Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015-16 NFL Power Rankings (Week Six)

Some good, but mostly, just various shades of bad...

By: Jimbo X


Arizona Cardinals
Season Point Differential: (+88)

Despite dropping Sunday's game against the Steelers, I still consider the Cards -- at this juncture in the season, anyway -- to be the most comprehensive unit, offensively and defensively, in the League. The golden trifecta of Carson Palmer, Chris Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald ensure this team is going to rack up a ton of yards no matter who they face, while their largely no-name defense -- sixth in overall yards allowed stats -- is doing a much better job than they receive credit for. The big question, however, remains unanswered: can this team really stay healthy enough to avoid hobbling into January play? 

New England Patriots
Season Point Differential: (+80)

Another weekend, another stellar showing from Tom Brady, who lead the Pats to a 34-27 win over the Colts Sunday night via three touchdowns and 312 total passing yards. That said, the Pats' defense did look a little sloppier than normal, allowing the lagging Colts to accumulate 432 total offensive yards in their losing effort. 

Green Bay Packers
Season Point Differential: (+63)

The Chargers gave Green Bay their toughest game of the year so far, as Aaron Rodgers and company barely scrapped by with a 27-20 victory. But what was really surprising? That this top-ranked defense allowed Philip Rivers to absolutely torch them, to the tune of an absurd passing 503 yards

Cincinnati Bengals
Season Point Differential: (+60)

The undefeated Bengals continue to impress, as Andy Dalton's 243-yard, three-touchdown day led Cincy to a relatively facile 34-21 victory over the Bills. With Marvin Jones, Giovania Bernard, Tyler Eifert and Jeremy Hill all finding the endzone, maybe it's time we finally recognized this southern Ohio squad as the most versatile offensive threat in the NFL? 

New York Jets
Season Point Differential: (+54)

The League's best defense made short work of the Skins, limiting Washington to well under 250 total offensive yards in the Jets' 34-20 win. Meanwhile, the Jets O continued to look might impressive, as Ryan Fitzpatrick accumulated 253 yards and two touchdown passes while promising halfback Chris Ivory finished the day with a solo TD and 146 yards on 20 carries.

Carolina Panthers
Season Point Differential: (+41)

Cam Newton finally got his revenge against Seattle, as Carolina's stingy defense propelled the Panthers to a narrow 27-23 victory over the reigning NFC Champions. Carolina's D did their part, sacking Russell Wilson four times and limiting the 'Hawks to a relatively meager 330 or so total yards, but the real decisive factor here was the Panthers run game, which produced three TDs and 135 yards on 33 plays.

Atlanta Falcons
Season Point Differential: (+40)

For the first time this season, the Falcons tasted defeat last Thursday as they lost 31-21 to arch rivals New Orleans. The trifecta of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman played well, but the ATL D certainly showed some signs of weakness, as Drew Brees lit up the Falcons secondary for 312 yards. 

Denver Broncos
Season Point Differential: (+37)

The Broncos luck continues, as they barely survived Sunday's O.T. match-up against the Cleveland Browns. Although Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for 219 yards, Peyton Manning is still playing at a career-low level, tossing three interceptions and finishing Sunday's threadbare 26-23 victory with an astonishingly low QBR of 25.2.


Pittsburgh Steelers
Season Point Differential: (+37)

With Mikey Vick going down early in Sunday's tilt against the Cardinals, it seemed like Pittsburgh was in store for a rout. Shockingly, third-stringer Landry fuckin' Jones played like a boss, racking up two touchdowns and averaging 14 yards per pass in the Steelers get-the-hell-out-of-here 25-13 victory. With 137 yards and two touchdowns, Martavias Bryant was certainly the offensive star of the game for the Steelers; alas, there's no denying the deficiencies in the team's secondary, which allowed Carson Palmer to chuck the ball for 421 yards

Philadelphia Eagles
Season Point Differential: (+34)

Even with Sam Bradford tossing three INTS, the Eagles still had no problems beating up on the hapless Giants Monday night, resulting in a 27-7 blistering. DeMarco Murray and Riley Cooper's racist ass provided the rushing and receiving highlights, respectively, while Nolan Carroll II did his part and added a defensive touchdown for good measure. 

Minnesota Vikings
Season Point Differential: (+13)

It wasn't pretty, but the Vikes nonetheless managed to surmount the struggling Chiefs 16-10 on Sunday afternoon. Although he lobbed two interceptions, Teddy Bridgewater otherwise looked fine, accumulating a solo TD pass and a good 249 yards on the day. In an "off-day," A.P. only racked no touchdowns and just 60 yards on the ground ... which was still three more yards than the Chiefs were able to produce on the ground combined for the day

Seattle Seahawks
Season Point Differential: (+9)

With just 54 yards and a solo TD on 17 carries, Beast Mode's return could hardly be called a triumphant comeback ... especially since the Seahawks went on to drop Sunday's shindig against the Panthers by a field goal. While Seattle's defense did the best they could (they wound up dropping Cam three times for a loss of 21 yards), they just couldn't keep Carolina's halfbacks out of the endzone ... in the process, exposing the team's considerable defensive vulnerability down the gut to every other team in the NFL. 

Buffalo Bills
Season Point Differential: (+6)

With T-Mobile sidelines, E.J. Manuel had a solid-enough day (1 rushing TD, 1 TD pass, 1 INT), but while he actually outpassed Andy Dalton, the Bills just couldn't do their part defensively to keep Cincy from hitting pay dirt. Sammy Watkins getting re-injured on top of it all means Buffalo -- after a fairly strong start -- could find themselves spiraling into yet another mid-season tailspin shortly. 

New York Giants
Season Point Differential: (+3)

The G-Men's winning ways derailed Monday night, as the Giants collapsed in a 27-7 brusing against divisional foes Philadelphia. Eli Manning ate dirt twice, tossed two INTs and could only muster 189 yards on 38 passing attempts. The aerial game and rushing attack similarly suffered, with Odell Beckham, Jr. producing just 61 yards on seven receptions, despite hauling in New York's only TD of the evening.

Miami Dolphins
Season Point Differential: (-8)

The Fins almost put up 450 yards against the Titans in Sunday's 38-10 blowout, as Lamar Miller galloped for 113 yards and a touchdown run while receiver Rishard Matthews averaged 14 yards per reception on six grabs. Even in arguably his best showing of the entire season, Ryan Tannehill still struggled, however, getting sacked twice and tossing two INTs while lobbing two touchdown passes and accumulating 266 yards on 22 total completions. 

Oakland Raiders
Season Point Differential: (-17)

Are the 2-3 Raiders really a playoff contender? Well, considering how badly the Chiefs and Chargers are playing right now, there's an off-chance this team could finish the season on the plus side of 8-8. The Raiders D looked much improved in Week 5's narrow 16-10 loss to Denver; if they can pair that defense (believe it or not, the second best in the entire League against the run) with the dynamite offense we saw in Week 2 and 3 ... watch out, AFC


Cleveland Browns
Season Point Differential: (-17)

The Browns came this close to beating the unbeaten Broncos on Sunday, but alas, Cleveland just couldn't come through in overtime. Gary Barnidge's two touchdown hauls were certainly the highlight for the Browns, as Josh McCown got sacked four times and tossed two costly interceptions in their demoralizing 26-23 loss to Denver. 

Tennessee Titans
Season Point Differential: (-17)

In week one, Marcus Mariota looked like he was Canton-bound. Well, seeing as how the Titans have dropped four straight since then, perhaps our adulation was a bit ... uh, premature? In the Titans 38-10 ass-pounding at the hands of Miami, the former Heisman trophy winner got sacked five times, threw two interceptions and ultimately got knocked out of the game, leaving the Titans in the less than capable hands of one Zach freakin' Mettenberger, who went five for eight for 63 yards and no touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens
Season Point Differential: (-19)

The 1-5 Ravens have to be one of the season's most surprising disappointments. Baltimore's woes continued over the weekend, as the startling bad Ravens' D allowed Colin K. and the lowly Niners to rack up 340 yards in the air en route to a 25-20 home victory. Joe Flacco continues to fluctuate wildly, scoring two TDs an chalking up 343 yards, but also tossing two costly interceptions and finishing the game with a substandard 61.3 QBR. 

Indianapolis Colts
Season Point Differential: (-21)

Andrew Luck looked pretty good in his return, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns (oddly enough, the exact same stats put up by Tom Brady, only sans that one INT), but Indy didn't just have enough in their gas tank to power their way past the defending Super Bowl champs. At least the Colts can take some solace in making it a competitive match-up, for the most part ... that god-awful fake punt catastrophe notwithstanding, obviously

Washington Redskins
Season Point Differential: (-21)

With a paltry 34 yards on 17 carries, it's no wonder why the Redskins got popped by the Jets 34-20 over the weekend. Nor did Kirk Cousins necessarily wow 'em from in the pocket, as he finished Sunday's loss with one TD, 196 yards and two costly INTs. 

San Diego Chargers
Season Point Differential: (-25)

Despite accumulating 563 total offensive yards, San Diego just couldn't seal the deal against Green Bay on Sunday afternoon. The lagging run game, which combined for just 60 yards, was probably the biggest factor why. Still, give Rivers and his receivers some credit: no less than three players finished the day with 90 plus receiving yards, with guaranteed Pro Bowler Keenan Allen racking up 157 yards on just 14 receptions. 

Houston Texans
Season Point Differential: (-27)

The Texans got their second win of the year, beating divisional foes Jacksonville 31-20 in down in north Florida. Brian Hoyer looked good, tossing the rock for three touchdowns and 293 yards, while receiver DeAndre Hopkins shined with two touchdown hauls and 148 yards on two receptions. Houston may have sacked Blake Bortles three times, but they still allowed Jacksonville's lackluster offensive to rack up 394 yards on the day -- which is about 100 yards more than any NFL team should be giving up to the Jags. 

St. Louis Rams
Season Point Differential: (-29)

On a bye this past weekend, the Rams currently possess the League's worst offense, having accumulated just 1,485 yards of offense in their first five games of the season. Their defensive numbers, however, are quite a bit better, including ranking third overall in total sacks. It's hard to predict the trajectory of this 2-3 team, but with offensive weapons like Nick Foles and Todd Gurley, they should at least remain competitive in a division that, surprisingly, has failed to impress so far in the 2015-16 season.


New Orleans Saints
Season Point Differential: (-30)

In their upset win over the Falcons last Thursday, the Saints put in their best showing all season, as Drew Brees tossed for over 300 yards, Benjamin Watson chewed up the turf for 127 yards and Mark Ingram punched it into the endzone for two rushing scores. Having allowed almost 450 offensive yards, however, it is glaringly clear that this team still has plenty of defensive deficiencies to be concerned about.

Dallas Cowboys
Season Point Differential: (-30)

After getting thrashed by the Pats two weekends ago, the 2-3 Cowboys look to hit .500 in this Sunday's hootenanny with the Giants. Offensively, this is a team that appears comfortable hanging out in the middle, ranking 26th in passing yards, 25th in rushing yards and 18th in overall yards posted per game. Defensively, the 'Boys are playing even sloppier: so far this season, "America's Team" is ranked 29th in tackling, 30th in passes defended and dead last in forced fumbles.

Kansas City Chiefs
Season Point Differential: (-32)

Considered a playoff lock by Harvard eggheads before the season began, the Chiefs are now 1-5, with their latest loss coming at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. With 282 yards, Alex Smith looked decent, although he was only able to convert one of his 37 throws into a touchdown in Sunday's 16-10 loss. Sans Jamal Charles, their rushing game very well could be the absolute worst in the entire League.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Season Point Differential: (-38)

Facing the Skins this weekend, Jameis Winston and pals took week six off. Possessing a 2-3 record, they currently rank 26th in total offensive yards, 24th in tackling and are -2 on turnovers. The surprisingly positive stat, though? Their first-year FSU transplant QB actually has a higher total QBR than Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Alex Smith AND Sam Bradford.

Detroit Lions
Season Point Differential: (-52)

The Lions finally got their first victory of the season, barely getting past the Bears 37-34, thanks in no small part to a VERY suspicious-looking TD call. Still, the team played much better than they have at any point so far in the season, as Matt Stafford chucked the ball for four touchdowns and 405 yards, while Megatron finally played like Megatron, reeling in 166 yards on six receptions, one of which he took to the house for six.

Chicago Bears
Season Point Differential: (-59)

Jay Cutler's 353, 1 TD and 1 INT day -- in conjunction with Matt Forte's 69 yards and one TD on the ground -- wasn't enough to life Chicago by the Lions, who bested them by a field goal in Sunday's overtime loss. Alshon Jeffery (1 TD, 147 yards on eight receptions) looked like a pimp, but the Chi-Town D continues to stink worse than Mike Ditka's broadcasting chair; in all, they allowed the lousy Lions offense to rack up more than 550 yards on the day. 

San Francisco 49ers
Season Point Differential: (-60)

The Niners won a hard fought home struggle against the Ravens on Sunday, barely besting Baltimore 25-20 at Levi's Stadium. Colin K, went 16 for 27 for 340 yards and two touchdowns, while receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith combined for nearly 200 yards on just eight catches. Defensively, the team continues to lag, however, allowing the stagnant Ravens' offense to accumulate close to 450 total yards on the day.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Season Point Differential:(-63)

...and the perennial worst team in the NFL finally ascends (descends?) to the bottom of the proverbial pile with a very bad 31-20 loss to the Texans. Sure, Blake Bortles may have tossed three touchdowns, but he also lobbed three costly INTs, one of which Andre Hal returned for a score. With no-names like Toby Gerhart and Bryan Walters "leading" the offense, it's hard to imagine the Jags not being in contention for the first overall draft pick yet again come springtime.  


  1. I really enjoy your blog, NFL power rankings included, but ranking them solely on point differential seems ridiculous to me.

  2. It's definitely not an exact science, I will give you that. I still think it's the most reliable metric, however, to gauge how well a team is playing overall, and a wayyy better means of deciding who is playing well than simply going by the win-loss column.

    1. I don't have a better option to present, but point differential ranking this early in the season ignores wide variances in strength of schedule. Anyway, carry on and I'll not bug you about it again.