No Sleep Till Football

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NFL POWER 32 – WEEK 14 2015

#1 Computer Hope Don’t think for a second that Cam Newton doesn’t want that MVP trophy! Right now it’s almost impossible to give the nod to anyone else but Newton, but if the Panthers lose this weekend in New York, then it could open the door for somebody like Tom Brady or Carson Palmer should New England or Arizona go 14-2 to Carolina’s 15-1. If the Panthers get by the Giants, then a 16-0 perfect season is all but sealed up.
#2 Computer Hope Speaking of MVP awards, how amazing has Carson Palmer been all year long? Despite being 11-2 to Carolina’s 13-0, I believe Arizona is the best team in the NFL right now & Palmer is driving the bus. Incredibly enough, Arizona might have won the Super Bowl last year if Palmer doesn’t get hurt & now the QB is having the best season of his career. As an aside, how bad do the Colts look now after passing on Bruce Arians?
#3 Computer Hope I don’t know the exact date Kansas City decided they weren’t going to lose anymore games, but the Chiefs have been looking the part as the AFC’s best team now for about 8 weeks. Kansas City didn’t have a great game last week against SD but that was a game set up for them to lose & yet they found a way to win. Good teams will do that and I expect Kansas City to get back on track this week in Baltimore & improve to 9-5.
#4 Computer Hope Another week another win for Seattle who has now won 5 straight games. In his last 4 games Russell Wilson has completed 75% of his passes for 1171 yards (293ypg) & 16TD without a single interception. He’s playing like the best QB which is bad news for the rest of the NFL. His main target has been Doug Baldwin who has 8TD catches in the last 3 games! Seattle is rounding into shape to make a huge playoff push.
#5 Computer Hope In their last 5 games the Steelers have averaged 35.2PPG and are 4-1 in those contests. The amazing thing about Pittsburgh ability is that they are doing this all without Le’Veon Bell! There are too many weapons for Roethlisberger to use through the air & Pittsburgh has been virtually unstoppable. Beating Cincinnati & knocking out Andy Dalton might have tipped the scale towards Pittsburgh. A very very dangerous team.
#6 Computer Hope Since 2003, the Patriots are 60-28 in games decided by 8 points or fewer. Close games are held to regression meaning if the Patriots played 88 close games, they should be around 44-44. Obviously that isn’t the case. New England is hard to beat enough as it is, but when teams get them close, they can’t seal the deal. It’s why Belichick is the best in the business. Notice too that the Patriots are getting healthier all of a sudden.
#7 Computer Hope It’s bizarre how quiet the Packers are at 9-4. That is what happens when Carolina is 13-0 & Arizona is 11-2. Whether or not the Packers beat Arizona in Phoenix in 2 weeks is inconsequential. They are going into the postseason as the #3 seed which will likely mean a romp over Minnesota before traveling against to the desert. The Pack should be wary of Oakland this weekend. Getting out with Rodgers healthy is good enough.
#8 Computer Hope In this last 3 games, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has completed 64% of his passes for 930 yards & 9TD without throwing an interception! This is fast becoming the team in the AFC nobody wants to see in the postseason. In those same 3 games RB Chris Ivory is averaging 4.4ypc. There are too many weapons on the outside & the Jets defense is playing exceedingly well. If Fitzpatrick maintains, this is a Super Bowl contender.
#9 Computer Hope The problems Osweiler had against Oakland were the same problems Peyton Manning was having when he was under center, but it was a lot more obvious because Manning got rid of the football. Osweiler doesn’t release as quick as Peyton so he’s taking on a lot more sacks, but the same issues persist. Denver has trouble running the football. The O-Line isn’t that good & the receivers this year seem to be dropping a lot of balls.
#10 Computer Hope Since starting the season 8-0, the Bengals are 2-3 in their last 5 and now it looks like Andy Dalton is out of the year. What a drop off! Maybe there won’t be a huge drop off to AJ McCarron at QB and the Bengals are a team that is built in a way that they could absorb the injury & keep winning, but the game in two weeks in Denver looms large & now it seems as if the Bengals are destined for that #3 seed in a game I think they lose.
#11 Computer Hope Things are trending up with Philadelphia. Sam Bradford has missed a couple of games, but let’s remember that Philly is 6-5 in his starts this year. It’s not great, but it would be more than enough to win the East. Also note that Bradford is 3-1 in his last 4 starts having completed 66% of his passes for 898 yards & 5TD to 1 pick. To me that says Bradford is starting to get it & Philly should win the East if they keep it up defensively.
#12 Computer Hope I like this Giants team quite a bit but there are a couple of deficiencies that will wind up doing them in. The first is their inability to run the football. Their second is their inability to generate any kind of pass rush. The unfortunate part of winning the NFC East is that you are locked into the #4 seed & now more than ever it looks like Seattle is going to lock up that #5 seed. This team seems dangerous but is too flawed to win.
#13 Computer Hope Lose to the Cowboys at home & it seems like your season is all but over. Follow that loss up with a tough road win over the Bears & all of a sudden life has such possibilities! Washington has clearly been a better home team this year so it’s imperative they beat Buffalo this weekend. If they beat the Bills and split their last 2 road games then Washington will be 8-8. I think I’d take my chances with that record.
#14 Computer Hope Buffalo could be a pretty dangerous team in the playoffs if Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy & Sammie Watkins were all firing at 100%. The Bills have been victimized by some close loses & ill timed defeats due to injury. Taylor wasn’t playing when the Bills lost to the Jaguars & the Bills are 1-3 in their last 4 with all 3 losses being close. You have to start wondering how much of an effect penalties have had in derailing 2015?
#15 Computer Hope Incredible 15-12 win for the Raiders over Denver featuring a Khalil Mack that is playing out of his mind! Mack sacked Broncos QB Brock Osweiler five times & has accumulated 9 sacks in his last 3 games! Those 5 sacks pushed Mack’s totals to 14 which now leads the NFL. He’s on pace for 17. Denver had a 12-0 lead but blew it. Oakland isn’t theoretically out of the playoffs, but they won’t get in. Great moral victory though.
#16 Computer Hope Another week another close game the Bears can’t finish, this time a 24-21 home loss to the Redskins. Chicago is pretty much done but you get a glimpse of what this team could be. If everyone is healthy then the offense can feature Jeremy Langford, Marquess Wilson, Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White & Martellus Bennett next season. That’s a scary offense paired with a Vic Fangio defense in his 2nd year. Very dangerous.
#17 Computer Hope The Viking played a lot better against Arizona in their 23-20 loss than they had against both Seattle & Green Bay. That’s improvement but the loss still shows that the Vikings are quite up to the level of the NFC’s truly elite squads. As expected, Arizona took away Adrian Peterson, and while Teddy Bridgewater had a great game, it wasn’t enough & still showed that the young Louisville product can’t quite win games on his own.
#18 Computer Hope Forget the loss to New Orleans. The loss hurts to be sure, but Tampa needs to win their next two games to get a shot at sliding into that last playoff spot. If the Bucs win 2 they’ll finish at 8-8. They’ll need Minnesota to lose out, but that’s possible if the Vikings lose this week at home to the Bears. Tampa is dangerous & they’ll be loosey-goosey in the playoffs. I don’t think Green Bay wants to see them in Lambeau.
#19 Computer Hope The Texans have never won a game in Indianapolis so not only could they take sole possession of first place in the AFC South, they could also make history by getting the win. Houston is right where they need to be to win the South. Their QB situation is iffy with Tyler Yates, but their last 3 games come against the Colts, Titans & Jaguars. The division is their for the taking so they can’t blame anyone but themselves if they lose.
#20 Computer Hope And this is why Jim Caldwell should be let go. In any gameplan against the Vikings, opposing teams know to limit Adrian Peterson & force Teddy Bridgewater to beat them. In that same vein, you’d think the Lions would know to limit Todd Gurley & force Case Keenum to beat you when playing the Rams. Instead, Gurley goes off for 140yds & 2TD on 16 carries & Detroit loses 21-14. Detroit is a decent football team. Really!
#21 Computer Hope Heading into the game against the Giants, Dolphins RB Lamar Miller had rushed for 680yds on 139 carries for a 4.9ypc average. The only other RBs with a better average with as many carries as Miller are Doug Martin & Giovani Bernard! Miller averaged 7.4ypc against the Giants last week. He got 25 carries right? Nope he got 12. Ryan Tannehill threw the ball 41 times though and predictably the Dolphins lost yet again.
#22 Computer Hope The 24-17 win over Tampa Bay this week keeps New Orleans alive. Like Tampa Bay, the Saints need Minnesota to lose out so they become huge Bears fans this week! New Orleans gets the Lions & Jags at home before the season finale on the road against the Falcons. If New Orleans wins out, Minnesota loses out & the Bucs lose at least 2 of their last 3, then New Orleans gets the #6 seed! We need Drew Brees in the playoffs.
#23 Computer Hope Let’s not get it twisted. The 51-16 win over Indianapolis wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t an emotional win. It was a superior team putting a tremendous beating on an inferior team & making a statement while doing so. I wouldn’t expect a let down for the Jaguars. Instead I think the win over Indianapolis was a confidence builder. We’ll see if I’m right this week when Jacksonville plays at home against Atlanta. They can still win the South.
#24 Computer Hope You have to give a lot of credit to the Chargers the past couple of weeks. Kansas City is arguably the hottest team in the NFL and the Chargers lost 10-3 in Arrowhead. The KC defense did their job & did it well, but SD’s defense was great too. The same goes for the defense the week before when they held Denver to just 17 points. I think San Diego has another win or two in them giving them something to build on for 2016.
#25 Computer Hope Kudos to the Rams for beating Detroit this past week. The Lions were coming in as a pretty hot team while St. Louis had lost 5 straight games. Jim Caldwell obviously didn’t get the memo that Todd Gurley is a decent RB & the Georgia Bulldog hammered the Detroit defense for 140 yards & 2TD on only 16 carries! St. Louis is in desperate need of a QB. If Drew Brees is on this team, they are probably 11-2 & in 1st place.
#26 Computer Hope There are quite a few people who believe that Johnny Manziel can’t play QB in this league but in his last two starts against the Steelers & 49ers, Manziel is 54/76 (71%) for 642yds & 2TD. He’s also throw 2 picks. The Browns are 1-1 in those games, and let’s face it, it’s not like Cleveland has surrounded the guy with the best skill players in the NFL. I can’t wait to see what he does in Seattle this week. It will be very telling.
#27 Computer Hope San Francisco was blown out by the Browns for the most part, but the bigger issue in this game is the play of Blaine Gabbert. It wasn’t bad. The 49ers only had the ball for 20 minutes but Gabbert completed 60%+ of his passes & didn’t commit a turnover. The 49ers defense was atrocious so Gabbert didn’t have much time to work, but so far in his 5 starts he’s 2-3 & the losses haven’t bad. Maybe Gabbert has finally found a home.
#28 Computer Hope Given the state of the Cowboys right now, you couldn’t expect anything less than the 28-7 loss to the Packers in Green Bay, but this is still Dallas, and this is still Jerry Jones, so expect everyone’s seats to be a bit warmer even if Dallas didn’t have much of a chance against Aaron Rodgers & co. I’d be shocked if there weren’t big changes in Dallas this offseason. You can’t guarantee Romo’s health. It’s that simple.
#29 Computer Hope Seattle destroyed the Ravens. The Ravens are going to lose out which means a 4-12 record & a high draft pick in the 2016 draft. Baltimore has been RAVAGED by injuries & their 2015 draft class hasn’t really worked out. The Ravens have also been 4-7 in close games & -12 in TO margin! Normally you’d think a 4-12 team is really far from contending but the Ravens are more likely the most unlucky team in the NFL.
#30 Computer Hope Consider this. In Marcus Mariota’s first 6 games, he completed 66% of his passes for 1610yds with 13TD/5INT. The Titans were 2-4 in those games. In Mariota’s last 5 games, he’s completed 59% of his passes for 1176yds with 6TD/5INT. The Titans are 1-4 in those games. Losing Justin Hunter & Kendall Wright probably play into that decrease in production, but it also shows that defenses have made adjustments to Mariota.
#31 Computer Hope Did this team really start the season 6-1? Losing to Carolina is one thing. Everyone has lost to Carolina at this point, but getting MURDERED 38-0 by the Panthers is on a completely different level. It was so bad that Falcons management had to go out and start talking about how HC Dan Quinn’s job is safe. The guy is still in his first year on the job! That’s 6 straight losses & an organization that looks in complete disarray.
#32 Computer Hope The Indianapolis Colts have been by far the worst team in the NFL over the last two weeks. Indy has lost both games by the combined score of 96-26! That’s an average score of 48-13! Getting blown out by the Steelers is one thing. With that offense, blowouts are definitely possible, but losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 51-16!? That’s unforgivable. This team is headed nowhere without any direction.

December 20, 2015 - Posted by | Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Power 32, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Week 14

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