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2017-2018 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

1. Chiefs (+0)

Kansas City follows a dominant win against New England with an impressive home finish against Philadelphia, who’s playing like a playoff team right now.

2. Raiders (+0)

Derek Carr lights up the Jets with Michael Crabtree hauling in three touchdowns.

3. Broncos (+10)

They looked very good in week one against the Chargers and followed it up with a dominant performance against the Cowboys. Was arguably the best game on Sunday. Trevor Siemian looks like more than a game manager and the No Fly Zone is alive and well.

4. Eagles (+0)

Hard for me to fault the Eagles when they played a competitive game against the Chiefs. Carson Wentz is far superior to Jared Goff and looks like a young franchise staple, though we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves just yet.

5. Patriots (+0)

I’m reluctant to move them after a concerning start last week, but the Saints gave the Patriots a chance to sure up their secondary. They were up to the task. Brady looked like himself.

6. Cowboys (-3)

Dallas got throttled. The best offensive line in football could not contain the Denver pass rush. Prescott played well despite a lack of a running game. Not well enough that he can beat a team like Denver by himself, but well. Cowboys defense looked out of sorts.

7. Lions (+0)

Stafford beats a dismal Giants team. Not much news here.

8. Falcons (+2)

After a head-turning score against Buffalo, Atlanta beats Rodgers at home.

9. Packers (-3)

They played Seattle and Atlanta in their first two games, easily the toughest slate thus far. Winning one of those games is still a good start to the season.

10. Steelers (-1)

Offense got some consistency against Minnesota but nowhere near the production of last season. Ben looks like the wheels are slowing down, though not enough to hit the panic button. Offensive line played much better against a top-ten front seven. Unsure how good Steelers defense is given their lack of competition (Kizer, Keenum).

11. Titans (+1)

Clearly the frontrunners in the South right now, Tennessee pulled away from the Jaguars in the second half. Neither Murray or Mariota are in fourth gear right now and they still put up 37 against Jacksonville.

12. Ravens (-4)

Offense is still unsteady. Capable defense has played weak competition (Browns, Bengals).

13. Seahawks (-2)

This team better find an offensive line fast. Right now, looks like Russell Wilson and the opposing team’s entire defensive line is playing a game of tag. Seattle is at risk of not making the playoffs despite the Legion of Boom, which would be a genuine travesty.

14. Vikings (+0)

Without Bradford and against a better team, the Minnesota offense was contained. Defense played admirably against a top-five O-line.

15. Buccaneers (+3)

Winston has all the tools he requires to have a top-ten offense. Doug Martin isn’t even back yet.

16. Jaguars (-1)

The Jaguars’ run, run, run tactic waned against Tennessee, who caught on as quickly as expected. Jaguars desperately need quarterback help. This issue will likely leave them out of the playoff race for the umpteenth time.

17. Chargers (-1)

The Chargers choke more than any team in football. Getting that monkey off their back will lead to a lot of wins. Rivers can lead this team.

18. Rams (-1)

Got straight run over by Washington, who had 229 yards on the ground. Wade Phillips is the coordinator in Los Angeles. Need to bounce back against San Fran.

19. Panthers (+1)

Carolina might be the least interesting undefeated team remaining. Wins against the 9ers and Bills don’t tell us much about the Panthers.

20. Redskins (+3)

Ground game looked great. Cousins looks like he misses McVay’s play calls.

21. Saints (+0)

Saints had trouble in the red zone in week one. Waiting for them to utilize Adrian Peterson in some meaningful way. Defense is still set for historic numbers.

22. Dolphins (+2)

Not getting excited about Cutler. Ajayi has to prove he’s for real this year.

23. Bears (-1)

After a strong showing against Atlanta, a meh one against the Bucs.

24. Cardinals (-5)

We’re learning how important David Johnson is to this football team. Defense will earn them wins but they got lightly carved by Jacoby Brissett.

25. Bills (+2)

Buffalo hung with Carolina. Let’s get Shady going, shall we?

26. Texans (+2)

Houston really needed this one. Deshaun Watson will have some growing pains but had a connection with Hopkins on Thursday. Watt stepped up.

27. Browns (-2)

Cleveland’s team is young. They will win games and should win against the Colts next week.

28. 49ers (+1)

Held Seattle in check, lost 12-9. Score a touchdown and that’s a W.

29. Giants (-3)

The line is a mess and McAdoo’s scheme might be worse. A team with as talented a receiving corps as the Giants have to suck this much is inexcusable. McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese need canned. They have a top-ten defense that likely won’t see the playoffs.

30. Jets (+1)

They hung with Oakland for a bit there.

31. Colts (+1)

Brissett showed us how truly awful Scott Tolzien is. This team could use some Luck right now.

32. Bengals (-2)

Andy Dalton is likely seeing his last year in Cincy. The offensive coordinator was fired following Thursday’s game. Marvin Lewis still has a job in the NFL, for some reason.

Biggest Climb: Broncos (+10)

Biggest Fall: Cardinals (-5)

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2017-2018 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

1. Chiefs

Kansas City had a historic night against the best team in football. Alex Smith played the best game of his career in a crucial game, not only because it was on the road in New England, but because draft pick Patrick Mahomes is now on the bench chomping at the bit for a shot. Kareem Hunt, after fumbling on his first NFL snap, exploded with the most fantasy points ever scored in a rookie debut in the history of the NFL. His stat line was quite impressive (17 for 148, TD; 5 receptions for 98, 2 TDs) and with Spencer Ware out for the year, was the type of game Kansas City needed to see from the Toledo product. Tyreek Hill looked like a star receiver. All this said, it’s important to put things into perspective. Tom Brady was clearly not himself on Thursday, two long touchdowns were scored off of blown coverages and again, Alex Smith has seen his best performance pass him by. It was the perfect start for the Chiefs, but just the start.

2. Raiders

Derek Carr looked fresh off his season-ending injury from last year and Marshawn Lynch looked like Marshawn. I’m hesitant to get too excited about the latter, just because it was one game, but I had no complaints. It was also against Tennessee, a likely playoff team. Finally, it was probably a fluke, but the Raiders didn’t allow a passing touchdown and DeMarco Murray didn’t get 50 yards rushing.

3. Cowboys

The second year matters a lot more to an NFL player’s career than the first because it shows whether or not he’s a one-hit wonder. Dak Prescott does not look like a one-hit wonder. Dallas has made a seamless transition at the quarterback position, found a running back that makes the absolute most of his offensive line and defensive coordinator Scott Linehan has done wonders with the Cowboys defense. Notre Dame star Jaylon Smith looked good.

4. Eagles

Carson Wentz looked improved with a valid receiving core and outperformed Kirk Cousins. The Philly defensive front looked insufferable.

5. Patriots

New England’s still my Super Bowl pick, but looked disorganized on Thursday. The Patriots defense set a record for most yardage allowed in the Belichick era and couldn’t get any pressure on Alex Smith. That element must change quick. However, New England fans shouldn’t panic. They face New Orleans on Sunday, the perfect team to face when you need to improve your defense and get your offense rolling.

6. Packers

Packers once again come out victorious against a powerful foe. Defense held Russell Wilson at bay, though that may say more about the Seahawks offensive line then the Packers defense. Still, a win against Atlanta in week 2 would be huge.

7. Lions

Matt Stafford started the first game following his bloated contract signing in the worst way, throwing a pick-six, but, as Stafford does, slinged his way to yet another fourth quarter comeback. However, as has always been the problem with Detroit, they still have no idea how to run the ball. Ameer Abdullah was nonexistent. This continual reliance on Stafford will come back to bite the Lions for the umpteenth time in a row.

8. Ravens

Yes, they played the Bengals, who are awful, as I expected. Yes, Joe Flacco was mediocre at best. Yes, the Ravens defense played way better than I anticipated in its opening game and yes, that alone is worth a top-ten spot after a rather mundane week 1 for the NFL.

9. Steelers

Ben looked frazzled, the offensive line struggled, Le’Veon Bell was clearly not prepared after his holdout and the offensive play calling was lacking. However, T.J. Watt and the defensive pressure on rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was great, totaling seven sacks and Antonio Brown showed why he’s the highest-paid receiver in the league with an 11-reception, 182 yard performance. That is why Brown got the extension with the Steelers and not Bell. They play the Vikings on Sunday, which will give the offensive line a chance to redeem themselves against one of the best defensive lines in football.

10. Falcons

Nothing flashy. Actually concerning that they couldn’t beat Chicago until the last play of the game.

11. Seahawks

Russell Wilson needs help up front. Badly. He can perform insane athletic feats as he scrambles for his life, but he can’t be expected to do that every game. A running game would be a huge help, too. The Seattle defense is excellent, but if you hold Aaron Rodgers to 17 points and still lose, you need to take a real look at your offense.

12. Titans

Marcus Mariota wasn’t flashy and Murray didn’t thrill against the Raiders defense but it’s worth noting their defense held the Raiders to 26. They kept them in the game. Look to make a big step in 2017 and hopefully, a playoff spot.

13. Broncos

Trevor Siemian looked fine in his first start of the year. Broncos defense will give teams fits all season.

14. Vikings

Not going to get excited about Sam Bradford carving the worst defense in the league. Dalvin Cook looked good and one of the best defenses in football did great in the red zone against Drew Brees.

15. Jaguars

I had them ranked highly after they were able to contend with Green Bay in week one last year. We’ll see if something similar happens. Last year, following the Green Bay game, they went 2-11. Fournette looked good and Jacksonville looks content to run the wheels off of him, but that strategy won’t work against everyone. They’ll need to get more creative as the season progresses.

16. Chargers

A late rally nearly got the Los Angeles Chargers a W. They lost a lot of close games last year, a stat that needs to change if they want a postseason birth.

17. Rams

Not going to get excited about the Rams beating on Scott Tolzien. Rams defense will be good this year with Wade Phillips in town.

18. Buccaneers

Bye. Jameis should be a lot better with added weapons on the offense.

19. Cardinals

Loss of David Johnson will hurt this team tremendously. Carson Palmer looked washed up.

20. Panthers

Carolina won against the 49ers. Yay.

21. Saints

The defense is awful but if they performed in the red zone, they likely beat the Vikings.

22. Bears

Nearly pulled off an upset of an Atlanta.

23. Redskins

Ryan Kerrigan is really good and the defensive front will get some pressure. Offense looked stagnant.

24. Dolphins

Bye. Not thrilled to see Jay Cutler.

25. Browns

Looked like an actual football team. Offensive line should allow for a strong running game this year.

26. Giants

McAdoo needs fired. Offense, despite multiple weapons, is bottom five. Great defense will help them contend for a playoff spot but already regret picking them for a wild card spot.

27. Bills

Struggling to beat the Jets is nothing to be proud of.

28. Texans

Defense struggled with Jags. Hopefully Deshaun Watson can get the offense going.

29. 49ers

Kyle Shanahan should get some fresh energy in the locker room.

30. Bengals

Andy Dalton is approaching a cliff. Marvin Lewis has been off the cliff for years but continues to have a job.

31. Jets

Who would have thought the Jets wouldn’t be at the bottom of the power rankings after week one?

32. Colts

The defense is thin and without Andrew Luck, we get to see how awful Indy really is.

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

1. Patriots (+0)

New England is simply too good, railroading anyone who dares to get in their way. Brady is on pace to be the first player ever to win the MVP without playing a full season (can’t recall anyone who has ever done that).

2. Vikings (+0)

Vikings drop their first game of the year. Philly showed their vulnerable on the offensive line (Minnesota’s two starting tackles are both out with injury). With that said, Minnesota is going to have to drop another game before they lose command of this spot.

3. Falcons (+0)

The loss to Seattle is hard to penalize them for. San Diego in the last few weeks has shown they can be dangerous. That said, a home game vs. Green Bay is a must-win.

4. Cowboys (+0)

Bye. Pumped for DAL and PHI on SNF.

5. Broncos (+1)

Denver humiliated Brock Osweiler. Established dominance. C.J. Anderson’s injury will certainly change the offense. Curious to see how they adjust.

6. Eagles (+5)

Who would have thought we’d have two NFC East teams in the top-ten this year? Philly dropped their last two but silenced the doubters with a win over the Vikings.

7. Raiders (+1)

I’m still perplexed how this team sits here on my board but there just aren’t a lot of teams I’d take over Oakland.

8. Seahawks (-3)

What we witnessed on Sunday Night Football was torturous in every sense of the word. Every time Seattle has a change to put the division under lock and key, they give analysts a doubt as to how good they really are. With ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had yet to have multiple first downs on a possession. Russell Wilson is playing hurt and Seattle has decide how long they want to deal with that handicap.

9. Steelers (-2)

A Pittsburgh team led by Landry Jones lost to 11 to New England. Teams who were healthy and faced New England have lost by more. A well-deserved bye week for the Steelers should give them the recuperation time they need.

10. Chiefs (-1)

Shouldn’t have had troubles with New Orleans. AFC West is toughest division in football right now.

11. Lions (+7)

Consecutive wins over Philly, Los Angeles and Washington look pretty good, especially for a team near the bottom in rushing. Stafford hasn’t lost a step without Calvin and has looked better this year than he has in recent ones.

12. Redskins (+0)

Narrow loss to Washington doesn’t diminish their ranking this week.

13. Packers (+0)

A win over a Chicago team that had to play most of the game with Matt Barkley at quarterback is not astounding.

14. Bills (-4)

The foolish Bills started McCoy with a bum hamstring. McCoy promptly injured his hamstring further and is now unlikely to play against New England in a must-win game if they want any chance of capturing the AFC East. Foolish indeed. Oh and they got torched by Miami, too.

15. Bengals (-1)

Win a meaningful game. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, win a meaningful game, Cincinnati, or your fall in the rankings will continue.

16. Giants (-1)

OBJ saved this team last week. Case Keenum saved the Giants season this week.

17. Chargers (+7)

Wins over Denver and Atlanta in back-to-back weeks have saved San Diego’s season and shown, had it not been for failing in the clutch multiple times early, they could be the front runners in the West. As I said, West is the best right now.

18. Rams (-1)

Todd Gurley has the third-worst ypc (3.0) among qualified players. Keenum just threw four interceptions.

19. Cardinals (+1)

That game on Sunday night was a crime against humanity. David Johnson was the only entertainment to be had.

20. Dolphins

Jay Ajayi became the fourth runningback in NFL history to run for 200 yards in back-to-back games. He has single-handedly resurrected the Dolphins’ season.

21. Texans (-2)

Embarrassed. Brock Osweiler threw for the second fewest passing yards on 40 attempts in NFL history. $72 million for this guy.

22. Ravens (-6)

The Ravens skid continues, dropping their fourth consecutive game.

23. Panthers (+0)

Bye.

24. Saints (+1)

The offense is killer. Nearly beat Kansas City.

25. Titans (-3)

Should’ve beat Indy and grabbed the AFC South throne. They did not. The South is the weakest division in football, again.

26. Buccaneers (+0)

Beat San Fran. Yay.

27. Colts (+0)

Beating the Titans is nice and all. Show me more.

28. Jets (+0)

They beat the Ravens and ended their slip n slide but that doesn’t excuse said slide.

29. Bears (+1)

Cutler returns next week. That’s good.

30. 49ers (-1)

Own that six-game losing streak, San Fran!

31. Jaguars (+0)

This team is horrid despite the talent they have. Need changes in the staff if they want to move forward.

32. Browns (+0)

They’ve been close to winning a few times. I’m taking them against the Jets.

Biggest Climb: Lions, Chargers (+7)

Biggest Fall: Ravens (-6)

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

1. Patriots (+0)

The Bengals were no match. New England remains the king.

2. Vikings (+0)

The Vikings had a bye and maintain their spot. They play Philly next week, another tough test.

3. Falcons (+1)

Atlanta nearly pulled off the trifecta and if it weren’t for a blatant pass interference no-call, Atlanta wins in Seattle. Their strength of schedule and competitiveness in those games moves them up a spot.

4. Cowboys (+2)

Elliott is a bulldozer and Prescott the perfect game manager. I believe in the Cowboys this year.

5. Seahawks (+3)

Seattle gets a big win over Atlanta, showing they can compete with the big boys.

6. Broncos (-3)

Back-to-back losses drops Denver out of the top five but remain a dangerous team.

7. Steelers (-2)

Pittsburgh has another drastic collapse, flailing against the Dolphins. Ben is now out. Unless they’re competitive against New England, they’ll likely be out of the top ten next week.

8. Raiders (-1)

Oakland falls to Kansas City but have accomplished too much thus far to fall out of my select group.

9. Chiefs (+2)

The Chiefs strength of schedule will likely kick them out next week but an impressive return from the bye week can’t be ignored.

10. Bills (+4)

LeSean McCoy is having a great year and the Bills defense has shown up the last few games. LeSean is hurt and unlikely to be himself next week. How will the offense respond?

11. Eagles (-2)

Wentz was hassled all game and lose an inter-divisional game to the Redskins. I can hear people talking jumping off the Eagles bandwagon already. The team has been competitive in their last two losses. I’m not concerned yet.

12. Redskins (+9)

I have not given the Redskins the credit that they’ve deserved. This week, I make up for that and they give me a reason to, topping Philly at home.

13. Packers (-3)

Green Bay falls to Dallas. Their stats were bloating going into this game, especially on defense. The Cowboys set the record straight. Rodgers is not himself this year. Don’t sound the alarm, but their playoff hopes are shrinking.

14. Bengals (-2)

Cincinnati is 0-4 in meaningful games (PIT, DEN, DAL, NE). Wins against sub-.500 teams will not get you to the playoffs.

15. Giants (+2)

The media and the Giants organization have been giving Odell Beckham Jr. an earful. He may have just saved their season.

16. Ravens (-1)

The Ravens are now 1-3 in meaningful games and on a three-game losing streak. They need to beat the Jets next week.

17. Rams (-1)

As I said in my sports report last week, the Ram defense is not what it was. Todd Gurley cannot carry this offense. With that said, LA showed on Sunday that they can find a way to put up points if they need to. They put up 28 on Detroit.

18. Lions (+0)

Detroit had a tough streak of losses to Tennessee, Green Bay and Chicago but have bounced back with wins over Philadelphia and Los Angeles. They have Washington next week.

19. Texans (-6)

Houston’s offense looked dysfunctional versus Indianapolis. Imagine how they’ll play against Denver next week. Osweiler has not demonstrated he’s worth that contract.

20. Cardinals (-1)

Arizona has to do a lot to redeem himself. Beating a limping dog like the Jets is a small step.

21. Dolphins (+2)

Miami torched Pittsburgh. An injured Ben certainly helped but Jay Ajayi’s historic rushing performance was something.

22. Titans (+0)

Tennessee might be the frontrunner of the AFC South. I’m not calling it but it could happen. They’ve got the Colts next week.

23. Panthers (-2)

Carolina suffers a fourth-straight loss. They have a bye now. Hopefully they can regroup.

24. Chargers (+6)

Finally get a win and against Denver. Let’s see if they improve now that they have the monkey off their back. Bad news: they play Atlanta on Sunday.

25. Saints (+4)

The Saints top the Panthers at home. Believe in Brees, New Orleans. There ain’t no defense to believe in.

26. Buccaneers (+0)

Tampa Bay has the tools on offense that they could be higher than this. Still waiting for them to demonstrate it.

27. Colts (-3)

A blow lead by the Colts against a team they manhandled for almost an entire 60 just isn’t gonna cut it.

28. Jets (-3)

They’re bad.

29. 49ers (-2)

Kaepernick looked better than Gabbert but the team doesn’t have the talent to compete.

30. Bears (+1)

Narrow loss to the Jaguars. Brian Hoyer doesn’t look like a backup quarterback at least.

31. Jaguars (-3)

They have all the reason to improve. They just don’t.

32. Browns (+0)

The Browns.

Biggest Climb: Redskins (+9)

Biggest Drop: Texans (-6) 

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

1. Patriots (+1)

Tom Brady is back with no rust to show from his absence. The Patriots are healthy. The Patriots are lethal.

2. Vikings (+1)

I’m still amazed that Minnesota has accomplished what they’ve accomplished without Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson. Truly an astounding feat.

3. Broncos (-2)

Denver missed Trevor Siemian on Sunday. Paxton Lynch showed his potential but made some youthful mistakes.

4. Falcons (+3)

Over Carolina. Over Denver. Not only that, they’ve set a franchise record for most points through five games (175). Can they beat Seattle on the road and complete the trifecta? If they do, it’s likely they find themselves at number one next week.

5. Steelers (+0)

Pittsburgh maintains its spot at five after a dismantling of the Jets.

6. Cowboys (+11)

I hate the Cowboys but the team is good this year. There’s no denying that. While a lack of competition is a valid argument, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have achieved. Elliott is the third rookie to have 130 rushing yards in three straight games. Despite how high I have them ranked, I see an upset in the forecast. I have Dallas beating Green Bay at Lambeau. If they do that, I’ll know for sure they belong in this conversation. They also have Philly the following week.

7. Raiders (+2)

Oakland is a peculiar team. They’re dead last in yards allowed and near the bottom in every defensive category. They’ve allowed over 2,200 yards and 150 points through five games. They’re only the fourth team to accomplish that in NFL history. They’re also the only one to accomplish it and still have a winning record. That might be because, according to my rankings, they’ve played two top-15 teams in five games. As the schedule hardens, I don’t know if this team will be able to overcome its defensive failings but thus far, they’ve found a way, somehow, and that can’t be ignored.

8. Seahawks (+0)

Bye. Seattle’s defense is at the top in ypg, but they also haven’t played a top-15 team yet. Let’s see how they do as the game heats up. They’ve got Atlanta, their first true test.

9. Eagles (+1)

They lost their first game because of a late fumble. Can’t penalize them for that, especially when two other teams in the top ten did so much worse.

10. Packers (-6)

I’m fed up with Green Bay. Lacy is the best player on offense right now. Not Rodgers, not Nelson and not Cobb. That pass attack needs to figure it out. Rodgers told us to relax and played well against Detroit, but let’s not forget that was Detroit. They struggled with the Giants, a team that just built their defense this offseason.

11. Chiefs (+0)

Bye. Steelers crushed them. They come back and face another flying offense, Oakland.

12. Bengals (-6)

They’ve faced three top-ten teams and haven’t beaten any of them. If you can’t compete when it counts, you don’t belong in the top-ten or the playoffs. Of course, Cincy knows about the latter all too well. I’ve said it for years. Cincinnati needs a receiver opposite of Green. Last year, Sanu showed he could be that guy. They chose not to re-sign him. Right now, they’re asking Brandon LaFell to be that guy. That’s laughable.

13. Texans (+0)

Hard to penalize a team as limited on offense as Houston for having troubles with Minnesota but another loss won’t be overshadowed.

14. Bills (+9)

Buffalo had a rough 0-2 start. They’ve won their last three. I see no reason why they can’t make it four against San Francisco. If they don’t, expect them to drop. Not much of an aerial attack in Buffalo with Taylor’s inconsistency and Watkins’ absence, but the defense has come together. They don’t have tough competition until the middle of the season. That’s when we’ll know who this team really is.

15. Ravens (+0)

Narrow loss to the Redskins can’t be skipped over. My concern with Baltimore’s stats and record thus far was strength of schedule. I might have been right about that.

16. Rams (+0)

The Rams have a tough schedule. 3-2 three weeks in, with this offense, regardless of competition, is a feat. That said, LA is middle of the road, nothing more.

17. Giants (+1)

The defense impressed against Green Bay but that very well could have been Green Bay’s recent ineptitude. On offense, it’s a battle of who sucks more, Eli or the run game.

18. Lions (+2)

They grab a narrow win against Philly. I want to see more before I jump up and down.

19. Cardinals (+0)

No points for a win over Blaine Gabbert. None.

20. Panthers (-8)

No Newton. No Panthers defense. No Panthers win. A loss to Tampa Bay at home is very unsettling.

21. Redskins (+1)

They sneak past Baltimore. DeSean hasn’t lit it up. Cousins is hanging in there. Not much to say here.

22. Titans (+3)

I picked Tennessee over Miami even though ESPN Pick ‘Em had that as an upset. I didn’t think it was. I was correct.

23. Dolphins (-2)

The Dolphins are drowning. Get it? Because they’re fish, they’re not supposed to drown? I’m gonna move on now.

24. Colts (+0)

I couldn’t tell you what this team did on Sunday. Probably because a win over Chicago does nothing to change my mind about them.

25. Jets (-11)

The Jets suck. Who knows where the 2015 team went.

26. Buccaneers (+4)

Tampa Bay gets some valuable points for a road win against the NFC champs, though at this point, it seems like a disservice to the term to call them that.

27. 49ers (-1)

They lose a point not for losing to Arizona but for letting David Johnson steamroll them. Kap starts on Sunday. Looking forward to it.

28. Jaguars (+0)

Bye. Jacksonville versus Chicago. Oh boy.

29. Saints (+0)

Bye. We’ll get to see if they got a defense over the last week. Probably not.

30. Chargers (-3)

They blew another one. How can you blow this many games in a row?

31. Bears (+0)

Here the Bears are likely to remain for the 2016 season.

32. Browns (+0)

Here the Browns are guaranteed to remain for the 2016 season. Last week, I said the Browns would start five quarterbacks this season. They started Charlie Whitehurst this week after Kessler was knocked out. Four down, one to go!

Biggest Climb: Cowboys (+11)

Biggest Drop: Jets (-11)

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2016-2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

1. Broncos

A 21-20 win showed us Denver hasn’t changed. The defense is still full of pressure cookers and once again, the Panthers couldn’t protect Cam in the Super Bowl rematch. C.J. Anderson warranted a top-five slot in my sports report and Trevor Siemian didn’t do half bad considering he was facing the second-best defense in the league.

2. Panthers

The Panthers still haven’t found an answer to the labyrinth that is the Broncos defense, but otherwise look to be a top contender for the Super Bowl.

3. Patriots

No Brady. No Gronk. On the road in Arizona. None of it mattered. New England remains the king of the AFC.

4. Steelers

Not far behind them is Pittsburgh, who put up an offensive clinic on the Redskins. Granted, it’s Washington but the Steelers manhandled the entire game.

5. Packers

Green Bay got it done against the Jaguars, who look like a real football team this year.

6. Bengals

A.J. Green desolated Revis Island and the Bengals defense held its own against the Jets. Cincinnati surrendered seven sacks, however, and were forced to quit on the run game halfway through, something that they can’t lean on in the future.

7. Jets

If it wasn’t for Revis not showing up to play and Fitzpatrick being Fitzpatrick and throwing a fourth quarter interception, the Jets could have won. The front seven looked especially lethal and Forte didn’t appear to lose a step in his first game in New York.

8. Cardinals

They looked bad. They struggled at home against a Patriot squad without Brady and Gronk. There’s no reason they should have lost. I have little faith in a Palmer-led offense when it comes to the postseason. Performances in big games like the one on Sunday night give me all the reason to doubt.

9. Jaguars

Most likely too high of a rating for Jacksonville, but they impressed me in their game against Green Bay. They didn’t just look like a football team. They looked like a good one. I’m interested to see how they fare against a more balanced team. Green Bay doesn’t have an exceptional defense.

10. Chiefs

It’s hard to rank after just one week of play but it’s hard to leave a team off the top-ten that came from 17 points down to win in overtime. Shows some determination, especially when they did it all without their best player, Jamaal Charles.

11. Raiders

The Raiders defense does not match with the hype. That said, the offense kept them in the game. Now we just have to see if the defense can do the same down the stretch.

12. Texans

Texans looked comfortable with Lamar Miller in the backfield and Brock Osweiler at quarterback. I just wonder how long that’s going to last.

13. Giants

Giants should have won the NFC East last year and had it not been for three losses because of bad time management, it’s likely they would’ve. I expect them to win it this year. One down and 15 to go.

14. Seahawks

The offensive line is weak. Russ can’t run forever, can he? There’s no Lynch to rely on behind him. There’s a lot of pressure on Russ this year, perhaps too much.

15. Dolphins

Gave Seattle a run for their money. Will the defense start performing the way it should have last year?

16. Lions

Stafford didn’t seem to lose a step against Indianapolis. Granted, not a tough defense to deal with.

17. Colts

Andrew Luck looked like himself but as with Stafford, not much competition.

18. Vikings

Without Bridgewater, the offense will struggle, but Minnesota was a top-ten defense last year and fifth in points against per game. I see no reason why they can’t reach similar numbers this year.

19. Buccaneers

A scoring fiasco it was yet again with the Bucs but will the ship remain steady or collapse midway through its voyage?

20. Chargers

It was so like San Diego to fall apart with a huge lead. I wasn’t even surprised. It just felt like something San Diego would do.

21. 49ers

San Francisco is trying to identify themselves again and time will tell if Chip Kelly is the head of that new dogma.

22. Ravens

Baltimore struggled last year and with Buffalo and Cleveland in weeks one and two, it’s gonna be hard to tell early on if they’re back to their old selves.

23. Eagles

I’m not high on Philly, not with that defense and a rookie quarterback. Against Cleveland, I didn’t learn much, aside from Cleveland is still Cleveland.

24. Redskins

Washington paid Kirk Cousins $20 million for a franchise tag season. Through game one, two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Not the type of production that you’re looking for. I thought tagging Cousins was a bad idea. It’s looking that way thus far. And let’s not talk about how bad the Washington defense looked against Pittsburgh and that Jay Gruden thought the best spot for highly-touted Josh Norman was not opposite Antonio Brown but on the whole other side of the field.

25. Cowboys

Dallas has a rookie QB and RB. I’m not expecting much.

26. Falcons

Matt Ryan? Check. Julio Jones? Check. Defense? Still looking.

27. Bills

That offense isn’t looking good and with Rob Ryan coaching the defense, it’s looking like a down year for Buffalo.

28. Saints

I don’t care how great Drew Brees is. The run game isn’t helping and the defense is aimless.

29. Bears

Bears are a team that’s hard to read. Sometimes I think they have potential and other times I don’t. I’m still surprised they let Forte leave but I’m interested to see how Chicago plays without him.

30. Titans

DeMarco and Derrick Henry in the backfield and Marcus Mariota behind center. Wide receiver is still a question and the defense isn’t exactly full of starlets but there might be a bright future for this team. In like five years.

31. Rams

This team looked bad. Real bad. Bad like a malnourished college team bad. Todd Gurley and nobody on offense and the defense was a no-show. Against San Francisco. No matter how you phrase it, it sounds awful.

32. Browns

Cleveland. RG3 on injured reserve already. Do I need to say more?

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Tim Sports Report for 2015 NFL Week 3

Super late, but Week 4 is coming up.

Top 5

  1. QB Aaron Rodgers 24/35 for 333 yards, 5 TDs, 138.5 passer rating vs. KC

2. WR A.J. Green 10 receptions for 227 yards, 2 TDs vs. BAL

3. RB Devonta Freeman 30 carries for 141 yards, 3 TDs vs. DAL

4. WR Steve Smith 13 receptions for 186 yards, 2 TDs vs. CIN

5. WR Julio Jones 12 receptions for 164 yards, 2 TDs vs. DAL

Worst of the Worst

5. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 35/58 for 283 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 62.6 passer rating vs. PHI

4. Skip Bayless’ Dallas bias. I follow him on Twitter just to see what obnoxious thing he says next, but it feels like I’m following a Cowboys cheerleader.

3. Dallas allows 22 unanswered points vs. ATL

2. TEN allows 21 unanswered points in 4th quarter, blows game vs. IND

  1. QB Colin Kaepernick 9/19 for 67 yards, 4 INTs (including two pick-6’s), 16.7 passer rating vs. ARI

Steelers Recap

The loss of Ben is all that needs to be said here. The Steelers struggled to score against the Rams, even with the return of Le’Veon Bell. That made this game far more of a tug-of-war than it should have been, but the defense kept us in the game. They haven’t been playing great offensive squads, granted, but they’ve been holding their own.

Game of the Week: Chiefs @ Bengals

Two top-ten teams square off. I’ll take the surprising Bengals at home.

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2015-2016 NFL Preview: AFC South

Just want to apologize for not getting the rest of these previews finished before Week 1. They’ll definitely be done before Thursday. None of my predictions have been changed.

AFC SOUTH

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

GET: WR Andre Johnson, RB Frank Gore, G Todd Herremans, LB Nate Irving, DE Trent Cole, DE Kendall Langford

LOSE: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Hakeem Nicks, S Laron Landry, WR Reggie Wayne, DE Ricky Jean-Francois, S Sergio Brown, LB Shaun Phillips, DE Cory Redding, DE Fili Moala, CB Josh Gordy, RB Trent Richardson, WR Josh Cribbs

RE-SIGNS: S Mike Adams, LB Jerrell Freeman, QB Matt Hasselbeck, CB Darius Butler

DRAFT: 1st round: WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami     3rd round: CB D’Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic     DE Henry Anderson, Stanford     4th round: S Clayton Geathers, UCF     5th round: DT David Parry, Stanford     6th round: RB Josh Robinson, Mississippi State     ILB Amarlo Herrera, Georgia     7th round: G Denzell Goode, Mars Hill

SUMMARY: Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck continues to improve from year-to-year and I don’t see any precursor to suggest that trend will stop. He threw for 4,761 yards, third-most in the league and a league-high 40 touchdowns last year. He only threw 16 interceptions so his ball management has improved a lot since his rookie campaign. T.Y. Hilton has been solidified as his right-hand man with his latest contract extension and two valuable veterans in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson have been brought in.

With that said, the running scheme in Indianapolis is not effective. I don’t think the problem with the Colts’ running game is the running back. I think it’s the scheme itself and if they continue utilizing the scheme they have been, it won’t matter who the back is.

On the flip side, the defensive line of the Colts has been completely wiped out with the losses of Ricky Jean-Francois, Cory Redding and Fili Moala. Their 18th ranking against the run last year is sure to fall further down and at the end of the day, the Colts are still a one-dimensional offense. No matter how dynamic their aerial attack, that’s still a huge concern for me.

The Colts are sure to win the AFC South regardless, especially given their tame schedule, but down the road, I don’t know how they’ll be able to hang in with the big boys with their razor-thin defensive line.

As for fantasy, Luck and Hilton should be great pickups but I remain adamant about avoiding Frank Gore.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 12-4

Week 1: @BUF   Week 2: vs. NYJ   Week 3: @TEN   Week 4: vs. JAC   Week 5: @HOU   Week 6: vs. NE   Week 7: vs. NO   Week 8: @CAR   Week 9: vs. DEN   Week 10: BYE   Week 11: @ATL   Week 12: vs. TB   Week 13: @PIT   Week 14: @JAC   Week 15: vs. HOU   Week 16: @MIA   Week 17: vs. TEN

HOUSTON TEXANS

GET: QB Brian Hoyer, WR Cecil Shorts, S Stevie Brown, S Rahim Moore, DT Vince Wilfork, WR Nate Washington, RB Chris Polk

LOSE: WR Andre Johnson, LB Brooks Reed, S Danieal Manning, S D.J. Swearinger, DT Jerrell Powe, S Kendrick Lewis, DT Ryan Pickett, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Case Keenum, QB Thad Lewis, WR DeVier Posey

RE-SIGNS: CB Kareem Jackson, LB Whitney Mercilus, QB Ryan Mallett, WR Damaris Johnson, LB Akeem Dent

DRAFT: 1st round: CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest     2nd round: ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State     3rd round: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State     5th round: WR Keith Mumphrey, Michigan State     6th round: OLB Reshard Cliett, South Florida     DT Christian Covington, Rice     7th round: RB Kenny Hilliard, LSU

SUMMARY: The Texans had more than their fair share of losses this offseason, including franchise player Andre Johnson. Three safeties and three quarterbacks departed, as well as two defensive tackles. The grabbing of longtime Patriot Vince Wilfork was one of the biggest signings of the offseason. Houston’s defense against the pass took a step back, so the changing of the guard might be the spark the team needs in the secondary. The defense should be top-ten, but the offense is concerning. The receiving core is lacking with Andre no longer in the mix and Hopkins standing all alone. He should have a big year in fantasy but there aren’t any reliable stars on this team. Arian Foster’s injury is going to hurt this team out of the gate but when he returns, they’ll be a whole different team. As for the quarterback position, you might as well flip a coin.

Hopkins and the Houston defense should be on your radar for fantasy and when Foster returns, I expect more of the same from him.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD:8-8

Week 1: vs. KC   Week 2: @CAR   Week 3: vs. TB   Week 4: @ATL   Week 5: vs. IND   Week 6: @JAC   Week 7: @MIA   Week 8: vs. TEN   Week 9: BYE   Week 10: @CIN   Week 11: vs. NYJ   Week 12: vs. NO   Week 13: @BUF   Week 14: vs. NE   Week 15: @IND   Week 16: @TEN   Week 17: vs. JAC

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

GET: TE Julius Thomas, DT Jared Odrick, OLB Dan Skuta, C Stefen Wisniewski, RB Bernard Pierce, S Sergio Brown, DB Davon House

LOSE: WR Cecil Shorts, DE Red Bryant, RB Jordan Todman, LB Geno Hayes, CB Will Blackmon, CB Alan Ball, LB J.T. Thomas

RE-SIGNS: LB Paul Posluszny, DE Tyson Alualu, TE Marcedes Lewis

DRAFT: 1st round: DE Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida     2nd round: RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama     3rd round: G A.J. Cann, South Carolina     4th round: S James Sample, Louisville     5th round: WR Rashad Greene, Florida State     6th round: DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State     7th round: WR Neal Sterling, Monmouth     TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

SUMMARY: Blake Bortles was drafted third overall with the intention of being a franchise leader and has the weapons on offense to thrive at an average level. Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and last year’s rookie addition, Marquise Lee, all have potential as does fifth-round pick Rashad Greene. Julius Thomas has also come to Jacksonville from Denver and if he can compete at a level comparable to what he did with Peyton, the Jaguars will have another big name on offense. What the team will do in the running game is anyone’s guess. They drafted T.J. Yeldon, but the backfield is crowded with Denard Robinson and offseason addition Bernard Pierce. The offensive line must be better for either area of the offense to excel. They allowed a league-high 71 sacks last year, 13 more than second-place Washington.

On defense, the numbers aren’t great but there’s some hope to be gathered from the play of the defensive line, which had 45 sacks last year, tied for sixth in the league.

The Jaguars are a young team with potential but it’s going to take a few years for that potential to become talent.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 4-12

Week 1: vs. CAR   Week 2: vs. MIA   Week 3: @NE   Week 4: @IND   Week 5: @TB   Week 6: vs. HOU   Week 7: vs. BUF   Week 8: BYE   Week 9: @NYJ   Week 10: @BAL   Week 11: vs. TEN   Week 12: vs. SD   Week 13: @TEN Week 14: vs. IND   Week 15: vs. ATL   Week 16: @NO   Week 17: @HOU

TENNESSEE TITANS

GET: S Da’Norris Searcy, WR Harry Douglas, CB Perrish Cox, LB Brian Orakpo, TE Anthony Fasano

LOSE: OT Michael Roos, OT Michael Oher, OT Will Svitek, DB Brandon Ghee, S George Wilson, RB Leon Washington, WR Nate Washington, OLB Quentin Groves, G Chris Spencer, QB Jake Locker, RB Jackie Battle, RB Shonn Greene,

RE-SIGNS: DT Karl Klug, K Ryan Succop, LB Derrick Morgan

DRAFT: 1st round: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon     2nd round: WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri     3rd round: G Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah     4th round: DT Angelo Blackson, Auburn     FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama     5th round: RB David Cobb, Minnesota     6th round: OLB Deiontrez Mount, Louisville     C Andy Gallik, Boston College     7th round: WR Tre McBride, William & Mary

SUMMARY: The Tennessee Titans start the season as the clear favorite for worst team in the NFL. The offensive line is one of this team’s strong points and yet the Titans still managed to allow 50 sacks last year. With limited receiving options in Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter, the team doesn’t have a ton of choices. Bishop Sankey isn’t a bright light at the running back position either. Marcus Mariota is sure to bring a lot of Titans fans alive but I don’t know how much he can do with so few tools.

As for the defense, it allowed the second-most yards on the ground last year but an acceptable 15th against the pass. If the Titans had a better front-seven, their defense would be a whole lot better and could be leaned on when the offense struggled. Until then, I’m putting this team at the bottom.

As for fantasy, if you’re looking for someone on the Titans, you’re pretty desperate.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 3-13

Week 1: @TB   Week 2: @CLE   Week 3: vs. IND   Week 4: BYE   Week 5: vs. BUF   Week 6: vs. MIA   Week 7: vs. ATL   Week 8: @HOU   Week 9: @NO   Week 10: vs. CAR   Week 11: @JAC   Week 12: vs. OAK   Week 13: vs. JAC   Week 14: @NYJ   Week 15: @NE   Week 16: vs. HOU   Week 17: @IND

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Why I Hope Mike Mitchell Gets Cut

Mike Mitchell was in the news on Tuesday after confrontations with multiple fans over social media. During the Steelers narrow win over the Titans, Mike Mitchell struggled. Especially considering the absence of Troy Polamalu leaving our other safety as 32-year-old Will Allen, Mitchell was given the responsibility of covering the team’s backside.

After jumping in front of Titans’ QB Zach Mettenberger’s first pass and returning it for six points, CB William Gay attempted to repeat the feat on the Titans’ drive late in the second quarter. Mitchell, who again, plays safety so as to provide a safety blanket behind the defense, instead decided to jump a route as well, leaving no one and I mean no one behind to prevent former Steeler Nate Washington from going for a 80-yard touchdown. That, along with some other shoddy secondary play against a rookie quarterback, led to fans saying Mitchell was the Steelers’ worst free agent signing of all-time. That obviously isn’t true and those who have said such things can’t be considered true sports fans or sports-minded intellectuals. I was able to gather that last tip using my brain, some common sense and knowing that no matter how good you are at something, there will always be haters. There will be people who don’t respect you even if you’ve proven to be nearly god-like in your efforts.

QB Tom Brady is a perfect example. I hated Tom Brady for many years and rooted against him because I was tired of seeing the New England Patriots win everything. However, through maturity and some human decency, I’ve been able to comprehend that Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. To come through in the clutch as many times as he has and continue to excel despite multiple roster changes is a testament to his leadership and his dedication to the game. Do I consider myself a Tom Brady fan? Definitely not, I still find myself rooting against him a fair amount, but there’s no doubt that I respect him and there’s truly no reason to hate him as a person because let’s be honest, he’s never done anything on or off the field to demonstrate poor character and you can’t say he’s lazy in his profession because evidently he’s not. You can still hate him if you want to and I won’t call you stupid for doing so, but at the same time, you’re stupid.

Now, Mitchell is not one of the greats and never will be, so naturally he should expect more criticism. Some of that is because of obnoxious fans. You don’t respond to them. You don’t give them anything to feed off of. An elementary school counselor could explain this concept if needed.

Mitchell either didn’t pass elementary school, didn’t open his ears or has anger management issues. I’m likely to go with option three but at this point, options one and two are still on the table, especially after Tomlin claims to have told Mitchell not to leap the pile in the Jets game and he did it anyway.

What Mitchell did in response to those tweets was worse than anything that fans could have said to him. Here are some of those tweets:

“Lol, I’ll do no such thing. You on the other hand kill yourself.”

“You’re a moron and obviously a broke b@#$%, begging for money lol. Die broke.”

“B@#$%, you trash.”

To tell someone to kill themselves and die broke is pretty terrible and demonstrates no class or self-control. Not only did Mitchell feed the fire, but he also managed to alienate all of Steelers nation. Pittsburgh is a blue-collar city and always has been. A coal mining monopoly until deindustrialization in the 1980’s, people in Pittsburgh know what it’s like to work for a living. A lot of people in Pittsburgh and in cities all over the country look forward to the weekend but predominantly Sunday because Sunday means football. Diehard fans are just as much a part of the team as the players and coaching staff.

Instead of him not saying anything and fans coming to his defense as I’m sure would have happened, Mitchell managed to give them all the finger as well as a good look at the indecent fool that he is. He’s probably best friends with LeGarrette Blount.

Well, what d’ya know? In an article regarding Blount being cut by the Steelers, Mitchell defended his ex-teammate.

“I actually know him and a lot of people don’t know him. He is not a selfish guy at all.”

How would you describe someone who leaves the team because they don’t get to be the star? A role model?

“He is a competitive guy who wants to be on the field, wants to win games, wants to help us win games.”

I don’t think Blount wants to be on the field, Mitchell. He left of his own free will. Therefore, I don’t think he wants to help the Steelers win games because in order to score points, he has to be on the field and the only way to get on the field is to wait patiently on the sideline, which he didn’t do.

I also find it pitiful that Mitchell said “wants to win games” before “wants to help us win games.” Sure, that’s just a word choice, but he consciously picked those words and it is attitude and personality that point you to the words you choose next. He put team at the end because that’s how he prioritizes it.

Mike Mitchell has demonstrated that he is a replica of Golden Tate. If there is one person in all of sports that I hope suffers an injury or gets a good punch from Andre Johnson, it’s Golden Tate.

Tony Romo was at the top of my list for a long time and right behind him was Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Alex Ovechkin. However, Kobe’s knee and ankle injuries have finally shut him up but not before he set the NBA record for most missed field goals, which I was thrilled about. Alex Rodriguez was suspended the entire season. MLB  finally did something right. Alex Ovechkin has become a captain of a terrible team and has continued to be the puck-hog, “I don’t know how to pass” player I expected, which has led to multiple early playoff exits and missing the playoffs altogether. Finally, Tony Romo is still as untalented and useless as he was when he botched the extra point in that playoff game against Seattle, one of my favorite NFL memories.

With all that said, Tate is the worst. How he was ever accepted into Notre Dame I don’t know because he is one of the most disgusting, dishonorable and selfish pieces of turd in all of professional sports. During his career, he’s managed to play for the Seahawks, one of my least favorite teams because of all the cocky individuals on that team. Looking at you, Sherman. He said he caught a ball in the Seahawks-Packers game that the replacement refs botched, a ball that everyone with an unbiased mind can recognize he didn’t catch, demonstrating his lack of honesty and professional courtesy. Finally, he flicked off a player on his way to score a long touchdown on live television. That’s what I think of Golden Tate.

But back to Mitchell. Mike Mitchell, despite the fact that I couldn’t tell you almost anything about his playing career, has earned a spot on my Most-Hated Players List. Mitchell’s actions clearly demonstrated he couldn’t give a rat’s behind about the organization, the fans or his teammates. He cares about money and himself. Those seem to be his only two motivations. I hate people who are motivated by money and themselves. Therefore, I hate you Mike Mitchell. Be sure to “break a leg” out there.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 5

Top 5

1. Patriots dominate the Bengals 43-17 and Tom Brady surpasses 50,000 yards. The Patriots outgained the Bengals 505-320 in total yards, 220 of those on the ground. New England also allowed zero third down conversions the whole game. A superb performance just one week after their 41-14 loss to Kansas City sparked criticism.

2. Browns rally from 25-point deficit to stun Titans at home. It was the largest comeback in league history by a road team.

3. WR Demaryius Thomas 8 receptions for 226 yards (franchise record), 2 TDs vs. ARI

4. Broncos’ record-setting game. The Broncos had their best offensive output in franchise history (568 yards) against two of the best cornerbacks in the game, Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. Peyton Manning set a career-high with 479 yards and threw his 500th touchdown pass, joining Brett Favre in the elite club. Finally, Wes Welker’s seven receptions moved him past Rod Smith for the most catches by an undrafted player (854).

5. RB Arian Foster 23 carries for 157 yards, 2 TDs vs. DAL

Worst of the Worst

1. Jets obliterated by the Chargers 31-0. QB Geno Smith was benched at halftime. New York didn’t make it past the 50-yard line until 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, which was only thanks to a 33-yard pass interference call. They had only four first downs through three quarters. At the game’s conclusion, the Jets had run 54 plays for 151 total yards (2.8 yards per play), committed 12 penalties for 94 yards and two turnovers, and gone 1/12 on third down.

2. Bears blow 14-point lead, commit four second half turnovers in loss to Carolina. The Bears have been outscored 34-3 in the second half the last two weeks.

3. QB Christian Ponder 22/44 for 222 yards, 2 INTs, 6 sacks, 95.8 QBR vs. GB

4. QB Drew Brees 35/57 for 371 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 70.1 QBR vs. TB

5. Someone shoots laser pointer in Bills’ field goal holder’s eyes during field goal try. Come on, man!

Steelers Recap

The Steelers beat Jacksonville 17-9, a score that was much closer than it should have been. A late interception for a touchdown solidified the win, but the fact the win needed to be solidified in the fourth quarter is not encouraging. Props to ESPN for trying to give the Steelers more credit than they deserved.

As the recap says, “Pittsburgh’s defense looked somewhat suspect in the first four games, giving up 350 yards and 25 points a game.”

That sounds a lot more than suspect to me. Sounds like criminal negligence.

“The Jaguars finished with 243 yards and were 3 of 12 on third-down conversions.”

When you’re complimenting a team’s defense for throttling the Jaguars, you know you’re desperate for results.

“Jacksonville’s defensive effort was more surprising. The Jaguars had been gouged in every game this season, giving up an average of 451 yards and 38 points in the first four weeks.”

I don’t like stats that average things because it doesn’t account for outlier performances. Jacksonville forced three first half turnovers and led 17-0 at halftime against the Eagles in week one. I would also mention that the Jaguars had the misfortune of playing Indianapolis and San Diego in back-to-back weeks, two prolific pass offenses.

What all that comes down to is that the Steelers are trending down and need a decisive win. In Cleveland, they’ll have the opportunity. Let’s go Steelers.

Game of the Week: Cowboys @ Seahawks

I hate picking the same teams each week for Game of the Week, but the Cowboys-Seahawks matchup looks like the game to watch in week 6, with the Packers @ Dolphins matchup being a close second. I’ve got a lot of upsets picked this week, including the Dolphins, the Bills at home vs. the Patriots, the Jaguars on the road against Tennessee, the Bears in Atlanta, and the Redskins in Arizona. Not in that list? The Cowboys in Seattle. Tony Romo is overrated and as good as DeMarco Murray is, I think this is the week he struggles.

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