Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2019-2020 NFL Power Rankings (Week Nine)

ESPN and Bleacher Report can eat it — THESE are the only pro football rankings that matter, anywhere and everywhere


By: Jimbo X

This Week’s Episode:
“Halfway to Paydirt (Alternate Title: Is It Time For The Fuckin’ Draft Yet?)”

THE ELITES

#001
New England Patriots (8-1)
Season Point Differential: +172

Remember last week, when everybody was talking about the Pats’ defense being the greatest defense of all-time and that the team was going to go 16-0 and run roughshod over everybody in the playoffs en route to another Super Bowl ring for Tom Brady? Well, right on cue, the Pats’ got ass-blasted by 17 points in primetime Sunday, as the Ravens clobbered New England to the tune of 37-20 to give ‘em their first taste of defeat during the 2019 campaign. For those curious, T.B. went 30 for 46 for 285 yards in the loss — with one TD pass lobbed and one INT zipped into the arms of the opposing team.

#002
San Francisco 49ers (8-0)
Season Point Differential: +133

The Niners remain the sole unbeaten team in pro football following Thursday night’s surprisingly close 28-25 win over Arizona. Jimmy G had an outstanding performance, going 28 for 37 for 317 yards and four touchdown passes, with top receiver Emmanuel Sanders closing out the day with one score and 112 yards on seven catches. Meanwhile, Matt Breida kept the run game going steady, concluding the contest with 78 yards on 15 touches.

#003
Dallas Cowboys (5-3)
Season Point Differential: +085

Dak Prescott had three TD passes (and one INT) in Monday night’s 37-18 win over the permanently-rebuilding Giants. Prescott concluded the contest 22 for 35 for 257 yards, with Amari Cooper finishing the affair with 80 yards and one score on four catches. And Ezekiel Elliot, as always, looked superb in the backfield, exiting the outing with 139 yards — albeit, no with no corresponding touchdowns — on 23 carries. 

#004
Minnesota Vikings (6-3)
Season Point Differential: +076

The Vikes fell to the Chiefs 26-23 on a last-second field goal Sunday, although that shouldn’t detract from the team’s otherwise outstanding offensive performance. Kirk Cousins went 19 for 38 for 220 yards and three TD zips in the loss, all of which landed in the arms of different receivers. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook hit over 100 all-purpose yards on the day, collect 71 yards on 21 carries and another 45 yards on four receptions — albeit, sans a touchdown on any of them. 

#005
Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
Season Point Differential: +075

The Ravens didn’t just beat the Patriots Sunday, they pretty much shellacked them 37-20 in a primetime beatdown. Lamar Jackson went 17 for 23 for 163 yards passing, with one TD, and chalked up another two scores with his feet (plus another 61 yards) on 16 carries. And there’s no denying that the Baltimore D had a field day against Tom Brady; at the final horn, the guys in black and purple intercepted the self-avowed GOAT once, sacked him twice, deflected five of his passes and hit his ass no less than 10 times.

#006
Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)
Season Point Differential: +048

The Chiefs beat the Vikings 26-23 on a last second field goal Sunday afternoon, in a contest that saw Matt Moore go 25 for 35 for 275 yards and one TD pass — one that went to serial woman-beater Tyreek Hill, who concluded the contest with 140 yards on six receptions. Oddly enough, the top back for KC over the weekend wasn’t LeSean Mccoy, who only had NINE yards on the day. Rather, that distinction went to Damien Williams, who ended the outing with 125 yards and one score on 12 carries. 

#007
Houston Texans (6-3)
Season Point Differential: +047

Deshaun Watson had a bloody good time in the U.K. Sunday, going 22 for 28 for 201 yards and two touchdowns as his Texans rogered the Jaguars 26-3. Top ‘back Carlos Hyde finished the game with 160 yards on 19 carries while Duke Johnson led Houston in receiving yards, with 68 on five grabs. And the defense looked awfully potent against THE GARDNER MINSHEW THE II, sacking him four times, deflecting seven of his passes and intercepting him twice.

#008
Los Angeles Rams (5-1)
Season Point Differential: +040

The Rams had a bye over the weekend and will return to action this Sunday for a late afternoon tilt with the quickly surging Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that has “TRAP!” written all over it. For those wondering, the Rams have one of the fifth most potent offensive units in terms of passing yards per game, averaging 287.3 per contest. Yet allowing 241.4 yards per game, the much-ballyhooed Rams passing defense is actually only ranked No. 19 in the League — although they are a top ten defense against the run, averaging just 96.9 enemy ground yards per game so far this season.

THE PLAYOFF HOPEFULS

#009
New Orleans Saints (7-1)
Season Point Differential: +039

After a bye week, the Saints return to action with a recharged Drew Brees for a home tilt with arch rivals Atlanta this Sunday. From there, they’ve got a road test against Tampa Bay on Nov. 17, a home stand against the Panthers on Nov. 24 and a trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium just four days later for another clash with the Falcons. Of course, all eyes are on Dec. 18, when the Saints host the 49ers in what very well could be a preview of the 2020 NFC Championship Game … maybe.

#010
Green Bay Packers (7-2)
Season Point Differential: +037

In Sunday’s shocking 26-11 loss to the Chargers, Aaron Rodgers went 23 for 35 for only 161 yards and one TD pass — plus, he got sacked three times, dialing back his overall yardages to a mere 139 on the day. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ D pretty much shut down Green Bay’s rushing attack, holding Aaron Jones to just 30 yards and no scores on eight carries, while the Pack’s secondary got lit up for 294 aerial yards — indeed, Mike Williams alone was able to drop 111 yards on ‘em all by himself on just three catches. I think I have to agree with A-Rod on this one; such a loss truly was a humbling experience.

#011
Buffalo Bills (6-2)
Season Point Differential: +027

Josh Allen went 14 for 20 for 160 yards and one TD pass in the Bills’ 24-9 win over the Redskins Sunday. He also had one rushing score, concluding the day with 12 yards on eight keepers — thankfully, legitimate back Devin Singletary carried the brunt of the ground game with 95 yards and one end zone visit on 20 touches. Of course, Buffalo’s D looked quit stout against the visibly overmatched Skins; they sacked Dwayne Haskins four times and held Washington to just 116 yards passing and only 127 running the rock.

#012
Seattle Seahawks (702)
Season Point Differential: +018

It may have required overtime to do it, but the Seahawks nonetheless triumphed over the Bucs Sunday 40-34. Russell Wilsons’s MVP-caliber year continued over the weekend, as he finished the game 29 for 43 for 378 yards and an absurd five passing touchdowns. Tyler Lockett (152 yards, 13 catches) and Jacob Hollister (37 yards, four catches) each had two touchdown hauls a piece, while DK Metcalf finished the outing with one score and 123 yards on six grabs. And running the rock, Chris Carson looked quite good, concluding the contest with 105 yards (but no scores) on 16 touches.

#013
Los Angeles Chargers (4-5)
Season Point Differential: +015

In what may very well be the biggest upset of the NFL season so far, the Chargers beat Green Bay 26-11 on Sunday. In fact, heading into the fourth quarter the not-so-London-bound Chargers actually held a 26-3 lead over the heavily-favored Packers, which can be attributed to Michael Badgley’s four field-goal performance (his best was from 43 yards out) and Melvin Gordon, who had 80 yards and two end zone visitations on 20 carries. Meanwhile, Phillip Rivers had a great day lobbing the rock, concluding the outing 21 for 28 for 294 yards, but no TD zips.

#014
Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +011

Despite getting sacked four times, Carson Wentz still had a pretty good game in Philly’s 22-14 win over Chicago. At the final horn, Carson went 26 for 39 for 239 yards and one TD pass, with top receiver Zach Ertz concluding the contest with 103 yards and one score on nine catches. Jordan Howard had 82 yards and one end zone trip on 19 carries, and the Eagles’ defense looked downright fantastic, holding the Bears to just 102 yards passing and only 62 rushing.

#015
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
Season Point Differential: +007

Don’t look now, but after a slow start the Steelers have won three in a row and now find themselves sitting at .500. Pitty’s latest victory came in the form of a 26-24 win over Indianapolis Sunday, in a contest that say Mason Rudolph go 26 for 35 for 191 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. Top receiver Jaylen Samuels finished the outing with 73 yards on 13 catches, while top back Trey Edmunds finished the game with 73 yards on 12 carries — pending the Steelers keep playing like this over the second half of the season, you really can’t write them off as a playoffs dark horse.

#016
Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
Season Point Differential: +005

The Colts fell to the Steelers 26-24 over the weekend, in a game that saw Jacoby “Whisker Biscuit” Brissett exit the game early, leaving Brian Hoyer to go 17 for 26 for 168 yards and three touchdown passes in the losing bid. Of course, the offensive line for Indy did not hold up very well at all over the weekend; at the final horn, Hoyer lobbed one INT, got hit nine times by Pittsburgh defenders and was sacked four time for a cumulative loss of minus 34 yards.

THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK

#017
Carolina Panthers (5-3)
Season Point Differential: +005

Kyle Allen went 17 for 32 for 232 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT split in Sunday’s 30-20 win over the Titans. Of course, the bigger story is Christian McCaffrey’s continued MVP-caliber play, with the talented Stanford honkey-back collecting tow touchdowns and 146 yards on 24 touches in the win. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough to lock him into a Pro Bowl slot, he also concluded the contest with 20 yards on three receptions — including a touchdown haul.

#018
Tennessee Titans (4-5)
Season Point Differential: +003

The best team with a losing record in the NFL faltered again Sunday, this time dropping a tough one 30-20 against the Newton-less (and dare I say it, vastly improved because of the fact) Carolina Panthers. Ryan Tannehill went 27 for 39 for 331 yards in the loss, ultimately posting one touchdown and two interceptions. He also got sacked four times and smacked by Panthers’ defenders six times, so yeah, his back is probably REALLY sore right about now. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have no idea where Marcus Mariota is, either.

#019
Chicago Bears (3-5)
Season Point Differential: -002

Mitchell “The Bitchell” Trubisky went 10 for 21 for 125 yards and zero passing TDs in Chicago’s 22-14 loss to Philadelphia Sunday. The Bears’ run game, somehow, looked even more impotent/incompetent in the loss, amassing a mere 62 yards on 18 combined carries. Still, that didn’t stop Daiv Montgomery from making fantasy football owners happy; at the final horn, he had two touchdowns and 40 yards on 14 touches. 

#020
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)
Season Point Differential: -013

No, THE GARDNER MINSHEW THE II did not have a great performance in Sunday’s 26-3 loss to the Texans. At the final horn, he went 27 for 47 for 309 yards, zero touchdown passes and two interceptions, plus he got sacked four times for minus 27 yards on the day. And unfortunately for the Jags, the rushing game didn’t got anywhere close to bailing him out; all Leonard Fournette could muster in the loss was a measly 40, touchdown-less yards on 11 carries. 

#021
Detroit Lions (3-4-1)
Season Point Differential: -013

Despite the 31-24 loss to the Raiders Sunday, Matt Stafford had a great day lobbing the pigskin, concluded the losing effort 26 for 41 for 406 yards, three TD passes and one INT. Indeed, no less than two Detroit receivers — Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, Jr. — finished the game with triple digit yardage, which begs the question; with a passing game that explosive, how DID the Lions end up dropping this one? Long story, short the run game: the best Detroit could muster on the ground was 90 yards, while Raiders’ rookie Josh Jacobs alone was responsible for 120 rushing yards — and with them, two touchdowns.

#022
Denver Broncos (3-6)
Season Point Differential: -021

With Joe Flacco out of action, the Broncos turned to backup QB Brandon Allen, and surprisingly, he had a pretty good showing in Denver’s 24-19 defeat of Cleveland Sunday. At the final horn, he went 12 for 20 for 193 yards and two touchdown passes, with top receiver Noah Fans exiting the contest with 115 yards and one score on only three catches. And running back Phillip Lindsay didn’t look bad either — with 92 yards and one score on nine carries, he had more ground production than the entire Browns’ backfield combined.

#023
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)
Season Point Differential: -22

In Tampa Bay’s 40-34 overtime loss to Seattle, Jameis Winston went 29 for 44 passing, collecting 335 aerial yards and two TD zips in the process. Top receiver Mike Evans concluded the contest with 180 yards and one end zone visit on 12 receptions, while the Bucs’ best ‘back Ronald Jones II finished the outing with 67 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. Of course, the Buccaneers’ defensive ain’t exactly looking the way it did back in 2002 — which is evident by the secondary giving up 378 passing yards and FIVE touchdowns to Russell Wilson Sunday.

#024
Oakland Raiders (4-4)
Season Point Differential: -034

At 4-4, it’s probably not a stretch to call the Raiders the worst “good” team in pro football. That was evident by the teams’ thrilling (read: narrow) win over the Lions Sunday, in which Derek Carr lobbed two touchdown passes and finished the day 20 for 31 passing for 289 yards en route to the 31-24 final score. Alas, Oakland’s pass defense remains arguably the worst in the League — which is pretty obvious considering the fact they let Matt Stafford lob the rock for 406 yards and three blistering TD passes. And, as always, you can relive the magic and the whimsy of the matchup AS IT HAPPENED anytime you want right here, folks — or, at least, my stream of conscious neuroses as it happened, anyway.

ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE DRAFT

#025
Cleveland Browns (2-6)
Season Point Differential: -053

The free-falling Browns continue to circle the commode, with their latest disappointment being a 24-19 loss to the Broncos over the weekend. In the demoralizing loss, Baker Mayfield went 27 for 42 for 273 yards and one TD pass, with Jarvis Landry (51 yards, six caches) reeling the only touchdown on the day for Cleveland. Meanwhile, OBJ and Nick Chubb continue to underwhelm; at the final horn, Beckham, Jr. had 87 yards and no TDs on five catches, while Chubb mustered just 65 yards, and no end zone trips, on 20 carries.  

#026
Arizona Cardinals (3-5-1)
Season Point Differential: -056

The Cards hung in there, but they still ended up dropping a tough one to San Fran on Thursday night. In the narrow 28-25 loss, Kyler Murray went 17 for 24 for 241 yards and two TD passes, with Andy Isabella leading the receiving corps with 88 yards and one score on LITERALLY one catch. And Kenyan Drake had a pretty good showing, stats-wise, for Arizona, ending the outing with 110 yards and one TD gallop on 15 touches. 

#027
New York Giants (2-7)
Season Point Differential: -079

Pretty much the only thing that went right for the Giants on Monday night was when that cat entered the field of play and scored just as many touchdowns as Odell Beckham, Jr. this season. Beyond that, Daniel Jones looked pretty lifeless in the 37-18 defeat, going 26 for 41 for 210 yards, one TD and one INT — although, factoring in the five sacks he ate, you might as well go on ahead and dial down that aerial yardage to just 171. At least Saquon Barkley looked decent in the losing bid; he had 67 reception yards on six catches, plus 28 yards on the ground as a ball carrier on 14 rushes.

#028
Atlanta Falcons (1-7)
Season Point Differential: -085

The Falcons had a bye over the weekend and travel to New Orleans for a road test against the Saints this Sunday. With a 1-7 record that doesn’t look like it’s going to be reversing itself anytime soon, it almost seems as if Atlanta is in full “embrace the suck” mode, and really, they could find themselves staring down a first overall pick in the draft, pending the freewill continues and the Jets, Fins and Skins screw up and win a couple of more games along the way. Which, naturally, begs the question — is Atlanta content with taking Tua in that scenario, or is their management dead set on sucking even worse in 2021 as a ploy to land Trevor Lawrence?

#029
Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)
Season Point Differential: -086

The Bungles have the proud distinction of being the ONLY NFL team left in the 2019 season without a victory. The rest of the month don’t look too good for them, either, since all three of the teams they’re playing throughout November — the Ravens, Raiders and Steelers — currently are at or above .500. Still, December looks like it’ll be quite a bit kinder to Cincy: outside of a guaranteed sodomization by New England on Dec. 15, everything else on the Bengals schedule looks quite winnable: showdowns with the Jets, Dolphins and no less than TWO contests against the Browns to close out the season.

#030
Washington Redskins (1-8)
Season Point Differential: -111

Dwayne Haskins went 15 for 22 for 144 yards and no TD passes in the Redskins’ 24-9 loss to the Bills Sunday — although, factoring in the four times he got sacked, the real aerial production numbers is just 116. Still, the lifeless Skins managed to get SOME offensive production out Adrian Peterson, who finished the game with 108 yards on 18 carries; although, since he didn’t score a touchdown during the contest, we’re just going to simply assume he went home after the game and beat the living shit out of one of his children again in a display of horrific sublimated anger.

#031
New York Jets (1-7)
Season Point Differential: -115

Sunday’s clash between the Jets and Fins may very well have been a reverse-showcase between the two worst teams in the NFL, and Sam Darnold did not disappoint in being disappointing in New York’s 26-18 loss to previously winless Miami. Sammy D. went 27 for 39 for 260 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, with top receiver Jamison Crowder concluding the affair with 83 yards and one score on eight receptions. And, has been the case virtually all season, Le’Veon Bell was a total non-factor for the Jets, collecting just 66 yards and no end zone visit on 17 carries.

#032 
Miami Dolphins (1-7)
Season Point Differential: -153

Well, the Dolphins are no longer in danger of matching the ’08 Lions dubious 0-16 record. The Fins, perhaps showing less of a desire to tank for Tea than initially imagined, actually beat the Jets 26-18 over the weekend, in a game that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick go 24 for 36 for 288 yards and THREE touchdown passes. And holy shit of the Dolphins didn’t show some symptoms of something resembling an actual defense, intercepting Sam Darnold once and sacking him like a bag of overpriced groceries three times in the contest.

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