Power Rankings: Weeks 7-8 (2013-14)

It never ceases to surprise me how much change in just two weeks of the NFL. Weeks 7 and 8 showed us just how competitive this league can be, with “good” teams falling and “bad” teams rising. Time to revaulate what we originally thought of some teams. You’ll see a whole lot of movement in this week’s Power Rankings.


1. Kansas City Chiefs 8-0 (↑1) Kansas City remains the last undefeated team in the league and with it the undeniable right to the top spot.

2. Denver Broncos 7-1 (↓1)- The great Denver Broncos were finally toppled by Peyton’s former team in a game that was as good as advertised. They surely have some defensive issues to sort out and once they do, they’ll be even better than they were at 6-0.

3. Seattle Seahawks 7-1 (0)- We all know the Hawks can play at home. It now looks like they can play on the road as well, winning three of their last four away from Seattle. 

 4. New Orleans Saints 6-1 (↑1)– New Orleans came out of the bye looking as good as we thought after handling Buffalo. They’ll complete their competition with the AFC East next week in New York.

5. Indianapolis Colts 5-2 (↑1)Wins over Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco makes up the most impressive résumé in the NFL. They can beat any team if they bring their A game.


6. San Francisco 49ers 6-2 (↑1)San Francisco continues to roll against teams with losing records. We’ll finally see them against tougher competition (Carolina, New Orleans) after their Week 9 bye.

7. Cincinnati Bengals 6-2 (↑1)– After a ruthless pounding of New York, Cincy is now 3-0 against the AFC East. Miami awaits as the last chance to break that streak, but expect this impressive Bengals team to complete the sweep.

8. New England Patriots 6-2 (↓4)– Just as New England was ready to join KC and Denver as one of the top teams, they drop one to division rival New York. In both their losses (other to Cincy), stopping the run has been a huge problem.

9. Green Bay Packers 5-2 (0)– Green Bay extended their post-bye winning streak to four with crushing wins over Cleveland and Minnesota. Aaron Rodgers’ offense looks as good as we expected.

10. Detroit Lions 5-3 (0) Calvin Johnson showed us the arguably greatest four-quarter receiving performance the NFL has ever seen. Though only by one, the win over Dallas has Detroit feeling good heading into the bye. They are in a great position to compete for a playoff spot.

11. San Diego Chargers 4-3 (↑1)- A win over Jacksonville and a bye in Week 8 doesn’t tell us any more about San Diego than we already knew. They are on the cusp of success but their inconsistency is what is holding them back.

12. Dallas Cowboys 4-4 (↑1) I won’t hold the loss to Detroit against the Cowboys too much. While they gave up a great chance to extend their division lead, they still look like they should win the NFC East.

13. Arizona Cardinals 4-4 (↑6) It’s a shame Arizona is in such a tough division because they play better than most four-loss teams. They have a real shot to surprise us in the coming weeks.

14. Carolina Panthers 4-3 (↑10) Such a large jump may look like an overreaction but with the NFL as competitive as it is, most teams would be lucky to win three in a row like Carolina has.

 15. New York Jets 4-4 (↑7) It’s time I finally give New York some credit. They beat New England for their fourth win, which is more than I thought they’d have at this point. They aren’t great, but they can play.

16. Baltimore Ravens 3-4 (↓5) I fully expect the Ravens to rebound but their sloppy loss to Pittsburgh drops them where they deserve to be.

 17. Chicago Bears 4-3 (↓2) The injury to Jay Cutler couldn’t have come at a worse time with two key division games looming.

18. St. Louis Rams 3-5 (0) Not unlike Arizona, St. Louis is one of the best three-win teams out there and have faced some brutal competition. With their close game with Seattle, the Rams showed us they will fight in each and every game.

19. Tennessee Titans 3-4 (↑1) Tennessee showed us they are not ready to compete with the big boys after three straight losses to the NFL’s elite. Still, they could get away with a wildcard spot in the AFC if they string together some key wins.

20. Buffalo Bills 3-5 (↑3)- At 3-5, Buffalo is on the brink of success or failure. Their next three games will be the deciding weeks for their season. Losing EJ Manuel for that time is not encouraging. 

miami-dolphins-logo-hi-res-201321. Miami Dolphins 3-4 (↓7) They came out of the gate fantastic, but all of sudden Miami cannot win a game. They are quickly plummeting to the bottom of the AFC East. They need a spark.


22. Cleveland Browns 3-5 (↓6)– Just like Miami, Cleveland has dropped multiple games in a row. The QB change to Jason Campbell was a necessary one but I’m not sure if he can turn this season back around.

23.Philadelphia Eagles 3-5 (↓6) If the loss the Giants showed Philly anything, it’s that Nick Foles needs to be starting at QB. He’ll be back from his injury to face the Raiders in Week 9.

24. Oakland Raiders 3-4 (↑3) Oakland picked up yet another win and it looks like Terrelle Pryor is their best option at QB for the foreseeable future. 

25. Atlanta Falcons 2-5 (0) The win over Tampa put the Falcons in a position to make a comeback this season but they failed to capitalize with a loss the next week. With New Orleans running away with the division, Atlanta is running out of time.

26. Houston Texans 2-5 (↓5) Houston looked better against KC but still couldn’t end their drought. A key matchup with Indy in Week 9 could be a defining week in the Texans’ season.


27. Washington Redskins 2-5 (↓1) Though allowing 45 points looks bad, Washington’s defense looked stronger than they have in previous weeks, against Peyton Manning no less. In a weak NFC East, the season will live or die with the success of the D.


28. New York Giants 0-6 (↑2) Two straight wins going into the bye week is something to cheer about for Giants fans, but against better teams than Minnesota and Philly, a 4:1 FG-TD ratio isn’t going to cut it (8 FGs to 2 TDs in last two games).

29. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-5 (0)- After looking good and allowing less than 90 rushing yards in two straight weeks, the Pittsburgh D couldn’t handle Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden, allowing nearly 200 yards to the Oakland rush.

30. Minnesota Vikings 1-6 (↓2) Minnesota hoped Josh Freeman was the temporary answer to their struggles. His debut fell flat and the ball was handed back to Ponder after an injury. Neither QB could produce a win.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-7 (0)- They may not be the worst team in the league, but Tampa doesn’t look like they can win any time soon, especially after allowing 31 points in three straight.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-8 (0)- With an offense that simply fails to produce points (worst in NFL) and a defense that refuses to stop anybody (worst in NFL), Jacksonville is playing like one of the worst teams in history.

Biggest jump: Carolina Panthers (↑10)

Biggest fall: Miami Dolphins (↓7)


Power Rankings: Weeks 5-6 (2013-14)

Teams are starting to form an identity after six weeks of play. There is still a lot of football to play and I expect even more shifting in the future. Here are the Power Rankings after six weeks:


1. Denver Broncos 6-0 (0)- Denver was finally placed under some pressure in a game where their defensive flaws were exposed. Peyton Manning responded with heroics and the defense finally made a key stop, but this team no longer looks unbeatable.

2. Kansas City Chiefs 6-0 (↑4) Six weeks in and Kansas City remains unbeaten. They may have not faced the toughest opponents, but until they lose they will remain a top team.

3. Seattle Seahawks 5-1 (↓1)- Seattle’s road struggles finally caught up to them in Indianapolis. Even with that loss, Seattle remains one of the scariest teams in football.

4. New England Patriots 5-1 (0)– More teams than Cincinnati better find a way to end this team effectively or else New England will keep finding ways to win. Injuries are a growing concern as more Pats go down.

5. New Orleans Saints 5-1 (↓2)– Everyone was poised and ready to see this team sail into the bye 6-0. Their inability to stop New England late turned that bye into a bitter welcome, but expect the Saints to bounce back.



6. Indianapolis Colts 4-2 (↓1)– The big win over Seattle had me tabbing this team as one of the NFL’s best. The loss to San Diego now leaves me unsure.

7. San Francisco 49ers 4-2 (0)– After losses to two good teams (Seattle, Indy), the Niners pounded inferior teams relentlessly, hanging 30 on the scoreboard in the last three games. Expect the pounding to continue against Tennessee and Jacksonville.

8. Cincinnati Bengals 4-2 (↑4)– Holding Tom Brady to six points is never easy, I don’t care what weapons he has. Along with the close win on the road in Buffalo, Cincy is sitting pretty on top of the AFC North.

9. Green Bay Packers 3-2 (↑4)– Green Bay couldn’t have asked for better results out of the bye, crushing division rival Detroit and grinding out a road win in Baltimore.

10. Detroit Lions 4-2 (↑4) Detroit did a nice job handling Cleveland on the road after a poor showing in Green Bay. Six weeks through and they share the lead of the NFC North.

11. Baltimore Ravens 3-3 (↓2) Don’t call this team streaky. Alternating wins and losses in the past four weeks show inconsistency. A win in Pittsburgh next week should continue the trend.

12. San Diego Chargers 3-3 (↓2)- Speaking of inconsistency, we have San Diego. The Bolts haven’t won or lost two games in a row this season. To add to the confusion, the followed a bad loss to Oakland with an impressive win against Indy. Which San Diego is the real San Diego?

13. Dallas Cowboys 3-3 (↑6) Dallas finally looks like they have found a groove. They gave Denver their biggest challenge by far and handled division rival Washington. Dallas fans are hoping this isn’t just a home trend, especially with three of the next four on the road.

miami-dolphins-logo-hi-res-201314. Miami Dolphins 3-2 (↓6) Miami wasn’t able to handle their two tests on the road against Baltimore and New Orleans. Another test awaits them in Week 8 when they travel to New England.



 15. Chicago Bears 4-2 (0) Chicago owns the other share of the NFC North lead with Detroit at 4-2, but their body of work isn’t as impressive. Three of their wins have come against teams with a combined 2-14 record.

16. Cleveland Browns 3-3 (↑4) Cleveland’s impressive three game winning streak finally came to an end against Detroit. The road doesn’t get any easier with Green Bay and KC coming up.

17. Philadelphia Eagles 3-3 (↑7) It’s hard to get too excited over Philly’s two straight wins over winless Tampa and New York, but in the end they are worth as much as any other win.

18. St. Louis Rams 3-3 (10) The Rams have officially thrown me for a loop. Ranked 18th in my first power rankings, then 28th in weeks 3-4, now back up to 18th. Crushing wins over Houston and Jacksonville look good on the field but I am cautious to put them any higher in a tough division.

19. Arizona Cardinals 3-3 (↑3) I labeled Arizona pretenders last week and I was surprised to see them hang tough with the Niners. Arizona may surprise some unsuspecting teams down the stretch.

20. Tennessee Titans 3-3 (↓3) After KC and Seattle, the tough road continues for Tennessee with San Fran coming to town.

21. Houston Texans 2-4 (↓10) The Texans have dropped four in a row, three of them in ugly fashion. They need to figure out what is going on before they are left out of the division race altogether. With Indy and Tennessee at 4-2 and 3-3, Houston is still in it.

 22. New York Jets 3-3 (↑1) After a big win in Atlanta where Geno Smith excelled, New York resorted back to their old ways and turned over the ball, allowing Pittsburgh to get their first win.



23. Buffalo Bills 2-4 (↓5)- Buffalo just missed a big victory over Cincy and now find themselves last in the AFC East. A game in Miami has early playoff implications.

24. Carolina Panthers 2-3 (↓3) Second in the NFC South and top 10 in rushing yards, passing defense, and rushing defense, Carolina has the makings of a good team on paper. They need to beat a quality team before that becomes a reality.

25. Atlanta Falcons 1-4 (↓9) In the last Power Rankings I said Atlanta needs to be 5-3 by Week 9 or there is problem. Having already lost to the Jets, there is a real problem. It’s inexplicable that they have only mustered one win with all the talent they possess.

26. Washington Redskins 1-4 (0) Sure, Washington has lost to quality teams but last year’s Redskins would have beaten at least one of them. Robert Griffin is not the same but it is the entire team that needs to improve.

27. Oakland Raiders 2-4 (↑3) Oakland surprised the Chargers bringing their win total to two. A potential spoiler team in the making?



28. Minnesota Vikings 1-4 (↓3) At 1-4, it was clear a change was needed. With Josh Freeman starting at QB the next game, we’ll see if that was the right change to make.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-4 (0)- Pittsburgh finally ended the drought with a win over the Jets. It’s not too late to salvage a respectable record but they still have issues to sort out.

30. New York Giants 0-6 (↓3) Blame Eli for the picks, the O-line for lack of protection, the defense for too many points, or the coaching staff for poor decisions. If you ask me, the crippling struggles in New York are a team effort.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5 (0)- Tampa Bay is full of problems from the inside. The tension surrounding coach Schiano is not doing them any favors.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-6 (0)- Jacksonville actually earned some recognition with their tough play against Denver. I have respect for any team that continues to fight despite what their record is.

Biggest jump: St. Louis Rams (↑10)

Biggest fall: Houston Texans (↓10)

Power Rankings: Weeks 3-4 (2013-14)

In case you’re not caught up, I’m posting Power Rankings every two weeks this season. Substantial jumps and falls in the ranks should be expected. Weeks 3 and 4 didn’t clear up everything, but it certainly gave us a better indication as to where these teams stand. I’m especially excited at the prospect of unexpected success, like the kind we’re seeing in Tennessee, San Diego, Detroit, and Kansas City. Which of these teams are showing us their true colors? Weeks 5 and 6 may answer even more questions. After four weeks in the books, here’s where each team stands:


1. Denver Broncos (0)-A couple more offensive explosions–giving them 179 points scored on the year–should leave no doubt in anybody’s mind as to who’s playing the best football right now.

2. Seattle Seahawks (0)-Another road scare at Houston doesn’t exactly convince me that Seattle can excel on the road. Nevertheless, I have to give them credit for hanging in the game and winning their fourth straight.

3. New Orleans Saints (↑2)With Sean Payton back at the helm and Drew Brees playing at his consistently elite level, it’s safe to say the Saints are back.

4. New England Patriots (↑6)Last week I said the Pats need to figure it out on offense to stay undefeated. Racking up 30 on the road in Atlanta is exactly the kind of performance I needed to see from a resourceful New England team. 



5. Indianapolis Colts (↑12)After struggling against Oakland and losing to Miami, Indianapolis made a statement on the road in San Francisco. This team looks scary when they are on.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (↑7)It’s an all-around effort in KC, where Alex Smith is making smart throws (only two picks) and the defense is keeping every team under 17 points thus far. That’s a formula for success. With the Titans and Raiders on the slate, a 6-0 start for these new-look Chiefs is a real possibility.

7. San Francisco 49ers (↓4)-Two bad losses to Seattle and Indy can’t be ignored, but I trust Jim Harbaugh to have this team on track following the dominating win in St. Louis.

miami-dolphins-logo-hi-res-20138. Miami Dolphins (↑4)One bad loss to the Saints is the only blemish on Miami’s otherwise great start. Picking up a win against the Ravens the following week will go a long way for the team’s psyche.

9. Baltimore Ravens (↑2)-I loved what the Ravens showed me against the Texans, but I hated what I saw against the Bills just as much. That’s a game Baltimore probably feels they could have won. Their response in Miami next week will show me if they have what it takes to go the distance this season.

10. San Diego Chargers (↑4)With 1,199 passing yards, 11 TDs, only 2 picks, and a 118.8 passer rating, Philip Rivers is one of the top three QBs in the league right now. San Diego needs to pick up wins while Philip is hot.

11. Houston Texans (↓3)Houston’s issues finally caught up with them. After escaping with wins against San Diego and Tennessee, the Texans paid dearly against Baltimore and got bit late by Seattle. A tough contest at San Francisco might mean a third-straight loss for the underachieving Texans.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (↓3)At 2-2, you might say Cincinnati’s division champ bid isn’t going well so far. Lucky for them, the rest of the AFC North is struggling at 2-2 or worse. Still, I have to believe that Cincy’s play will need to improve if they want the AFC North crown.

13. Green Bay Packers (↓9)-Green Bay’s two losses have come in shootouts. A timely bye week should patch up some problems on defense. If not, it could be more of the same against a Detroit team who put up 40 on the Bears in Week 4.

14. Detroit Lions (↑6)-The one loss to Arizona is the only thing standing in the way of a 4-0 start. Hard to believe, but sure enough Detroit has come out of the gates playing tough and winning games.

 15. Chicago Bears (↓8)What looked to be a dream start for the Bears came to a screeching halt against the Lions. The 40-32 final score is a lot closer than the game really was and it might get ugly against an even better offensive Saints team next week. Can Chicago hold their own?



16. Atlanta Falcons (↓10)-Atlanta is without a doubt the best 1-3 team out there right now. They’ve lost to quality opponents, which is cause for concern come playoff time. Up next for Atlanta is the Jets, Bucs, Cards, and Panthers. If they aren’t 5-3 by Week 9, there is a real problem.

17. Tennessee Titans (↑10)He may not have been the most accurate QB, but Jake Locker was having a strong year. His hip injury will now sideline him for 4-8 weeks. Not the best time for your QB to go down with KC, Seattle, and San Francisco coming up.

18. Buffalo Bills (↑7)Don’t mess with the Bills at home. Unfortunately, half of Buffalo’s games are on the road and they might run into trouble. EJ Manuel’s work is cut out for him.

19. Dallas Cowboys (↓3)The Cowboys are certainly not playing like division leaders, but that’s where they find themselves. They need to take advantage of the good standing and pick up key wins against Washington and Philly in weeks 6 and 7.

20. Cleveland Browns (↑10)-Cleveland is putting itself in a position to win most games and have come away with two straight. Brandon Weeden’s injury may have been the break Cleveland needed, as Brian Hoyer has filled in nicely. With a rugged defense behind him, Hoyer won’t have to put up spectacular numbers for Cleveland to win.

21. Carolina Panthers (↑5)-The bye week (obviously) didn’t help me figure out Carolina. The big win over the Giants could be a mirage of success. With some easy teams coming up, the Panthers have a real chance to show me that they belong in the conversation with some of the better teams in the league.



22. Arizona Cardinals (↓3)-I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t believe this team can compete until the very end. We’ll see where they are by week 10, after facing San Fran, Seattle, Atlanta, and Houston. It’s up to them to prove me wrong.

 23. New York Jets (↑5)New York’s poor performance in Tennessee was a bit of a reality check. Geno Smith is turning the ball over too much, putting immense pressure on the D to deal with tough field position.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (↓9)-It didn’t take long for Philly’s new offense to be figured out. Being efficient on offense, as Denver, KC, and San Diego were, keeps Vick and McCoy on the sidelines. This works against most teams, but Philly has yet to find a way get past it after three-straight losses.

25. Minnesota Vikings (↓4)-Minnesota finally broke out of the 0-fer club, but against the woeful Steelers. The bye week will need to be utilized well because Minnesota still has plenty of issues, starting with their worst-ranked pass defense.

26. Washington Redskins (↓2)All of Washington let out a sigh of temporary relief as they scraped past the Raiders. Can they possibly turn this into something to work off of?

27. New York Giants (↓5)-It’s a dark time for New York after being crushed late in their last three games. The team is still hopeful, but I can’t help but wonder when there first win will come. It may sound crazy, but thanks to an awful start for the NFC East, New York isn’t completely out of it yet.

28. St. Louis Rams (↓10)St. Louis was such a tough team to beat last year and things were sure looking up. They’ve been exposed early this season.



29. Pittsburgh Steelers (↓6)Big Ben says Pittsburgh may be the worst team in the league. I don’t think it’s quite that bad, but he’s not far off. What is this team doing?

30. Oakland Raiders (↑1)-Oakland may not be as bad as we first thought, but then again, their one win is against Jacksonville. Oakland just needs to focus on what they can do right and build on it each game.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (↓2)-Mike Glennon didn’t impress in his first start, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. How prepared will he be after a bye?

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0)-You know it’s bad when Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Oakland are finding comfort in saying, “Well at least we’re not as bad as Jacksonville.”

Biggest jump: Indianapolis Colts (↑12)

Biggest fall: St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons (↓10)

Power Rankings: Weeks 1-2 (2013-14)

This year I decided to change it up a bit and post new Power Rankings every two weeks (instead of one). Although a lot can change in just one week of football, two weeks gives me a better feel for these teams and it also opens up time for more posts this year. Also, I’d like to mention that Monday (September 16, 2013) was the 3-year anniversary for Inside NFL. Thanks for reading!

Weeks 1 and 2 were incredibly competitive, making it much harder than usual to figure out where these teams should go. If you feel one team is ranked a spot or two lower/higher than they should, chances are I couldn’t disagree. A lot of these teams are that close. But after a lot of consideration, here are my definitive opening Power Rankings for the 2013-14 season (with no ties).


1. Denver Broncos-Peyton looks simply incredible and if Knowshon Moreno can repeat the success he had against New York, this offense will be near-unstoppable. They dismantled two playoff hopefuls (at home and on the road), even with a few key defensive players missing.

2. Seattle Seahawks-It was really tempting to put Seattle at #1 after their stomping of San Francisco, but their struggles on the road showed in Carolina.

3. San Francisco 49ers-Colin Kaepernick quickly changed from looking like a veteran-like QB against Green Bay to a lost rookie in Seattle. I’ll bank on the fact that Seattle has a great defense and that the 49ers are still one of the NFL’s best. Kap will be back in form against Indy next week.

4. Green Bay Packers-Green Bay held their breath when Eddie Lacy went down, but let out a big exhale when James Starks filled in nicely with 132 yards against Washington. A good running game is the key for Green Bay to win big games this season.



5. New Orleans Saints-New Orleans should not have needed a last second field goal to down Tampa Bay, but this is the NFL after all. Considering, two division wins is not a bad way to start off the season.

6. Atlanta Falcons-Atlanta bounced back with 31 points at home after dropping a tough game in New Orleans. We’ll see how they handle their second road game at 2-0 Miami.

 7. Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler has given the Bears two 4th quarter wins against two respectable teams (Cincy, Minnesota). With Pittsburgh and Detroit coming up, Chicago is looking at a very possible 4-0 start. The catch? Both games are on the road.

8. Houston Texans-Come from behind wins may fly against San Diego and Tennessee, but it definitely won’t in the next three weeks at Baltimore, against Seattle, and at San Francisco.

9. Cincinnati Bengals-With a big day on the ground for both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati played solid in a much needed rebound.

10. New England Patriots-New England’s issues are evident. They lack receiving weapons and Stevan Ridley is struggling. Knowing he’s lucky to be 2-0 after two sub-par performances, Tom Brady will have to figure it out soon.

11. Baltimore Ravens-Expecting Baltimore to bounce back after being crushed in Denver, I wasn’t very convinced by a 14-6 win over Cleveland. It was a win nonetheless and Baltimore is 1-1.

miami-dolphins-logo-hi-res-201312. Miami Dolphins-Don’t credit the new logo for a great 2-0 start. It’s Ryan Tannehill, throwing for nearly 600 yards in two games, and the defense, stopping Andrew Luck’s final drive, that are leading the charge.

13. Kansas City Chiefs-It took until Week 13 for KC to get its second win in 2012. This year? Week 2. If the defense can continue to prevent scores like it has, a lot more wins will be coming.

14. San Diego ChargersAfter experiencing an all-too-familiar heartbreak against Houston, San Diego flipped the script in Philly, pulling off the late victory. Philip Rivers played great (419 yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) and it was a big win for a team most people penciled down for an 0-2 start, including me.

15. Philadelphia Eagles-Chip Kelly’s new high-tempo offense looks great when it’s on the field. Keywords: on the field. Philly’s offense was held to under 20 minutes of possession time against San Diego. That being said, the primary blame lies with the defense, allowing 60 points in two games (33 vs. SD).

16. Dallas Cowboys-The 1-point loss to KC has to sting. Dallas had a great shot at a 2-0 start after their big win over New York.



17. Indianapolis Colts-The season hasn’t gotten off to a promising start for Indy. Surviving a scare from Oakland and then losing to Miami isn’t characteristic of last year’s 11-win team.

18. St. Louis Rams-The passing game is starting to come together as Sam Bradford now has five solid Rams he likes to target. They may not be superstars, but if Bradford can continue to spread the ball around, he will wear down defenses quick.

19. Arizona Cardinals-I’m a little concerned that Jay Feely was called on to kick four field goals in Arizona’s win over Detroit. Luckily, a tough run defense bailed the unproductive offense out.

20. Detroit Lions-A big day for Calvin Johnson was ruined by the Lions’ ineffective running game. Arizona might just have a good run defense, but I guarantee they won’t be the toughest team to run against this year.

21. Minnesota Vikings-If a few more plays go Minnesota’s way, they are looking good at 2-0. But they didn’t make the plays and for that, they’re 0-2.

22. New York Giants-Eli Manning leads the league in interceptions by quite a lot. The bad news? Eli isn’t even their main problem. O-line protection and running back woes are the most glaring issues, but there is plenty of blame to go around.



23. Pittsburgh Steelers-Trouble running the ball continues to plague Pittsburgh and with it, the struggle to put points on the board. Competing with the Browns for the 3rd spot in the AFC North is not what this team had in mind.

24. Washington Redskins-“Huh?” That pretty much sums up my reaction to Washington’s opening two weeks. Where’s the defense? I realize Washington got off to a slow start last year (3-6), but they looked a lot better than they do right now. A loss to Detroit at home would be a devastating blow to the hopes of a second-straight playoff berth.

25. Buffalo BillsNot sure what to make of the Bills just yet (or a lot of these next few teams). EJ Manuel isn’t spectacular, but is holding his own in the small sample we’ve seen from him. And it sure helps if CJ Spiller can get going like he did against Carolina, rushing for over 100 yards.

26. Carolina Panthers-It’s the same narrative we heard last year out of Carolina: losing a lot of close games. Enough is enough. When does the winning start?

27. Tennessee Titans-A win over the Steelers and close loss to Houston doesn’t tell me a whole lot about Tennessee. They seem decent, but can they seriously compete when Jake Locker is throwing 56% for another year?

 28. New York Jets-New York missed a golden opportunity to beat the Pats when they were weak but caught a break against Tampa in week 1. It all balances out for the Jets–for now–as they try to figure out how to put points on the board.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Tampa Bay is the biggest loser of all the close games in the opening weeks, victim to not one, but two, game winning field goals in the final seconds. So why so low? Look a little bit closer and you’ll notice that Josh Freeman is the least accurate QB in the league right now. Maybe that’s why they are 0-2.



30. Cleveland Browns-Can anyone protect Brandon Weeden? He’s really not that bad when he isn’t running away from defensive linemen. Weeden has already been sacked 11 times (leads NFL).

31. Oakland Raiders-Oakland proved itself not to be the worst team in the league with a resounding win over Jacksonville. Their next win? Uhhh…..

32. Jacksonville Jaguars-Wow, is this offense bad. First touchdown was finally scored with 2:35 to play in week 2. MJD held to 27 yards (72 season)? On the bright side, they have a chance to pull off one of the biggest regular season upsets ever when they travel to Seattle.

Final Power Rankings (2012)

Here are the final power rankings of the 2012 regular season. Think certain teams should be ranked higher or lower? Feel free to comment below.


1. Denver Broncos-Make no mistake, this team is the best in the NFL. They head into the playoffs on an 11-game win streak.

2. New England Patriots-The Pats can score against any team at will, putting up over 30 per game.

3. Atlanta Falcons-They had an excellent regular season and now head to the playoffs to do something special. I’ve felt like I have heard this before.

4. Houston Texans-They are not playing at the same level as they were earlier this season, but I’m convinced they can turn it on when it counts.



5. San Francisco 49ers-The switch at QB seems to be working thus far, but now the real pressure is on.

 6. Green Bay Packers-Their O-line still worries me, but this team can go far.

7. Seattle Seahawks-If Seattle could have earned home-field advantage, they would be lethal in the playoffs. Their play on the road could end up being their downfall.

8Indianapolis Colts-One of the best stories of 2012 needs to be taken seriously in the playoffs.

9. Washington Redskins-Aside from Denver, Washington is the hottest team in the NFL and we know what playoff teams can do when they’re hot.

10. Cincinnati Bengals-Cincy has now won 7 of their last 8 and is a real threat to Houston.

11. Baltimore Ravens-Baltimore’s late-season play has me skeptical for what they can do in the postseason. Can they get past a hot Indy team?

12. Minnesota Vikings-I haven’t made any final decisions yet, but there is a great case for Adrian Peterson as NFL MVP.

13. New York Giants-The Giants had a clear path to the playoffs (win last two games) and they simply did not deliver.



14. Dallas Cowboys-With yet another chance to save the season for the Cowboys, Tony Romo fell flat.

 15. Chicago Bears-When it was all said and done, the Bears were a mirage. They beat the easy teams but couldn’t play with the big boys of the NFL.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers-At 6-3 after week 10, the Steelers looked golden. From QB injuries to 8-turnover games, nothing seemed to go right in the second half of the season.

17. St. Louis Rams-I’m excited to see what this team can do next year with some good draft picks and offseason pickups.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-The Bucs suffered from a season of hot and cold streaks, but on the bright side it looks like they have found their running back of the future.

19. New Orleans Saints-New Orleans has a lot to look forward to with Sean Payton coming back.



20. Carolina Panthers-Despite a lackluster season, Cam Newton has many great qualities. This offseason should be a productive one for him and Carolina.

21. San Diego ChargersIn a season I thought San Diego could surprise, they disappointed once again. Turner’s firing was overdue.

22. Miami Dolphins-Miami already has some talent and should go grab some more with a lot of salary cap room this offseason.

23. Buffalo Bills-With a good running game and a managable division, coaches shouldn’t overlook Buffalo.

24. Tennessee Titans-It never looked good from the start for the Titans.

 25. New York Jets-At times, the Jets’ decision making was as bad as their play on the field. I almost don’t want to imagine what they’ll look like next year.

26. Cleveland Browns-Cleveland has the potential to compete for a wild-card spot next year if they land the right coach.


27. Arizona Cardinals-Arizona is a great example of what a terrible O-line can do to a team.

28. Detroit Lions-This season couldn’t have gone much worse for a team expecting another playoff birth.

29. Oakland Raiders-Oakland was simply terrible this year, getting crushed in several games.

30. Philadelphia Eagles-Reid is out and it looks like Vick too. The past two years have been a disaster for Philly.

31. Kansas City Chiefs-They may be the NFL’s worst, but at the very least they get the top pick in the draft.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars-After a 2-win season, it can’t get much worse Jacksonville. Will it be Tebow who leads them next year?

Power Rankings: Week 14 (2012)

Here are the power rankings after week 14. Think certain teams should be ranked higher or lower? Feel free to comment below.


1. New England Patriots (↑3)-Their big win over Houston showed us why New England is the AFC’s, and the NFL’s, best team.

2. Denver Broncos (↑2)-A red-hot Denver team will face its toughest test since week 5 (New England) when they travel to Baltimore.

3. Houston Texans (↓2)-A potentially great game between Houston and New England turned into a snooze-fest at the expense of the Texans.



4. Atlanta Falcons (↓2)-Shaky in their last few games, Atlanta was exposed against Carolina.

5. San Francisco 49ers (0)-A QB controversy is one of the last things you wanna have right before the playoffs. Maybe their tough road game against New England will patch things up.

 6. Green Bay Packers (↑1)-The Pack will try to distance themselves in the division against a Chicago team desperate for a W.

7.Indianapolis Colts (↑1)-For a team who won just two games last year, Indianapolis is a win away from clinching a playoff spot.

8. Seattle Seahawks (↑3)-I’m curious to see how Seattle looks on the road at Buffalo before their big game against San Francisco.

9. New York Giants (↑3)-The Giants have their work cut out for them against the stunned Falcons.

10. Baltimore Ravens (↓4)-A loss to Denver will make the AFC North race really interesting.

 11. Chicago Bears (↓2)-A once hot Bears team is now fighting for a wildcard spot in the NFC. They have lost four of their last five and will have to take on Green Bay.

12. Washington Redskins (↑2)-Washington extended its winning streak to four with an epic comeback over Baltimore. The injury to RGIII has me slightly worried, but I think he’ll play this Sunday.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (↓1)-The loss to Dallas halts the Bengals momentum. They’ll need it back before they head into their last two games against division opponents.

14. Dallas Cowboys (↑2)-Dallas keeps themselves very much in the playoff hunt with a last-second win over Cincy.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (↓2)-I cannot figure this team out. They lose without Big Ben, then win without him, and then lose with him? Can this inconsistent team go far in the playoffs?



16. Minnesota Vikings (↑1)-The Adrian Peterson story just keeps getting better and better.

17. St. Louis Rams (↑1)-The matchup between this team and the upstart Vikes should be one of the better games of the week.

 18. New York Jets (↑4)-It may sound like the ramblings of a mental patient, but the Jets are actually hanging on in the playoff hunt.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (↓4)-Their latest lost may have just ended their playoff chances.

20. Cleveland Browns (↑4)-The Browns’ underrated talent is starting to mesh and build momentum for next year.

21. San Diego Chargers (↑2)San Diego finally halted their 4-game losing streak with a stunner over Pitt.


22. Buffalo Bills (↓3)-Look for CJ Spiller to break 1000 yards on the season this Sunday, one thing the Buffalo can smile about.

23. Miami Dolphins (↓2)-It’s that time of year for the Dolphins to buckle down and finish the season strong.

24. New Orleans Saints (↓4)-New Orleans has seemed two-faced this season, but if you ask me, we all saw the real Saints against New York.

25. Carolina Panthers (↑2)-There’s nothing a division rivalry to motivate a team playing spoiler.

26. Philadelphia Eagles (↑3)-At this point, many expect Philly to be competing for the division title. Some predicted they would miss the playoffs, but I don’t think anyone thought they would be trying to dig themselves out of the NFC pit.

27. Detroit Lions (↓2)-Detroit’s last five games have been against some brutal competition. Still, no excuse for a team expecting to contend in the playoffs.

28. Tennessee Titans (↓2)-Up 13 against the Colts, Tennessee got Luck-ed. Can we make that a thing?



29. Arizona Cardinals (↓2)-The way they played against Seattle, I wouldn’t pick this team over anyone.

30. Oakland Raiders (0)-The battle of the NFL’s worst will take place in Oakland this week when KC comes to town.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (↑1)-Any news on this team moving to LA soon?

32. Kansas City Chiefs (↓1)-A thumping from Cleveland will land just about anyone last in the power rankings.

Power Rankings: Week 13 (2012)

Here are the power rankings after week 13. Think certain teams should be ranked higher or lower? Feel free to comment below.


1. Houston Texans-Although they aren’t playing spectacular, Houston is still the NFL’s overall best team.

2. Atlanta Falcons-After a loss to New Orleans in week 10, the Falcons are back on track after winning three straight.

3. Denver Broncos-An argument could be made that the Broncos are the best team right now. They’ve won 8-straight, the longest streak in the NFL.

4. New England Patriots-A marquee matchup with Houston next week will tell us a lot about both teams. Can the Pats’ O put up big numbers?

5. San Francisco 49ers-At times, San Fran can look like an unbeatable force. Their display against the Rams was not one of these times.

6. Baltimore Ravens-The shocking loss to Pittsburgh has me wondering what this team can do in the playoffs. Could they survive a tough round 1 matchup?



 7. Green Bay Packers-The Pack rebounded in a big way after their embarrassing loss to New York.

8.Indianapolis Colts-Andrew Luck is single-handedly carrying the Colts to wins.

 9. Chicago Bears-Chicago has lost three of it’s last four, all against playoff-bound teams. Can they beat anyone good?

10. New York Giants-With a chance to put the division out of reach squandered, the Giants will have to scrape their way to an NFC East title. The good news? They’ve done it before.

11. Seattle Seahawks-Seattle’s thrilling win over Chicago puts them in the thick of the playoff race, as well as the division.

12. Cincinnati Bengals-Cincinnati has finally woken up after a very poor performance in the beginning of the season.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers-Pittsburgh stole a win at Baltimore and will try to ride the momentum with Big Ben returning.

14. Washington Redskins-Washington is in a spot they haven’t been in for years. Can they finally make that jump to the playoffs?

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Two close losses hurt, but Tampa needs realize they are still very much in the playoff hunt.



16. Dallas Cowboys-Dallas is right there with Washington. They still have a chance to show the skeptics they can play to a high standard.

17. Minnesota Vikings-Minnesota has not started off their tough six-game stretch well. Two losses already with Chicago, Houston, and Green Bay to come.

18. St. Louis Rams-The fight in this team is incredible. They aren’t quite there yet, but boy are they fun to watch.

19. Buffalo Bills-Buffalo has been up and down all season. Something just ins’t working and until they figure it out, they will find themselves stuck in the middle of the division in the future.

20. New Orleans Saints-The Saints showed promise a couple weeks ago, but the Niners and Falcons made sure they didn’t have a chance.

21. Miami Dolphins-The Dolphins are sliding pretty hard right now. But make no mistake, Ryan Tannehill is good.



 22. New York Jets-From their poor play to their treatment of Tim Tebow, this team is a complete joke.

23. San Diego Chargers-It is clear now that the 3-1 Chargers were a mirage. The team playing right now are the real Chargers.

24. Cleveland Browns-After two solid victories, the Browns are looking like a legitimate spoiler late in the season.

25. Detroit Lions-No matter how you slice it, Detroit took a major step back this year.

26. Tennessee Titans-A team i believed could be a surprise playoff team has come up flat.



27. Carolina Panthers-Carolina is in serious danger of winning less games than they did last year.

28. Arizona Cardinals-It’s official. Arizona can only match their record last year of 8-8. Considering their 4-0 start, this thought is devastating.

29. Philadelphia Eagles-This season has been crippling for the Eagles’ franchise. It may take down Michael Vick and Andy Reid with it.

30. Oakland Raiders-This team has some solid, understated talent. For whatever reason, they can’t get it to work.

31. Kansas City Chiefs-KC’s win on Sunday was inspiring. Wishfully thinking, it could be a springboard to a better future.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars-Jacksonville is the NFL’s worst team. At the very least, they will get a strong draft pick.