Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings (Week 7!)

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

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"What You Call 'Sense' Left Town a Long Time Ago"


Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)
Season Point Differential: +53

With the Chiefs dropping a Thursday night shocker to the Raiders, the Eagles officially lay claim to the best overall record in pro football with their 34-24 Monday night win against Washington. Carson Wentz went 17 for 25 for 268 yards in the victory, ultimately concluding the game with four touchdown passes and one interception. Alas, in the grand scheme of things, the win might be remembered as something of a Pyrrhic victory, considering the Eagles lost left tackle Jason Peters and line backer Jordan Hicks for the remainder of the season.

Los Angeles Rams (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +74

On a Sunday that saw no less than three double digits to nothin' blowouts, perhaps none was more resounding than the Rams' 33-0 beatdown of NFC West rivals Arizona. Not only did Jared Goff (22 for 37, 235 yards, one TD, one INT) and Todd Gurley (22 carries, 106 yards, one TD) turn in big offensive performances, Los Angeles' defense looked positively devastating, holding the Cardinals to a combined 193 yards on both sides of the pigskin.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +46

Hoo boy. After a hot 5-0 start, the Chiefs are now on a two-game skid following their last-second (and HIGHLY entertaining) loss to the Raiders last Thursday night. Indeed, the defense-deficient Chiefs (who let Derek Carr gas 'em for more than 400 yards last week) are already drawing comparisons to the 2015 Falcons and 2016 Vikings - two teams that likewise began their seasons 5-0, only to conclude their campaigns with mediocre 8-8 records.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +31

Big Ben had a great day in the Steelers' 29-14 win over the Bengals, finishing the day 14 for 24 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Furthermore, back Le'Veon Bell made fantasy footballers very happy with his 134 yard-day, as did receiver Antonio Brown (65 yards and one TD on four catches.) Still, drama is looming in the locker room - dissatisfied by his number of carries, Martavis Bryant is already shopping around for some new teammates.

New England Patriots (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +29

The Patriots nearly rolled a shutout in their Super Bowl rematch against the Falcons. In a foggy Sunday night laugher, New England bested Atlanta 23-7, with Tom Brady going 20 for 29 for 249 yards and two touchdown passes. And trust me - that shit looks way more impressive using that new Madden vision sky camera setup, too.

Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
Season Point Differential: +27

In an all-purple throwdown last Sunday, Minnesota topped Baltimore 24-16, with the Vikings' defense sacking Joe Flacco five times for negative 42 yards and three forced fumbles.Well, give yourself all the points in the world ever in history if you thought the Vikes would be in pole position of the NFC North this late in the season with Case Keenum (20 for 31, 188 yards, no TDs, one INT) and Latavius Murray (18 carries, 113 yards, one TD) as their starting quarterback-top running back combo

Seattle Seahawks (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +40

Russell Wilson had his best game of the season Sunday, as he led Seattle to a commanding 24-7 victory over the dumpster fire that is the New York Giants. In the one-sided victory, Wilson went 27 for 39 for 334 yards and three touchdowns, with top receiver Doug Baldwin finishing the game with 92 yards and one TD on nine receptions. The discrepancies in the run games tells you pretty much everything you need to know here; at the final horn, Seattle had 104 yards on the ground, while the Giants could only muster 46.

New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +38

It went back and forth, but Drew Brees and company were nonetheless able to surmount the Brett Hundley-commandeered Packers last Sunday. In the 26-17 win, the Saints' longtime QB went 27 for 38 for 331 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, with top receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. racking up 141 yards on seven catches. Top back Mark Ingram also put in a good showing, completing the contest with 105 yards and one TD gallop on 22 carries.

Getting your ass kicked in a Super Bowl rematch is one thing, but getting your ass kicked in a Super Bowl rematch in Madden-vision is about twenty times worse.


Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Season Point Differential: +18

Down 27-20 with less than three minutes to go in the fourth, the Bills managed to put seven on the board within a minute of getting the ball back from Tampa Bay. Buffalo's defense would stand tall and get the ball once more in the waning seconds of the game, and with seven seconds left in regulation, Stephen Hauschka booted it through the uprights to give Buffalo the hard-fought 30-27 win. In case you were wondering, T-Mobile had a pretty good day, number-wise: he finished the outing 20 for 33 for 268 yards and one touchdown pass (plus another 53 yards scrambling on six carries.)

Miami Dolphins (4-2)
Season Point Differential: -20

Yep, that's yet another comeback win for the Dolphins. With Jay Cutler exiting the game early, Miami had to rely upon backup Matt Moore to dig 'em out of a late 14-point hole against the Jets. He responded with two fourth quarter TD passes that gave Miami the ability to boot a field goal with just 22 seconds left in regulation to secure the come from behind 31-28 win. The question now is, if Moore looks just as spectacular against the Ravens later tonight, will he ultimately get the start over a medically cleared Cutler two weeks from now?

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)
Season Point Differential: +73

The Jags made short work of AFC South rivals Indianapolis, as Jacksonville waylaid the Colts in a 27-0 mauling. Blake Bortles went 18 for 26 for 330 yards and one touchdown strike, with top rusher T.J. Yeldon finishing the contest with 122 yards and one score on nine carries. And if you're wondering whether or not this team is worthy of their self-bestowed "Sacksonville" nickname, just ask Colts QB Jacoby Brissett; since he got sacked ten times last Sunday, his input is on the matter about as valuable as anybody's.

Green Bay Packers (4-3)
Season Point Differential: +3

The Packers kept it close, but they still couldn't take out the Saints at home last Sunday, succumbing 26 to 17 to New Orleans. Brett Hundley had a very underwhelming first start for Green Bay, concluding the contest 12 for 25 for no touchdowns, one interception and only 87 passing yards. He looked a little bit better running the ball, though, as he racked up 44 yards and one scrambling touchdown on the ground. And speaking of running backs, you can't complain about Aaron Jones' performance: he finished the game with 131 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. 

Carolina Panthers (4-3)
Season Point Differential: -8

After a tough (albeit close) loss to the Eagles last week, the Panthers royally shit the bed and got bested by the Bears 17-3 in a plum pitiful performance over the weekend. Cam Newton went 21 for 34 for 211 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, plus another 50 rushing yards sans a TD. He also fumbled away the ball once and got sacked five times, for a net combined loss of 26 yards on the day.

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

In a field-goal-tastic contender for worst game of the NFL season so far, the Titans just barely edged out the still win-less Cleveland Browns in a 12-9 snoozer. In case you're wondering (and you really shouldn't), Ryan Succop booted the 47-yard game winner with two minutes remaining in the fourth. Oh, and the defense collected three interceptions off Cleveland's quarterbacks, but that's not really much of a surprise, is it?

Houston Texans (3-3)
Season Point Differential: +30

The Texans took the week off and will return this Sunday for a road trip to Seattle. At the halfway mark of the season, Houston's offense - averaging 343.8 yards per game - is ranked 14th in the League. Allowing 310.5 per game, their defense is ranked 11th overall. And if you were wondering, apparently Deshaun Watson was worth drafting - at 80.8, he has the highest Total Quarterbacking Rating of any quarterback in the League, according to ESPN's proprietary number-crunching QBR system.

Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
Season Point Differential: +23

The apparently not that suspended Ezekiel Elliot had a huge game in Dallas' 40-10 manhandling of the 49ers. The former Ohio State back collected 147 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, ultimately outrunning the entire combined San Fran backfield by more than 40 yards. And that Dak Prescott fella looked quite swell, too - he finished the game 16 for 25 for 234 yards and three touchdown passes (including one to - who else? - Ezekiel Elliot, who finished the game with 72 yards on just one reception.)

Of the three game-winning touchdown passes Derek Carr tossed last Thursday, this one is definitely my favorite.


Detroit Lions (3-3)
Season Point Differential: +12

The Lions had a bye over the weekend but return this Sunday for a primetime scrap against the Steelers. Averaging 298 yards per game, the Lions' offense currently ranks 26th in the League. Allowing 338.5 yards a contest, they don't fare too much better on the other side of the ball - heading into week 8, their defense is ranked 19th overall.

Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -4

Whereas the Falcons had their hearts ripped out of their sternums in a colossal fourth quarter collapse in Super Bowl 51, they just plain got their asses kicked in the re-do in Foxboro last Sunday. Matt Ryan went 22 for 33 for 233 yards and one touchdown in the 23-7 loss to the Pats, a virtually meaningless zip to Julio Jones (99 yards, nine receptions) late in the fourth when the Falcons we're already down by three scores. And the Falcons' run game wasn't much help, either, with Devonta Freeman finishing the game with 72 yards - but no end zone visits - on 12 carries.

Washington Redskins (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -6

In Monday night's 34-24 loss to Philadelphia, Kirk Cousins went 30 for 40 for 303 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with Jordan Reed hauling in two touchdown passes and finishing the outing with 64 yards on eight receptions. Alas, the Redskins rushing attack just couldn't get going against the Eagles, as they concluded the contest with only 75 pointless yards on the ground (while their defense allowed Philadelphia to run for 127.)

Denver Broncos (3-3)
Season Point Differential: -10

Just a week after an inexplicable loss to the Giants, the Broncos decided to outdo themselves by losing to the Chargers 21-0 Sunday. Trevor Siemian went 25 for 35 in the (literally) pointless affair, ultimately recording 207 yards and one interception before the day was over. The Broncos' rushing attack was hardly impressive either; at the final horn, the backfield combined for a measly 69 yards on 19 combined carries, with none of them, obviously, converting into points on the scoreboard.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-4)
Season Point Differential: +6

After an 0-4 start, the Chargers have won three in a row following their 21-0 blanking of AFC West rivals Denver. Philip Rivers went 15 for 26 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, with top receiver Hunter Henry wrapping up the contest with 73 yards on four catches. Now, can L.A. hit .500 with a major road upset against New England this Sunday? Hey ... in a season this fuckin' weird, anything's possible.

Oakland Raiders (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -1

Riding a four game losing streak, the Raiders HAD to beat the Chiefs at home last Thursday night to keep their season alive. And sure as sugar, Oakland staged a comeback for the ages as they rallied to best Kansas City 31-30 in a game that saw Derek Carr lob three touchdown passes in the final 16 seconds of the game (of which only one counted, but still.) The thriller is already being deemed the game of the year by many websites and publications, and as always, if you missed it as it happened, you can always relive the wonder and whimsy anytime you want right here.

Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -18

Joe Flacco had a day to forget in the Ravens' 24-16 loss to Minnesota. He went 27 for 39 for 186 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but he also got sacked five times for nearly half a football field's worth of lost yardage. Baltimore's rushing attack also underperformed, racking up 64 yards and no scores while allowing the Vikings to accumulate 169 yards and one TD on the ground. 

New York Jets (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -24

The Jets had a 14 point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and what do you know, they managed to give up 17 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes of play to gift bag the Fins a 31-28 comeback victory. Still, it's not all piss and vinegar for the Jets. I suppose they can take some solace in outrunning Miami 92 yards to 53; certainly, their defense should be allowed to pat themselves on the back for holding Jay Ajayi to just 51 yards on the day, no?

So, how do you top losing your best (hell, only good) player? I don't know, but I'm sure the Browns will find a way to do so at some point this weekend.


Chicago Bears (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -29

Despite letting quarterback Mitch Trubisky eat dirt four times, the Bears nonetheless managed to beat Carolina 17-3 last Sunday. Mitch the Bitch (four for seven for 107 yards and no touchdowns) and Jordan Howard (65 yards and no scores on 21 carries) weren't much help in the game, so how did Chicago pull out the victory? While, you can attribute that to rookie free safety Eddie Jackson, who scored TWO defensive touchdowns for the Bears - a 75-yard fumble recovery, followed up just minutes later by a 76-yard interception return.

Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
Season Point Differential: -72

If getting asshole pounded 33-0 by an in-division rival wasn't bad enough, the Cardinals also lost quarterback Carson Palmer for (most likely) the remainder of the season. Furthermore, Adrian Peterson looked greatly diminished in his second week as a Cardinal, finishing the game with just 21 yards on 11 carries. Indeed, the Arizona faithful have pretty much gone on ahead and called this one a season - as evident by the fact the official team subreddit is now dedicated to the actual cardinals of Arizona.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -6

Despite Jameis Winston (32 for 44, 384 yards, 3 TDs, one INT) outgunning T-Mobile by more than 100 aerial yards, the lackluster Tampa Bay run game sputtered out on both sides of the ball. At the final horn, the Bucs accumulated just 69 yards on the ground, while their D allowed the Bills to rack up 173 (with top Buffalo back LeSean McCoy registering two trips to the end zone and 91 yards on the day.) But perhaps more concerning for the Bucs? Their god awful ball control - at the final horn, the team combined for SIX fumbles, two of which Buffalo safely and soundly recovered.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
Season Point Differential: -14

No, there are not a lot of net positives to take away from the Bengals' 29-14 loss to the Steelers. Andy Dalton went 17 for 30 for 140 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but you might as well roll back his production to 108 yards once you factor in the 32 yards he lost being sacked four times. The rushing attack fared even worse, with top rusher Joe Mixon only accumulating a scant 48 yards on the day; the backfield, as a whole, finished the game with just 71 rushing yards and no trips to the end zone.

Indianapolis Colts (2-5)
Season Point Differential: -103

In a 27-0 lambasting at the hands of the Jaguars, Jacoby "Whisker Biscuit" Brissett went 22 for 37 for 200 passing yards. He also got sacked ten times in the loss, ultimately getting drilled backwards for a net cumulative loss of 64 yards. Not surprisingly, the ghastly performance of Indy's offensive line catapulted Brissett to the top of the League's "most-sacked list" - F.Y.I., he "leads" all QBs with 25 absorbed heading into week 8.

New York Giants (1-6)
Season Point Differential: -44

After an upset win over Denver last week, the Giants quickly reverted to form and dropped a 24-7 loss to the Seahawks. Eli Manning, to put it mildly, was not all that impressive, finishing the game 19 for 39 for 134 yards and one TD pass. Alas, as meh as his game was, New York's rushing attack was even less inspiring. Top back Orleans Darkwa only had 35 yards on the day, and the combined Giants backfield couldn't exceed 46 yards on the ground all game long.

San Francisco 49ers (0-7)
Season Point Differential: -63

Following a 40-10 loss to the Cowboys, the 49ers remain just one of two teams in the NFL without a positive integer on the right-hand side of their win-loss column. C.J. Beathard, technically, had an alright day, going 22 for 38 for 235 yards - that is, if you factor out the 48 yards he lost after getting sacked five times. The run game fared even worse; the best San Fran could muster on the ground was 103 yards, while their defense allowed the Cowboys to more than double their ground-based production with 265 yards and three walked in touchdowns.

Cleveland Browns (0-7)
Season Point Differential: -66

So, how can the Browns season get any worse? Well, Sunday's 12-9 heartbreaker loss to Tennessee is a pretty good way to get there, as is watching DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler battle for the starting quarterback position and lob three interceptions in the process. But no, to really nail down the almost supernaturally awful luck of the franchise, we have to put this shit in our patented haiku prose:

Sheesh, just how much tragedy can one team hoist upon its city in one season? The Browns personnel better be kicking the tires on the team plane - at this point, the only way Cleveland's campaign can get any worse is if they take a page out of the 1970 Marshall Thundering Herd playbook ...


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