No Sleep Till Football

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NFL POWER 32 – 2016 WEEK 16

#1 Computer Hope One thing to keep in mind about New England moving forward is their defense. They currently rank #1 in the NFL in scoring defense, but Football Outsiders rank the Patriots as the #19 defense in the league! That’s quite a difference and the reason seems to be that the Patriots have faced the easiest schedule in the NFL when it comes to opponent’s offense. The Pats are outstanding against the run, but not so great against the pass. That has to be music to Pittsburgh’s  & KC’s ears.
#2 Computer Hope The starters were not rested even with the #1 seed locked up and Dallas went on to destroy the Lions 42-21 on Monday night! If Jason Garrett is being honest when he says he wants to keep the momentum going then I totally agree with him. The players want to play. They want to keep winning. As someone who lived through the Tony Dungy/Jim Caldwell idiocy of resting players during the Peyton Manning era, I can attest that the best thing Dallas can do is to keep winning games.
#3 Computer Hope Big time players come up with big time plays in big time games! After a confidence draining 14 play drive late in the 4th quarter that ended with a Ravens TD that put Baltimore up 27-24 with 1:18 left in the game, Ben Roethlisberger went to work and engineered a drive the culminated with Antonio Brown making a Herculean effort to put the Steelers up 30-27 with the final ultimately being 31-27. The win secured the North. It secured the #3 seed and the Steelers look very good.
#4 Computer Hope Vintage Kansas City football. The Chiefs won the time of possession by 16 minutes. They were +2 in TO margin. They outrushed the Broncos 238 yards to 63. They had fewer penalty yards. Denver had absolutely no answers for Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Beating the Broncos is one thing. Beating them 33-10 is a completely different level. If KC wins next week and Oakland loses then the Chiefs secure the AFC West and the #2 seed. I don’t want to go into Arrowhead in January.
#5 Computer Hope The Panthers weren’t fighting for a playoff spot but Atlanta going into Charlotte and whipping Carolina 33-16 is still very impressive considering the Panthers were on a 2-game winning streak and were 5-3 in their last 8 games. They weren’t the 2015 Panthers but they were playing a lot better. Atlanta played about as complete a game as they could. Matt Ryan was ELITE going 27/33 for 277yds/2TD. They ran the ball well. The defense played great. They’ll be a tough out in the playoffs.
#6 Computer Hope When Aaron Rodgers goes 28/38 for 347 yards & 4TD you can pretty much forget about winning. The Packers moved into 1st place in the NFC North with a 38-25 win over Minnesota that was so ugly there is now talk about Mike Zimmer potentially losing his job! GOOD GRIEF! Green Bay is peaking at the right time. They’ve won 5 straight games & could grab the #3 seed. In his last 6 games Rogers has completed 70% of his passes and thrown 14TD with nary an interception. Wow!
#7 Computer Hope The Giants clinched a playoff spot this weekend but didn’t do it by beating Philadelphia Thursday night. Eli Manning had one of those games where he threw 3 interceptions, but he also threw the ball 63 times which is egregious. This game was never out of hand so completely abandoning the run seems silly. New York averaged 4.6ypc but didn’t rely on the run. They had 200+ more total yards, 9 more first downs & had the ball for 8 more minutes. You can’t let turnovers beat you.
#8 Computer Hope The Raiders took care of business against the Colts 33-25 to get to 12-3 and keep their #1 seed hopes alive, but the lost QB Derek Carr in the process which is why I’ve dropped the Raiders a bit in the power rankings. This is a serious blow to the Raiders’ championship hopes. Carr was playing like a legitimate MVP candidate and now backup Matt McGloin will try and replicate that play. I’ll say this much for Oakland. The O-Line is outstanding, the running game is good & Kahlil Mack is incredible.
#9 Computer Hope In case you haven’t noticed, the Dolphins are 9-1 in their last 10 games! Miami probably should have lost to Buffalo given how much the defense surrendered to the Bills offense, but Jay Ajayi went to work rushing for over 200 yards for the 3rd time this season, the 2nd against the Bills! The Dolphins confidence can’t be any higher. Matt Moore is 2-0 as a starter since coming in for Ryan Tannehill. Miami’s next two games come against the Patriots & Steelers. They will be quite telling.
#10 Computer Hope The Redskins needed to keep winning if they wanted a chance at the postseason & they had no problems in the Windy City, intercepting Matt Barkley five times en route to a 41-21 hammering of the Bears. DeSean Jackson had his 3rd straight 100 yards game and his 4th in his last 5 games. A locked in and focused DeSean Jackson would be a real weapon for Kirk Cousins come playoff time. The Redskins also rushed for over 200 yards behind Mack Brown & Robert Kelly. They look good.
#11 Computer Hope The Ravens were a one-minute drive away from beating the Steelers and taking command of the AFC South. Instead they fell victim to the legend of Big Ben and can’t make the playoffs. Baltimore is probably a better team than I’ve given them credit for most of the season. Their defense is fantastic and that can win you a lot of games. The Ravens were also 5-3 in their last 8 games, but they were 6-6 in one possession games. That’s playing with fire a little too often which is why they are 8-7.
#12 Computer Hope It was crazy to think the Bucs were going to contain the Saints for a 2nd time in 3 weeks. A couple of weeks ago the Bucs turned Drew Brees over and held the Saints to 11 points. That wasn’t going to happen in the Superdome and it didn’t as Tampa lost 31-27 and really put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. I’m not going to knock Tampa too hard for the lost. New Orleans is a lot better than people think & are a lot closer to 13-2 than their 7-8 record would indicate. Sometimes you lose.
#13 Computer Hope Where do you even begin with Seattle’s 34-31 loss to the Cardinals at home!? I think something is terribly wrong when the Seahawks defense gives up 34 points at home including a last minute drive that gave Arizona the win! The loss also puts seeding in question for the Seahawks who could find themselves as the #3 or #4 seed if they lose Sunday. Maybe worse than all of that is Seattle is now 2-3 in their last 5 games. They aren’t peaking at the right time with the playoffs around the corner.
#14 Computer Hope Buffalo’s playoff hopes were destroyed when they lost 34-31 in OT against the Dolphins. Miami’s Andrew Franks hit a 55-yard field goal while time expired to send the game to OT. Dan Carpenter missed a 45-yard FG to open OT which would have won the game for Buffalo and then the Bills had only 10 men on the field  when Jay Ajayi took off for 57 yards which led to Miami’s game winner. Buffalo is better than this. Ryan is a better HC than this. This season hasn’t made sense for the Bills.
#15 Computer Hope It would be so Jim Caldwell to lose the last 3 games of the season and miss the playoffs! Sometimes the football gods just want to laugh! Detroit took a beating in Dallas last week and a beating in New York the week before. In their last two games, the Lions have been outscored 59-27 and things don’t look good this upcoming week when they play Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers playing like an inner-circle Hall of Famer. Detroit started slow & ended slow but they were 8-1 in their middle 9 games.
#16 Computer Hope New Orleans played spoiler to Tampa Bay this past week beating the Bucs 31-24. They could also play spoiler to Atlanta this week. A win over the Falcons could push Atlanta to the #3 seed assuming the Seahawks beat the 49ers. That would be a big loss for Atlanta because it would force them to play a Wild Card game & it would also mean Atlanta goes on the road in the divisional round. The Saints are MUCH BETTER than their 7-8 record could indicate. They are close to being an elite team.
#17 Computer Hope The Texans are terrible but they keep winning football games so who knows!? Houston is probably the luckiest team in the NFL at the moment. I don’t think they are anywhere near a 9-6 team but they’ll probably finish 10-6 which is nuts. The Texans are locked into the #4 seed, but there is a slim chance they get out of the first round if somehow Oakland ends up the #5 seed which could happen if KC wins & Oakland loses. That would mean the Patriots in the divisional but they’d win a playoff game!
#18 Computer Hope Kansas City’s offense looked great, but you can’t help but think Denver’s defense didn’t really care after the blow up last week after the Broncos D held New England to 16 points and Denver still lost. At that point the defense might not have cared any longer knowing they weren’t getting into the postseason. The Broncos could play spoiler next week against Oakland but right now Denver is 2-5 in their last 7 games. You have to wonder how good Denver would have been this year with #18.
#19 Computer Hope The Eagles came up with a huge game against the Giants on Thursday night spoiling New York’s chances at potentially stealing the NFC East and the overall #1 seed in the NFC. Philly might be able to avoid 10 losses if the Cowboys decide to sit everyone next week. If that happens, the Eagles could finish 7-9 and Carson Wentz could have wins over the Steelers, Giants, Falcons, Cowboys and Vikings in his first year as a QB. That competition is a little more stout than what he saw at North Dakota State!
#20 Computer Hope The Seahawks were the only undefeated team at home left in the NFL when Arizona came calling this week. You’ll notice that in this particular game that Carson Palmer threw 26 passes while David Johnson had 28 carries. You’ll also note that the Cardinals won the game 34-31. Funny how that happens. What have I been saying about Johnson running the ball more times than Palmer throws it? He won’t win it, but David Johnson is putting up MVP numbers with 2,000+ total yards & 20TD!
#21 Computer Hope At the time the Texans/Bengals were starting, but the Colts knew their playoff hopes were alive because the Titans had fallen to the Jaguars. Indianapolis should have played with passion. Instead Andrew Luck started throwing picks and the Colts were down 33-7 to the Raiders before they could blink. Indianapolis has been the most consistently inconsistent team in the NFL this season. The Colts finish the season at home against the Jaguars so they could finish 8-8 but it’s an empty 8-8.
#22 Computer Hope Cincinnati has had an interesting year. Nothing right has really happened but it’s an interesting product of schedule. I thought Cincinnati was going to have a hard time of it early and their 2-4 start given their schedule wasn’t all that surprising. I honestly though Cincy could run the table and win 10 straight putting them at 12-4. Since their 2-4 start the Bengals have gone 3-5-1 and those 5 losses have come by a combined 16 points. Cincinnati is 1-6-1 in one possession games.
#23 Computer Hope Like Oakland, I dropped the Titans a fair amount not only because they lost to the Jaguars in spectacular fashion but also because they lost Marcus Mariota to a broken leg. If the Titans had won then the final week of the season would have set up an AFC South championship game between the Titans & Texans in Nashville with Tennessee having all the momentum. It’s a tough loss really. The Titans have the kind of team that could have done some real damage in the postseason. That loss was demoralizing.
#24 Computer Hope What in the world is going on in Minnesota!? Losing was tough enough for the Vikings especially against a hated rival like the Packers, but the talk after the game was all about the secondary going rogue and doing their own thing defensively instead of following the game plan laid out by HC Mike Zimmer! Mutiny or miscommunication? Who knows, but all of a sudden the Vikings look terrible and Mike Zimmer might be on the hot seat. That is a long way from starting the season 5-0.
#25 Computer Hope It’s official. The Panthers are going to finish in last place in the NFC South going from worst to first. From 15-1 to possibly 6-10. The media and the NFL really want to pimp Cam Newton as a great QB, but he’s been in the league for 6 seasons now and 5 seasons look one way and 1 season looks another. Wouldn’t it be more logical to believe that Newton is the QB he’s shown us from 2010-2014 & 2016 than the one we saw in 2015? Peak years happen all the time & even in Newton’s peak he completed just 59.8%.
#26 Computer Hope I mentioned last week that the Jaguars had to break through at some point. I didn’t think it would happen this past week against the Titans, but that’s exactly what happened as the Jags ended a 9-game losing streak with a 38-17 win over the Titans. Jacksonville broke out some trick plays with Blake Bortles catching a TD pass from Marquise Lee. Jalen Ramsey also had a pick-6. The Jaguars can win football games when Bortles isn’t throwing interceptions. Solid win for Jacksonville.
#27 Computer Hope Just when you think the season can’t get any worse for the Chargers, they go and lose to the Browns! This time the San Diego kicking game let them down. The Chargers are in a precarious situation. They might fire their HC. They might leave and move to Los Angeles. The team might cease to exist entirely as ownership might move to LA and completely rebrand the team! I think the Bolts are closer than their 5-10 record indicates but this team is headed for a huge demolition. That’s unfortunate.
#28 Computer Hope You have to give some credit to Matt Barkley. He’s not afraid of being a gunslinger! The Bears have suffered much the same fate as San Diego when it comes to injuries. Like the Chargers and even the Saints, Chicago isn’t that far away but unlike those two teams, the Bears don’t have a franchise QB. The Bears are good enough to win now and I think the defense will be even better next season which is scary. They have to keep John Fox and Vic Fangio & make grabbing Tony Romo their #1 priority.
#29 Computer Hope Hey hey a win! It seems awful that we are celebrating a win that pushed their win total to 2 games considering we are discussing the San Francisco 49ers! It took a last minute drive to pull out the 22-21 win but the 49ers were able to stay ahead of the Browns by a game despite Cleveland getting their first win. The 49ers are likely finishing the season 2-14 because they play the Seahawks next week. I can’t believe we aren’t hearing more about Chip Kelly potentially losing his job.
#30 Computer Hope So the Rams first season has had a #1 draft pick who can’t win a game and a head coach who was fired in the middle of the season. Do you think Rams fans envisioned this would be Rams football when the team moved back to Los Angeles? The next Rams HC needs to be an offensive guy. With Todd Gurley on the roster, it’s almost absurd to think the Rams rank dead last in scoring offense. I still think this is an interesting spot. There are some good pieces here &  you can’t do much better than LA.
#31 Computer Hope THE BROWNS AREN’T GOING WINLESS!! THANK YOU SAN DIEGO! The Browns needed a lot of help from San Diego’s kicking game, but the Dawg Pound got a win on Christmas! How amazing is that!? It’s amazing to think how difficult it is to go 16-0, but it’s probably just as hard to go 0-16. Even the Browns couldn’t pull that off this season and frankly it might have saved Hue Jackson’s job. I think the difference between 1-15 and 0-16 is a big one given perception. It probably bought him another year.
#32 Computer Hope With 17 players on IR now, the Jets are up there with the Bears & Chargers for most injury riddled team in the NFL. It’s not so much that the Jets are losing games, but rather how they are losing them. In their last 3 defeats, the Jets have been outscored 116-26. New York isn’t even competitive. They barely even show up. Even worse is this is an older team meaning a completely rebuild might be in order, especially on the offensive side of the football. Where do the Jets go from here?

December 27, 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 16

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