New England Patriots (9-0) - Previously: #1 - Too many injuries. The Patriots are barely hanging on to the No. 1 spot right now because they're too banged up. Their offensive line was already in shambles and wasn't protecting Tom Brady well enough, while some valuable weapons like Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman have gone down for the rest of the year. I think even the most homer of the Patriot fans would agree that they don't have the best team anymore. Then again, someone on the team could always do something like this...
Hmm... the Patriots did come back against the Giants from a 10-point deficit...
Carolina Panthers (9-0) - Previously: #3 - If everyone thinks an upcoming game is a trap game, and the players are constantly asked if that game is going to be a trap game, guess what? That game is not going to be a trap game! Greg Olsen even said so himself prior to kickoff: "We're not taking this game lightly."
Good job by the Panthers for taking care of business, but come on, Greg. You could've at least been a bit amusing by trolling the media. What Greg should've said was: "Yeah, so, we're not even going to bother showing up for this game. Half of the guys are drunk already." Even if not true, this response would've been infinitely better.
Arizona Cardinals (7-2) - Previously: #4 - Everyone was pointing to the Cardinals' schedule to indicate that they might be fraudulent, but they've destroyed their competition this season, for the most part. They're not the 2013 Chiefs, who began the year 9-0 by barely squeaking by Case Keenum and Charlie Frye. The Cardinals are one of the top teams in the NFL and a sure-fire Super Bowl contender, and they proved that by going into Seattle and impressively beating their arch rival.
Minnesota Vikings (7-2) - Previously: #8 - The Vikings easily could've laid an egg in Oakland; following an overtime victory, Minnesota had a non-conference foe on its slate prior to battling the Packers. They, however, showed more fight and spirit than the Raiders and prevailed in a blowout as a consequence.
I'm not a Vikings fan, but I feel like an honorary one. I've been on this team since October of last year, betting them constantly, so I'm happy to see them finally getting the recognition they deserve. They're extremely well coached; they sport a terrific defense; they boast a tremendous running game; and their quarterback makes big plays when needed. Teddy Bridgewater's numbers aren't pretty, but he always seems to come through when needed most.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-1) - Previously: #2 - Andy Dalton has begun his annual meltdown. His terrible play on the field was so bad that it continued into the press conference, where he responded to a J.J. Watt comment like this:
Ugh, are you really pulling the disappointed-parent act, Andy? Come on, man. The least Dalton could have done was have some fun with it. Perhaps he could have replied, "That's horrible. That nickname is way too long and too forced. I would have gone with Red Riding Hood. Even though the gun similarities aren't there, it's just one syllable more. Red Ryder B.B. Gun is just a mouthful. That's just awful. Wow. Come on, J.J. Step up your game."
As you can see, I have a knack for responding to hate mailers. Butt-hurt players like Dalton should hire me for advice on how to respond to critics, whether it's fans or uncreative opposing players.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) - Previously: #9 - Is this real life right now? How the hell did Ben Roethlisberger play that well after initially being ruled out several weeks in the wake of an "injury" he "suffered" against the Raiders? I'm beginning to think Roethlisberger was never hurt to begin with. Yeah, that's right - Pittsburgh is totally faking it! What a great plan. I could see Mike Tomlin whispering to Roethlisberger, "Hey, big guy, pretend to be hurt and then we'll say you're out for a while, but you'll just come into the game on the second drive next week just so we catch our opponent totally off-guard." A brilliant plan, though Tomlin and Roethlisberger should've saved it for a tougher foe than Cleveland.
By the way, I thought it was hilarious that the Steelers wanted a hobbled Roethlisberger as Landry Jones' backup rather than QBDK. It just shows how little faith they had in the dog-killing psychopath. They even installed Heath Miller as the emergency quarterback, and Miller probably would've done a better job than QBDK. Wait, no, that's wrong. He definitely would've done a better job.
Seattle Seahawks (4-5) - Previously: #7 - There's no shame in losing to the No. 4 team, even if at home. It wouldn't surprise me if the Seahawks made a run into the playoffs, but their odds of reaching the Super Bowl seem long because of their ridiculous offensive line issues. If only they never traded Max Unger. If they had a time machine, they could travel back and negate that deal. The only concern there is accidentally erasing themselves from existence if they managed to screw up the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.
Wait, what's that? I used that joke already this year? NOOOOO! If only I had a time machine to go back and erase that joke from my old power rankings so I could use it now. Then again, screwing up the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance myself would totally suck.
Denver Broncos (7-2) - Previously: #5 - I honestly had no idea what to do with the Broncos. They looked like complete dog s*** in an embarrassing home loss to the Chiefs, and Peyton Manning is completely done. Then again, they still have one of the NFL's top defenses and a couple of dynamic play-makers on offense.
Speaking of Manning, Facebook friend Jay B. sent this to me:
I think you know what it's time for...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Derek Anderson: WTF why the hell am I sober? This is ridiculous! Someone stole my magic flask, and based on the stats I'm seeing, I think I know who it is.
*** After a flight to Denver... ***
Derek Anderson: Peyton, you fiend, why the hell did you steal my magic flask?
Peyton Manning: Thhahsttss a fifirirst rreaatre quuessooo diippp hic!
Derek Anderson: Peyton, this is not a Nationwide commercial! I need you to think clearly! Where is my magic flask!?
Peyton Manning: OOhhh yyeaahah I pputut thhehe fllasskk in mmyyy chicickenn parrmm sannddwicich noo wondnnder iiitt tassttteed soooo goododod hic!
Derek Anderson: Ugh, you idiot! Now I'm going to have to wait for you to poop it out, you son of a b***h!
Green Bay Packers (6-3) - Previously: #6 - The Packers should be in the bottom 10, based on the way they're playing right now. They've been absolutely horrible, and it extends way beyond this losing streak. Barely beating the 49ers, Rams and Chargers should've set off alarms. However, it was nothing like losing to the Lions at home. I still can't believe that happened. My bank account can't believe it either.
As with the Broncos, I didn't know what to do with Green Bay. I initially placed them outside of the top 10, but based on how many other mediocre teams there are in the NFL, I just couldn't keep them out. Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the NFL, and I have to believe that he'll somehow find a way to get his squad out of this horrible rut they've been in.
New York Giants (5-5) - Previously: #10 - I'm sad that the Giants bumped the Raiders out of the top 10. I think they deserve this spot, though. They handled themselves well against the Patriots and would've pulled the upset had Landon Collins held on to the football. They've been much better since Odell Beckham Jr. fully recovered.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 11 - Bottom 10
32. Cleveland Browns (2-8) - Previously: #26 - Only the Browns could injure a quarterback to allow Ben Roethlisberger enter the game. This franchise is cursed, and they're the worst team in the NFL with Johnny Douchebag at quarterback.
The good news is that Cleveland is now in complete control of the No. 1 overall pick. The bad news is that this upcoming draft kind of sucks, at least in terms of the quarterbacks. I wonder which crappy signal-caller they'll end up selecting.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) - Previously: #32 - Almost all of the bad teams won in Week 10. This includes the Jaguars, though they achieved the luckiest victory of all time. Only the 2015 Ravens could drop an interception, stop playing when the opposing quarterback tripped over his own two feet, tackle him by the face mask, get screwed by the officials, who didn't recognize that the offensive line wasn't set, and watch a horrible kicker nail a 53-yard game-winner.
30. Detroit Lions (2-7) - Previously: #31 - I'd say the Lions cost me $550 because they covered at Lambeau, but I feel like that was all Green Bay's doing. I was not impressed with Detroit at all.
Congratulations to the Lions nonetheless. They won for the first time in Green Bay since 1991. This picture tells the whole story (thanks, Joey P.):
And I was a 9-year-old kid sporting an 80s mullet. Good times!
29. Houston Texans (4-5) - Previously: #30 - Here's the Week 10 NFL Recap, including Bengals-Texans.
Here were some memorable tweets from Jim Irsay during the Texans game:
COLT ARE ON A BUY THIS WEEK SO IM WATCHING THIS GAME BECAUSE I HAVE A BIG BET ON THIS GAME PLUS THERES NOTHING ELSE ON TV...
I FOUND THIS GR8 WEBSITE WALTER FOOTBALL HE GIVES OUT PICKS FOR FREE FOR EZ $$$$ WHICH IS GOOD CUZ I NEED MORE $$$ TO PAY FOR THE HOOKERS & BLOW
Check out my @FanDuel Lineup and use promo code IRSAY for 20% bonus
WALTER FOOTBALL SAID THE BENGALS ARE GOING TO CRUSH THE TEXAS SO I UNLOADED 100 DIMES ON THIS GAME
BENGALS UP 3-0 OK GOOD THIS IS GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN THE 100 DIMES WILL BE MINE AND SO WILL THE HOOKERS AND BLOW
UGH COMMON TYLER EIFART WAIT DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS NAME SOUNDS LIKE IT SOUNDS LIKE EYE FART GET IT LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
UGH TEXAS TIED THIS GAME AT 3 TO 3. WHY HAVENT THE BENGAL DONE ANYTHING LATELY COMMON I NEED TO WIN THIS
6-3 AT HALF. BENGALS GOT THIS. OH WAIT I JUST CHECKED AND THEY HAVE TO WIN BY 11+ POINTS WTF WHO WOULD PICK THEM TODO THAT!?!?
ANOTHER BENGAL PUNTED!!!! WTF IS GOING ON HERE WHY CANT THEY SCORE IM GOING TO LOOSE ALL OF MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!
HAHAHAHA BRIAN HOYER GOT A CONCUSHIN WHAT A PANZY IF I EVER PLAYED FOOTBALL AND GOT A CONCUSHIN ID KEEP PLAYING EVEN IF MY EYES WERE BLEEDING!!!!!!1 WHAT THE F***************** TEXANS NOW LEADING 10-6 SOME HOMO DEANDREW HOSKINS GOT A TD THIS IS HORRABLE IM GOING TO LOSTED ALL MONEY!!!!!
TEXAS WIN GOOD BYE HOOKERS AND BLOW I COULDA HAD MUCH FUN TONIGHT. IF ANY1 SEES THAT WALTER FOOTBALL HOMO TELL HIM IM GONNA KILL HIM AND THEN REAP HIM!!!!!!1
28. San Francisco 49ers (3-6) - Previously: #29 - I mentioned this on the podcast, but beat writer Tim Kawakami reported one of the primary reasons the 49ers let go of Jim Harbaugh in favor of a pizza delivery guy. Here's what he wrote:
"A huge thing for Jed York and his inner circle early last season: Believed Harbaugh didn't honor the new stadium."
Didn't honor the new stadium? What the hell does that mean? Was he supposed to sacrifice some of his blood for it? I don't understand. York is either insane, or the abomination that he built in Santa Clara is a living entity, much like the Wall, for you Game of Thrones book readers. I'm actually leaning toward the latter, as "honoring the stadium" sounds way too crazy to be made up.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) - Previously: #28 - The Buccaneers won, I guess, but it was really the Cowboys who lost, thanks to an unnecessary hold, a dropped pass and a lack of effort from the receiver. Afterward, there was a ceremony for Dallas...
If I were Tony Romo, I'd still pretend to be dead. Who the hell would want to play with Derp Bryant and DE Woman Beater?
26. Baltimore Ravens (2-7) - Previously: #27 - I already talked about the Ravens, so here's my weekly Colin Kaepernick meme, which I nearly forgot to post:
Looks like a box-office smash!
25. Tennessee Titans (2-7) - Previously: #24 - The Titans have fewer wins than those behind them, but I think they deserve to be rated this "high." Sunday marked just the second time the Titans weren't very competitive with their opponent when they've had a healthy Marcus Mariota on the field the entire time. The other instance occurred in a Week 2 loss to the Browns, but that was following a blowout upset, and it happened to be a while ago anyway.
24. San Diego Chargers (2-7) - Previously: #21 - Like the Titans, San Diego is better than its record indicates. I'm sure things would be different for the Chargers if they actually had fans to cheer them on during games. Instead, they'll be moving to Los Angeles, where they'll be playing in front of other people who don't give a damn.
Seriously, the Los Angeles idea is so stupid. L.A. is full of fake people who don't care about anything except stupid celebrities and crappy movies. There used to be two teams in L.A., and they couldn't draw any people, so why would it be different now? The NFL should consider moving the Chargers and Rams to Portland and Oklahoma City. The markets aren't as big, but I think they'd do extremely well there. Both cities have passionate fan bases that are starved for NFL franchises.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-6) - Previously: #16 - When grading the Rob Ryan firing, I noted that Ryan must have possessed some unflattering pictures of one of the Saints' higher-ups, which would explain how he held on to his job for so long. Well, it wasn't a surprise that Sean Payton came out and said Ryan wasn't fired after all. I guess that proves it - Payton is the one with bestiality porn on his computer.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Oakland Raiders (4-5). Previously: #10
12. Dallas Cowboys (2-7). Previously: #19 (moves up because Tony Romo is back)
13. Buffalo Bills (5-4). Previously: #13
14. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5). Previously: #22
15. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5). Previously: #12
16. Chicago Bears (4-5). Previously: #20
17. St. Louis Rams (4-5). Previously: #11
18. New York Jets (5-4). Previously: #17
19. Atlanta Falcons (6-3). Previously: #18
20. Indianapolis Colts (4-5). Previously: #15
21. Washington Redskins (4-5). Previously: #25
22. Miami Dolphins (4-5). 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: