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NFL POWER 32 – 2017 WEEK 5

#1 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Texans 42-34. It’s easy to point to guys like Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce & Tyreek Hill on offense as the straws that stir the drink. The Chiefs do rank #1 in scoring offense, but a huge part of Kansas City’s 5-0 start should be credited to the offensive and defensive line. The O-Line isn’t giving up any sacks or even QB pressures on Alex Smith. They are also turning in a rookie RB into an All-Pro. The D-Line with Chris Jones, Benny Logan & Allen Bailey are playing out of their minds!
#2 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Cardinals 34-7. Carson Wentz is on pace to throw for 42oo yards with 32TD. He’s not really being hyped as an MVP candidate, but at some point shouldn’t he move ahead of guys like Tom Brady who people perpetually think should be in the top-3 no matter what? LeGarrette Blount ran the ball well again for the Eagles which is a great sign that he’s putting together some consistency in the run game. I still think the pass rush can get even better so the Eagles haven’t reached their peak just yet.
#3 Computer Hope Last Week BYE. Maybe the most interesting part of Atlanta’s bye week is seeing Carolina beating Detroit which followed the Panthers beating the Patriots. I think so far this season there has been a feeling of inevitability of Atlanta getting back to the Super Bowl, but the Panthers are starting to look like the Panthers of two years ago that got to the Super Bowl themselves. The win over Green Bay keeps looking fantastic and keep in mind that’s a big win when it comes down to home field advantage in the playoffs.
#4 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Cowboys 35-31. Would you really want any other QB playing for you right now other than Aaron Rodgers? Rodgers has been on a roll the past 3 games with a 10TD:1INT ration as Green Bay has gone 3-0 in their last 3. Rodgers put on a vintage performance against the Cowboys, ripping their hearts out for the 2nd consecutive game with a last second TD pass that seals the deal for Green Bay. Keep in mind that Rodgers is doing this behind a make shift O-Line & not much of a running game.
#5 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Lions 27-24. Beating Detroit is huge considering the tie-breaker implications it’ll have late in the season if both the Lions & Panthers are in Wild Card contention which seems like a foregone conclusion. Cam Newton was outstanding against the Lions passing for 355yds/3TD without a pick. In his last two games, Newton is 48/62 (77%) for 671 yards & 6TD with 1INT. Those games came against the Patriots & Lions so it’s not like Newton is beating up on the Indianapolis & Cleveland.
#6 Computer Hope Last Week BYE. The Broncos were on a bye week this past week which probably worked out for the best as the week was a little wonky with a lot of good teams going down and a lot of good players getting injured. Denver will host the Giants this upcoming week which should push their record to 4-1, but it’ll get interesting after that because they have 3 straight road games against the Chiefs, Chargers & Eagles. That 4-1 start could quickly dissolve into 4-4. The Broncos need to figure out how to win one of those.
#7 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Steelers 30-9. What complete domination!!! The Jaguars went into the Steel City and MURDERED the Steelers picking off Ben Roethlisberger 5 times while rushing for 231 yards on a solid Steelers defense! The Jaguars lead the NFL in point differential, turnover margin & sack differential. If not for the 2 losses this is the best team in the NFL right now. The formula is set. Against Pittsburgh, the Jags ran the ball 37 times with only 14 pass attempts. Leonard Fournett ran for 181 yards & 2TDs!!
#8 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bucs 19-14. New England’s defense stiffened up a bit on Thursday night against Tampa Bay, but this hardly looked like a Super Bowl contending team. At a certain point you are ranking the Patriots based on the reputations of Belichick and Brady, but they need to play a lot better. I’m not sure the Patriots can roll to another Super Bowl win without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup. Tampa Bay was exceptionally sloppy & Jameis Winston looked terrible & the Patriots still were only able to win by 5.
#9 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Panthers 24-27. Tough loss to Carolina but the Lions have now lost 2 games by a combined 7 points. That the Lions are are 3-2 and close to being 5-0 is more of a testament to how well Matt Stafford is playing. Carolina illustrated some definite weaknesses of the Lions, namely they don’t really have a running game and the O-Line is giving up way to many hits on Stafford. That’s going to catch up at some point whether it be in the playoffs or sooner. They also need to improve their pass rush.
#10 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Bengals 16-20. After HUGE wins against Denver & Atlanta, you had the feeling Buffalo was due for a let down game. Too bad it came against a 1-3 Bengals team who had only beaten Cleveland coming into this one. Cincy isn’t as bad as their record & it isn’t like Buffalo was going to win out. The Bills are bye this week but can make significant noise when they come back. They have 2 home games against the Raiders & Bucs followed by a road game against the Jets. The 3-2 could be 6-2!
#11 Computer Hope Last Week BYE. The Redskins were on bye this past week but had a good week nonetheless because both the Giants & Cowboys took losses giving Washington sold possession of 2nd place in the NFC East. Washington is dealing with some injury issues but I like this team quite a bit. They are going to have to try and figure out how to win road games because their remaining schedule isn’t the easiest of slates, but they’ve played well in their losses to the Eagles & Chiefs, two teams that are a combined 9-1 so far.
#12 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Jaguars 9-30. That was TERRIBLE. It might be time to hit the panic button in Pittsburgh. Big Ben threw 5 picks and even he’s starting to wonder if he’s finished. The last couple of years Roethlisberger has been contemplating retirement & you get the feeling that sentiment might be greater now that it ever has been. I think you are seeing this a bit with Eli Manning as well it makes you wonder if there really is a changing of the guard at QB coming sooner rather than later. Tough situation here.
#13 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bears 20-17. It’s never a good look to need a last second FG to beat the Bears when they are starting a rookie QB for the first time, but win and move on baby! If you are a Vikings fan you have to be encouraged a bit that Jerick McKinnon & Latavius Murray combined for 126 yards on 28 carries. Case Keenum looked very good going 17/21 for 140 yards/1TD. Is it Dalvin Cook & Sam Bradford? No, but the defense can cover up quite a bit of offensive shortcomings. They just need average offense.
#14 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Rams 16-10. Except for the disaster in Nashville, the Seahawks defense hasn’t allowed more than 18 points in a game this season. The Seahawks offense is a mess. I think Chris Carson could be a decent part of them improving on offense, but he was out against the Rams meaning it was up the defense to make plays which they did, forcing Jared Goff into 2 interceptions & holding Todd Gurley in check the entire game. I’m not sure I have any confidence in this team, but a 7-2 start seems likely.
#15 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Seahawks 10-16. The loss to Seattle in Los Angeles stinks for the Rams dropping them to 3-2 and relinquishing the lead in the NFC West, but a couple of good things come out of this loss. The first is that the Rams are without question one of the best 2 teams in the West meaning they are playoff contenders. The second is that they played terribly on offense & still only lost by 6 points to the Seahawks. The defense is +9 in sack differential but 23rd in scoring D. They’ll get even better on D.
#16 Computer Hope Last Week BYE. New Orleans had a bye this past week after winning two straight games. In the Saints next 8 games, I think 7 are winnable with the lone exception being a road game against the Packers. If New Orleans can put together a fantastic streak, they could potentially be 9-3 when they had to Atlanta on December 7th. The Saints are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL right now ranking 12th in both scoring offense & scoring defense. The Saints are also +7 in sack differential. They’re dangerous.
#17 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Browns 17-14. Can you believe the Jets have won 3 straight games!? Two of those wins came against Jacksonville & Miami, two teams who combine for a 5-4 record! The Jets aren’t really a 3-2 team we all know that, but you have to like the young pieces they have on defense. Guys like Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Daron Lee, Demario Davis, Leonard Williams & Jordan Jenkins are playing well & giving the Jets an identity on that side of the ball. They get the Patriots next week. It’ll be interesting.
#18 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Raiders 30-17. Granted it was the Raiders with EJ Manuel starting at QB, but it’s amazing how effective Baltimore can look when they get the game plan right which is focused on their running game with Joe Flacco making plays only if he needs to. Baltimore needs to play a lot like Jacksonville & they came close this past week rushing the ball 39 times to Flacco only attempting 26 passes. The Ravens have run for 136+yds in 3 of their 5 games this year. They are 3-0 in those games. Keep running.
#19 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Packers 31-35. Another game against Green Bay at home, another heart breaking loss at the hands of Aaron Rodgers! Couple of thoughts with the Cowboys. Last season Dallas was 7-1 in close games & +5 in TO margin. This year they are 0-2 in close games & -3 in TO margin. Some regression was in order which is why Dallas is 2-3 instead of 4-1. Dez Bryant isn’t a vertical threat meaning Dallas can’t stretch the field. It’s a problem. Jaylen Smith is killing them on defense. It’s becoming a problem.
#20 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Patriots 14-19. It sounds like a broken record, but the Bucs follow what QB Jameis Winston does and when Winston is off, Tampa Bay has a hard time winning football games. Winston avoided throwing any interceptions against the Patriots, but his accuracy was WAY OFF all night long & he never really looked that comfortable in the pocket. He had some receivers drop a couple of balls that could have changed the game so it’s not all on Winston, but he needs to be a lot more accurate to win.
#21 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chiefs 34-42. You can’t help but be impressed with Deshaun Watson throwing for 5TD against the Chiefs defense, but you can’t help but be depressed to know that DE J.J. Watt is now out for the season. Give a lot of credit to HC Bill O’Brien for expanding the playbook and putting Watson into position where he feels a lot more comfortable which is getting outside the pocket. Maybe Houston can keep scoring 30-35 points a game & praying the defense can hold opponents to 25-28 points.
#22 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Giants 27-22. The Chargers finally WIN!!! Sure it came against the winless Giants, but Los Angeles got that first win under their belt and now can focus on getting better rather than having their record hang over their heads. The Chargers aren’t far away from being 4-1 instead of their current 1-4 and keep in mind that the team is +11 in sack differential which is 2nd in the league behind the Jaguars. If they can win their home games, the Bolts have a chance to get to 9-10 wins which is huge.
#23 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Bills 20-16. The Bengals defense looks like an entirely different group when Vontaze Burfict is healthy, starting and playing to his potential. Burfict was DOMINANT against the Bills last week recording 13 tackles, a sack and 4 tackles for loss! He definitely opened up the game for guys like Carl Lawson, Michael Johnson, Jordan Willis & Geno Atkins to dominate in the Front-7. Cincinnati ranks #2 in the NFL in scoring defense and if that trend holds they might end up winning the AFC North.
#24 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Titans 16-10. I’m not sure what to make of the Dolphins. They beat teams like the Chargers & Titans, but lose to the Jets? Tennessee was without Marcus Mariota which is a HUGE loss so I’m not surprised the Dolphins won. I am surprised that Miami’s offense is dreadful. Jay Cutler hasn’t been so good & the running game seems non-existent. The defense is playing well though. They got after Matt Cassel sacking him 6 times & getting 11 QB hits! Miami’s scoring defense ranks 4th in the NFL!
#25 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Ravens 17-30. A completely different team without Derek Carr in the lineup. Amari Cooper has been almost non-existent the entire season and the running game hasn’t been good either. Oakland goes from having a dynamic offense that could potentially score at will to arguably one of the worst offenses in the league led by a former 1st round bust. If Carr misses 2 weeks then Oakland could potentially rebound, but if he misses 6 weeks, their season is finished given the depth of the West.
#26 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Dolphins 10-16. This team is flat out terrible without Marcus Mariota under center. How in the world the coaching staff can justify letting Matt Cassel throw the ball 32 times while their running attempt just 20 carries is beyond my wildest imaginations. They are in a tight game with the Dolphins and have DeMarco Murray & Derrick Henry in the backfield and decide it’s better to keep airing it out? It makes absolutely no sense. Matt Cassel threw the ball 32 times!? What do the players think?
#27 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Vikings 17-20. Growing pains. You can’t really expect too much out of Chicago when they throw out a rookie QB making his first start against a defense like Minnesota’s, but the Bears gave a good effort and they are a lot closer than people expect. Close games against Atlanta & Minnesota look pretty good & the Bears do have that win over the Steelers. Trubisky needs to find a way to get Tariq Cohen the ball more. Cohen only had 6 carries and 1 reception. That’s not nearly enough for him.
#28 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Eagles 7-34. Trading for Adrian Peterson isn’t going to help. The defense is terrible. The offense can’t score a lick and the QB is about finished as a starter. The fall for Arizona came exceptionally fast and that’s too bad because Bruce Arians is a tremendous head coach. You can’t say enough about the loss of David Johnson. He makes the offense 100 times better. At this point the Cardinals need to be thinking about their QB of the future. They aren’t going anywhere in their current state.
#29 Computer Hope Last Week Beat 49ers 26-23. The Colts are 2-3 and a game out of first place in the AFC South with Andrew Luck’s return getting closer and closer. Sure they get the Titans next week, but if Marcus Mariota doesn’t play it’s another game Indianapolis could possibly win and get their record to .500! Talk about insanity! Marlon Mack also looked pretty good against the 49ers on Sunday. The Colts look downright terrible, but all of a sudden they are becoming one of the most interesting teams in the entire NFL!
#30 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Colts 23-26. It’s ridiculous to think that in their last 4 games, the 49ers are 0-4 losing all 4 games by a combined 11 points! Is San Francisco a 4-1 team? Absolutely not, but they are probably closer to 4-1 than they are 0-5! The defense has played pretty well outside of giving up 41 to the Rams and if regression has any say, the 49ers could be looking at a pretty nice bounce back year in 2018 especially if they can lure Kirk Cousins to California. Keep developing the young guys on defense!!
#31 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Chargers 22-27. It’s over. The Giants lost both Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall for the season. They were already playing without Sterling Shepard & Paul Perkins. Eli Manning seems to have an aversion to throwing Evan Engram the ball and the O-Line is terrible. This is the kind of season that could make Eli Manning want to hang them up afterwards. Like the 49ers, they are a bit unlucky going 0-3 in their last 3 by a combined 10 points, but I don’t see how they get any better.
#32 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Jets 14-17. Well hello there Myles Garrett!! Garrett wasted no time in his very first professional start racking up 2 sacks in a 17-14 loss to the Jets. If you are looking for silver linings, the Browns for the most dominated the Jets statistically but committed 3 turnovers which essentially cost them the game. Kevin Hogan looked pretty good at QB & should probably remain the starter if only because it gives DeShone Kizer more time to develop. They’re 0-5 but Garrett is worth watching.

October 11, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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