Usually I wait until the Monday night game is over before posting this, but
- Santa’s coming tonight so we all should be in bed early, and
- Anyone who feels the need to stay up through tonight’s game probably needs to reevaluate their miserable excuse for a life anyway
So, here are the rankings . . .
#32 Arizona Cardinals (3-12-0, -197, LW: 32)
#31 San Francisco 49ers (4-11-0, -77, LW: 30)
#30 Oakland Raiders (3-11-0, -158, LW: 31)
#29 Buffalo Bills (5-10-0, -130, LW: 29)
#28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10-0, -66, LW: 27)
#27 New York Jets (4-11-0, -73, LW: 26)
It’s been a special year for this Mickey Mouse outfit (in a league loaded with them). First they give the Clowns their first loss since Barack Obama was president, then Sam Darnold gives us our only Geno so far this season, then they hand the Packers their only road victory this season. Hard to believe the New York/New Jersey area has over 20 losses in the League of Jokes this season.
#26 Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10-0, -54, LW: 28)
#25 Detroit Lions (5-10-0, -67, LW: 24)
#24 Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-0, -84, LW: 25)
#23 New York Giants (5-10-0, -42, LW: 23)
Ah, the Giants. Earlier this year I mentioned how terrible they are defensively. Of course, because fans are idiots they talk is still about Eli Manning. Please ignore the 376 under the “PA” column in the standings. Oh, and also ignore that it is the highest number in the division. Oh, and ignore that it is also listed fourth. And ignore that there are only four teams in the division. Keep focusing on Eli Manning. The rest of the NFC East thanks you. Except for the Redskins, who want to take those headlines away from them.
#22 Miami Dolphins (7-8-0, -89, LW: 20)
#21 Atlanta Falcons (6-9-0, -11, LW: 22)
#20 Carolina Panthers (6-9-0, -25, LW: 18)
#19 Philadelphia Eagles (8-7-0, -5, LW: 19)
The defending champs need help to get back to the postseason and they have no one to blame but themselves. People like to pick one play here or one game there and say “that cost them a playoff spot” when the fact of the matter is that if they would have taken care of business against Dallas either time (lost both by a TD), at home against Minnesota (lost by two, trailed all game – again, AT HOME) – and would now be in the playoffs instead of looking in – at home against Carolina (led by 17 going into the fourth), or at Tennessee (kicked a late FG to tie it in regulation instead of getting the winning TD, gave up the winning TD with five seconds left in OT) and they wouldn’t need help. Good teams help themselves.
#18 Green Bay Packers (6-8-1, +7, LW: 21)
#17 Washington Redskins (7-8-0, -54, LW: 15)
#16 Cleveland Browns (7-7-1, -31, LW: 17)
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1, +65, LW: 11)
#14 Denver Broncos (6-8-0, +7, LW: 14)
#13 Tennessee Titans (9-6-0, +23, LW: 16)
Mike Vrabel is from the Bill Belichick coaching tree and he is already showing some of that this season. You supposedly need an elite quarterback; the Titans have anything but that. You need to make big plays; they have given up more than they have made. Yet they have given up a league low 270 points and are somehow they are a win away from making the playoffs.
#12 Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1, +33, LW: 13)
#11 Dallas Cowboys (9-6-0, +14, LW: 12)
#10 Indianapolis Colts (9-6-0, +73, LW: 9)
#9 Baltimore Ravens (9-6-0, +102, LW: 10)
#8 Los Angeles Chargers (11-4-0, +83, LW: 6)
#7 New England Patriots (10-5-0, +76, LW: 8)
#6 Houston Texans (10-5-0, +69, LW: 5)
Coming into the week the Texans were looking to possibly sew up a first round bye. Now they are hoping to avoid having to travel wild card weekend. The biggest reason for that is a pass defense that ranked 22nd in the league entering Week 16 according to DVOA. I didn’t like their Super Bowl chances entering the week because of this and knowing that a trip to either KC or Los Angeles would be a problem. Now, after pointing out how valuable the bye week is for one’s chances, well, Houston, there may be a problem . . .
#5 Kansas City Chiefs (11-4-0, +112, LW: 4)
#4 Seattle Seahawks (9-6-0, +78, LW: 7)
A win last week and Seattle would have already clinched a playoff spot. Anyway, the biggest problem the Seahawks will have should they get in – at the moment I’m typing they are playing K.C. – is that they really have no serious identity. The days of the Legion of Boom are gone, they aren’t exactly explosive offensively, they are only .500 on the road (and they will have to travel in the playoffs). I mean, does anyone really fear this team?
#3 Los Angeles Rams (12-3-0, +127, LW: 3)
Ah, the revitalizing power of the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears’ ugly win in San Fran means the Rams still have to eek out one more win to get a much needed bye in the playoffs. The Rams are very dependent on the run, not only to keep the pressure off of their passing game, but also to keep their defense off the field because (dirty little secret) they really can’t stop anyone. C.J. Anderson gave them a boost this week, but a healthy Todd Gurley will be needed if the Rams want to get the city back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 35 years.
#2 Chicago Bears (11-4-0, +124, LW: 2)
#1 New Orleans Saints (13-2-0, +170, LW: 1)
Next week is the final one of these. Before that a Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, and may Pittsburgh win the early game so that Browns fans have to decide if they want to see the Steelers or the Ravens in the playoffs.