Thursday, 29 November 2012

NFL Power Rankings: Week 13


1.       San Francisco 49ers 8-2-1 (U1)
The Niners are, for me, playing the best football in the league right now. Whether it’s Kaep slinging it downfield against the Bears or their defense taking it to the house twice against the Saints, there are few teams that can match their level of play. Nobody has been perfect this year, but in my opinion they are the Super Bowl favourites right now. Let’s hope they don’t shoot themselves in the foot by over thinking their QB dilemma. The Niners face off with the Rams next, in what is unlikely to be another draw.

2.       Houston Texans 10-1 (D1)
Tough to drop Houston after winning yet another game, but the manner of their last two victories has raised some questions. No doubt they will be a strong force in the playoffs, but I can’t help feeling their luck will run out at just the wrong time. Of course, these rankings aren’t who I think is most likely to win it all, but who would be most dangerous to play in week 13. Next the Texans travel to music city. 

3.       Denver Broncos 8-3 (U1)
The Broncos keep getting it done, and whilst their schedule has been pretty relaxed of late they have a tougher test next in the visiting Buccs. There is no denying Manning is as good as he ever was, and they will fancy their chances of going all the way this year.

4.       New England Patriots 8-3 (U1)
The Patriots just tore the Jets limb from limb, and overlooking (if possible) the hilarious NY miscues it was another confident performance. The fact NE continue to look strong should surprise nobody, and with a trip to Miami next I don’t see any big cracks appearing.

5.       Atlanta Falcons 10-1 (D2)
The Falcons drop, and perhaps unjustly after another win. Not so long ago I was singing their praises as the best team in the league, but there have been some worrying signs lately. They’ve gone from being the recipient of multiple turnovers to the benefactor of them in recent games, but they still have an extremely talented roster. A tough repeat match-up of their only loss this year looms.


6.       Chicago Bears 8-3 (U1)
The Bears have done a great job of beating up on worse teams this year which has perhaps given them an overinflated image, as they’ve been thoroughly trounced by Green Bay, SF and (less thoroughly) Houston. They’ll need to beat the best to have any hope of a playoff run, but should at the very least get a wildcard, if not the NFC North crown. A visit from Seattle next is another tough but winnable test.

7.       Baltimore Ravens 9-2 (U1)
The Ravens manage to pull off an improbable victory at San Diego. They clearly have a lot of talent and are sitting pretty at 9-2 but, as has been said countless times, they need to slay their away day bugbear to have any confidence in a title challenge. Next they face the still Big Ben-less Steelers (at home) in one they should expect to win.

8.       Green Bay Packers 7-4 (D2)
The Pack fall hard to the Giants, who seem to well and truly have their number. With key players set to return from injury, and a relatively easy home game vs Minnesota next, they should still feel very confident will make the post-season (and are still only one game behind Chicago in the North). Yes, I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for not swinging them all the way below NY, but if I was an average team in the league I know who I would rather play out of these two (they don’t play in green).

9.       New York Giants 7-4 (U5)
The Giants are maybe the most frustrating team to try and predict week in week out, they will lie stagnant for several weeks threatening to throw their season away to sub-par franchises before rearing up and flexing their muscles in the lights of a big game. They will feel quietly confident going into the playoffs (assuming they make it), having already shown they can comfortably beat 2 of their main NFC rivals in SF and GB. Redskins next in what should be an electric MNF show-down.

10.   Seattle Seahawks 6-5 (D1)
How can a professional sports team be so reliant on a friendly crowd to dictate whether it wins or loses? I don’t know the answer, as it’s not even like Seattle run a high tempo hurry-up attack that can be disrupted by a hostile environment. Add to their road troubles a pair of looming suspensions for their shutdown corners Sherman and Browner (for Adderall of all things), and their hopes of a surprise playoff run seem to be fading fast. They have Chicago next, at Soldier Field. Ouch.

11.   Indianapolis Colts 7-4 (U2)
The Colts win another home game and rise to an eye opening 7-4. Nobody expected much of this Indy team before the season, but it is worth remembering they were perennial playoff contenders with Manning (who granted makes a huge difference), and without losing too many pieces it shouldn’t be that surprising they can do it again with a talented QB (plus a very easy schedule). Next up though is one of their tougher games with a trip to the Lions.

12.   New Orleans Saints 5-6 (D2)
The Saints lose to the 49ers, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are terrible, but they do now need to win out to stand a chance of the post-season. Beating the Falcons this Sunday would certainly help their cause.

13.   Cincinnati Bengals 6-5 (U4)
The Bengals beat down on the hapless Raiders, and improve to 6-5. They have a real shot of a wildcard berth in the weak AFC, but first need to beat floundering (but still dangerous) San Diego this Sunday.

14.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-5 (D3)
The Buccs lose narrowly to the Falcons, and are enjoying their own surprisingly good season. They too will be harbouring wild-card aspirations, but with a trip to the Broncos next they can’t afford too many more losses in the tough NFC.

15.   Washington Redskins 5-6 (U4)
The Redskins school the Cowboys in another big game for their rookie QB. It also seems their defence has finally decided to start showing up to games, and what with hosting the Giants on Monday night football they could spring the NFC East wide open with a victory.

16.   Minnesota Vikings 6-5 (D4)
The Vikings lose convincingly to the Bears, and whilst not out of the playoff hunt mathematically they do have their work cut out for them at this stage. Travelling to Green Bay next is a crucial but tough encounter.

17.   Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5 (D2)
The Steelers without Roethlisberger may be one of the weakest offenses in the league, for no other reason than their sheer lack of a half-decent back up. When you consider some of the QB talent in the league right now surely they could have found better options than Leftwich and Charlie D'Donte Batch (yep, no joke) to support number 7? Next their depleted squad travels to the Ravens in what is unlikely to be the great spectacle we’ve come to expect from this rivalry.

18.   Detroit Lions 4-7 (D2)
Whilst the Lions are done for 2012, they haven’t played as badly as 4-7 would suggest. They’ve come close in a lot of games, especially the last two weeks, but seem to just be missing that spark to turn them into a real contender. Personally I can’t stand Jim Swartz, and can’t help but think if they had, say, a Harbaugh manning the ship they could be truly great. Next they host the Colts.

19.   Dallas Cowboys 5-6 (D1)
The Cowboys are not out of the playoff hunt, but could dearly do with the Skins upsetting big blue this weekend to have a shot. Beating the Eagles can’t hurt their chances either, however even with that it doesn’t look like being anything more than another disappointing season in big D.

20.   Miami Dolphins 5-6 (U4)
The Dolphins see off the Hawks at home and keep themselves in the tight AFC wildcard hunt. With the visiting Pats up next you can’t really see it happening though, especially with the talent (or lack of) on their roster.

21.   St. Louis Rams 4-6-1 (U4)
The Rams surprised me by beating the Cardinals at Arizona, mainly due to Ryan Lindley doing some very Ryan Lindley things. Once they realised he couldn’t throw deep it was game over, but they will have a much tougher test in the visiting 49ers this week.

22.   San Diego Chargers 4-7 (D1)
I don’t want to talk about it. Bengals next.

23.   Cleveland Browns 3-8 (U4)
Cleveland are almost out of the bottom 10! Getting 8 takeaways will do that to you, even if it was against Charlie Batch. Next up they will be hoping to ride their defence to a victory in Oakland, although at this stage it seems they are just playing themselves out of a top tier draft pick.

24.   Arizona Cardinals 4-7 (D4)
The Cardinals have been as disappointing this half of the season as they were surprisingly in weeks 1-4. It’s bad when your fan-base finds themselves praying for Kevin Kolb’s return. Please just draft a QB. Next they face the equally terrible Jets.

25.   Buffalo Bills 4-7 (U4)
The Bills lose away to Indy, and although they find themselves in some pretty good company in that group this year, they will need to up their game to see off the Jag’s revival coming to town this weekend.

26.   Carolina Panthers 3-8 (U3)
The Panthers grab their 3rd win on Monday night football vs the Eagles. Whilst beating Philly is nothing to crow about anymore, they have another relatively easy game vs KC this weekend.

27.   Jacksonville Jaguars 2-9 (U3)
The Jaguars are playing some decent football right now, and whilst at this stage pride is all they have at stake, you can’t put a value on wins for a fan base that has been well and truly starved of them in recent years.  Travelling to Buffalo next is another tough but winnable encounter.

28.   Tennessee Titans 4-7 (D2)
Take a long hard look at yourself Tennessee. Losing to Jacksonville is NOT acceptable. Ever. Now go and think about what you’ve done before welcoming the Texans…

29.   New York Jets 4-7 (D6)
That game was hilarious for anyone who A. isn’t a Jets fan and B. Enjoys seeing fumbles forced by the ass check of an offensive lineman (so, pretty much the entire world).  In sadder news, Fireman Ed has quit! When even your most vocal supporter has had enough it’s time to rethink your priorities – wouldn’t you be better applying for LFL membership? Sanchez certainly has the cheekbones for it.

30.   Philadelphia Eagles 3-8 (D2)
Jason Babin’s release has signalled the start of a major house-clearing. Let’s just say by the end of this off-season there will be a lot of former Eagles starting on various other franchises, not to mention rogue Walrus sightings at losing teams all over the country (I hear the San Diego zoo has world class facilities, Andy). I do have a rekindled soft-spot for Philly after seeing (the excellent) Silver Linings Playbook this week, but even that can’t make me expect anything but a big loss to Dallas this weekend.

31.   Oakland Raiders 3-8 (-)
Oakland just got dismantled by Cincinnati, and to make matters worse they could well be staring down a loss to Cleveland by the end of play Sunday. There’s only so much happiness to go around in the NFL, and if there Browns have even 1% of it you know they’ve stolen it from someone… chances are it’s the Raiders.

32.   Kansas City Chiefs 1-10 (-)
You know the AFC West is a joke when the Chargers are the 2nd best team in it! The Chiefs have easily been the worst team in the league this year, and will likely lose to Carolina to cement their position as the #1 overall pick. Lucky there’s a clear franchise QB in this draft, right KC? Oh… this is awkward.






2 comments:

  1. How are the Seahawks ahead of the Colts. that is rubbish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Defence is better, RB better, QB Colts have a slight edge, WR pretty even overall.

      I think the Seahawks are a better team, if they do lose both CBs they will drop but remember the Colts have had a very easy schedule. I expect them both to lose this weekend.

      Delete

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