Re: the Niners having nothing at center, Daniel Kilgore was out most of the year recovering from an injury, but was very good pre-injury in 2014, and his return helped to stabilize the OL in 2015. He's not elite, but he's a solid starter. That said, both OG spots and one T spot are entirely up in the air.
My second Post-Super Bowl edition. Only one trade. I make picks using multiple big boards from different sites, and my own scouting. I try to fill needs as best as possible. This will change after the combine.
Atlanta Falcons (8-0) - Previously: #2 - No, Falcon fans, you did not stumble onto a different Web site. I have the Falcons No. 1 for now despite this hilarious post by someone in the comment boards in reaction to all of the Atlanta homers who have been blasting me:
Falcons are the best team. They have already taken down most of the elite of the NFL. They have already beaten 6 of the top 10 teams in the league. Here is a list of their wins with NFL rankings of each team. Wins vs. #10 Denver, #9 Chargers, #7 Redskins, #4 Panthers, #2 Chiefs, and the #1 ranked juggernauts THE RAIDERS! I cant believe they have squeaked by the cream of the crop in the NFL. With your logic the Giants took 11th place in the league last year and the Packers were the Super Bowl champs.
I guess you have to call the Falcons the best team in the NFL right now by process of elimination, but if they're playing the Giants or Packers at home in the playoffs, I can already tell you that I'm probably going to be taking the challenger. Maybe New York and Green Bay won't be as banged up in the postseason.
Houston Texans (7-1) - Previously: #3 - The Texans sleepwalked through the boring Bills' game and still managed to cover the spread, all thanks to Rian Lindell's horrible whiff of a 37-yard field goal. I blame the wind. It blew the ball wide right. OK, yeah, the Texans play in a dome, but you can't tell me the wind had nothing to do with it.
Chicago Bears (7-1) - Previously: #4 - If you missed it on my NFL Picks page, some lunatic Bears' fan once again ranted about how I didn't slot his team No. 1:
F*CKIN POS WROTE A GOTDAM NOVEL APOLOGIZING MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE DETOILET P***IES, BUT THE BUM SACK OF GARBAGE HAS NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY, SUPERIOR BEARS. AS I SAID WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE, YOU W-I-L-L BE FORCED TO BOW TO THE CHI BEARS, YOU LOWLIFE FANBOI B1TCHES. WHOEVER RUNS THIS SH1T SITE, ALL YOUR MOTHERS EAT SH1T. GET YOUR ACT RIGHT, RESPECT YOUR SUPERIORS, THE BEARS, AND MAYBE WE'LL STOP SH1TTING IN YOUR MOTHERS MOUTHS. BEARDOWN ON ALL YOU B1TCHES
I can just imagine this guy slamming his fists on the keyboard with drool coming out of his mouth while typing this.
I don't really have anything against the Bears, save for their offensive line. Jay Cutler was sacked thrice against the Titans despite the fact that his team established a 31-2 lead by the second quarter. Would Cutler even had survived if the Titans didn't implode?
New York Giants (6-3) - Previously: #1 - The Giants are playing poorly right now, so I'm going to drop them in these rankings. I suspect, however, that I'll have them back at No. 1 sometime in December once they begin their usual late-season surge.
As promised, my conspiracy theory about the Giants-Steelers game, as mentioned in the Week 9 NFL Game Recaps. As you may have seen, there were numerous shady calls going against Pittsburgh early on, namely the bogus Ben Roethlisberger fumble recovery for a touchdown. As this happened, my girlfriend Awesome Girl Who Loves Football, an avid Giants' fan, texted me, "Woo yeah refs!!!" I then tweeted ( @walterfootball), "The next time @nflcommish tells the refs to give the #Giants a victory, he should advise them to be more discrete about it."
The Steelers won, so no conspiracy, right? I wouldn't be so sure. In fact, I'm positive Roger Goodell called an emergency halftime meeting with the officials and Phil Simms, who mysteriously changed his opinion about the fumble-touchdown call after intermission. Here's how it went:
Roger Goodell: Guys, we have an issue. I wanted to hand the Giants a victory because of Hurricane Sandy, but the refs are making it so obvious. Now, that super-awesome guy from WalterFootball.com is even talking about it.
Official: Sorry about that, Roge.
Roger Goodell: It's cool. Make sure the Steelers win now, or at least balance the game by giving them some calls. Now, Phil, I need you to tell the audience that you agree with that terrible call.
Phil Simms: You want me to agree with the call? I can agree with the call. Let's look at it again. Ben Roethlisberger... oh, is the ball out of his hand going forward? You know what? I was looking at and it looks like the ball is out of his hand. But doesn't he have some semblance of control when it leaves his hand? Well, you could argue that, but I think he lost the football. Now, you must be asking, how is that different than the Tuck Rule? That's a good question. Why don't you just ask what I had for lunch today because it's just as pointless? I had a bologna sandwich. And what did I have to drink? Grape soda. But what does this have to do with the Tuck Rule? Well, Jim, I'm not sure, but I can tell you that the ball was out of his hand.
Roger Goodell: Yes... Yes!!! Continue answering the questions you keep asking yourself just like you always do. This will further confuse the public, who will forget about this mess! Muhahahahaha!
Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Previously: #5 - Just once I'd like to hear a player say, "You know, I'm injured right now. Most of my peers would play through it, but I'm going to take some time of to heal so I can come back at 100 percent rather than risk aggravating my injury like some overconfident idiot."
Unfortunately, that will never fly in the NFL because of player arrogance. Jordy Nelson was the latest victim, suffering yet another injury before even making a single catch. He could have rested this past Sunday and the following week during the bye, but no, he just had to play against the crappy Cardinals. I hope it was worth it, Jordy.
New England Patriots (5-3) - Previously: #7 - I love the Aqib Talib trade, so I'm moving the Patriots up one spot. Check out my grade for the Talib trade by clicking the link. You'll also get to see what I have to say about the equally important Mike Thomas deal. Just look at how the Lions destroyed the Jags. That was all Thomas.
San Francisco 49ers (6-2) - Previously: #6 - I'm so glad the 49ers didn't play this week because I didn't have to hear the tall, black guy on the NFL Red Zone network "boldly" predict that Randy Moss will score a touchdown for a change. He was finally correct back in Week 8, but what the hell is the point of making a prediction like that? No one in their right mind still has Moss on their fantasy roster, so why not make a relevant bold pick instead?
Denver Broncos (5-3) - Previously: #8 - The Broncos will remain in the No. 8 spot. That win over the Bengals wasn't too convincing. If Trindon Holliday doesn't have that kickoff return, the Bengals would've had a shot at the very end.
Speaking of that touchdown, I loved forum member Green 18, Green 18's post as this happened: "Tyrion Lannister goes 105 yards on the return."
Can you imagine Tyrion playing football? I don't think he'd be able to run very quickly, but I guarantee that he'd have the coolest touchdown celebrations ever.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) - Previously: #9 - It's amazing that the Steelers are so hot right now without Troy Polamalu. Just wait until he comes back to the lineup. Pittsburgh will be unstoppable until Polamalu gets hurt again two weeks later.
Seattle Seahawks (5-4) - Previously: #10 - The Seahawks will just keep getting better as Russell Wilson gains more and more experience. He's already superior than some veterans, including Christian Ponder, who made Seattle's victory pretty easy with plays like this (thanks, Super Buggie):
No wonder the Vikings have been getting blown out lately. With Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph blanketed, Ponder hasn't had anyone to throw the ball to.
2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 10 - Bottom 10
32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) - Previously: #32 - How does one player have more turnovers than 31 other teams? Strange things have been happening this season. For example, the Chiefs scored a 12-point defensive touchdown against the Chargers, as pointed out to me by troller Victor V:
How do you score a touchdown on an interception for no gain anyway? That would mean that Philip Rivers threw a pick to someone in his own end zone.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) - Previously: #31 - Chapter 12 of Mike Mularkey's upcoming book, 101 Ways to Lose a Football Game After Establishing a Big Lead:
A very cunning strategy I like to employ is trading one of my players to a team I'm about to play in the upcoming week. If you couple this with failing to change your audibles, you will surely lose a big lead - but chances are that you'll be so far behind that you won't need to worry about choking an enormous advantage away!
30. Cleveland Browns (2-7) - Previously: #30 - I don't really have anything interesting to say about the Browns, so I'd like to discuss the Mike Thomas trade some more. I thought the Jaguars were the right side in that contest until I remembered that they dealt Thomas to Detroit just several days before the contest. On my NFL Picks page, I wrote that Thomas would know all of the Jaguars' secrets. Here's how the interview process went down during the week:
Jim Schwartz: It's great to have you here, Mike! We coveted you in the 2009 NFL Draft and we still want you even though you haven't done crap in two years.
Mike Thomas: Thanks! I love Detroit already!
Jim Schwartz: Now, Mike, tell us all of the Jaguars' secrets so we can destroy them on Sunday.
Mike Thomas: OK. I'll tell you. Blaine Gabbert sucks.
Jim Schwartz: No, I meant like plays and audibles and such.
Mike Thomas: Blaine Gabbert sucks. That's all you need to know.
Jim Schwartz: Come on, Mike. Give us something!
Mike Thomas: I am. Blaine Gabbert sucks. Just show up and you'll beat him.
Jim Schwartz: Damn it, Mike! I want inside info!
Mike Thomas: You have it. Blaine Gabbert sucks. That's all I've got for you.
As you can see, acquiring Thomas was clearly the key to victory.
29. Buffalo Bills (3-5) - Previously: #27 - I loved seeing this in the Rotoworld news feed Monday morning:
Ryan Fitzpatrick said the "story of the day" following Sunday's Week 9 loss to Houston was that "we've got to get" C.J. Spiller more touches.
O rly? So, now you realize that giving your best player only 11 touches was not a good idea? Since when do the Bills employ Andy Reid and/or Cam Cameron? Ugh, I still can't believe Buffalo didn't cover.
28. Oakland Raiders (3-5) - Previously: #28 - As if Raider fans haven't had enough of Doug Martin, I want to focus on something confusing that one of the FOX announcers said during Sunday's game. As Martin broke through for his billionth long touchdown, he chuckled, "And many thought the Bucs should have taken David Wilson, ha ha ha..."
Umm... what? Who thought Wilson over Martin was a good idea? In fact, the Giants wanted Martin so badly that they panicked when he was off the board and reached for Wilson. This would be like someone saying, "And many thought the Colts should have picked Ryan Tannehill over Andrew Luck, ha ha ha..." Get a clue, FOX announcer.
27. Tennessee Titans (3-6) - Previously: #26 - The Titans were just blasted, 51-20, so it's time for the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: Man servant! Man servant!!! I'm looking at the newspaper and the score says 51-20! How did this happen?
Vince Young: Derrr, odder team score point den more point den more point den more point den more point den...
Bud Adams: OK, I get it. But how did we score 51 points? I need to give bonuses for this!
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink you gaved up 51 point to odder team ha.
Bud Adams: No, look, Chicago Bears 51, Tennessee Titans 20. Who the hell are the Titans anyway? I used to own the Houston Oilers, but then we moved to Chicago and became the Bears.
Vince Young: But I tink Chicago Bear exisiteted before you comed to Chicago ha.
Bud Adams: Don't be stupid, man servant. You're clearly trying to trick me. Now, tell me, who was most responsible for this win? Steve McNair? Vince Young?
Vince Young: Derrr, ohhh, Vince scoreded some point againsted Titan ha.
Bud Adams: Brilliant! Get Vince in here right away so I can hand him a check!
Vince Young: Ha I go getted Vince brb OK Vince here now where checked ha?
Bud Adams: What check? Who's Vince? Man servant, did you know that we scored 51 points yesterday? Explain how this happened because I must have dozed off.
26. New York Jets (3-5) - Previously: #24 - Chris Berman isn't the only NFL analyst who gets to interview the presidential candidates on the eve of the election. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have agreed to talk to me as well, just as the former and John McCain did four years ago. Here are the exclusive interviews, beginning with the incumbent party:
Me: Hey Mr. President, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
Barack Obama: I have to say... that... I love reading your Web site, Walt. You're such a gifted writer.
Me: Thank you, thank you. Now, the question I want to ask both you and Governor Romney is how would you improve the NFL if you were made commissioner today?
Barack Obama: Here's what I would do. I'd make the Cowboys, the Redskins... the financially successful teams pay a little bit more so people in my office can use this for their own special inter... I mean, so that the poorer teams would have a chance. I'd also... uhh... cut spending...
Me: Wait, cut spending? But you're the one who spent more than all of the other presidents combined in U.S. history.
Barack Obama: Yes... but our national deficit... I mean the NFL's deficit...
Me: Whoa, you're reading off Governor Romney's notes! That first page about taxing rich teams was all you, but you begun stuttering and staring at the floor once you started looking at that second page!
Barack Obama: Look, Walt... I'm the President of the United States. I have many important things to do, so I can't prepare for every interview.
Me: But if you can't answer basic questions, why should anyone vote for you?
Barack Obama: I don't need to worry about anyone voting for me because I have this election locked down. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find my gym shorts.
Me: Gym shorts?
Barack Obama: Uhh... yeah. Gym shorts. It's time to play basketball. Like I said, I have lots of important things to do.
Me: But shouldn't you be doing presidential things instead of playing basketball all the time?
Barack Obama: Look, Walt... you have no idea what it's like to be President of the United States. It requires lots of focus on playing basketball, appearing on talk shows like The View and filling out NCAA Tournament brackets.
Me: Well, don't let me keep you, Mr. President. Perhaps Governor Romney will have better things to say.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) - Previously: #23 - And here is my exclusive interview with Mitt Romney:
Me: Hey Governor Romney, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
Mitt Romney: Of course, Walt. It's always great to show everyone that I am truly a man of the people by doing interviews with normal peons.
Me: Uhh... OK... Governor Romney, I asked this question to President Obama, and now I'll ask you: How would you improve the NFL if you were made commissioner?
Mitt Romney: I'm glad you asked that, Walt, because I've come well-prepared. I have a five-point plan to improve the league.
Me: Five points!? I can't wait to hear them!
Mitt Romney: One is for the NFL to achieve energy independence by 2020. Imagine being able to power the stadiums without the aid of electric companies. That will create new jobs.
Me: Without the aid of electric companies? Where's the electricity going to come from then? Some hamster running on an underground wheel?
Mitt Romney: If it'll provide the hamster with a job, then sure. That's what this five-point plan is all about. Part two is to crack down on cheaters like the Saints. The Saints are not playing by the same rules as the rest of the NFL. I'm willing to work with the Saints if they play by the same rules, but not if they're cheating.
Me: Well, some would argue that most NFL teams do this, but the Saints were the only ones who were caught.
Mitt Romney: Let's move on to part three, which is to provide the players with the skills to succeed through better workout facilities.
Me: But what about players who have no talent like Brady Quinn? What will a better workout facility do for him?
Mitt Romney: We'll worry about that later. Part four is to cut the NFL's deficit, reducing the size of the front office and getting the debt under control so that businesses want to advertise with the NFL.
Me: President Obama discussed that when he stole your notes. You aren't going to leave me to play basketball, are you?
Mitt Romney: President Obama is playing basketball? I don't have the skills to play basketball, which is why I'm hoping that part three of my plan benefits me. But if there's a game going, I'm out. See ya, Walt.
Me: But... part five? What's part five!?!?
24. Carolina Panthers (2-6) - Previously: #29 - I won't make fun of Cam Newton today because he just won. Instead, I'll wait until Wednesday. Check out Emmitt on the Brink then for some epic Cam bashing. For now, here's a recap of Saints 28, Eagles 13:
- The Eagles have tons of talent on their roster - or at least they're believed to - yet they constantly underachieve. Well, this game epitomized that perfectly.
The Eagles became the first team in the NFL this season to have at least 14 plays on a drive and not come away with any points. They also rushed for 100 yards in the first quarter alone, but despite this, they were down 21-3 by the end of the opening half. They once again killed themselves with mistakes, as they've done all year.
The first possession - the one that lasted 14 plays - was disrupted by two sacks, which is notable because the Saints had just three sacks in their previous three contests. The second drive went into the red zone but ultimately concluded with a 99-yard pick-six, as QB Dog Killer threw an inaccurate pass under duress that tipped off Brent Celek's hands and returned by Patrick Robinson.
Pass protection was an issue all evening. The Saints, who've had problems getting to the quarterback throughout the season, collected seven sacks Monday night. The Eagles, who already couldn't block, lost right tackle Todd Herremans in the first half. The disappointing Demetress Bell replaced him and predictably was inept. QBDK, as a result, barely completed 50 percent of his passes, going 22-of-41 for 272 yards, one touchdown and the aforementioned pick-six. On the bright side, he rushed for 53 yards on six scrambles.
- QBDK's lone touchdown came on a 77-yard busted coverage to DeSean Jackson (3-100). The Eagles had to score from that far away because they tallied just six points in five red-zone trips. There were two field goals, one pick-six, a Celek lost fumble and a turnover on downs at the very end when QBDK just gave up and threw the ball away on fourth down. Philadelphia also screwed up in other ways. The team wasted timeouts as usual and committed a strange forward pass on an attempted lateral during a kickoff. This pinned the team at its own 2-yard line.
- As mentioned, the Eagles ran the ball well. LeSean McCoy rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries, while rookie Bryce Brown chipped in with 49 yards on just four attempts. Philadelphia had to abandon its ground attack once it fell behind 21-3, however.
- The Saints also moved the chains well on the ground. Chris Ivory (10-48, TD), Mark Ingram (7-44) and Pierre Thomas (6-44) all looked good.
- Drew Brees was a near-perfect 21-of-27 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He also doubled as a sideline coach, telling Joe Vitt when to call a timeout at the end of the game. His only blemishes were two lost fumbles. The Saints lost only one of them, though that transpired in the red zone.
- Brees' touchdowns went to Jimmy Graham (8-72) and Marques Colston (4-46). They were the only Saints to catch more than two passes.
23. Arizona Cardinals (4-5) - Previously: #22 - From top 10 to bottom 10 in just four weeks. That has to be some sort of record. I can only imagine how upset Cardinal fans must be...
That Mexican man is so distraught that there are Cardinal logo tears coming out of his eyes!
2012 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Detroit Lions (4-4). Previously: #14
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4). Previously: #16
13. Baltimore Ravens (6-2). Previously: #11
14. Miami Dolphins (4-4). Previously: #12
15. Dallas Cowboys (3-5). Previously: #15
16. San Diego Chargers (4-4). Previously: #21
17. Washington Redskins (3-6). Previously: #13
18. New Orleans Saints (3-5). Previously: #19
19. Minnesota Vikings (5-4). Previously: #17
20. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5). Previously: #18
21. Indianapolis Colts (5-3). Previously: #25
22. St. Louis Rams (3-5). Previously: #20
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: