New England Patriots (7-0) - Previously: #3 - It's kind of crazy how bad the overall play in the NFL has been this year that by default, I have to place a team that can't pass protect at all No. 1 in my power rankings. These Patriots are not a great team, but there aren't any great teams in the league this season, so might as well put the best quarterback-coach combination at the top, right?
By the way, the 36-7 victory over the Dolphins was not a great win. It was fine, but Miami lost its right tackle in the first quarter and then Cameron Wake right after halftime, effectively reverting to the squad that was blown out by the Bills in Week 3. That, and PC Head Coach apparently thinks cheating is OK, so he didn't feel the need to check any privileges.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-0) - Previously: #2 - The Bengals needed a more-convincing win to move up to No. 1 this week, but Andy Dalton looked like the Dalton of old in a high-pressure game. Despite the win - Le'Veon Bell's absence obviously had something to do with that - Cincinnati fans can't feel good right now.
Arizona Cardinals (6-2) - Previously: #4 - The Cardinals were down 20-7 at Cleveland, this is true, but give them credit for rallying back and even covering for good measure. As a comparison to a team two spots below, Arizona took care of business for its bettors, whereas Denver didn't - and this is considering that the Browns had Joe Haden and Tashaun Gipson available for that contest (Haden for parts of it), while the Broncos didn't have to deal with them.
Bruce Arians is now 27-13 against the spread. If his Jeff Caps weren't enough of a sign, I think this pretty much confirms that Arians has some sort of gambling past. I could see him taking bets from people in some shady Italian restaurant and then getting his thugs to beat up people who didn't pay him right away. Maybe that's why it took him so long to become a head coach.
Carolina Panthers (7-0) - Previously: #5 - Here's the Week 8 NFL Recap, including Panthers-Colts.
Not discussed in the recap were some memorable tweets from Jim Irsay during the Colts game:
I LOVE MONDAY NITE FOOTBALL WOOOOO WAIT WHOSE PLAYING TONIGHT LET ME CHECK MY TV GUIDE
WOW COLT ARE PLAYING!? NO1 TOLD ME SO I DIDNT COME GO TO THE GAME WHY DIDNT ANYONE TELL ME YOUR ALL A**HOLES!!!
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FUMBLE ALL READY!!!! UGHHHH!!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO ARE CENTER KHALID HOLMES WHAT DID HE HAVE A MUSLIM HOLLIDAY TO CELABRATE!?!?!?
MAN ITS RAINING REAL HARD IN CAROLINA IM SORTA GLAD I DIDNT GO TO TEH GAME LOL
OH MAN COLT ARE GETTING BLOWN OUT NOW IM REAL HAPPY NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS GAME TONIGHT MAYBE ILL CALL SOME HOOKERS TO SPICE THINGSUP
LOOK AT THE PROTESTORS HANGING UP A GAY PINK SIGN HAHAHAHA HEY PROTESTORS YOUR GAY HAHAHAHAHAHA
YOU KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD DO TO PROTESTORS I SAY SHOOT THEM NOW!!! FIRE GUNS AT THEM AND KILL THEM ALL AHAHAHAHAHAHA
HERE COMES ANDREW LUCKS COMEBACK I MEAN BACK DOOR COVER. THIS GUY CANT WIN BUT HES GR8 AT MAKING MY BESTS CASH THATS FOR SHORE
COLTS ARE GONNA COVER COLTS ARE GONNA COVER WOOHOO MORE MONEY FOR HOOKERS YAAAAA!!! WAIT... WHAT ANDREW LUCK ACTUALLY SENTED THIS GAME TO OVER TIMES??? WOOOW MAYBE HES GOOD!!!
HA NEVER MIND LUCK THREW PASS INTERSECPTION AND PANTHOR WIN OH WELL HOLD ON DOOR BELLS RINGING AND THE HOOKERS ARE HERE! PARTY TIME!!!!
Denver Broncos (7-0) - Previously: #6 - Denver's defense is amazing, but I still don't trust Peyton Manning. Some of his passes took a little too long to reach his receivers, and his interception was ugly. Philip Rivers recently torched the Packers for 503 yards, so Manning getting two-thirds of the way there isn't as great as it initially looked on paper.
Michael Irvin wasn't impressed either. If you didn't catch GameDay Final, Irvin sounded like he snorted some coke before the show (seriously) because he was talking very quickly without making any sense. Here's what he had to say about Manning:
I BEEN SAVING THIS NUGGET ALL NIGHT. HERE'S THE NUGGET, LISTEN HERE. PEYTON MANNING THREW FOR A LOT OF YARDAGE. BUT HE DIDN'T THROW NO TOUCHDOWNS! HE DIDN'T THROW NO TOUCHDOWNS!
Wow, thanks for that "nugget" you've been saving for all night, Mike. I'm sure those of us who didn't watch the game and didn't look at the box score are shocked by your "nugget."
Irvin also had this to say when Manning talked about not listening to his detractors:
THAT AINT MAKE ANY SENSE! HOW CAN YOU TELL SOMEBODY YOU WANT TO TELL SOMEBODY THEY WERE WRONG BUT DON'T WANT TO SAY IT WHEN YOU SAY THAT YOU NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT PEOPLE AREN'T SAYING IN THE FIRST PLACE!? IT DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE!
Coke is bad, kids. Don't snort it.
Green Bay Packers (6-1) - Previously: #1 - And no, I didn't snort any coke myself when I dropped the Packers five spots. I normally don't like to overreact to one game, but it's been more than one game with the Packers. They've just looked off for most of this season. Ever since Week 4, they had trouble putting away the 49ers and Rams, and then they were one pass away from being sent to overtime by a San Diego squad that is currently 2-6.
There's something wrong with Green Bay. The team can't pass protect at all - the two tackles are playing terribly - while the defense is having major issues against the pass. A Super Bowl defense shouldn't allow 503 yards to any quarterback, or 340 yards to a decrepit one. I thought the Packers would shore things up after the bye like they did last year, but they looked worse.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) - Previously: #7 - The Seahawks eked out a victory in Dallas, which is tougher than it sounds. The Cowboys' defense is playing on a high level right now, so I can't say I'm surprised that Seattle was limited to just 13 points. However, the offensive line continues to be a major issue that will end up costing the Seahawks at the end.
By the way, how horrible was the officiating in that game? It was terrible for both teams. Jason Garrett looked like he was going to lose his mind on one instance, as he kept shouting "CAAAAAAARL!" to Carl Cheffers, but to no avail. Garrett reminded me of Rick from the Walking Dead. CAAAAAAAARL! CAAAAAAAAAAAAAARL!
Minnesota Vikings (5-2) - Previously: #10 - It's gratifying that the Vikings are 5-2, as I've been on them from the start last year. I feel like that along with the Raiders, I've bet them more than any other team since the middle of 2014. Those two franchises are single-handedly (double-handedly?) keeping me from being completely bankrupt, so thank you, Minnesota and Oakland!
I still feel like the Viking aren't getting the credit they deserve. The public perception is that they're a cute team with an unsustainable 5-2 record. They are for real, however. Their defense is amazing, and they can run the ball just as well as anyone. Stefon Diggs is awesome, and while Teddy Bridgewater has his ups and downs, he has plenty of room for growth.
Oakland Raiders (4-3) - Previously: #16 - THE RAIDERS ARE IN THE TOP 10 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE EARLY 2003!
The Raiders deserve this ranking. Think about it: They could easily be 6-1 right now. Their two losses since the opener were at Chicago, which the Bears won on a last-second field goal, and against Denver, which featured a pick-six as the Raiders were in position to take the lead in the fourth quarter with a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
The only thing I'm bothered by are a couple of loser a**hole Raider fans who have been posting on my comment boards, criticizing me for once saying that Derek Carr wasn't a good quarterback. First of all, Carr wasn't good. There's a reason he was drafted after Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel. However, some quarterbacks take to coaching better than others, and improve accordingly, and Carr has done that. Second, I've been betting the Raiders all year, so don't chastise me for being a hater. I love the Raiders because, as mentioned, they and the Vikings are the only reasons I'm not living in a garbage can right now.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4) - Previously: #9 - Ugh, Le'Veon Bell. I think the Steelers still deserve to be in the top 10, as Ben Roethlisberger will improve as he gets healthier, but if Bell is gone for the year, their chances of winning the Super Bowl have gotten pretty slim.
By the way, I should mention the Falcons, who have dropped out my top 10 despite being 6-2. They suck. They nearly lost to the Redskins; got blown out in New Orleans; had trouble putting away the Titans; and were defeated at home by the Buccaneers. They need to earn my trust again before I consider slotting them back in the top 10.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) - Previously: #32 - The Patriots may not be the only team that cheats. Roger Goodell needs to hire some shady guy with a mustache to look in on the Jaguars as well, because they must have done something with Julius Thomas this summer:
How does a guy go from being an above-average athlete to a highly athletic one in just eight months? What is Jacksonville doing to make this happen? Is the team's pool filled with magic water that turns above-average athletes into highly athletic players?
31. Detroit Lions (1-7) - Previously: #27 - Jim Caldwell used halftime of the London game to update his resume. He was actually hired instantly. In case you missed it in the second half, Caldwell worked his new job right away:
30. San Francisco 49ers (2-6) - Previously: #29 - It's OK, Colin Kaepernick. If your NFL career doesn't work out, you can become the next Caveman in those Geico commercials:
Just thought of a great idea: What if they made a sitcom about the Caveman from the Geico commercial? I think it would be totally awesome, and everyone would watch it.
29. Houston Texans (3-5) - Previously: #30 - The Texans have now beaten the Buccaneers, Jaguars and Titans. What a real group of winners!
By the way, I just found myself wondering if Ryan Mallett knows that Daylight Savings Time is over. Do you think he woke up Sunday morning, assumed that the clock on his microwave was broken, and then passed out in his own vomit again? I feel like this really could have happened.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) - Previously: #31 - The Buccaneers had a nice win in Atlanta, but it's difficult to upgrade them very much, since the overrated Falcons had four turnovers, and all.
By the way, I think this guy might not be the smartest bulb in the toolbox:
I wish I could figure out what this guy is saying, but who in the world is Hernadez!?!?!?
27. Tennessee Titans (1-6) - Previously: #24 - Titans fans, you just caught a glimpse of what life would be like if you didn't draft Marcus Mariota. Just be thankful that your front office came to its senses and moved on from Zach Mettenberger as the starter.
24. Washington Redskins (2-4) - Previously: #22 - I felt bad moving the Bears out of the bottom 10 because it meant no more Jay Cutler meme. How about a meme of another crappy quarterback instead?
I guess RGIII ran out of money.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (3-5) - Previously: #26 - On the podcast, Matvei and I joked about how Andy Reid would have trouble clearing customs because he'd try to sneak an emergency pizza onto the plane headed for London. Well, Reid arrived in London, but it's unclear if he was subject to a full-body search. Probably not, as it would've taken TSA five weeks to thoroughly search him.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. St. Louis Rams (4-3). Previously: #15
12. New Orleans Saints (4-4). Previously: #17
13. Atlanta Falcons (6-2). Previously: #9
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4). Previously: #13
15. New York Giants (4-4). Previously: #14
16. New York Jets (4-3). Previously: #11
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-5). Previously: #18
18. Buffalo Bills (3-4). Previously: #19
19. Miami Dolphins (3-4). Previously: #12
20. Indianapolis Colts (3-5). Previously: #20
21. San Diego Chargers (2-6). Previously: #21
22. Chicago Bears (2-5). Previously: #28
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: