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NFL 2013 Team Rankings: Week 16 Summary

Just one week of action remains in the 2013 NFL season, which also means just one more game to pick up some vital points in the exclusive UK American Sports Fans Power Rankings.

Philadelphia were impressive last week in brushing aside Chicago and in doing so climbed the highest this week and into their best position of the year. Still though the Denver machine rumbled on and are now 100 points clear at the top.

Some decent points were gained in the middle of the table but no one swapped places from 9th through to 16th.

Moving away from the lower end were Atlanta, despite defeat, and the Jets. Jacksonville are still rock bottom, and it will take a monumental effort to see them climb out of the basement.

Check back next week to see where your team finished and if it is a fair reflection on their season.

NFL Ones to Watch: Crunch Time

And so, the week’s regular season penultimate week is here, and for some this moment couldn’t come soon enough, as they look to start next year already, while others will simply have to wait one more week to see if they will be playing in, or watching the playoffs on televisions.

Last week was unprecedented as most division leaders lost and those included the Patriots, the Eagles and the Broncos.

Also last week, a sensational 61-yard kick won the game for the Ravens.

Back to this week, the three games to keep an eye on are: Cowboys vs. Redskins, Raiders vs. Chargers and Steelers vs. Packers.

Firstly, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins.

It doesn’t take the most astute football follower or reader to know that both teams will be disappointed with their seasons this year, and know much hard work is needed after next week to get back to where they need to be, certainly more so from Washington. Dallas still has a shot at making the playoffs, although they have lost more games in their last 5 then won and perennial
Last week, the skins benched RGIII for the rest of the season, but it didn’t change their luck as they lost to Atlanta but their fortunes didn’t change.

Kirk Cousins numbers for Washington read like this: 41/70 488 yards and 3 TDs. Catching the balls through the air for the skins this year has been mainly Pierre Garcon with a line of 96 catches, 1,146 total yards, 11.9 Yards per carry and 4 TDs, and Jordan Reed with a line of 45 receptions, 499 yards, 11.1 YPC & 3 TD.

Taking care of things along the ground they have Alfred Morris with 236 rushes totalling 1,125 yards at an average of 4.8 yards per carry and scoring half a dozen times. For what it’s worth, RGIII took the ball himself 86 times for 489 yards averaging 5.7.

Opposing the skins is Tony Romo with a line of 325 completions off 508 attempts for a total of 3,602 yards and 29 TDs. A WR Duo of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have 81, 1061, 13.1, and 11 & 59, 703, 11.9, and 8 respectively. Running the football for the Cowboys is Demarco Murray who has ran 178 times covering 977 yards, averaging five and a half yards per carry and has scored eight times. I think that this game is Tony Romo’s to lose and given that it takes place in December, he will probably find a way to do so. Poor guy.

Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers.

This is the second time this season these two teams have matched up, and back in October, it was the Raiders who emerged victorious 27-17. This time however, the Chargers will be buoyed of their defeat of Denver last week and still have a chance of playoff football.

Coming into this one, the splits for Offense, Defence , Passing and Rushing look like this [Oakland] 15th, 18th, 25th & 6th compared to {San Diego] 6th, 25th, 4th & 15th. It’s a little more difficult to analyse this week’s matchup then it might appear, as the Raiders are another team with a less than sure approach to the QB, although it might appear that the guy that will get the start will be Matt McGloin.

If this is the case, the numbers read: 98/175 1,341 yards, 7.7 yards per completion and seven touchdowns. Regardless of who throws the ball, the players that catch it are led by Rod Steater’s 54 catches 846 yards , 15.7 yards per catch and three touchdowns, although Denarius Moore has less receptions (39) yards [615] his yards per catch is slightly higher at 15.8 and he also has more Touchdowns with five. Running the ball for Oakland is mainly Rashad Jennings with 149 runs for 679 total yards averaging 4.6 yards per carry and scoring 6 touchdowns.

Opposing is Phillip Rivers and his 337/482 totalling 4048 yards and 28 TDs. Making the first downs through the air are Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead and Eddie Royal. The most receptions go towards Antonio Gates with 70, the most yardages go to Keenan Allen with 931 and the most Touchdowns go to both Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal with 7. The chargers have a very different game to the Raiders, and this will be one as unpredictable as last week, but the Chargers should have that extra momentum to glide by the Raiders and continue to make their assault onto the playoffs.

Finally, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers

The last time these teams faced off was in Super Bowl XLV and on that occasion, the Packers led by Aaron Rogers emerged with the Lombardi trophy. Today though, both teams are very different, and Aaron Rogers might not even play as he is still recovering from his broken collarbone. Again, lining up with the Steelers lines first, 18th, 11th, 11th & 31st with the Packers at 4th, 26th, 7th & 7th. A lot of close numbers in this one to start with.

Ben Roethlisberger 340/525 with 3915 yards and 25 touchdowns. Antonio Brown has been targeted the most with 95 receptions, 1307 total yards, averaging 13.8 yards per carry and 8 Touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery who is almost like a forgotten man these days leads the team with nine end zone scores with an average of 13.5 yards per reception with 568 yards coming off 42 catches. The Steelers don’t really have a rush game, and that is reflected by their 31st ranking. They rush just 79 yards per game and of these yards, Le’veon Bell for half a dozen scores, with 198 runs totalling 646 yards at an average of 3.3 yards per game.

To counter, the Packers have either Aaron Rodgers or Matt Flynn starting, and an announcement will come later on Friday. Signs point to it being Flynn though so here’s his numbers in the usual format.
81/127 914 yards and 6 touchdowns [in limited games].

Receiving the ball for the Packers is Jordy Nelson with a line that reads 72 completions, for 1107 yards at a rate of 15.4 yards per catch and eight Touchdowns. Jermichael Finley can also be a weapon with just 25 catches for 300 yards with 12.0 yards per catch, and three scoring catches. Running the ball is Eddie Lacy with 248 rush attempts for 1028 yards at 4.1 yards per carry and eight scores.

All in all it looks to be a very exciting week in the NFL, and although these three games aren’t set to be classics from the beginning, the circumstances regarding the Holy Grail, could throw up some interesting results. Next week, is the finale of the regular season, and it is still possible at this moment that we won’t have the full playoff jigsaw puzzle until then.

Get It White: Week 16 NFL Predictions

Two games to go in the regular season, and the resolve of some teams is shining through now, while others melt quicker than last week’s snowdrifts. As soon as I get behind the Lions, they go on a horrible roll of losses, and as soon as I write off the Packers, they win two on the bounce. It’s a crazy thing the NFL, and with the playoffs closer than ever for some teams, I’m sure things will be as mad as usual.

138-86 on the year with only 32 games left in the regular season: time for a big score I think.

Sunday 6:00pm

Miami Dolphins 27-13 Buffalo Bills

Beating the Patriots last week will have been a huge boost for this Miami team, it will make them feel like legitimate playoff contenders for a game that to be so, they will have to win. The Bills squeezed past the Jags in a dead rubber in their last game but it goes without saying that the Dolphins present a much more serious test. I can see mistakes from EJ Manuel against this pressure creating Miami front seven, and the Dolphins will stop the run game which makes this Buffalo team dangerous.

New Orleans Saints 20-23 Carolina Panthers

Well well, this game is now even more massive than the matchup two weeks ago. The way the Saints went to St Louis and were shut down was alarming for Sean Payton and Drew Brees, but hugely encouraging for Riverboat Ron and his Panthers. They rolled past the Jets in fairly comfortable fashion, and although they will have to step up their defensive efforts from that performance, they will be confident that their offense with Cam Newton playing great football at its helm, can score on this declining Saints D. Drew Brees took the Panthers apart in the Superdome two weeks ago, but I think Carolina will have learned a lot from that, and this game will be a whole lot closer. New Orleans are 3-4 on the road, and seem a different team away from home, something the Panthers could ride to the NFC South title.

Minnesota Vikings 17-34 Cincinnati Bengals

Don’t look now Cincinnati, but the Ravens are only a game back in the AFC North, so there is still some important work to do. The Vikings, at 4-9-1 have been competitive in almost every game this season, and will be no pushovers for the Bengals, especially with Harrison Smith back at Safety. Minnesota should also welcome back AP or Toby Gerhart back at RB, both of whom were inactive in their win against the supposed runaway offensive train of the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m beginning to convince myself that there is a good team under the surface in Minnesota, but whether it’s good enough to go to Cincy and get a result against a team still fighting for the no.2 seed in the AFC is another question.

Denver Broncos 31-17 Houston Texans

The NFL is on notice: Denver is not an unbeatable team. San Diego showed that even at home, Peyton Manning is not invincible, as the Broncos have a defense that is seriously vulnerable when it matters. The Texans’ offense is focussed around their running game, and that is the strength of this Denver unit, so while this may not look like a 11-3 vs 2-12 game, it’s a bad matchup for Houston, and I fully expect the Broncos to bounce back.

Tennessee Titans 23-16 Jacksonville Jaguars

You trust the Jags for just one week, at home, and they let you down. I won’t be doing it again. Look for Kendall Wright and Chris Johnson to have big days here. I’m trusting Ryan Fitzpatrick instead. #LosingMyMind

Indianapolis Colts 24-30 Kansas City Chiefs

So the Chiefs have gone from scoring 20 points a game and using their defense to beat teams to scoring 50 points a game to just outscore the opposition. An odd turnaround, but this is Andy Reid I suppose. Jamaal Charles is a monster, both in yardage terms and fantasy terms. 50 points against you is not a nice sight to see on an early Monday morning, trust me. The Colts have really got to 9-5 in a completely under the radar kind of way, and I just can’t see them as a top team with that defense and their inexperienced skill players on offense. Yes they can be explosive, but on the road in the elements, they will make mistakes. The Chiefs also have the AFC West to win: if the Broncos slip up, they will want to make sure the pieces are picked up.

Dallas Cowboys 34-24 Washington Redskins

How do they manage it? Something always happens to make sure the Cowboys lose in the important games: it must be soul destroying for the fans, it was too much for Dez Bryant and judging by the (hilarious/sad) picture that’s been doing the rounds, it definitely was for Jerry Jones. I’m just amazed Jason Garrett still has a job. This week, however, they face the Redskins, who despite the admirable performance by Kirk Cousins in the defeat to Atlanta, are in a bit of disarray. This is a gilt-edged chance for the Cowboys to keep the pressure on the Eagles to win out in the NFC East and they surely have to do it. Don’t they?

Cleveland Browns 23-16 New York Jets

Two teams who pride themselves on their defense, yet both are teams who conceded 30+ points last week. But there is only one team here who carries the threat of scoring 30 points, and it doesn’t involve Geno Smith. The Browns’ offense contains Josh Gordon, a young player who has the ability to go wherever he wants to, highlighted by his huge production no matter who is at QB for the Browns. I think he has another big game here against the Jets’ surprisingly porous pass D and helps his team to a win on the road.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-27 St Louis Rams

A seriously impressive effort from St Louis last week in their defeat of the Saints makes this game a little easier to call than it might have been. The Bucs have improved week by week, and their loss to the Niners was closer than it looked, even so, this trip to the in-form Rams could end up being very difficult unless they can stop Zac Stacy up the gut. The rookie RB has been one of the finds of the season, and he gives St Louis some real balance that helps the team on both sides of the ball. He could well go off again here, helping the Rams to another win.

Sunday 9:05pm

Arizona Cardinals 17-27 Seattle Seahawks

You can overanalyse games in Seattle all you like, but these are the facts: The Seahawks’ D is pretty damn good, the Seahawks’ fans are pretty awesome, Russell Wilson is pretty impressive, Marshawn Lynch is a monster. When all of these things come together, you realise that if Seattle take the #1 seed in the NFC, it’s going to be a very tough ask for anyone to stop them booking hotel rooms in New York come February. Home Win.

New York Giants 10-29 Detroit Lions

Frustrating. That’s the word to describe the Lions. Too many mistakes are costing them games, and the matchup against Baltimore was a perfect example of this. They have relinquished the lead in the race for the NFC North and now need outside help to make it to the post season: so winning here is a must. Eli Manning and the Giants hit a new low last week, being shut out by the Seahawks, and I don’t think they’ll bounce back from a pasting like that for the rest of the season. They’re done, and if the Lions don’t win here, so will they be, so a win is what they get.

Sunday 9:25pm

New England Patriots 20-24 Baltimore Ravens

One of the games the whole of the NFL looks forward to every year: the Patriots at the Ravens is always a hard fought, close, important game; and this year’s battle is no different. The Pats aren’t safe just yet, and this trip to an in form Ravens team is one they won’t find easy without the spine of their defense and their totem on offense. Without Gronk, New England just aren’t as good a team, and the Ravens’ defense is becoming a unit capable of supporting a team with a minimal run game (something that may improve against the Patriots’ weak centre), so on form and potential for improvement, the Ravens are favourites for me. But Bill Belichick’s men will keep it close, so it’s possible that they just might be able to nick it again on the road, just not probable.

Oakland Raiders 13-38 San Diego Chargers

If you concede 50+ points to basically one player in an offense where he is glaringly obviously the central cog, you’re not going to beat a team who just rolled over Peyton Manning’s Broncos. These are facts.

Pittsburgh Steelers 30-27 Green Bay Packers

The Packers have been on a nice little run recently, but this is a more difficult test even at home. Aaron Rodgers seems to be close to a comeback, but it is the defense that needs something. They still make the odd turnover happen, but the yardage they give up and the easy plays they allow will be exposed sooner or later. The Steelers may be facing an almost impossible task to make the playoffs, but their offense is reaching a high level again, while their defense looks stouter than it has for some time. LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown should have big days, and if Matt Flynn is in opposition, I can’t see him keeping up. If A-Rod is back though, it’s a different ball game.

Monday 1:30am

Chicago Bears 38-34 Philadelphia Eagles

With Jay Cutler back, after he’d shaken off some ring-rust, the Bears’ offense looked downright scary against a decent defense in the Browns, and I expect this to be an almighty shootout in Philly. The Bears’ D isn’t all that and the Philadelphia unit just gave up 48 points to the Vikings minus AP. Of course the weather could come into this, but either way, it’s a toss up: whoever executes the best will score the most points, and with both teams in pole position in their divisions with teams close up behind, there will be no let up. Give me points. And the Bears, just.

Tuesday 1:40am

Atlanta Falcons 10-31 San Francisco 49ers

Well this has all the hallmarks of a MNF blowout. Atlanta have been done for a while now, but have been involved with tight games with teams who are way off their best. The Niners on the other hand, have been growing as a team, getting better and better as the season goes on. The Falcons’ D cannot handle the Niners on offense, and then there’s the Falcons’ offensive line… #PrayForMattRyan.