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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.

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!

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