Thursday, October 6, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings - Week Four!

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

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"Last week's suck is this week's awesome"


Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)
Season Point Differential: +65

Even with a bye week, the Eagles maintained the League's highest net point total by a nearly 20 point margin. Expect the surprisingly high-flying Eagles to add a couple of more positive integers to their season point differential this weekend when they go toe-to-toe with the defense-deficiency-plagued Detroit Lions.

Denver Broncos (4-0)
Season Point Differential: +47

Even after Trevor Siemian went down and Paxton Lynch took his first steps onto an NFL field, the Broncos D had their 27-7 win over Tampa Bay in the bag. In the second weather-delayed Bucs' game of the year, the purple and orange held Jameis Winston to 179 yards passing and limited Tampa Bay's rushing attack to only 72 yards. And yes, both Deamaryius Thomas and Emmaneul Sanders played well, combining for two touchdowns and 182 yards on 14 catches. 

Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
Season Point Differential: +38

The Vikes - surprisingly - remain unbeaten, even with their franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater shelved until Sept. 2017 at the earliest and star running back Adrian Peterson also sidelined. In their latest win, Minnesota pummeled the Giants 24-10,with Sam Bradford collecting 262 yards and a solo TD strike on 26 completions. And much like the N.W.O. Wolfpack, don't turn your back on this Jerick McKinnon kid - despite not having the initials "A.P.," he nonetheless put in a solid showing against the G-Men, posting 85 yards and a TD run on 18 carries. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +28

After being anally annihilated by the Eagles last week  34-3, the Steelers turned around and put on their dandiest sodomizing apparel (and remember, since Big Ben is the quarterback, this is a team that ought to know quite a bit about raping) to seek proxy revenge against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the heinous 43-14 win, Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns (two of which went to Antonio Brown) and just-off-of-suspension back La'Veon Bell racked up 144 yards on 18 carries. 

Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +28

Both Matt Ryan and Julio Jones set new Falcons franchise records in the teams' 48-33 victory over Carolina. Atlanta's QB finished the game with 503 passing yards and four touchdowns - one of which landed in the sweet, loving arms of Julio Jones, who at the final horn, had a grand total of 300 reception yards. 

Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +25

After a slow start, the Seahawks are finally beginning to look like the playoff contender we all thought they would be. Russell Wilson had his best game in ages over the weekend, throwing the pigskin for three touchdowns and 309 yards in Seattle's 27-17 victory over the Jets. And receiver Jimmy Graham had another tremendous showing, collecting 113 yards on only six receptions. 

Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +24

How about them Cowboys, America? With a 24-17 victory over San Fran, the Dallas No-Romos improve to 3-1 on the year. Stats-wise, you can't complain about the performance of Dak Prescott, who finished the game with two touchdowns and 245 yards on 23 completions. And you really can't complain about the production numbers of half back sensation/possible woman beater Ezekiel Elliot, who finished Sunday's contest with 138 yards and one rushing TD on 23 carries. 

New England Patriots (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +20

In the Patriots' final Brady-less regular season game of 2016 (you know, barring he doesn't get injured in his first game back), New England succumbed to the Buffalo Bills 16-0. The run game so effective in Tom's absence looked pretty ho-hum, with LaGarrette Blount only recording 54 yards on 13 carries. Still, the Pats receiving corps posted decent numbers, with Martellus Bennett averaging 21.8 yards per reception in the outing. 


Buffalo Bills (2-2)
Season Point Differential: +19

Buffalo put in another strong defensive showing, blanking the Patriots 16-0 at Gillette Stadium. Granted, there was no Tom Terrific or even Jaunty Jimmy G. on the gridiron, but still: holding the likes of Julian Edelman and fucking Gronk to just 27 yards is impressive, no matter who is throwing them the pigskin. Just, uh, overlook the Bills letting Martellus Bennett rack up 109 yards on five catches, though. That was clearly an aberration. 

San Diego Chargers (1-3)
Season Point Differential: +13

You know, for years, I've stood by the season point differential as the best means of statistically gauging the overall quality of NFL teams. That said, I've become a little suspicious of the methodology when the one-win Chargers (whose overall rank is boosted by one blowout win in week two) remains ranked ahead of several teams not only more stacked with talent, but even those that have indeed beaten the Chargers this season in head-to-head competition. Still, the fact the Chargers have remained very close in loses to the Saints and Chiefs - I suppose - makes their placement at the 10 spot quasi-justifiable. Probably. 

Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +12

Last Sunday, the Ravens outyarded the Raiders 412 to 261. They controlled 34:44 of the clock. They had more first downs, they had about 30 more plays than the Raiders and Joe Flacco out-threw Derek Carr by almost 100 yards. Oh, and they more than doubled the Raiders total rushing yardage, 130 to 62. A dominant performance, no? Well ... not quite, seeing as how - despite outdoing Oakland stats-wise - the Raiders still wound up winning the game, 28-27.

Arizona Cardinals (1-3)
Season Point Differential: +12

Remember in the preseason, when everybody was talking about the Cardinals being a fucking lock for the NFC Championship? Well, one month into the regular season and the much ballyhooed Cards have three times as many losses as they do wins. A team with so much sheer talent probably shouldn't be losing games to a Rams squad with a snake bit rushing attack (and led by Case Keenum, of all people), which has me wondering: is there something going on in the locker room that's causing the Cardinals to drop so many winnable games on the gridiron? 

Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +08

Aaron Rodgers and pals took week four off, as they await a prime time clash with the Giants this Sunday night. Perhaps owing it to the bye week, the Packers actually own the League's lowest total offensive yardage tally, having put up only 881 yards so far this year. Naturally, they make up for that by also possessing the NFL's third best defense, which has allowed only 1,050 yards of enemy offense throughout three regular season contests. 

Oakland Raiders (3-1)
Season Point Differential: +02

You can relive the moment by moment magic of the game here, but to summarize? This comeback road win for the Raiders was fucking nutty. Late in the fourth quarter, the Ravens (who had been trailing all day) capitalized on a DeAndre Washington fumble, which in turn set up an easy go-ahead touchdown to put the Ravens up 27-21. Well, Derek "Dan Marino 2.0" Carr turned around and said "all right, you gave me four minutes, I'm cool with that" and - after the Ravens refused to turn down a penalty that would've made it fourth down and forced the Raiders to go for a field goal - Carr hits Cooper for the big yardage pick-up, and then he hits Michael Crabtree for the third time in the game to put the Raiders on top 28-27. That's a crazy ass finish in and of itself, but really, the Raiders last defensive stand was just as remarkable, with the blitz-happy D pushing the Ravens out of field goal range and Reggie Nelson laying the hit stick on a receiver to cause a crucial fourth down incompletion

Houston Texans (3-1)
Season Point Differential: -04

Some late heroics propelled the Texans over divisional rivals Tennessee, as Houston stormed back for a 27-20 win. Brock O. went 2:2 on TDs to INTs thrown, concluding the game with 254 yards on 25 completions. Meanwhile, back Lamar Miller and receiver Will Fuller V each finished the contest with 80-plus yards apiece, as the JJ Watt-less defense held the Titans to 196 yards passing (and 124 rushing.) 

Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Season Point Differential: -04

The Bengals bested the Fins 22-7 over the weekend, in a contest that saw Andy Dalton lob the rock for 296 yards on 22 completions. The star of the show had to be Cincy receiver A.J. Green, who finished the game with 173 yards on just 10 catches - although the Bengals defense, which held Miami to only 160 yards passing yards and 62 rushing yards, also looked quite spry.


Detroit Lions (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -07

The Lions dropped a rough one to the Bears, losing a tight contest 17-14 over the weekend. Matt Stafford had a very poor showing, throwing two interceptions and finishing the game with a ho-hum 197 yards once you factor in all the times he got sacked. Oh, and the rushing attack didn't do shit, with Detroit's running back corps combining for a sub-par 66 yards on 18 rushing attempts. 

Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Season Point Differential: -09

The Chiefs were utterly massacred by the Steelers last Sunday night. In the 43-14 loss, Alex Smith went 2:1 on the TD-to-INT thrown ratio, ultimately collecting 287 yards on 30 completions. More concerning for Kansas City, naturally, is just how poor its rushing attack played; at the final bell, the total Chiefs running back committee posted a low 87 yards on 18 carries. 

Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -09

The "Super Bowl slump" appears to be in full swing for the underperforming Panthers, who lost a tough one to the Falcons 48-33. Cam Newton (165 yards and one TD) exited the game early with an apparent concussion, as he and backup QB Derek Anderson combined for 329 total passing yards (which includes three touchdowns and two interceptions.) Furthermore, Carolina's run game absolutely stagnated, producing only 49, score-less yards of ground-based offense. 

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

The G-Men couldn't get much going in their 24-10 Monday night loss to Minnesota. The last remaining Manning had a ho-hum day with 261 yards, no TDs and an INT on 25 completions, and my goodness, did the star-studded receiving corps underperform: Victor Cruz finished the game with just 50 yards, while Josh Koscheck-cosplayer Odell Beckham, Jr. posted only 23 receiving yards. 

Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
Season Point Differential: -13

After that week one blistering from San Fran, the Hollywood-handsome, Dodge City-tough Rams have gone on a three game tear, with their latest "W" a convincing 17-13 victory over the highly (if not overly) touted Cardinals. Granted, L.A.'s run game could only muster a paltry 41 yards, but Case Keenum played much better than any of us thought he would against Arizona's defense. At the final bell, he had 266 yards and two touchdowns on 18 completions. 

Washington Redskins (2-2)
Season Point Differential: -13

Kirk Cousins looked very good in the Skins 31-20 win over the Browns. In the outing, he had three touchdowns and 183 yards on 21 completions (although he did lob one interception and got sacked three times for net yardage loss count of 27.) Matt Jones also looked impressive in Washington's victory, carrying the rock 22 times for 117 yards and one rushing score. 

New Orleans Saints (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -16

Hey, the Saints finally won a game, everybody! Not only that, but it was a thrilling 35-34 win over the Chargers, in which Drew Brees went 2 and 2 on TDs to INTs thrown and the run game, despite posting a meager grand total of 83 yards, nonetheless managed to whiff San Diego end zone no less than three times. Of course, the Saints being the Saints, they also let Philip Rivers lob the rock for 321 yards, but hey ... what else is new in Nawlins? 

San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -17

Well, the Niners were mostly in there for their 24-17 loss to the Cowboys. Blaine Gabbert went 1:1 on the TD-to-INT ratio and had 196 yards on 16 completions, while underrated back Carlos Hyde scored a rushing TD and completed the outing with 74 yards on 15 carries. But then, there's that cruddy defense, that just had to go and let the Cowboys drop 428 yards of total offense on them...


Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -17

In a visit to Wembley Stadium, the Colts dropped a tough one to the Jags, 30-27. Andrew Luck's underwhelming play continued, with Indy's QB tossing the rock for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 27 completions. Granted, that does sound pretty good ... until you release he also got sacked six times in the game, for a net loss of 44 yards. 

Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -18

The Dolphins just couldn't get things clicking in their 22-7 loss to the Bengals. Ryan Tannehill went 15 for 25 for 189 yards and a 1:1 TD-to-INT ratio, while highly touted receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVanta Parker combined for just 81 yards and no end zone visits. And the run game was even more lethargic, producing a grand total of only 62 yards throughout the contest.

Tennessee Titans (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -22

Marcus Mariota's sophomore slump continued with an underwhelming showing in Tennessee's 27-20 loss to Houston. The former Oregon gunslinger finished the contest with 202 yards on 13 completions, but none of those strikes resulted in points on the board. DeMarco Murray, however, did put in a solid showing, collecting 95 yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Titans' losing efforts. 

New York Jets (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -26

The J-E-T-S played like S-H-I-T in their 27-17 loss to the Seahawks. Ryan Fitzgerald followed up his stellar six-interception game last week against Kansas City by lobbing only three into the open arms of Seattle defenders, but he at least had the decency to also let them sack his sorry, Harvard-educated ass four times. And if you're thinking Matt Forte can bail you out, think again; New York's rushing attack was held to an impotent 58 yards throughout the entirety of Sunday's game. 

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -27

The Jaguars finally got a win when they "hosted" divisional foes Indianapolis in jolly old England over the weekend. In the narrow 30-27 victory, Blake Bortles lobbed two touchdown passes and collected 207 aerial yards on 19 completions. The two Allens (Robinson and Hurns) each reeled in touchdowns, ultimately combining for 102 yards on only seven catches. 

Chicago Bears (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -35

The Bears got their first victory over the year when the just barely overcame the Detroit Lions 17-14. Astonishingly, Brian Hoyer looked pretty good in the contest: he finished the tilt with two touchdown passes and 302 yards on 28 completions. Others putting in good showings, stat-wise, for Chicago include back Jordan Howard (111 yards on 23 carries) and receiver Eddie Royal (111 yards and a TD on 7 receptions.)

Cleveland Browns (0-4)
Season Point Differential: -41

The Browns remain the only winless team in pro football in the wake of their 31-20 loss to the Redskins. Quarterback Cody Kessler had 233 yards in the game, with a 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. Meanwhile, notorious cop-hater Isiah Crowell continues to impress, having posted  112 yards and a TD run on 15 carries.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
Season Point Differential: -51

After the Bucs' besting of the Falcons at the Georgia Dome in week one, it's all been downhill. The team's misfortunes continued against the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos, who walloped them 27-7 in a rain-storm delayed outing. It was an especially bad afternoon for Jameis Winston, who lobbed no touchdown passes, got picked off by Denver defenders twice and - perhaps most painful of all - wound up getting sacked no less than five times for a yardage grand total loss of 36.


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