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NFL POWER 32 – 2016 WEEK 6

#1 Computer Hope Minnesota is coming off a bye week and should be well rested going into a 2-week stretch where they play road games against Philadelphia & Chicago. I mentioned last week that I wasn’t sure there was a loss on the schedule outside of playing on the road in Lambeau, but after watching how awful the Packers & Aaron Rodgers looked this past week at home against the Cowboys, I think Vikings fans have to secretly be thinking about a perfect season. Is Bradford the MVP if Minny goes 16-0?
#2 Computer Hope Seattle got a must win over the Falcons this past week albeit a close 26-24 affair. Their next 4 games are rough with 3 of them coming on the road against the Cardinals, Saints & Patriots with their one home date against the Bills who are playing as well as any team in the NFL at the moment. Offensively Seattle is struggling a bit but they’ve not committed any turnovers over the last couple of games & the defense is nothing short of astonishing. You can win a ton of football games with that formula.
#3 Computer Hope LeSean McCoy put on a clinic against the 49ers going for 140 yards & 3TD on only 19 carries! Since Anthony Lynn became OC for the Bills, McCoy has averaged 6.4ypc and has rushed for 5TD! The Bills have won all 4 games and have averaged 31PPG which included a 13-0 shutout of the New England Patriots in Foxboro! Buffalo did something last week against SF I thought very interesting going exclusively nickel with Darby, Gilmore & Robey-Coleman. I think it was a stroke of genius for Buffalo.
#4 Computer Hope Since Tom Brady’s return the Patriots are averaging 34PPG and Brady himself has thrown for 782 yards & 6TD while completing 76% of his passes! Even with missing 4 games, Brady is on pace to pass for 4700 yards & 36TD! The Bengals are a good team & New England wore them down resulting in a convincing 35-17 win. Over the last 4 games, the Patriots defense has allowed just 11.5PPG! When you have Brady at QB and a defense allowing less than 12PPG, it’s going to be hard to lose!
#5 Computer Hope The Falcons have to be feeling completely screwed at this point. An obvious pass interference call on Richard Sherman at the end of the game essentially sealed the deal for the Seahawks in a 26-24 win. If the interference is called, Atlanta likely kicks the game winning FG and wins 27-26 getting a HUGE upset road victory & pushing them to 5-1. A little disappointed that TE Austin Hooper isn’t getting any looks. Atlanta needs to start looking at how San Diego is using Hunter Henry effectively.
#6 Computer Hope Dak Prescott finally tossed an interception but the also threw for 3 TD passes as the Cowboys routed Green Bay in Lambeau Field 30-14! I don’t think many of us expected that outcome but it might be time to believe Dallas is a legitimate Super Bowl threat. The problem facing the Cowboys at this point is avoiding the QB drama that the media is going to push constantly once Tony Romo returns from injury. I thought Troy Aikman said it best on Sunday. These runs don’t come often. Don’t change.
#7 Computer Hope A couple of thoughts on Pittsburgh’s 30-15 loss to Miami. The first thought is that Big Ben played almost all of the game & this is a good game to note that when Pittsburgh doesn’t show up on defense & Roethlisberger is off, Pittsburgh can be exposed. The other thought is the obvious injury to Big Ben. Roethlisberger will return at some point this season & I don’t think this impacts Pittsburgh’s playoff chances, but it could be the difference in them not getting the AFC Championship game.
#8 Computer Hope I can’t blame Denver too much for the loss against the Chargers. San Diego is A LOT better team than their 2-4 record would indicate and the Broncos played a pretty sloppy game which resulted in a 21-13 loss. What didn’t make sense to me is Denver throwing the ball 50 times when Trevor Siemien is the QB. CJ Anderson & Devontae Booker ran for 83 yards on 15 carries (5.5ypc!!!) so why not set your young QB up with your running game? Felt like Denver over thought this strategy a bit.
#9 Computer Hope Matt Jones had an outstanding game against a solid Philadelphia front-7 going for 135 yards on the ground & 1TD on just 16 carries. Jones has shown us glimpses of his ability to be an every down back which is why I think Washington was OK allowing Alfred Morris to depart. He’s just a 2nd year player but there is no denying the skills of the 6’1/235lbs Florida product. If Jones starts getting the rock 20-25 times a game, the offense is going to explode. The Redskins are HOT winning 4 straight.
#10 Computer Hope What’s scary about the Chargers is that according to Football Outsiders this week, San Diego has the 12th best defense in the NFL and the 9th best pass defense. They are a little weak against the run at the moment but what has struck me watching the Chargers this year is how fast & aggressive the defense actually is. The win over Denver is huge & SD can certainly argue they should be 6-0 if Lady Luck didn’t absolutely hate them. This is a team I think no other team n the league wants to play.
#11 Computer Hope Arizona has to be careful here. This past week against the Jets, Carson Palmer was healthy and threw the ball 34 times to RB David Johnson’s 22 carries. The week prior when Arizona defeated the 49ers, Drew Stanton threw the ball 28 times and Johnson got 27 carries. The Cardinals won both games to get back to 3-3, but if Arizona wants to do more than just make the playoffs, they need to make Johnson the focal point of the offense & not Carson Palmer. You’d think they’d have learned that.
#12 Computer Hope Vintage Kansas City Chiefs football in their 24-10 demolishing of the Raiders in Oakland. Kansas City ran the ball 40 times compared to just 23 passes. Spencer Ware ran for 131 yards & Jamaal Charles also got some run time. They dominated time of possession almost 37 minutes to 23. KC committed just 2 penalties and didn’t turn the ball over once. They were 7 of 13 on 3rd down & kept the chains moving. KC can win their next 5 games and could easily be 8-2 after 10! That looks pretty good!
#13 Computer Hope Something is seriously amiss with the defense. I thought losing Mario Edwards for the season was going to be a big loss especially given the effect he has on Khalil Mack’s play, but Mack is worse off than even I expected. He’s on pace to finish the year with 5 sacks and the Raiders as a team are giving up 27+PPG! The good news is they are 4-2, but those 4 wins have come by a combined 12 points! The offense is humming, but at this rate they aren’t looking that much different than New Orleans.
#14 Computer Hope Aaron Rodgers was 31/42 which is good for 74% but he passes for only 294 yards which is 7.0 yards per attempt! Yuck. Also Rodgers turned the ball over twice & missed on a lot of passes. He threw for a TD but the Packers still lost 30-16 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Green Bay looked outclassed & outmuscled by a Cowboys team featuring a rookie QB & RB that ran roughshod over them all game long. Rodgers is now 7-8 in his last 15 starts. Something isn’t right & it needs fixed fast.
#15 Computer Hope Forget the 35-17 loss to New England. You sort of figure you are going to lose to New England when you head up to Foxboro and given how well Tom Brady played on Sunday, there was absolutely no chance the Bengals were coming out with a win. I did like how Cincinnati didn’t abandon the run game & they did win the time of possession battle even though they probably should have abandoned the run given how ineffective it was. Don’t sleep on Cincy. The schedule gets much much easier.
#16 Computer Hope I love Detroit getting a 31-28 win over the Rams and I love what a great season Matt Stafford is having. Stafford in on pace to finish with 4400 passing yards & 37-38TD while completing 69% of his passes! The Georgia Bulldog really is turning into an ELITE QB at this level, but the Lions themselves are a bit rough. They can’t run the ball very well and they don’t stop the run either. It’s wild to think the Rams wouldn’t try to run constantly and Detroit’s win feels more like a Los Angeles failure.
#17 Computer Hope I’m not saying it’s the reason, but keep an eye on how the Eagles deal with the loss of RT Lane Johnson. He’s an extremely talented tackle which is hugely important to the success of Carson Wentz. He’ll miss 10 games & the Eagles just lost his first missed game 27-20 to the Redskins. Philly has lost 2 close road games which has definitely put the brakes on them after starting 3-0. Their remaining schedule is a nightmare so it’ll be interesting to see how Wentz plays against ELITE competition weekly.
#18 Computer Hope Good things tend to happen when Odell Beckham goes for 222 yards & 2TD on just 8 catches! The Ravens had NO ANSWER for Beckhma as Eli threw to him 10 times and the connection was priceless. New York improved to 3-3 but I have to admit I didn’t like the win. The Giants got a close win but committed 3 turnovers. Eli threw a couple of picks and Baltimore won time of possession. The G-Men barely ran the football. It’s not a winning recipe & Beckham can’t go for 200 yards weekly!
#19 Computer Hope The Saints held on for dear life and got a crucial home win over the Panthers that improved their record to 2-3 and put them in 2nd place in the South. What hurts New Orleans this season is that the Falcons are for real so they can’t really depend on Atlanta collapsing and them riding a wave of home wins to get to 8-8/9-7 & that being enough to win the South & get into the playoffs. I think it’ll be interesting to see if the Saints can get to 8-8 on the season because I think the D will get better.
#20 Computer Hope You sort of expect this out of the Rams, but Los Angeles’ front-7 on defense is entirely too good to let Matt Stafford pick them a part for 270 yards & 4TD while only taking 1 sack. The Rams have lost 2 straight games to Buffalo & Detroit. Not horrific losses by any stretch but what separates the Rams from the playoffs in the last few seasons is losing games they should win. You beat Arizona & Seattle but can’t beat Detroit & San Francisco? It doesn’t make sense. This team should be 5-1 and not 3-3.
#21 Computer Hope Being down 23-9 late in the 4th quarter, Houston pretty much needed everything to go wrong with the Colts in the last 2 minutes of the game & in OT and they got exactly that and improved to 4-2 with the 26-23 win over Indy. That isn’t going to happen very often so Houston needs to figure out what’s going on. I really liked that Houston fed Lamar Miller a ton, but they need their passing game to click and it’s becoming apparent that Osweiler might not be that great of a QB. They seem off.
#22 Computer Hope The Titans came away with a 28-26 win over the Browns which doesn’t look good but the Titans held off a feverish Cleveland comeback to improve to 3-3. Don’t look now but I think the Titans might be the favorites to win the AFC South at this point. They have a strong offensive identity by pounding the rock with DeMarco Murray non-stop and I think Mariota only gets better with that emphasis. And remember, Tennessee’s defense is good. REALLY GOOD. They’ll shoot up these rankings.
#23 Computer Hope That was a tough 27-23 loss to the Giants but what might be even worse is the loss of Terrell Suggs from a defense that sorely relies on his ability to get pressure on opposing QBs. He’s not quite the heart & soul of the defense the way Ray Lewis was, but Suggs plays that same role & losing him is going to significantly impact the effectiveness of Baltimore’s defense. The Ravens in my opinion are one of the hardest teams to get a read on. The 3-3 record isn’t terrible, but something seems off here.
#24 Computer Hope Jacksonville didn’t really do anything against Chicago that merited a win. The Bears killed themselves with bad clock management down the stretch & the Bears committed costly penalties in the 4th that ultimately led to a couple of Jacksonville TDs. The Jags scored all 17 points in the 4th quarter of a 17-16 win. It’ll be interesting to see how the Jaguars respond to this win. They’ve won two straight so the confidence has to be brimming. They have some winnable games coming up so let’s see.
#25 Computer Hope Miami has had issues along their O-Line remaining healthy but their starting 5 along the O-Line against Pittsburgh was their projected starting O-Line and it worked wonders against the Steelers defense. Jay Ajayi ran WILD going for 204 yards & 2TD on 25 carries which is 8+ypc! That’s INSANE at the NFL level. This is exactly the type of game the Dolphins should be playing. Ajayi can play. The O-Line can play. Run the ball & allow the pass game to operate off running success. Great win.
#26 Computer Hope Tampa Bay was on a bye week this past week and they’ll play the 49ers in San Francisco. The NFC South has been fairly odd thus far & Tampa Bay finds themself tied with the Saints for 2nd place in the South at 2-3 which is only 1.5 games behind the Falcons. I don’t think Tampa is a good team, but their schedule sets up well. They play a bad 49ers team & if they win that game improve to 3-3 with three straight home games to come. If Winston plays well they could be 6-3/5-4 after nine!
#27 Computer Hope In Sunday loss to New Orleans, the Panthers allowed 460 passing yards & 523 total yards! Last year’s Carolina defense came no where close to giving up these types of numbers which begs the question: What the hell is going on with Carolina’s defense? The 38 points scored against the Saints would have been enough to win every game last year except their Week 13 games against the Saints where the Panthers prevailed 41-38. Josh Norman has to be laughing because the pass D is atrocious.
#28 Computer Hope I’ve been pretty harsh on Indianapolis for a while now and if I were Jim Irsay I’d get rid of Grigson & Pagano as fast as humanly possible, but if you look it at from the other point of view, you see a 2-4 team that could easily be 5-1. After Vinatieri puts Indy up 23-9 late in the 4th, the Colts simply can’t stop DeAndre Hopkins. Houston cuts the lead to 23-16 but then Indy has a horrific 3 & out before Houston hits big plays and ties it 23-23. The defense completely caved late….again. It’s ridiculous.
#29 Computer Hope The Bears are snatching defeat from the hands of victory the last couple of weeks. I know they have to pass like crazy on the last drive the game because the Jaguars had taken the lead & it was Chicago’s last chance with time running out, but the two drives before that, the Bears are up at home & they keep Hoyer passing the football. It makes no sense for the guy to throw the football 49 times no matter how well he’s throwing when Chicago never tailed in the game except the very end. Bad coaching.
#30 Computer Hope Regardless of the question, I’m almost 100% certain that the answer is never Geno Smith. There is a lot going on with the Jets at the moment but I think we vastly underrated the effect losing Eric Decker has had on this offense. Fitzpatrick is prone to having bad games which we’ve seen, but one thing that isn’t being mentioned is how difficult the schedule has been for the Jets in their first 6 games. Their SOS right now is .588! I could easily see the Jets winning 7 of their next ten to finish 8-8.
#31 Computer Hope The 49ers were going to lose either way because they weren’t beating the Bills with Buffalo playing THIS WELL but pulling Blaine Gabbert for Colin Kaepernick strikes me as a desperate move on Chip Kelly’s part. Kaepernick got a little loose running the football but his mobility isn’t a huge upgrade over Gabbert. Also, if Gabbert is considered inaccurate then I shudder to think what you’d describe Kaepernick’s accuracy as. The defense is atrocious but SF seems better than a 1-5 team to me.
#32 Computer Hope The Browns are 0-6 which is disappointing & there is definitely a chance the team finishes 0-16, but I think they are going to catch someone napping. The Browns defense couldnt’ get off the field on 3rd down early in the game & a couple of offensive drives stalled early which resulted in field goals. If those opportunities turn into TDs, then Cleveland beats the Titans instead of taking a 2-point loss. Cleveland has some skill players & Cody Kessler can play. They’ll catch somebody.

October 19, 2016 - 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, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Power 32, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Week 6

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