TOJ NFL Power Rankings – Week 13

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December Football is hard to beat as is, but it should be even more interesting this year with every division race still open and tons of division games still left on the schedule. Here are the rankings heading into week 13, how stupid am I? This stupid…

1. Atlanta Falcons (9-2) – The Falcons have arguably the best home field advantage in the NFL and Matt Ryan is playing like an elite quarterback.

2. New York Jets (9-2) – Have a great opportunity to shut everybody up who refuses to give them respect this Monday Night.

3. New England Patriots (9-2) – Can hop into the driver’s seat of the AFC East by beating their rivals at home.

4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) – They are looking for a season sweep of the Steelers, which would go a long way to locking down the AFC North.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) – Their inconsistency has been concerning but they still are in position for a bye, if they can take care of the Ravens on the road this Sunday night.

6. Chicago Bears (8-3) – Time to give them some respect.

7. New Orleans Saints (8-3) – The defending champs could end up settling for a wild-card spot with how well Atlanta is playing.

8. San Diego Chargers (6-5) – It is hard to see them not winning at least 4 of their last 5 and taking the AFC West.

9. Green Bay Packers (7-4) – They have been playing very well but somehow still sit a game behind the Bears and don’t have the tiebreaker with them, thanks to an early season loss.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) – Mike Vick and company get a quick chance to bounce back on Thursday against Houston and their awful secondary.

11. New York Giants (7-4) – A big second half comeback keeps them in good position in the crowded NFC Playoff picture.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) – Dwayne Bowe is playing out of his mind right now. I still like the Chargers in their division though.

13. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-4) – They will eventually have to beat a team with a winning record if they want to make the playoffs. How about this week against Atlanta?

14. Miami Dolphins (6-5) – Impressive win over Oakland but they are 3 games out in the AFC East…playoffs just aren’t happening.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) – They had a real chance to grab control of the AFC South but choked it away in the second half against the Giants.

16. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (6-5) – The Colts aren’t a good football team right now but are still the favorites in the turd bowl AFC South.

17. Houston Texans (5-6) – They need to beat the Eagles this Thursday on the road to keep themselves relevant in the AFC South race.

18. St. Louis Rams (5-6) – Sam Bradford just might be able to pull a division title out at 7-9.

19. Minnesota Vikings (4-7) – Only in the NFC West is 4-7 good enough to compete for a division title.

20. Oakland Raiders (5-6) – A harsh fall back to reality for the Raiders who are done if they can’t get a victory this week.

21. Washington Redskins (5-6) – Bad loss at home to Vikings just about knocked them out of playoff contention.

22. Tennessee Titans (5-6) – The Rusty Smith era isn’t looking to promising in Tennessee.

23. Dallas Cowboys (3-8) – They will be a tough opponent in the spoiler role down the stretch.

24. Cleveland Browns (4-7) – An ugly, ugly win over the Panthers.

25. Buffalo Bills (2-9) – Three OT losses? Hard not to feel bad for the Bills and yes I am saying they are better than all the following teams.

26. Denver Broncos (3-8) – You don’t see too much of Josh McDaniels pumping his fist these days.

27. Seattle Seahawks (5-6) – I don’t care if they are still probably the favorites in the NFC West…they are a terrible football team.

28. San Francisco 49ers (4-7) – Sad that they are still in the thick of the playoff race.

29. Detroit Lions (2-9) – At least they kept us interested in for 3 quarters on Thanksgiving.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) – Ren and Stimpy have an awful television show and an even worse quarterback.

31. Arizona Cardinals (3-8) – Derek Anderson is going to put Larry Fitzgerald in a mental hospital.

32. Carolina Panthers (1-10) – At least John Kasay missing that field goal kept them on track for the number 1 pick.

Initial Reaction: Jets Take Care Of Business, Bring On The Pats

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It wasn’t the prettiest win but a 16 point margin of victory is nothing to complain about, especially this season.

This wasn’t Mark Sanchez’s night and it wasn’t the Jets overall “A’ game, especially on offense. However, it was a much needed big time performance by the Jets defense who produced 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a safety. It was also a reminder that you can talk about Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, Sanchez, and Shonn Greene all you want but don’t forget about Brad Smith.

The Jets do everything wide receiver/kick returner/quarterback/running back had his finest game of the season with 200 all purpose yards and 2 electrifying touchdowns.

Beyond that, Darrelle Revis did what we all expected and shut down Terrell Owens who nearly sobbed in post game press conference. Enjoy playing meaningless football in December, yet again, T.O.

It was nice to see the Jets take care of business but it is time for the main event of the 2010 regular season. 9-2 Jets traveling to 9-2 Patriots for Monday Night Football. 11 days of hype and analysis for maybe the biggest regular season meeting ever between these two rivals. The winner will likely be taking home a #1 or #2 seed, along with all the perks that come with it. The loser will be scraping for a wild-card spot.

We already know everybody will be picking the Patriots and honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. The Jets have the same record as the Patriots and have already beat them by 14 this season, yet they receive no respect as an elite team.

Bring ’em on.

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Jets vs. Bengals: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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A very special Thanksgiving edition of the 12 pack…

1. Enough is enough. The Jets are going to break through and finally intercept a couple of passes. I know I have said this in previous weeks, but c’mon now this is Carson Palmer we are talking about. It time for 2-3 interceptions in a single game by this secondary.

2. Inactive list – Jerricho Cotchery, Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole, Damien Woody, Jeff Cumberland, Kellen Clemens, Marcus Dixon, Jamaal Westerman

3. Terrell Owens will have less than 35 yards receiving…and still run his mouth after the game.

4. The Jets will try to re-establish Shonn Greene’s confidence early and for the third week in a row he will finish with more carries than LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene will also score his second touchdown of the season.

5. Dustin Keller is way overdue for a touchdown. He hasn’t scored since week 4. This is the week he gets touchdown number six.

6. Mark Sanchez won’t throw for 300 yards but he will add another 2 touchdowns to his season total without producing any turnovers.

7. The Jets will spend plenty of time in their “Tiger” formation which gashed the Bengals last regular season. Brad Smith will have at least 45 total offensive yards and a big kick return.

8. Calvin Pace will record a multiple sack game and provide some hope for the Jets pass rush moving forward into December.

9. LaDainian Tomlinson will have at least 5 more receptions to add to his team leading total. Braylon Edwards will also have a big game, as Cincinnati has nobody to match-up on him since they will likely put Leon Hall on Santonio Holmes and Jonathan Joseph is hurt.

10. Chad Ochcocinco will unfortunately score a touchdown. Fortunately, it will likely be in garbage time since the Bengals spend most of their season in garbage time.

11. The Jets are getting a comfortable 30-14 win. That being said, considering the way this season is going they will probably go up 30-14, fall behind 31-30 with 8 seconds left and then complete a 90 touchdown to Patrick Turner or something like that to win.

12. Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers, followers, commenters, and anybody else who takes the time to stopt by the site, facebook page, or twitter account…you could be anywhere in the world, but you’re here with me…and I appreciate that.

Week 12 Picks (Lines From BetUS)

  • Lions (+8.5) vs. Patriots
  • Saints (-4.5) vs. Cowboys
  • Jets (-9) vs. Bengals
  • Vikings (+1) vs. Redskins
  • Bills (+8) vs. Steelers
  • Jags (+7) vs. Giants
  • Bucs (+7.5) vs. Ravens
  • Eagles (-4.5) vs. Bears
  • Falcons (-1) vs. Packers
  • Chiefs (-2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Broncos (-4) vs. Rams
  • Chargers (+3) vs. Colts
  • I refuse to pick the MNF Game because it is so terrible the NFC West should never be featured in prime-time.

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Thanksgiving Antipasto: Assorted Thoughts On Jets

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Yes, it is a cheesy name for the article but c’mon now, who doesn’t love a good antipasto? You can bet I do and I will be shoveling it down my gullet tomorrow as I root for the Lions to upset the Patriots. Anyway, here are some assorted Jets thoughts for you before our usual 12 pack of predictions on Thanksgiving day tomorrow:

– You have to just laugh at Terrell Owens, who finds a way to insult other players around the league on a weekly basis. This week it was calling Darrelle Revis an “average” corner and saying Ben Roethlisberger was “soft” on his and Ochocinco’s weekly TV show. It is truly comical to watch a player on arguably the worst team in football (okay, fine that is Carolina but the Bengals are close) still run his mouth. In terms of Revis, we all saw how he embarrassed Owens last year and basically forced him to quit in both games. I expect nothing less tomorrow night.

– Are the Jets ever going to get an interception again? They are going on five games strong now without one. Considering they are playing Carson Palmer this week, I think this would be a good week to end the slump.

– We were all excited about the Santonio Holmes addition but I don’t think anybody could have anticipated just how good he has been. I love the way Braylon Edwards has played this year but if it comes down to choosing one in the off-season, it has to be Holmes who brings a dynamic to the Jets offense that has rarely existed in their franchise history. Hopefully, something can be worked out for both players but unless Edwards is willing to take a little less to stay in New York, it probably won’t.

– Why has the Jets defense been disappointing in 2010? Some ideas…

  • New additions Jason Taylor and Brodney Pool have been average and made a minimal amount of impact plays.
  • The already questionable defensive line depth took a major hit with season ending injuries to Kris Jenkins and Ropati Pitoitua.
  • Calvin Pace missed 4 games due to a foot injury and hasn’t looked himself since returning.
  • Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard have consistently been exposed as liabilities in pass coverage.
  • Rookie Kyle Wilson hasn’t been anywhere near the contributor to this point that everybody around the team expected.
  • Teams have poured over the film from last year and are no longer surprised by the Jets exotic blitz packages and that is on Rex Ryan to find a counter.

– It is awfully hard not to look ahead to the Monday night showdown in New England for first place, isn’t it?

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TOJ NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

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Another week in the books, another set of Power Rankings for you to disagree with…an interesting note, the #1 and #2 team play each other this week, and the #3 and #4 team play each other next week.

1. Atlanta Falcons (8-2) – The Dirty Birds have been handling their business, especially at home. They get a major test this week when the red hot Green Bay Packers come to town.

2. Green Bay Packers (7-3) – Maybe I just really enjoyed the way they throttled Brett Favre and the Vikings this past week but the Packers have been rolling in their past four games.

3. New York Jets (8-2) – They are so lucky…yada, yada, yada…how about some talk about how Mark Sanchez is becoming one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL?

4. New England Patriots (8-2) – Heading on a crash course with the Jets in week 13, on Monday Night Football.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) – The Mike Vick show could run away with the NFC East as the battered Giants are fading fast.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) – Very impressive win over Oakland at home. Now they have to avoid looking past the feisty Bills with a huge game against Baltimore the following week.

7. Baltimore Ravens (7-3) – They handled business against Carolina and now get a dangerous Bucs team in their building.

8. New Orleans Saints (7-3) – A nice chance for the defending champs to get revenge on the Cowboys for ruining their perfect season last year.

9. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-3) – Let’s see how this young team handles a trip into Baltimore.

10. Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (6-4) – A tough loss but don’t be fooled into thinking they aren’t still in a great position to win the AFC South.

11. San Diego Chargers (5-5) – Is there even any doubt at this point about San Diego winning the AFC West?

12. New York Giants (6-4) – All of that talk about the Giants being the best in the NFL has quieted down real quick the past two weeks. They are in big trouble if they can’t handle the Jaguars at home this Sunday.

13. Chicago Bears (7-3) – They will get respect if they find a way to beat the Eagles at home this week.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) – Somehow they find themselves on top of the AFC South through 10 games.

15. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) – It doesn’t feel like they are good enough to hold the Chargers off.

16. Oakland Raiders (5-5) – A harsh trip back to reality by getting beat down in Pittsburgh. How will they respond at home against Miami?

17. Tennessee Titans (5-5) – I wonder how much of Rusty Smith era Randy Moss will stay calm for?

18. Miami Dolphins (5-5) – Another season heading nowhere for the Dolphins…and yes, I enjoy that very much.

19. Washington Redskins (5-5) – It sure doesn’t seem like they are still in the mix as a playoff contender.

20. Houston Texans (4-6) – Thank you so much for signing Jason Allen just before the Jets game. He is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

21. Cleveland Browns (3-7) – A disappointing loss to Jacksonville and even worse is that Colt McCoy may now miss time with an ankle injury.

22. Seattle Seahawks (5-5) – And finally we reach a NFC West team. It is sad that one of their teams has to make the playoffs this year.

23. St. Louis Rams (4-6) – They haven’t won a road game yet. Bad news…next three are on the road.

24. Dallas Cowboys (3-7) – Too bad for them they don’t play in the NFC West or they’d be very much alive.

25. Buffalo Bills (2-8) – A dangerous team for playoff contenders to face down the stretch.

26. Denver Broncos (3-7) – Didn’t even put up a fight on Monday Night with a chance to keep their season interesting into December.

27. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8) – Things are just getting uglier by the week.

28. Minnesota Vikings (3-7) – Too little, too late with the Childress firing. Their season is long over.

29. Detroit Lions (2-8) – How about an upset over the Patriots on Thanksgiving?

30. San Francisco 49ers (3-7) – Can we black out their upcoming Monday night game against the Cardinals?

31. Arizona Cardinals (3-7) – See above.

32. Carolina Panthers (1-9) – How could they not go 1-15?

If They Playoffs Started Today…

AFC

  1. New York Jets (8-2)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
  5. New England Patriots (8-2)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)

NFC

  1. Atlanta Falcons (8-2)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)
  3. Chicago Bears (7-3)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (5-5)
  5. Green Bay Packers (7-3)
  6. New Orleans Saints (7-3)