buffalo Bills we're used to watching?

New England Patriots (5-1)
Season Point Differential: +58

The Pats were never in any distress in their 35-17 win over the rumbling, stumbling, fumbling Bengals. Tom Terrific looked, well, himself, throwing three touchdown passes and collecting 376 yards on 29 completions. And Gronk had a monster day as well, racking up 162 yards and an end zone visitation on just seven catches. 

Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +57

Hey, remember a couple of weeks back when everybody was talking about Carson Wentz as if he was the second coming of Joe Montana duck-taped to Peyton Manning, with arms made out of Tom Brady and Drew Brees, Voltron-style? Well, his play has taken a noticeable hit in quality the last two weeks. The rookie QB had an especially lackluster outing in the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Redskins, in which Wentz went just 11 for 22 on passes for 179 yards and no touchdowns. Oh, and him getting sacked five times for a good 30-lost yards of offensive real estate isn't exactly a beacon of hope, neither. 

Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
Season Point Differential: +56

The Vikes took week six off, as they re-emerge this Sunday to go toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Eagles in what many are considering a preview of the NFC Championship (well, some people, anyway.) Re: the last remaining unbeaten team in pro football - averaging 302.6 yards per game, their offense ranks 30th overall, while their defense, allowing an average of 287.6 yards per game, ranks second overall. 

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

No Romo, no problem! The Cowboys bested the Packers at Lambeau 30-16 in a game that, more so than any other this season, demonstrates why Dak Prescott ought to be the starter for "America's Team." The rookie sensation went 18 for 27 for 247 yards and three touchdown passes, and really, his wasn't event he most impressive offensive performance for the Boys that evening, seeing as how Ezekiel Elliot recorded 157 rushing yards on 28 carries against a loaded defense considered one of the best against the run in all of pro football. 

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

The Cardinals have had a very up and down season, but to their credit, when they are up, they are VERY, VERY up. Case in point? The Cards' 28-3 throttling of the Jets on Monday Night, which saw David Johnson pound the pigskin for 111 yards and three rushing touchdowns. And defensively, it was pretty much a second bye week for the team, as they easily held the nose-diving Jets to 197 passing yards and only 33 rushing yards - which, as evident by the final tally, resulted in nothing even remotely resembling points on the scoreboard

Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +33

Do you think Falcons' fans will ever get over that fourth down no-call against Richard Sherman? Aye, the blatant-but-ignored pass interference likely would have given the Falcons enough real estate to try for a game-winning field goal in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Alas, the refs, doing their best clueless WWE official routine, conveniently looked the other way, thus allowing the Seahawks to hold on to a narrow 26-24 win. Needless to say, it's going to take a lot of Falcons sandwiches from Publix to cope with this one...

Denver Broncos (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +32

Well, that's two back-to-back losses for the reigning, defending Super Bowl champions. In a tough, divisional road loss to the Chargers, Trevor Siemian was decent (230 yards and a TD on 30 completions), but the run game just couldn't get cranked up, producing an anemic 84 yards in the 21-13 loss. Still, the defense held up very well, holding Philip Rivers to 178 yards and the Chargers potent rushing attack to just 99. 


Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +31

The Fins beating the Steelers 30-15 last Sunday HAS to be the biggest upset of the season so far. Even more upsetting for the Pittsburgh faithful, however? Big Ben is hurt yet again, and there's no timetable in place for when he will return. And even with arguably the best receiver and the best running back in pro football, just how optimistic can you be about the rest of the season with Landry motherfucking Jones calling signals?

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

Talk about a gift-wrapped win! In one of the most obvious, outcome-shaping fuck-ups in recent NFL history, the officials pretty much allowed Richard Sherman to commit blatant pass interference against Julio Jones - an extremely significant no-call that gave the ball back to Seattle in the dying moments of the fourth quarter. Seattle faithful should consider themselves very, very fortunate to escape from this one with the 26-24 victory, that's for damned sure. 

San Diego Chargers (2-4)
Season Point Differential: +18

After a long series of improbable losses mathematicians have determined to be a one-in-30-million fluke, San Diego finally got on the favorable side of Lady Luck via a 21-13 win over the Broncos. But perhaps the most surprising thing about the win? Just how well the Chargers' defense played, which, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, had held the Broncos to only three points, with their own offense ahead by 21

Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
Season Point Differential: +07

The Chiefs definitely put a hurting on the Raiders in a rain-soaked contest Sunday, besting the still No. 1 ranked AFC West team 26-10. Alex Smith may have had outstanding passing numbers (although, despite going 19 for 22, he recorded no touchdowns), but it was clearly the Chiefs' rushing attack that won 'em this one - at the final horn, they had recorded 183 rushing yards and three ground-based scores, with Spencer Ware leading the herd with 131 yards on 24 carries. 

Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
Season Point Differential: +02

In a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV (well, not really), the New York Giants exacted 15-year-late revenge against the Ravens, winning a close contest 27-23 at the Meadowlands. You really can't fault Joe Flacco's overall stats (he did finish the game with 300-plus yards, after all), but when none of those passes are connecting with receivers in enemy end zone, who gives a shit? Well, besides the millions of people out there who play fantasy football, I guess...

Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Season Point Differential: +01

The Pack just couldn't stop the Dallas offensive onslaught, as Green Bay fell to the Cowboys 30-16 last Sunday. A-Rod had decent stats (294 yards and a TD on 31 completions), but they just couldn't get their run game (which chalked up a puny 78 yards throughout the contest) going. And the defense - which allowed three aerial touchdowns and nearly 200 rushing yards - looked just as lethargic. 

Washington Redskins (4-2)
Season Point Differential: 0

Don't look now, but the Skins are slowly but surely transforming into something that may very well resemble a kind of offensive juggernaut. Ye jest? Look no further than Washington's win over the Eagles last Sunday, when Kirk Cousins threw the pigskin for 263 yards and two touchdowns while Matt Jones chewed up the field for 135 rushing yards. And defensively, these kids ain't too shabby: after all, they did hold one of the League's most touted offenses to just 179 yards passing and just 94 rushing, didn't they?

Detroit Lions (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -03

Matt Stafford's excellent (statistical) season continued Sunday with a very close 31-28 win over the Rams. The former UGA gunslinger lobbed the rock for four touchdowns in the victory, ultimately collecting 270 yards on 23 completions. Leading the parade was receiver Golden Tate, who finished the contest with 165 yards and one TD on only eight receptions. 


Tennessee Titans (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -07

The Titans' up-and-down season swung up last weekend, via a close fought 28-26 win over the hapless, helpless Browns. Marcus Mariota lobbed three touchdown passes in the winning effort, concluding the game with 284 yards on 17 completions, while receiver Kendell Wright wrapped up the contest with 133 yards and a solo trip to the end zone on eight catches.

Oakland Raiders (4-2)
Season Point Differential: -11

The Raiders put in their worst offensive and defensive showing of the season in last Sunday's 26-10 loss to divisional foes Kansas City (and, as always, the coroner's report can be read in full right here.) For another week,  however, the Raiders still hold on to the best overall record in the AFC West ... although with K.C. and S.D. both slowly coming alive (while Denver appears to be slipping up a tad), things could get very chaotic in the rankings much sooner than later. 

New Orleans Saints (2-3)
Season Point Differential: -13

Drew Brees and company narrowly survived a scare from the Panthers, but even after squandering  a big lead, the Saints nonetheless managed to stave off their divisional foes en route to a 41-38 win. As that sum would lead you to believe, yes, Drew Brees did indeed air the shit out of the ball last weekend - he finished the contest with four touchdowns and 465 yards on 23 completions, with receiver Brandin Cooks leading the corps with 173 yards on seven catches.

Indianapolis Colts (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -14

The Colts dropped another tough one last Sunday night, falling 26-23 to divisional rivals Houston. All in all, you really can't complain about the Colts' overall offensive numbers - Andrew Luck bowed out with 252 yards on 21 completions while Frank Gore called it a day with 106 rushing yards on 22 carries. 

New York Giants (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -15

OBJ is back (for one game, at least), ya'll. In the Giants' 27-23 win over Baltimore, the League's most polarizing receiver put in a hell of a performance, registering 222 yards and two touchdowns on just eight catches. Is it time to circle the wagons on the G-Men, then? Well, seeing as how Eli Manning (despite his 400-yard plus day) is still lobbing interceptions left and right, I'd probably hold off on declaring this a truly resurrected playoff contender just yet. 

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

Yeah, I suppose by now, it is MORE than safe to say the Super Bowl Slump is in full effect for the Panthers. The really sad thing about their 41-38 loss to New Orleans? Not only did they fall short on a late comeback attempt, the team's overall stats were downright great, with Cam Newton collecting 322 passing yards and the combined Panthers rushing corps accumulating 103 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Aye, it sucks big time being second to last in a last possession game, don't it?

Miami Dolphins (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -16

That's right - the Dolphins didn't even need Ryan Tannehill (24 for 32 for 252 yards) to lob a single touchdown pass to lead his time to an unbelievable 15-point win over the Steelers. Running back Jay Ayaji deserves a lot of credit for the shocking victory - after all, the dude did collect 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, didn't he?  

Houston Texans (4-2)
Season Point Differential: -19

Well, it wasn't easy, but the Texans nonetheless escaped from their showdown against the Colts last Sunday night with a W. In the 26-23 O.T. win, Brock Os. went 25 for 39 for 269 yards, two TDs and one INT while Lamar Miller tore up the field for 149 rushing yards and one score on 24 carries. And leading Houston in receiving yards? Not DeAndre Hopkins, but C.J. Fiedorowicz, who clocked out with 85 yards and a TD on six catches.


Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Season Point Differential: -26

The Jags just barely got past Chicago over the weekend, squeaking by with a razor thin 17-16 win. Blake Bortles wrapped up the game with 271 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio on 20 completions, with receiver Allen Hurns leading the field with 74 yards on five catches. Alas, the run game was a non-factor, as the Jags could only muster a puny 54 rushing yards all afternoon. 

Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -27

The Rams dropped a tough one to the Lions last Sunday, winding up on the losing end of a 31-28 contest. Case Keenum had a solid showing overall with 321 yards and three touchdowns on 27 completions, but the run game was conspicuously absent - indeed, at the final horn, Todd Gurley and pals had only collected 76 yards on the ground, with the only rushing touchdown punched in by Keenum himself. 

Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -36

The Bengals, at this point, have to be the most surprising underperforming team in the League. While Andy Dalton showed some slivers of flare in Cincy's 35-17 loss to the Patriots (he went 21 for 31 for 254 yards and a TD pass), the team just couldn't get their engines cranked, offensively or defensively. The looked especially lethargic in the second half, when they allowed New England to post 25 points over the course of 30 minutes of play. 

Chicago Bears (1-5)
Season Point Differential: -42

Brian Hoyer's 300-plus yard throwing day wasn't enough to propel the Bears to victory, as they dropped a tough one to Jacksonville 17-16. Receiver Cameron Meredith had a very strong showing, finishing the game with 113 yards on 11 carries, but he nor anyone else wearing a "C" on the side of their helmets seemed to be able to find enemy end zone throughout the affair. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -48

If last weekend felt strangely devoid of Jameis Winston, you're not hallucinating - the Bucs had a bye. Averaging 335.8 yards per game, Tampa Bay possesses the League's 23rd ranked offense and are ranked 20th overall in defense, allowing opposing teams to record an average of 366.2 yards per contest. They return to the gridiron this Sunday to play the 49ers, in what should be ... well, to be honest, a pretty shitty game. 

San Francisco 49ers (1-5)
Season Point Differential: -58

After all of the controversy and the criticisms and the crude t-shirts and the politicization of sports radio and the strangely under-discussed contract extension, how did Colin Kaepernick actually perform under center? As it turns out, about as poorly as Blaine Gabbert, finishing the game 13 for 29 for 187 yards and a solo TD pass (and getting sacked three times for a net loss of 20 yards) in a 45-16 walloping from the Bills. 

Cleveland Browns (0-6)
Season Point Differential: -63

The Browns just keep on finding ways to lose tight games, and their 28-26 loss to the Titans is especially heartbreaking. While Cody Kessler had a really good showing (he got 336 yards and two touchdowns on 26 completions), the Browns run game sputtered out. At the final horn, the team collectively ran the ball for only 40 yards - a sum Tennessee more than tripled on the other side of the turf. 

New York Jets (1-5)
Season Point Differential: -69

Without question, the Jets' disastrous 2016 campaign has been the biggest dumpster fire in all of pro football - yes, even worse than the Browns, because heading into this season, people actually had halfway decent expectations for them. In the latest installment in the League's best tragicomedy, the Jets got their asses handed to them by the Cardinals, 28-3 on a live, nationally televised broadcast. Hold on to your hats, folks ... this thing is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.


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