Green Bay Packers (6-0) - Previously: #1 - I considered dropping the Packers out of the No. 1 spot after they nearly lost to the Chargers and cost me five units in the process. I have some major concerns about a defense that surrendered 550 net yards to a team whose offensive line was in shambles and couldn't move the chains on the Steelers as a result. Meanwhile, the Packers were stagnant on the other side of the ball, though I suppose Ty Montgomery getting knocked out, and both Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy being hurt didn't help matters.
However, Green Bay exploded after the bye last year. I'm expecting similar results this season, especially if everyone gets healthy.
New England Patriots (5-0) - Previously: #2 - Sure, the Patriots beat a team they always dominate, but let's talk about that goofy fake punt play. There are a couple of explanations for it. First, Matvei texted me the following:
"My wife's explanation is that Belichick is controlling Pagano by a chip implanted in his head."
Hey, when it comes to Belichick's tactics, you can't rule anything out. However, I think this was more on the Colts, who sent the wrong two guys on the field:
First, Ryan Grigson spends tons of picks on crappy players, and now he signs these two a**holes? Fire him now!
Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) - Previously: #3 - I considered moving the Bengals up to No. 1 this week. I really did. Cincinnati has been ruining tons of sharp betting situations this year. For instance, the Raiders were in a great spot Week 1, and have since played well, yet the Bengals crushed them. Similarly, the Bills were up for a statement game this past weekend, ready to prove that they could win without their starting quarterback. Nope. Sammy Watkins' injury helped, but Cincinnati destroyed Buffalo.
The Bengals still haven't lost against the spread this year, which is amazing. Even better is that they haven't scored fewer than 24 points in any game thus far.
Arizona Cardinals (4-2) - Previously: #4 - I'm not dropping the Cardinals after that abomination of a game on Sunday. I got a text saying that Ed Hochuli should be arrested, and I agree. The one-sided officiating in that contest was ridiculous. Arizona legitimately outgained Pittsburgh by 150 net yards and managed way more first downs (21-14), yet somehow lost by 12. OK.
By the way, I did some fun research Sunday night out of frustration. Did you know that if you bet the Steelers when they've gotten 30 percent of the money or less (like this week) or faded them when they've received 70 percent of the money or more, you'd be 10-5 ATS since the beginning of 2014? This is highly suspicious, especially when considering that the Rooney family made their fortune running a sportsbook when that was legal.
So, in other words, it's not whether Hochuli was paid off; it's how much was deposited in his offshore bank account.
Carolina Panthers (5-0) - Previously: #8 - My sincerest apologies to the Panthers for ranking them as the lowest undefeated team last week. To be fair, their strength of schedule was a joke prior to Seattle, but this most-recent win was impressive...
...Or was it? The Seahawks are usually great at home, but consider that A) They had a Thursday game against the rival 49ers coming up, and they sat Bobby Wagner for that reason, and B) Seattle hasn't been that impressive as hosts this year, even nearly losing to the 1-5 Lions in a night game. Despite my sincerest apologies earlier, I think this victory could cause the Panthers to be overrated going forward.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) - Previously: #13 - Yes, the Steelers shoot up from No. 13 to No. 6. The win against the Cardinals has very little to do with it, given the Ed Hochuli shenanigans I mentioned earlier. The move up was prompted by how much better this team looked without the dog-killing quarterback. Landry Jones, who has been so inept in three preseasons as a pro, was nearly flawless with all of the weaponry the Steelers possess. I can't even imagine how lethal this offense is going to be once Ben Roethlisberger returns, which is sounding like it could be sooner than expected. With the defense not being terrible, Pittsburgh has a legitimate chance to make a Super Bowl run.
Denver Broncos (6-0) - Previously: #7 - How bad has Peyton Manning been this year? Amid all of the lollipop throws and awful interceptions, we almost missed this incredible play (thanks, Mike L.):
So, this is what it's come to? Oh, man. The Broncos are going down, and they're going down hard come playoff time.
Seattle Seahawks (2-4) - Previously: #6 - I'll excuse the Seahawks for their loss to the Panthers because of their impending matchup against the 49ers, and I'll recall that they had the undefeated Bengals dead to rights on the road the previous week. However, if Seattle loses at San Francisco, say goodbye to them as a top-10 team in these rankings.
By the way, this stat is staggering:
At least they had the lead in the previous five games, you know? That's a silver lining.
Atlanta Falcons (5-1) - Previously: #5 - The Falcons, like the Panthers, were undefeated but had several soft wins heading into Week 6. The difference was that while Carolina won in Seattle, Atlanta lost at the crappy Saints. Yeah, I know it's a rivalry dominated by the home team, but this Saints squad barely beat Brandon Weeden and was blown out by Sam Bradford the previous two weeks. There's no excuse for losing that game.
Minnesota Vikinga (3-2) - Previously: #11 - I've been asked by multiple people, "Where are the Jets in your top 10?" My response to everyone was just two words: "Ryan Fitzpatrick."
Fitzpatrick had a great game against the Redskins, but he sucks. Be warned, Jets fans. Just when you begin completely believing in him, he's going to disappoint you in the worst way possible and suck out your soul in the process. He's done this to every single team he's been on, and you're next. Start preparing now. Build a bomb shelter. Stock your shelves. Hoard all of the medicine and water you can find. Fitzpatrick is coming to suck the soul out of your body, and he cannot be stopped.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) - Previously: #32 - The Jaguars should just change their team name to Forever32. Because they're remaining No. 32 in these power rankings for all of eternity. How were they a favorite!? Seriously, this team couldn't even win in Tampa, and everyone wins there. And then I heard Sunday morning that according to Jay Kornegay of the Westgate sportsbook, the sharps were on the Jaguars. What self-respecting "sharp" put money on this horrible team? Were they drunk whilst doing so? And I just used "whilst" in a sentence, so that's cool.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) - Previously: #31 - You didn't see it, the Buccaneers lost to Bye Week, 24-3. Jameis Winston went 11-of-30 for 76 yards and four interceptions. He also fumbled twice.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) - Previously: #30 - I said it on the podcast, but I don't think the Chiefs are going to win more than three games this year. There's some turmoil in the locker room regarding the coaching staff I can't get into, and Jamaal Charles being gone has ruined that entire offense. Here's how bad it's gotten:
One point... against the Bears!? And yet, I bet three units on Kansas City in that game. FML.
29. Chicago Bears (2-4) - Previously: #29 - The senile Walt Coleman, who is still somehow officiating despite hundreds of horrific calls throughout his failed career, screwed the Bears out of a win Sunday. However, he really helped them long-term, as the loss improved their draft positioning, which is what matters most at this point. Then again, it'll only put Chicago in position to draft a mediocre quarterback who will undoubtedly fail.
Here's the Cutler meme of the week. Cutler tried to absolve himself from blame following the loss to the Lions:
28. Detroit Lions (1-5) - Previously: #27 - The Lions move down despite winning because they easily could've lost at home to one of the worst teams in the NFL. Make sense? Promise not to send me hate mail for it sounding like, "DERRR WALK MOVED DOWN TEH LINES AFTER THEY WINNED DERP?"
The Lions got their one win out of the way. It would now benefit them greatly if they lost every game for the rest of the year in order to land Laremy Tunsil. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter:
27. Houston Texans (2-4) - Previously: #28 - I like the Texans better with Brian Hoyer, so I've moved them all the way up to No. 27 from No. 28. Also, I mentioned this in the recaps, but I think DeAndre Hopkins is a must-start in DFS from now on. The guy can't be covered, and he's getting billions of targets each week.
I can't move up the Texans too much because they did lose to Matt Hasselbeck the previous week. Speaking of the Colts, here were some memorable tweets from Jim Irsay during the Sunday night game:
ITS TIME FOR THE GAME OF THE YEAR. IVE BEEN WAITING ON REVENGE FOR DEFLATEGATES SINCE JANUARY
TOM BRADY THINKS HE CAN JUST DEFELATE FOOTBALLS AGAINST MY TEAM. WELL WERE GONNA DEFELATE HIM AND HIS WIFE DURING THE GAME!!!
"@NFLCommish Please refrain from talking about spouses." YOUR A F**ING SPOUSE YOU F***ING FA**OT IM GONNA KILL YOU MOTHERF****ER
"@NFLCommish I'm taking away your twitter again." COME AND F***ING GET IT YOU PIECE OF S*** I'LL KILL YOU AND YOU'RE FAMILY
YEAH!!!! COLTS UP 7-0 SOON WERE GONNA BE UP 70-0 AND BRADYS GONNA HAVE TO CRY DEFLATED TEARS HAAHAHAHAHAHAHA
PICK SIX BY MICHAEL ADAMS HAHAHAHAHA TAKE THAT BRADY BET YOU WISH YOU COULD TOUCH DEFALTED BALLS RIGHT NOW YOU QUEER!!!!!
ugh wtf is going on here why are the patriets winning right now this is serious bs bradys probably using defelated footballs agian
FAKE PUNT!!! LETS DO THIS!!!
what the hell was that
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?!?!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY HAT THE F*** WAS THAT!?!??!?! THATS IT EVERYONES F***ING FIRED! EVERYONE PAGANO GRIFSON LUCK GORE HILTON MY COOK EVERYONES F***ING FIRED!!!!!
"@NFLCommish You can't fire people during a game." I SWEAR TO GOD GOODELL IF I HERE ONE MORE THING FROM U IM GONNA KILL YOU'RE FAMILY AND EAT THEM I SWEAR
26. Baltimore Ravens (1-5) - Previously: #17 - "This is a throw Joe Flacco makes in his sleep on a normal day!" - a CBS announcer. Umm... Flacco sleeps during the day? Is he some kind of vampire?
Flacco made some Jay Cutler-type #yolo throws against the 49ers, which has to be a huge concern. However, I want to be careful about not placing Baltimore too low, given that the team hasn't lost by more than six points all year.
25. San Francisco 49ers (2-4) - Previously: #26 - This was a proud week for the 49ers. Not only did they achieve their second victory, but their Twitter feed made a huge announcement:
Wow, that's great! Good job, Niners! That totally makes up for the losses of Jim Harbaugh and all of those great players.
24. Tennessee Titans (1-4) - Previously: #24 - Marcus Mariota must've had something bad to say about Half-Korean, Half-Norweigan transsexuals, because he got his privilege checked on Sunday.
Mariota, of course, was hurt, so perhaps he could've challenged the Dolphins much like he did the Colts back in Week 3. Speaking of the Colts again...
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: