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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, December 13, 2011

NFL Week 15 2011 Power Rankings & Predictions

Pretty predictable week, save for a few games. In fact, our own Billy had an outrageous 15-1 Pick'em record this week, had it not been for a completely unpredictable Arizona Cardinals upset. Let's see how this shakes up this week's rankings.

Biggest Winner: Seattle Seahawks (+7)
Biggest Loser: Miami Dolphins (-5)

1. Green Bay Packers (13-0, +0): Some bad news for a change for the Packers... Greg Jennings appears to have a strained ankle, which will likely sideline him for the rest of the regular season. No worries, though, Packers fans- the Packers have plenty of talent at receiver to keep putting up big numbers. Despite pulling Aaron Rodgers late in the 3rd quarter (much to the dismay of fantasy owners, including myself), Mike McCarthy has stated they are going for 16-0. Will they make it?

2. New Orleans Saints (10-3, +0): Is it true what they say that the Saints can't play away from a dome? I don't know, but they found a way to win against Tennessee regardless. It didn't always look pretty however, Drew Brees struggled to sustain drives quite a bit, but started figuring it out in the 2nd half. They'll still need to address their weakness in playing outdoors... since the playoffs will be going through Green Bay.

3. Baltimore Ravens (10-3, +0): Well, so much for the Colts' streak against the Ravens. Of course, no one expected the Colts to be able to maintain the streak. Maybe if it was at Indianapolis since the Ravens struggle with bad teams on the road but ... Joe Flacco is an absolute monster at home. If they can obtain homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, this team could be Super Bowl bound.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3, +2): Ben Roethlisberger is, without a doubt, the toughest Quarterback in the NFL. When he got knocked out of last week's game, I thought we wouldn't see him for the remainder of the season, much less that same night. And despite playing hurt, he didn't miss a beat. Of course, today they received some bad news... James Harrison will be suspended for next week's game against the 49ers due to his hit on Colt McCoy. It couldn't have come at a worse time.

5. New England Patriots (10-3, +0): The defense didn't look pretty at all, but what do you expect with all those secondary injuries? Either way, Rob Gronkowski is ridiculous. Defenses can not stop him. And even if they manage to, Tom Brady also has Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez to throw to. Talk about unfair.

6. San Francisco 49ers (10-3, -2): Dropping to the lowly Cardinals may really hurt them in their quest to get a first-round bye. The Saints seem unstoppable lately. The good news for the 49ers is that they are in, and with a home game. But they face a tough matchup against Pittsburgh now, with a first-round bye on the line, on Monday night.

7. Atlanta Falcons (8-5, +1): Matt Ryan took a big step on his quest to become an elite Quarterback against the Panthers. Being down 23-7 at the half, Ryan was able to drive his team for a huge win in the 2nd half. This is a good sign for a Falcons team still trying to find offensive identity with Michael Turner struggling recently. Nice job by the defense to shut down Cam Newton in the 2nd half, too.

8. Houston Texans (10-3, -1): It wasn't completely pretty for the Texans last Sunday with the Bengals seemingly providing the blueprint how to stop this Texans offense without an aerial threat, but they did it. The Houston Texans, for the first time in franchise history, has clinched a playoff birth. Without Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, and Mario Williams. Astonishing, my congratulations to Houston Texans nation.

9. New York Giants (7-6, +0): HUGE win by the Giants on Sunday night, to beat the division-rival Cowboys. Eli Manning is truly an elite Quarterback at this point. With the win, they are now tied for the division lead with Dallas, but they play them again at the season's end. This battle isn't over, but the Giants have salvaged their playoff chances with a huge victory there.

10. Detroit Lions (8-5, +0): Good news for the Lions - Ndamukong Suh will be back and ready for action next week, and they were able to survive the Vikings without him. The defense allowed some big plays without him in the lineup, but an early lead thanks to turnovers allowed the Lions to glide past the Vikings. They don't have an excuse why not to make a wildcard run, now.

11. Denver Broncos (8-5, +4): Maybe I was wrong about Tim Tebow. Maybe there is something special about this kid. Despite the defenses being fully aware of "Tebow time", they seem unable to stop him. I say this with some hesitation... the teams they have beaten have not been the best, there is plenty of reason for doubt, and in part, I do. But they are obviously the best team in the AFC West at this point. Their defense is solid, and their running game (including their Quarterback) is great.

12. New York Jets (8-5, +1): The Jets didn't just beat the Chiefs, they demolished them. So badly in fact, that the Chiefs fired their Head coach following the humiliating defeat. Granted, the Chiefs suck, but this is a good sign because this is exactly how a good team defeats a bad team. They put themselves in good position to grab the second AFC wildcard spot. A Titans and Bengals loss also helps them.

13. Dallas Cowboys (7-6, -1): I think it would be extremely foolish to count the Cowboys out, despite their loss against the Giants on Sunday night. They fought hard, and this team will have another shot at the division at the season's end. But they will need to bring everything they have to win. Dallas's defense left much to be desired against the Giants. And they faced terrible news Monday... promising rookie RB DeMarco Murray is out for the year. This means they will need to rely once more on Felix Jones.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6, +0): Unfortanutely, close just isn't close enough. They lost in the final moments in a huge game against the Texans. This puts them behind the Jets in the AFC wildcard race. I don't think it would be a stretch to say the Bengals need to win out in order to get there... which may be difficult with Baltimore still on the schedule in Week 17.

15. Tennessee Titans (7-6, -4): Due to a Hasselbeck injury, we got to see more from rookie Jake Locker. He actually played pretty well, and will be good some day, but not today. Locker's inaccuracy may have cost the Titans a chance at a big home win against New Orleans. Like the Bengals, they are now behind the Jets for the 6th AFC seed. They will need to win out to get there.

16. San Diego Chargers (6-7, +1): At this point, I believe that if there is one team that could possibly spoil Tim Tebow's party, its the Chargers. Philip Rivers rarely loses during the second half of the season. Unfortanutely for Rivers, though, the Chargers are two games behind a team that just can't seem to lose with three games to play. They get one shot at the Broncos remaining on their schedule, but they still need help to overcome them in the division race.

17. Oakland Raiders (7-6, -1): Absolute humiliation... the Raiders have no excuses for their poor play against the Packers. Yeah, the Packers are by far the best team in the league, but your season is on the line, here! At least play like you want to win the game. Carson Palmer, who originally was impressive, has not played well in the last two games. They still have a shot at the AFC West, but not how they are currently playing.

18. Chicago Bears (7-6, +0): Sorry Caleb Hanie. Close just doesn't cut it in the NFL. What a shame. The Bears appeared earlier in the season to be one of the NFC's best football teams. Now that they lost their two best offensive players, they are dead in the water. This team cannot recover from the loss of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. And unfortunately, they will not be back soon enough for it to matter. There's always next year...

19. Seattle Seahawks (6-7, +7): Honestly, I've been down on this team for far too long without cause. I'm actually pretty high on them right now. Marshawn Lynch is a beast. And the Skittles thing is great. Obviously, the playoffs are unlikely at this point but the Seahawks are a pretty solid football team.

20. Carolina Panthers (4-9, +0): If only the Panthers could've simply finished in the game against Atlanta... well, the good news for Carolina is that they seem to have a nice corp of young talent, with an excellent coaching staff. Cam Newton was a great pick and if they can add some talent on defense, they will be a force to be reckoned with very soon. No reason to be down if you're a Panthers fan.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (5-8, +2): Oh, so the Eagles finally feel like playing football again against the Dolphins after being virtually eliminated from the playoffs? Well, fine. At 5-8, even in a weak division, this team does not really have much of a chance at the playoffs. They are trailing not one but two teams with a two-game lead on them with three games to go. Those teams play eachother, too, so its not like both could lose out. Playoffs? Don't be talking about playoffs... Playoffs??!

22. Washington Redskins (4-9, -2): Good Rex appeared, and the Redskins played the Patriots close. Unfortanutely, like I've been saying this entire time... close just doesn't cut it, Rexy! They seemed very good earlier in the season but injuries killed this team's opportunity to compete. Mike Shanahan will probably get another season, hopefully he makes the best out of it becuase Snyder won't tolerate this losing for long...

23. Arizona Cardinals (6-7, +2): I'm still trying to figure out how this team was able to beat the 49ers, but it's good enough for a slight bump in the rankings this week. They did it even with Kevin Kolb going down to injury. I'm still not going to go back and say John Skelton is a better choice, but this team finds ways to win outside of the norm.

24. Miami Dolphins (4-9, -5): Good bye and good riddance, Tony Sparano. I like the guy as a person and he's a pretty good football coach, but doesn't offer much as an NFL head coach. Todd Bowles is probably just a fill-in guy. The Dolphins made this move now to not fall behind in the Head coach search with Kansas City and Jacksonville already firing their coaches. This move will likely demoralize this team. I don't see the Dolphins winning much more from here on out.

25. Buffalo Bills (5-8, -4): Well, that was the final nail in their coffin. Please someone remind me to never get over-excited about early-season success of the Bills ever again. Although, their major downfall this season has been due to injuries. Unfortanutely, Fred Jackson is 30... the age that Runningbacks start to decline. I'm not sure how large the window is for the Bills to be successful.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9, -4): The Bucs dropped to a whole new level of sucking with a 41-14 loss to the freakin' Jaguars. I hate this team. They seem to cost me in fantasy every week. I drafted LeGarrette Blount... and whenever I start him... he does absolutely nothing... lights up my bench, though. Whenever I start a player against the Bucs, they suck. Further, my opponent seems to always have a player on the Bucs or playing the Bucs, that player breaks out and ruins me... I could not overcome Maurice Jones-Drew's four freakin' touchdowns this week. Okay, this is all sour grapes... rant over.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9, +3): And so the Jaguars show some serious signs of life under interim coach Mel Tucker. Will be interesting to see if they decide to keep him or not. Whatever he is doing, it's pretty good... the Jaguars have not even come close to scoring 41 all season. Of course, Blaine Gabbert still sucks... but at least the Jaguars have Maurice Jones-Drew.

28. Minnesota Vikings (2-11, -1): Even with all the mistakes Christian Ponder makes, this team is much more dangerous than its 2-11 record may indicate. They gave the Lions a hard time last Sunday. Jared Allen is beasting it with 17 sacks on the year, with three games still left to go. With Adrian Peterson likely coming back next week, this team is very, very dangerous. Playoff teams, beware, do not sleep on the Vikings!

29. Cleveland Browns (4-9, -1): The NFL is already looking into the Colt McCoy incident. If you haven't heard, Colt McCoy had an obvious concussion against the Steelers on Thursday night, but McCoy went back into the game anyway. When talking to his father after the game, Colt McCoy admitted that he doesn't even remember the game. Really? How could the Browns let this happen? Concussions are serious business. Someone is either negligent (as pretty much everyone thought it was a concussion) or purposefully put McCoy back out there. Either way, that someone needs to be fired.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (5-8, -1): From a football perspective, Todd Haley really should've had another chance. He is coming off a 10-6 year and still managed to get 5 wins despite the entire team seemingly going down to injury. However, I think it was the personal foul called against him against the Jets that was the final straw. No one wants a Head coach with attitude problems, especially GM Pioli, who wants to build the Chiefs in the Patriots' image.

31. St. Louis Rams (2-11, +0): The Rams continue to suck. I don't even know why they bothered starting Sam Bradford, who was obviously in pain and had not practiced all week. He looked inaccurate all game. Also the playcalling sucks. Troll Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called like 6 straight passing plays on the goalline instead of giving it to Steven Jackson to run in. WHY? This coaching staff needs to go. They have had a lot of defensive injuries, but still, their coaching staff is not helping the situation.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-13, +0): With the Colts all but clinching the 1st overall pick, the new question becomes what to do with it? Most NFL analysis seem to think Luck to the Colts is all but done. However, I still think there is a good possibility that they try to shop the pick. If they do draft Luck, what do you do with Peyton? Trade him, or keep him to mentor Luck? Peyton's feelings are obvious, he believes that Luck is ready to play in the NFL right now and would want him to start his rookie year. However, he wants to play. If Peyton is traded, who to? (I'm thinking the Jets). Either way, plenty of interesting discussion for a team that is 0-13.

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Last week: 12-4 (75.00%)
Billy's accuracy, Last week: 15-1 (93.75%)
AFS's* accuracy, Last week: 13-3 (81.25%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 137-71 (65.87%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 142-66 (68.27%)
AFS's* Overall 2011 accuracy: 139-69 (66.83%)
*American Football Simulator averages of 2,000 simulations.

Billy has taken a commanding lead with his 15-1 prediction week. Will any of us be able to come back? I hope I can, I would hate to hear his bragging at the end of the year!!

Jacksonville (4-9) @ Atlanta (8-5)
TheKillerNacho: I find it sad how pretty much every Thursday Night football commercial has to use the word "spoil" in order to sound like its worth watching. As usual, I don't buy it. Jacksonville won't be "spoiling" Atlanta here at home.
Jacksonville 16, Atlanta 26

Jacksonville 17, Atlanta 23

American Football Simulator:
Jacksonville 22, Atlanta 26

With Murray out, Felix Jones gets another shot.
Dallas (7-6) @ Tampa Bay (4-9)
TheKillerNacho: Welcome back, Saturday night Football! Unfortanutely, this game isn't going to be too thrilling as Tampa Bay sucks big time. Dallas should get a much-needed win here, in route to an epic finish against the Giants at the end of the season.
Dallas 28, Tampa Bay 20

Dallas 37, Tampa Bay 19

American Football Simulator:
Dallas 24, Tampa Bay 25

Cincinnati (7-6) @ St. Louis (2-11)
TheKillerNacho: There's not many more perfect chances at a rebound game then a game against St. Louis. As I mentioned in my power rankings, the Bengals need to win out. They should get an easy one here.
Cincinnati 24, St. Louis 6

Cincinnati 24, St. Louis 6

American Football Simulator:
Cincinnati 23, St. Louis 22

Green Bay (13-0) @ Kansas City (5-9)

TheKillerNacho: Recently, teams with interim coaches have been very dangerous... but I'm not buying this one against the league's best team. Kansas City is far too injured to really contend with the Packers.
Green Bay 27, Kansas City 13

Green Bay 45, Kansas City 3

American Football Simulator:
Green Bay 28, Kansas City 17

Carolina (4-9) @ Houston (10-3)
TheKillerNacho: Houston has clinched a playoff birth, but the battle for playoff position rages onward. The Panthers lack the defense the Bengals do to effectively shut down the Texans. But Houston better be careful, because Cam Newton could easily find an upset in him.
Carolina 23, Houston 24

Carolina 24, Houston 28

American Football Simulator:
Carolina 25, Houston 28

New Orleans (10-3) @ Minnesota (2-11)
TheKillerNacho: Good news for the Saints... another dome game... against one of the league's worst secondaries! Fun times.
New Orleans 31, Minnesota 23

New Orleans 31, Minnesota 17

American Football Simulator:
New Orleans 25, Minnesota 22

Skittles can be a powerful motivator.
Seattle (6-7) @ Chicago (7-6)
TheKillerNacho: Chicago just can't score points. And honestly, Seattle's offense is a lot like Denver's in that they can wear you down. I'm liking the Seahawks in this matchup.
Seattle 13, Chicago 10

Seattle 26, Chicago 16

American Football Simulator:
Seattle 19, Chicago 24

Washington (4-9) @ New York G (7-6)
TheKillerNacho: The Giants still remember the Week 1 upset to this very same Redskins team, and I don't think they'll let it happen again. The Giants expand their win streak to 2.
Washington 23, New York G 27

Washington 23, New York G 30

American Football Simulator:
Washington 19, New York G 24

Tennessee (7-6) @ Indianapolis (0-13)
TheKillerNacho: The Titans are in a must-win situation. The Colts are more dangerous at home, but Tennessee is still obviously the better team. Chris Johnson may be in for a field day.
Tennessee 23, Indianapolis 16

Tennessee 35, Indianapolis 12

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 25, Indianapolis 23

Miami (4-9) @ Buffalo (5-8)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams are mourning disappointing seasons. Both teams are demoralized. In Buffalo this time of year though, I don't like Miami's chances.
Miami 20, Buffalo 23

Miami 13, Buffalo 16

American Football Simulator:
Miami 22, Buffalo 23

Suh is back, and ready to make an impact!
Detroit (8-5) @ Oakland (7-6)
TheKillerNacho: Both teams need this game. Detroit cannot afford to fall behind in the NFC wildcard race. Oakland cannot afford to lose one more game since they are already trailing Denver for the division. Unfortanutely for Oakland, they way they have been playing lately, I don't see them winning this one.
Detroit 26, Oakland 20

Detroit 33, Oakland 24

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 22, Oakland 23

New York J (8-5) @ Philadelphia (5-8)
TheKillerNacho: Philly has the firepower to embrace their roll as spoilers, but I'm going to have to see it to believe it. The Jets have a good defense that should be able to shut down Michael Vick. LeSean McCoy is a problem, however.
New York J 23, Philadelphia 21

New York J 19, Philadelphia 25

American Football Simulator:
New York J 25, Philadelphia 26

Cleveland (4-9) @ Arizona (6-7)
TheKillerNacho: I think the Cardinals, at home, will find another way to pull a rabbit out of their hat. Dear God... could the Cardinals REALLY reach .500? How did this happen?
Cleveland 13, Arizona 23

Cleveland 9, Arizona 29

American Football Simulator:
Cleveland 24, Arizona 22

New England (10-3) @ Denver (8-5)
TheKillerNacho: This may be where the Tebow-shenanigans ends. I have serious doubts about Tebow in a shootout, and that's exactly what they'll get here with Tom Brady. Tebow may face an unwinnable game in the 4th quarter, this time around.
New England 28, Denver 21

New England 23, Denver 26

American Football Simulator:
New England 25, Denver 21

Will Rivers be able to keep his team on track against BAL?
Baltimore (10-3) @ San Diego (6-7)
TheKillerNacho: Baltimore has struggled on the road this season, and San Diego is seriously hot right now. But I just can't pick against Baltimore in this game.
Baltimore 27, San Diego 24

Baltimore 24, San Diego 14

American Football Simulator:
Baltimore 28, San Diego 24

Pittsburgh (10-3) @ San Francisco (10-3)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams are in the playoffs. But for both of these teams, this game is important due to playoff position. Both teams are looking at a first-round bye being on the line here. If Pittsburgh loses, this will put them in a bad position to overtake Baltimore for the division. If San Francisco loses, this will put them in a bad position behind New Orleans in the first-round bye race. Pittsburgh is the better team, but I like San Francisco at home.
Pittsburgh 20, San Francisco 23

Pittsburgh 24, San Francisco 21

American Football Simulator:
Pittsburgh 22, San Francisco 20

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers Which head coaches are most likely going to be fired sometime before next season? between Which of the following teams is most likely to win the 6th seed of the AFC? between the Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, or New York Jets. The Titans won the poll with 50%, with the Jets a close second with 37%. Only 12% believed in the Bengals. It seems the 37% that believed in the Jets may be correct, as after last week, they took a lead in the wildcard race. It still remains to be seen who will get in, though... the Bengals get the Rams this week, and the Titans get the Colts.

As I alluded to in the Colts section, there seems to be a lot of talk about what the Colts will do with the 1st overall pick. What do you believe the Colts will do with the 1st overall pick and Peyton Manning? between the Draft Luck & trade Peyton, Draft Luck & keep Peyton, Draft another player (Not Luck), or Trade the first overall pick? Will be interesting to see what readers think... Personally, I'm in the Draft Luck & trade Peyton boat.

Vote on the right-hand side of my blog!

1 comment:

  1. good analysis as usual. wish you would give the broncos more credit though! were gonna kill the broncos.