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NFL POWER 32 – WEEK 15 2015

#1 Computer Hope The 38-35 win over the Giants sealed the 16-0 deal if Carolina takes their last 2 games seriously. Cam Newton played out of his mind throwing for 340 yards & 5TD while also rushing for 100 yards! That is first time in NFL history that’s happened. It’s worth noting that according to Football Outsiders, Carolina has faced 4th easiest schedule of any NFL team. They are +19 in TO margin as well. The playoffs will be tough.
#2 Computer Hope Philadelphia was at home with a lot to play for & Arizona made them look like a college team, beating them 40-17. RB David Johnson ran wild going for 187yds & 3TD on 29 carries. Pairing that dominant of a run game & Arizona’s passing attack is nightmarish for opponents! Unfortunately the Cards lost DB Tyrann Mathieu & that hurts. Mathieu is one of the most elite defenders in the game so the D takes a big hit.
#3 Computer Hope I said last week that KC would get back on track & that they did, beating the Ravens 34-14 for their 8th straight win. In their last 8 games, the Chiefs are 8-0 with a point differential of +140. Carolina over that same span is 8-0 with a point differential of +119. Arizona in that same span is 8-0 with a point differential of +88. No other has currently won 8 straight games & KC makes an argument for being the #1 team.
#4 Computer Hope Over the last 3 weeks, Seattle has beaten Minnesota, Baltimore & Cleveland by the combined score of 103-26! I know the Ravens & Browns suck but these are still NFL teams! The Seahawks are averaging 34PPG over their last 6 games. Doug Baldwin’s 2TD against the Browns now gives him 10 in his last 4 games while Russell Wilson isn’t playing like the best QB on the planet. He’s playing like the best QB ever to play!
#5 Computer Hope The game got a little weird at the end, but this was a FANTASTIC come from behind win at home for the Steelers in beating the Broncos 34-27. Remember that if Denver loses to KC & finishes 11-5 & Pittsburgh finishes 11-5 then the Broncos would be the #6 seed which means a likely road game at Arrowhead while the Steelers get the pitiful Texans. That game had a tremendous amount of meaning attached to it.
#6 Computer Hope New England put away an overmatched Tennessee Titans team early getting out to a 24-3 lead at halftime before finishing a 33-16 blowout. The win guaranteed New England a first round bye & it would see New England is almost a lock to get the #1 seed in the AFC meaning the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxboro. New England faces a salty Jets team in New York which is probably their final chance at losing.
#7 Computer Hope Of all the top teams, Green Bay is most worrisome. They are 4-1 in their last 5 which is great but they needed a Hail Mary against Detroit. Their loss was at home to Chicago & this past week they needed some Derek Carr picks to get up early. What’s weird is that I wouldn’t bet against Green Bay. There is a pretty good chance Green Bay hosts the NFC Championship game if Seattle stays on fire. That’s incredible!
#8 Computer Hope The Jets are in a precarious situation as they could win out & get to 11-5 yet not make the playoffs as they would lose tiebreakers to both Pittsburgh & Kansas City. The one saving grace for New York could be Denver. If the Broncos lose one more game & KC wins out then Denver would be in the hunt for the Wild Card, but they’d lose the tiebreaker to the Jets. Of course, New York must beat the Patriots this week.
#9 Computer Hope AJ McCarron was efficient in his first ever start for the Bengals, but beating the 49ers 24-14 seems a little lackluster to me. The Bengals have to be worried in my opinion at this point. They travel to Denver & while my faith in Brock Osweiler is minimal, I don’t trust McCarron on the road against that defense. That means a #3 seed & likely a date with the red hot Steelers. They need that #2 seed or else it’s one & done!
#10 Computer Hope Peyton Manning on the year has completed 60% of his passes. Brock Osweiler has also completed 60% of his passes. Manning has averaged 242yds/G. Osweiler has averaged 239yds/G. Manning has thrown more picks. Osweiler takes way more sacks. According to ESPN’s QB rating, Manning QBR is 45. Osweiler’s is 49. Manning was 7-2 in 9 games. Osweiler is 3-2 in 5 games. Is Denver really better off with Brock?
#11 Computer Hope After losing 3 of their last 4, the Vikings got back on track with a 38-17 thrashing of the Chicago Bears. QB Teddy Bridgewater was perfect going 17 of 20 for 231 yards & 4TD. Stefon Diggs caught 2 of those TD passes which doubled his yearly total. The Maryland product is putting together a very nice albeit quiet rookie season. Diggs has 47 catches for 693yds & 4TD. He’s not a #1 WR but has potential as a great #2 WR.
#12 Computer Hope Outstanding win for the Redskins who needed to beat a solid Buffalo team to keep their lead in the NFC East. This game was never in doubt as Washington raced out to a 28-3 lead & never let go. QB Kirk Cousins was once again a MONSTER at home going 22/28 for 319yds/4TD! DeSean Jackson & Jordan Reed were excellent while Alfred Morris ran well. I’m really rooting hard for the REDSKINS to get into the playoffs.
#13 Computer Hope To a degree this was a tough loss for the Giants because they battled back, but to be fair, they were down 35-7 at one point late in the 3rd quarter so it wasn’t like the Giants were going back & forth with Carolina until the end. This is a dangerous football team if they are able to sneak their way into the playoffs, but the G-Men haven’t been able to close out games. They’ve lost 7 games which seems completely unfair!
#14 Computer Hope I expected a lot more out of Philadelphia than laying down to the Cardinals in a 40-17 romp, but at the end of the day, the Eagles still control their own destiny. A win this week over Washington puts them in 1st place in the NFC East. A win over the Giants in the following week seals the deal & Philadelphia will most likely host the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card game. Can you imagine Chip Kelly in the postseason?
#15 Computer Hope The Jets went 3-1 against the NFC East. The Patriots went 3-1. The Bills are currently 0-3 with a game against the Cowboys left on the calendar. Throw a close loss against the Jaguars in the mix & you have a 5-9 Bills team that could easily have been 9-5 had they played the NFC East well & beaten the inferior Jaguars. I love Rex Ryan but it always feels like we are playing a game of “IF” with him and that’s unfortunate.
#16 Computer Hope Two first quarter picks by Derek Carr led to 14 quick points for the Packers & there was no way Oakland was climbing out of that hold despite outscoring Green Bay 20-16 the rest of the way. Amani Cooper went over the 1,000 yards mark which is a first for Oakland since Randy Moss in 2005. It’s also the first time in Raiders history that a WR has gained over 1,000 receiving yards in their first season with the team.
#17 Computer Hope Houston did what they’ve never done before, going into Indianapolis & getting a win over the Colts. It wasn’t the prettiest 16-10 win you’ll ever see, but it gave Houston sole possession of 1st place in the AFC South & the likely divisional crown with their 2 remaining games coming against Tennessee & Jacksonville. Going with Brandon Weeden at QB will make it Houston’s 4th different QB this season. That’s rare.
#18 Computer Hope Tough to take a loss when you have almost double the first downs & almost 200 more total yards than your opponent but some turnovers & penalties led the Bucs to a 28-6 deficit after 3 quarters & despite a valiant comeback in the 4th it wasn’t enough. Kudos to the Bucs though for game planning. They took away Todd Gurley from the Rams offense, but how were they to know Case Keenum would be near perfect?
#19 Computer Hope Matthew Stafford put on a clinic in New Orleans going 22 of 25 for 254yds & 3TD in Detroit’s 35-27 win over the Saints. What stands out to me is Joique Bell & Ameer Abdullah combining to rush for 148 yards & 2TD on 17 carries! The Lions have been a different team after their bye week. Since then they are 4-2 & their 2 losses were close ones to St. Louis & Green Bay. If not for the 1-7 start, this could be a playoff team.
#20 Computer Hope Chicago got down 24-7 early to Minnesota which somewhat forced their hand into a passing team & this isn’t the game that Jay Cutler can succeed in. Cutler is a decent QB, but he can’t throw the ball 50 times a game & his coaching staff expect him not to make mistakes. Jeremy Langford & Matt Forte averaged 4.4ypc but the Bears ran the ball only 35% of the time compared to the Vikings running it 64%. It showed.
#21 Computer Hope Over the past 2 weeks, Case Keenum is 28 of 39 (72%) for 358 yards & 2TD to 1INT. The Rams have won both games to get to 6-8. The NFL is a QB driven league & as good as Keenum has been the last 2 weeks, the Rams simply don’t have a QB. It might cost Jeff Fisher his job, but just think of St. Louis had won a couple of the close games they lost, they would probably be close to the Wild Card & Fisher has job security.
#22 Computer Hope Who will go down as the best Chargers QB of all time, Philip Rivers or Dan Fouts? Statistically Rivers is going to blow Fouts out of the water. He’ll blow by Fouts next year in total yards & Rivers already has more TDs & a superior completion percentage. Rivers has been to the playoffs 5x to Fouts 4x but Fouts has been to 2 AFC championship games to Rivers’ 1. Fouts was 1st Team All Pro 2x & Rivers never has been.
#23 Computer Hope A couple of 4th quarter FGs gave Atlanta a 23-17 win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville & ended the Falcons 6 game losing streak. The last time Atlanta gave Devonta Freeman 25 carries was in Week 7. That week was Atlanta’s last victory until they beat Jacksonville, where Freeman had 25 carries for the first time since. You’d think the Falcons might consider giving Freeman the ball as their odds of winning increase.
#24 Computer Hope The loss to Atlanta probably ends Jacksonville’s slim hopes of winning the South, but what really did Jacksonville in was their back-to-back losses to San Diego & Tennessee in Weeks 12 & 13 respectively. Those two teams are a combined 7-21 & typically playoff teams are able to beat the worst teams in their conference. Jacksonville couldn’t & now they are paying the price. They need to win out & hope Houston fails.
#25 Computer Hope Tough loss to Detroit but the Saints defense is atrocious. Now the injury to Drew Brees & the season that can’t go any worse actually gets worse. The Saints have some tremendous pieces on offense so it makes you wonder if Brees & Payton stick around to see it through. If the defense can somehow morph into a top-10 unit this offseason then New Orleans is right back to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
#26 Computer Hope I love Mike McCoy and Philip Rivers but mailing it in like that in a 30-14 loss to the putrid Chargers is inexcusable. This coaching staff is a joke in the way it handles Lamar Miller. If I’m Miami ownership I definitely find a coach who knows how to use a RB & I also find a new QB because I’m not sure Tannehill is the guy & there are too many threats at WR to not have a QB who can utilize them to their full extent.
#27 Computer Hope A 30-13 loss to the Seahawks is about what we expected, but I didn’t think Johnny Manziel was overwhelmed & he certainly wasn’t helped out by a Cleveland defense that gave up almost 200 yards to the Seattle rushing attack. The unfortunate part about this situation is that Mike Pettine might not survive here as HC & that’s unfortunate as this is only his 2nd year & he wasn’t dealt an easy hand with Manziel coming in.
#28 Computer Hope The Blaine Gabbert experiment took a hit this past week in the 49ers 24-14 loss to the Bengals. Gabbert was 30 of 50 for 295yds/1TD/3INT. Throwing 28-32 passes a game is more Gabbert’s speed. Asking him to throw the ball 50 times a game is entirely too much & the 49ers need a running game to support Gabbert if he is the QB going forward. That said, San Francisco didn’t play badly against one of the NFL’s elite.
#29 Computer Hope Blown out by Kansas City 34-14, the Ravens have lost their last two games by the combined score of 69-20! This season was a struggle from the jump & it is by far the worst showing of John Harbaugh’s tenure as HC. With so many injuries it’s even difficult to tell which team is really there. What is safe to say is that Baltimore probably winds up 4-12 with a high draft pick so I’m wondering if they can pull off Joey Bosa?
#30 Computer Hope The Titans are right to shut Mariota down now that he’s suffered a sprained MCL. There is absolutely no reason to take risks with a franchise QB when your current record stands at 3-11. Jameis Winston is having the better year statistically & Tampa Bay has been a lot more successful than the Titans, but I love what Mariota has done this year & feel as if the Titans have the better of the two rookie QBs going forward.
#31 Computer Hope I love the decision to go to Kellen Moore. He was playing a brutal Jets defense in his first ever NFL action & threw 3 picks, but the kid spent the last 3 years backing up Matt Stafford in Detroit & before that he started for Boise St. for 4 years & was in the top-10 in the Heisman balloting three times. His record at Boise St. was 50-3 including 2 perfect regular seasons. This kid is a winner and I wouldn’t discount that.
#32 Computer Hope If Indianapolis wins out & Houston loses out then the Colts would win the South. If both teams wind up 8-8 then things get rather tricky. The tie breaker would boil down to strength of victory at this point & Houston would win the division based on today’s records, but those numbers are very fluid. I still think an interesting storyline is Indy making the playoffs and then Jim Irsay completely cleaning house after.

December 25, 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 15

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