Welcome to the Cheesiest Blog on the Web

Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 10 Science Fiction Shows of All Time

I've never been one for TV, myself. There have been shows that I've found every now and again that I enjoyed watching, mostly cartoons as a kid, but nothing really stuck. I always considered it rather ... boring, compared to other things I could be doing. I always considered gaming superior... I'm a competitive person, and I always like getting into the action myself.

Having said that, I was bored one day on my freshmen year of college when I was introduced something spectacular. My Philosophy teacher (also a vivid Sci-Fi fan) introduced me to Star Trek, when he played an episode in class to display a philosophical point. I loved it. I fell in love with the futuristic display of philosophy, vision of mankind, and deep characters. I quickly decided to watch every episode of Star Trek (in every series of Star Trek), and when I was done, moved on to other series. I've absorbed several, many, series to date, and seeing as I like to rank things ... I've decided to put together a Top 10 list of my favorite Science Fiction series of all time ... for use by others, wanting to get into the series.

Picard facing off with his long-term rival, Q.
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ah, the series that started it all for me. Obviously, this series has been raved about by everyone and their mother who has ever watched it. Having said that, this series is a bit different than most other Sci Fi series you may have seen. For one, while there is plenty of conflict, the rich Federation ideals means that Next Generation lacks the action-basis most other Science Fiction series have. However, it more than makes up for it for its deep characters, moral & philosophical questions regarding heavily on the nature of humanity, and its usually deep storylines. While most episodes are standalone, the show features many recurring characters and occasionally stories told over several episodes.

There's not much to say about it that hasn't be said about everyone. I'll leave you with this ... Jean-Luc Picard is the most awesome frenchman, and Star Trek captain, who ever existed, even if it was only fictionally.

Captain Kirk with friend and first-officer, Spock.
2. Star Trek (Original series): The original Star Trek series comes in a close second to its sequel. Once you get over the somewhat-funny technology, the show becomes surprisingly good. Like Next Generation, the show is packed full of philosophical and moral concerns. Also, there is quite a bit more action sequences since Captain Kirk's idea of "diplomacy" is a little less ... advanced to Picard's. Several times has he resulted to "Cowboy diplomacy" to solve his problems.

The show unfortunately ended too soon, as it is much shorter than any other Trek series... the show was unfortunately, before its time. Fans should be happy, however, as there are seven Trek movies based off of the original series (at least half of them, very good). At the end of the day, its hard to be a fan of Sci-Fi without ever watching the classic which likely started it all.

Malcom Reynolds, captain of the Firefly!
3. Firefly: Like the original Star Trek, this was another series that was ended far before its time. If the fools at Fox Network actually had a heart, this show may still be on the air. Its delightful mix of classic Science Fiction and Western concepts combined with a cast of well-developed characters makes each of its mere 14 episodes a wonderful delight. Joss Whedon struck a home-run with this one. The masterful writing makes this show possibly the most-quotable show of all time. It has a single sequel movie, known as Serenity (which is sadly more well-known than the TV series it seems), so there is some other content available. Not to mention Whedon has hinted on a few occasions that the series may get a few more movie sequels. All I can say, is I hope so.

Futurama defiantly has a different... spirit from other shows on this list.
4. Futurama: A bit different than all the other shows on this list, Futurama is one of the most hilarious things to ever exist. From the creators of the Simpsons, Futurama succeeded due to its mixture of classic Sci-Fi concepts with 'nerd comedy'. Futurama has a great array of characters, most of which are classic stereotypes of Science fiction motifs. You have the old scatter-brained scientist, clueless sci-fi action hero, a robot, hot slightly-creepy love interest, heck, even a crazy alien and token black employee. Another show cancelled by the Fox Cooperation, thankfully it has been brought back by Comedy Central after four successful movies for more futuristic comedy goodness.

The space station, Babylon 5.
5. Babylon 5: Like other shows on this list, Babylon 5 revolutionized Science fiction when it was released. Unlike previous shows which largely based themselves from Star Trek's model of independent shows which aren't usually affected by watching them out of sequence, Bablyon 5 added a new type of Science fiction, the 'Space Opera'. Often said to be an attempt of "as close to a novel as you can put on television", Babylon 5 succeeded with long, intriguing, epic story arcs, all revolving around a space station built in order to maintain peace in the Galaxy with aliens (after Earth got its ass handed to it by an alien race). Babylon 5 is a well-constructed show featuring a large array of memorable characters. It has a sequel series called 'Babylon 5 Crusade', but it never really got off the ground.

Scorpius may go down as one of the best Sci-fi villains.
 6. Farscape: What is with great Science fiction and being canceled before its time? History may record SciFi's cancellation of Farscape similar to the original Star Trek's cancellation. Despite lasting only 4 seasons, Farscape is on this list because it is truly one of the best Science Fiction shows out there. There is a lot to like about the Australian-based "muppets in space" show, and is a nice change of pace from Star Trek. Farscape is the story of John Critchon, an astronaut caught in a wormhole and taken to deep-space where he meets "amazing, psychotic alien life" during his quest to get home. When it comes down to it, Farscape is just fun. The characters are enjoyable, and the puppet-based effects are pulled off very well. The show also happens to include one of the best villains I've seen in any medium, Scorpius (or the neural duplicate version in John Crichton's mind, Harvey). At its core, Farscape is wacky, mind-blowing sci-fi fun. The series is highly reccomended to anyone.

Sisko talking to Dukat, the former Cardassian Overseer of DS9.
7. Star Trek: Deep Space 9: The last 'Trek' series to make this list, Deep Space 9 broke the Star Trek mold in a lot of ways. Some say that Deep Space 9 stole a lot of ideas from Babylon 5. While I don't quite buy that tale, Deep Space 9 was obviously inspired by it. DS9, like other Trek series, has a great cast of characters an many episodes regarding philosophy & morality. Unlike other Trek shows, however, Deep Space 9 often features long story arcs like Bajor's independence, the constant feud between the Cardassians (most notable Du Kat), and all that leading to, of course, the Dominion War. A bit 'darker' than other Trek shows, Deep Space 9 still found its ways into many Trekkie's hearts, including my own.

Galactia deals with the remainder of mankind's mission to find a new home.
8. Battlestar Galactica (New Series): I have mixed feelings about Battlestar Galactica. While some herald it as the best sci-fi show ever made, I have a few problems with it. This isn't to say that the show wasn't great. A 'space opera', Galactia's storyline is captivating, revolving around the last remnants of humanity after being nearly eradicated by machines (known as the Cylons), looking for the final human colony, "Earth", which was widely believed to be merely religious belief and rumor. The show contains several memorable characters and amusing story arcs. The reason I have it ranked this low was because I feel that later in the series, things started happening that weren't quite believable, characters started breaking down as many times once-friends became bitter enemies, and to be honest, the show may have been too action-oriented for my taste. Still, all together it was a good show, worth watching from beginning to end.

How could a show with 2 characters be so good?
9. Quantum Leap: Defiantly an oldie but goodie, Quantum Leap is a show unfortunately left off many other Sci-Fi lists. The creator of the show succeeded in an interesting challenge ... create a TV show with a cast of only two. This was done by following the adventures of Dr. Sam Becket, the inventor of a time-travel machine known as the Quantum Leap Accelerator. But, it doesn't quite work as planned. Instead of leaping back to moments in his own life, he ends up leaping back in time into the lives of others, usually, it seems, to fix a problem... "putting right what once went wrong".

The only aid he has is his long-time friend Al, his friend from the present who can communicate with him as a hologram. Al is one of the better characters in any series. The sarcastic womanizing sidekick is often used by Beckett to find out the original history, while using a computer named Ziggy to analyze what he is likely supposed to do each Leap. An enjoyable series through and through, it isn't classic science fiction, but it always seems to stir emotion. This is defiantly a show that even those usually not drawn to Science fiction can easily enjoy.

Quinn Mallory and Professor Arturo, activating the sliding machine.
10. Sliders*: I almost didn't put this on the list, but eventually I decided to over others with an asterisk. This asterisk represents this only applies to the first two seasons. I'll get into that later. Anyway, Sliders is a show with an interesting concept, parallel worlds. Boy genius Quinn Mallory invents a device known as "the sliding machine", which enables the user to "Slide" from world to world. He brings along his best friend Wade Welles and college professor Professor Arturo for a test spin (which ends up accidentally transporting a washed-up musician known as Remi Brown). However, during this slide, he makes a fatal mistake: Sliding within a slide. With this mistake, his home coordinates are lost. The four sliders slide from world to world, hoping to eventually get home. On the way, they enter many interesting alternate realities which often bring up interesting science fiction concepts.

*As mentioned, the series went downhill after the second season, when the show lost some of its key writers to other shows. The new writers made the show less science fiction and more cheap action. To make matters worse, they ran John Rhys-Davies (Professor Arturo) off the show, who was really the best character in the series. While the first two seasons were golden and highly enjoyable, the final three seasons features a revolving-door cast and episodes that can't make me decide whether I want to laugh or cry. They even replaced the main character in the final season.

Honorable mentions: Blake's 7, Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate SG-1, Fringe, X-Files, Dr. Who, The Twilight Zone, Lost

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NFL Week 4 2011 Power Rankings and Predictions

Last week in the NFL, some teams answered the challenge, and some teams did not. The NFL this year is filled with so many surprising stories, whether it be positive (like the Buffalo Bills) or negative (the Chiefs or Colts...). Despite everything, its still the game I know and love. Also ... 3-0 in both of my fantasy leagues! That has to be  positive thing. Especially with my own Miami Dolphins giving me such a disappointing season.

Biggest Winner: Cleveland Browns (+7)
Biggest Loser: Philadelphia Eagles (-5)

1. Green Bay Packers (3-0, +1): Despite not having Nick Collins, Green Bay showed the league they are still capable of not only beating, but embarrassing, a top team. The defense stepped up to the challenge, getting pressure on Jay Cutler and limiting Forte to 2 yards on 9 carries (0.2 YPC!!). Aaron Rodgers found Jermichael Finley thrice for a touchdown, a nice sign from the recovering Tight End. Another good game from the league champs. Keep this up, and they have a great chance at repeating.

2. New England Patriots (2-1, -1): Its not a good sign defensively when you're up 21-0 and end up losing. They were able to force a couple turnovers from Fitzpatrick early, but after that, the pass defense broke down and Fred Jackson was able to get started against them. To make matters worse, Tom Brady threw as many interceptions in this game as he did in the entire 2010 season. Maybe I jumped the gun putting this team #1.

3. New Orleans Saints (2-1, +0): While it wasn't pretty defensively, the Saints were able to hold off a very good Texans team coming into town. Drew Brees is playing like a monster this season, and it will only get easier once Marques Colston comes back from injury. The key question I have about the Saints is, will they be able to keep up their winning ways on the road?

4. Baltimore Ravens (2-1, +0): After a disappointing Week 2 loss, the Ravens were able to bounce back in amazing fashion against a beaten up and demoralized Rams team. Can't say I'm shocked, but it certainly shows the Ravens have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. They can compete with anybody. And really, that's all you need to be a Super Bowl contender.

5. Houston Texans (2-1, +1): Houston's top-ranked defense didn't last too long, being picked apart by Drew Brees. Then again, Drew Brees has picked apart two other top-ranked defenses already this season (Green Bay's and Chicago's), so its hard to really be surpried. Offensively, they played well enough to win. They're still the strong favorites to win the AFC South.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1, -1): The Steelers are one of the teams I am having trouble figuring out this year. First they get slaughtered by the Ravens, then bounce back against the abysmal Seahawks. While they won against the Manningless Colts, it was not nearly as easy as it should have been. The offensive line of the Steelers scares me a lot moving forward. This is not the team they were last season.

7. Detroit Lions (3-0, +3): Despite Minnesota exposing Detroit's soft offensive line, they were able to get another W in overtime against the division rival, who they haven't beaten in Minnesota since ... well, I don't know, but its been a damn while. The thing is, their resume isn't overly impressive. The combined record of their opponents this season is 2-7. They're still in need for a real test.

8. New York Jets (2-1, -1): The Jets rush defense was completely exposed against the Raiders last Sunday. Darren McFadden tore up the Jets D (as well as my fantasy team). To make matters worse, the Jets offense continued to look suspect as they had all season, giving up several turnovers. If they don't improve soon, the Jets could find themselves in a hole, playing in a very tight AFC East.

9. Buffalo Bills (3-0, +4): Buffalo may be the single greatest story this season. Before the season, I thought Buffalo would improve, but I never imagined they would be 3-0 after disposing of two playoff teams last season. Fitzpatrick may be a franchise Quarterback. Chan Gailey is having this entire team fight hard. One thing that worries me though is falling behind early. This is the second straight week they had to fight back from a Halftime deficit. This won't work in most NFL games.

10. Chicago Bears (1-2, -2): After the season started off promising, Chicago is now 1-2, looking up at two 3-0 teams at the top of their division. I really like Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, but the offense will continue to struggle as long as they have these offensive line issues. The receiving corp, which was supposed to improve with the acquisition of Roy Williams, has also looked bad, dropping several passes.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1, +3): Tampa Bay was able to get the W against the division rival Falcons, and thats all that matters at this point. At 2-1, I can't really say this Bucs team has looked impressive, but they are seriously contending for a wildcard spot. I don't think they will challenge the Saints for the division, however.

12. San Diego Chargers (2-1, +0): The Chargers are a team very difficult to figure out at this point in the season. Both of their wins really were closer than they should have been, and against two 0-3 teams. Their loss against the Pats looks a bit less impressive now that the Bills were able to do what they did. Then again, the Chargers have a knack for starting off slow, so maybe we'll see improvement later in the season. One good sign for them is that RB Ryan Matthews has looked really good in his last two games. Norv Turner has said due to his improvement in pass blocking and carrying, he'll keep up his increased role, taking carries away from Mike Tolbert. We'll see if he can keep this production up against Miami.

13. Atlanta Falcons (1-2, -2): Just what is wrong with the Falcons this year? After a spectacular season last year, the Falcons have struggled in every game this season, only recording a win against an Eagles team without Michael Vick. They'll have chances to turn it around, but they beter figure out their problems quick. They can't afford to start 1-3 in the NFC Wildcard race.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, -5): The Dream Team is looking far less dreamy now. Michael Vick has faced his second semi-severe injury and two games. Its been rumored he sustained a broken right hand against the Giants last week. Its not his throwing hand, but this may sideline him for awhile, forcing either Vice Young or Mike Kafka to start. Its not entirely Vick's fault, though, as the Eagles Offensive line has not played well. Defensively, linebacker continues to be a weak spot, as the Eagles have struggled against the run.

15. New York Giants (2-1, +1): Eli Manning finally silenced critics against the Eagles, completing nearly 70% of his passes, for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Giants were also finally able to set up a consistent running game against the Eagles poor linebacker corp. Defensively, they abused Vick's injury by maiming Mike Kafka for two picks, pushing them to a 29-16 win. If Manning can keep this up, the Giants could go far.

16. Oakland Raiders (2-1, +4): I made a serious error in judging this team in the off-season, time to give this team some credit. Their only loss has come to a 3-0 Bills team in a close one, and they just beat a very good New York team. Darren McFadden is a monster. As long as the Raiders keep riding the Darren McFadden express, this team could ride it all the way to the playoffs. In the unpredictable AFC West division, why not the Raiders?

17. Dallas Cowboys (2-1, +0): Tony Romo looked really good considering his injury. With multiple offensive line and wide receiver issues Monday night, he was able to lead Dallas to a win, with rookie kicker Dan Bailey scoring six field goals. Obviously there is still a lot of issues with this team, but it should get better when Romo heals and Miles Austin comes back from injury.

18. Washington Redskins (2-1, -3): Given the amount of mistakes the Cowboys made on Monday night, there was really no excuse for the Redskins to lose that game. Rex Grossman had several key turnovers that changed the game, including the fumble on the final drive to end the match. The Redskins have an easy schedule going forward, so they will need to bounce back to stay in the NFC East hunt.

19. Tennessee Titans (2-1, -1): They won, but sustained a key injury in the process. Kenny Britt, who was looking to have a career year, has likely torn his ACL and MCL, according to sources. This injury is obviously season-ending. With Chris Johnson still looking horrible and Kenny Britt out, I wonder how the Titans will outscore many opponents at all. 17 points won't cut it against most teams in the NFL.

20. San Francisco 49ers (2-1, +3): The Niners may have only beaten the Bengals, but never underestimate the difficulty of a West team traveling East to play in a 1:00 game. Its not easy (part of the reason why West teams typically have worse records). The 49ers avoided the upset, and beat the Bengals. How or why doesn't matter. Now, they sit atop the NFC West. Its their division to lose.

21. Cleveland Browns (2-1, +7): The Madden curse strikes again, perhaps, with Peyton Hillis being sidelined due to strep throat. Still, the Browns have a capable second guy in Montario Hardesty, who likely has stronger upside than Hillis. Their interior defensive line may also be among the best in the NFL with rookie Phil Taylor impressing and a very underrated Aubrayo Franklin. Colt McCoy needs to get better, though. He struggled against a very poor Miami secondary.

22. Minnesota Vikings (0-3, -3): Here's a depressing stat... the Vikings are 0-3 after outscoring opponents 54-7 in the first half. The Vikings have only scored 6 second-half points all season. I don't get it. After getting such a lead at the half, you'd think they'd be able to coast to some wins behind Adrian Peterson but instead they make mistake after mistake thanks to Donovan McNabb. Leslie Frazier must figure out what is causing his team to collapse if they're going to bounce back from 0-3.

23. St. Louis Rams (0-3, -2): The injuries the Rams have sustained has caught up to them. After dropping a game to the Giants where statistically they played very well, they got annhilated at home to the Ravens by an outrageous score of 37-7. The Rams offense was bad, and their defense was bad. There is really no way to defend this team at all, except for the fact they have key injuries. Steven Jackson should be back soon. Maybe in the NFC West he can help this team bounce back.

24. Miami Dolphins (0-3, +0): And, now Miami loses to a team that, by all accounts, they should've beaten. The Miami offense's inability to score in the redzone and the soft defense they play late in games is going to give every team an opportunity to beat them. Sparano is too conservative, using outdated football philosophies. They are not built to play well within their division, or even this league. I fully expect Miami to have a Top 5 pick, which will spark a regime change in the off-season. On a bright note, Dan Thomas has looked very strong in two games.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-2, +1): After throwing for 400+ yards in each of his two losses, Newton finally secures a win, only having to throw 158 yards. Part of the reason was Carolina finally relying on their running game behind Jonathan Stewart, who averaged 5.9 YPC. Another reason was the Jags were not able to get anything going with Blaine Gabbert. Either way, the Panthers finally have a W in the books.

26. Arizona Cardinals (1-2, -4): The season started off promising for Arizona, but losing to one of the NFL's worst teams (besides that team's obvious attempts to lose) is laughable. The Kevin Kolb trade is looking worse and worse, for both teams. Kolb has not shown much in Arizona to show he is their savior, and the Eagles would love to have Kolb back after Vick's recent durability issues. Maybe they should just do a trade-back. It may actually benefit both teams.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2, -2): Jacksonville has a stout defense, and in a sense, this was a very hard first game for the rookie Blaine Gabbert. I don't completely blame him for his 73.3 Rating performance. He was virtually playing in a hurricane, after all. Maurice Jones-Drew continued to run well, they can win some games. But make no mistake, this is a rebuilding year with Gabbert finally starting.

28. Denver Broncos (1-2, -1): The Broncos defense continues to impress me. For the second straight week, they were able to limit the opponent's rush attack, this time stopping Chris Johnson (then again, who hasn't stopped him this season?). They weren't able to pull off a win, though, pushing them to 1-2. Denver fans will get even more restless with Tebow chants as the season goes on. And no, they aren't chanting for him to play Wide Receiver, John Fox.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2, +0): Lack of offense is going to kill this team. Andy Dalton looked like what I expected him to look like in this one, barely completing 50% of his passes, and throwing two key interceptions in a 13-8 snoozer. Defensively, the Bengals continue to carry the team, limiting Frank Gore to a mere 2.9 yards per carry while limiting big plays in the passing game to a minimum. If Andy Dalton continues his poor play, this team might actually be in the running for Andrew Luck.

30. Indianapolis Colts (0-3, +0): Honestly, I expected to turn off Sunday night's game at halftime after Pittsburgh has a two, maybe three possession lead on the Colts. Instead, the Colts D wrecked some serious havoc against the Pittsburgh offensive line Sunday night. Unfortanutely for them, complete lack of offensive production makes it very difficult to win football games. Side note, with Kerry Collins having a concussion, they will likely have to start Curtis Painter at Quarterback. From what I saw in Sunday night's game, it might actually be the better choice. Painter actually looked like he had the ability to make some explosive plays... unlike a certain Kerry Collins.

31. Seattle Seahawks (1-2, +1): Its hard to determine who failed more in this one. Arizona for losing the game, or Seattle for winning it. Despite Tarvaris Jackson's best attempts to throw the game, the Cardinals could not capitalize. Sidney Rice's return gives this team a chance to win division games. He caught 8 balls for 109 yards in his return. However, for each chance he gives them, the less of a chance they have at landing Andrew Luck. Look for Pete Carroll to injure Sidney Rice again in the coming week.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (0-3, -1): The Chiefs still have a dominating rush attack, even with the loss to Charles, however, that wasn't able to give them the win over San Diego. To make matters worse, you can add Brandon Flowers to the Chiefs' ever-increasing pool of injuries (he'll be out for the year). After losing the top two players in their secondary, the Chiefs will struggle containing any kind of pass attack. All I can say is, it will be interesting to see how Andrew Luck plays for the Chiefs in 2012.

American Football Simulator Rankings

One time only, I think this will be interesting. While the AFS is more complicated than a final number, I've wrote a method to analyze each roster and try to rank them from 1-32. Might be interesting to see how they match up to my rankings. The numbers represent how these are different than my PR above.

NOTE: These rankings include injured players. Which is why the Colts are ranked so high, for example.

Total Overall:
1. Green Bay Packers: 91.23 (+0)
2. New England Patriots: 91.20 (+0)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: 90.87 (+3)
4. Baltimore Ravens: 90.85 (+0)
5. Chicago Bears: 90.85 (+5)
6. New York Jets: 90.51 (+2)
7. Atlanta Falcons: 90.42 (+6)
8. San Diego Chargers: 90.25 (+4)
9. Philadelphia Eagles: 90.23 (+5)
10. New York Giants: 90.10 (+5)
11. Indianapolis Colts: 90.09 (+19)
12. Houston Texans: 90.00 (-7)
13. New Orleans Saints: 89.95 (-10)
14. Detroit Lions: 89.95 (-7)
15. Miami Dolphins: 89.89 (+9)
16. Minnesota Vikings: 89.68 (+7)
17. Oakland Raiders: 89.62 (-1)
18. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.55 (+14)
19. Dallas Cowboys: 89.54 (-2)
20. Tennessee Titans: 89.53 (-1)
21. Washington Redskins: 89.47 (-3)
22. St Louis Rams: 89.46 (+2)
23. Buffalo Bills: 89.37 (-14)
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: 89.26 (+3)
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.26 (-14)
26. Arizona Cardinals: 89.15 (+0)
27. Denver Broncos: 89.14 (+1)
28. Cleveland Browns: 89.10 (-7)
29. San Francisco 49ers: 89.04 (-9)
30. Carolina Panthers: 89.01 (-5)
31. Cincinnati Bengals: 88.90 (-2)
32. Seattle Seahawks: 88.56 (-1)

It has also analyzed each team's offense and defense.

Total Offense:
1. New England Patriots: 92.28
2. Green Bay Packers: 91.58
3. Houston Texans: 91.51
4. San Diego Chargers: 91.44
5. New Orleans Saints: 91.24
6. Philadelphia Eagles: 90.99
7. Indianapolis Colts: 90.99
8. Atlanta Falcons: 90.97
9. Baltimore Ravens: 90.83
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 90.11
11. New York Giants: 90.06
12. New York Jets: 89.97
13. Detroit Lions: 89.86
14. Dallas Cowboys: 89.82
15. St Louis Rams: 89.78
16. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.72
17. Carolina Panthers: 89.71
18. Tennessee Titans: 89.65
19. Minnesota Vikings: 89.61
20. Miami Dolphins: 89.56
21. Buffalo Bills: 89.51
22. Chicago Bears: 89.49
23. Arizona Cardinals: 89.42
24. Cleveland Browns: 89.39
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.16
26. Washington Redskins: 89.12
27. San Francisco 49ers: 89.11
28. Seattle Seahawks: 89.00
29. Denver Broncos: 89.00
30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 88.99
31. Oakland Raiders: 88.93
32. Cincinnati Bengals: 88.77

Total Defense:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 92.37
2. Chicago Bears: 91.52
3. New York Jets: 91.39
4. Green Bay Packers: 91.02
5. Baltimore Ravens: 90.66
6. Miami Dolphins: 90.50
7. New York Giants: 90.46
8. Atlanta Falcons: 90.27
9. Washington Redskins: 90.21
10. Detroit Lions: 90.08
11. New England Patriots: 89.96
12. New Orleans Saints: 89.87
13. Philadelphia Eagles: 89.81
14. Jacksonville Jaguars: 89.71
15. Denver Broncos: 89.62
16. San Diego Chargers: 89.58
17. Dallas Cowboys: 89.58
18. Minnesota Vikings: 89.58
19. Oakland Raiders: 89.54
20. Indianapolis Colts: 89.42
21. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.40
22. St Louis Rams: 89.31
23. Tennessee Titans: 89.16
24. Cincinnati Bengals: 89.15
25. Arizona Cardinals: 89.14
26. Buffalo Bills: 89.03
27. Houston Texans: 89.02
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.02
29. Carolina Panthers: 88.90
30. San Francisco 49ers: 88.69
31. Cleveland Browns: 88.52
32. Seattle Seahawks: 88.35

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Week 2: 10-6 (62.50%)
Billy's accuracy, Week 2: 10-6 (62.50%)
AFS's accuracy, Week 2: 11-5 (68.75%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 32-16 (66.67%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 31-17 (64.58%)
AFS's Overall 2011 accuracy: 29-19 (60.42%)

I struggled with some close games last week (I think we all did), but its still pretty close. Billy's still just a game behind me, and the Simulator made some progress on us last week posting an 11-5 record compared to our 10-6.

Six field goals may not do it against the Lions.
Detroit (3-0) @ Dallas (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Detroit is on a roll, so I would be foolish to pick against that hype train right now. If they can somehow limit DeMarcus Ware offensively, Stafford should be able to have another strong game. Rob Ryan's defense won't make it easy, though. Defensively, I like Detroit's front four to dominate a Dallas offensive line that has issues, as evidenced by Monday night's game.
Detroit 24, Dallas 21

Billy: Tough, close game. Cowboys offense is not as potent without Miles Austin, and the offensive line will struggle to contain the Lions defensive front. Even if Dallas manages to slow Megatron down, the rest of the offense is just too explosive to be stopped.
Detroit 27, Dallas 23

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 23, Dallas 24

Pittsburgh (2-1) @ Houston (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Houston would love to finally get some revenge against the Steelers in this one at home. And with the way the Steelers offensive line is playing right now, I think they can do so. I think Wade Phillips will bring the house. Connor Barwin and Mario Williams should get pressure on Big Ben on every play. Defensively, the Steelers are still the Steelers but the Texans are good enough to score points on anyone and the Steelers defense hasn't looked quite as good as it has in the previous few years.
Pittsburgh 16, Houston 24

Billy: Pittsburgh looked lackluster against the lowly Colts, while Houston lost a shootout in New Orleans. Mendenhall found no room to run against a Colts team that can't stop the run, which doesn't bode well in a road contest with one of the leagues most explosive offenses and a good pass rush. Pittsburgh also lacks a defender who can cover Andre, and they are seriously short handed along the offensive line. Texans win, and win big.
Pittsburgh 20, Houston 33

American Football Simulator:
Pittsburgh 24, Houston 23

San Francisco (2-1) @ Philadelphia (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: I think the Eagles can rebound here. For one thing, West teams playing in Eastern 1:00 games are always at a disadvantage. While Vick is unlikely to start, I believe in Vince Young's ability to win games. If Kafka gets the start, the Eagles should be able to coast with LeSean McCoy and company for a close win. The 49ers offense isn't good enough to score many points, but look for Vernon Davis and Frank Gore to have good games.
San Francisco 13, Philadelphia 20

Billy: Michael Vick wants to rebound after two straight losses, and the 49ers are just the team to do it against. Though they sport a 2-1 record, all three games have been close and sloppy, and they could just as easily be 3-0 as they could be 0-3. Frank Gore is starting to slow down, and if he doesn't preform this week, Kendall Hunter my surpass him on the depth chart. If the run game doesn't come alive, Alex Smith will have to throw, and he will be eaten alive by Trent Cole and Jason Babin.
San Francisco 17, Philadelphia 26

American Football Simulator:
San Francisco 23, Philadelphia 29

Minnesota (0-3) @ Kansas City (0-3)
TheKillerNacho: Oh my, two 0-3 teams going at it. The good news for the Vikings is that they ought to be able to get off to an early lead against the depleted and demoralized Chiefs. The bad news is, once they do, they'll need to hold it. I'll take the Vikings here, if only due to the fact they're the better team. Kansas City can run the ball, but I don't see him running well now that Kevin Williams is back in the lineup. Having said that, I don't really trust either team here...
Minnesota 23, Kansas City 17

Billy: Ugly game. Flipped a coin to pick the winner. Honestly. A tie is not out of the question.
Minnesota 4, Kansas City 3

American Football Simulator:
Minnesota 22, Kansas City 21

Washington (2-1) @ St. Louis (0-3)
TheKillerNacho: Washington has played good football this season. St. Louis, just the opposite. To be fair, though, this has been the Rams' best chance to get a W all season... their opening schedule has been just brutal, playing only playoff contenders. Unluckily for them, Washington's also a contender. Hopefully for them, Steven Jackson will be ready to go. But I still think I'm leaning towards Washington.
Washington 20, St. Louis 17

Billy: Redskins over power the Rams in a clear overmatch. Bradford is in a sophomore slump, and the defense has regressed.
Washington 28, St. Louis 12

American Football Simulator:
Washington 20, St. Louis 24

The Bills found a keeper in Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Buffalo (3-0) @ Cincinnati (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: I think its safe to say that it would be unwise to bet against the Bills anytime soon, and it would be unwise to bet on the Bengals anytime soon. Putting two and two together, it would be very unwise to pick the Bengals over the Bills, so I'm not gonna do that. While the Bengals may provide some difficulty to Freddie Jackson, the Bills have more than enough offensive weapons in the passing game to overwhelm the Bengals.
Buffalo 28, Cincinnati 13

Billy: Bills powerful offense rolls through the Bengals defense, and the Bills take care of the less than explosive Bengal offense.
Buffalo 34, Cincinnati 23

American Football Simulator:
Buffalo 24, Cincinnati 22

Tennessee (2-1) @ Cleveland (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams I consider to be over-performing franchises. Without Kenny Britt, though, I severely doubt the Titans' ability to score points, though, so I'm going to go with the Browns. Chris Johnson faces another nightmare with Cleveland's Phil Taylor and Aubrayo Franklin... don't look for Johnson to break out in this game. Browns win it, but it'll probably be closer than it should be.
Tennessee 14, Cleveland 17

Billy: Both Cleveland and Tennessee have rebounded well after losing the season opener. Losing Kenny Britt is a big loss, and Joe Haden should be able to handle Nate Washington and thus slow down the Titans. Chris Johnson needs to find his groove, but if he does, Kenny Britt won't be missed as much.
Tennessee 13, Cleveland 19

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 22, Cleveland 24

New Orleans (2-1) @ Jacksonville (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: The Saints defense has not looked spectacular vs the Pass, but they will provide some serious problems to rookie Blaine Gabbert. This is Gabbert's first home game, though, so he will want to look his best. I will pick the Saints, but doing so worries me considering the Saints seem to look completely different on the road as they do at home, but it is a game they should win. Jacksonville's defense is stout vs the run, but I don't see their secondary being able to stop Drew Brees.
New Orleans 27, Jacksonville 20

Billy: Saints are rolling and Jags are falling. Since the opener, the Saints have looked spectacular, while Jacksonville has failed to follow up on a solid week 1 win. The Jaguars defense is not good, and Drew Brees will pick it apart, and the Saints defense has gotten better the last two weeks, and gets to face a rookie QB in his 2nd start.
New Orleans 41, Jacksonville 16

American Football Simulator:
New Orleans 25, Jacksonville 24

Urlacher & the Bears D look to give trouble to the rookie, Newton.
Carolina (1-2) @ Chicago (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Chicago is obviously the better team right now and with Carolina struggling with pass rush this season, I think Jay Cutler may finally find some time in that pocket to make throws. Newton won't likely reach the 400 yard mark in this affair, since the Bears defense excels at limiting big plays and stopping the run. The Bears ought to jump back to 2-2. This is as close to a "must win" as one gets early in the season... they can't afford to drop to 1-3 with the Pack and Lions in their division.
Carolina 13, Chicago 21

Billy: Bears have been on a downward slope after starting so well against Atlanta, and Cam Newton got his first win with a less than spectacular showing after lighting it up the first two weeks. I don't believe Carolina will be able to handle the Bears in Chicago, and Jay Cutler may finally get a bit of a breather this week, but only a little.
Carolina 16, Chicago 24

American Football Simulator:
Carolina 21, Chicago 29

Atlanta (1-2) @ Seattle (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Seattle provided the Steelers a bounce back win in Week 2, and I expect much of the same for the Falcons in this matchup. The Falcons are afraid of going 1-3 in the NFC South, and they are playing a team they should easily win against (Heck, one could argue the Seahawks WANT to lose). I think the Falcons will be able to climb back to 500.
Atlanta 26, Seattle 17

Billy: The Falcons have looked the opposite of what some believed they would before the season. Atlanta is a total mess, but they have a nice chance for a rebound against the lowly Seahawks. Seattle is pedestrian on offense and defense, and should be a nice “tune-up” game if you will.
Atlanta 24, Seattle 12

American Football Simulator:
Atlanta 27, Seattle 21

New York G (2-1) @ Arizona (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Arizona has shown they can lose to anybody. However, if there is one team that Kolb knows well, it may be the Giants. However, I'm liking Eli's matchup vs the Cardinals this week. This is his chance to get back to back good weeks, as the Cardinals secondary is suspect.
New York G 24, Arizona 20

Billy: So, with only 1 starting WR, and facing Nnamdi, Asante, and DRC, Eli went out and proved why he is a Top 10 Quarterback. With Manningham coming back, and the Cards next, he should have another good day. Kevin Kolb should be under pressure from start to finish, especially if Osi plays, but could still easily reach 300 yards passing.
New York G 31, Arizona 21

American Football Simulator:
New York G 25, Arizona 22

Denver (1-2) @ Green Bay (3-0)
TheKillerNacho: I don't want to say there is ever an easy win in the NFL, but this is as easy as it gets. Denver may have an improved defense, but their offense is amung the NFL's worst. The Pack was able to contain the run easily against the Bears, and this should continue against Knowshon Moreno of the Broncos. And Kyle Orton isn't the type of Quarterback that will win you many games.
Denver 14, Green Bay 30

Billy: Close game? Doubtful. Packers are unstoppable so far, and Morgan Burnett has filled in nicely for Nick Collins. Kyle Orton has been very stoppable, and the Denver defense has not stepped up. Look for Rodgers to hit 300 yards, if only because he won't handoff the ball.
Denver 10, Green Bay 44

American Football Simulator:
Denver 17, Green Bay 28

The way McFadden is running now, its hard to see anyone containing him.
New England (2-1) @ Oakland (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: I'm going to pick the Patriots here since I consider them one of the league's best teams still, but with their upset loss and the Raiders' upset win, I'm a bit scared. I like Darren McFadden to have another big game despite Wilfork and Haynesworth, running to the outside seems to work against this Patriots team. When it comes down to it, though, Oakland's defense has declined since last season, and Tom Brady is, well, Tom Brady.
New England 31, Oakland 27

Billy: The Patriots defense has been awful, like last in the league awful. Brady also threw 4 picks last week, the 6th time in his career that has happened. That being said, the Patriots are 4 – 1 following a 4 interception game from Tom Brady, and as bad as their defense has been, the offense is well equipped and very capable of overcoming such shortcomings. Look for Darren McFadden to reach close to 200 yards on the ground.
New England 34, Oakland 30

American Football Simulator:
New England 26, Oakland 21

Miami (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: San Diego has not looked great early into this season, but Miami has looked even worse. Philip Rivers must be looking forward to abusing all of his weapons in this one. Miami cannot cover Tight ends, and the Chargers have one of the best in Antonio Gates. Rivers will spread it out, and systematically pick apart Miami's defense. Defensively, I think Miami should be able to move the ball vs San Diego, but struggle in the redzone as always this season.
Miami 20, San Diego 27

Billy: Philip Rivers has been spotty so far this year, throwing a league-leading 6 INTs, while completing 68.3% of his passes. Chad Henne has been inconsistent as well, lighting it up in week 1, then dropping off week 2, and then nearly leading his team to a win in Cleveland, only to throw the game losing interception. Expect a good number of passing yards, interceptions, and a few touchdowns.
Miami 20, San Diego 30

American Football Simulator:
Miami 21, San Diego 26

New York J (2-1) @ Baltimore (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: At 2-1, both of these teams want to remain over .500, facing serious competition from within their division. This matchup may also have significant Wildcard implications, as both of these teams will be Wildcard contenders if they don't win the division. Overall, I think Baltimore is the better team so I'm going to pick them at home. Ray Rice may be able to emulate McFadden, and if that happens, the Jets are screwed. Baltimore actually has a defense, unlike Oakland.
New York J 20, Baltimore 23

Billy: This looks to be a defensive struggle on paper, but only one of these teams has actually played great defense...Baltimore. The Jets looked weak on defense against Dallas and Oakland, and even though they demolished the Jaguars, it was Luke McCown, so it only means so much. I foresee lots of yards, and a game decided on the final drive.
New York J 22, Baltimore 28

American Football Simulator:
New York J 21, Baltimore 25

Indianapolis (0-3) @ Tampa Bay (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Another primetime matchup for the Manningless Colts... how boring. At least this will give me an opportunity to (hopefully) watch Curtis Painter again.. he showed some promise. Unfortanutely for the Colts, though, the Colts defense doesn't play nearly as good on the road as it does at home, so I think this is a fairly solid Tampa Bay win on Monday night.
Indianapolis 17, Tampa Bay 27

Billy: This Colts team finally played with heart last week, and they showed that they do have enough talent to compete, but not quite enough to win. And if Curtis Painter does in fact start, they are in big trouble. Tampa Bay should win this one easily.
Indianapolis 10, Tampa Bay 20

American Football Simulator:
Indianapolis 22, Tampa Bay 27

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "Which team will win the Andrew Luck sweepstates (by posting the worst overall record in 2011)?" between the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, or Other (please comment). Kansas City won the poll with 60% of the vote. I guess their poor play in the first two weeks convinced everyone of their ineptitude. The Seahawks and the Colts tied for 2nd, with 30% each.

As I said in the introduction, this season has several surprising stories. Therefore, the question becomes, "Which team is the greatest story this season (for better or for worse)?" between the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, or Houston Texans. I had a feeling the Chiefs were going to regress from last year, and to be honest, I don't think its a shocker the Manningless Colts are 0-3. I also said in my preseason rankings that I thought both Buffalo and Detroit would be much improved, but the Bills are the team that really surpassed my expectations, so I'm going with them. Vote on the right-side of my blog!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 3 NFL 2011 Power Rankings and Predictions

This season seems to be going well for me so far. Not only was I 13-3 in my predictions last week, both of my fantasy teams are 2-0! So far, this seems to be my year. Well, having said that, I'll probably start losing out the rest of the year. Oh well, let's take a look at my Power Rankings.

Billy should have his Power Rankings and predictions here later in the day.

Biggest Winner: Oakland Raiders (+8)
Biggest Loser: Kansas City Chiefs (-9)

1. New England Patriots (2-0, +0): New England affirmed this week that they're the NFL's best team. Tom Brady is on pace for an astonishing 7520 passing yards and 56 touchdown passes this year. While I doubt he'll make that (as there is a lot of football left to play), he's obviously the league's best Quarterback. The defense also played better against Philip Rivers and the Chargers (they didn't allow a single catch to Antonio Gates last week!), so New England is looking very strong.

2. Green Bay Packers (2-0, +1): Okay, so I should really learn not to doubt the former champs (having moved them to #3 last week). While their defensive secondary still looks to have some concerns giving up over 400 yards to rookie Cam Newton, they also made some pretty big plays also getting three picks from the rookie. Of course, these concerns become even worse when you consider Nick Collins will be out for the season with a neck injury. As long as they have Aaron Rodgers under center, though, their offense is explosive enough to come back from any deficit.

3. New Orleans Saints (1-1, +4): The Saints responded from their ugly Week 1 loss in the Season opener to win convincingly in their Home opener. They dominated the Bears (who looked very strong in their Week 1 game) on both sides of the ball, getting good pressure on Jay Cutler while Drew Brees continued to look like the best he's been in, well, ever. Its worth noting, however, the Bears receiving corp isn't good (especially with Roy Williams inactive), so it will be interesting to see what happens when teams challenge the Saints' secondary.

4. Baltimore Ravens (1-1, -2): Well now, I guess I should know better but to jump on the hype train after Week 1. After dominating the Steelers, they somehow lost to the Titans after allowing over 350 yards in the air to Matt freakin' Hasselbeck. Their defensive secondary is an area of concern, but they were able to contain Tennessee's running game led by Chris Johnson. But as we saw in this game, who cares if you can stop the run when you get burnt by a mediocre Quarterback with the pass?

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1, +0): The Steelers have somewhat redeemed their poor Week 1 with their first 2011 shut out. Granted, it was only the league's worst team, the Seattle Seahawks, but it was still a good sign. Roethlisberger looked better, but I'm going to reserve praise (or judgement) for when they play an opponent other than a high-school squad.

6. Houston Texans (2-0, +2): The Texans are much improved from a season ago. While I've learned that its unwise to pick Houston for the playoffs this early in the season, I can't see how they could really botch this. They're in a division with two rebuilding teams and one team without its Star Quarterback, improved their key weakness (the defense) by bringing in DC Wade Phillips, and still have an outrageous offense (Even without Arian Foster... Ben Tate may actually be the better runner, though). Screw it, this team is playoff-bound.

7. New York Jets (2-0, +3): Wow, I don't know where to begin. The Jets absolutely abused Luke McClown here, picking him off four times to march to their 32-3 domination over the Jaguars (Maybe Jason Hill shouldn't have called Darrelle Revis "overrated"). Jones-Drew rain pretty well against the Jets, but he couldn't stay running for long being down by so much. The Jets certainly proved their defense is still "for real". Sanchez did throw 2 picks in this game, however, so the offense will still need to step up if the Jets want to take the next step.

8. Chicago Bears (1-1, -4): A week after an onslaught of epic proportions, the Bears get slaughtered by the Saints. Their offense simply did not click due to huge pressure on Jay Cutler all game and could not get enough pressure on Drew Brees to keep him from burning them all game. The Saints had 6 sacks on Cutler (and many other pressures and hits), so this offensive line is back to looking putrid. They better correct this real fast before the Packers come to town. It won't get any easier against the NFL Champs.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1, -3): That game Sunday night was just... weird. Both teams turning the ball over all over the place, the Eagles getting so much more yardage than the Falcons but still losing in the end. More bad news for Eagles fans is that Michael Vick has confirmed to have suffered a concussion, an injury that will likely sideline him against next week's divisional matchup against the Giants. As I predicted, the Eagles linebacker corp and safeties still are a spot of major concern and I don't know how well the Eagles offense will run with Young or Kafka rather than Vick. On a positive note, Trent Cole is a monster.

10. Detroit Lions (2-0, +1): The Lions continue to impress, even if it was only the Chiefs. While their two matchups were against the struggling Bucs and abysmal Chiefs, Matthew Stafford is well on his way on becoming an elite (yes, elite) Quarterback. He posted another great game, having almost 300 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Jahvid Best is still running the back well for the Lions as the premiere back and is also a major factor in the passing game.

11. Atlanta Falcons (1-1, -2): Oh, Atlanta. I really wonder if they didn't injure Vick late in the game if they would've really overcame the Eagles. Kafka is no Michael Vick. Their offense struggled the whole game. Sam Baker may be one of the worst LT in the game (definatly the most overrated) as he got beat by Trent Cole on virtually every play. Trent Cole should not be stopping Michael Turner on runs up the freakin' middle. Either way, they're lucky their defense forced so many turnovers. Side note... was anyone else shocked by the amount of love Falcons fans seemed to give Vick in this game? All he ever did in Atlanta was take a big contract, and throw them under the bus with that dogfighting scandal. I always imagined Falcons fans would hate him most of all, but I guess they have a huge capacity to forgive in Georgia.

12. San Diego Chargers (1-1, +0): The Chargers faced a superior opponent in their home opener, and got beat. It happens. They are still the best team in the AFC West, in my opinion. Philip Rivers needs to avoid interceptions better, though, if he wants to win big games. Sneaking into the playoffs cause you're in a bad division isn't a successful season. You still need to be able to compete with playoff teams in January.

13. Buffalo Bills (2-0, +2): Wow, what a game in Buffalo last Sunday! They went from looking to be done after the first half to an epic 4th quarter shootout. While its never a good sign when the Raiders scores 35 points against you, the offense looks to be top-notch. They'll need to be top-notch if they want to seriously compete this season, though. They play the Pats next.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1, -1): What a comeback for Tampa Bay! LeGarrette Blount had been quiet the whole year, but that second half he exploded (too bad he was on my fantasy bench). Josh Freeman has not looked as good as I would like, though, and his receiving corp has not made it easy for him. Mike Williams had only a single catch (for a loss of yards) on Sunday. Their defense also gave a big day to Adrian Peterson and even McNabb threw okay. They're playoff hopefuls, but they need to play better to contend.
15. Washington Redskins (2-0, +6): Rex Grossman is like jackal and hide. To illustrate, please refer to the graph below:

As you can see, sometimes he'll look great (148 Rating in Week 2) and others... completely useless (0 in Week 17...). Looks like its the same old Grossman. After a 110.5 Rating against the Giants, he posts a 74.9 Rating against the Cardinals. He needs to find consistency. Still, a solid win by the Redskins. I'm starting to believe in this team. 

16. New York Giants (1-1, +0): Don't let the score fool you, the Giants didn't look great against the Rams on Monday night. Eli Manning kept his inaccurate ways, and the only reason they won was because the Rams looked even worse. Both teams were pretty banged up, and at least the Giants were able to grab the W. Now they face an Eagles team likely without their starting Quarterback. They'll need to get another win here.

17. Dallas Cowboys (1-1, -3): Dallas made that far too hard than it needed to be. The 49ers aren't a good team, yet they almost allowed them to win. Still, I'd rather get dominated early and win the game late than dominate early and lose late (like they did vs the Jets). Still, its hard for me to think this isn't just another over-hyped Cowboys team. I'm putting them down on these Power Rankings for awhile, until they can show that they're legitimately different. I hate how the media is hyping Tony Romo now that it came out he played while injured against the Niners. Did they completely forget about Week 1? I want to see him finish a game that is NOT with a crappy NFC West team before we start calling Romo "clutch", okay?

18. Tennessee Titans (1-1, +5): I don't understand this team. You have trouble moving the ball against the Jags, but Hasselbeck throws over 350 yards against Baltimore in a win? Makes no sense. At least I can say Tennessee's defense may be legitimate, holding Baltimore to a mere 13 points (giving up only 16 in Week 1 to the Jags). Real problem on offense, though, is Chris Johnson. He's been held to just 77 yards on 33 carries (a YPC of 2.3)... they need to fix their problem in the running game and fast if they really want to see if they can catch up to and compete with Houston for the AFC South.

19. Minnesota Vikings (0-2, -2): The halftime score was 17-0 in Minnesota's favor, so there is really no excuse for a second-half collapse which ended up costing them the game. While Adrian Peterson looked good (when doesn't he?), McNabb struggled again (but didn't look quite as putrid as he did Week 1). And while they were able to eat up the Bucs' offense in the first half, they allowed a huge second half to Freeman and Blount. Minnesota won't even be close to competing this year, sorry.

20. Oakland Raiders (1-1, +8): They may have lost, but this Raiders team was better than what I gave them credit for during the pre-season. Their offense is playing very good football right now, and Jason Campbell looks to be settling into Hue Jackson's offense. Defensively, though, it looks like losing Nnamdi really hurt them... the Bills scored 35 second half points for a huge comeback win. There's no excuse for this kind of play, seriously.

21. St. Louis Rams (0-2, -3): Looks like those injuries really caught up to the Rams. Their offense really struggled without Steven Jackson. Added to the mistakes on offense and Special teams to give the Giants easy points, this one didn't go smoothly for the Rams. They really need to put this 0-2 start behind them and get serious. In the NFC West, they are far from out of it.

22. Arizona Cardinals (1-1, +3): The Cardinals came close to beating Washington, and their secondary did look better against Rex Grossman than it did to Cam Newton (who threw for another 400 yard game against the Pack). The Cardinals will seriously compete considering their division, but they are still a pretty bad team overall. I don't like the defense. Kolb is doing pretty well as that team's Quarterback, though.

23. San Francisco 49ers (1-1, +1): The 49ers played hard against the Cowboys, so I'm going to give them credit where it's due here. They still weren't able to wrap up a win, though. Frank Gore still hasn't been able to get going running behind this offensive line. At least Alex Smith looked pretty solid in this game. Still, after playing so well against Dallas, you need to come away with a W. You're not going to compete in this league being average.

24. Miami Dolphins (0-2, -5): This team's inconsistency blows my mind. In week 1, the offense looked great and the defense putrid. In week 2, the offense was putrid and the defense played... better (not great). Tony Sparano has no business being an NFL head coach, I'm finally convinced of that. And the front office is poor at evaluating talent. They need to clean house, this regime won't be bringing winning seasons to Miami, ever. They use an outdated philosophy of power over speed.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1, -5): Seriously, you cut David Garrard for THIS GUY, Luke McClown?? David Garrard's still a free agent, but they're not smart enough to admit their mistake and re-sign him. The next best thing you could do is just start Blaine Gabbert to see what you have in him, get your "future" some experience. This team won't be going to the playoffs with Luke as Quarterback, so there's no point. To think some Jags fans tried to convince me Luke was "better" than Garrard and "won the job"... hahahahahaha.

26. Carolina Panthers (0-2, +1): Panthers fans have a lot of reasons to be optimistic. Their defense played well against Green Bay, all things considered. Cam Newton had his second straight 400-yard game, looking to be on pace to shattering most rookie season records. He did throw 3 picks in this game, though, so it wasn't a great day for Newton. Part of the reason for all this passing, though, is that Carolina's once-dominant running game has completely collapsed. They can't get anything going with their (three!) good backs. Offensive line issues are the likely cause.

27. Denver Broncos (1-1, +3): There we go, Denver, getting that "W" against a poor team! They still leave a lot to be desired on both sides of the ball, but getting a win is nice for this team. Probably the most memorable thing in this game, though, was using Tim Tebow at Wide receiver because of John Fox running out of wide-outs. Yeah, that's one way to get the fans off your backs for not playing him... at least he was on the field!

28. Cleveland Browns (1-1, +1): Sorry, but winning against the Manningless Colts just doesn't impress me that much. Peyton Hillis didn't even break 4 YPC (even though he did score 2 touchdowns) against a team terrible vs the run. Its pretty easy to beat a team with no offense whose defense is built to play with a lead. They lost to the Bengals, for Pete's sake. Let's not celebrate prematurely, people.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1, +2): This team may be posting a "+2" but make no mistake... it's only because of how putrid some other teams are. On a positive note, despite losing to the Broncos, their offense looked pretty solid. Andy Dalton, after a poor pre-season, has put together two pretty good games and Cedric Benson continues to look pretty solid at Runningback. They could defiantly win a few more games this season, and could have a bright future.

30. Indianapolis Colts (0-2, -4): So, the Andrew Luck sweepstates seems to be narrowing down to three teams: The Colts, the Chiefs, and the Seahawks. Which of these abysmal teams will land the future star? The Colts would definatly love to get Luck to replace Peyton Manning after he retires, maybe grabbing Kerry Collins was their master plan after all. I've said it before, the Colts defense is built to play with the lead. This offense will not gain any leads without Peyton Manning. Therefore, the Colts will not win many games.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2, -9): Statistically, the Chiefs are by far the worst team in the league and the news keeps getting worse. After losing S Eric Berry for the season last week, they lost their best offensive player, RB Jamaal Charles, for the season. While Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster are not slouches, they're not Jamaal Charles, either. To top things off, both Tamba Hali and Branden Albert sustained injuries against the Lions, too. But either way, losing your first two games by a combined score of 89-10 is bad despite all of the injuries. Kansas City's Andrew Luck resume looks strong.

32. Seattle Seahawks (0-2, +0): The final team in our Andrew Luck sweepstates, the Seahawks are a team who has the complete package. They're absolutely horrible on both sides of the field, at almost every position. Worst of all, Quarterback. Call me crazy in the light of the Chiefs' complete and utter collapse, but I still think these Seahawks are the favorites to land Andrew Luck. Pete Carroll, fool or genius for starting Tavaris Jackson? I can't decide... I guess only he knows if he truly believed Jackson could be successful.

Billy's power rankings should be up later in the day.

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Week 2: 13-3 (81.25%)
Billy's accuracy, Week 2: 12-4 (75.00%)
AFS's accuracy, Week 2: 9-7 (56.25%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 22-10 (68.75%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 21-11 (65.62%)
AFS's Overall 2011 accuracy: 18-14 (56.25%)

I'm off to an early lead, but Billy is close behind. Only time will tell if I can keep this lead. The American Football Simulator hasn't been so lucky, going 9-7 in both weeks but it (almost) predicted a few upsets last week, such as when Minnesota & San Francisco looked like they were going to pull of upsets last week. Had those games gone its way, this competition could be a lot closer.

Could we see hot rookie on rookie action?
Jacksonville (1-1) @ Carolina (0-2)
TheKillerNacho: The rookie looked strong first against Arizona, then Green Bay (well, he threw for a lot of yards at least). I think his play will continue against a demoralized Jaguars team. If he continues with his yardage totals, Cam Newton won't be denied this week. On a side note, I really hope Gabbert gets the start, here. I want to see rookie on rookie action!
Jacksonville 17, Carolina 21

Jacksonville 15, Carolina 29

American Football Simulator:
Jacksonville 23, Carolina 24

Detroit (2-0) @ Minnesota (0-2)
TheKillerNacho: Minnesota is never an easy place to play, and division games are also never easy. But from what I've seen, Detroit is a very good team this year. Stafford is on his way to becoming an elite Quarterback, their defensive line is crazy, and Jahvid Best is tearing up defenses this year. All signs point to a Lions win, but don't count Minnesota out in this divisional matchup.
Detroit 27, Minnesota 23

Detroit 27, Minnesota 16

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 21, Minnesota, 24

San Francisco (1-1) @ Cincinnati (1-1) 
TheKillerNacho: The 49ers haven't looked too shabby under new head coach Jim Harbaugh. Cincy has also looked okay, but has only played the Browns and the Broncos. This will be close, the rookie Andy Dalton hasn't looked bad, but I think this is one the 49ers ought to win.
San Francisco 17, Cincinnati 14

San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 13

American Football Simulator:
San Francisco 24, Cincinnati 23

Miami (0-2) @ Cleveland (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams haven't been very impressive this season. Miami has arguably had a rough schedule so far facing New England and Houston, and has played pretty well in both games. Cleveland had its only win against the Manningless Colts, and looked horrible against the Bengals. The Dolphins defense should step up this week, as the Browns offense isn't dynamic like Houston's or New England's. I like Miami here.
Miami 23, Cleveland 17

Miami 15, Cleveland 10

American Football Simulator:
Miami 21, Cleveland 23

Brady is on pace for over 7,500 yards passing.
New England (2-0) @ Buffalo (2-0)
TheKillerNacho: While Buffalo's offense has looked really good, its defense did not look good against Oakland in that 4th quarter shootout... and Fitzpatrick, while certainly looking to possibly be a franchise QB now, is no Tom Brady. New England is the best team right now, and is better on both sides of the ball, so I can't really see them losing this.
New England 31, Buffalo 24

New England 48, Buffalo 28

American Football Simulator:
New England 25, Buffalo 21

New York G (1-1) @ Philadelphia (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: Its been confirmed that Michael Vick suffered a concussion against the Falcons, and with the NFL's new rules on concussions, that means he is unlikely to play in this. Vince Young is a capable backup, however, so he should do pretty well fitting in (as long as he starts instead of Kafka). The Giants looked pretty soft on Defense this season, and the Eagles' secondary should have no problem shutting down Eli Manning.
EDIT: With Vick practicing on Thursday and likely to play, I think that swings the game further into Philly's advantage.
New York G 21, Philadelphia 27

New York G 19, Philadelphia 24

American Football Simulator:
New York G 24, Philadelphia 27

Denver (1-1) @ Tennessee (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: I really like what Tennessee did against Baltimore last week, so I'm going to choose them here. They may lay an egg like they did against Jacksonville, but they are the better team. Denver has been extremely soft against the run this year, so this may be Chris Johnson's opportunity to finally break out.
Denver 16, Tennessee 24

Denver 11, Tennessee 19

American Football Simulator:
Denver 20, Tennessee 25

Houston (2-0) @ New Orleans (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: Houston is much improved on both sides of the ball, but the Saints rarely lose at home and Drew Brees proved that his offense is legitimate, leading the Saints to a 30 point game against a tough Bears defense last week. Look for Houston's defense to struggle vs the dangerous Saints offense. It'll be close, but I like the Saints.
Houston 27, New Orleans 30

Houston 24, New Orleans 37

American Football Simulator:
Houston 27, New Orleans 28

Look for the Jets D to continue its ruthless play.
New York J (2-0) @ Oakland (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: While the Raiders offense has shocked me this season, they will struggle against the Jets defense. They proved last week against Jacksonville they can still harass below average Quarterbacks, and Jason Campbell fits that description. Defensively, the Raiders have taken a step back without Asomugha, so the Jets shouldn't have much trouble scoring points.
New York J 21, Oakland 20

New York J 31, Oakland 17

American Football Simulator:
New York J 24, Oakland 22

Baltimore (1-1) @ St. Louis (0-2)
TheKillerNacho: I have to believe that Baltimore will bounce back against a Rams team still decimated by injuries. Ray Rice has another good matchup this week against the Rams, and the Rams beaten-up defense shouldn't give much of a problem to Joe Flacco.
Baltimore 24, St. Louis 16

Baltimore 30, St. Louis 21

American Football Simulator:
Baltimore 27, St. Louis 22

Kansas City (0-2) @ San Diego (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: It's hard to find any kind of positive light in Kansas City right now, and San Diego is a very good team. While it is a divisional matchup, the Chargers should have no trouble scoring at will vs the Chiefs, and the Chiefs will hurt losing their best offensive player for the season.
Kansas City 13, San Diego 27

Kansas City 6, San Diego 45

American Football Simulator:
Kansas City 21, San Diego 26

Atlanta (1-1) @ Tampa Bay (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: The Falcons are the better team, but Tampa Bay showed some serious swagger last week with their come-back win at Minnesota. I'm going with the Falcons here simply because I think Michael Turner can have another big week, but Tampa Bay coming out on top wouldn't shock me in the least.
Atlanta 27, Tampa Bay 24

Atlanta 22, Tampa Bay 24

American Football Simulator:
Atlanta 26, Tampa Bay 23

Arizona (1-1) @ Seattle (0-2)
TheKillerNacho: Seattle got shut out vs Pittsburgh, their offense is putrid. Defensively, they aren't much better. The Cardinals are far from the "creme of the crop", but they are better than the Seahawks. Getting off to a 2-1 start will put Cardinals in a good position to sneak into the playoffs as kings of the NFC West.
Arizona 24, Seattle 20

Arizona 28, Seattle 14

American Football Simulator:
Arizona 21, Seattle 24

Clay Matthews would love to give a few more "hugs" to Jay Cutler!
Green Bay (2-0) @ Chicago (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: The Packers have defensive secondary issues, but Chicago's offensive front left Jay Cutler exposed so he could not expose New Orleans' poor secondary. The Packers also have a formidable pass rush, so if they can keep Jay Cutler on his toes again, I think the former champs should win this. However, as we all know, Packers-Bears games are almost never predictable. Could easily go either way.
Green Bay 27, Chicago 26

Green Bay 20, Chicago 17

American Football Simulator:
Green Bay 24, Chicago 22

Pittsburgh (1-1) @ Indianapolis (0-2)
TheKillerNacho: Easily one of the worst Sunday night matchups in recent memory, is it REALLY too early for a Flex game? This may have been interesting had Peyton Manning been around, but with him out, Pittsburgh could force their second straight shutout. The Colts' defense is built to play with the lead, and they won't be getting any leads with Kerry Collins vs the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh wins this in a one-sided affair.
Pittsburgh 28, Indianapolis 10

Pittsburgh 35, Indianapolis 13

American Football Simulator:
Pittsburgh 25, Indianapolis 20

Washington (2-0) @ Dallas (1-1)
TheKillerNacho: The Redskins are off to a nice 2-0 start, even with Grossman looking gross against Arizona. Knowing his inconsistency, though, that should mean he'll have a great game against the Cowboys, right? In all seriousness, I like the Cowboys at home but don't look for the Redskins to make it easy for them. Tony Romo could easily choke again.
Washington 23, Dallas 26

Washington 27, Dallas 25

American Football Simulator:
Washington 20, Dallas 24

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "At the end of the 2011 season, who (or what) will have the better prediction record?" between The Killer Nacho, Billy, or The American Football Simulator. I'm happy to say I won the poll with 50% of the vote (Billy and the AFS tied with 50%)! Aw, shucks, guys! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Who will win the Luck sweepstates?
This week's poll ought to be interesting, especially since its so early in the season. The question is, "Which team will win the Andrew Luck sweepstates (by posting the worst overall record in 2011)?" between the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, or Other (please comment). While I do have Seattle ranked #32 right now, they play in the incredibly weak NFC West. I'm going to go with the Indianapolis Colts, who will have trouble beating just about every team on their 2011 schedule. Andrew Luck would be an excellent Quarterback to replace Peyton Manning (even though I believe Peyton still has a couple of seasons left in him). In all honesty, all four of the teams listed would be pretty good answers. Let's see what happens. Vote on the right hand side of my blog!