Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

I almost did a reverse power rankings on, "Who really deserves the first overall pick in the draft?" inspired by that horrendous Monday Night Football game that got Trent Dilfer and Steve Young all sorts of riled up.  Seriously, if the Jets and the Titans, talent wise, was not enough of a suck salad, the thick bleu cheese dressing on top was the fact that it was on Monday night and there simply was no other place to go for football. Now that I have that rant out of the way (there's more if you want me to go into the Arizona Cardinals that even the Cardinals hate the Cardinals), it's time to look at teams that look like they are really going to make some noise in the second season.  To all Redskins fans: start getting giddy now.



  1. New England Patriots (10-4): Yes they were beaten at home by the 49ers this past week, but that does not shake my confidence in Brady, Belichek, and the rest of the Patriots.  When Gronk comes back, the vertical element that has been lacking will return to the Patriots offense because so much attention has to be paid to the two TEs in the middle of the field.  San Francisco is one of the few teams that can dare the Patriots to throw the ball deep and not get burned.  Gronk will end that upon his return.  I'm still a buyer in Patriots stock.  Last Week: 1
  2. San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1): If David Akers makes two very makable field goals against the Rams, the Niners would easily be 12-2.  If Colin Kaepernick can match the efficiency (not the 4 tds, but that'd be nice) he showed against New England (in bad weather, mind you) by having a 107.7 rating (79.5 QBR), the San Francisco will have the quarterback play that can win them games instead of not losing them.  It's a big if, but I was high on Kaepernick since the draft process, and thought he landed in the perfect spot to develop both as a runner and a passer.  Last Week: 3
  3. Denver  Broncos (11-3): Tell me if this sounds familiar: A Peyton Manning-led offense establishes a lead, and then the defense is filled with sack artists who terrorize opposing QBs who are constantly in comeback mode and forced to pass.  Substitute Von Miller and Elvis Dumervile in Denver for Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney in the Indianapolis days and the teams are a virtual clone.  John Elway will not get it, but he deserves mention for NFL Executive  of the Year.  The transition from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning took three games.  That's it.  Great work by the organization.  My Chargers can learn something from this....  Last Week: 4
  4.  New York Giants (8-6): This may be my last week on the Giants bandwagon, but I simply trust them when their backs are against the wall.  Yes, they put up a huge stinker in Atlanta.  Yes, they scored zero points.  But I simply chalk it up to a terrible week with two more to go.  I'm a holder of Giants stock: neither buying more or selling off.  One of the few teams that rarely has to blitz to get quarterback pressure.  Throw in a two-time Super Bowl MVP in Eli Manning and you got a good formula for success.  Last Week: 2
  5. Green Bay Packers (10-4): Would be the #2 seed in the NFC if not for that horrendous call against the Seahawks that ended the reign of the replacement referees.  Could prove very costly if they have to face San Francisco in San Fran rather than the friendly confines of Lambeu Field.  They won't cry about it too much for they are going to start getting healthy at the exact right time.  Made the Bears look like the Cubs (see what  I did there?) they really are.  If an Aaron Rodgers-led team can fly under the radar, then this it.  Last Week: 5
  6. Atlanta Falcons (12-2): Great statement win by Atlanta over the Giants this week.  Again, a home game during the regular season does not an elite team make.  Show me this kind of effort in the playoffs, then we'll talk.  They don't have much to play for (can lock up #1 seed this weekend) going forward, but their true test will be in the playoffs, where even their Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez has never won a game (couldn't believe that when I discovered this).  Last Week: 7
  7. Houston Texans (12-2): Good job by them locking up the division against Indianapolis, but still needs to show it in the postseason.  If all they were missing last year was Matt Schaub, then we will hopefully see if that's true in a few weeks.  Would love to see someone other than Andre Johnson step up in their passing attack.  Could be Achilles Heel in the playoffs.  Last Week: 6
  8. Seattle Seahawks (9-5): Almost put them ahead of a division leader in Baltimore last week, and will do so this week.  I know they likely won't play a home game in the playoffs, but good defense travels well.  The pending Robert Sherman suspension could also be a real killer, but as of right now, he's playing.  Russell Wilson is really progressing nicely as a quarterback and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Pete Carroll has done a fantastic job coaching up this team.  They play hard for their coach and their effort has afforded them a 9-5 record.  Last Week: 9
  9. Baltimore Ravens (9-5): They are trying to revert back to their super bowl winning strategy of playing zero offense and count on their defense to set the offense up.  One problem: Their defense isn't that great.  Firing Cam Cameron this late into the season will prove to be a huge mistake.  That offense looked horrendous last week, and not even Ray Lewis potentially returning from a Triceps injury can do anything about it.  I want to know what the Baltimore medical staff is doing that both Lewis and fellow linebacker Terrell Suggs returned so early from what are normally season-ending injuries.  Roids/HGH alert here.  Last Week: 8
  10. Washington Redskins (8-6): How bout them Redskins?!  Big win last week without their stud QB Robert Griffin III (or, as I like to call him, Bobby "Three Sticks").  Kirk Cousins is an NFL-Starter quality quarterback.  I wrote when he was drafted, "Too bad he went to RG3's Redskins...his promising career is now over."  I still believe that as long as he is in Washington when RG3 is, his career is meaningless.  I just hope that he doesn't pan out like how Kevin Kolb in Philly/Arizona did.  The Redskins need to shore up their pass defense for them to even have a sniff at the super bowl, but RG3 will keep them in a bunch of games with his playmaking ability.  Like Seattle's Defense, the Redskins running game travels nicely in the playoffs.  Last Week: NR
Others Receiving Consideration (in order): Indianapolis Colts (9-5), Dallas Cowboys (8-6), Chicago Bears (8-6), Minnesota Vikings (8-6)

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