Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings - Week 13!

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

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"The Plot Thickens..."


New England Patriots (10-2)
Season Point Differential: +112

Tom Brady earned his 201st victory as a starting QB over the weekend - a new NFL record. While the Pats had no troubles getting past the Rams in Sunday's 26-10 affair, losing Gronk for the rest of the regular season certainly impacts the team's playoffs aspirations. And this team has some tough contests ahead, with showdowns against playoff contenders Baltimore, Miami and Denver awaiting them over the next four weeks.

Dallas Cowboys (11-2)
Season Point Differential: +105

With their eleventh consecutive win over the weekend (a very competitive 17-15 win over the Vikes), the Cowboys have officially become the first team in the League to secure a spot in the playoffs. The next three Cowboys games are all primetime affairs, with the Giants, Bucs and Lions all on the nationally televised docket. 

Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1)
Season Point Differential: +70

The Seahawks absolutely throttled the Panthers Sunday, crushing the defending NFC champs 40-7. Russell Wilson (26 for 35 for 277 yards, one TD and one INT) played well, but the MVP for Seattle had to be running back Thomas Rawls, who wrapped up the contest with 106 yards and two trips to the end zone on 15 carries.

Denver Broncos (8-4)
Season Point Differential: +57

Paxton Lynch had one of the worst showings of any winning QB in recent NFL history. In his team's 20-10 win over Jacksonville, he went 12 for 24 for 104 yards and no touchdowns - which resulted in him garnering a well-deserved 19.4 QBR.

Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
Season Point Differential: +55

As has been the case for Falcons fans since 2008, they will be long haunted by two Matty Ice interceptions over the weekend. First, there was Ryan's pick six toss to Eric Berry - which was bad enough as it is. But that pick-two INT Ryan lobbed into Berry's arms on a failed two-point conversion, when a PAT would've been enough to win Atlanta the game outright? Something tells me the spectral damage of that one hasn't completed manifest itself for the Falcons' season yet...

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
Season Point Differential: +54

Even with a 24-14 win over the Giants on Sunday, the Steelers still find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Following two road games in Buffalo and Cincinnati, they conclude the year with back to back home stands against divisional rivals Baltimore and Cleveland.

Baltimore Ravens (7-5)
Season Point Differential: +49

In the absolute worst ass-kicking of the week, the Ravens utterly humiliated the Dolphins 38-6 in a game that also saw Joe Flacco throw four touchdown passes and record 381 yards on 36 completions. And let's hear it for no-name receiver Dennis Pitta, who posted two touchdowns and 90 yards on nine catches.

Oakland Raiders (10-2)
Season Point Differential: +46

At the halfway point of the third quarter, the Raiders were down 24-9. Which, of course, meant but one thing - it was time for the Raiders' offense and defense to get crankin', resulting in a deluge of 29 unanswered points over the course of the game's last 20 minutes en route to a 38-24 victory. And as always, you can relive the magic of the game as it happened right here


Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)
Season Point Differential: +39

While Eric Berry's defensive performance is most responsible for the Chiefs' 29-28 win over the Falcons, you really can't discount Alex Smith's bland - but incredibly consistent - play either. Case in point? In the Chiefs' ninth win of the season, he went 21 for 25 for 270 yards, giving him a final QBR of 91.2

Buffalo Bills (6-6)
Season Point Differential: +31

Up 24-9 with 20 minutes to go, the Bills suddenly forgot how football works and wound up letting the Raiders post 29 unanswered points in what would eventually be a 38-24 loss for the Bills. Indeed, a young Bills fan in attendance at Sunday's game did a rather impressive impersonation of what Buffalo's offense and defense was doing in the fourth quarter in this telling photograph.

Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1)
Season Point Differential: +25

Unless a downright miraculous series of coincidences fall into place, the Cardinals have no shot at making the playoffs. Still, they can keep making life miserable for teams with more viable postseason dreams, which is exactly what they did to the Redskins overs the weekend. Alas, the rest of the season ain't going to be easy for the underachieving Cards - three of their remaining four games are all road trips, including some tough - and probably season-ending - contests at Miami and at Seattle.

Detroit Lions (8-4)
Season Point Differential: +24

For the first time this season, the Lions were able to win a game by a margin higher than a touchdown. In the 28-13 win over the Saints, Matt Stafford went 30 for 42 for 341 yards and two TDs, with receiver Golden Tate posting 145 yards and a solo score on just eight completions.

Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
Season Point Differential: +24

Give the Vikings some credit, they hung in there with the Cowboys last Thursday evening. Despite succumbing to the NFC's top team 17-15, Minnesota's schedule does put them in a pretty good predicament to at least break even this season, with two gimmes against Jacksonville and Chicago wedged in between toss-up contests against the Colts and the Packers.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
Season Point Differential: +23

After getting their asses kicked by the Bengals 32-14, the Eagles HAVE to run the table if they want to have any shot at making the postseason. Carson Wentz had his worst pro performance yet - despite lobbing the pigskin for 308 yards, he also went just 36 for 60 on passing attempts, with three of them resulting in interceptions.

San Diego Chargers (5-7)
Season Point Differential: +15

The Chargers may not be headed to the playoffs, but at least they're staying competitive in what are - essentially - meaningless games. The Bolts came up just a wee bit short in their latest loss (a 28-21 defeat against Tampa Bay), but their remaining schedule has at least two probable victories ahead in the form of matchups against the Panthers and Browns. But those other two games against the Chiefs and the Raiders, though...

Tennessee Titans (6-6)
Season Point Differential: +12

The Titans took last weekend off, and the re-enter the fray this week stuck in a three-way tie for first in the AFC South with fellow .500 squads Indianapolis and Houston. Unfortunately, the first two games back for the Titans are absolute murderers - a home stand against the Broncos and then an away game against the Chiefs.


New Orleans Saints (5-7)
Season Point Differential: +12

In the Saints' 15-point home loss to the Lions, Brees was still able to accumulate more than 300 yards passing. The problem? None of those throws resulted in points on the board, and three of 'em wound up on the open arms of Detroit's defenders.

New York Giants (8-4)
Season Point Differential: +8

Big Ben and pals stopped the G-Men's winning ways Sunday in a 24-14 skirmish at Heinz Field. While OBJ hit 100 yards on 10 receptions (but with no scores), Eli Manning had a pretty ho-hum performance, going 24 for 39 for 195 yards and a 2-and-2 TD-to-INT ratio.

Washington Redskins (6-5-1)
Season Point Differential: +8

The Skins' playoff chances took a huge hit with Sunday's inexplicable 31-23 loss to the Cardinals. And at this point in the season, the team's remaining schedule - two away games in Chicago and Philadelphia and two homestands against the Panthers and the Giants - doesn't seem to have any gimme games left on the docket.

Indianapolis Colts (6-6)
Season Point Differential: 0

The Colts absolutely devastated the Jets Monday night, pounding N.Y. 41-10 in a contest that saw Andrew Luck lob four touchdown passes and collect 278 yards on 22 completions. The Colts remaining schedule, however, will not be easy, with a three game swing against the Texans, Vikings and Raiders rounding out the rest of their schedule. But hey, at least the get what should be an easy regular season capper against Jacksonville on New Year's Day, right?

Green Bay Packers (6-6)
Season Point Differential: -7

Aaron Rodgers did very well in a snowy Lambeau homestand Sunday, as he led the Packers to a 21-13 win over the Texans. Rodgers wrapped up the contest 20 for 30 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, with Jordy Nelson posting 118 yards and a score on eight receptions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
Season Point Differential: -8

With their 28-21 win over San Diego, Jameis Winston and pals are in a mathematical dead heat with the Falcons for control of the NFC South. The Falcons still possess the tie-breaker, but all it takes is one late slip-up by Matty Ice and his compatriots and the Bucs could easily slide their way into the postseason at the last second.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1)
Season Point Differential: -14

With nothing left to play for, the Bengals came out last Sunday and got their jollies dashing the playoff dreams of the Eagles. In the 32-14 beatdown, Andy Dalton slung the rock 332 yards and two touchdowns on 23 completions, with up-and-coming receiver Brandon LaFall registering 95 yards on a score on on only five receptions. 

Miami Dolphins (7-5)
Season Point Differential: -23

And the Dolphins long winning streak came to a screeching halt last Sunday, as the Fins got their porpoise posteriors handed to them by the Baltimore Ravens in a 38-6 massacre. Ryan Tannehill looked especially rankled ... you know, lobbing those three interceptions and all.


Carolina Panthers (4-8)
Season Point Differential: -38

Whatever slight postseason dreams the Raiders didn't kill last week were mangled, digested, shat out and set on fire by the Seahawks Sunday, as the Panthers succumbed to Seattle 40-7. All but officially eliminated from playoffs contention, the Panthers are now stuck playing the role of spoiler exclusively over the final four games of the season, which includes a tough three game swing against postseason candidates Atlanta, Washington and Tampa Bay.

Houston Texans (6-6)
Season Point Differential: -50

Even though they lost 21-13, I'm actually pretty impressed by how well the Texans played in Sunday's snowstorm in Wisconsin. Brock Os went 22 for 35 for 202 yards and two touchdown passes, although those two sacks for a combined loss of 18 yards certainly stung like the dickens. 

Chicago Bears (3-9)
Season Point Differential: -66

Jordan Howard, all you motherfuckers! In the Bears' snowy 26-6 stomping of the San Fran America Haters, the talented running back recorded three trips to the end zone and 117 yards on 32 carries. Keep an eye on this kid - if the Bears are to redeem themselves next season, Howard - and most definitely not Matt Barkley - is going to be the piece the rest of the team ought to be built around.

Los Angeles Rams (4-8)
Season Point Differential: -82

Yeah, Jared Goff has a pretty shitting showing against the Pats last Sunday. In the 26-10 losing effort, he went 14 for 32 on pass attempts for 161 yards, one TD and two interceptions. Plus, he get sacked four times for a cumulative loss of 35 yards.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
Season Point Differential: -89

Blake Bortles had a really bad showing against Denver last Sunday. In the Jags' 20-10 loss to the Broncos he was only able to complete 19 out of 42 passes, with none of them producing touchdowns and two of them leading to interceptions. But hey, at least he got a scrambling score in, I suppose.

New York Jets (3-9)
Season Point Differential: -101

Well, the Jets are down to using some guy named Bryce Petty as their starting quarterback, and their latest loss - a 41-10 sodomizin' from the Colts in front of a live, nationally televised audience - might just be the nadir of their season. Are we sure this is the same team that almost beat the Patriots a few weeks ago?

San Francisco 49ers (1-11)
Season Point Differential: -136

And here it is folks, quite possibly the greatest stat in the history of the National Football League. In the 49ers 26-6 loss to the Bears, Colin K. went one for five on pass attempts, ultimately wrapping up the game with an impossibly bad four passing yards. However, since he was sacked five times by the Bears, the net amount of yardage he lost was 25. Which means - for all intents and purposes - the Fidel Castro eulogizer finished the contest with -21 passing yards.

Cleveland Browns (0-12)
Season Point Differential: -155

The lowly, lowly Browns had a much-deserved bye last week. The winless wonders emerge from the shadows Sunday for a showdown with in-state rivals Cincinnati - and since the Bengals really have nothing to play for, is Cleveland finally in store for a "W" this weekend? Somebody alert the 2008 Lions - they might just get to pop that bubbly after all


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