32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) Previous Rk #31
Raise your hand if you’d prefer to see a clip of an actual jaguar hunting a crocodile rather than reading any Jacksonville Jaguar analysis. That’s what I thought. Roll the tape!
31. Oakland Raiders (0-5) Previous Rk #32
The Raiders put up a good fight against the Chargers. Are players trying to impress their new coach with increased effort? Or could they just be super motivated after burying a ball? You decide. Raiders next four games: Arizona, at Cleveland, at Seattle, Denver. Good luck.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5) Previous Rk #29
Through the first six games the Bucs have been outscored 123-27 in the first half. Good news is that stat isn’t going to get any worse this week- they got a bye. But Lovie Smith needs to figure out how to stop the ball, seeing as how he’s kind of known as a defensive guru.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-4) Previous Rk #30
Did you know Charlie Whitehurst (backup QB for the injured Jake Locker who is now starting) was voted one of Nashville’s 25 Most Beautiful People of 2014. Hey, the more ya know! Also, the Titans beat the Jaguars 16-14 in the least exciting game of the week.
28. New York Jets (1-5) Previous Rk #28
Stats! Get your stats here! “Nine of Geno Smith’s 11 attempts in the final quarter were thrown 5 yards or fewer downfield (5-9, 52 yards). Smith was 0-for-2 with a game-clinching pick-six on his only two attempts deeper than 5 yards downfield in the fourth quarter.” – ESPN Stats & Info. Geno Smith aka Captain Check Down. Also CB Dee Milliner is out for the season after an MRI yesterday revealed a torn Achilles’ tendon. Not good news for that defense.
27. Washington Redskins (1-5) Previous Rk #26
After this past week’s performance against Arizona it’s hard for Washington fans to still be on the Kirk Cousins bandwagon. Cousins looked fine through three quarters, keeping it close at 13-17, but he imploded in the fourth. The Skins had four turnovers in the final quarter, three of them Cousins’ interceptions. They lost 20-30. Fortunately they have Tennessee this week.
26. St. Louis Rams (1-4) Previous Rk #27
The 49ers may have won the game, but the Rams won the war in the trenches.
Seriously though, even though the Rams lost we got to see Austin Davis on national TV. He has a pretty cool story of how he became a starting quarterback in the NFL.
-In college, he walked-on at Southern Mississippi.
– At Southern Miss he proceeded to set 15 records in the school’s history; including breaking Brett Favre’s records for career touchdowns, passing yards and completion percentage.
-Signed with the Rams after going undrafted in the 2012 draft.
-Cut by the Rams before the 2013 season, and signed to the Dolphins practice squad.
-Helped a local St. Louis high school as an assistant coach 2013.
-Signed by the Rams this year after Sam Bradford went down for the season.
-Became the starter when Shaun Hill got injured, and has not relinquished the starting role since.
25. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) Previous Rk #24
For Vikings fans, the hope of Teddy Bridgewater’s return was met with an 8 sack performance and almost zero offense in a 17-3 loss to the Detroit Lions. It’s hard to put all the blame on the rookie QB. The Vikings have allowed 14 sacks in the last two games, the receiving core has the second most drops in the league (13), and he’s without Pro-Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph for at least a few more weeks due to sports hernia surgery. Not to mention he who should not be named…
24. Houston Texans (3-3) Previous Rk #23
I hate to be the guy that says I told ya so, but did I not say the other shoe was gonna drop for the Texans after starting 3-1? To no fault of JJ Watt by the way. Check his stat line from Thursday night: two sacks, three tackles for a loss, seven combined tackles, three passes deflected, and a fumble returned 45 yards for a touchdown. Can a guy get some MVP votes?
23. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) Previous Rk #22
Bye week for the Chiefs. They play the Chargers this week on the road. I wonder if they repainted the field at Arrowhead during the time off?
Yes, I was just looking for any excuse to post that awesome commercial.
22. Atlanta Falcons (2-4) Previous Rk #21
The Falcons defense allows the second most yards per game of any team in the league. They allowed Jay Cutler to throw for 381 yards and a score. On the other side of the ball Matt Ryan has a depleted offensive line, as reported last week, and it showed. He was sacked four times, hurried three more, and his receivers weren’t much of an outlet- dropping SEVEN passes versus the Bears.
21. Miami Dolphins (2-3) Previous Rk #20
The Dolphins were three seconds away from an upset win over the Packers. Do they blame Cortland Finnegan for not making a late tackle in-bounds? How about how they failed to convert on 4th-an-goal from the Packers 1-yard line? Stat time: the Fins have attempted the most 4th down plays this season (9), converting only two of them.
20. New York Giants (3-3) Previous Rk #18
The Giants looked like they were climbing the ranks after three straight wins, but following Sunday night’s shutout loss to the Eagles they’re back at square one. Compound that with a heartbreaking injuring to Victor Cruz, who had to be carted off the field, and the Giants could be in serious trouble.
19. Buffalo Bills (3-3) Previous Rk #16
The Bills first game under the new ownership of Terry and Kim Pegula did not end well. The new owners, who closed the sale this past week for $1.4 billion, were greeted by a sellout crowd at halftime to chants of “TER-RY, TER-RY!,” but Tom Brady did not share the same kindness to the Bills. The team is now 3-3 and Kyle Orton is still QB1. At least hockey season just started! (Terry Pegula own the Sabres as well, because there’s no such thing as owning too many sports teams)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) Previous Rk #17
Maybe the Steelers aren’t back after all? After a dominating week three win in Carolina, Pittsburgh has been anything but consistent. A loss against Tampa Bay, a shaky win against Jacksonville, and the most recent loss (31-10) at the hands of the Browns has this team reeling. At least Big Ben still has the ultimate trump card in this rivalry, he is now 18-2 lifetime versus the Browns.
P.S. aren’t the Steelers supposed to be great at defense?…
17. Cleveland Browns (3-2) Previous Rk #25
It was a massive win against a hated rival for the Browns last Sunday, but it unfortunately came with the loss of stalwart center Alex Mack. Since Mack was drafted in 2009 he has started all 85 games and played 5,279 snaps before Sunday’s injury. He broke his fibula and is out for the season. Friend and fellow lineman Joe Thomas put it best when talking about the Browns/Steelers rivalry,
“I’ve been on the other end of this rivalry when we lose by three scores so many times. I’ve been through the hell of getting our butts kicked. It felt really good to finally be on the other end of it. It was a family win.”
16. New Orleans Saints (2-3) Previous Rk #19
Bye week for the Saints, and not the best news on Jimmy Graham. According to the Times-Picayune, Graham will miss 2-3 weeks with a shoulder sprain. Given that time frame it could very well be three weeks instead of two, thanks to the poor timing of their week 9 Thursday night game. Hey, at least it wasn’t a season ending injury. Oh and their defense is still allowing 28.2 points per game. Silver linings Saints fans, silver linings.
15. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) Previous Rk #13
Cam Newton looked like rookie Cam Newton this past week in Cincy. He had 284 yards with two touchdowns through the air, and 107 yards with another score on the ground. If a tie ever felt like a win it was this one. Down three points, Cam orchestrated a 12 play- 54 yard drive in the final 2:11 of regulation. Gano drilled a 44-yard field goal to send it to overtime. It ended with the Bengals missing a bunny field goal to win it, and Carolina escaping with a tie.
14. New England Patriots (4-2) Previous Rk #15
Patriots win another game. Belichick wins another press conference. With the AFC East ripe for the picking it looks like the Pats have more than a strong chance of making the playoffs. Also, with the win in Buffalo, that now makes Tom Brady 23-2 lifetime against the Bills.
13. Chicago Bears (3-3) Previous Rk #12
Do you think Cutty cares that I bumped him in the rankings even though the Bears won in Atlanta and he threw for 381 yards?
Honestly though, the Bears need some serious help on defense after injuries have ravaged their linebacking core. Briggs, D.J. Williams, Bostic, and McClellin were all inactive against Atlanta.
12. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) Previous Rk #14
The Ravens scored five touchdowns on their first five possessions. They were finally forced to punt on the seventh possession, but by that point the damage was done. Flacco had already set a record (5 TDs in 16:03 minutes), and it was 38-0 by the second quarter.
11. Detroit Lions (4-2) Previous Rk #11
The Lions defense is scary good. It leads the league in sacks (20), after tacking on eight this past Sunday in Minneapolis. They allow the second fewest yards per game on the ground (73.5 yards/game) AND through the air (197.2 yards/game). Even without the best wide receiver in the game (who could potentially miss the next two weeks) the Lions are going to be a playoff threat with that D.
10. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) Previous Rk #9
The 49ers went down 14 early in the game last night against the Rams, but settled down for a 31-17 win. Kaepernick had a great game, throwing for 343 yards, three scores, and zero interceptions. Your random stat of the day: Kaepernick’s touchdown pass to Boldin last night (see GIF below) was his sixth touchdown pass this season from outside the pocket, the most among any quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is second with 5 TDs outside the pocket.
9. Arizona Cardinals (4-1) Previous Rk #8
Carson is back and Fitz and Floyd probably couldn’t be happier. Larry Fitzgerald, at long last, got his first touchdown of the season (albeit with a corner draped on his back). That touchdown grab was the 88th of his career, moving him into 12th on the all-time list. Floyd nabbed the other throwing score from Palmer, and the defense handled the rest putting the Cardinals atop the NFC West, ahead of Seattle and San Francisco.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) Previous Rk #4
What’s worse than a tie? This jersey…
What’s better than a tie? This celebration…
Tough one for Cincy when they could’ve won on a 37-yard field goal in OT. Go get yourselves some cold cuts and try to forget that loss Bengals fans.
7. Green Bay Packers (4-2) Previous Rk #7
The Green and Gold got quite the scare in Miami this past week. Aaron Rodgers made sure that scary experience had a happy ending though with maybe the sneakiest play of the year. Rodgers, who has 15 TDs and 1 INT on the year, faked a spike and threw a 12 yard pass to Devante Adams (who wasn’t in on the fake until it happened) to get them inside the 5-yard-line. It led to a touchdown to win the game with 3 seconds left.
6. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) Previous Rk #1
After that loss to the Cowboys at home, the Seahawks look mortal. The offense that put on a clinic last week in Washington was nowhere to be seen this past Sunday. And what about that vaulted defense that everyone is terrified of? Since the opener the Seahawks are 2-2, and their points scored-to-points allowed is 97-97. They need to get refocused…
5. San Diego Chargers (5-1) Previous Rk #6
The Chargers now have a run game after the injury bug hit their backfield hard. Rookie Branden Oliver had back-to-back solid games, after getting his first career start this past Sunday, but it still took a late drive to win in Oakland. If they can continue to find ways to win the Chargers could end with one of the best records in the league. Their remaining strength of schedule is the weakest among all teams according to TeamRankings.com.
4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) Previous Rk #10
HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS?! Dallas just officially put the league on notice after stunning the Seahawks in Seattle. DeMarco Murray, with his 115 yards rushing and one touchdown, helped answer the question of whether or not they were for real. Oh, and Tony Romo and Terrence Williams combined for the play of the weekend on this 3rd and 20 shimmy-to-laser pitch and catch on their own 20 yard line.
3. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) Previous Rk #5
Ok, I’ll admit it, I gush over Andrew Luck a little on this. So let’s give the defense some love. Here’s a stat for ya: The Colts D has allowed just three third down conversions in the past three weeks; as in opponents are 3-28 on third down conversions against the Colts. Pretty neat.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) Previous Rk #3
The Eagles trounced the Giants who looked hapless when they came to Philly. LeSean McCoy finally eclipsed the century mark in a game and Foles looked good throwing for two scores. With the Giants and Redskins regressing it looks like it’s a two dog race for the NFC East, and Foles could just be warming up…
1. Denver Broncos (4-1) Previous Rk #2
The Broncos were only up 7 late in the fourth in a grind-it-out game against the Jets. A pick-six with 15 seconds remaining clinched a 31-17 victory. Peyton threw three TDs, inching himself closer to the all time record. He is now two away from tying the record of 508 career touchdowns, held by Brett Favre.
Here’s that pick-six…