I would go further than Walt did on our D-Line and give us one star. Benson Mayowa & Ryan Russell are our starting DEs for at least 4 games and they have 1 1/2 sacks between them & Irving who may have to rotate in. Gregory looks like he's possibly done for the year and Lawrence had issues at Boise so it's not like this is new territory for him even though this is his first suspension. We should've picked Ramsey and looked heavily at DL but we are going with Mayowa & Russell. Our pass rush will absolutely suck unless Russell shows big improvement and Mayowa becomes more than he has been so far.
New York Giants (4-2) - Previously: #4 - OK, so the Internet has been buzzing about some of the recent pictures posted on my Facebook profile. One commenter in my power rankings wrote this:
Dude, we all have seen you wearing that Giants tee. That explains why you have the Giants ahead of the Niners when the Giants have a worse record. Also explains why you hate the Eagles. LINK.
Three things to note. First, I have apparel of various NFL teams. I have a Titans' shirt and an Eagles' shirt. I have jerseys of various players on the Vikings, Saints, Bengals, Falcons, Colts and others. I'm a fan of the entire league - except the Eagles, of course, because of QBDK.
Second, I happened to be wearing a Giants' shirt because my girlfriend, Awesome Girl Who Loves Football and I recently attended a cowboy-themed party. Being a huge Giants' fan, she didn't want to dress like a cowboy, and neither did I because that would require jeans, which I hate and a cowboy hat, which I don't have. So, we thought it'd be funny to dress in Giants' gear because the Cowboys and Giants are rivals.
And third, well, the Giants are better than the 49ers. That's why I had them ranked ahead of San Francisco. I don't care about records. If you want power rankings based solely on records, go to ESPN, or better yet, nfl.com/standings.
Green Bay Packers (3-3) - Previously: #8 - OMG HOW CAN TEH PACKORS BE RANK NUMBA 2 IF THEY ONLY 500!? If you think I'm an idiot for putting a 3-3 team at No. 2, ask yourself if you'd feel better about it if Green Bay had a 5-1 mark - because that's what the team should be right now. Once again, I don't give a damn about records. The Packers went into Houston and completely demolished the Texans. That was very impressive.
Houston Texans (5-1) - Previously: #1 - I'm not dropping the Texans much because the Packer game didn't mean anything to them, given that their only competition for homefield advantage is Baltimore, who just lost Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. Besides, Houston plays the Ravens in Week 7. I am, however, concerned about the Brian Cushing loss and the lack of a deep threat in the receiving corps.
I also hate the Texans' public-address announcer. Did he really have to shout, "IT'S A HOUSTON TEXANS..." and expect the crowd to yell "first down!" When the score was 42-24 with five minutes remaining? Cool it, pal. No one cares at that point.
Atlanta Falcons (6-0) - Previously: #3 - OMG 6-0 FALCUNZ NOT NUMAR 1 NOT NUMBAR 2 NOT NUMBEER 3 BBUT NUBUMMBER 4444 lolololOLOLOLOL.
The Falcons would have lost to the Panthers had Cam Newton not fumbled. The Falcons would have lost to the Redskins had Robert Griffin not gotten hurt. The Falcons would have lost to the Raiders if Carson Palmer didn't toss an unnecessary pick-six with a few minutes left in Atlanta territory. The combined record of the teams Atlanta has beaten - 12-22. The Falcons are very shaky. I have a feeling the Eagles will knock them off in Week 8.
New England Patriots (3-3) - Previously: #2 - There's no shame in losing at Seattle. It's impossible to win there when the Seahawks are good. Just ask the Cowboys, Packers and the replacement officials. I'm not going to drop the Patriots much. They'll rebound, and besides, Aaron Hernandez is back.
Speaking of Hernandez, I found three tweets pretty hilarious. I searched for "Aaron Hernandez" on Twitter this past Thursday to see if there would be indication as to whether he'd be playing or not, and I saw this tweet: "Girls shouldn't be allowed to talk football on Twitter, I hate searching Aaron Hernandez then seeing 'OMG AM GOING TO MARRY HIM ONE DAY' lol."
I dismissed that as someone being stupid, but I scrolled down and found this:
San Francisco 49ers (4-2) - Previously: #5 - The 49ers aren't moving down much despite that blowout loss. They are what I thought they were - a very solid team that has no chance of beating the NFL's elite consistently because of Alex Smith's limitations.
Oh, and San Francisco has a built-in excuse regardless. Niner fan and forum member Arcade explained: "Either the baseball game affects the 49ers' home field advantage or vice versa. The Bay Area doesn't have enough passionate sports fans to fill two stadiums."
Hell, I'm surprised they have enough passionate sports fans to fill one stadium, given that most people in San Francisco like rainbows, unicorns and brunch. What? That's homophobic? How? I know plenty of straight people who like rainbows, unicorns and brunch. You're the homophobe.
Chicago Bears (4-1) - Previously: #7 - I planned to do my recap of the Broncos-Chargers here, but I moved Denver into the top 10. Thus, I have nothing interesting to say about the Bears during their bye. I'm sure Mike Tice spent the week buying beer, but that's not very fun.
I moved the Steelers out and had them just over Arizona. Speaking of the Cardinals, I couldn't believe the two clowns on Sunday NFL Countdown, Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter, ranked Arizona as the worst team in the NFC West behind St. Louis. They both agreed on this, with Carter adding, "But I like John Skelton hee hee hee honk honk!" Ugh.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2) - Previously: #11 - If Russell Wilson continues to progress, there's no telling how far this Seattle team can go. My friend Matvei, however, suggested that I stay away from the Seahawks on Thursday night:
"I would not take the Seahawks on Thursday night. Rain, replacement refs and other acts of God are not sustainable."
But they have Ruskell Wilkens, MVP canadate. Something has to give.
Baltimore Ravens (5-1) - Previously: #6 - The Ravens should have lost the past two weeks to sub-.500 teams. They move down, especially in the wake of Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis suffering season-ending injuries.
Speaking of that bogus win over Dallas, what was up with Jason Garrett getting the calls in late during every single play? I had to sit down with him for an interview to find out what was going on:
Me: Hey Jason, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
Jason Garrett: ...
Jason Garrett: ...
Jason Garrett: No problem, Walt. You're the reason I got into coaching in the first place.
Me: Oh, I'm so flattered. All right, so I have to ask, what was up with yesterday's game? Why did every play call seem to come in super late to Tony Romo?
Jason Garrett: ...
Jason Garrett: ...
Me: You there? Or do you not want to answer that question? OK, new one - what is up with Dez Br...
Jason Garrett: I don't think we had any communication issues.
Me: ...yant, wait, what? You don't think you had communication iss...
Jason Garrett: What happened to Dez?
Me: ...ues. Umm... what's going on here? Why are you answers getting into me so late?
Jason Garrett: No, we didn't have any communication iss... wait, what about Dez Bryant?
Me: Huh? What's happening? Your answer for the communication issue was late and then about Dez Br...
Jason Garrett: My answers aren't coming in late. What are you talking about?
Me: I... I don't even know what to say anymore.
Jason Garrett: I have no problem with Dez Bryant's drop issues.
Me: Ugh, this is not working out so well.
Jason Garrett: Walt, I thought I'd continue to hide this, but I can't anymore. I really need your help. I'm stuck in a temporal distortion where I'm 30 seconds behind everyone. That's why my play calls got in so late. As soon as I saw the previous play from my perspective, the play clock in real life was already down to 10, so I had to signal something in as quickly as possible.
Me: Wow, that sucks. How could I help though?
Jason Garrett: ...
Me: Hello? Meh, I don't feel like waiting around anymore. Good luck, dude.
Denver Broncos (3-3) - Previously: #15 - Here's a recap of Broncos 35, Chargers 24:
- Philip Rivers finds a way to choke multiple times every year. When the Chargers were up 24-0 at halftime, I knew this game wasn't over. The Broncos have been a second-half team all season, while Rivers would undoubtedly do something to help Denver's effort.
That's exactly what happened. The Chargers committed five turnovers after intermission. Rivers made dumb passes and didn't protect the football in the pocket. He threw four interceptions (in addition to his 25-of-41 for 242 yards and two touchdowns) and was strip-sacked twice. He allowed the Broncos to make what tied the greatest comeback in Monday Night Football history. It didn't help that most of his crap receivers let him down, but he was responsible for this epic collapse.
Of course, Peyton Manning was a big part of the second-half charge. He was incredibly sharp after halftime, finishing 24-of-30 for 309 yards, three touchdowns and an interception that wasn't his fault. He remarkably led the Broncos into the end zone on every single second-half possession, save for one drive in which Eric Decker (6-98, TD) was whistled for a bogus offensive pass interference that wiped out a long reception. This was the largest comeback in Manning's prolific career.
- Manning wouldn't have needed to go nuts after intermission if Denver didn't repeatedly shoot itself in the foot during the first half. Special teams were a killer early on. A muffed punt set up a field goal. A fumbled kickoff led to a Rivers touchdown to Antonio Gates (6-81, 2 TDs). A holding penalty brought back a nice return. After that, Decker oddly tripped over the 45-yard line, negating what would have been an 80-yard touchdown. Later on the drive, Matt Willis ran the wrong route, leading to Manning's sole interception, which was returned the other way for a touchdown.
My girlfriend, Awesome Girl Who Loves Football, sent me a hilarious text after this happened: "I'm sooo happy Decker tripped over his own feet when he should have had a touchdown then Manning threw a pick-six! I could watch this game six times! No, check that, seven more times!"
2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) - Previously: #31 - Well, at least Blaine Gabbert didn't embarrass himself this past weekend. Speaking of Gabbert, forum member Descendency posted this funny picture regarding Gabbert and Bountygate:
31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) - Previously: #27 - So much for Brady Quinn solving Kansas City's problems. Speaking of Quinn, he's featured in this week's episode of the Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) - Previously: #32 - What the hell is up with Trent Richardson? A flank injury? That's obviously fake. I mean, why doesn't Pat Shurmur just give all of his players shady injuries named after military tactics. Maybe Brandon Weeden will miss some time with a blitzkrieg. Greg Little, meanwhile, has been hampered by a blockade.
I really think that Shurmur wanted to get Richardson out of the game because he was going against him in fantasy. I have proof too. Check it out:
F - Fantasy
L - Loss
A - Averted
N - Need
K - Knockout
Shurmur needed Richardson to be knocked out to avert a fantasy loss. See? See!?!?
29. Tennessee Titans (2-4) - Previously: #30 - I can't make fun of the Titans this week, so it's the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: Weh? Where is everyone? We have a home game against the Steelers this week. Why is no one here? Man servant, tell me why no one's here!
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink team play on Tursday night which a couple days ago ha.
Bud Adams: Thursday night? We had a game on Thursday night? Why was I not informed about this?
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink you weres at game. Remember team with T and fire on logo win overtimes.
Bud Adams: We won? We won! Tell Jeff Fisher that I'm giving him a raise for beating those a**hole Steelers.
Vince Young: But I no tink Jeff Fish... Fishman still coach team. He go unretirement and den got hire by Ram.
Bud Adams: Jeff Fisher's gone? We need to trade for him. Quick, man servant, call commissioner Paul Tagliabue and ask him what I need to do to get my coach back.
Vince Young: Derrr, but you have coach. His name Mike Minch or someting like dat. And I never hear of Paul Tag... Taglablue. I tawt commish Roger Goldman ha.
Bud Adams: Who the f*** is Roger Goldman? Stop tricking me, man servant. We have an important game coming up against the Steelers, so I can't be distracted by your usual bulls***. If we don't beat Terry Bradshaw, I'm going to cry.
Vince Young: Derrr, but first alls, game already happeninged and second alls, Terry Bradshine on box with picture and he talk bout footballs.
Bud Adams: It seems as though Terry Bradshaw has fooled you as well, man servant. But have no fear - Jeff Fisher will lead our team to victory today!
28. Oakland Raiders (1-4) - Previously: #28 - I was stupid for not betting on the Raiders against the Falcons. After all, they nearly took what was theirs with fire and blood. Don't believe me? Just look at this picture that e-mailer Shashank S. sent over:
27. Carolina Panthers (1-4) - Previously: #26 - Perhaps Panthers' head coach Commander Adama should bench Cam Newton in favor of either Derek Anderson or Jimmy Clausen. That may seem stupid, but there is at least one person who would think this was a good idea. Someone posted the following on one of my comment boards:
Black quarterbacks are 10-14 and project to finish Week Six as 10-18. Pretty amazing considering the NFL's enforced parity. I would never roster a black quarterback because blacks don't have the mental capacity to play the position at an elite level. Every year, some new "game-changer" is hyped to revolutionize the position, but it never happens.
It's a good thing the Redskins didn't hire this guy as their GM; otherwise, they would have cut Robert Griffin.
26. Indianapolis Colts (2-3) - Previously: #24 - I'm not going to penalize the Colts too much for that loss; they were coming off an emotional victory against the Packers and were obviously flat. They also lost a couple of players to injury, including Cory Redding, whose absence hurt their run defense. Besides, I'm sure they were caught off-guard when Shonn Greene showed that he was actually capable of moving horizontally. I thought that Greene was capable of only moving forward in a straight line, but he proved that he can move side to side. That was very impressive.
25. New York Jets (3-3) - Previously: #29 - A few days ago, my girlfriend pointed out that Mark Sanchez has the worst completion percentage through five games since JaMarcus Russell. That's pathetic. At least Russell had an excuse; he was a fat slob who couldn't stop eating Skittles, even during games.
I wonder how the racist commenter feels about rostering Mexican quarterbacks. Does Sanchez not have the mental capacity to play on an elite level either?
That was definitely an emotional roller coaster for me. As I watched, I laughed hysterically. Ten seconds later, I realized that this happened to the Buccaneers, whom I bet $220 on, and I shrieked, "NO YOU F***ING IDIOTS, YOU'RE LETTING THE CHIEFS BACK INTO THE GAME AND NOW THEY'RE GOING TO COVER AND I'M GOING TO BE SCREWED AND I'M GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE UP AN EXCUSE FOR WHY I DID SO POORLY AGAIN THIS WEEK AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
Fortunately for my sanity, that never happened.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) - Previously: #23 - You lose to a quarterback who wears adult diapers, and you earn a spot in the bottom 10.
2012 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3). Previously: #9
12. Arizona Cardinals (4-2). Previously: #10
13. Washington Redskins (3-3). Previously: #19
14. Minnesota Vikings (4-2). Previously: #12
15. Detroit Lions (2-3). Previously: #20
16. Miami Dolphins (3-3). Previously: #17
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3). Previously: #14
18. San Diego Chargers (3-3). Previously: #13
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-3). Previously: #16
20. New Orleans Saints (1-4). Previously: #21
21. St. Louis Rams (3-3). Previously: #22
22. Buffalo Bills (3-3). Previously: #23
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: