Green Bay Packers (14-1) - Previously: #1 - What a fool I am for betting against Aaron Rodgers.
Speaking of, forum member Alastair posted this hilarious image of Rodgers ruining what would have been a really nice picture.
New England Patriots (12-3) - Previously: #2 - New England's defense is still really shaky - seriously, how do you commit a pass interference penalty on the quarterback? - but Tom Brady has looked really sharp in six of the previous eight quarters, meaning the Patriots are as dangerous as ever.
Or are they? Forum member Run-DMG had this to say about the Golden Boy:
I think Run-DMG may star in the upcoming Shrek 8 movie.
New Orleans Saints (12-3) - Previously: #3 - A recap of the Saints-Falcons game:
1. I can't begin this recap without talking about Drew Brees. I watched him attempt to break Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage mark back in 2008 when his final attempt skipped short against the Panthers. In my analysis of that contest, I wrote, "Brees actually came pretty close. He needed 16 yards with one play to go. Unfortunately, his last pass was an ugly duck that looked like it came from a 12-year-old girl. But congrats to Brees, who became the second quarterback in NFL history to eclipse the 5,000-yard barrier."
His final throw in this contest definitely wasn't weak. It was a touchdown to Darren Sproles. Brees now holds the all-time mark at 5,087 with one game to go. What an awesome accomplishment.
2. Brees was just amazing in this game. He went 23-of-39 for 307 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions that came on deflections. He was best on third downs, converting 8-of-8 attempts when this contest was still in doubt.
The Falcons seldom put any pressure on Brees, but when they did, he did a fantastic job of maneuvering around and finding a way to hook up with his target downfield. No one thinks of Brees as a mobile quarterback, but he's so good at buying time in the pocket.
3. On the other side, Matt Ryan actually threw for more yardage (34-52, 373 yards, TD). He was very good in between the 20s, but wilted down inside the red zone. The Falcons settled for way too many field goals, which is something you can't do against the Saints.
This is no surprise though - Atlanta has struggled inside the red zone all year, which is surprising because Ryan has big targets to work with in Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones.
4. Speaking of Jones, he caught eight balls for 128 yards and a touchdown, but also had a fumble returned for a touchdown. Roddy White (11-127) had a big game, but couldn't find the end zone. In fact, he was called for offensive pass interference in the scoring area. The infraction was declined, but Atlanta had seven penalties, most of which were huge.
5. Who would have thought that the Saints would run the ball better than the Falcons? Michael Turner (11-39) didn't have a gain longer than seven yards, while Darren Sproles (5-67), Pierre Thomas (9-53, TD) and Chris Ivory (8-35) all gashed Atlanta's front. The Saints have quietly been much better versus the rush since their Week 11 bye.
6. Brees' touchdowns, by the way, went to Marques Colston (7-81), Robert Meachem (3-75), Jimmy Graham (4-42) and of course, Sproles (2-22). Lance Moore aggravated a hamstring injury in the second quarter and didn't return.
7. My editor sent me the following IM when they showed the Saints' mascot: "OK, what was that giant mascot that looks like a nut sack with legs?"
Hey, it's New Orleans. If they want a giant scrotum running around, it's fine with me.
Baltimore Ravens (11-4) - Previously: #4 - It's time for my weekly bashing of NFL.com's bogus edge meter:
A slight edge? Is that why the Browns were able to cover on a backdoor touchdown? It's like NFL.com knows the future.
If NFL.com is smart enough to figure this one out, perhaps the following graphic is also true (thanks to Facebook friend Jay B. for this):
Not that there's anything wrong with wanting kielbasa stuffed into your backside on Christmas.
San Francisco 49ers (12-3) - Previously: #5 - I almost wanted to be waterboarded Sunday afternoon because listening to Charles Davis analyze the 49ers-Seahawks game was too excruciating.
Here's one exchange Davis had with the play-by-play guy that occurred when the 49ers ran into or roughed the punter:
Play-By-Play Guy: That's either going to be running into the kicker or roughing the kicker on the 49ers. Let's see what the call is.
Charles Davis: I think this is going in favor of the Seahawks.
UGH!!! HE JUST SAID THAT!!! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO REPEAT WHAT EVERYONE SAYS BUT PHRASE IT DIFFERENTLY SO IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING SOMETHING ELSE, CHARLES DAVIS!? ARGH!!!
Detroit Lions (10-5) - Previously: #6 - Congrats to the Lions fans, who had to suffer through all of those Matt Millen years. If you've stuck with this team, you deserve it.
Anyway, 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:
1. "Cincinnatihas a good chance and play offs and who know made more good Cincinnati who dey"
This just seems like a bunch of random words strung together in a desperate attempt to make a sentence.
2. "I get what I here and I love Cincinnati and I think ced is out of his prime and Leonard is a great rb"
Hear that? Make sure you pick up Brian Leonard in your fantasy leagues!
3. "Cecil schwartz needs to have a good game since they got rid of Jason hill may the schwartz be with the jags "
How did Cecil Shorts transform into Cecil Schwartz? Did he have a secret wedding with Jim Schwartz that no one knew about? If so, did Jim Schwartz try to beat anyone up at the wedding?
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) - Previously: #7 - I missed this Facebook comment when discussing last week's Monday night game. This is from Joe M., who posted this during the blackout:
Power outage at 49ers game. I feel sorry for the San Francisco cheerleaders, what with the lights out and Ben Roethlisberger lurking in the vicinity.
Yeah. Probably a good idea to stay away from the bathroom, ladies.
New York Giants (8-7) - Previously: #9 - Brandon Jacobs told Rex Ryan, "Now it's time for you to shut up, fat boy." He later told a sideline reporter, "Rex Ryan is a disrespectful bastard."
I thought this was stupid for two reasons:
1. Some networks like ESPN bleeped out the word "bastard." When did bastard become taboo? I think it's an awesome word that everyone needs to use more often.
2. Jacobs used the word "bastard" incorrectly. Ryan's parents were married when he was born, so he's not a bastard. And if he really were a bastard, his name would be Rex Sooner, or Rex Tornado, or Rex Wind, or Rex Panhandle, or Rex Pan, or Rex Handle, because he was born in Oklahoma.
As I wrote before, we need to incorporate the bastard name-giving that they have in the Game of Thrones series. There would be about a billion people named Bell here in Philly (for the Liberty Bell), but it would still be cool.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-8) - Previously: #19 - I'm listing the Eagles here because it seems like they've gotten their act together. I wouldn't want to face them in the postseason. Well, not unless I had a good defense that could easily confuse QB Dog Killer.
Despite what ESPN says, however, the Eagles still have a shot at the playoffs. It's true! Check out this GameCenter post if you don't believe me:
Apparently, having the Rocky steps, Philly cheesesteaks and a million people named Bell means automatic amnesty from playoff elimination.
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) - Previously: #12 - I don't know whom to put No. 10. The Bengals were impressive Saturday, so maybe them. It would have been the Falcons if they were competitive at New Orleans.
Speaking of the Falcons, here's one of the better jokes you'll find on GameCenter:
Burn!!!! Ha! How does it feel to be ridiculed, Falcon fans!?
How cheesy is that? The only thing that saves it is the hot cheerleader at the end. I feel like the Rams should have had her strip naked to help all 50 St. Louis fans forget about this terrible season.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) - Previously: #30 - If you haven't seen it, I have the Buccaneers selecting running back Trent Richardson with the No. 6 pick in my 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
I'm apparently not the only one who realizes that the Bucs want to move on from Blount being their featured back. One guy isn't too pleased about this:
He's so angry he had to post his rant twice in capital letters. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!
What's funny is that he cares more about the Buccaneers' future than the actual players. I can't believe that this team has just quit. It's embarrassing, and Raheem Morris needs to be fired immediately.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11) - Previously: #29 - Blaine Gabbert sucked less than usual, so I can't make fun of him. This is upsetting.
I'll let someone else do it. I had the following exchange with forum member CKane138 a few weeks ago. I've been trying to figure out who the hot blond chick with the high-pitched voice is in the Subway commercials, so I just had to ask:
Me: Who is the hot blond chick in the Subway commercials?
CKane138: You mean Blaine Gabbert?
29. Indianapolis Colts (2-13) - Previously: #32 - Famous GameCenter user Taton is still banned. I would have loved to read what Taton would have written during Indianapolis' second victory of the season. Here are the posts Taton would have made on GameCenter if he were still a member:
When the Texans scored a touchdown instantly:
- Dan Orkovsky fumble ball and Aran Foroster score touchdown!!!!!!!!!!!! Colt will lose and Sack for Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When the Colts kicked a field goal to draw within 10-6:
- Adam Vintati kick feld gogla to make game close but dont worry colt will lose and coch cadwell will be fire!!!!!!!!!!!!
When the Colts drew within one in the fourth quarter:
- Colt come very close to winning no good!!!! if win colt will no suck for leck and jim isray will keep old p.manning!!!!!!
When the Texans were committing bogus pass interference penalties on the final drive:
- Jim Booger call pss intferen call on texas!!!! now colt going to win game!!!!!!!1 byebye lock!!!!!!!!!!
When the Colts finally prevailed:
- byebye 1 pick!!!!! gay cach caswell need to win game to save job and now we lose lick!!!!! now viking or ram have 1 pick byebye no hope for colt in next 10 yer!!!!!
28. Cleveland Browns (4-11) - Previously: #26 - I can't believe Todd McShay didn't mock a quarterback to the Browns in his recent 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
I guess the Sun Tan Man has been too busy spending time at the salon to read all of the e-mails I've been posting from Browns fan Jon S., who has been excited that his team keeps losing games and putting itself in better position to draft a quarterback. Here's a new one:
Indy is at the Jags. Boy, I am already licking my chops at Barkley or Griffin! The ring of five Jags wins just makes me smile.
As the song says, "Movin on up ....to the west side ..."
Go Browns! Lose two more and we can start the celebrations.
If you're wondering, Jon S. isn't too upset that Matt Barkley went back to school because he prefers Robert Griffin.
27. Minnesota Vikings (3-12) - Previously: #28 - If you haven't heard, Donovan McNabb promised to make a donation to Chris Kluwe's charity, but hasn't done it yet.
There was outrage over this last week, but I want to ask all of you to give Donovan a break. He's been really busy lately. With so many doughnut flavors available to eat in Dunkin Donuts, Donovan hasn't even had time to think.
26. Buffalo Bills (6-9) - Previously: #27 - What happened to Tim Tebow? He was winning games, and now he's throwing interceptions non-stop. Hmm... I wonder...
Only Derek Anderson can ruin someone as holy as Tim Tebow.
25. Kansas City Chiefs (6-9) - Previously: #24 - Matt Cassel's injury has divided Chief fans. Some are pro-Kyle Orton; others want to see Ricky Stanzi. And everyone hates Tyler Palko. Here's a Stanzi supporter:
24. Washington Redskins (5-10) - Previously: #23 - I have nothing to say about the Redskins, so more on their NFC East foe. I want to delve into the Brandon Jacobs comments. What exactly set him off like that?
I sat down with Jacobs for an interview to find out the real story:
Me: Hey Brandon, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
Brandon Jacobs: Of course.
Me: Why were you so angry at Rex Ryan? What exactly did he say that ticked you off?
Brandon Jacobs: He just talks too much s***. That fat bastard needs to shut the f*** up next time.
Me: I'd like to disagree with you there. Rex Ryan technically isn't a bastard because his parents were married when he was born.
Brandon Jacobs: Whatever, man. He's a fat f***er who lost because he ran his mouth.
Me: Did he though? I mean, it's not like you needed the motivation to beat the Jets because it was basically a must-win. You would have tried regardless, I hope?
Brandon Jacobs: You best stop correcting me, or I'm gonna run all over you like I did to the Jets.
Me: But Ahmad Bradshaw did most of the work...
Brandon Jacobs: Listen to me, fat bastard. Shut up before I kick your a**.
Me: I'm not a bastard. My name is not Walter Bell. Dude, you have to learn what bastard means before you say it. It's a cool word that is misued and/or underutilized.
Brandon Jacobs: YOU WANT UNDERUTILIZED!? I'LL GIVE YOU UNDERUTILIZED! I'M GONNA F*** YOU UP, FATTIE!
Me: And then I'll file a lawsuit. And I'm not fat. My mom says I'm just big-boned.
Brandon Jacobs: Talk, talk, talk, all you do is talk, fat f***. We'll see who's talking when I kick your a** on the football field next Sunday.
Me: But I'm not even playing against you.
Brandon Jacobs: THAT'S IT! NOW I MEAN BUSINESS! I'M GOING TO RUN FOR 500 YARDS AGAINST YOU AND THEN WE'LL SEE IF YOU'RE STILL CORRECTING ME, FAT BASTARD!
Me: I'm not a b... you know what? I give up. I'm fat, and I'm a bastard. You win.
23. Chicago Bears (7-8) - Previously: #25 - You have to wonder why the Bears didn't use Josh "Tears of" McCown and Kahlil "for whom the" Bell "tolls" earlier. Sorry, I'm still excited that NFL Primetime was back, albeit just for one week.
Here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "some of r dum dum fans think they know more bout football then the peepz who work for da nfl. like head coaches anaylists. they just ignorant."
Those analylists aren't so smart, but they look like Albert Einsten compared to dum dum GameCenter "peepz" like this guy.
2. "no jim has actually never used those xact words b4 hyphy. i know cause im a real fan an i acualy listen to the press conferences. unlike u im sure popi"
He may listen to the press conferences, but can he understand what's being said?
3. "...Really awesome arodgers is beast 2 me he runs the better than micheal turner he has clinched 2 games 4 us so he was A GREAT DRAFT PICK!!! THE RODGERSBOYS = TALENT!!!"
Yeah, I'm sure when the Packers were drafting Aaron Rodgers, they were thinking, "Oh God, I hope he turns out to be a better runner than 'Micheal' Turner!"
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: