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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 29, 2011

NFL Week 13 2011 Power Rankings & Predictions

I almost had a good Thanksgiving until the New York Giants ruined me in Fantasy. Ugh... Anyway, don't feel like talking much... onto the rankings!

Biggest Winner: Dallas Cowboys (+5)
Biggest Loser: Chicago Bears (-6)

1. Green Bay Packers (11-0, +0): They had a bit of a scare in the first half with their offense not producing against a tough Detroit defense, but the Packers' defense really stepped up and played strong. Eventually, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers attack got going which led them to the win. I see no weaknesses with this team moving forward. A 19-0 season is becoming more and more possible.

2. New Orleans Saints (8-3, +0): The Saints dominated the Giants on what originally was thought to be a close, interesting Monday night game. So much for that. For the first time ever, I'm almost positive that someone will break Dan Marino's passing record. And that man is Drew Brees. The Saints defense also conitnues to make plays and how can I leave Jimmy Graham out of this entry after his two touchdown performance?

3. Baltimore Ravens (8-3, +1): Well it was the older John who won Harbaugh Bowl I, and thus, Baltimore jumps over the Niners in these rankings. Baltimore's defense played amazing football... the defensive line dominated the 49ers offensive line, getting 9 sacks and not leaving any running room to Frank Gore. This is without Ray Lewis in the lineup for the second straight week... wow.

4. San Francisco 49ers (9-2, -1):In all actuality, Jim Harbaugh's loss to his brother doesn't hurt this team that much. With Seattle's loss on Sunday, the 49ers still ended up clinching the NFC West this week. Their defense still played great, still has allowed no rushing touchdowns all season. One has to be concerned about their offensive line, however, giving up 9 sacks. The offensive line will need to play better if the 49ers want to finish with a playoff bye.

5. New England Patriots (8-3, +1): Is Brady back? Seems so... Brady dominated the Eagles, passing for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns, two of which to Wes Welker, who has been somewhat quiet in recent weeks. They once again give up a ton of yards defensively, but remain one of the better defenses in Points Allowed. Granted, it was only the Eagles, but this is what a Bill Bellichick theam is supposed to look like.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3, -1): The Steelers may have won, but it was far too close for comfort against a struggling Chiefs team. Palko was awful, throwing 3 picks in the game, yet Ben Roethlisberger seemed to try to put his best Palko-impression on himself. The Steelers won 13-9, but one has to hope this was just a "trap game performance", because if they weren't playing the Chiefs, it could've easily been a loss.

7. Atlanta Falcons (7-4, +0): The Falcons dominated the Vikings in the first half, but allowed them to nearly come back in the second half. This is unacceptable, but at least the offense is getting more explosive. Roddy White had his second straight great game, so this passing offense is coming together. Of course, they still have Michael Turner so this offense is very dynamic.

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-4, +5): They nearly had a scare on Thanksgiving, but November Romo shined through in the end. Sure, he threw two early picks, but the Dallas defense tightened up in the fourth quarter, and Dallas was able to make an impressive last-minute field goal drive. Miami is pretty underrated, and it was on a short week in a trap game situation. Dallas may be the favorite to win the NFC East at this point.

9. Detroit Lions (7-4, +2): They lost, but they "improve" in the rankings this week due to me dropping other teams. They will be hurt in the next few games with the loss of Ndamukong Suh. If you haven't seen it, he was ejected in Thanksgiving's game against the Packers for ramming a guy's head into the ground like 3 times after the play was over, then curve-stomping his arm. Such play is intolerable, and missing Suh for 2 games will really hurt the Lions.

10. Oakland Raiders (7-4, +4): I'm not really sure what to take from the Raiders' game against the Bears last Sunday, but the Raiders looked pretty strong. Still, they struggled getting into the endzone, settling for 6 field goals (a Raiders record). They'll need to score touchdowns against most teams if they want to win the AFC West, but they are in a good position to do so. It's funny... in the beginning of the season, everyone thought the AFC West would be a battle between the Chiefs and Chargers... but now it seems to be a battle between the Raiders and Broncos.

11. Houston Texans (8-3, -3):The good news for the Texans is they survived the Jaguars. The bad news is they lost their starter Matt Leinart to a broken collerbone in his first start since coming in for Schaub, who is now on IR. Now they either turn to either the rookie T.J. Yates, or a free agent (Sage Rosenfels is the rumor, following his Miami release). Neither are compelling options... which is why I'm so down on the Texans.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4, +0): How can the Bengals play so well against the Ravens one week without their star receiver to get him back against the Browns, and play so poorly? For a long time, it looked like Cincinnati was going to lose that game. There is really no excuse to let the Browns of all teams get so close. It was a division game, so I'll give them that, but still.

13. New York Giants (6-5, -4): This team sucked Monday Night and single-handedly lost me my fantasy game, plain and simple. I'm so angry right now as I'm writing this. I have a 25 point lead with John Kasay, my opponent having the Saints DST and Jimmy Graham, and the Giants allow the largest game to Graham this season, all the while giving up 3 forced fubmles, a sack, and a pick... Sigh...

14. New York Jets (6-5, +1): Despite their win, its still somewhat hard to get excited about the Jets. They allowed the best game in awhile to the Bills. Stevie Johnson absolutely abused Darrelle Revis in this game and the offense didn't always click. We were expecting a dominating victory for the Jets, but instead, they barely edge them out in a game the Bills could've easily won. I'll hold my judgment for later, it's still hard to consider the Jets a top team.

15. Tennessee Titans (6-5, +4): Chris Johnson chose a great time to show his abilities again, they really needed his breakout performance with Matt Hasselbeck sucking. Defensively, Tennessee played a monster game... 4 fumble recoveries, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. But they still only won by 6... their punt return being the difference. But with Houston's Quarterbacking situation getting even worse, this opens the door for the Titans to possibly play for the division...

16. Chicago Bears (7-4, -6): I think this game showed just how important Jay Cutler is to this Bears' team. Without him, they care barely move the ball consistently at all. Caleb Hanie was able to score twice, but also completed a mere 50% of his passes, and threw three picks. With teams inching up to the line of scrimage to combat Matt Forte, the Bears offense will struggle to score the rest of the season. In a tight NFC wildcard race, I see them sitting out now.

17. Denver Broncos (6-5, +3): Tim Tebow frustrates me. He really does nothing to win these games, but seems to get all the credit. The Broncos are winning right now due to much improved defensive play, and a strong running game. I'm not convinced in Tebow's ability... swap him with Cam Newton, I don't think he wins a game. But still, at 6-5, you can't doubt the Broncos as a team anymore...

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7, +0): Another game in which the Buccaneers play pretty well, but end up getting a loss. Really, stupid mistakes killed them. 4 lost fumbles, a careless punt return touchdown allowed... Very few teams can win under those conditions. However, I think they are solid. They will continue to compete and win a few more games before the season is out. Too bad for them at 4-7, they are all but eliminated from playoff contention.

19. San Diego Chargers (4-7, -2): The Chargers suck, despite the talent they have. After losing to Denver in overtime, they are now on a 6-game losing streak... they haven't won since their bye. I think this all comes down to coaching. It's a real toss up which coach is more inept between Norv Turner and Andy Reid... both coachs have talented teams who are all but eliminated now. Of course, the Chargers do play in the AFC West, so they aren't out of it yet... but it will be hard with Oakland at 7-4 for them to sniff the playoffs.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7, -4): Speaking of Andy Reid, he sucks. The Eagles offense put up huge numbers.. Vince Young passed for an outrageous 400 yards, but they ended up losing 38-20. Their defense got back to their inept ways, giving up 2 touchdowns to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and 3 to Brady. If Reid isn't gone in the off-season, I'll die of shock. If this season doesn't convince the Front Office that he's not the guy, nothing will. By his own admission, "I didn't put the players in positions to make plays". I mean c'mon, he admits after every loss how bad of a coach he is!

21. Miami Dolphins (3-8, +2): The Dolphins were trying to make it four straight upsets on Thanksgiving, but fell short in the final minutes of the 4th quarter, in typical Dolphins fashion. How well will they play next week? Not really sure... if Sparano can muster up the support he got in the last four weeks, they have a serious chance against Oakland. If not, well, this team is going to get embarrassed again.

22. Washington Redskins (4-7, +2): If there was such a thing as a moral victory, this would be it. After sucking so badly the last few weeks, the Redskins were able to finally get a W against a crappy NFC West team. Rex Grossman was once again like Jackal and Hide, throwing very well for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also had 2 picks. Luckily, the touchdowns were enough to squeek a win 23-17.

23. Buffalo Bills (5-6, -2): Honestly, I don't know if their effort against the Jets was due to the Bills showing improvement or the Jets simply sucking but the Bills weren't able to pull out a win regardless. The lack of Fred Jackson really does hurt, C.J. Spiller may be explosive but he can't be nearly as consistent. Ryan Fitzpatrick finally seemed to bounce back, though, throwing for 3 touchdowns. A bit too late however since the Bills have squandered their great early start to now drop below .500.

24. Carolina Panthers (3-8, -2): Wins against the Colts barely count, especially if you're the team that nearly gave the Colts their first Win. The Colts defense did surprisingly well against Cam Newton and the Panthers (although they still sucked at stopping the run), and the Panthers defense couldn't even stop the Colts Runningbacks and Curtis Painter. I just don't like the Panthers defensively enough to say they are a good team.

25. Arizona Cardinals (4-7, +1): The Cardinals were able to overcome faulty Quarterback play once again, with another Patrick Peterson return Touchdown to beat the Rams. Beanie Wells had a great game against the poor Rams run defense, rushing for over 150 yards. Still, the Cardinals barely won but should improve once Kolb comes back under center. Unfortanutely, they are all but eliminated from playoff contention at this point.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-7, +3): The Browns were so close to upsetting the Bengals, but close doesn't cut it in the NFL. Colt McCoy actually showed some improvement in this game, and the team seemed to respond well to Peyton Hillis being back in the lineup. Maybe this team will be able to sneak in some more wins this season, but their remaining schedule is just brutal. There's always next season, well, if Pat Shurmur ends up getting a second chance.

27. Minnesota Vikings (2-9, -2): The Vikings lead the league in Sacks, but that's about all they are good at, at this point. Their best offensive player with Adrian Peterson out of the lineup is easily Percy Harvin. That guy is explosive. If they want to find any more wins this season, Christian Ponder needs to find ways to deliver the ball to Harvin. Otherwise, they are simply pushovers.

28. Seattle Seahawks (4-7, +0): Seattle could've "survived" in the division hunt another week with a win over Washington, but their loss means the 49ers clinch the division, all but killing Seattle's playoff hopes. This team continues to play with heart, but they just don't have the talent. I think they'll get some more upset wins this season. Hopefully for them, Pete Carroll gets another year as Head coach. They really may be a Quarterback away...

29. Kansas City Chiefs (4-7, -2): Tyler Palko could easily be the worst starting Quarterback right now. In two starts, he's thrown 6 interceptions and did not lead the Chiefs into the endzone once. They did claim Kyle Orton, expect him to be the starter there as soon as possible. Unfortantuely for the Chiefs, Orton is a game manager. He's not going to spark a miracle to win the division after being back 3 games from the Raiders.

30. St. Louis Rams (2-9, +1): Honestly, they probably played well enough to win except for a few weaknesses... Brandon Lloyd continues to be their only target in the passing game, and their defense can't stop the run. They only lost by 3, and the difference was a Patrick Peterson return touchdown. However, their opponent was also the Cardinals, so its not like it was an impressive opponent or anything. Expect the Rams to struggle for the remainder of the season.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8, -1): Despite a defensive touchdown and playing against late-round rookie T.J. Yates the majority of the game, Jacksonville's offense failed to overcome the Texans in a 20-13 loss. Blaine Gabbert has shown absolutely nothing that warrants his 1st-round selection, as this passing game continues to struggle. Reports are coming out that Jack Del Rio has been fired, replaced by Mike Tucker. I don't really know what he can really do this season, anyway...

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-11, +0): This was the closet the Colts have come in a long while to getting a win, but a Curtis Painter pick in the endzone sealed their fate against Carolina. Looking at their remaining schedule, the only chance they have conceivably is @ Jacksonville. After being a Super Bowl contender for so many consecutive seasons, could the Colts really go 0-16?

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Last week: 12-4 (75.00%)
Billy's accuracy, Last week: 11-5 (68.75%)
AFS's* accuracy, Last week: 14-2 (87.50%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 114-62 (64.77%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 116-60 (65.90%)
AFS's* Overall 2011 accuracy: 117-59 (66.48%)
*American Football Simulator averages of 2,000 simulations.

A pretty good week in Pick'em for all, but both the Simulator and I were able to make up lost ground against Billy, who picked worst last week with 11-5. The Simulator now takes the lead by a game! I need to catch up... 3 games behind now.

Seattle hopes to ride Lynch for a win at home vs PHI.
Philadelphia (4-7) @ Seattle (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: Coming off the huge loss that basically killed their playoff hopes against the Patriots, I can't really see the Eagles suiting up for the Seahawks on this now-meaningless Thursday night game. It will likely be a snoozer, but at home, I think the Seahawks will pull off the upset on the short week.
Philadelphia 20, Seattle 24

Philadelphia 17, Seattle 26

American Football Simulator:
Philadelphia 27, Seattle 22

Oakland (7-4) @ Miami (3-8)
TheKillerNacho: If Miami comes in with the passion they had in the last four games, this could become a serious contest. Miami defensively has been very good in this timespan, and the Raiders really struggled to get into the endzone last week against Chicago. Still, with Darren McFadden likely coming back for Oakland, I think the Raiders will win this.
UPDATE: Word on the street is McFadden will be OUT again. However, I still think the Raiders pull this off... probably with a field goal in the final seconds... sigh...
Oakland 23, Miami 21

Oakland 31, Miami 27

American Football Simulator:
Oakland 23, Miami 22

Atlanta (7-4) @ Houston (8-3)
TheKillerNacho: The Falcons are pretty hot right now, and the Texans don't have a Quarterback. This will allow the Falcons to stack the box all game long against Arian Foster, and take him out of the game. If this happens, Atlanta's offense will probably be able to cruise for a victory.
Atlanta 26, Houston 20

Atlanta 30, Houston 20

American Football Simulator:
Atlanta 26, Houston 25

Cincinnati (7-4) @ Pittsburgh (8-3)
TheKillerNacho: The Bengals were almost upset last week against the Browns, but they were likely looking forward to this game. Likewise, the Steelers nearly dropped to the Chiefs, but were also likely looking forward to this game. Having said all this, I'll take the better team at home.
Cincinnati 23, Pittsburgh 24

Cincinnati 19, Pittsburgh 28

American Football Simulator:
Cincinnati 17, Pittsburgh 25

Kansas City (4-7) @ Chicago (7-4)
TheKillerNacho: Who we see at Quarterback for either of these teams is anyone's guess, but does it really matter...? Kyle Orton will probably get the start against his former team, facing off against Caleb Hanie... Zzzzzzz.
Kansas City 13, Chicago 20

Kansas City 3, Chicago 23

American Football Simulator:
Kansas City 19, Chicago 22

Ponder needs to play better to knock off the hot Broncos.
Denver (6-5) @ Minnesota (2-9)
TheKillerNacho: I'm picking the Broncos, despite knowing Tebow will get all the credit for dispatching the crappy Vikings. Really makes me sick. Denver's defense has played great football recently, and is more than able to overwhelm Christian Ponder and the Vikings if Adrian Peterson isn't ready to go.
Denver 20, Minnesota 17

Denver 27, Minnesota 17

American Football Simulator:
Denver 20, Minnesota 21

Tennessee (6-5) @ Buffalo (5-6)
TheKillerNacho: Buffalo played with heart last week, but will likely return to their demoralized ways after ultimately losing. Meanwhile, Tennessee is coming off a win and Chris Johnson seems to have regained his confidence and abilities. I can't see the Bills coming out and playing hard in this situation...
Tennessee 24, Buffalo 21

Tennessee 33, Buffalo 24

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 24, Buffalo 23

New York J (6-5) @ Washington (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: I think we'll see Bad Rex come out against the Jets secondary. Darrelle Revis may have had a poor game last week, but that will motivate him all the more to give his all in this contest. The Jets need this win, while the Redskins are all but dead.
New York J 21, Washington 16

New York J 18, Washington 16

American Football Simulator:
New York J 23, Washington 19

Indianapolis (0-11) @ New England (8-3)
TheKillerNacho: Is this even really a game? A once exciting matchup between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady becomes a snoozer with a pea-wee squad going up against one of the best NFL teams.
Indianapolis 7, New England 38

Indianapolis 13, New England 41

American Football Simulator:
Indianapolis 19, New England 28

Carolina (3-8) @ Tampa Bay (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: Tampa Bay has played very well in their last two games, despite losing. Carolina may have beat the Colts last week, but did not do it that impressively. I think Tampa Bay gets their first win in a long while.
UPDATE: Josh Freeman is out for the Bucs, so Josh Johnson is going to play. I still think the Bucs will win with their strong running game led by LeGarrette Blount against one of the worst run defense in the NFL. Still, this opens the door for Cam Newton to work his magic against a Buccaneers team who has lost 5 straight.
Carolina 23, Tampa Bay 26

Carolina 27, Tampa Bay 20

American Football Simulator:
Carolina 24, Tampa Bay 25

Hillis will need to be at his best if CLE wants to upset BAL.
Baltimore (8-3) @ Cleveland (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: Cleveland had to be demoralized after that tough loss against the Bengals. However, the Ravens have struggled on the road against bad teams this season... being that this is also a division game, this could seriously be a huge trap game for Baltimore. But, its hard to pick against them.
Baltimore 26, Cleveland 20

Baltimore 21, Cleveland 14

American Football Simulator:
Baltimore 25, Cleveland 21

Dallas (7-4) @ Arizona (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: Dallas is obviously the better team, but Arizona has been playing hard in recent weeks. Is this finally the week we get to see Kevin Kolb come back?? Maybe, but I don't think that will affect this game's outcome too much.
Dallas 27, Arizona 16

Dallas 35, Arizona 14

American Football Simulator:
Dallas 26, Arizona 24

Green Bay (11-0) @ New York G (6-5)
TheKillerNacho: New York's recent schedule has been brutal. It doesn't get any better with the undefeated Packers coming into town. Then again, it was the Giants who spoiled the last undefeated team... so there's always a chance. Its just not likely.
Green Bay 28, New York G 24

Green Bay 52, New York G 24

American Football Simulator:
Green Bay 26, New York G 20

St. Louis (2-9) @ San Francisco (9-2)
TheKillerNacho: San Francisco may have clinched the division, but they still have plenty to play for. A first-round bye would really help this team's chances, all they need to do is take advantage of these easy wins they have left on their remaining schedule.
St. Louis 6, San Francisco 20

St. Louis 10, San Francisco 25

American Football Simulator:
St. Louis 20, San Francisco 26

Drew Brees will continue his great season with Suh out.
Detroit (7-4) @ New Orleans (8-3)
TheKillerNacho: The Lions really need this win, but the Saints also do since the Falcons seem to be having a resurgance and they want an oppurtunity to compete with the Niners for the first-round bye. The Lions won't get an easy win going to New Orleans... and it seems they will be without both Ndamukong Suh and Kevin Smith.
Detroit 21, New Orleans 28

Detroit 40, New Orleans 45

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 21, New Orleans 27

San Diego (4-7) @ Jacksonville (4-7)
TheKillerNacho: C'mon San Diego, you have to snap this 6-game losing streak sometime, right? Why not against Jacksonville?? Then again, Jacksonville would love to get its second primetime win of the season... and teams under interim head coaches always manage to surprise... Ugh.
San Diego 24, Jacksonville 16

San Diego 10, Jacksonville 14

American Football Simulator:
San Diego 25, Jacksonville 24

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "Which is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?" between Food, Family, Friends, or Football. Football was the clear winner with 75% of the vote, as expected. Food got the remaining 25%. Who needs Friends or Family?

With Jack Del Rio already gone, this begs the question... which other coaches are in serious jeopardy. This week's question is Which head coaches are most likely going to be fired sometime before next season? between Andy Reid, Tony Sparano, Norv Turner, Jim Caldwell, Todd Haley, Steve Sagnuolo, or Other (Please comment)? Considering I'm not convinced the Front Office has already given Caldwell a pass for Sucking for Luck, I'm thinking it's a tough call between Reid and Turner. Then again, Todd Haley was rumored to be almost fired during their bye week...

Vote on the right-hand side of my blog!


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