Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings (Week 15!)

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


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@JimboX

This Week's Episode:
"I Can Smell The Finish Line From Here..."

THE ELITES

#01
Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)
Season Point Differential: +159

It was a close one, but Nick Foles (24 for 38 for 237 yards, 4 TDs) and company managed to outlast the Giants 34-29 over the weekend. The win officially grants the Eagles not only the NFC East crown, but guarantees them a first round bye in the postseason, to boot. Alas, one has to wonder about Philly's secondary heading down the stretch - I mean, they DID let Eli Manning torch 'em for 434 passing yards.

#02
New England Patriots (11-3)
Season Point Differential: +121

With a last second interception off Big Ben's already infamous fake spike attempt, the Patriots managed to outlast the Steelers on the road Sunday. In the 27-24 win, Tom Brady went 22 for 35 for 298 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, with Gronk collecting 168 yards off nine catches. Not surprisingly, the Patriots' rushing attack couldn't hold water against Pittsburgh's backfield, as Le'Veon Bell (117 yards and one TD on 24 carries) managed to outrush the entire New England running back committee by 40 yards.

#03
Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
Season Point Differential: +101

With a 34-7 mudhole stompin' of the Bengals, the Vikes officially locked up the NFC North title over the weekend. The outstanding play of Case Keenum and Latavius Murray continued, with the former going 20 for 23 for 236 yards and two touchdowns and the latter collecting 76 yards and one TD on 20 carries. Also looking fantastic in the outing was receiver Jerrick McKinnon, who wrapped up the contest with 114 yards on seven hauls.

#04
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
Season Point Differential: +66

After apparently securing a go-ahead TD late in the fourth, an overturned touchdown call resulted in Big Ben trying to pull a fast one on the Patriots. Alas, his fake spike cum end zone zip didn't turn out the way he expected, and the Pats managed to pick off the pigskin to win the whole kit and caboodle 27-24. Regardless, Big Ben had an otherwise decent statistical showing, going 22 for 30 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and one INT, with JuJu Smith-Schuster collecting 114 yards off six catches.

#05
Los Angeles Rams (10-4)
Season Point Differential: +166

The Rams DESTROYED NFC West rivals Seattle on Sunday, pummeling the Seahawks 42-7 on the road. Jared Goff went 14 for 21 and 120 yards in the outing, ultimately launching two touchdowns and one interception, but the big story was L.A.'s rushing offense. In total, the Rams' ground gain outgained Seattle's rushers by an astounding 244 yard to 78 yard margin, with Todd Gurley scoring three touchdowns and collecting 152 yards on 21 carries.

#06
Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)
Season Point Differential: +165

With Sunday's 45-7 demolition of the Texans, the Jaguars secure their first postseason berth since 2007. Blake Bortles had an outstanding outing, going 21 for 29 for 326 yards and three touchdowns, with Keelan Cole collecting 187 yards and one score off seven receptions. Jacksonville's rushing attack also looked pretty good, combining for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 38 cumulative carries.

#07
New Orleans Saints (10-4)
Season Point Differential: +119

Drew Brees went 26 for 36 for 285 yards, two touchdowns and one INT in Sunday's 31-19 win over the Jets, with Michael Thomas reeling in a solo score and 93 yards on nine catches. Back Mark Ingram had a solid showing, too, finishing the game with 74 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries - this, in addition to the extra 77 yards he chalked up as a receiver.

#08
Carolina Panthers (10-4)
Season Point Differential: +45

Cam Newton and pals rained on Aaron Rodgers' big comeback game, besting the Packers 31-24 in a good 'un. Speaking of Newton, he had one of his best performances of the year Sunday, going 20 for 31 for 242 yards and FOUR touchdown passes. Oh, and he also ran the rock for another 58 yards, because if the other team's front four allows it, why not?

When are teams going to learn to NOT pass the ball against the Pats when they're THAT close to the end zone?

THE PLAYOFF HOPEFULS

#09
Atlanta Falcons (9-5)
Season Point Differential: +36

A schtoinked field goal from Tampa Bay in the waning moments of the fourth quarter gift bagged the Falcons a pivotal 24-21 divisional victory Monday night. Matt Ryan (17 for 31, 212 yards, one TD) looked alright, but the real x-factor for Atlanta's win was its rushing game - more specifically, back Devonta Freeman who wrapped up the game with 126 yards and one TD on 22 carries.

#10
Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
Season Point Differential: +89

Unsurprisingly, the Ravens made short work of the hapless, helpless Browns, beating Cleveland 27-10 over the weekend. Joe Flacco went 26 for 42 for 288 yards and one TD, with Mike Wallace (no, not the dude from 60 Minutes) collecting 89 yards on six catches. And despite scoring no touchdowns, back Javorius Allen had a pretty good showing, finishing the outing with 70 yards on 13 carries.

#11
Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)
Season Point Differential: +57

The Chiefs made it two wins in a row with Sunday's 30-13 win over the Chargers - one more victory and K.C. locks up the AFC West, regardless if the Chargers win their remaining two games. Anyhoo, both Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt looked good in the weekend's win; Smith went 23 for 30 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, while Hunt collected 155 yards and one score running the rock 24 times. Oh, and Hunt also had another 51 yards - plus another touchdown - as a receiver; think he's done enough to secure this season's offensive rookie of the year honors?

#12
Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
Season Point Differential: +27

The Seahawks royally shit the bed in Sunday's homestand, falling to the Rams 42-7. Russell Wilson went 14 for 30 for 142 yards and one touchdown in the losing bid, with Seattle's backfield combining for 78 rushing yards - which was barely half the amount of rushing yardage Todd Gurley managed to accumulate against them in his three touchdown day. The loss definitely puts some pressure on Seattle - indeed, their showdown against Dallas this Sunday is pretty much a must win game if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs.

#13
Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
Season Point Differential: +25

The MVP for the Cowboys in Sunday night's 20-17 win over the Raiders? A folded up piece of notebook paper the refs used to measure a crucial fourth down late in the fourth quarter - which gave Dallas what has to be the narrowest first down in NFL history. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Dak Prescott had a pretty crappy game, going 18 for 27 for 212 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions ... both of which landed in the arms of Raiders' cornerback Sean Smith.

#14
Detroit Lions (8-6)
Season Point Differential: +19

Matt Stafford went 25 for 33 for 237 yards and two touchdown passes in the Lions' 20-10 win over Chicago Sunday. The victory keeps the playoffs aspirations of Detroit alive for at least another week - and with two very winnable games against the Bengals and Packers remaining on the docket, there's at least a 50/50 chance the Lions will wrap up their campaign 10-6. The question now is, in a hyper-competitive race for the sixth and final NFC playoff slot, will 10-6 be good enough to cut it?

#15
Tennessee Titans (8-6)
Season Point Differential: -23

The Titans lost a close one to the Niners over the weekend, 25-23. Marcus Mariota went 23 for 33 for 241 yards and two touchdowns, with top receiver Rishard Matthews racking up 85 yards and one score on six catches. Alas, the secondary just collapsed against Jimmy Garoppolo's dazzling aerial attack, allowing San Fran to accumulate 381 yards in the air.

#16
Buffalo Bills (8-6)
Season Point Differential: -42

Buffalo bolstered their wildcard playoff chances with a 24-16 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. T-Mobile went 17 for 29 for 224 yards and one TD pass in the victory, racking up another 42 yards and an additional score running the rock. And the defense made life miserable for Jay Cutler all day long, sacking him thrice, intercepting him thrice and hitting him after the pass five times.

Yeah - this pretty much sums up the Raiders' 2017 season.

THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK

#17
Los Angeles Chargers (7-7)
Season Point Differential: +56

Sunday's 30-13 loss to the Chiefs doesn't necessarily make it impossible for L.A. to win the AFC West (or lock up a playoff spot, for that matter) but it's pretty much a given that they're gonna' have to run the table to even think about sniffing the postseason. In case you missed it, Phil Rivers had one of his worst performances of the year in the defeat, going 20 for 36 for 227 yards, one TD and three interceptions - including two lobbed into the arms of Marcus Peters, who had 74 total yards as an unintentional Rivers' target.

#18
Green Bay Packers (7-7)
Season Point Differential: -24

Aaron Rodgers fell short in his return game, succumbing to the Panthers 31-24. A-Rod went 26 for 45 in the losing effort, ultimately tossing three touchdowns - and three interceptions, to boot. And oddly enough, Rodgers - with 43 yards on the ground - was just four yards short of being Green Bay's most productive rusher on the day.

#19
Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Season Point Differential: -43

The Raiders' 20-17 home loss to Dallas Sunday night pretty much ended their season. Derek Carr went 21 for 38 for 171 yards and two touchdown passes, but he cost his team the come-from-behind victory when he tried to dive for a pylon-assisted score ... only to fumble the pigskin, watch it roll out of the end zone and give the Cowboys a touchback and all the time in the world to run out the clock. And as always, if you're a morose sort you can always check out our LIVE play-by-play coverage of the debacle - you sick, sick individuals, you.

#20
Washington Redskins (6-8)
Season Point Differential: -54

Kirk Cousins went 18 for 26 for 196 yards and two touchdown passes in Washington's 20-15 win over Arizona Sunday. Remarkably, the Redskins were able to pull out the W despite being outgained on the ground by the Cardinals 141 yards to 31. I guess that tells you all you need to know about the importance of rushing in today's NFL product, no?

#21
Miami Dolphins (6-8)
Season Point Differential: -90

The Fins came up short Sunday against the Bills, dropping a fairly competitive one 24-16. Jay Cutler went 28 for 46 for 274 yards in the losing effort - which sounds pretty good, up until you remember he threw zero touchdown passes and three INTs. Oh, and the nigga somehow managed to fumble the ball FOUR TIMES, although by some great cosmological fluke, none of them were recovered by Buffalo.

#22
Arizona Cardinals (6-8)
Season Point Differential: -91

In a 20-15 loss to the Redskins over the weekend, THE BLAINE GABBERT went 16 for 41 for 189 yards, zero touchdown passes and one interception. But really, you can scale back his overall production to just 145, considering the five times he was sacked for negative 44 yards. And if that wasn't bad enough, Gabbert also managed to fumble the ball three times, with one of them resulting in a crucial turnover.

#23
New York Jets (5-9)
Season Point Differential: -57

Backup-backup Bryce Petty underwhelmed in the Jets' 31-19 loss to the Saints Sunday, going 19 for 39 for 179 yards, one TD and two interceptions. Bilal Powell had 44 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and receiver Elijah McGuire hauled in a score in his 48-yard day, but beyond that? Yeah, this offense didn't do much of anything

#24
Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
Season Point Differential: -72

As evident by the 34-7 final score, the Bengals didn't get a whole lot accomplished in their loss to the Vikings Sunday. Andy Dalton went 11 for 22 in the losing bid, for 113 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, while Cincinnati's running backs attack could only muster 46 yards and one TD on 20 combined carries. Meanwhile, Cincy's defense let the Vikes outrush them to the tune of 124 yards on the ground - with Latavius Murray all by his lonesome outproducing the Bengals' rushing total by 30 yards.

So do you fucks STILL want Colin K. back on the roster now?

ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE DRAFT

#25
Denver Broncos (5-9)
Season Point Differential: -74

The Broncos thumped the Colts 25-13 last Thursday in a game that saw Trevor Siemian go 5 for 9 for 67 yards and one interception before getting yanked in favor of Brock Osweiler. Os did a little bit better under center for Denver, finishing the contest 12 for 17 for 194 yards and two touchdown passes - plus another rushing score. Also notable? The Broncos rushing attack (led by C.J. Anderson with 158 yards on the day) outpaced Indy on the ground by an absurd 213 yard to 70 yard differential.

#26
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10)
Season Point Differential: -51

The Bucs kept it close, but some special teams snafus late in the fourth cost them Monday night's tilt against Atlanta. In the 24-21 loss, Jameis Winston had a hell of a showing, going 27 for 35 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Alas, some cruddy play in the first half - especially a costly fumble in their own end zone in the second quarter - made sure Tampa Bay would never gain ground on their NFC South rivals.

#27
Chicago Bears (4-10)
Season Point Differential: -60

The Bears came up short against the Lions over the weekend, falling 20-10 to Detroit. Mitch "The Bitch" Trubiksy went 31 for 46, 314 yards and one TD pass - plus three interceptions. Oh well, at least Chicago's defense played fairly well in the double-digit loss - after all, the Bears' defense DID manage to sack Matt Stafford four times for negative 35 yards, didn't they?

#28
Houston Texans (4-10)
Season Point Differential: -61

No, the Texans did not look too swell in their 45-7 loss to the Jaguars Sunday. T.J. Yates went 12 for 31 for 128 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, while Houston's backfield  managed to collect 87 yards on 21 combined carries. Alas, T.J. - filling in for the brain-rattled Tom Savage, who probably thinks he's Batman right about now - fared a little bit better against the Jags' ferocious defense than anticipated: over the weekend, they only managed to sack him four times for minus 29 yards.

#29
San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
Season Point Differential: -84

Sunday's 25-23 win over Tennessee makes it three wins in a row for the Niners, who are UNDEFEATED with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Speaking of Jimmy G., he had a hell of a game over the weekend, going 31 for 43 for 381 yards and one TD pass. Of course, he also got sacked three times and hit after the pass five more times, but hey - nobody said it wouldn't be awhile before those pesky O-line problems are remedied. 

#30
Indianapolis Colts (3-11)
Season Point Differential: -143

Jacoby "Whisker Biscuit" Brissett had an off night last Thursday in the Colts' 25-13 loss to Denver. The ex-Pat went 17 for 30 in the losing bid, ultimately chalking up 158 yards but no touchdown passes. However, he did manage to muster one rushing TD in the contest - and with 18 scrambling yards on the day, he was Indy's second most productive runner during the affair.

#31
New York Giants (2-12)
Season Point Differential: -127

Even with Eli Manning going 37 for 57 for 434 yards and three touchdown passes, the Giants still came up short against the Eagles Sunday. In the 34-29 loss, Sterling Shepherd had 11 completions, 139 yards and one TD haul, while Tavarres King collected two touchdowns and 70 yards off his only two catches of the day. Alas, the team couldn't do shit in the fourth quarter, collecting a meager 76 yards and zero points in the final 15 minutes of the contest.

#32
Cleveland Browns (0-14)
Season Point Differential: -155

And with Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Ravens, Cleveland is now just two defeats away from completing their perfect season. DeShone Kizer's stats over the weekend were pretty much what you'd expect - 20 for 37 for 146 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions - and common sense would dictate he probably won't be starting for the Browns come opening day 2018. Hell, it's not even a lock he'll get the start against the Bears this Sunday, if we're gonna' be honest with ourselves ... 

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