Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2019-2020 NFL Power Rankings (Week Ten)

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


By: Jimbo X

THE ELITES

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

If something felt a little iffy about the NFL this past week, it’s probably because you didn’t see Tom Brady or Bill Belichick’s mugs anywhere on your TV sets. Alas, that moratorium on the Pats comes to an end this weekend, when New England engages in a Super Bowl rematch against Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon. And from there, I think it’s safe to say the Pats have their work cut out for them for the remainder of the season — of the team’s six final games of the regular season, four are against teams with winning records, including a three week grinder against the Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs back-to-back-to-back.

#002
San Francisco 49ers (8-1)
Season Point Differential: +130

The 1972 Dolphins can safely pop the bubbly following the 49ers first loss of the season, a tough 27-24 defeat at the hands of the Seahawks on Monday night. Jimmy G went 24 for 46 for 248 yards in the losing bid, ultimately collecting 248 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio (although, with the five sacks he swallowed, you can easily dial down his aerial production by a good 33 yards.) Still, San Fran got a LOT of production out of its receivers, with relative unknown Deebo Samuel leading the Niners with 112 yards on just eight catches.

#003
Baltimore Ravens (7-2)
Season Point Differential: +111

The Ravens made short work of the hapless, helpless Bengals over the weekend, as Baltimore clubbers Cincinnati 49-13 over the weekend. Lamar Jackson went 15 for 17 for 223 passing yards in the win, ultimately collecting three TD zips, including two for receiver Mark Andrews (53 yards, six catches) and one for Marquise brown (80 yards, four receptions.) Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Lamar was also the team’s most productive rusher, garnering 65 yards and one end zone visit with his feet on seven keepers.

#004
Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +081

Despite Dak Prescott going 28 for 46 for an absurd 397 passing yards, the Cowboys still feels to the Vikings Sunday night in a tough 28-24 primetime loss. Prescott ultimately finished the game with three passing scores and one interception, with receivers Randall Cobb (106 yards, six catches) and Amari Cooper (147 yards, 11 catches) each register at least one end zone visit. Alas, Dallas’ run game just could get going — in the loss, Ezekiel Elliot was limited to just 47 yards on 20 carries, with no touchdowns on the ground whatsoever.

#005
Minnesota Vikings (7-3)
Season Point Differential: +080

Kirk Cousins went 23 for 32 for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikes’ 28-24 win over the Cowboys in primetime Sunday night. Of course, the star attraction for Minnesota — as it has been virtually all season long — was versatile running back Dalvin Cook, who not only finished the contest with 97 yards and one end zone saunter on 26 carries but also led the team in receiving numbers, concluding the affair with 86 yards on seven hauls.

#006
Houston Texans (6-3)
Season Point Differential: +047

Following last week’s bye, the Texans have an absolute murderer’s row of a schedule for the next three weeks. They’re traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens this Sunday, then they host the Colts just four days later before opening up their home turf to a crucial contest against the visiting Patriots on Dec. 1. Thankfully for the Houston faithful, the final four games of the season all look quite winnable — although one has to imagine how depleted the Texans are going to be after that daunting back-to-back-to-back swing segueing into the final month of the regular season.

#007
Green Bay Packers (8-2)
Season Point Differential: +045

The Packers’ D held steady Sunday, stopping Christian McCaffrey on the one-yard line to preserve a 24-16 win over the Panthers. Aaron Rodgers finished the outing 17 for 29 for 233 yards, albeit without lobbing any touchdown passes. Indeed, the near-majority of Green Bay’s offensive production came from Aaron Jones, who wrapped up the game with 93 yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches. (Although, just to make fantasy football owners happy, Davanta Adams did have 118 yards on seven receptions, in case you were looking for such details.)

#008
Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
Season Point Differential: +045

The Chiefs lost a tough one to Tennessee 35-32 Sunday, in a game that still saw Patrick Mahomes go 36 for 50 for 446 yards and three TD passes. Tyreek Hill ended the outing with 157 yards and one score on 11 catches, while Travis Kelce said “I’m out” with 75 yards and one end zone trip on just seven catches. Meanwhile, top back Damien Williams had 19 carries for 77 yards — a fairly impressive number, until you realize the Chiefs’ D let Derrick Henry collect 188 yards on the ground all by himself in the same game. 

THE PLAYOFF HOPEFULS

#009
Los Angeles Rams (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +035

The Rams’ offense all but sputtered out in Sunday’s 17-12 loss to the Steelers. Jared Goff went 22 for 41 fo 243 yards, zero touchdown passes and two interceptions, with Johnny Hekker getting the ball once just so he could lob one more INT before the game was over. Alas, while the Rams DID do a good job of stopping the run and held Pittsburgh to just 42 yards on the ground, they also couldn’t get much going with their own run game — at the final horn, Todd Gurley had 73 yards, yet no end zone trips, on 12 carries.

#010
Buffalo Bills (6-3)
Season Point Differential: +024

John Allen went 22 for 41 for 266 passing yards in Sunday’s surprising 19-16 loss to Cleveland. He finished the game with no TD passes, although he DID collect two rushing scores on six keepers totaling 28 yards of total ground production. Unfortunately for the Bills Mafia, that was just about the bulk of the team’s offensive highlights; beyond that, the only thing that got Buffalo any points on the scoreboard was Tremaine Edmunds’ sack of Baker Mayfield in the third quarter for a safety.

#011
New Orleans Saints (7-2)
Season Point Differential: +022

There’s really no excuse for the Saints to lose to the Falcons 26-9 over the weekend, but it did happen, so we might as well talk earnestly about it. Drew Brees went 32 for 45 for 287 yards in the shocking loss, but he didn’t record any touchdown passes. Nor did any Saints running backs reach Atlanta end zone — indeed, New Orleans only had 52 yards of rushing production all game. Even worse? The Saints’ O-line absolutely shat the bed sheets, allowing the Falcons’ god-awful pass-rush to sack D.B. SIX times for negative 46 yards on the day.

#012
Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
Season Point Differential: +021

Thanks to Jason Myers last-second heroics, the Seahawks were able to best divisional arch-rivals San Fran 27-24 on Monday night, officially bringing the Red and Gold’s “undefeated season” to an end. Russell Wilson went 24 for 34 for 232 yards in the win, with a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. He also got sacked five times for minus 43 yards, but he DID manage to transitive verb the shit out of that with an extra 53 rushing yards on six keepers — albeit, without any scrambling touchdowns.

#013
Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)
Season Point Differential: +013

In Thursday night’s soul-crushing 26-24 loss to the Raiders, Philip Rivers went 17 for 31 for 207 yards, two TD passes and three interceptions — although factoring in the five times he got sacked, you can go on ahead and dial that yardage down to just 169. Still, L.A. managed to get some pretty good mileage out of Melvin Gordon, who concluded the losing effort with 108 yards and one trip to the end zone on 22 carries.

#014
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +012

After a horrific 0-3 start, the Steelers have gone won five out of their last six games and now look like a legit playoff contender — perhaps even a surprise AFC North champion, pending the Ravens make a couple of missteps and miscues in the second half of the regular season. The resurgent play continued Sunday, when Pittsburgh bested the Rams 17-12 in a game that saw Mason Rudolph go 22 for 38 for 242 yards and one TD pass. Of course, with top ‘back Jaylen Samuels only netting 29 yards on the day, one can’t help but think this time needs to start exploring their free agency options for the backfield if they want to remain competitive heading into the playoff-determining months …

#015
Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +011

After a bye week, the Eagles return to the gridiron this Sunday for what may be their toughest battle of the entire year — a showdown with Tom Brady and the Patriots, who, wouldn’t you know it, are just coming off a bye week themselves. After that, though, the Eagles have what should be a relatively easy schedule, with just two of their last six opponents of the year porting about winning records at the moment. So yeah, even if the Eagles DO drop some L’s to New England, Seattle and Dallas, that still gives them softies against the Redskins, Fins and the Giants (twice) to pad out their record. Honestly, if this team doesn’t end the year AT LEAST 9-7, they only have themselves to blame.

#016
Tennessee Titans (5-5)
Season Point Differential: +006

The Titans upset the Chiefs Sunday in a thrilling 35-32 win, which I guess you could just as easily attribute to Andy Reid’s shitty clock management as it was the prowess of Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill. Speaking of the former Michigan QB, Ryan T. went 13 for 19 for 181 yards in the victory, ultimately tossing the rock for two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Of course, the big variable for Tennessee was the outstanding play from running back Derrick Henry, who amassed an amain 188 yards and two scores on 23 carries — a sum nearly doubling the entire K.C. ground possession all afternoon long. 

THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK

#017
Chicago Bears (4-5)
Season Point Differential: +005

Mitchell “The Bitchell” Trubisky went 16 for 23 for 173 yards and three TD passes in Chicago’s 20-13 win over Detroit Sunday, with all three of said passes going to a different receiver. Interestingly enough, none of them were directed towards Chicago’s most productive wideout, Allen Robinson II, who concluded the contest with 86 yards (but no end zone visits) on six catches. Nor did Chicago’s run game dazzle the spectators — David Montgomery topped out with 60 yards on 17 carries, with no rushers on the team whiffing Lions’ paydirt. 

#018
Indianapolis Colts (5-4)
Season Point Differential: +001

With Brian “Son of A” Hoyer under center for the Colts Sunday, Indy succumbed to the consensus pick for worst team in pro football 16-12. In the maddening, inexplicable loss to the Dolphins, Hoyer went 18 for 39 for 204 yards, one touchdown pass and THREE interceptions, leaving Marlon Mack to do his darndest to convert the run game into points on the scoreboard (which, with 74 yards and no touchdowns on 19 carries, he just plain couldn’t.) This is a team that’s free-falling fast in what is arguably the NFL’s most dog-eat-dog division; needless to say, if the Colts don’t right the ship pronto, they could find themselves not only out of the playoff race, but struggling to hit .500 by year’s end.

#019
Carolina Panthers (5-4)
Season Point Differential: -003

The Panthers were stopped on a second and goal situation to cap off Sunday’s 24-16 loss to Green Bay, as Kyle Allen went 28 for 43 for 307 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split at the final horn. Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey had 108 yards and one rushing TD on 20 touches, while top receiver DJ Moore called it a day with 120 yards (but no end zone visits) on nine carries. Expect Carolina to rebound in a big way against Atlanta this Sunday — and if they don’t, it might just be time to hop off the hype train and cancel those way too premature playoffs tickets.

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

After a bye, the Jags return to action this Sunday for a pivotal divisional donnybrook with the free-falling Colts. From there, Jacksonville APPEARS to have a pretty manageable schedule, with a clash against the Raiders on Dec. 15 representing the ONLY time the Jaguars are set to tango with a team with winning record at the moment in the final six game stretch of the season. Of course, those games against Tennessee, Tampa Bay, the Chargers and Falcons do have “trap game” written all over them, and who knows? That season finale against Indy on Dec. 29 could be a de facto playoff game for both squads.

#021
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Season Point Differential: -019

Jameis Winston went 30 for 48 for 358 yards, one TD pass, two interceptions and presumably no rapes in Tampa Bay’s narrow 3-27 win over Arizona Sunday. Top back Peyton Barber had 43 yards and one score on 11 carries, while the Bucs’ best receiver Mike Evans called it a day with 82 yards on four grabs. Alas, Tampa Bay’s defense looked WILDLY inconsistent — on the one hand, looking dominant as the f-word holding Arizona to just 75 yards rushing, but on the other, looking downright porous by allowing Kyler Murray to carve ‘em up for 324 passing yards.

#022
Detroit Lions (3-5-1)
Season Point Differential: -020

Yeah, following Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Bears, it might be time for the Lions to call it a season. With Matt Stafford out of action, Detroit turned to Jeff “Who The Fuck Is Jeff Driskel?” Driskel to go 27 for 46 for 269 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, which, obviously, wasn’t enough to get D-town the dub. But on the bright side of the equation for the Lions? At least their D got after Mitchell the Bitchell early and often — indeed, they managed to sack him no less than five times, for a cumulative loss of 28 yards.

#023
Denver Broncos (3-6)
Season Point Differential: -021

The Broncos return to action Sunday with a tough road trip against the Vikings, and from there, things ain’t getting any easier for the Purple and Orange. The big pre-Thanksgiving matchup is a clash with the Bills on Nov. 24, followed by a tough home stand against the Chargers on Dec. 1. From there, Denver has to go on the road for back-to-back slug fest with Houston and Kansas City, with the entire season concluding with a home tilt against arch rivals Oakland on Dec. 29. Needless to say, by then, we could be looking at a VERY beaten up Broncos squad — and a Joe Flacco who more closely resembles the titular character from Weekend at Bernie’s than a former Super Bowl champion.

#024
Oakland Raiders (5-4)
Season Point Differential: -032

In yet another thrilling, riveting, down-to-the-wire contest, Lady Luck shined a bright, toothy smile on the Raiders last Thursday night, as Oakland prevailed over the Chargers 26-24 in a game that was determined just as much by Phillip Rivers’ lackluster play as it was Erik Harris’ outstanding defensive play. The usual suspects, of course, played quite well; Derek Carr finished the game 21 for 31 for 218 yards and one TD, while Josh Jacobs concluded the outing with 71 yards and one TD on 16 carries. And let’s hear it for the Raiders D, which sacked Phil R. FIVE times and intercepted thrice — including on the L.A.’s last ditch effort drive in the waning seconds of regulation.

ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE DRAFT

#025
Cleveland Browns (3-6)
Season Point Differential: -050

The Browns pulled off a pretty big upset Sunday, besting the highly-favored Bills 19-16 in a game that was uglier than your ugly ass mama (who, for the record, is very ugly.) In the victory, Baker Mayfield looked almost halfway competent, going 26 for 38 for 238 yards and two TD passes, with Jarvis Landry calling it a day with 97 yards and one end zone trip on nine receptions and Nick Chubb concluding the contest with 116 yards on 20 carries. Well, I guess it’s nice to see this team play like the squad we all naively thought they would be back in August for at least one weekend that counts, ain’t it?

#026
Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1)
Season Point Differential: -059

Kyler Murray went 27 for 44 in the Cards’ tough 30-27 loss to the Bucs Sunday, ultimately collecting 324 passing yards and a three-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. Interestingly enough, all three of those end zone zips fell into the arms of receiver Christian Kirk, how wrapped up the affair with 138 yards on six carries. Alas, Arizona’s run game looked pretty flaccid, amassing just 75 yards and no end zone trips on 18 carries, while the teams’ run defense allowed Tampa Bay 118 on the ground, plus two rushing touchdowns.

#027
Atlanta Falcons (2-7)
Season Point Differential: -068

In what is probably the biggest upset of the NFL season so far, not only did the Falcons beat the Saints over the weekend, they absolutely walloped them to the tune of 26 to 9. Matt Ryan went 20 for 35 for 182 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception in the surprising victory, with Julio Jones calling it a day with 79 yards on just three catches. And while the Falcons didn’t score any rushing touchdowns, their run game certainly outdid the Saints, as Brian Hill’s 61-yard performance alone outpaced New Orleans’ anemic 52 yards’ worth of ground production.

#028
New York Giants (2-8)
Season Point Differential: -086

Alright, good news, bad news for the Giants. The good news is, Daniel Jones went 26 for 40 for 308 yards and a stellar four passing touchdowns against the Jets Sunday. The bad news, of course, is that the OTHER team from New York still won the contest 34-27, thanks in no small part to Jamal Adams returning a 25-yard NYG fumble to pay dirt for an easy six on the scoreboard early in the third. The G-Men maintained a narrow lead heading into the fourth, only for Le’Veon Bell to score the difference-maker just eight seconds into the final quarter; Sam Fickens’ 35-yard field goal with less than five on the clock was just rubbing it in, really.

#029
New York Jets (2-7)
Season Point Differential: -108

Sam Darnold went 19 for 30 for 230 yards and one TD pass in the Jets’ 34-27 win over the Giants Sunday, with top receiver Demaryius Thomas calling it a day with 84 yards on six grabs. Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell wrapped up the win 34 yards and one end zone visit on 18 carries, while the Jets’ D made Daniel Jones MORE than earn his four passing touchdowns by sacking him like yesterday’s garbage SIX TIMES for a net loss of half a damn football field. 

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

The final seven games of the season for the Redskins ain’t going to be easy. This Sunday’s home stand against the Jets certainly ain’t a gimme, and it looks like the Lions will be seeking an easy win in Landover come Nov. 24. The three game stretch after that is a back-to-back-to-back wheat thresher with contests against the Panthers, Packers and Eagles, with the last two games of the year destined to be down-and-out bloodbaths against loathed divisional foes the Giants and the Cowboys. With the Redskins mathematically incapable of a winning season now, one has to wonder what — if anything — the team could be playing for right now.

#031
Cincinnati Bengals (0-9)
Season Point Differential: -122

The Bengals remain the only winless team in pro football following Sunday’s heinous 49-13 loss to Baltimore. Ryan Finally went 16 for 30 for 167 yards with a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, with literal who Tyler Boyd leading the team in receiving yards with 62 on six hauls. If there was a bright spot to be found for Cincy, however, it had to be the fantastic play from back Joe Mixon, who not only collected 114 yards on 30 carries but also finished the outing with 37 yards on two catches. Needless to say — he’s going to look real good playing for a better team next year.

#032
Miami Dolphins (2-7)
Season Point Differential: -0149

The Fins beat the Colts 16-12 Sunday, in the kind of game they really ought to use as an interrogation tactic against members of the Islamic State. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 21 for 33 for 169 yards, zero TD passes and one interception in the win, while Miami’s top ball-carrier Kalen Ballaged concluded the outing with just 43 yards on 20 carries. Which, if anything, highlights just how poorly the Colts played over the weekend — you mean to tell me this guys couldn’t outdo a team had Mike freakin’ Gesicki as a top three receiver on the day?

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