Seattle Seahawks (12-2) - Previously: #1 - I mentioned that Pete Carroll pulled a Cobra Kai-type maneuver on Sunday, throwing a challenge flag on Victor Cruz's apparent reception when the receiver was down on the field and barely moving. If Carroll were a sensei in his spare time, he would tell his fighters to sweep the leg for sure.
If you think I'm hating on Carroll for this, you misunderstand me. I'm all for challenging plays while opponents are barely conscious. I also like it when fighters sweep the leg during karate tournaments. John Kreese should be a national hero.
Carolina Panthers (10-4) - Previously: #4 - The Panthers had all the reason in the world to trip up like the Saints did at St. Louis, but they essentially beat the Jets by 17. They've kicked the crap out of inferior competition all year.
While Carolina is a very good team, I have some issues with its fans. I recently said that Cam Newton is the least-proven out of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, which is factually correct. However, at least five Panther fans told me to basically f*** myself because I was hating on Cam again. Really? Oh OK, I guess Cam is just as proven as three quarterbacks who have a combined five Super Bowl rings. Derp.
Luckily, Panther fans are not all insane. Here's one who thinks very clearly:
I sick of all of these band wagon jumping "Panthers fans" who think that just because were winning that means they can go around trolling power rankings that think the Panthers aren't number one. I'm a Panthers fan too, but this is ridiculous. News flash, 1) Cam isn't God, and 2) were ranked number 4. Quit you're incessant whining.
Yeah, what he said!
San Francisco 49ers (10-4) - Previously: #5 - Like the Panthers, San Francisco was too good to get tripped up against an inferior opponent. That puts them ahead of the Saints and Broncos.
Of course, there are some who aren't very happy that the 49ers are winning like this, and I'm not just talking about fans of the three other NFC West teams. I received an e-mail from someone who roots for a team not affiliated with that division:
I would love to see SF lose. Their fans are lame. They're this weird coalition of wine and cheese yuppies, soccer moms and computer programmers with manhood anxiety.
Denver Broncos (11-3) - Previously: #2 - The Denver loss to San Diego turned out to be meaningless, but everyone made it out to be pretty big at the time. The Broncos, after all, relinquished homefield advantage in the AFC. The talking heads on TV were up in arms about this, but nothing they said compares to this e-mail I received after the game:
Glad everything's OK now.
New Orleans Saints (10-4) - Previously: #3 - Everyone knew the Saints couldn't win outside of the Superdome, but they should at least be able to win in other domes. What the hell was that loss to the Rams about? I know they weren't trying very hard, but at least the Panthers and 49ers won their games over inferior competition. And besides, had the Saints lost at the last second, or whatever, that would've been one thing. But to trail 27-3 heading into the fourth quarter? WTF, Saints?
New England Patriots (10-4) - Previously: #6 - In the past three weeks, the Patriots have nearly lost to the Browns and Texans, watched Rob Gronkowski go down for the year, and gave away the brief control of their own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. On the bright side, authorities might be able to finally arrest Aaron Hernandez in 2018. I said MIGHT. I'm not giving anything away!
Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) - Previously: #7 - I think I nearly lost my mind watching the Chiefs-Raiders game. It's a screen pass, Oakland. It's a freaking screen pass.
I've been using this spot for my power rankings hate mail, so I might as well keep it that way...
You would've picked Geno Smith with Clevland's 1st round pick at 6...you also thought Jimmy Clausen would be all that...seriously as was asked "what are your credentials Walt?" The reason why Jacksonville wins meaningless games is something called pride which you don't have Walt
This is true. If I had the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, I would pick pride, so I could actually have some.
Wait a minute... You want Jacksonville, Minnesota & Houston to tank (which means "not try") and yet you're bashing the Redskins for "not trying"? Whatever dictionary you found the word "Pyrrhic", you might also want to look up the word HYPOCRITE!
I know you're very busy sniffing glue, but you may want to look up the 2014 NFL Draft order so you can realize the Redskins don't have a first-round pick, meaning they have nothing to tank for.
Walterfootball: "Of course I'm a loser. I'm an idiot, who wouldn't know talent if it bit me in the ass. But I still have a site that's listed #1 on Google, so that makes me a loser that has money. I like to trash talk teams that I know nothing about because I have to fill this site with some sort of drivel. Also I'm a high school dropout. If that's not obvious from everything I say, then I don't know what is!"
What's wrong with being a high school dropout? There are lots of successful high school dropouts, like that guy down the block who makes lots of money selling drugs to kids. If he can be a success, I can be a success too!
(For those wondering, I am not a high school dropout; ironically, this Web site was initially a high school project in my Internet class back in 1999).
what grown man still says someone has a sandy vag??? you really are one gigantic loser, walt
What? I hang out at bars all the time, and all of the creepy dudes who hit on drunk chicks say "sandy vag" all the time. I want to be cool like them, so that's why I say it.
Walt is one bias piece of crap.
I suppose this is better than being a piece of crap that's not biased?
San Diego Chargers (7-7) - Previously: #15 - I never would've imagined ranking the Chargers in the top 10 a couple of weeks ago. Their record was obviously an issue, but the bigger problem was their atrocious defense. Well, I don't know what happened, but San Diego's defense has improved tremendously over the past few weeks. If the stop unit can maintain that level of play, the Chargers can beat anyone. Philip Rivers is playing great, now that he has his left tackle back in the lineup (Bengals fans looking to complain about San Diego behind ahead of their team should recognize that King Dunlap was out during their matchup).
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) - Previously: #12 - Here's my NFL Game Recaps page where you can find analysis of the Lions-Ravens game.
Miami Dolphins (8-6) - Previously: #13 - Huge win by the Dolphins, who have won four of their previous five. Their only loss in that span was a last-second defeat to the Panthers.
This stretch obviously includes a win at Pittsburgh. But was that really a victory? My memory tells me it was, but ESPN apparently disagrees. Check out this screen shot sent from Matthew C:
NFL Power Rankings: Week 16 - Bottom 10
32. Houston Texans (2-12) - Previously: #31 - Mel Kiper appeared on Sunday NFL Countdown and said that the No. 1 overall pick will come down to three players: Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr and Jake Matthews. If the 2014 NFL Draft were held today, Clowney would probably be the pick. But this reminds me of the 2011 NFL Draft. Both Kiper and Todd McShay thought a defensive lineman would be the top choice (Kiper said Nick Fairley, while McShay suggested Da'Quan Bowers), yet the Panthers ultimately fell in love with Cam Newton.
The same thing will probably happen to the Texans unless they sign Jay Cutler or trade for Kirk Cousins. Houston will have five months to become smitten with Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr (probably not because of David's failure), Johnny Manziel or even Brett Hundley. One of those signal-callers will probably be the No. 1 pick.
31. Washington Redskins (3-11) - Previously: #32 - I'll go into this further later during the week when I bash Michael Irvin for being an incompetent buffoon, but the Redskins starting Kirk Cousins was the right move for so many reasons:
1. Griffin needs to be humbled after throwing his teammates and coaches under the bus after every loss.
2. Griffin isn't 100 percent, so what's the point of playing him in meaningless games?
3. Most of the players wanted Kirk Cousins to start, per reports.
4. The Redskins can probably obtain a high second-round pick for Cousins after that performance.
5. I'm sure Griffin suffered another boo-boo, so the time off will allow his dad to put a Band-Aid on it every day.
30. Oakland Raiders (4-10) - Previously: #28 - It's a screen pass, Oakland. It's a freaking screen pass.
Ugh. So frustrated. You know what time it is...
The Adventures of Derek Anderson's Magic Flask!
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is working hard to game plan for the Chiefs.
Jason Tarver: Oh boy, oh boy, this Jamaal Charles is one tough cookie!
Jason Tarver: Wuuzz sscrreen passsess hic! Myyy dooorr hasss a sccreeeen annn it alllwayyyss hiit meeee innnnn leeggg! Hherresss whaaatt I thiiinkk bboutt youurr screeeen passsessss. Oonnne miidddleee fiinnger! Twooo mmillll finnngeuursss!
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) - Previously: #26 - Perhaps the best thing to happen to the Jaguars against the Bills was that their mascot, Jaxson de Ville, won some golfing competition against a professional golfer. It was quite amazing - especially when considering that Jaxson de Ville was emotionally scarred from the previous home game.
If you missed it, Michael Irvin was hanging out with Jaxson de Ville prior to kickoff when the former Cowboy receiver slurred, "This mascot name Jaxson Ville! Jaxson! Ville!"
You mean "Jaxson DE Ville," Irvin? See, kids? This is why snorting cocaine is bad for you. You'll grow up to be illiterate TV analysts making millions of dollars. So, don't do coke, or you'll be rich and famous!
27. New York Jets (6-8) - Previously: #25 - Geno Smith plays like he's intoxicated, Matt Simms sucks, while Mark Sanchez styles his hair like a girl. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The best of the bunch would undoubtedly be Tim Tebow, but the Jets can't even locate him anymore. Don't believe me? Check out his profile on NFL.com:
No wonder Tebow's not on a roster. These coaches and general managers keep mailing him, but their letters always bounce back because there's no state called null.
26. Cleveland Browns (4-10) - Previously: #27 - This week's Gong rant:
I watch the Browns to watch as they suck, and continue to suck, and all their players are worst or near worst in the NFL. I am never disappointed (or not for long, if anyone does any thing good ever)
25. New York Giants (5-9) - Previously: #22 - I sometimes have strange dreams about football. I discussed one last year in which Texans' owner Bob McNair hired me to steal the Colts' commercials.
Well, I had another one a couple of days ago where I bet my entire life savings on the Giants, only to watch Eli Manning toss countless interceptions. No lie, I woke up in the middle of the night shouting: "NOOOOO ELLLIII NOOOOOO DON'T FOOORRCCEE ANNNOOTHHHER THRRROOWW INTOOO DOUUBBLEE COOOVERRAGGE NOOOOOOOO PPLLLEAASSEE NOOOOOOOOOOOO AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"
I probably should've taken that as a sign not to bet on the Giants.
24. Atlanta Falcons (4-10) - Previously: #23 - What percentage of Falcon fans do you think were rooting for the Redskins to make that two-point conversion? Atlanta can probably kiss Jadeveon Clowney and perhaps Anthony Barr goodbye as a result. What a terrible, meaningless win.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) - Previously: #22 - I don't have much to say about the Buccaneers, so two things:
1. I know I'll be asked about this, so let me say that I've moved the Vikings out of the bottom 10 despite their 4-9-1 record because they just crushed the Eagles, recently beat the Bears, nearly knocked off the Ravens and tied the Packers in Lambeau. They've been playing extremely well lately, so they have no business being in the bottom 10.
2. This is a good time for more Andy Reid memes!
Last week, I showed you an animated version of the Chiefs' coach:
This week, here's another Andy Reid-walrus picture:
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Arizona Cardinals (9-5). Previously: #11
12. Philadelphia Eagles (8-6). Previously: #8
13. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5). Previously: #9
14. Detroit Lions (7-7). Previously: #10
15. Chicago Bears (8-6). Previously: #14
16. Indianapolis Colts (9-5). Previously: #17
17. Green Bay Packers (7-6-1). Previously: #18
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8). Previously: #19
19. Dallas Cowboys (7-7). Previously: #16
20. Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1). Previously: #29
21. Tennessee Titans (5-9). Previously: #20
22. St. Louis Rams (6-8). 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: