No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

NFL POWER 32 – 2016 WEEK 14

#1 Computer Hope At the end of the day, New England has Tom Brady and other teams don’t and that’s probably good enough to put them in position to win a Super Bowl. Baltimore clawed their way back into the Monday night game 23-20 before Brady hit Chris Hogan with a 79-yard bomb that essentially was soul crushing for the Ravens. SEVENTY-NINE yards with the game on the line! They have the 2nd best scoring defense in the NFL so there aren’t many weaknesses if any. Same ol’ Pats.
#2 Computer Hope They aren’t sexy, but all they do is win football games. What sticks out about Kansas City is that the defense is outstanding and arguably the best defense in the league. It was amazing to watch the Chiefs dictate the game to Oakland’s offense which is an excellent offense. Sure Latavius Murray went over 100yds but it was a grind it out game. Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, Dee Ford, Dontari Poe, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, and Chris Jones! They keep coming!
#3 Computer Hope Theoretically this should be Dallas, but the Giants just beat the Cowboys for a 2nd time this season so I couldn’t really justify ranking Dallas ahead of the Giants. I’m not sure  New York is the 3rd best team in the NFL but they are 2-0 against arguably the best team in the NFC so how can I put Dallas ahead? That said, the G-Men didn’t have a great offensive game, but the defense just held Dallas to 7 points! If they play that kind of defense then the Giants will win the Super Bowl.
#4 Computer Hope Offensively the Cowboys were held in check, but to be honest a loss was coming sooner or later. As a Cowboys fan you never want to see Dallas lose & I don’t think the Giants are better. If you are looking for a silver lining, the Cowboys defense showed up holding the Giants to just 10 points. New York couldn’t run. For the most part Odell Beckham & Sterling Shepard were non-factors. They turned the Giants over 3 times. Dallas wasn’t going 15-1 & this was a fantastic loss.
#5 Computer Hope The Steelers are starting to look like the dominant team we thought they’d be when the season began. Beating the Bills 27-20 in Buffalo was their 4th straight win and combined with Baltimore’s loss to New England make them the sole possessors of 1st place in the AFC North. The win over Buffalo was a BEATING. The game wasn’t nearly that close & Pittsburgh was superior in all phases. I was especially impressed with the Steelers defense. I think they win their last three.
#6 Computer Hope There are a lot worse things to happen than losing at Kansas City 21-13. The scary part is losing to Kansas City in a way in which the Chiefs aren’t used to winning. Oakland was +3 in TO margin and they also had the ball longer than KC. That is KC’s recipe for winning yet Oakland didn’t get it done. I don’t want to read too much into it but KC did beat Oakland twice. It might be a situation like Dallas/NY Giants in which you think the team losing is somewhat better but is 0-2.
#7 Computer Hope Another game another 4th quarter comeback for Matthew Stafford! The Lions at 9-4 now have the 2nd best record in the NFC & would have a 1st round bye if the season ended today. Chicago made a valiant comeback but it was a solid win for the Lions who needed it to keep their cushion given that both the Vikings & Packers improved to 7-6. Their last 3 games are: @NYG, @DAL & Green Bay in Detroit. Matt Stafford can cement his status as MVP with a couple wins.
#8 Computer Hope How about Tampa Bay’s defense!? Forget that 15-11 score, the Bucs defense didn’t allow a single Saints TD and they picked Drew Brees off on three separate occasions! This was a big time statement game for the Bucs who ran the ball effectively and controlled the clock for most of the game. The Bucs have won 5 straight games & their points allowed per game during that span is 12.8! I don’t know what happened after the Week 9 loss to the Falcons, but the D got woken up big!
#9 Computer Hope Speaking of that Falcons offense, Atlanta EXPLODED Sunday with a 42-point effort against the Rams in Los Angeles which was the final nail in Rams HC Jeff Fisher’s coffin as leader of the 4-9 Los Angeles squad. Matt Ryan was on fire tossing 3TD passes while the Falcons defense took advantage of five Rams turnovers, returning two for touchdowns. Atlanta led 42-0 after 3 quarters! Atlanta leads the South on tiebreakers & has a much easier road the last three games.
#10 Computer Hope Where has THIS Green Bay team been all season!? Green Bay welcomed Seattle in Lambeau Field and then proceeded the national humiliation 38-10 at the hands of a surgical Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have to be ecstatic with the emergence of Davante Adams who is turning into a legitimate #2 threat behind Jordy Nelson. That pushes Randall Cobb to the slot, but what it really does is give Aaron Rodgers so many more options. The defense also intercepted Russell Wilson 5x!
#11 Computer Hope It wasn’t always the prettiest game and the Redskins needed a late TD drive to seal the deal, but Washington posted a 27-22 win over Philly to stay in that #6 seed with a record of 7-5-1. I’ve been saying this for awhile but Washington is a tough out & this game shows why. Philly dominated this game from a clock standpoint but Washington can get after the QB on defense which can turn into big defensive plays & they have offensive weapons with big time speed. That matters.
#12 Computer Hope The Titans may have gotten a bit lucky in their 13-10 win over Denver, but I loved how the Titans stayed true to their running game, running the ball behind Derrick Henry, Demarco Murray & Marcus Mariota 42 times for 180yds & a TD. Mariota had a bad game throwing the ball which you somewhat expected against the Denver pass defense, but he avoided turning the ball over & the Titans stuck with their rushers which made the difference. I still think they can win in the playoffs.
#13 Computer Hope So you don’t have Earl Thomas and it’s possible that Michael Bennett isn’t 100% just yet, but that is still no excuse to go into Green Bay and lose 38-10! The offense is alarming. The 40 points they put on Carolina looks like the exception and not the rule. In their last 3 games the Seahawks have turned the ball over an incredible ten times! Russell Wilson just had a 5 interception game! FIVE! Seattle can still pose problems but I don’t think they win road games in NY or Green Bay.
#14 Computer Hope Losing to the Patriots in Foxboro isn’t the end of the world, but I was disappointed in how it happened. The Patriots were up 23-3 in the 3rd quarter so the 30-23 final score wasn’t completely indicative of that being a close game for 60 minutes. It’s also troublesome that Baltimore won time of possession and the turnover battle yet were hammered for most of the game. The Ravens have the feel of a team that could win a playoff game, but getting there is going to be difficult.
#15 Computer Hope Brutal game for the Broncos strategically and I can’t help but wonder if this is why Gary Kubiak screws things up & won’t win without the benefit of the greatest QB of all time. Late in the 3rd quarter/early in the 4th the Broncos were down 13-0 and drove down to the Tennessee 4. It was 4th & 4 and the Broncos go for it and miss. It was 13-0 at the time. Should Kubiak have gone for it there or settled for 3 and make it 13-3? Denver would actually go on to score 10 so it mattered.
#16 Computer Hope The Dolphins would be ranked a lot higher if Ryan Tannehill didn’t suffer a knee injury and now could be out for potentially the rest of the season. I think for the most part Tannehill was having a breakthrough season. He’s struggled with interceptions at certain points but he was at a career high with his accuracy and the Dolphins are currently 8-5 & in the thick of the playoff hunt. Now it’ll be up to Matt Moore to get Miami to the playoffs. I really think he can get it done.
#17 Computer Hope The final score said 27-20 but the Bills were thoroughly dominated and outclassed by Pittsburgh in Buffalo which is embarrassing. It could have also be the final straw of Rex Ryan’s very short tenure in Buffalo. I think Rex is a good coach but his fatal flaw might be choosing teams to coach that don’t have a good QB situation. Going from Mark Sanchez to Tyrod Taylor isn’t exactly setting yourself up for success. It’s not unlike what Chip Kelly has endured with the Eagles & 49ers.
#18 Computer Hope Can Bengals pull off the miraculous and make the playoffs? If Cincinnati can manage to win out and finish 8-7-1 they’ll need Baltimore, Denver & Miami to crash and burn. Denver & Miami have to lose out. I think it’s entirely possible with Denver whose last 3 games are nasty. I think it’s possible for Miami but they’d have to lose at the Jets this week. It’s also entirely possible that Baltimore losses 2 of their final 3. What can’t happen? The Bills can’t win out or else Cincy is toast.
#19 Computer Hope Winning games certainly helps ease what is turning into a disappointing season but beating the Jags is hardly consolation. I don’t think the Vikings can win in Lambeau meaning at best they finish 9-7 and I’m not sure that’s enough to make the playoffs especially with Green Bay surging. What a weird season for the Vikings. They have an offense that doesn’t ever turn the ball over and one of the best defenses in the league. That’s almost a certain playoff team but 4 close losses kills them.
#20 Computer Hope As if the Chargers don’t suffer enough, this last week’s 28-16 loss to Carolina featured injuries to both Joey Bosa and Melvin Gordon. The Chargers have an INCREDIBLE 17 players on injured reserve which is mind boggling. At a certain point you have to wonder what is going on with San Diego’s training staff. Maybe having this many injuries is coincidental, but the Chargers have been plagued with injuries now the past couple of seasons. You wonder if it’s not systemic.
#21 Computer Hope The Bucs have earned the right to be considered one of the top teams in the league but New Orleans has to feel like they wasted one holding the Tampa offense to 15 points yet still losing 15-11. That has basically been the story for New Orleans this year. Their “best case” record is 11-2! They are 3-7 in close games. New Orleans is close. The defense was a lot better than expected & the offense could be better next season. Brees still has an open window for 2-3 more years I think.
#22 Computer Hope The word in Indianapolis is that Houston dominated the game and when I watched, I thought the same, but Houston really got lucky late in the 4th quarter when Andrew Luck fumbled away an opportunity for the Colts to score a TD and win the game. Was that luck? Maybe, but Houston should stick to Lamar Miller & Alfred Blue salting games away with the running attack. Houston reminds me of a less successful version of the Titans if they can stick to the rushing attack.
#23 Computer Hope If Andrew Luck continues this pace he’ll finish his Age-27 season with an 8-8 record having completed 62.9% of his passes for 4,508 yards with 33TD to 13INT. In Peyton Manning’s Age-27 years, the G.O.A.T led the Colts to a 12-4 record, completed 67.0 of this passes for 4,267 yards with 29TD to 10INT. He was 1st Team All-Pro and led Indianapolis to the AFC Championship game. This isn’t to diminish Luck. It’s that he is certainly being held to unfair expectations in Naptown.
#24 Computer Hope Carolina jumped on San Diego early and often getting out to a 23-0 lead and then salting the game away. The Panthers had an outstanding defensive effort sacking Chargers QB Philip Rivers five times, picking him off 3 times and forcing him to commit 2 fumbles. Carolina wasn’t great offensively & Cam Newton continued his uninspired play, but wins like this one at least keep Carolina from being the obvious most disappointing NFL team for the 2016 season.
#25 Computer Hope Speaking of most disappointing teams in the NFL this season, Arizona might be #1 on the list although Carolina & Cincinnati can make arguments. I’ve been hammering Arizona a lot this year by not featuring RB David Johnson as much as I would like. He actually leads the NFL in touches, all purpose yards & yards from scrimmage. So am I wrong? I still don’t think so. I think what it illustrates is how dominant Johnson can truly be & that the Cards haven’t used him correctly.
#26 Computer Hope Philadelphia is now 2-8 in their last 10 games and we are seeing what they truly are as opposed to their 3-0 start that had the league buzzing. I’m disappointed that the defense has fallen off a cliff. In their last 7 games, the Eagles D is giving up 26.2PPG. In their first 6, the unit allowed 14.7PPG. You can certainly argue the offenses got quite a bit better, but you would think the defense would get better as well as the season wore on. Wentz has been solid. That’s enough for 2016.
#27 Computer Hope Like San Diego, the Bears have 17 players in injured reserve. That’s craziness. Chicago all but had Detroit dead to rights this past week and Matthew Stafford put his cape on. That tends to happen when your record is 3-10. The Bears are 1-5 in close games and their TO margin is -7. There is a lot regression coming Chicago’s way next season if they keep their coaching staff together & find a way to get a QB & keep the other players healthy. I think Fox/Fangio can win in Chicago.
#28 Computer Hope Jacksonville still has the look & feel of a very young team, but as I’ll comment about Cleveland below, how much room can you have for rebuilding in the NFL? The Jaguars took a 16-12 lead into the 4th quarter at home, but couldn’t hold serve as Minnesota scored two 4th-quarter TDs to win it 25-16. It wasn’t a bad game, but the Jaguars committed entirely too many penalties & couldn’t ice the game at the end. Some of that is learning how to win, but will this team ever learn?
#29 Computer Hope How about those Jets!? Down 17-3 at halftime, New York rallied and scored 20 unanswered points to upend the 49ers 23-17 in OT! I actually like what New York did offensively in this game. Bilil Powell got really loose which is something the Jets can’t count on, but New York pounded the football and took quite a bit of pressure of Bryce Petty and it paid off. They had it rough early, but controlled the clock late & chipped away until finally getting their fourth win of the season.
#30 Computer Hope It’s one thing to lose but it’s another to get absolutely blown out at home. Jeff Fisher finally lost his job and it concludes another chapter in his coaching life that doesn’t make a ton of sense when you look at his overall resume. Fisher’s legacy is interesting. He’s coached for owners that didn’t really want to win. He’s coached two franchises that moved cities. He’s also coached teams that never really had a great QB unless you count Steve McNair. I don’t. Fisher’s had it tough.
#31 Computer Hope How bad is for San Francisco? They take a 17-3 lead into halftime against the New York Jets and BLOW IT! Carlos Hyde ran for 193 yards and Colin Kaepernick didn’t commit a single turnover, yet the 49ers found a way to lose and drop to 1-12! At best the 49ers win one more game this year but they are going 2-14 or 1-15 which begs the question of whether or not this is the worst 49ers team of all time? The 1963 & 2004 49ers are up there, but the 2016 version is too!
#32 Computer Hope I think it was a brilliant move to bring in baseball guys to run the Browns, but one thing that is a lot different about baseball than football is the record. In baseball you can go into rebuilding mode for 2-3 years and still win 70-75 games a season which gives you hope. Sure you can throw in a 65-97 season in there as well. In football it’s a bit different. You can’t go 0-16/1-15 for 3-4 straight years in the name of rebuilding and hope to keep any faith from the fanbase. That’s insanity.

December 14, 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 14

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