Welcome back to the MikesPickz Power Rankings!
Last week was a terrible week for MikesPickz. I experienced my worst game picking week in the 4 year history of picking games with the spread, but the positive news is that I am still on pace to have the best season of my 4 year history.
Now to the NFL action from week 15. There were several notable stories including the Cowboys handing the Saints their first loss of the season, leaving the Colts as the only remaining unbeaten team. Josh Cribbs set the NFL record for most career kick returned for a touchdown (he had 2 against the Chiefs giving him 8 on his amazing and young career) and in the same game his teammate, Jerome Harrison, rushed for 285 yards, the 3rd most in NFL history.
On of the biggest stories of the day was the Steelers – Packers instant classic. The Steelers took the lead late in the 4th quarter and decided to onside kick, they touched it early and that gave the Packers a chance to take the lead back. The Packers scored quickly and it turns out they scored 1 second too quick. The Packers got a 2 point conversion and then kicked it off to the Steelers. The Steelers marched down the field and with zero seconds left on the clock Big Ben threw for his 503rd yard. It was a perfect pass and a perfect catch by Mike Wallace. In fact if you missed it, you must check it out below:
Now it’s time for the rankings:
- Colts– The only unbeaten team in the NFL is clearly the #1 team in the league.
- Saints- The loss to the Cowboys was big because it was in New Orleans. I think New Orleans takes that game as a wake up call, because they had been close to losing the past few weeks. I expect the Saints to play hard the remainder of the season.
- Eagles– The Eagles are a very talented team and every team should be on the watch for them. My one concern with the Eagles is that they live on the big play. DeSean Jackson is an amazing player, but he might have an off game and that would really hurt the Eagles offense.
- Chargers- The Chargers have the best receiving core in the NFL and I think at this time, they could beat any team in the NFL (including the Colts). I can not wait to watch the Chargers play the Colts for a chance at the Superbowl.
- Packers– I don’t take the loss to the Steelers as a set back for the Packers. The Packers will make the playoffs and they did not play poorly in the Steelers’ game. The offensive line is still not great, but it is much improved from the beginning of the season and that is making a huge difference. It doesn’t hurt that they have the league’s beat turnover differential at +18.
- Vikings- I am starting to worry about the Vikings. Another blow-out loss, this time to a team they should have blown out. Favre is in the news with drama and that is not a good thing for the team. Even more alarming is the fact that Adrian Peterson has been MIA on the field for the past 3 weeks.
- Patriots– Everyone was talking about how the Patriots are finished and all the Moss drama, but to me that will comeback to bite people. You can not rule out a team with Brady, Moss and Welker that is coached by Belichick.
- Ravens– The Ravens have been playing some of the league’s best football over the past two weeks, albeit against bad teams. This week against the Steelers will be a real test because of the intense rivalry.
- Cowboys- OK, before Cowboy fans start hating on the #9 ranking, take the time to look at weeks 10-15 and tell me how impressive it was. The win in New Orleans was huge, but the real test is how they follow it up in Washington. I am glad that they replaced Folk, but Suisham is not much better.
- Giants– The Giants have played well enough to be in the hunt for the playoffs. The blowout they handed the Redskins was huge, but I am not convinced they have what it takes to get to the Superbowl.
- Bengals– The Bengals have had two tough losses in Minnesota and in San Diego, but the losses give me some doubt about their chances in the playoffs. The past two losses are against playoff bound teams, and they needed to be able to win at least one of those games.
- Titans- The Titans have done it- they went from 0-6 to 7-7 and now have a legit chance at making the playoffs, and honestly I don’t think they can pull it off. They are one game behind the Broncos and they have to play the Chargers on Christmas. I don’t think that they can beat the Chargers, but the good news is that I don’t think the Broncos can beat the Eagles this week either.
- Broncos– The Broncos have a chance at choking a sure thing playoff bid for the second year in a row. I am worried if I am a Denver Broncos fan.
- Cards– The Cards are lucky that they played in the NFC West, otherwise they would not be making the playoffs this season. They got embarrassed by the 49ers and then almost blew the game to the Lions last week.
- Dolphins– A poor conference record has the playoffs looking like a distant memory.
- Jets– Out of all the 7-7 AFC teams, the Jets are in the most interesting scenario. They have the toughest remaining schedule (Colts and Bengals), but I think they have a shot at winning out. The Colts and Bengals won’t have anything to play for when they versus the Jets and that could lead to some benchings which would give the Jets a chance, BUT that is a lot to bank your season on.
- 49ers– The 49ers should be able to win the last 2 games and finish at .500, which is a perfect building block for next season. Watch out for the 49ers in 2010.
- Falcons- The Falcons didn’t beat the Jets last week, the Jets beat themselves.
- Texans– The Texans are the least likely team on the AFC bubble to make the playoffs because of their below .500 conference record. The Texans have been far too inconsistent this season (they should have blown the Rams out last week).
- Panthers– The Panthers’ win over the Vikings kept the NFC interesting- now the Eagles have a shot to get a first round BYE.
- Jaguars– The loss to the Colts in week 15 left the Jaguars’ playoff fate out of their control, not the situation they were hoping for. I don’t like the Jaguars chances to make the playoffs this season. It is scary that they are 7-7 with a -56 point differential.
- Steelers- The Steelers are still this low in the rankings because an unconvincing win against the Packers does not erase a 5 game losing streak (in which they lost to some pretty bad teams). It was unconvincing because they won on the last play of the game, they could easily be on a 6 game losing streak right now. But, a win against the Ravens this week will cause their stock to rise quite a bit.
- Bills- The Bills don’t have much to look forward to this season. They can beat the Falcons this week and maybe they can beat the Colts in week 17 (if the Colts bench EVERYONE).
- Raiders– The Raiders continue to play spoiler this season. They now have victories against the Eagles, Bengals, Steelers and Broncos.
- Seahawks- I think last week assured me that the Seahawks have given up on this season.
- Bears– Jay Cutler has been exactly what they thought they were getting rid of with Orton. This shows that maybe the issue is deeper than the QB position?
- Chiefs– The Chiefs at home in December used to be extremely tough to beat, not anymore.
- Browns– The Browns have a 2 game winning streak right now. Wow, I didn’t think I’d say that this season.
- Redskins– The Redskins forgot that they had a game on Monday Night, and they certainly got embarrassed for that.
- Bucs– Nice win against the Seahawks, but the win cemented the Rams getting the #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
- Lions– The Lions played the Cards tough last week, but without Stafford this week, the 49ers might shut them out. The Lions played much better than they did last season and they should hopeful looking into the future.
- Rams- I don’t see a win in their last two games (Cards and 49ers). They will get the #1 pick in the draft and they will look to rebuild in the future, but I don’t see them being competitive next year either (they are missing too many pieces).
That is going to do it for this week’s rankings. Feel free to comment below, or send me a tweet (@MikesPickz).
And I hope all my readers have a Happy Holidays!