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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, November 15, 2011

NFL Week 11 2011 Power Rankings & Predictions

Boy, was this an exciting and unpredictable week... at least for me. How does this odd NFL week stack up? Well, that's what I'm here to tell you!

Biggest Winner: Arizona Cardinals (+5)
Biggest Loser: Cleveland Browns (-6)

1. Green Bay Packers (9-0, +0): The Packers defense really stepped up, this Packers team is running on all cylinders. They are now just 7 wins away from a perfect season. Could it really be possible...? All I'm saying is that if Aaron Rodgers keeps playing like he is, they cannot lose... So if you believe in Aaron Rodgers, you have to believe in a 16-0 Packers squad. Then again, any given Sunday...

2. New Orleans Saints (7-3, +2): Winning in Atlanta is no easy task, so for this reason, I am placing the Saints at #2. Of course, no team seemingly even comes close to Green Bay ... the Saints still have a lot of problems, chief among them, is the fact that they can't seem to run the ball. Luckily, Drew Brees is a Top 3 Quarterback. The Saints are in the ideal position to take the NFC South.

3. San Francisco 49ers (8-1, +4): Okay, time to give some serious props to this San Francisco squad. Before, I was thinking "Yeah, they're good... but who did they play?" A victory against a hot Giants team propels this team to the Top 3, in my mind. San Francisco is legit. You can't even use "Well, they play in the NFC West..." as an excuse, as they've only played one division game yet.

4. Baltimore Ravens (6-3, -2): This Ravens squad angers me. How can they play so well against legitimate opponents only to fall against crappy squads? Yeah, they suck on the road, but still, the Seahawks suck. This team seems to have a weakness to the "trap game", but that doesn't keep me from listing them on my top teams. The Ravens really lost this game on Special teams. Two David Reed Kick Return fumbles lost? Two missed field goals? It's hard for any team to win under those conditions on the road.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3, -2): The -2 they earned this week really has nothing to do with the Steelers, as they did win in Cincinnati. Although it wasn't quite as definitive as I thought it would be... Either I am vastly underrating the Bengals, or drastically overrating the Steelers... perhaps both. Reshard Mendenhall had two touchdowns, but only averaged 2.8 yards per carry, so he is still struggling to run the ball.

6. New England Patriots (6-3, -1): Huge win by the Patriots over the Jets Sunday night, but I like where I have them. Their defense is going to allow pretty much any opponent a chance to defeat them. Of course, having Tom Brady gives them a chance to win against any opponent in the league, so this Patriots team is going to remain competitive and likely win the AFC East after their Jets victory.

7. New York Giants (6-3, +1): I think my Giants fan said it best ... "You can't expect to come from behind every game". The Giants have a team really built to play with the lead, and hold it. And yet, every week they are forced to try to make a 4th quarter comeback, and while Eli Manning has been very good in that regard, you can't expect to keep winning with that kind of situation. The Giants need to find a way to get and keep the lead early in games. Don't let teams hang around.

8. Houston Texans (7-3, -2):Interesting fact... after 37-6 destruction of the Bucs, the Texans are now the #1 seed in the AFC (if the season ended today). However, they suffered a devastating blow, as Matt Schaub will be out for the season with an injury sustained in that game. This is a huge blow. They will rely on Arian Foster even more than ever now, as Matt Leinart becomes the starter. At least he'll have Andre Johnson likely back in the lineup after the bye.

9. Chicago Bears (6-3, +3): I knew the Bears were vastly underrated by a lot of people, but even I didn't expect the 37-13 win over the Lions. I really think this Bears team is coming together. The defense is starting to find its mojo again, and while they didn't need him against the Lions, Jay Cutler is a vastly underrated Quarterback (not to mention Matt Forte). The Bears have a strong case for an NFC Wildcard.

10. Atlanta Falcons (5-4, +0): The Falcons played pretty well, but that decision by Mike Smith to go for 4th and 1 in overtime in your own redzone is ... absolutely horrible. I understand a coach needs to show confidence in his players, but when the consequence of failure is so great (losing the game), punt the damn football, and show some confidence in your defense, damnit! A coach should make decisions to give his team the best chance to win the game, not a decision that directly leads to a loss.

11. New York Jets (5-4, +0): How some people defend Mark Sanchez, I have no idea. Sure, he can come out and have the occasional good game, but he could not take advantage of the worst pass defense in football, barely completing half of his passes, and throwing two interceptions to New England on Sunday night. If Mark Sanchez wasn't a first round pick, he'd be a career backup, guaranteed.

12. Detroit Lions (6-3, -3): The Lions really need to find a way to shrug off this loss and get prepared for next week. It wasn't pretty. Despite having a nice season, Matthew Stafford threw two touchdowns to the wrong team, four interceptions in total. Then again, you can't expect a young Quarterback to throw the ball 65 times. The Lions need to find a way to run the ball, or else.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3, +4): The Bengals played better than I thought against Pittsburgh. Are they legit or is Pittsburgh overrated? I don't know, but its time to put this team where it belongs, in the top half of the league. Andy Dalton had some growing pains, but the defense continued to play very well, stuffing the running game and picking off Big Ben once, too. Let's see how they do against Baltimore.

14. Dallas Cowboys (5-4, +1): The Cowboys seem to have a game every season where they just look so perfect, you can't believe how bad they look in other games. This is one of those games. DeMarco Murray ran all over the Bills, running 20 times for 135 yards (6.8 YPC) and a touchdown. Tony Romo came out firing right from the gate, throwing for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Meanwhile, they picked off the typically mistake-free Ryan Fitzpatrick thrice and even forced a fumble from Freddie Jackson.

15. San Diego Chargers (4-5, -2): San Diego looks so good on paper, yet they can't bring it together on the football field. Well, they have a long week to think about their loss to the Raiders. They have been very good in the second half of the season in recent history, so I still think they win the AFC West, but it isn't going to be pretty. Hopefully for them, Philip Rivers can correct his game.

16. Buffalo Bills (5-4, -2): It seems like another year where the Bills start off hot, only to fall off. Their defensive front is really hurting from the loss of Pro-Bowl NT Kyle Williams, he was a key component. Meanwhile, they were forced to pass early despite Fred Jackson getting good gains on the ground, leading to a 44-7 loss. In my opinion, the Bills are done. Stick a fork in 'em.

17. Tennessee Titans (5-4, +4): The Titans defense did a fantastic job against Cam Newton, giving him the worst game of his young career. They sacked the rookie 5 times, picked him off twice, limiting him to just 166 yards in the air. Offensively, Chris Johnson finally puts up a blurp on the statsheet. Will he be able to keep it up against a legitimate defense, is the question?

18. Oakland Raiders (5-4, +4): After another week in Oakland, Carson Palmer looks much better. His passes had zip and were for the most part accurate against San Diego, throwing for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, the real hero is Michael Bush, a very underrated Runningback, who ran for 157 yards and a touchdown. Unfortanutely, he'll lose carries to the better Darren McFadden when he comes back.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6, -3): I was planning to say "I'm not impressed by the Eagles beating a crappy NFC West team", but now I can say "I'm disgusted by the Eagles LOSING to a crappy NFC West team." Despite LeSean McCoy running the ball very well, Andy Reid seems to be obsessed with the ineffective passing game, even when DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin aren't in the game. Speaking of "MeSean" Jackson, he apparently missed a team meeting, leading to his deactivation. Not good for a player in a contract year.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5, -2): The Bucs are collapsing. Josh Freeman has not emulated his success from last season, and they are simply not running with LeGarrette Blount enough to have success on offense. Defensively, they are getting beaten down by the amount of time they are forced to be on the field. Obviously, this won't lead to many wins. They are now below .500, and looking up at two better teams in the division.

21. Minnesota Vikings (2-7, -2): Christian Ponder made some questionable decisions against Green Bay, and struggled to move the ball as a result. Although Jared Allen is still a beast, getting constant pressure and some nice sacks against Rodgers on Monday night. Still, it wasn't enough to win. I think the Vikings will be able to get a few more wins before the season is done, however. They are a solid football team.

22. Carolina Panthers (2-7, -2): Cam Newton, for the first tiem in his young career, had a bad game. Granted, he was pretty much always mistake-prone, but he always redeemed himself with a lot of yardage and some spectacular plays. However, it seems the Titans found the key to defeating Cam Newton, limiting him to a mere 3 points in their 30-3 loss. It will be interesting to see how the rookie bounces back...

23. Arizona Cardinals (3-6, +5): Larry Fitzgerald is amazing. This guy has been producing despite some of the worst Quarterbacks in the game throwing him the ball in recent years. With Kevin Kolb coming back, this team may win some more games. Then again, I guess we shouldn't be too impressed by any team beating the "crappy Eagles". Lol. They even survived two missed Jay Feely field goals.

24. Denver Broncos (4-5, +2): Tim Tebow completed a mere 2 passes against Kansas City, but still won. He continues to show the intangibles but ... is his performance really good enough to win against most teams in the NFL? You don't get to play the Chiefs every Sunday. John Fox is doing a good job running a Tebow-friendly offense, though. They were even able to survive injuries to their top Runningbacks, Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5, -2): Matt Cassel will be out for a few weeks due to his broken hand he sustained against Denver. While he's not great, he's still better than anyone else they have, so Cassel's return will be crucial if Kansas City wants to win any more games this season. At 4-5, they are still very much in the running for the AFC West, but they can't afford to fall away from the pack too much more.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6, +1): Do wins against the Colts even count anymore? I guess so... but its like getting laid by a ugly fat chick. Yeah, you technically got laid, but you dare not brag about it. That's kind of how you have to treat wins against the Colts. Good job, now move on and concentrate against actual concentration. Jacksonville has a good defense, but Blaine Gabbert may be one of the worst NFL Quarterback starters. I don't expect many great things from this team moving forward.

27. Washington Redskins (3-6, -3): Benching John Beck for Rex Grossman really is an irrelevant decision, as we witnessed. Grossman isn't much better, and now this team is dropping to the ranks of the worst teams in the league. Mike Shanahan seems to be now applying his philosophy with Runningbacks to Quarterbacks, stating after their 20-9 loss at Miami that they will choose their starting Quarterbacks on a "week to week basis". No good can come from that.

28. Miami Dolphins (2-7, +1): Two wins against teams in disarray, yay! Miami now sits 2.5 games ahead of the Colts, pretty much ending any of their Andrew Luck hopes. Brandon Marshall really wants to win football games, he's been playing like a beast of late. Of course, I still have no faith in Matt Moore, who threw a pick in lats week's game, and only managed 20 points despite Grossman's two free possessions he gave.

29. St. Louis Rams (2-7, +1): Benefiting from a Browns missed field goal, the Rams now have two wins. Steven Jackson ran all through the Browns, running for 128 yards on 27 carries, for a 4.7 average. Yet, they were not able to get much of a lead, winning by a single point. Brandon Lloyd turned out to be a nice trade, they should really try to lock this man up during the off-season because he's starting to develop some synergy with Sam Bradford.

30. Seattle Seahawks (3-6, +1): I don't care that they can manage to upset good teams, this team still blows. Their defense is meh, and their Quarterback situation sucks. I do like Marshawn Lynch's running style, though. They'll be back to their losing ways next week... in all probability. Then again, if they keep riding Marshawn Lynch, they could have a few more "upset wins" this season.

31. Cleveland Browns (3-6, -6): I don't care anymore about this team's 3 wins against crappy opponents, the Browns suck. They'll get better once either Peyton Hillis or Montario Hardesty return, but even then, they suck in all areas. Pat Shurmur inherited an up-and-coming squad when he took over as Browns head coach, and managed to run them into the ground. I wouldn't be surprised if the rookie Head coach was fired after this season.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-10, +0): I think this is officially the worst team I've ever witnessed play the game. Even worse than the 0-16 Lions and the 1-15 Dolphins. They have no redeeming qualities. They can't run the ball, they can't pass the ball, they can't stop the run, and they even suck against the pass. There are two explanations... a) Everyone in the organization (except Peyton Manning) is behind a "Suck for Luck" campaign or b) Jim Caldwell really does suck this badly as a Head coach, and will be canned. Soon. 0-10 coming off a playoff birth? Unacceptable.

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Last week: 7-9 (43.75%)
Billy's accuracy, Last week: 11-5 (68.75%)
AFS's* accuracy, Last week: 7-9 (43.75%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 93-53 (63.70%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 94-52 (64.38%)
AFS's* Overall 2011 accuracy: 94-52 (64.38%)
*American Football Simulator averages of 2,000 simulations.

As I mentioned earlier, my predictions (and the AFS predictions) weren't great for Week 10, but Billy was spot on. This allows him to catch up, as now I'm in last place by a single game... I really hope I can bounce back. Would hate to lose to Billy!!

How well will Tebow do against the Jets?
New York J (5-4) @ Denver (4-5)
TheKillerNacho: I hate Thursday Night Football. I don't know whether it's just that they pick crappy matchups, or if teams can't prepare properly on a short week, or if its the dreary, annoying Thursday Night Football crew, but something about it sucks. I don't see this game being any more bearable, as the crappy Tebow is set to take on one of the league's best secondaries.
New York J 27, Denver 17

Billy:
New York J 14, Denver 23

American Football Simulator:
New York J 25, Denver 20

Carolina (2-7) @ Detroit (6-3)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams felt they could win their Week 10 matchup, only to fail. Which one can rebound in Week 11? I'll pick the better team, the Lions, although I suspect Cam Newton will find a way to bounce back. Even so, Matthew Stafford looks to have a nice game against a pretty bad Carolina defense.
Carolina 20, Detriot 27

Billy:
Carolina 23, Detroit 34

American Football Simulator:
Carolina 22, Detroit 26

Cincinnati (6-3) @ Baltimore (6-3)
TheKillerNacho: Baltimore is quite a different team at home, and quite a different team against legitimate competition. While I'm still unsure how good the Bengals are at this point, they still have a pretty damn good record so I expect the Ravens to come to play against them. And if they do, I think the Ravens will win handily.
Cincinnati 17, Baltimore 24

Billy:
Cincinnati 23, Baltimore 27

American Football Simulator:
Cincinnati 19, Baltimore 27

Oakland (5-4) @ Minnesota (2-7)
TheKillerNacho: As far as either of these teams is concerned, anything is possible. Carson Palmer impressed me during their 24-17 win over the Chargers on Thursday night, and assuming the Raiders get Darren McFadden back, I really like them in this matchup. In Minnesota, though, the Vikings are a pretty good team. It may not be so easy to run the football.
Oakland 23, Minnesota 21

Billy:
Oakland 14, Minnesota 24

American Football Simulator:
Oakland 23, Minnesota 25

Can Tony Sparano lead the Dolphins to their 3rd straight win?
Buffalo (5-4) @ Miami (2-7)
TheKillerNacho: I'm torn. I just saw my Dolphins win twice in a row against declining opponents, and here they are again, at home against an opponent who is declining. Before the season started, I admited the Bills matchup very good against us, and would not be surprised if they sweep us. However, in the light of a 44-7 loss to Dallas, I'm not so sure. Meh, I still think the Bills are the better team and can spread our defense out, creating some big plays. So I'll pick them.
Buffalo 26, Miami 20

Billy:
Buffalo 20, Miami 14


American Football Simulator:
Buffalo 23, Miami 24

Tampa Bay (4-5) @ Green Bay (9-0)
TheKillerNacho: This is a game that Green Bay should, by all accounts, win. Although Josh Freeman does get an interesting oppurtunity to turn his season around against a defense that has allowed huge numbers passing this season. Of course, I don't expect him to outperform Aaron Rodgers against a defense who has been playing even worse in recent weeks.
Tampa Bay 18, Green Bay 27

Billy:
Tampa Bay 20, Green Bay 38

American Football Simulator:
Tampa Bay 20, Green Bay 29

Dallas (5-4) @ Washington (3-6)
TheKillerNacho: I don't see how Washington can win this game, the way mommentum is going. Washington has had some key injuries, and morale is low. Meanwhile, Dallas has new life after a New York Giants loss and destroying the Bills, so they should come out strong. I like Dallas here.
Dallas 28, Washington 17

Billy:
Dallas 29, Washington 12

American Football Simulator:
Dallas 23, Washington 22

There is no stopping Jones-Drew this season.
Jacksonville (3-6) @ Cleveland (3-6)
TheKillerNacho: Maurice Jones-Drew has another promising matchup, against a Browns defense who could not stop Steven Jackson last week. Meanwhile, the Browns should not be able to move the football against the pretty good Jaguars defense. They'll easily stop the run, and force Colt McCoy to pass... and we all know how effective that is this season.
Jacksonville 20, Cleveland 13

Billy:
Jacksonville 13, Cleveland 7


American Football Simulator:
Jacksonville 22, Cleveland 21

Seattle (3-6) @ St. Louis (2-7)
TheKillerNacho: Which NFC West team is crappier? ... That is the question. Seattle is traveling to the St. Louis dome, against another crappy team, so they really have no chance. The Rams ought to win this game behind Steven Jackson.
Seattle 16, St. Louis 23

Billy:
Seattle 25, St. Louis 17

American Football Simulator:
Seattle 21, St. Louis 25

Arizona (3-6) @ San Francisco (8-1)
TheKillerNacho: The 49ers have virtually already clinched the division, but winning this game will practically put it to a point of impossibility for them to lose it. At home, they will likely win. They should be able to stop the Beanie Wells rush attack, and whichever crappy Cardinals Quarterback is playing. Frank Gore should be able to come back and put up big numbers, but if not, Kendall Hunter should do fine in his place.
Arizona 17, San Francisco 23

Billy:
Arizona 21, San Francisco 31

American Football Simulator:
Arizona 19, San Francisco 26

Tennessee (5-4) @ Atlanta (5-4)
TheKillerNacho: This Titans team is one of the most unpredictable in football, but this time they travel to play a much better NFC West team, the Falcons. I really doubt they will lose twice in a row in the George Dome, so I'm taking Atlanta.
Tennessee 23, Atlanta 27

Billy:
Tennessee 19, Atlanta 33

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 22, Atlanta 28

Can this Bears defense continue with its outstanding play?
San Diego (4-5) @ Chicago (6-3)
TheKillerNacho: Chicago's hot right now and ... San Diego is well, not. Chicago had four picks of Matthew Stafford last game, while Philip Rivers has been on an interception spree all season. I think it would be foolish to predict the Bears not getting some key turnovers in this game, curising them to another win.
San Diego 17, Chicago 23

Billy:
San Diego 24, Chicago 35

American Football Simulator:
San Diego 23, Chicago 27

Philadelphia (3-6) @ New York G (6-3)
TheKillerNacho: While I don't doubt the ability of the Eagles to upset the Giants, this is one that the Giants ought to have, at home. Its a key game too, as losing it really opens the doors to the Cowboys to come in and take the NFC East from them. The Giants should have little problem running the ball against Philadelphia, but they need to build a lead this time. Enough of these 4th quarter comebacks!
UPDATE: With Michael Vick out, that means we get most likely Vince Young leading the Eagles. With this development, I like the Giants even more.
Philadelphia 21, New York G 26

Billy:
Philadelphia 38, New York G 31 

American Football Simulator:
Philadelphia 23, New York G 26

Kansas City (4-5) @ New England (6-3)
TheKillerNacho: While I was looking forward to a matchup featuring Cassel's return to New England, much like Kolb's return to Philadelphia, I was robbed of that matchup. Instead, we get to watch Tyler Palko go up against Brady. Just who is Palko you ask? I have no freaking idea.
Kansas City 6, New England 27

Billy:
Kansas City 10, New England 41

American Football Simulator:
Kansas City 17, New England 26

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "Which 6-win team(s) will collapse (and not make the playoffs)?" between the Baltimore Ravens (6-2), Cincinnati Bengals (6-2), Houston Texans (6-3), New Orleans Saints (6-3), Detroit Lions (6-2), or the New York Giants (6-2). Since voters could vote for more than one team, it was a pretty interesting poll. Apparently there is someone who doesn't believe in each of these teams, as each of these teams had a minimum of 11%. The winner was, as I predicted, the Cincinnati Bengals, who earned a "thumbs down" from 77% of voters. The next closest teams were the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions, each with 33%.

Aaron Rodgers is playing amazing right now. He's playing better than any Quarterback that I've ever seen play the position. This week's question is "How will Aaron Rodgers' career stack up compared to the all-time greats?" between Greatest of all time, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, or Not in Top 20. Will be interesting to see how this turns out. While I think he could become the GOAT, I'm not willing to quite place him there yet ... but I think he'll be Top 5 for sure when its all said and done.

Vote on the right-hand side of my blog!

3 comments:

  1. I'd have to go top 10. If no one ever played another game, he'd be 4th among QBs today (behind Brady, P Manning, and Big Ben). However, he could pass all of them with a few more rings. Should be fun to see how that plays out over the rest of his career.

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