Green Bay Packers (12-6) - Previously: #2 - Can you imagine how good the Packers would be if they didn't have all of these injuries?
And can you imagine an NFL season without the announcement of the Punt, Pass and Kick winners? It's the most horrifying moment of the year. I posted my reaction to it in my recaps page:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Not the punt pass and kick winners AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OH GOD MAKE IT STOP MAAKEEEEEEEEEEEE ITTTTTTTTT STOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPP
I also tweeted (@walterfootball), "The worst part of the NFL season: The punt pass and kick winners. I'd rather be waterboarded than watch this crap."
It's true. Please, NFL. Set up the waterboarding machine in my house. I don't want to suffer through another Punt, Pass and Kick announcement ever again.
New England Patriots (14-3) - Previously: #1 - That 45-3 win over the Jets may have been the worst possible thing that could have happened to the Patriots. They showed no sense of urgency, and Tom Brady had a "I'm Tom f***ing Brady and these pathetic Jets don't stand a chance against me" look on his face the entire afternoon.
The lack of effort was uncharacteristic. So was the trash talking by Wes Welker, so I sat down with Welker yesterday for an interview:
ME: Hey Wes, thanks for joining me. Sorry about your loss to the Jets.
WELKER: "Well, the spread was barely 10. We didn't lose by 11, but we almost made a comeback. They barely won that game."
ME: But they did win the game. What did they do differently this time?
WELKER: "Barely anything. Last time it seemed like they barely had 10 players on the field. Now, it was definitely 11. I just can't bear to lose like this. I really thought we were going to see the Bears in the Super Bowl. Thought we'd barely beat them, maybe by 10 or 11 points."
ME: Was there any over-confidence? You beat them 45-3, after all.
WELKER: "Barely any overconfidence. On a scale of 10 to 11, with 10 being barely confident and 11 being as confident as a bear, we were barely somewhere in between 10 and 11."
ME: A scale between 10 and 11?
WELKER: "It was barely my teammates' fault. When the ball barely hits your bare hands 10 or 11 times per game, you have to bear down and make those 10 or 11 bare-handed catches."
ME: Why do you keep using variations of bear and bare, and repeating the numbers 10 and 11? Oh... wait, you're making fun of me aren't you?
WELKER: "I barely know what you're talking about. Let me have 10 or 11 seconds to think about it."
ME: I picked against the Bears. The spread was 10. They won by 11. You're making fun of me!
ME: You f***er! I'm going to kick your a**!!!!
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4) - Previously: #3 - Every Steelers-Ravens game is the same if Ben Roethlisberger is playing. Baltimore always has the lead. The officials help Pittsburgh take the lead and/or the Ravens screw up. Ben Roethlisberger makes a big play at the end to come away with the win.
Things looked really bleak for the Steelers in the first half, especially after that weird Ben Roethlisberger strip-six returned by Cory Redding. As this happened, forum member MMONTERO commented, "Roethlisberger just got raped. I'd call that karma."
Chicago Bears (12-5) - Previously: #6 - Jay Cutler was lucky to get away with numerous turnovers against the Seahawks, so don't expect Herm Edwards to bash him this week. If you missed it, Herm recently berated Cutler, comparing him to a waffle house waitress:
Cutler scares me because the other guy might come out lookin like hes workin at the waffle house and hes gonna serve up a couple interceptions.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. I've been to many waffle houses in my life, and I've never seen "interceptions" on the menu. Damn it, Herm, I demand you tell me which waffle houses you go to.
New York Jets (13-5) - Previously: #7 - Did anyone see Eric Mangini on ESPN? How creepy did he look in front of the camera? And how does ESPN not see through his plan? Fortunately, I know what it is:
Step 1: Get a job on ESPN.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Score a hot date with Erin Andrews, with or without her permission.
Baltimore Ravens (13-5) - Previously: #4 - An e-mail from Brandt G. regarding CBS' announcing team during the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game:
How annoying was Dan Dierdorf? He agreed with every single outcome: "Ray Rice with the touchdown, boy is he the best in the NFL..." "Ben with the scramble downfield, boy is he the best in the NFL..." "The referee with defensive passing interference call, boy is he the best in the NFL.." "I love sucking every player and coach's peepee, cause I wanna be liked by the everyone in the NFL."
Sorry, Dan, the referee is not the best in the NFL. There were some shady calls made by official Jeff Triplette's crew. If you don't agree with me, know that Wikipedia is on my side as well (thanks to e-mailer Alex F. for this):
Atlanta Falcons (13-4) - Previously: #5 - Can we stop it with the "Matt Ryan is invincible at home" crap? He's only beaten three playoff teams in the Georgia Dome in his three seasons, and one of those squads just avenged its loss by the score of 48-21.
Let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them (the first from Jack R; second from Facebook friend Peter L.):
1. "were running up the score were playing football ur post too score tds"
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream that one day this man will know how to use apostrophes or commas. As for the difference between to and too? Hey, I said dream; not miracle.
2. "REX is 3-2 against Bellicheat as a head coach-which makes Rex the BETTER coach.Sanchez is 3-2 against Brady-which makes Sanchez the better QB!!!!!!!!!!!"
Colt McCoy is 1-0 against Brady and Drew Brees. Using GameCenter logic (oxymoron much?) McCoy is better than both Brady and Brees.
3. "reguardless Alex Is a GREAT Secondary I dont want him gone I just dont want him as a Starter. See when Alex is at the helm the team over-all seems to have Bad Luck happin at the worst posisble times. maybe im just to superstisous tho."
Does one of your superstitions involve spelling horribly and using terrible grammar?
Seattle Seahawks (8-10) - Previously: #11 - A number of e-mailers asked me if I could make Pete Carroll a Jerk of the Week for not going for two after one of his fourth-quarter touchdowns. Well, I already finished my Jerks of the Week entry, but I'm definitely making him an honorary jerk.
I've never understood why teams wait to go for two during a potential late comeback. Idiot announcers have defended this before by saying, "You should only go for two when you absolutely need to." No, idiots, you should go for two as soon as you can. In a situation like this, the Seahawks had to go for two eventually, right? So, if you can't get it now, what makes you think it'll be any easier later? And wouldn't it be better to know what you need to do if you can't convert the two-pointer?
Of course, Pete Carroll was probably too busy figuring out what his next cheer or cool tweet would be to think logically about this.
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links:
I would bet 10 units on both the Packers and Patriots, and then 5 units on the Packers in the Super Bowl. The Packers will obviously blow out the Falcons and Tom Brady is the best QB of all time. They've both won 7 consecutive games (Rodgers and Brady) and they are both unstoppable. Rodgers will obviously throw a touchdown in the final seconds to win the Super Bowl. I would bet a million dollars that this will happen.