• Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 17!


    Well we've come to the final week of the season, and just when we thought things were finally figured out, we got thrown one last curveball. While the top of the top solidified their spots, we saw cracks in teams such as Denver and Indianapolis. Further, both Oakland and Washington pulled upsets over teams facing playoff elimination, that sent shockwaves through the Bottom 5. Fun fact? The Raiders are now 3-2 in their last 5 games.

    The Bottom 5 actually became the most difficult part of this weeks rankings to figure out. It's clear that Tampa Bay and Tennessee are at the bottom, but things get murky after that with last week's #29 ad #30 pulling upsets, and #28 pulling the near upset. Further, a team like Jacksonville won as well, which makes it difficult to move them back into the Bottom 5. So what to do?

    The final week of the season will certainly not be without its share of juicy storylines. There are three, count'em THREE, head-to-head matchups that will decide division championships. One of those will even decide a first round bye. The NFL couldn't have dreamed it up any better.

    Let's get to the rankings!

    Top 10

    1. New England (1) - the Patriots pull out a gutty win against the scrappy Jets who had nothing to lose. In the meantime, the've also locked up the #1 seed in the AFC, which has to make them the favorite to make it to Arizona. Statworthy: Sunday's win from Bill Belichick's 230th, moving him into 4th all time, passing Curly Lambeau.

    2. Seattle (3) - not that there should have been too much surprised, but the Champs are primed and ready to defend their title, playing their best ball of the season at the right time. Marshawn Lynch may not be the easiest guy to deal with, but there's a reason he's called Beast Mode. On the other hand, its hard not to like Russell Wilson, who's turning into a top tier QB. Statworthy: Seattle's 596yds of offense Sunday was a franchise record. Bonus Statworthy: Lynch's 79yd TD was the only run of the game where he faced a loaded box.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo ·
    Russell Wilson: 2nd QB in NFL history with multiple games of 300 passing yards and 80 rushing yards (other: Michael Vick)
    3. Green Bay (2) - Aaron Rodgers is a little banged up, but you still have to think the Packers are in pretty good shape going into the playoffs. This week's game with the Lions looms large though and has massive ramifications in the NFC playoff field.

    4. Detroit (5) - boy is that defense tough to play against, and with Megatron on the other side of the field they have all the pieces to be a bonafide Super Bowl contender. Statworthy: the Lions had their 13th missed FG Sunday.

    5. Dallas (6) - what a dismantling of the Colts this week. The only thing you can knock the Cowboys for in the game, is that they probably left their starters in too long. There are worst criticisms in the world. Luckily DeMarco Murray didn't injure his hand (or any other body part) and further. Statworthy: in his last 20 attempts in which he was blitzed, Tony Romo is 17 for 20 with 4 TD's.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo ·
    NFL leaders in Total QBR (2014 Season)
    Tony Romo 82.3
    Aaron Rodgers 81.2
    Peyton Manning 80.8

    Full leaderboard http://es.pn/1kr6bVe
    6. Denver (4) - Denver should feel concerned about the results of Monday night against Cincinnati. No, it didn't hurt them in the playoff seeding and they were playing a desperate team, but its more about HOW they lost. They gave up 205 yds on special teams, and over 200yds rushing. Further, its becoming more than apparent that all is not well with Peyton Manning. Statworthy: Manning had a 0.0 QBR rating in the 4th quarter. Just the 5th QB in the last 9 years to "accomplish" that.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo ·
    With 2 receiving TD tonight, Emmanuel Sanders has 9 this season, equaling his total from his previous 3 seasons combined.
    7. Arizona (7) - the Cardinals are only still this high because their defense is so good. It's hard to think they will go anywhere in the playoffs with the offense playing the way they are. Who'd have thought these words would ever be typed: "they desperately need Drew Stanton back." Statworthy: Sunday, the Cardinals were the first 11 win team to ever be a 7.5 home underdog.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo ·
    Ryan Lindley has thrown 225 passes in his career without a TD. That's the most attempts without a TD in NFL history.
    8. Pittsburgh (10) - there are still questions about the Pittsburgh defense, but they are quietly turning into the most dangerous offense in the playoff field. Big game this week with the Bengals to determine the division champion. Statworthy: The Steelers had 6 sacks Sunday, all on plays they didn't blitz. Bonus Statworthy: Antonio Brown has more receptions, more TD's, and more 1st downs than the entire Chiefs WR corp combined.

    9. Indianapolis (8) - its hard exactly what to make of the Colts right now. They just aren't playing well right now, and that includes Andrew Luck who is near the top of the league in turnovers this season. That's concerning, because they don't have the running game or defense to bail him out if he's turning the ball over. Statworthy: the 35 point loss Sunday was the worst defeat in the Andrew Luck era.

    10. Cincinnati (NR) - what an exciting win for the Bengals in what was essentially a must win game. You didn't want to have to go to Pittsburgh next week at night with the playoffs on the line. The division however IS on the line. The saving grace may be that the Bengals actually play the Steelers pretty well at Heinz Field. A win next week would pull the Bengals up to .500 at Heinz Field in the Marvin Lewis era. The Bengals need to show that last night was the start of a trend under the lights. Statworthy: with Hill's 85yd TD, the Bengals became the first team in NFL history to have 2 80+ yd TD runs by two separate players in the same season. Bonus Statworthy: the Bengals were in nickel for 44 of Peyton's 46 dropbacks Monday night. It was the 4th highest percentage of nickel Manning has faced on the season.

    ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo ·
    After Monday's win, Andy Dalton has a record of 3-6 in prime-time games – but it’s 2-1 on “Monday Night Football”
    HONORABLE MENTIONS

    San Diego - the Chargers had a great come from behind win Saturday night to keep their playoff hopes alive. It says a lot about Philip Rivers that he led the Chargers back from a 21pt deficit to win, despite playing with a bulging disk in his back. If they win this week, they're in, but it won't be easy. The Chiefs have plenty to play for themselves, and they can pound the rock against a bad Chargers Run D. Statworthy: the Chargers' 21 point comeback Sunday was their largest comeback since they came back from the same halftime score against the Bengals in 2006.

    Baltimore - man, I'd say that was the worst game of Flacco's career, but he had some real stinkers early in his career. The Ravens now need a win and help to get into the playoff field. You've got to be concerned about their defense, but they've got the luxury of a home game against the Browns this week who are starting their 3rd QB in the last month. They can't take it easy though, as Connor Shaw is a baller. Statworthy: Flacco's QBR Sunday was a 3.2, the 3rd worst of his career.

    Bottom 5

    28. Jacksonville (NR) - tough to demote the Jaguars after a win, but their win was against the worst team in the league while the Raiders beat a team that was fighting for a playoff spot. If the two played today, the Raiders would likely win, though I still think there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the Jaguars team. Statworthy: after 4 more Sunday, the Jags now have 33 sacks without blitzing on the season, 3rd most in the league.

    29. New York Jets (28) - they played the Patriots tough, and the Patriots had a lot to play for, but they tend to play the Patriots tough, and like this week, they tend to lose. They've just been too bad for too much of this year to reward them for any kind of moral victory from Sunday's loss.

    30. Washington (30) - its tough to put them this low since they won this week and have a better record than those above them, but this team still has major issues on the field and off it that I'm inclined to think that this week's win was more of an outlier.

    31. Tampa Bay (31) - with their loss to the Packers, the Bucs have wrapped up the #1 pick. Surprisingly, that happened a lot later than it usually does. So, are the Bucs big spenders in free agency again this year? There's already rumors that LT Anthony Collins, who was one of their prized free agent signings, may be cut in the offseason. He was a healthy scratch in Week 15.

    32. Tennessee (32) - while they won't have the #1 pick in the draft, they're still the worst team in the league. The Titans have holes every where right now. Do they take a first round QB, or try to build around Mettenberger? Statworthy: the Titans have now given up 34 non-blitz sacks this year, most in the league.

    What Say You FP?

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      9. Indianapolis (8) - its hard exactly what to make of the Colts right now. They just aren't playing well right now, and that includes Andrew Luck who is near the top of the league in turnovers this season. That's concerning, because they don't have the running game or defense to bail him out if he's turning the ball over. Statworthy: the 35 point loss Sunday was the worst defeat in the Andrew Luck era.
      Someone here (sorry, can't remember who) recently suggested that the Colts are basically what I call "sneaky bad." It's mostly true. They aren't truly bad, they just aren't as good as they sometimes appear--the only good team they've beaten is Cincninnati and the Bengals themselves can't be relied upon to be a good team every week. The Colts are depending on "Boom" Herron to run the ball; the offensive line is down to some guys they found in the parking lot at Lucas Oil; T.Y. Hilton and Dwayne Allen are both injured; and the defense just isn't very good unless they are playing Tennessee or Jacksonville. Luck has had some turnover problems, but Luck is cut a bit from the same cloth as Big Ben: he just can't give up on a play. Ultimately, I think this will win as many games for the Colts as it loses, and at present he has no choice--the Colts are completely dependent on him.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
      Someone here (sorry, can't remember who) recently suggested that the Colts are basically what I call "sneaky bad." It's mostly true. They aren't truly bad, they just aren't as good as they sometimes appear--the only good team they've beaten is Cincninnati and the Bengals themselves can't be relied upon to be a good team every week. The Colts are depending on "Boom" Herron to run the ball; the offensive line is down to some guys they found in the parking lot at Lucas Oil; T.Y. Hilton and Dwayne Allen are both injured; and the defense just isn't very good unless they are playing Tennessee or Jacksonville. Luck has had some turnover problems, but Luck is cut a bit from the same cloth as Big Ben: he just can't give up on a play. Ultimately, I think this will win as many games for the Colts as it loses, and at present he has no choice--the Colts are completely dependent on him.

      a Cincinnati/Indy rematch would be interesting. Both teams are very different than they were when that first game was played. AJ Green didn't play in the first one, the Bengals running game is much different, as is their defense. Further, it seems the Colts offense is in a different place too. The biggest thing may be the Bengals pass protection. Not that Eric Winston is better than Andre Smith in general, but one of the biggest things of the game was how much Smith struggled with Werner.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      re: 29

      The Jets always play us tough since Rex has been there, and they win often enough to keep it interesting.

      In his six years, the Jets are 3-3 against us in New York, and those are the only 3 losses vs the Jets, in NY, of Brady's career. (They won in 2009 and 2010 with Sanchez, and 2013 with Geno)

      In Foxboro, we've gone 6-1 vs the Jets since Rex has been there. The -1, however, was the biggest of the game, in the 2010 Divsional playoff round.

      So, we are 9-4 vs them with Rex, but most of the games have been close. The last 6 have all been decided by 3 points or less.