New England Patriots (7-2) - Previously: #2 - I had to master debate whether to put the Broncos or Patriots No. 1. Yes, New England defeated Denver quite easily, but that was done in Foxboro. I feel like the Broncos would've prevailed in similar fashion in Mile High.
Having said that, the Patriots have been playing unreal football lately, and if they keep this up, they'll have homefield advantage. If Peyton Manning can't win in New England in November, I can't see him doing so in late January.
Denver Broncos (6-2) - Previously: #1 - Two bad omens for the Broncos on Sunday morning: The first was the snow and gusting wind during Sal Paulantonio's reports. The second was that Mike Ditka picked Denver during the Eagles-Texans selection on Sunday NFL Countdown. The poor Broncos apparently thought they were playing in Houston this whole time. Imagine their surprise when they encountered that snow and wind!
Indianapolis Colts (6-3) - Previously: #5 - Here's my NFL Game Recaps page where you can find analysis of the Colts-Giants game.
Jim Irsay has been able to tweet again, but not all of his tweets made it on to Twitter, as he was forced to delete some of them. I managed to capture these before he erased them:
@nflcommish y arent we playing a football game today???? no1s at the stadium!!!!
@nflcommish @JimIrsay You have a MNF game at New York >> oh lol i knew that i was jk
@nflcommish i dont feel liek going 2 the game. want 2 come over instead?
@nflcommish @JimIrsay No I umm have to wash my hair >> again??? your always washing you're hair lol!!
@nflcommish hey roger guess what
@nflcommish @JimIrsay What? >> im eating a pea nut butter & jelly sandwih
@nflcommish Arent you jealouse???
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Why would I be jealous? >> cuz jelly & jealous sound the same lol!!!
@nflcommish hey roger
@nflcommish @JimIrsay What? >> did u think teh joke i said was funny
@nflcommish @JimIrsay What joke? >> the 1 about pea nut butter & jealouse
@nflcommish @JimIrsay That was a joke? >> lol yea
@nflcommish hey roger
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Can you leave me alone for crying out loud? >> some1s a douche!!!!!!
@nflcommish I'm going off twitter for the nite cuz ur bein a dick
@nflcommish @JimIrsay Thank God. >> for wut
New Orleans Saints (4-4) - Previously: #10 - The Saints are three plays away from being 7-1, but there's no doubt that they've been playing better football lately. What sparked them? Some say it was the bye week, but I think this guy had something to do with it:
As Saul very well knows, if you have a problem, just call Mike. He'll take care of any issues you might have.
Green Bay Packers (5-3) - Previously: #3 - Some Detroit fans have been complaining in the comment board below that I have the Packers this high when the Lions manhandled them back in September. That was sooo September though. The Lions are going to have a second-half meltdown, like they always do, as their complete no-show versus Atlanta was a clear indicator that they'll have some dog performances to close out the season, just like they did last year. Besides, Nick Fairley being out is a big downgrade to that defense.
Arizona Cardinals (7-1) - Previously: #11 - The Cardinals finally move into the top 10. I've been down on them because their overall numbers have sucked, but I made a mistake in not factoring in the Carson Palmer, Calais Campbell and Tyrann Mathieu injuries perhaps skewing those figures.
Deion Sanders brought up one such statistial blemish when he was read this off a paper after Sunday's games:
"The Cardinals has the best secondary in the NFL, and I still stand by that, even though they are 37th against the pass."
Don't worry, Arizona fans. You'll catch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Ekismos, Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats before long.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) - Previously: #17 - The Steelers made the biggest jump this week, but partly because I had them too low last week. They were eighth in overall efficiency entering the Sunday night game, and that was before their blowout victory over Baltimore that occurred despite losing both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Shazier in the second quarter. Pittsburgh is most definitely for real.
And having said that, I'm fully expecting a classic Steeler stink bomb in their next game at the Jets. Despite all of the money on them, they'll fail to cover the spread and yet still win by three, and Mike Tomlin will rant about how difficult it is to win in the NFL. Let's just move on.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) - Previously: #13 - The Chiefs have been one of the most underrated teams in the NFL recently, but let's get to more important things:
It's time for the Andy Reid meme of the week!
Last week: Aaron Rodgers calmed down Packer nation with five letters. Andy Reid did the same with Chief nation (thanks, Nate P.):
This week: With a game coming up against the Bills, Reid has a message for his next opponent:
Baltimore Ravens (5-4) - Previously: #7 - Terrell Suggs had an insanely cheap hit on LeGarrette Blount during Baltimore's loss at Pittsburgh. It was so dirty that I had to sit down with Suggs to find out what he was thinking. Here's the transcript:
Me: Hey Terrell, thanks for agreeing to the interview.
Suggs: No problem, Walt. I have no idea how I made time for this, considering we played so late Sunday night, but I couldn't turn you down.
Me: Oh, that's great, I really appreciate it. I have to ask, were you going for LeGarrette's knees on that hit?
Suggs: Of course, I was. Why wouldn't I?
Me: Some have said it was a dirty, cheap hit.
Suggs: It was. But that's what Steelers-Ravens is all about! You don't think Hines Ward's blocks were dirty?
Me: That's true. So do you think you should've been penalized?
Suggs: Of course not! These idiot officials don't understand what rivalries are all about. It's about doing whatever it takes, even if it's the dirtiest play in the world.
Me: Well, I appreciate you being so honest. Do you have any thoughts on what'll happen the next time you meet the Steelers?
Suggs: To be truthful, Walt, I have a new arch rival I've been meaning to vanquish.
Me: Oh yeah? Who's that?
Suggs: You! I built TerrellFootball.com recently, and I'm going to eclipse you in traffic!
Me: Oh, wow. Do you want to set up a link exch...
Suggs: TAKE THIS!!!
Me: Ahhhh! My knees! Why'd you go for my knees when I wasn't prepared!?
Suggs: THIS IS WHAT RIVALRIES ARE ALL ABOUT, PUNK!
Seattle Seahawks (5-3) - Previously: #4 - The Vegas sportsbooks still have the Seahawks rated highly, and that's the only reason I haven't moved them out of my top 10 - though I considered slotting the Dolphins here. If Seattle doesn't blow out the Giants, I'm going to put the winner of the Detroit-Miami contest here, in all likelihood. The Seahawks are winning, but they're barely squeaking by bottom-10 teams, and that's not a good sign.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 10 - Bottom 10
32. Oakland Raiders (0-8) - Previously: #32 - Believe it or not, I stumbled upon some free Raiders' tickets just the other day. They were just sitting in the bathroom. Don't believe me? Here's proof:
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) - Previously: #31 - I found this error amusing (thanks, Matvei):
Is this an honest misprint? A Freudian slip? An intentional joke? Maybe all three, somehow? Regardless, I feel like Bleak Bortles is a nickname that should stick around as long as Bortles sucks.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) - Previously: #30 - Mike Glennon could've easily been featured in the Derek Anderson flask segment, but there was someone far worse...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Derek Anderson: It's been nine weeks now since I've last had a drop from my precious magic flask. My spidey senses are telling me to go to Dallas.
DeMarco Murray: Someone help! You, help us now!
Derek Anderson: What's wrong!?
DeMarco Murray: Our quarterback is having a seizure, and he's saying nonsensical things!
Derek Anderson: The effects will eventually wear off. He should be fine in two or three months once football is not being played anymore. In the meantime, I need to continue the search for my magic flask.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-6) - Previously: #29 - Bad news for the Titans: Connor Cook said that he's leaning toward going back to school (could be a big mistake on his part), meaning Tennessee will have to lose out or maybe win just one more game to assure themselves of either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. I'll be updating my 2015 NFL Mock Draft on Tuesday, as usual.
28. New York Jets (1-8) - Previously: #27 - Just six more losses to go. You have no idea how much flak I took for predicting the Jets to be 2-14 in my season previews. Now, there are just six more losses to go before I can lick the tears off Jet fans' faces after I trick them into eating their parents' remains. Ah, sweet revenge.
27. St. Louis Rams (3-5) - Previously: #28 - The Rams have beaten both the Seahawks and 49ers recently, but I have no idea how I can move them up, considering that Austin Davis specializes in throwing the ball to the other team. I watched the entire San Francisco-St. Louis game, and I still have no idea how the Rams prevailed.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) - Previously: #25 - Mike Smith was told to clean out his office during the bye week, but he bungled his time management and failed to accomplish that task. So, the front office just decided to keep him on for the rest of the season. True story. OK, maybe not.
25. Chicago Bears (3-5) - Previously: #24 - If Jay Cutler doesn't care about winning games, did he care that he was on a bye? I could see him sitting on his couch for seven straight days, doing absolutely nothing; just staring into blank space.
Oh, and if you missed it from the NFL Picks page, here's how Chicago fans feel right now (thanks, Nicholas S.):
24. Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) - Previously: #19 - The Panthers can't block, catch, get to the quarterback or stop the run. They're great, otherwise.
Here's some of last week's hate mail:
You`ve got to be @#$@ing kidding me Walt! The only rankings you have right are DEN at 1 and NE at 2 which is still questionable. First off the Bills manhandled the Jets who i know arent that good but they were a blocked field goal from winning. How can you not have them atleast top 15? and AZ only 11? their only loss was against the Broncos with a third string. Your power rankings are a @#$@ing joke!
Glad you think they're a joke because my intention is to make people laugh. Seriously though, you're thumping your chest after a win in which a drunken QB threw 3 interceptions to you in the first 10 minutes of the game? Really?
Wow. What a pile of filth. This is the work of a mentally disturbed person. It's amazing how easy nutters can get a popular(ish) website these days.
Sorry, I would have replied sooner, but the guy at the mental ward made me take my pills.
You have a serious gambling problem when you use Vegas to condone your bull@#$@ rankingsm which are based on public perception and propaganda. You are clueless !, FLY EAGLES FLY - On the road to victory. Proof will be in the pudding HATER. CHIPPPPPPPPPPP
You know that the people who make money betting on the NFL know it better than anyone, right? If they have a team ranked higher or lower than the consensus, it's best to listen to them. The Eagles are overrated. And yes, I do have a gambling problem. Don't hate.
You're inviting Zimmer to wedding? Congrats! I didn't know you were getting married. What's his name?
I said my "future" wedding. I haven't found the perfect man yet. But I'm not worried. I'm sure I'll find someone who'll make Matt Millen jealous.
Who wants to bet that Walt puts the 3-4 Saints into the top 10 saying they are unbeatable at home and Drew Brees is awesome even though they can't win on the road and their defense couldn't stop a nosebleed. He already has them at no. 14
Oohhh, oooohhh, I want to bet! Can I bet!?
23. Minnesota Vikings (4-5) - Previously: #26 - What I wrote last week:
"I'll refrain from making fun of the Vikings again. This is the second week in a row in which they've edged out a spread victory to make me money. If Mike Zimmer keeps this up, he'll have to be a groomsman at my future wedding."
Boom. Another unit in the bank. I think I'll upgrade Zimmer to best-man status.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Miami Dolphins (5-3). Previously: #14
12. Detroit Lions (6-2). Previously: #15
13. Philadelphia Eagles (6-2). Previously: #12
14. Dallas Cowboys (6-3). Previously: #9
15. San Diego Chargers (5-4). Previously: #6
16. San Francisco 49ers (4-4). Previously: #8
17. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1). Previously: #16
18. Buffalo Bills (5-3). Previously: #21
19. Cleveland Browns (5-3). Previously: #22
20. New York Giants (3-5). Previously: #18
21. Houston Texans (4-4). Previously: #20
22. Washington Redskins (3-6). Previously: #23
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: