Updated: Nov. 1
San Francisco 49ers (1-6) - Previously: 32.
The 49ers didn't have the most eventful bye week. In fact, both of their quarterbacks were just hanging around, leaning against a wall:
Come on, guys, you could at least study some film!
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) - Previously: 28.
The Jaguars nearly beat the Packers and Ravens earlier in the year, so what the hell happened to them? Why were they so terrible at Tennessee? There's one explanation for this. I think you know what it's time for...
DeMarco Murray: Marcus, what the hell are the Jaguars doing? Why are they drunkenly rambling about some penguin?
Marcus Mariota: No idea, DeMarco. The Jaguars don't seem like the brightest team. I'm willing to bet that they'll fire their offensive coordinator for no valid reason.
Cleveland Browns (0-8) - Previously: 29.
I'm sure many of you have seen this already, but even the Browns fans are struggling this year:
But hey, at least they got the back-door push. As Matvei, my former picks podcast co-host pointed out: "Cavs - title, very cool; Indians - maybe title, good too; but Browns - backdoor world champions."
Anyway, let's do an update for Terrelle Pryor, who, according to Charles Woodson, will accumulate 1,800 receiving yards this year:
Terrelle Pryor's Race for 1,800:
Current Receiving Yards: 532
Currently on Pace for: 1,064
Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 158.5
Well, maybe the Jamie Collins trade will help somehow...
Indianapolis Colts (3-5) - Previously: 27.
I was extremely down on the Colts after they ended up costing me three units and a loss in the Supercontest, but then I realized that they didn't have much of a chance after having T.Y. Hilton, Vontae Davis and Mike Adams banged up. Hilton did manage to return to action, but wasn't the same, as he dropped a ton of passes. Still, Indianapolis fans will have to live with the fact that their team lost by double digits to Nick Foles. That will be a permanent stain on the organization.
Chicago Bears (2-6) - Previously: 31.
Jay Cutler fooled us all with his Quarterback Who Actually Gives a Damn costume. It was cute. Unfortunately, it was damaging, as Chicago's victory ended up costing the team valuable draft positioning. As Facebook friend Matheus C. wrote:
"Cutler is the kind of guy that will win some games now that the fans want the team to lose, such a cancer."
Baltimore Ravens (3-4) - Previously: 25.
I can't believe the Ravens were favored by three over the Steelers before the line got taken off the board. I get that Landry Jones was slated to start, but still. Baltimore was missing half its roster prior to the bye! I guess we'll see who comes back following the week off. They'll need at least three key starters returning for me to feel comfortable picking them over Landry Jones, if he starts. That's how bad things have become in Baltimore.
New York Giants (4-3) - Previously: 24.
Overrated NFL Team: The Giants definitely do not deserve to have a winning record. They only won in London because the Rams wrecked themselves with dumb mistakes, and they probably wouldn't have prevailed against Baltimore had the Ravens not lost Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs in the second half. Prior to that, the Giants were not competitive against the Vikings or Packers. It would make more sense to me if they were 2-5 right now, as they can't block, run the ball or get to the quarterback.
New York Jets (3-5) - Previously: 30.
Underrated NFL Team: I can't believe I'm writing this, but the Jets are underrated. We've seen them lose some ugly games earlier in the year, but here's the thing: Their schedule was absolutely brutal, and most of the teams they've lost to are ranked in the top 10. Beginning in Week 3, the Jets lost to the Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals, and yet they were competitive in three of those contests. I think that's pretty impressive, and in hindsight, it's not surprising at all that they've begun playing well against lesser competition.
Houston Texans (5-3) - Previously: 22.
Overrated NFL Team: The Texans are definitely not a 5-3 team. Not even close. Their victories have all been unimpressive wins against middling or horrid opponents. They trailed the Bears in the third quarter. They struggled to put away the Chiefs and Lions. They needed a punt return touchdown to defeat the Titans, whom they were tied at 20 with at the end of the third quarter. And on a Sunday night, the Colts led by two touchdowns, but blew the lead because of injuries and abysmal decision-making by Chuck Pagano. The Texans could easily be 3-5 or worse right now, which is saying a lot considering how easy their strength of schedule has been.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) - Previously: 19.
The Buccaneers couldn't win despite their opponent committing 23 penalties. That's bad. In fact, I'm suddenly worried about my Over 6.5 ticket, especially with a loss, I mean, game coming up against the Falcons. Tampa's safeties can't stop any sort of quality passing attack, so how will the Buccaneers possibly contain Julio Jones? I wouldn't be surprised if Jones racked up 600 receiving yards on Thursday night. I know that would eclipse the NFL record by more than 250 yards, but that's how horrible Tampa's safeties are.
New Orleans Saints (3-4) - Previously: 26.
Don't look now, but the Saints are alive in the NFC South playoff race! They're a game-and-a-half behind the Falcons, and they've been playing better since their bye despite Mark Ingram's best efforts to throw victories away. I don't think the Saints can be dismissed quite yet, as Drew Brees is playing out of his mind. However, if the Saints lose to the 49ers this upcoming weekend, they should be exiled from the NFL for at least five years.
Miami Dolphins (3-4) - Previously: 21.
I considered marking the Dolphins down as an underrated team, which I did prior to the bye, but then I saw that they were 3.5-point favorites over the Jets, which just seems absurd to me. I guess I gave away a spoiler for my NFL Picks later today. Still though, this was a team most considered to be the worst in the league a couple of weeks ago. The spread just seems ridiculous to me.
Detroit Lions (4-4) - Previously: 20.
Overrated NFL Team: There might be some hype surrounding the Lions, but I don't think it's completely deserved. Prior to the Houston loss, they won three games in a row. However, all three victories were at home, and all three contests could've swung the other way. The Redskins lost because of their three fumbles. The Rams went down at the very end, and they outgained Detroit by more than a yard per play. And the Eagles, of course, fumbled the game away when they were running out the clock. I must remind you that before the Lions' three-game home stretch, they had a legitimate defeat at Chicago. People might see them as an average 4-4 team, but given their defensive injuries, they could easily be 2-6 or even 1-7 right now.
Los Angeles Rams (3-4) - Previously: 17.
Underrated NFL Team: Casual bettors miss injuries to significant role players. Part of the reason for that is ESPN focusing on stars and not spending enough time talking about actual substance. Thus, most people may have missed the fact that the Rams were without two of their defensive studs, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers, against the Bills. Despite this, Los Angeles and Buffalo were tied at 16 late in the game when Case Keenum lofted a horrible pick-six. Keenum is obviously not any good, but the Rams weren't themselves because they were missing half of their awesome defensive line. The same thing occurred against the Lions; Quinn was out, and Brockers left the game early. Los Angeles was the better team against the Giants, but just killed itself with dumb mistakes. For that reason, I believe the Rams will provide quality betting opportunities going forward.
Tennessee Titans (4-4) - Previously: 23.
Underrated NFL Team: I think we can say that the Titans are slightly underrated. It's pretty remarkable that they've been in every single game this year. They led the Vikings in the opener. They had a chance to beat the Raiders at the end of the game in Week 3. They lost in Houston because of a punt return the following Sunday. They made some mental errors in their loss to the Colts. Tennessee has either won or lost by single digits in every contest this year, and unlike all of the other teams in the AFC South, it actually has an identity. The Titans run the ball well and get to the quarterback effectively with their front seven. They have some glaring issues - poor receivers, struggling secondary - but they do a number of things extremely well.
Buffalo Bills (4-4) - Previously: 16.
Kinda hard to beat the Patriots when they're not starting an injured third-string quarterback, huh? There's no way the Bills were defeating New England again, especially with Bill Belichick being 10-0 against the spread in same-season divisional revenge games. Belichick is like some scorned girlfriend in those situations. Rex Ryan should be thankful Belichick didn't pour acid into his conditioner.
By the way, Facebook friend Steve V. was the one who informed me that someone threw a dildo onto the football field during the game:
Many of you have seen this already. What all of you haven't seen is what occurred right afterward:
I can't really say I'm surprised by this. It's at least nice to see that Odell Beckham Jr.'s bye week is more productive than Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert's.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) - Previously: 15.
What a rough loss. The silver lining is that the Eagles now know that they can compete with Dallas when the Cowboys are completely unfocused coming off their bye week. In all seriousness, the Eagles are decent enough, but they have some glaring issues. Their running game sucks; their receivers are worse; center Jason Kelce is an abomination; right tackle is a weakness without Lane Johnson; and the cornerbacks are hopeless. Other than that, Philadelphia has some positive things going on.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) - Previously: 11.
Arizona's three victories this year have been against the Jets, 49ers and Buccaneers. Combined record: 7-15. Not good. The Cardinals have some major blocking issues, while Carson Palmer, as I've been saying since August, doesn't appear to be the same. I won't completely write them off yet, but I'm getting close to doing so.
Carolina Panthers (2-5) - Previously: 18.
I listed the Panthers as underrated last week, and I guess I was right. Those days are over now, however, as Carolina is a three-point road favorite in Los Angeles. I've heard people proclaim, "the Panthers are back!" Really? I mean, their front seven was awesome against Arizona, but the Cardinals have some major offensive line woes. Cam Newton didn't look back, though. All he did was whine to the media. Here's a screenshot if you missed it:
What's with that outfit, by the way? Why is he trying to look like a Batman villain?
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) - Previously: 13.
I still can't believe that three-quarters of the public were betting the Bengals as three-point favorites over the Redskins on a neutral field. I know I can't talk too much because I listed Washington as just a two-unit selection. It should've been more, and I should have made the Redskins a Supercontest pick. Oh well. As Emmitt once said, hindsight is 50-50.
I'm so glad these early London games are over. Hopefully, they never return. They really f***ed me up. I don't set my fantasy lineups until Sunday morning, and in one league, I have both Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert. Guess who I started? Jack Doyle, because I was so tired early Sunday morning that I forgot I had them on my bench! F*** you, Roger Goodell. I demand to be reimbursed for my fantasy loss. I'm expecting at least a $200 gift certificate to NFLShop.com. Can't wait until they screw up my order again!
By the way, Eifert is going to make the Bengals more potent going forward for sure. He's the red-zone threat they've desperately been missing, so I think they'll be more consistent in the second half of the year.
Washington Redskins (4-3-1) - Previously: 14.
Underrated NFL Team: I listed the Redskins as overrated a couple of weeks ago, but I'm more than willing to admit when I've made a mistake. The Redskins are underrated, as evidenced by the fact that many people thought that the Bengals were more than three points better than them on a neutral field. Washington was the superior team in London and should've won that contest. The Redskins also should've beaten the Lions the week before, but Matt Jones fumbled three times. Washington had some shaky victories earlier in the year, but Kirk Cousins is playing better now, and it can definitely be argued that the Redskins could be 6-2 at the moment.
Oakland Raiders (6-2) - Previously: 12.
Overrated NFL Team: The Raiders are basically the opposite of the Chargers. They've been close in every game, but they've just been great in the final two minutes. The question needs to be asked, though: Why are they having so much trouble putting away bad teams like the Saints and sub-par ones like the Titans and Buccaneers? The Raiders did win at Baltimore, but they were outgained by about 150 net yards and lost the yards-per-play battle, 5.2-4.8. The Ravens were a drop away from attempting a field goal to win the game. San Diego, meanwhile, would've tied the game had the holder not bobbled the ball. It's no surprise that the Raiders were blown out by the Chiefs at home, Andy Reid coming off a bye or not. And as for the Tampa game, the Buccaneers would've won had they not committed a penalty on fourth down at the very end of regulation. This is pretty telling, too: Save for this past Sunday, the Raiders have been outgained in terms of yards per play in EVERY SINGLE GAME THIS YEAR (including at Jacksonville!)
Green Bay Packers (4-3) - Previously: 10.
Member when Aaron Rodgers used to throw lots of touchdowns to Jordy Nelson and always beat the Falcons, even when playing in Atlanta? I member!
Sorry, Member Berries, those days appear to be long gone. Sure, the Packers nearly won in Atlanta, but considering that the Falcons were also semi-preparing for their Thursday battle against the Buccaneers, the Green Bay teams of old would've prevailed, and may have done so by double digits. Aaron Rodgers showed improvement, but this team is definitely not nearly the same as it has been in previous years. Previous to 2015, to be clear.
Atlanta Falcons (5-3) - Previously: 9.
I still think the Falcons are a bit overrated, but I'm not going to designate them as an overrated team. Not yet. Their victory over the Packers was nice, but Green Bay was shorthanded at receiver and running back, so I'm not sure how impressive that was. Their other marquee win was at Denver, but Paxton Lynch started that contest. That said, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are playing at the top of their games right now, which means Atlanta could conceivably beat anyone.
San Diego Chargers (3-5) - Previously: 8.
Underrated NFL Team: The Chargers beat the Broncos and Falcons in Weeks 6-7, but it doesn't seem like the public is giving them the respect they deserve. San Diego has had horrible luck this year and could easily be 6-2, 7-1, or even 8-0 right now. That misfortune continued at Denver, where a couple of tipped passes and bad goal-line play-calling decided the game. San Diego's defense is much better now with Joey Bosa on the field, as he has been absolutely dominant. I know it might seem strange to praise the defense, given that the Chargers surrendered 30 points to the Falcons, but keep in mind that seven came on a Philip Rivers strip-sack, and Atlanta mustered only three points after halftime. The Chargers limited the Falcons to 6.1 yards per play, which is pretty low considering some of Atlanta's other results this year. The Broncos, meanwhile, barely did anything offensively outside of a couple of drives.
Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1) - Previously: 3.
Overrated NFL Team: The Seahawks are a good team, but they have some major problems. Their defense hasn't been the same without Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor. Their offense, meanwhile, is struggling because of the offensive line and Russell Wilson's injuries. In past years, Seattle has been able to fix its blocking in the second half of the year, but that may not happen in 2016 because Russell Okung isn't around anymore. Wilson also used to compensate for the poor line play with his legs, but he can't scramble because of multiple leg issues.
Dallas Cowboys (6-1) - Previously: 6.
The good news is that the Cowboys beat their hated rival Eagles despite not playing their best game. The bad news is that they lost Morris Claiborne and Barry Church to injuries. I've posted Disaster Grades for both; click on the link to check them out.
Minnesota Vikings (5-2) - Previously: 2.
I don't know how the Vikings can pull it off, solely because of cap space, but they should trade for Joe Thomas or Joe Staley. Maybe even both. Their tackles are atrocious, and Sam Bradford doesn't stand a chance. For more, check out my NFL Game Recaps.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) - Previously: 7.
Is it crazy to think that Nick Foles could be an upgrade over Alex Smith? Foles was better than Smith at Indianapolis. I know, I know, an 80-year-old grandma could throw for 200 yards against the Colts, but Foles seemed like the same player who thrived under Andy Reid and then Chip Kelly in his first year. Besides, it's not like Smith is that good, anyway. That said, it doesn't even matter, as the defense is expected to carry the team, especially when Justin Houston returns.
Denver Broncos (6-2) - Previously: 5.
I think we're getting to the point where Broncos trolls will begin to start yelling at me again for not having their team No. 1 or 2. However, I'd like to discuss Denver's marquee victories. There are two of them. The first was the opener against Carolina, which has proven to not be particularly impressive. The Panthers are now 2-5, and even that game was decided by a field goal. The second was at Cincinnati, and the Bengals, who have also proven to be a disappointment, had to play in four days.
Outside of that, the Broncos demolished the Buccaneers, who lost Gerald McCoy in the first quarter. They beat the Texans in what was a 14-9 contest at the end of the third quarter when Alfred Blue fumbled in the red zone. They managed to defeat the Colts and Chargers at home, both of which were one-score affairs very late in the games.
That said, I'm not going to list Denver as overrated because its defense is incredible, and it's fully capable of carrying the team deep into the postseason again.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) - Previously: 4.
The Steelers move up despite not playing. Best bye week ever!
It actually was a good bye week. That's because Ben Roethlisberger has healed up enough to practice Monday, and it sounds like he'll be on the field come Sunday. So much for being out 4-6 weeks!
New England Patriots (7-1) - Previously: 1.
I had the urge to drop the Patriots in my power rankings in the wake of the Jamie Collins trade, which you can get grades for by clicking the link. However, I figured that would be trolling the New England fans a bit too much. Besides, I needed to see the Vikings have a dominant performance at Chicago, and that didn't happen. There's really no one else deserving of the top spot.