No Sleep Till Football

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NFL POWER 32 – 2016 WEEK 7

#1 Computer Hope Sure the Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger but forget that for a second. Since Tom Brady’s return, the Patriots are 3-0 and averaging 32PPG. All good, but what about that defense!? Lost in the Brady and tight end talk is the fact that the Patriots have allowed only 15.3PPG since Brady’s return and 15.3PPG for the season! Let’s assume the Patriots lose to Buffalo & Seattle in their next two games. There isn’t another loss on the schedule meaning a final record of 13-3 and the AFC’s #1 seed!
#2 Computer Hope Dallas is coming off a bye week but one of the consequences of Minnesota’s loss to Philadelphia is that if the season ended today, the Cowboys would be the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs! If you are paying attention to the advanced metrics, you’ll note that Dallas is playing similar defense as the Patriots except Dallas has actually been better in sack differential. Both teams have an outstanding rush defense & a below average pass defense. This makes sense with the dearth of QBs in the NFL.
#3 Computer Hope The 6-6 tie with Arizona hurts but being 4-1-1 isn’t necessarily a bad thing & the Seahawks are widening the gap on both Arizona & Los Angeles. The West is probably a formality at this point, but the Seahawks need to address a couple of things. The first is the O-Line. It’s a testament to how INCREDIBLE the defense is to know the Hawks lead the NFL in sack differential at +9 with arguably the worst O-Line in the league. The other problem is the passing attack. Kearse & Lockett need to be better.
#4 Computer Hope Too high? Maybe, but the Bolts are on a 2-game winning streak with after having beaten Denver (1st place AFC West) & Atlanta (1st place NFC South). The 3-4 record is a bit misleading considering San Diego has lost 4 games by a total of 14 points & won their 3 games by 35 points. If San Diego can beat Denver this week then they might not have another loss on the schedule meaning 12-4 is a possibility. I might be wrong but Philip Rivers has gone full “F YOU” mode. They are dangerous!
#5 Computer Hope Yes they’ve lost two straight but two weeks ago they got screwed in Seattle by an obvious Richard Sherman pass interference call and last week I can hardly blame them for losing an OT game by 3 points to San Diego. The Falcons are the best 4-3 team in the NFL and can make a darn good argument for being 7-0. This isn’t last year’s squad so don’t expect them to choke. This is an EXPLOSIVE offense and I think the defense continues to get better as the season progresses. I really like them so far.
#6 Computer Hope You get the feeling that the Broncos and their fans are breathing a tremendous sigh of relief due to Brock Osweiler turning them down & heading for Houston. Osweiler looked terrible in his return to the Mile High City while Trevor Siemian did a great job managing the game & letting CJ Anderson & Devontae Booker go to work on an overmatched Houston defense. At some point teams are going to stack the box against the run & Denver is going to open it up to Sanders & Thomas. Brutal!
#7 Computer Hope I don’t think anyone expected Landry Jones to beat Tom Brady but you know you have a flawed offensive gameplan when the Patriots come in with Brady & pass 26 times while Landry Jones passes 47 times! The game was never that out of hand & if you’ll notice, New England came in exceptionally balanced. Pittsburgh had a brutal time stopping LeGarrette Blount who torched them for 100+ yards & 2TD. Losing to the Patriots is fine. Losing because you play really bad football is terrible.
#8 Computer Hope I say it every week but you can win a lot of football games if you don’t turn the ball over, run a balanced offense that emphasises the run and remember not to kill yourself with mental errors that turn into penalties. Kansas City didn’t play a great game against New Orleans, but won 27-21 because they did all of those things & the Saints didn’t. There is absolutely no flash to this Kansas City team and I think the organization likes it that way. They’d be even better with an improved rush defense.
#9 Computer Hope The Packers needed a game against the Bears to get back on track but Chicago actually led this game 9-6 early in the 3rd quarter. Statistically the Packers dominated this game start to finish but couldn’t put any points up despite managing long drives deep into Chicago territory. The game could have been much much worse had Green Bay been more efficient in the red zone but the Packers scored a couple of 4th quarter TDs to make it 26-10. This is the best team in the North but they’re iffy.
#10 Computer Hope The Raiders are 5-2 and you have to respect it a bit I suppose and beating another NFL team 33-16 is impressive even if the win is over Jacksonville, but I’m not sure I’m buying Oakland as a good team. I said at the beginning of the year they were still a year away but their hot start has everyone thinking playoffs. If I’m the Patriots, Bills, Steelers, Bengals & Colts, I’m praying Oakland keeps on winning because I’d much rather face them in the playoffs than either San Diego or Denver. No thank you!
#11 Computer Hope How about that first quarter!? Carson Wentz throws a pick and Sam Bradford follows with a pick. Wentz then loses a fumble to give the ball back to Minnesota but Bradford once again matches him turnover for turnover! Wentz then throws another interception but this time Bradford manages not to turn the ball over & Minnesota punts. To me the difference in the game was pressure. The Eagles sacked Sam Bradford 6 times while Carson Wentz stayed pretty clean in the pocket all game.
#12 Computer Hope On the one hand you can look at a game like this and say that first quarter was a jumbled up mess and the Vikings could never quite recover. The team needs to forget & move on to the next one. On the other hand, Sam Bradford looked awful, the O-Line looked overwhelmed at the point of attack, and the Vikings have no running game to speak of. There is no denying the Vikings have an outstanding defense but they need to put together some more offense if they want to reach their ultimate prize.
#13 Computer Hope It has to hurt like hell to dominate the game as much as Arizona did and come away with a 6-6 tie! Hold the Seahawks to 6 points in your home stadium and you still can’t beat the team you need to!? The Cardinals can take solace in the fact that the defense played outstanding and offensively RB David Johnson got to carry the rock 33 times. Arizona dominated time of possession & if they can do that with Johnson getting 25 carries a game, they are going to have a hard time losing games.
#14 Computer Hope I’ve been saying it all year but we really are seeing Matthew Stafford elevate his game to elite status. The Redskins gave Stafford a minute to work with in the 4th quarter to engineer a game winning drive & Stafford got it done with 16 seconds to span. It gave the Lions their 3rd straight win & improved their record to 4-3. The 3 wins were also 3 straight home wins and I can’t overstate how important defending home turf is to a team like Detroit. Their confidence has to be soaring high!
#15 Computer Hope The schedule finally eased up and Cincinnati got to work putting Cleveland away 31-17 to get to 3-4. The Browns made it interesting early in the 3rd by pulling within 4 at 21-17 but the Bengals put up a quick 10-spot to get to the 31-17 final. It was outstanding offensive performance by Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Jeremy Hill & Giovani Bernard. Even Tyler Eifert finally got in on the action. The Bengals have to be happy being only one game out of first place despite starting the season slow at 2-4.
#16 Computer Hope The loss to Miami is absolutely inexcusable. A win over the Dolphins would have put Buffalo at 4-2 with an opportunity to beat New England at home & take full control of the AFC East no matter how many balls Tom Brady deflates. Now the Bills have to worry about their season potentially going down the toilet, Rex Ryan getting fired at season’s end & the entire blueprint blown up to rebuild. LeSean McCoy’s injury might be the coup de grace for the 2016 season. They MUST beat the Patriots.
#17 Computer Hope After winning four straight games you sort of figured Washington was going to let down at some point, but they had the game against the Lions won but gave Stafford just a bit more time than they should have giving him an opportunity to engineer a comeback. The Redskins need to forget quickly because their upcoming schedule is a minefield of losses. Their next opponents are Cincinnati, Minnesota, Green Bay, Dallas, Arizona & Philadelphia. If they go 3-3 in those 6, they’ll be happy!
#18 Computer Hope With their 17-10 over the Rams last week, the Giants moved their record to 4-3 making the NFC East the only division in football with all 4 teams above .500! New York will take the win but it was opportunistic more than dominating as the Rams committed 4 turnovers. The Giants need to get things rolling offensively. The running game isn’t so hot and Eli Manning is having a terrible year. I wonder if the Giants would draft Devontae Booker over Eli Apple if given the chance at a do over?
#19 Computer Hope The Saints came up empty against Kansas City in Arrowhead, but they played a lot better game than I thought losing 27-21. New Orleans never took control, but they made it close throughout and fought pretty hard after going down 21-7 midway through the 3rd quarter. With Atlanta dropping to 4-3, I can’t help but think the Saints still have a shot to get things going. At 2-4 they are only 1.5GB the division lead & Drew Brees is going to keep you in a lot of games. I still think a lot of upside.
#20 Computer Hope It has to be terribly frustrating for Rams fans to start the season 3-1 with wins over the Seahawks and Cardinals only to see your team drop 3 straight games to the Bills, Lions & Giants to drop to 3-4 and in 3rd place in the West. Even more frustrating is watching Case Keenum play QB knowing your team spent the overall #1 draft pick on Jared Goff. Even more frustrating? Constantly hearing from Rams management out Goff isn’t close to being ready so you get more Case Keenum football!
#21 Computer Hope Could I have been wrong about the Colts all season after being highly critical of the organization? I’m going to say it’s possible. The AFC South is bad so even if the Colts aren’t that good they could still make the playoffs and Andrew Luck’s heroics could even net them a win. It’s amazing to say that but Indy is 3-2 in their last 5 and despite their 3-4 record, 3 of the losses have been close. The makeup of the team doesn’t scream “elite”, but their best case record is 6-1 & Luck is still incredible.
#22 Computer Hope Did it really take Miami this long to figure out how to get the ball to Jay Ajayi 25 times a game? The Dolphins have won back-to-back games over the Steelers & Bills with Ajayi averaging 209 yards per game & 7.7ypc! This is a pace that he can, in no way, maintain, but the blueprint is there and this actually benefits Ryan Tannehill. The embattled Miami QB hasn’t thrown an interception in the last two games whereas in his previous 4 he had thrown 7. Three of those games were losses for Miami.
#23 Computer Hope Houston is struggling on offense and for Lamar Miller it has to feel like deja vu all over again. When Miller was in Miami he wasn’t getting the ball very often although the Dolphins needed to run the football. Look what Ajayi is doing now! In Houston, it looks like Brock Osweiler is turning into a full blown disaster and Miller is averaging 4.3ypc but doesn’t get that ball all that much. Miller has averaged 14 carriers per game over the last three contests. That isn’t nearly enough touches!
#24 Computer Hope The 24-16 loss to the Jets makes it four straight defeats for the Ravens who drop to 3-4 after a 3-0 start. The 4 losses have come by a combined 19 points. What troubles me about Baltimore is that they’re o-4 in their last 4 games yet they own a +4 turnover margin in those games. Even more troubling? Joe Flacco is on pace for a season where he completes 61% of his passes for 4,199 yards with 11TD/14INT! That’s awful. At 31-years old, he could be holding the team hostage for another 6-7 years!
#25 Computer Hope The Bucs took advantage of a terrible 49ers team to get a 34-17 win & improve to 3-3, just a half game behind the Falcons, but the real story is how well Jacquizz Rodgers & Peyton Barber ran the football. Rodgers went for 154 yards and combined the duo ran for 238yds/1TD on 38 carries for an average of 6.3ypc! People will talk about Jamies Winston going for 269yds/3TD but Tampa Bay can be a lot more successful by playing off the run. Taking pressure of Winston is the key here!
#26 Computer Hope We’ve heard this story a million times, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick has a good day then the Jets are a very difficult team to beat and might actually be a playoff team. The Jets got tired of his goofs though so they turned the ball over to Geno Smith. Against the Ravens, Smith got hurt which forced Fitzpatrick back into the game & Fitzy goes 9/14 for 120 yards & a TD without any mistakes. What happens? The Jets win! The Jets have 3 winnable games before their bye. I think getting to 5-5 is a possibility.
#27 Computer Hope The Panthers got a much needed bye as they need a couple of weeks to regroup and try to figure out just what in the hell happened that would cause the team one year to be 15-1 and NFC Champions and the next start out 1-5! I keep beating the drum of running the football but when trying to figure out what happened to Carolina, you can see they’ve become a more pass-centric team than last year’s squad. Cam Newton has qualities, but I’m not sure one of those is winning by passing more.
#28 Computer Hope Just when you think the Titans are about ready to take 1st place in the AFC South, they blow a home game to the Colts and drop to 3-4 instead of going 4-3. The Titans have done a great job establishing offensive identity through DeMarco Murray and Murray hasn’t disappointed in the least, but even behind a solid running game, Marcus Mariota has to play relatively well. When he’s way off, even the running attack can’t save him. I’ll say this, when Mariota is on, Tennessee is very hard to beat.
#29 Computer Hope Bad Blake Bortles showed up and the Jaguars lost to Oakland 33-16! The Jaguars are in a tough spot because the team is so young, but at the same time they are going to get better and windows open and close in the NFL extremely fast. That being said, Borltes might simply be a guy that completes 60% of his balls and throws 25-30TD to go along with 15-19 picks every year. Can you win a Super Bowl with that type of QB? Maybe, but if you don’t think so then it is time for a new QB.
#30 Computer Hope Jay Cutler is cranky as it is and we all know at this point that John Fox would rather not having him under center, but how that Brian Hoyer is out for the forseeable future, it’s back to Cutler. So essentially you have a team with a QB who probably doesn’t care. You also have a situation where the head coach doesn’t have any confidence in his QB and would rather not have him start. What could go wrong!? The sad part is that the Bears have upside, but they are headed for 3-13/4-12 at best!
#31 Computer Hope The big question is this: Now that the Indians are up 3-1 over the Cubs in the World Series and let’s assume the Tribe win it giving Cleveland the NBA & MLB championships, is it possible for Cleveland to win 13 straight games and become Super Bowl champs? The answer to that is probably “no” considering Cleveland is 0-7, but the Browns get a chance to use the Indians’ momentum this week and upset the Jets in Cleveland! It might be the only game they can win so I hope Chief Wahoo shows!
#32 Computer Hope No matter who you slice it, the 49ers are a dumpster fire. This is SUCH a long way from Joe Montana’s & Steve Young’s eras! Good grief it’s a SO FAR away from the Jeff Garcia days! I know there were calls for Kaepernick to start, but we’ve seen him in 2 games. He’s completed 46% of his passes, the 49ers have lost both games by a combined score of 79-33! Blaine Gabbert is just better & SF looks better when he’s playing. The 49ers are the worst organization in the NFL right now that’s horrible.

October 30, 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 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, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Week 7

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