32. Oakland Raiders (0-7) Previous Rk #32
Forget all the negatives: like the 0-7 record, head coach being fired, a rookie quarterback who has been given zero time to develop. John Gruden told a friend of friend this quote. IF he were to come back to coach, he’d come back to the Raiders! What does that mean? Is he coming back to coach? No idea. All I know is one coach doesn’t turn around a franchise, even if it’s this guy.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) Previous Rk #31
Sticking with the theme of looking at the bright side (kind of) on bad teams, Denard Robinson rushed for over 100 yards again in the loss to the Dolphins the past week. It may not sound like much, but Denard is the first Jags player to do that since 2011, when Maurice Jones-Drew went 3-straight games with 100-yards rushing. Baby steps Jags fans, baby steps.
30. New York Jets (1-7) Previous Rk #29
Perhaps the most comical play of the weekend came from the Jets attempted kickoff return trick-er-ation. Let me set the scene. Third quarter kickoff, Jets down 17-27 against the Bills, brand-new Jet Percy Harvin is back to receive, and his teammate TJ Graham is hiding in the end zone, like so…
Harvin then received the ball at the furthest point in the end zone and decided to try to return it, and the rest you’ll just have to watch yourself.
The Jets lost 43-23, and Kyle Orton had more touchdown passes then Geno Smith had completions. Yikes.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) Previous Rk #30
The Bucs had a chance to get their second win of the season, but a turnover in overtime led to a 19-13 loss at home. Very simply put, this team is just not good. They’re currently shopping running back Doug Martin, who signed a 4-year deal in 2012. Who they want in return is anybody’s guess because they have so many holes on offense and defense that it’s hard to count. Seriously, in a 32 team league this is how they rank on both sides of the ball…
28. Tennessee Titans (2-6) Previous Rk #28
The Titans got rolled at home by the Texans, 30-16, to spoil Zach Mettenberger’s NFL debut. The rookie out of LSU had a decent/not terrible state line: 299 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 27/41 passing. Mettenberger was one of three rookies to start for the Titans on the offensive side, along with RB Bishop Sankey and tackle Taylor Lewan.
27. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) Previous Rk #25
If you’re wondering how long it’s been now since the NFL first started playing regular season games in London, it’s been…get ready… SEVEN YEARS. That’s right, the first regular season game in London was in 2007. This was the 10th game in London, and if the hope was to make the NFL a worldwide brand, this might’ve been the worst example of how a game was played. Both the Falcons and Lions combined for 13 penalties, two turnovers, and one of the most ludicrous endings in NFL history (see the Lions recap for that).
As for the Falcons, head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan are both on the hot seat. One makes bad play calls and has poor time management, the other does this…
26. St. Louis Rams (2-5) Previous Rk #22
Well that was sure fun while it lasted! Riding high after a huge win against the Seahawks, only to travel to Kansas City to get destroyed 34-7. In the words of Mighty Ducks 3 JV coach Ted Orion, “Your little duck tricks won’t work here.” Which is topical because not only were there no trick play highlights this week, but also because Rams TE Austin Pettis loves the Ducks.
25. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) Previous Rk #26
It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t against the best team, but a win on the road isn’t easy to come by in the NFL and the Vikings did just that in Tampa Bay. In what felt like a flashback of last week when the Vikings choked late in Buffalo, the Vikes allowed three fourth quarter scores by the Bucs to go down 13-10. Thankfully a 38 yard field goal by Blair Walsh with time expiring forced overtime, and from there the Vikings defense handled the scoring. Rookie Anthony Barr (9th overall pick of the 2014 draft) stripped the ball, scooped it up, and trotted into the end zone to win the game.
24. Washington Redskins (3-5) Previous Rk #27
Credit where credit is due, the Redskins went into Jerry World last night and took care of business. Literally no one predicted they would win:
And why would they? 0-3 on the road. 1-4 in their last five games. Third string Colt McCoy was the starting QB. But they pulled off the upset. Scoring a field goal in OT, and then holding off a hobbled Tony Romo from making a game winning drive.
23. New York Giants (3-4) Previous Rk #23
Bye week for the Giants. You know what that means!…
22. Houston Texans (4-4) Previous Rk #24
JJ Watt took it upon himself to introduce Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback, Zach Mettenberger to the league. After a sack, the 6’5/289 lbs defensive end posed for a selfie with QB.
The reason? Mettenberger has been taking numerous selfies this past week, and JJ Watt wasn’t having any of it.
Maybe relax a little there, Sheriff Watt.
21. Chicago Bears (3-5) Previous Rk #17
The impassioned responses after the home loss to the Dolphins didn’t seem to inspire any grit or toughness when the Bears traveled to New England this past Sunday. This game was over quick with a halftime score of 38-7. Cutler has now played the Pats three times in his career (once with the Broncos, twice with the Bears) and his teams have lost by 34, 29, and 28 points respectively in those games. Hard to put the blame on him when he doesn’t play defense, but there seems to be a trend.
Also, quick PSA: when you’re down by 25 in the fourth quarter against the second team offense, please don’t do a sack celebration. Only bad things can happen…
20. Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) Previous Rk #15
It’d probably be safe to say Cam Newton had the worst statistical performance of his career this past Sunday. Starting with the ground game Cam gained a measly 24 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Through the air he went 12/22 for 171 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Those are his fewest completions and yards and lowest completion percentage on straight dropbacks in his career. All is not well in Carolina.
19. Cleveland Browns (4-3) Previous Rk #21
After an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars last week, the Browns bounced back with a win over the Oakland Raiders 23-13. It wasn’t an easy win, with the Browns only rushing for 39 yards, and be held to 2 of 12 on third downs, but it’s better than a loss. Also, Hoyer didn’t get pulled for Maziel, despite the low whispers hoping for rookie QB to get some action. Happy Halloween Cleveland!
18. Miami Dolphins (4-3) Previous Rk #14
The Dolphins took care of business in Jacksonville and they did it with defense. They had two pick-sixes off rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. Tack on two Caleb Sturgis field goals, and one Ryan Tannehill passing touchdown and you have yourself a nice 27-13 victory. The still move down in the rankings though because really, who have they beat?
17. New Orleans Saints (3-4) Previous Rk #20
The Saints just refuse to lose at home, but this win might’ve been more significant that just a home field victory. Led by Drew Brees’ three touchdown/311 yard game the Saints forced the Packers to abandon their run game, which was great news for a Saints defense that allows the most rushing yards in the league.
The 44-23 win over the Packers not only kept them from falling to a horrendous 2-5, but they are now within shouting distance of the Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) in the dreadful NFC South, who they play next week on the road.
16. Buffalo Bills (5-3) Previous Rk #18
It’s a good thing the Bills routed the Jets like they did (43-23) or else Sammy Watkins might feel a little bad. The rookie wideout had a phenomenal game, 1 TD and 157 yards, but probably could’ve added to that went we went ahead and started celebrating early before he reached the end zone.
Gotta keep one eye on the jumbotron there rook!
15. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) Previous Rk #16
After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive, the Chiefs went on to score 34 unanswered points in a romp of the St. Louis Rams. KC’s potent running backs attributed for all four of the touchdowns in the game. Jamal Charles had two rushing TDs, while Knile Davis had one on the ground and one via a 99-yard kickoff return. Alex Smith managed the rest of the game well going 24/28 for 226 yards. Only one of those 28 passes was longer than 10 yards. Managers gonna mange.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) Previous Rk #19
Looks like the Steelers aren’t dead and gone after all. Big Ben put up a ridiculous stat line- 6 TDs, 0 INTS, and 522 yards on 40/49 passing. That’s the best passing performance in Steelers history. Ya know, the franchise that was started over 80 years ago (est. 1933). That yardage also puts Roethlisberger on the list of all-time NFL single-game pass leaders.
1. Norm Van Brocklin 554
(Rams vs. Yanks, 1951)
T-2. Warren Moon 527
(Oilers vs. Chiefs, 1990)
T-2. Matt Schaub 527
(Texans vs. Jaguars, 2012)
T-4. Boomer Esiason 522
(Cardinals vs. Redskins, 1996)
T-4. Ben Roethlisberger 522
(Steelers vs. Colts, 2014)
Maybe the Steelers should always wear the bumblebee unis?
13. Baltimore Ravens (5-3) Previous Rk #8
The Ravens to the Bengals for a second time this season this past Sunday in what could hold major playoff implications down the road. The AFC North is currently a log jam with the Bengals (4-2-1) on top, followed by the Ravens (5-3), Steelers (5-3), and Browns (4-3). As for the game against the Bengals if you actually think that 80 yard touchdown to Steve Smith with 47 second left wasn’t pass interference just take a look at the video.
No way you’re gonna get away with that shove.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) Previous Rk #13
The three teams that were in desperate need of wins this week had to be the Saints, Steelers, and Bengals. Each team was tittering on the edge of obscurity. The Bengals were able to cool off the hot Ravens after a QB-sneak from one yard out gave them a 27-24 lead with 57 seconds remaining. It was Dalton’s second rushing TD of the game, and first mutli-rush TD game of his career. The next two weeks the Bengals host the Jaguars, and Browns (on Thursday night).
11. San Francisco 49ers (4-3) Previous Rk #12
San Fran on bye this past week, hit the music!
10. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) Previous Rk #11
The Seahawks won a grind-it-out game in Carolina 13-9 that was capped off by 23 yard touchdown with less then a minute to play. The 9 play/80 yard game-winning drive lasted 3 minutes and 50 seconds. It was Russell Wilson’s 10th game-winning drive in the 4th quarter or overtime in his career, tied with Andrew Luck for the second most in the last three seasons. The leader on that list may surprise you…
9. San Diego Chargers (5-3) Previous Rk #6
The Chargers are officially on a bit of a slide. After five straight wins to go 5-1, they now have two straight losses. They head to Miami this week, where they will fortunately have 10 days to prepare and then their bye week comes up in week 10.
One thing’s for sure, Philip is NOT happy…
8. Green Bay Packers (5-3) Previous Rk #5
The Pack had its four game winning streak snapped this past Sunday when they went to the Superdome in New Orleans, but the loss might have not been the biggest concern. Aaron Rodgers injured his hamstring at the beginning of the second half on a run in which he was untouched. From then on he was clearly hampered by it, throwing for two interceptions and barely moving in the pocket. Just look at how the Packers fared on drives from the first to second half…
7. Detroit Lions (6-2) Previous Rk #7
Was anyone else caught completely off guard when they woke up Sunday morning and the Lions/Falcons game was already in like the second quarter? I for one, had no idea; and maybe the Lions didn’t know when it started either. They began the game in London giving up three scores to the Falcons. Yes the 2-5 (now 2-6) Falcons. In an ugly game, they turned it around and came back to win 22-21, this time in most bizarre fashion. With four seconds remaining Matt Prater attempted a 43 yard field goal for the win, only to miss it wide right. Fortunately for him the snap didn’t come quick enough and the Lions were flagged for delay of game. He then hit the 48 yards and the Lions went on to win with no time renaming. Like I said, bizarre.
6. New England Patriots (6-2) Previous Rk #10
For everyone who said Tom Brady was finished and over the hill he certainly didn’t look like it in a nearly flawless performance against the Bears. Brady threw 5 TDs, 0 picks, 354 yards, and only had 5 incompletions on 35 pass attempts, four of which were drops. With the game squarely in hand Brady sat out the last five minutes and the Pats cruised to a 51-35 victory.
As the old saying goes: happy wife, happy life…
5. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) Previous Rk #3
The Colts took a big step in the wrong direction after getting blown out by the Steelers 51-34, snapping their five game winning streak. In a game that was decided early there weren’t many bright spots. Despite Luck’s 400 yards passing and two TDs, the third year QB had two interceptions and one safety on an intentional grounding. The grounding came with the Colts down 42-34 and 12:35 to play. After that it was all she wrote.
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) Previous Rk #4
You want to see the most ominous interview seconds before Tony Romo got injured last night?
Oh good talking to you guys in the booth. Yeah every play is live or die to make sure our franchise quarterback doesn’t re-injury his back and ruin one of the best starts to a season we’ve had in years. Oh he just got injured a second after I said that? K, bye.
Good news was that Romo came back to the game (after getting a shot) with just under two minutes left in the game and it tied 17-17. The bad news? This is what happened:
And than they lost in OT by a field goal.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) Previous Rk #2
The Eagles came oh-so-close to snatching a win on the road on Nick Foles’ 62nd pass attempt of the game. With 1:21 left and down 24-20, the Birds marched all the way down to the Cardinals 16 yard line. Unfortunately, a strike to Jordan Matthews was caught out of bounds in the back of the end zone. Foles went for 411 yards, two TDs, 2 INTs, on 36/62 passing.
Despite the loss, Jeremy Maclin still got a Gatorade shower…
2. Arizona Cardinals (6-1) Previous Rk #9
The Cardinals seem to be the real deal after a win against the tough Eagles, 24-20. The decisive play came with a 1:21 left in the game on a third-and-five with the Cardinals down by three. Carson Palmer, on his own 25, elected to throw a bomb to rookie John Brown instead of throwing short for an easy first down. The result?
75 yards to the house. The Cardinals at 6-1 are off to their best start in 40 years.
1. Denver Broncos (6-1) Previous Rk #1
A lot of upsets and reshuffling in the rankings this week, but the one constant remained- the Denver Broncos. They took care of the Chargers at home on Thursday 35-21, in a game that looked a lot closer on paper. The usual allocation of multiple receivers garnering touchdowns instead went to just one, Emmanuel Sanders. He caught the only three passing touchdowns of the game.
Hey Peyton, stop drop and roll! That’s no way to put out a fire!
‘Till Next Week!