Welcome to the Cheesiest Blog on the Web

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NFL 2012 Week 14 Power Rankings and Predictions

Overall, a good week for me in the NFL. My Dolphins won, all my fantasy teams won, and I took another step forward in these Predictions, beating both Billy and the AFS. Let's see how last week shuffled up the Power Rankings, shall we?

Biggest Winner: Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys (+3)
Biggest Loser: New Orleans Saints (-6)

1. Houston Texans (11-1, +0): A dominating win over the division rival Tennessee Titans secures the Texans spot as #1 for another week. Its nice to see the Texans handily defeat a foe again - instead of letting bad teams stick around and barely winning in overtime. The Texans face a much more difficult challenge against the Patriots on Monday night.

2. Atlanta Falcons (11-1, +3): Honestly, I have no idea what made me put the Falcons so low, this defense is legitimate. Even when the offense struggles, the defense stops opponents when they need to, as they did on Thursday night's 23-13 victory over Drew Brees and the Saints - a game that snapped Drew Brees' touchdown streak, and made him throw four interceptions in the process.

3. New England Patriots (9-3, +0): The Patriots survived a dangerous trap game against the Dolphins on Sunday. Tom Brady and the Patriots offensive line struggled at times to contain a fierce Miami front 7, but ultimately their offense and an improved defense resulted in the Patriots edging the Dolphins, clinching yet another AFC East championship. They now have a chance to make a run at #1 AFC seed, as they face the Texans on Monday night.

4. San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1, -2): Who would've thought the 49ers would be unable to defeat the "lowly" Rams this season? Second-year Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who won the job from Alex Smith a couple of weeks ago, had some growing pains against St. Louis - leading the 49ers to just 13 points. I expect Kaepernick and the 49ers as a team to bounce back, however. They're still the heavy favorites to win the NFC West.

5. New York Giants (7-5, -1): The Giants are a team that really makes me hurt myself in my confusion. They seem to be capable of blowing out good teams, like the Packers in Week 12 but seem to struggle to defeat teams they should beat, as they lose to the Redskins last Monday night by a score of 16-17. There is no doubt in my mind the Giants will bounce back... but they're now extremely vulnerable on top of the NFC East.

6. Green Bay Packers (8-4, +0): Coming off being blown out by the Giants, the Packers responded in a must-win situation with a big win over the Vikings, to push them to 8-4. Combined with the Bears' loss to the Seahawks, the Packers are now back on top in the NFC North. They face another division matchup against the Lions in Week 14.

7. Denver Broncos (9-3, +1): After struggling against the Chiefs, the Broncos rebounded with a solid win against the Buccaneers, a team that has been very good this year. Peyton Manning played well but even more so, the Broncos defense stepped up. Von Miller's pick six of Josh Freeman was what put the Broncos in the lead they were able to maintain until the end of the game.

8. Chicago Bears (8-4, -1): The Bears defense wore down late against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 13, losing the game in overtime 23-17. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall kept the Bears in it, but it wasn't enough. The Bears have lost against most other playoff contenders this season, not a good sign for a team looking to make a championship run.

9. Baltimore Ravens (9-3, +0): I would move the Ravens down due to their loss against Pittsburgh, but there really isn't any team worthy of moving up. The Ravens had a lead during halftime but the Steelers came out and completely countered the Ravens' gameplan in the second half. Its not a good sign when the Charlie Batch-led Steelers can come back from behind to win against your defense.

10. Seattle Seahawks (7-5, +1): A big road win against the Bears pushes Seattle back into the Top 10. With the Bucs, Vikings, and Saints all losing, the Seahawks have a pretty comfortable lead in a tight NFC wildcard race. They will face what should be a pretty easy game against the division-rival Cardinals in Week 14.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5, +3): It would be unwise to sleep on the Bengals now, they have been very good down the stretch. After a dominating win against the Giants, the Bengals have gone full-steam ahead and haven't looked back. They face another playoff hopeful in the Cowboys in Week 14 - which is a big game for the wildcard race in both conferences.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6, -2): A loss against Denver hurt the Bucs a lot when it comes to the NFC wildcard race, especially with Seattle winning. Now, the Bucs need to win out pretty much to keep their chances alive. According to PlayoffStatus, the Buccaneers have an 79% chance to make the playoffs if they win out... but that drops to just 19% if they lose a single game.

13. Indianapolis Colts (8-4, +1): Andrew Luck has done phenomenal things to this Colts offense. Its hard to believe that a rookie Quarterback has been the difference between a 2-14 2011 campaign and a 8-4 start this year. He led the Colts back from a huge deficit against Detroit to a 35-33 last-minute victory. At 8-4, the Colts have a very comfortable lead for an AFC wildcard birth.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, +2): Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Ravens was a huge one for the Steelers, as they showed they are not going to back down and give up even after losing their first two Quarterbacks. Charlie Batch had a roller-coaster type evening, filled with good and bad throws, but ultimately played well enough to lead the Steelers to a comeback victory. They get an easier game against the Chargers in Week 14.

15. Washington Redskins (6-6, +2): Like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III is showing he can be a difference-maker for the Redskins. Its hard to believe coming back from an early-season hole, but the Redskins are only one game behind the Giants in the NFC East following their Monday night win over them. The Redskins can certainly beat out the former champions.

16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6, -1): Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature. The future hall of fame Runningback ran for over 200 yards against the Packers, but unfortunately, that wasn't enough. Christian Ponder's two redzone interceptions combined with the defense wearing down in the 4th quarter led the Vikings to lose to the rival Packers 23-14. This is a big blow for the Vikings, who are now in a hole in the NFC wildcard race.

17. Dallas Cowboys (6-6, +3): Rebounding from a Thanksgiving loss to the Redskins with a big win against Philadelphia, the Cowboys are also just one game behind the Giants in the NFC East. Dez Bryant has been amazing in the last two games, and is quickly becoming an elite wide receiver. The Cowboys will be fighting for their playoff lives in every week from here on out.

18. New Orleans Saints (5-7, -6): And so ends Drew Brees' consecutive touchdown streak as well as any chances the Saints had left for a wildcard birth this season. While the Saints are still dangerous, an obviously demoralized team won't be as threatening as they were when they were red-hot a couple of weeks ago. Time will tell if they can embrace their role as spoiler... they travel to New York to face the win-needy Giants in Week 14.

19. St. Louis Rams (5-6-1, +2): There is no doubt in my mind that Jeff Fisher has been the answer in St. Louis, this is a completely different Rams team than we've seen over, well, the past decade. These Rams are playing with confidence; they have a strong defense combined with a solid offense. While they're a long-shot to make the playoffs this year, they are a team you should keep your eye on going into 2013.

20. Detroit Lions (4-8, -2): The good news for the Lions is that their fanbase is used to disappointing losses. The Lions lost their second straight game to a comeback victory, this time on a 4th down conversion for a touchdown by rookie Andrew Luck at the end of the game. A playoff team last year, the Lions haven't been able to catch a break this year. I still think they're a solid team, and it wouldn't surprise me if they are able to put together some good games going into next season.

21. Buffalo Bills (5-7, +1): Buffalo's defense showed up, which is nice to see, as they gave trouble to Chad Henne all game long. Meanwhile, the Bills had a good day offensively, doing a good job mixing it up with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. I still think Spiller is under-utilized, but the Bills really have two good backs to work with.

22Miami Dolphins (5-7, +1): The Dolphins defense played hard against Tom Brady and the Patriots in Week 13, keeping the Dolphins in the game all the way through the game. But as usual, this Dolphins offense is making offense look hard in their 23-16 defeat. Penalties and mistakes killed the Dolphins in this game, but it is a good sign that the Dolphins were able to play the Patriots so close. They face another hard game though with the 49ers this week.

23. San Diego Chargers (4-8, -4): The Chargers seem to be in full tank-mode. Nothing has gone right for the Chargers this year, and I'd expect huge changes this off-season. I don't expect either GM A.J. Green nor HC Norv Turner to be back next season. Even Philip Rivers' job isn't completely safe - he's been nothing more than average this year. Were Rivers' great years from 2008 to 2010 really just a product of a good supporting cast?

24. Tennessee Titans (4-8, +0): As expected, the Titans lost to the #1 Texans on Sunday. There usually isn't an abundance of good things that can come from a 24-10 loss, but the Titans are a bit of an exception. Kenny Britt looks to be nearly completely recovered from his injury last year, as he caught a big touchdown from Jake Locker to keep the game close. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if this was Munchak's last year as head coach. Buddy Nix has made it clear that this season has been a major disappointment to him.

25. New York Jets (5-7, +0): Mark Sanchez has to be one of the worst prolonged starters in recent memory. After throwing three picks to the Cardinals defense, he was eventually benched for Greg McElroy, who was able to lead the Jets to a touchdown. This touchdown ended up being enough to get the win due to Cardinals offensive ineptitude, but its really a game that neither team deserved to win.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-8, +1): The Browns' young players are steadily improving over the course of this season but one has to wonder if this is enough for Pat Shurmur to keep his job as head coach. With his biggest supporter int he front office, Mike Holmgren, canned, Shurmur probably needed a winning season to keep his job. We'll see what the Browns new owner will do this off-season, though.

27Carolina Panthers (3-9, -1): The Panthers had to face a very emotional Chiefs team in Week 13, and ended up losing 21-27. Cam Newton played well but the Panthers defense was horrendous, letting Brady Quinn easily complete passes and stay on the field all game long. This isn't anything new for Newton, though. The Panthers defense has been notoriously bad the last two seasons. I'm shocked that DC Sean McDermott still has his job.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (3-9, +1): The Eagles are awful, but I'll move them up by one this week simply for the dangerous factor. The Eagles ultimately lost but showed some positive things against the Cowboys on Sunday night. First and foremost, Bryce Brown has looked amazing. Brown has the talent - he was ranked #1 over Trent Richardson as a high-school prospect. But due to him being a headcase, never succeeded at the college level. He seems to be turning around his career with the Eagles.

29. Arizona Cardinals (4-8, -1): Three words that describe Ryan Lindley and the Cardinals offense: L.O.L. I guess you can't blame a late-round rookie too much considering the Cardinals' horrendous offensive line and lack of weapons aside from Larry Fitzgerald, but c'mon... a 7-6 loss to the Jets after your defense picked off Mark Sanchez three times? C'mon, man.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10, +0): Maybe Chad Henne isn't the answer, after all. After two very good weeks, Henne struggled against the Bills, not being able to get anything going. The Jaguars also struggled to run the ball against the Bills' poor run defense. Defensively, injuries have piled up for the Jaguars and they got slaughtered by the running attack of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Perhaps the best news for the Jaguars was that the Chiefs ended up winning last week, improving the Jaguars' chances at landing Geno Smith.

31. Oakland Raiders (3-9, +0): With the Raiders losing to another poor team in the Browns, it secures their spot at near the bottom of these power rankings. Trying to mix in Terrelle Pryor with Carson Palmer isn't the answer. While I doubt Pryor is the answer for the Raiders, you mine as well give the kid a shot in a lost season. I expect Palmer to get benched eventually as they give Pryor a shot.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-10, +0): With the tragedy of Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide looming over their heads, the Chiefs came out and got an emotional victory against the Panthers in Week 13. Brady Quinn looked poised, completing pass after pass to keep the Chiefs on the field and Cam Newton on the sideline. I still consider the Chiefs to be the worst team in the NFL, however.

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's last week accuracy: 11-5 (68.75%)
Billy's last week accuracy: 10-6 (62.50%)
AFS's* last week accuracy: 8-8 (50.00%)

TKN's Overall 2012 accuracy: 123-69 (64.06%)
Billy's Overall 2012 accuracy: 110-82 (57.29%)
AFS's* Overall 2012 accuracy: 121-71 (63.02%)
*American Football Simulator averages of 2,000 simulations.

With another poor week by the simulator and another 11-5 week for me, I've finally taken the lead in our predictions! Billy also had a good week with 10-6, but is still in a big hole due to issues earlier in the season... Let's jump into Week 14, shall we?

Peyton should lead the Broncos to win against the Raiders.
Denver Broncos (9-3) @ Oakland Raiders (3-9)
TheKillerNacho: Yes, its Thursday night football and a divisional rivalry and anything can happen under those conditions... but no way am I betting against Peyton Manning against the Raiders.
Denver 30, Oakland 17

Denver 27, Oakland 20

American  Football Simulator:
Denver 23, Oakland 21

San Diego Chargers (4-8) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
TheKillerNacho: The Chargers will find a way to lose the game against the Steelers. With Troy Polamalu back on defense, the Steelers defense should be good enough to let Charlie Batch score a few points against the Chargers' un-clutch defense.
San Diego 20, Pittsburgh 23

San Diego 20, Pittsburgh 38

American  Football Simulator:
San Diego 22, Pittsburgh 24

Tennessee Titans (4-8) @ Indianapolis Colts (8-4)
TheKillerNacho: The Colts and Andrew Luck are as hot as ever, and should continue their hot-streak against the lowly Titans in Week 14. Of course, it is a division rivalry...
Tennessee 21, Indianapolis 28

Tennessee 21, Indianapolis 35

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 24, Indianapolis 23

New York Jets (5-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
TheKillerNacho: This is a really tough game for me to pick... both teams have been horrible in recent weeks. Neither is a team I would pick in most situations in Pick'em. I guess I'd give a slight edge to the Jets...
New York J 13, Jacksonville 10

New York J 14, Jacksonville 30

American Football Simulator:
New York J 23, Jacksonville 20

Brandon Marshall needs to continue making big plays against MIN.
Chicago Bears (8-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
TheKillerNacho: This should be an interesting matchup. The Vikings are desperate and at home, but the Bears are equally desperate, so they can keep up with the Packers in the NFC North race. I like the Bears to force a couple turnovers from the Vikings, enough to win the game. But anything can happen here.
Chicago 24, Minnesota 23

Chicago 22, Minnesota 31

American Football Simulator:
Chicago 23, Minnesota 22

Atlanta Falcons (11-1) @ Carolina Panthers (3-9)
TheKillerNacho: Hmm... should I pick the 11-1 Falcons or the 3-9 Panthers? Yeah, that's a really tough choice...
Atlanta 29, Carolina 23

Atlanta 34, Carolina 24

American Football Simulator:
Atlanta 28, Carolina 25

Philadelphia Eagles (3-9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)
TheKillerNacho: The Buccaneers have been very good against the run this year, so don't expect Bryce Brown to have a huge game as he did the last couple weeks. The Bucs need this win and the Eagles continue to spiral out of control... so I'm going with the Bucs, here.
Philadelphia 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24

Philadelphia 16, Tampa Bay 41

American Football Simulator:
Philadelphia 23, Tampa Bay 26

St. Louis Rams (5-6-1) @ Buffalo Bills (5-7)
TheKillerNacho: This should be a good matchup of teams trying to show something positive near the end of the year. I think Jeff Fisher's Rams are the better overall team, so I like them to go into Buffalo and get a close win.
St. Louis 24, Buffalo 21

St. Louis 20, Buffalo 23

American Football Simulator:
St. Louis 23, Buffalo 24

Dallas Cowboys (6-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
TheKillerNacho: I like the Bengals to win this critical playoff matchup, they're simply one of the hottest teams in football right now while the Cowboys are just scrapping by.
Dallas 24, Cincinnati 27

Dallas 17, Cincinnati 26

American Football Simulator:
Dallas 24, Cincinnati 22

RG3 has a big challenge ahead against the Ravens defense.
Baltimore Ravens (9-3) @ Washington Redskins (6-6)
TheKillerNacho: Its hard to beg against Robert Griffin III but I truly believe the Ravens will find a way to rebound here. The Redskins defense isn't great against the run so Ray Rice should have a pretty good game. Meanwhile, the Ravens defense should be good enough to limit Griffin's big plays to a minimum.
Baltimore 26, Washington 24

Baltimore 20, Washington 27

American Football Simulator:
Baltimore 24, Washington 26

Kansas City Chiefs (2-10) @ Cleveland Browns (4-8)
TheKillerNacho: I'm going with the Browns in this Scum Bowl. The Browns have simply the better defense so I don't think Brady Quinn will have his second straight good game against his former team.
Kansas City 17, Cleveland 20

Kansas City 17, Cleveland 28

American Football Simulator:
Kansas City 21, Cleveland 22

Miami Dolphins (5-7) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1)
TheKillerNacho: The Miami Dolphins will struggle on the road against the 49ers' elite defense. While I think the Dolphins defense should give trouble to Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers running game too, they'll ultimately find a way to score enough points to edge out the Dolphins.
Miami 17, San Francisco 20

Miami 13, San Francisco 20

American Football Simulator:
Miami 18, San Francisco 27

New Orleans Saints (5-7) @ New York Giants (7-5)
TheKillerNacho: Could the Saints come into New York and play spoiler? Almost certainly... the Giants have shown that any team can beat them on any given Sunday. But the Giants are great at bouncing back. I'll go with the Giants here at home.
New Orleans 27, New York G 28

New Orleans 52, New York G 30

American Football Simulator:
New Orleans 24, New York G 25

Arizona Cardinals (4-8) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-5)
TheKillerNacho: Between the two rookie Quarterbacks... I'm just going to take a hunch that Russell Wilson will beat out Ryan Lindley. Just saying.
Arizona 6, Seattle 17

Arizona 21, Seattle 31

American Football Simulator:
Arizona 20, Seattle 24

How many more disappointing losses can the Lions take?
Detroit Lions (4-8) @ Green Bay Packers (8-4)
TheKillerNacho: Sunday night's game features the Lions and the Packers. While the Lions are perfectly capable of pulling off an upset... we've seen recently that even if they do get a lead they're probably going to blow it. Give me Aaron Rodgers, here.
Detroit 24, Green Bay 28

Detroit 24, Green Bay 44

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 23, Green Bay 27

Houston Texans (11-1) @ New England Patriots (9-3)
TheKillerNacho: This is going to be an awesome game, with the two top teams in the AFC facing off. This would be huge for the Patriots, as it would put them just half a game back from the #1 seed. I think at home, with how Houston has been playing lately, its a game the Patriots will win.
Houston 27, New England 30

Houston 40, New England 43

American Football Simulator:
Houston 24, New England 26

Question of the Week

Two weeks ago, I asked "Of all the 6-5 and 5-6 NFC teams, which team is most likely to earn a wildcard playoff birth?" between the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, or the New Orleans Saints? There was a lot of opinions running around for this poll but ultimately the consensus agreed with the mathematics, giving the Seahawks the win at 30% of the vote. The Vikings and Saitns came in a close second with 23% while the Redskins was third with 15%. Rounding out the bottom, was the Buccaneers with 7% and no votes for the Cowboys.

There are a lot of teams that have coaches on the hotseat. This week's question is, "Which coaches do you believe will be fired before next season?" between Romeo Crennel (KC), Ron Rivera (CAR), Ken Whisehunt (ARI), Rex Ryan (NYJ), Chan Gailey (BUF), Andy Reid (PHI), Jason Garrett (DAL), Pat Shurmur (CLE), Mike Munchak (TEN) and Norv Turner (SD)? You can check multiple answers! These guys seem to be the consensus of coaches that may not be back next year. Personally I think from this list we'll see Crennel, Reid, Garrett, Shurmur, Munchak, and Turner gone while the others keep their job for another year.

Vote on the right-hand side of my blog!!

No comments:

Post a Comment