George Wrighster Picks NFL’s NFC Conference Division Winners

Tom Brady goat

The NFC is home to the greatest QB of all time, and the back-to-back MVP- will either of them make a run to the Super Bowl this year? There are my picks to win each division in 2022 (Playoff teams in bold)

NFC WEST

Prediction:

  • Los Angeles Rams
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Seattle Seahawks

This division has the defending Super Bowl Champion, and most of the players on that team, outside of Odell Beckham Jr and Von Miller, return. The Rams are a lock to win the division.

Next up is the San Francisco 49ers, and not only do I have them making the playoffs, I’m going to go against the grain and say it’s *because* of the way Trey Lance leads this team, not in spite of it. With Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk by his side, Lance is going to score a lot of points.

I trust Kyler Murray to lead the Arizona Cardinals to the playoffs. I do not trust Kliff Kingsbury to lead the Arizona Cardinals anywhere outside of a decent Scottsdale cocktail party. The Cardinals did not upgrade the roster anywhere during the offseason. Every unit is either the same as last year, or slightly worse. That’s not going to get it done.

It doesn’t make sense to me that Pete Carroll would think of his Seahawks as being in rebuild mode, which means he actually believes in Geno Smith. I like Geno, and I’m rooting for him to have a redemption story, but I don’t think it’s going to happen in Seattle.

This is one of the tougher divisions in football, but it’s definitely less tough for the one team that has Aaron Donald.

NFC South

Prediction:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay is going to win the division in a tightly contested race with the Saints. I’m predicting that injuries take a toll on the Buccaneers, but the marriage of Tom Brady and Todd Bowles, and the retention of Byron Leftwich, is going to be enough to take the division. 

I’m seeing a big year for Jameis Winston. People forget that in his last full year as a starter, he led the NFL in passing yards. With improved eyesight, footwork, and decision making, he’s ready to FINALLY take that next step to Pro Bowl caliber. And another bold prediction for this Saints offense- Chris Olave is going to be the rookie of the year. 

Speaking of former first round quarterbacks having a career resurgence, Marcus Mariota is in Atlanta, and I believe he’s going to leave no question that he deserves to start in this league. I know they’re young, and I know it’s a full rebuild, but I believe the Falcons will be competitive.

The Panthers on the other hand… is David Tepper even trying out there?

It’s an interesting division with Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota all trying to show that their QB legacies didn’t end on the Heisman stage, while a 45-year-old with nothing left to prove chases an eighth Super Bowl Trophy to put in a case without a Heisman trophy.

NFC North

Prediction:

  • Green Bay Packers
  • Detroit Lions
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Chicago Bears

This is an interesting division. Maybe the most interesting one-playoff team division in the NFL.

And that playoff team? The Packers, of course. Green Bay’s front office just keeps stripping the Packers offense down to bare bones year after year in a bizarre grudge match with their own starting QB, and all Aaron Rodgers does is get better and better. 

Coming in second, I have the Detroit Lions putting together a 7-10 season where all 10 of the teams that beat them come away worse for wear. I’m a believer in Dan Campbell and his staff, and while I don’t think this is the year they make the Zac Taylor Bengals leap to the Super Bowl, they might just bludgeon their way to being relevant in the NFC North.

Third, I have Minnesota. If they want to win, they need a change under center. They have damn near everything else, but I can’t in good conscience ride with Kirk Cousins. Can you?

Last up, the Chicago Bears. The only team in the NFL that might trade receiving corps with the Green Bay Packers. This just isn’t a competitive roster, and you’d have to be crazy to blame Justin Fields for how this upcoming season is going to turn out. They just better hope they don’t ruin him.

Another year of watching one of the best QBs of all time bully his division without the tools to contend for a second Super Bowl.

NFC EAST

Prediction:

  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Washington Commanders
  • New York Giants

I like the Eagles. Jalen Hurts doesn’t have to do much to make this offense run, and that’s good for him, because Shane Steichen doesn’t call much of an offense. This team’s success is going to be driven by talent and depth, and when you take a 9-win team and add Haason Reddick, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and AJ Brown, that ain’t bad. Now if the running back by committee could share some of those touchdowns with Miles Sanders, maybe we could make some fantasy owners happy.

In second place, and squeaking into that 7th playoff seed, I have the Dallas Cowboys. I’m not sure I can say they got better this offseason, but as long as you have Dak Prescott, you have a chance. Dak was 7 points away from going 13-3 as a starter last year, and if he had 30 extra seconds, might have staged a playoff comeback against the 49ers. If the Cowboys offensive line keeps Prescott upright, they’ll be in every game. 

The Commanders and Giants are interchangeable at the bottom of the division, but I think the Commanders might start out hot enough with Carson Wentz to give them some cushion to not surrender the #3 spot to the Giants late in the season. The Giants are far too dependent on Saquon Barkley’s health for relevance in the division. 

Being at the bottom of this division might not be the worst idea. Can you imagine Alabama’s Bryce Young in a Brian Daboll offense?

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

NFC West Week 1: What to Know About Your Favorite NFL Team

The NFC West should once again produce some excellent football this season, although fans who love high-scoring, pass-heavy offensive attacks may not enjoy it as much as others.

The Los Angeles Rams, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, are the preseason favorites once again. They’ll be challenged heavily by the Seattle Seahawks, who just added a huge piece to their defensive line in Jadeveon Clowney, as well as the young San Francisco 49ers, who will be lead by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

While the Arizona Cardinals are expected to bring up the rear, the team does have an exciting young quarterback in Kyler Murray and an eager young coach in Kliff Kingsbury, and they could surprise some folks.

Here is a preview of each team in the NFC West ahead of their first game of the 2019 season.

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) reacts after a tackle on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second quarter in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams (Pred: 11-5)

Key Additions: S Eric Weddle, LB Clay Matthews, QB Blake Bortles

Key Subtractions: S Mark Barron, OL John Sullivan, DT Ndamukong Suh

First game: @ Carolina Panthers

The Los Angeles Rams found themselves in the Super Bowl last season, their second under coach Sean McVay. Although they lost the game, this team has the potential to make their way back to that level again in 2019.

After making a ton of high-profile roster moves last offseason, the team laid pretty low in 2019, looking to make small changes but keeping the rest of their core intact.

The additions of veteran safety Eric Weddle and linebacker Clay Matthews could end up both being bargains when the year is up, even though both of them are up there in age.

LA must have liked what they saw out of the University of Washington last year, as they took safety Taylor Rapp and defensive tackle Greg Gaines in the draft. Both could serve as solid depth pieces this season.

The Rams are on their way to another 10+ win season, and although Carolina is a solid team I think they’ll take care of business on the road on their way to an 11-5 record.

NFL highest paid players Russell Wilson contract

Seattle Seahawks (Pred: 10-6)

Key Additions: DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Ezekiel Ansah, WR DK Metcalf, K Jason Myers

Key Subtractions: FS Earl Thomas, WR Doug Baldwin, DE Frank Clark

First game: Vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Seattle Seahawks had a whirlwind of an offseason, punctuated by a surprising trade of star defensive end Frank Clark, two massive, record-breaking contract extensions for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, the loss of franchise icons Doug Baldwin and Earl Thomas, the selection of uber-hyped receiver DK Metcalf, and then finally the last-minute trade for star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Whew.

Ultimately this team is even better than the team that surprised everybody by winning 10 games and making it to the NFC wildcard game last year. Their run game is still excellent with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, Russell Wilson is still an elite quarterback, and the additions of Ansah and Clowney in front of Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks gives them a formidable front seven.

The secondary isn’t what it used to be, and the receiving corps is extremely young, but this team has all the tools to win double-digit games and make a run in the playoffs.

Their first game against the Bengals should be a breeze, even if Clowney and Ansah are still learning the playbook up front.

San Francisco 49ers (8-8)

Key Additions: DE Nick Bosa, DE Dee Ford, RB Tevin Coleman, LB Kwon Alexander

Key Subtractions: P Bradley Pinion, WR Pierre Garcon, RB Alfred Morris

First game: @ Tampa Bay

The 49ers did a lot to improve their roster this offseason, signing a pair of quality defensive players in Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford, while also using the second overall pick to snag Nick Bosa.

The fact that they lost very little talent from last year’s squad (their punter was the biggest loss) is a great sign for this team going forward.

Of course, their success will hinge on how quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks in what the team hopes will be his first full season in the Bay.

Garoppolo has played in nine games for San Francisco over the last two seasons, with a nice 64.8% completion rate but a subpar 12/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. If he can develop into the stud QB the fans envision, this team should play over .500 ball this year. If he cannot, it could be another ugly year in San Francisco.

Their first game over in Tampa Bay will give fans a good look at which Jimmy G they are going to get this year.

Arizona Cardinals (Pred: 5-11)

Key Additions: QB Kyler Murray, CB Byron Murphy, EDGE Terrell Suggs, TE Charles Clay

Key Subtractions: QB Josh Rosen, EDGE Benson Mayowa, FS Antoine Bethea

First Game: vs. Detroit Lions

Last but not least, the Arizona Cardinals will look to climb out of the cellar in the NFC West. Lead by their new coach, Kliff Kingsbury, and new quarterback Kyler Murray, this team does have some intrigue as a sleeper pick – even in the top-heavy NFC West.

Arizona made some shrewd moves on defense, signing free agent Terrell Suggs and drafting former UW cornerback Byron Murphy – although the losses of Benson Mayowa and Antoine Bethea will definitely hurt them.

They did their best to shore up the offensive line as well, and a healthy David Johnson should be a huge asset in 2019.

They get a nice litmus test in their season opener against the Lions, another young team attempting to re-brand themselves to get out of the cellar.

Perhaps Murray and Kingsbury can move the Cardinals in the right direction going forward.

The NFL Needs to Mirror College Football’s Overtime Rules

nfl Overtime Rules college football

On Sunday, football fans witnessed one of the most exciting NFL Championship Sundays ever. Both the NFC Championship game and the AFC Championship game went into overtime. There is nothing better than watching two teams fight it out so effectively that the game ends in a tie and is forced into overtime. Overtime is almost like a second game where both teams get an equal shot at becoming the victor. However, that is not exactly true for NFL overtimes.

A Coin Toss Decided the Outcomes of Both Championships

To no one’s surprise, the teams that won the two coin tosses won the games. The implementation of the “sudden death” rule on Sunday left many fans upset that each game was essentially decided by a coin toss. The games were decided by a coin toss as it was an almost certainty that the team that won the toss would take possession, score first, and win. Both teams did exactly that.

Although some may argue that the NFC Championship game was decided by a blown call at the end of the fourth quarter, the game still went into overtime.  The team that won the toss, the Los Angeles Rams, won the game without the New Orleans Saints ever getting an opportunity to score. In the AFC Championship game the team that won the toss, the New England Patriots, won the game without the Kansas City Chiefs ever getting an opportunity to score.  Accordingly, fans were upset that the NFC and AFC Championship games were essentially decided by a coin toss.

The NFL Needs to Change This, Especially for Championship Games

The NFL needs to change this. This is especially true as it pertains to championship games. The team that does not take possession at kickoff (usually the team who loses the toss) is essentially at an unfair disadvantage. Some may argue that there is no disadvantage because the defense should be able to hold off the opposing offense. This is a fair argument. However, it would be better if both teams were guaranteed a chance to perform on both offense and defense. Such a change would ultimately make the game more competitive. It would force both teams to prove they deserve to win offensively and defensively.

The NFL Needs to Adopt Some Variation of College Football’s Overtime Rules

The college football overtime rules are much better than the NFL’s. The NFL can certainly learn from college football in this area. Like the NFL, overtime in college starts with a coin toss.  Where it differs is in the fact that both teams are guaranteed a possession.  This means that both teams will have the opportunity to play both offense and defense. This is better because it forces both teams to earn the win on both ends of the field.  

If the team that gets the ball first scores, they must defend it and hold off the other team‚Äôs offense. The college overtime period starts at the 25-yard line.[i] If the game is still tied at the end of the overtime period it keeps going until a team wins.[ii] However, once the game reaches a third overtime period, the teams may no longer kick after a touchdown and are forced to attempt a two-point conversion.[iii] This goes on until a team wins.

Some may argue that this type of overtime makes for a long game.  That is true, a game could be extremely long if both teams keep scoring.  However, that is an extremely rare occurrence. Even with that possibility, the NFL needs to consider some variation of college football’s overtime rules.  Allowing who gets to advance to the Super Bowl to be determined by a coin toss is simply unacceptable.

[i] Chris Chavez, How Does College Football Overtime Work? Rule, NFL Differences Explained, Sports Illustrated (Aug. 14, 2017), https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/college-football-overtime-rules-explained.

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

Philip Rivers Could Be NFL MVP: Just in Case You Didn’t Know

Patrick Mahomes is the odds-on favorite to win the MVP, but there is one player that is gaining ground quickly. It’s not Drew Brees. It’s not Andrew Luck. It’s not Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack. Philip Rivers is that player!

Why is Philip Rivers all of a sudden on MVP ballots? Beating the division-leading Chiefs on the road in primetime to keep the Los Angeles Chargers in the hunt not just for the AFC West, but home field advantage throughout the playoffs is a good start. Also, this throw helps…a lot.

Rivers is capitalizing off of the “what have you done for me lately,” theory. Recency bias tends to happen with awards and although Mahomes has had a spectacular season, Rivers recently shined when the lights were brightest. In the biggest game of the season on the biggest stage, it was Rivers, not Mahomes, who delivered late. Down 14 points in the fourth quarter, Rivers led the Chargers on two straight drives that ended in touchdowns with the exclamation point coming in the form of a 2-point conversation with 4 seconds left to give the Chargers their first lead of the entire night, which ended up being the difference over the Chiefs. Also, keep in mind that Rivers did not have his top wide receiver, running back, or tight end in the lineup in the 4th quarter.

Although Drew Brees is second in the odds for MVP, the Saints QB has struggled in his past three games with only 531 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs. If Brees struggles again this week at home against the Steelers, his decline in the MVP race will continue.

However, while we’re on the topic of the last three games, let’s take a look at the numbers from both Mahomes and Rivers.

Mahomes: 915 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INTs

Rivers: 832, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

Mahomes’s numbers are better on paper, but they don’t really tell the story during that three game stretch. Mahomes struggled against Baltimore the entire game and had it not been for a miraculous throw to Tyreek Hill; the Chiefs would have been losers of two straight games, bouncing them from the top of the AFC to the 5th seed. The yards and touchdowns favor Mahomes tremendously, but if you take a closer look at the completion numbers and records of each team, the race is not as wide as portrayed by the oddsmakers.

Also, if you can believe this, Rivers has more games with multiple touchdowns (13), which is first in the NFL, than Mahomes (12). Plus, voters are more likely to remember Rivers’ late-game comeback win over Mahomes than Mahomes’ 4 TD performance Week 1 over the Chargers.

There is no doubt in my mind that if the season ended today, Patrick Mahomes would win the MVP (and rightfully so). However, there are still two weeks left with huge playoff implications on the line. The Chiefs and Chargers are currently tied for first in the AFC West with 11-3 records. The Chiefs currently hold the tiebreaker so if both teams win out, the Chiefs would not only win the AFC West, but they would earn the #1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. One misstep by Mahomes and it could result in the 5 seed.

Rivers is going to have to play out of his mind these next two weeks to gain momentum for his MVP campaign. First of all, Mahomes will have to struggle mightily, which hasn’t happened all season long. Mahomes and the Chiefs travel to Seattle on Sunday night, which is no easy task, and finish off the season at home against the Raiders. If Mahomes throws multiple interceptions in both games with little to no touchdowns, Rivers has a chance to steal votes away. With a game at home against Baltimore and a game on the road against Denver, if Rivers can light up the scoreboard and throw for 6+ touchdowns that result in two wins, Rivers will have a legitimate case to win the MVP.

Philip Rivers is not a traditional long shot since he is third in the MVP odds. That being said, Mahomes has been at the top of the ballot all season long while Rivers has not even been in the top 5 for most of the season. Can Rivers actually unseat Mahomes from the MVP race despite? It seems impossible, but with the ball in his hands, Rivers won’t go down without a fight.

More Impressive Run: Derrick Henry Or Marshawn Lynch?

Derrick Henry 99 yard TD Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans

Nothing Gets The Blood Going Like a Huge Stiff Arm.

Last night, in a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, running back Derrick Henry made NFL history with a 99-yard rushing touchdown, joining Tony Dorsett as the only two players in NFL history to ever accomplish that feat. Henry’s run showcased his speed, size, and most importantly, strength, as he stiff-armed a few Jaguar defenders on his way to the end zone. If you haven’t seen the run, check it out below.

Pretty impressive, right? Since society never takes a moment to appreciate greatness and always looks for comparisons (guilty), fans are now comparing Henry’s run to another famous rushing touchdown from Marshawn Lynch, which is known as the “Beast Quake.”

Here’s the question: Who had the more impressive run, Henry or Lynch?

Let’s break it down!

Derrick Henry vs. Marshawn Lynch

*Note: Each category has a points scale from 1-5. Highest combined total after 4 categories wins.*

Degree of Difficulty (Before The Run)

To set the scene, Henry’s run started at the 1-yard line in a one-possession game in the 2nd quarter against a Jaguars defense that was ranked in the top 10 in multiple defensive categories. Lynch’s run occurred on the 33-yard line in a one-possession game in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. There is no doubt that Lynch’s run was a bigger pressure moment because of the nature of the playing in the playoffs. However, if we’re looking at the runs for where they are on the field without taking into account the time and score, Henry’s play gets the edge over Lynch.

Henry – 4.9

Lynch – 4.3

Degree of Difficulty (During The Run)

The hole was clogged up when Henry first touched the ball, but the former Heisman trophy winner was patient. Once a block developed, Henry powered through the trenches and gained some breathing room in the open field. Then, Henry annihilated A.J. Bouye with a stiff arm that sent the Jags defender to the ground. After a burst of speed, Henry then stiff-armed Leon Jacobs to the ground before a cutback, another tackle break via stiff arm, and a final sprint before reaching the end zone. All in all, Henry had 81 yards after contact on the play.

On Lynch’s run, the question is not if he broke a tackle. The question is: How many tackles did Lynch end up breaking? On the Beastquake, Marshawn Lynch broke 9 (!) tackles. NINE. When Lynch started his run, he was met head-on at the line. Lynch broke the two tackles, gained some speed, broke a billion (not quite, but close to it) more tackles, and then somehow, Lynch gained more speed. How?

Lynch followed that up with a lethal stiff arm, two more broken tackles, and a dive into the end zone. Henry used three stiff arms to break a few tackles. Lynch seemingly broke a tackle from every member of the defense. Lynch has the edge here.

Henry – 4.5

Lynch – 4.9

Better Stiff Arm(s)

This category comes down to personal preference.

This…

and this…

OR this…

Two might be better than one in most cases, but I’m calling this a tie.

Henry – 4.8

Lynch – 4.8

“The Moment”

If we’re breaking down the runs without any context, both are very impressive. However, and this is not Henry’s fault, you have to take into account, “The Moment.” Henry’s run was amazing and will be a well-remembered highlight for years to come, but it came during the second quarter of a Thursday Night Football matchup in Week 14. On the other hand, Lynch’s run came in the fourth quarter of a one-possession game against the Saints in the Wildcard Round of the NFL playoffs. The Saints were heavily favored in the game as 10 point favorites while the Seahawks made the playoffs with a record below .500. If Lynch doesn’t break this run or at least get a first down, the Saints would have called timeout. They stop the Seahawks on third down, force a punt, and then Drew Brees gets a chance to take the Saints down the field for the win. I understand that I’m using “what ifs,” but that has to be taken into account. Lynch put the team on his back during the biggest spot of the game.

Henry – 4.2

Lynch – 5.0

Final Score

Henry – 18.4 / 20

Lynch – 19.0 / 20

Lynch’s run was more impressive, but that does not take away from Henry’s jaw-dropping touchdown. I hope both highlights are shown back-to-back when describing the greatest runs in NFL history.

Five Up Five Down The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 13

NFL Week 13 Rankings

Five Up Five Down The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 13 is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league. Week 13 has already kicked off with the Cowboys getting a huge win over the Saints! What did we learn from Week 12? We missed the Chiefs and Rams in action, Vikings gots a must win over the Packers, Colts are good but do we believe in them just yet and the Texans keep winning! Do you like that? Does your team sadly qualify for worst teams for Week 13?

Leave a comment, share, and email us: ImMad@UnafraidShow.com.

5 UP: The 5 Best NFL Teams Week 13 

1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-2) Last Week: 1st

The Saints lost a close one to the Cowboys 13-10 in Dallas. Drew Brees had a bad game, and the offense was put to sleep by an inspired Cowboys defense.  I am going to leave New Orleans in the first position for two reasons.  One, they beat the Rams and two the defense continues to get better every week.  This is what puts them ahead of the Rams and Chiefs no matter if they have two loses. I have said this all along of New Orleans starts playing defense like they did last year then the rest of the league is in trouble.  New Orleans gets a nice bounce-back team in the Bucs next week in Tampa. Call me out all you want the Saints are a better football team then the Chiefs and Rams because the defense is starting to put it together.

2. LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-1) Last Week: 2nd

The high powered Rams are back in action after enjoying a week off. The Rams were fun to watch in a 54-51 win over the Chiefs, but that defense is still a concern. Good news for the Rams they will get veteran CB Aquib Talib back which should help the porous secondary out immensely. ¬†Jared Goff (3,547 yards 26 TD’s) and Todd Gurley (1,043 Yards 13 TDs) are the kingpins of what has become an unstoppable machine. The Rams will face the struggling Detroit Lions (4-7) in the Motor City and lead the all-time history between the two teams, 43-41-1. LA is¬†a strong 10 point favorite versus the Detroit but this could be one of those trap games we shall see.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-2) Last Week: 3rd

The Chiefs created history!¬† First team to lose a game scoring over 50 points. It was a fun game to watch but also a reminder that the defense still is swiss cheese. Patrick Mahomes II had six touchdown passes and over 400 yards passing, but it was those three costly interceptions that cost them the most. He will learn from it and is on his way to being the league’s MVP.¬† The Chiefs barely lost to the Patriots and Rams on the road, which makes them a trendy choice to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. It’s sort of sad that they won’t be playing this Sunday enjoying the Bye Week. This week Kansas City will be in Oakland (2-9) and should exploit the Raiders horrible defense. ¬†The Chiefs are 14.5 point favorites and have an all-time advantage between the two AFC West rivals, 63-53-2.

4. CHICAGO BEARS (8-3) Last Week: 4th

Chase Daniels will get his 2nd straight start this week as the Bears are in New York to battle the mystery that is the Giants (3-8).   This team has yet to be behind at halftime all year. The defense ranked 4th overall is superior creating points on turnovers which they would like to do for the 3rd straight week. Khalil Mack should get serious consideration for defensive player of the year.  Jordan Howard (536 yards rushing) could have his first big week against a Giants team struggling to stop the run. Bears are 3.5 favorites to get another road win over the New York Giants. Chicago has a huge advantage between the two teams in head to head, 33-23-2.

5. HOUSTON TEXANS (8-3) Last Week: Unranked

Eight straight wins! ¬† Remember when we all had Bill O’Brien on the firing block? ¬†Now the Texans have taken advantage of a weak schedule, but the play of Deshaun Watson (2,807 Yards 20 TD’s 101.8 QB Rating) has people excited and worthy of this team in the #5 spot. ¬† Lamar Miller has put up two straight stellar weekends which had added to the weapons the Texans have offensively. ¬†The defense is getting better now ranked #7 overall in the league. ¬†This could be a very dangerous team with all the high priced talent moving in the right direction. The Texans will look to make it nine straight as the Cleveland Browns ¬†(4-6-1) come to H-town. ¬†Texans lead the all-time series (6-3) and are 5.5 point favorites to beat Baker Mayfield and the Browns (Last played last year a 33-17 win by the Texans with Watson throwing 3 TD passes).

Closing in on the top 5 this week:

New England Patriots (8-3), LA Chargers (8-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 13 

28. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-8) Last Week: Unranked

What a disaster!  This was my Super Bowl pick in the AFC and the season has gone straight in the garbage can with seven straight loses.  Blake Bortles has proven he is not a franchise QB and why the team did not go out and get an Eli Manning or someone at the trading deadline is inexcusable.  Hey Jalen Ramsey what are you saying right now?  This is not the defenses fault, ranked 5th overall but the offense has been brutal since the loss of   OT Cam Robinson (Torn ACL) and losing Marqise Lee before the season really has shown.  The Jags will look to avoid an 8th straight loss in a row vs. the red-hot Colts (6-5) at home with Cody Kessler as the starter.  Vegas likes the Colts on the road as 4 point favorites. Indy will be after the clean sweep this year after winning the first affair 29-26 and have a 23-12 lead in the series between the two AFC South teams.

29. N.Y. JETS (3-8) Last Week: Unranked

The season started with promise, and now we can hear the clock ticking on Todd Bowles and his coaching life. Sam Darnold looks like he will play against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday but why put him in harm’s way. He has shown enough now the franchise needs to build around him with a new Head Coach. Not everything has been horrible for gang green, as the play of Jamal Adams has stood out. ¬†The Jets will be in Tennessee this Sunday to battle the Titans (5-6). ¬†Currently, Vegas has the Titans as eight-point favorites and Tennessee leads the all-time series 24-19-1.

30 SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (2-9) Last Week: 30th

Its been a lost season for San Francisco.  Coach Shanahan has done an excellent job of keeping this team fighting. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they play in Seattle this week a place of horrors for them 4-13 at Century Link Field. The fun part of the week has been Richard Sherman taking shots at Russell Wilson all week.  This game could get ugly in a must win for Seattle (6-5). The Seahawks are 10 point favorites and are 24-15 all-time versus  San Francisco which includes a nine-game winning streak between the NFC West combatants.  The 49ers last beat Seattle in 2013 (19-17) and have won only once in the last 12 match-ups (1-11).  The best thing for the 49ers is to keep losing and get the first pick in the NFL Draft.

31 OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-9) Last Week: 31st

One of the worst seasons in Oakland Raiders history continues to roll on in its shambolic state. All the excitement of Jon Gruden being back working with Derek Carr.  Before the season kicked off, Khalil Mack was moved and from that moment on, the year spiraled out control.   They lost to a rookie QB Lamar Jackson in an uninspired effort. This week the Raiders woeful 25th ranked defense will have to figure out how to stop the 3rd ranked offense and leading MVP Candidate Patrick Mahomes.  I am guessing a brutal double-digit loss and the Chiefs could score 50 points on the Silver Black sieve-like defense.

32. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-9) Last Week: 32nd

They got schooled by the Chargers, and the worst offense in the NFL has no hope of getting better this year.  Josh Rosen will continue to take his lumps, and this week it will be in Green Bay (4-6-1) to take on the Packers.  One has to wonder what the Cardinals are going to do this off-season with the front office and coaching staff.  Packers lead the all-time series 45-25-4 and are 14 point favorites to knock off Arizona with an angry Aaron Rodgers. One of the best games between the two franchises was in 2016, the NFC Divisional Playoffs which the Cards won in OT 26-20.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7),  Detroit Lions (4-7), N.Y. Giants 3-8

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 14.

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 12

Unafraid Show NFL Rankings Week #12

Five Up Five Down The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 12 is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league. Week 12 has already kicked off with the Bears, Cowboys, and Saints all enjoying Thanksgiving with big wins! What did we learn from Week 11? The Steelers are serious contenders in the AFC even without a franchise RB, Colts are better then we think, and the Chiefs and Rams are the most exciting teams in football! Do you like that? Does your team sadly qualify for worst teams for Week 12?

Leave a comment, share, and email us: ImMad@UnafraidShow.com.

5 UP: The 5 Best NFL Teams Week 12 Gobble, Gobble!

1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-1) Last Week: 1st

Drew Brees, is not going to win the MVP but he should. The Saints destroyed the Falcons yesterday and continue to roll past everyone they face. Drew Brees put up big numbers again in what has been a perfect season (3,135 Yards 29 TDs 2 int 127.3 Rating). What is more disturbing for those is the Saints are starting to play excellent defense. If they continue to play like they have the past two weeks, then all other teams are in trouble. The Saints are like the perfect deep fried Cajun Turkey. It melts in your mouth, and you always want seconds on Thanksgiving.

2. LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-1) Last Week: 3rd

Coach McVay is the most exciting play caller in the game. The Rams were fun to watch in a 54-51 win over the Chiefs, but that defense is still a concern. Jared Goff (3,547 yards 26 TD’s) and Todd Gurley (1,043 Yards 13 TDs) are the kingpins of what has become an unstoppable machine. The only thing slowing down this team is the Bye Week on the schedule. These Rams are those amazing sweet potatoes that a Thanksgiving Dinner cannot be without.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-2) Last Week: 2nd

The Chiefs created history!¬† First team to lose a game scoring over 50 points. It was a fun game to watch but also a reminder that the defense still is swiss cheese. Patrick Mahomes II had six touchdown passes and over 400 yards passing, but it was those three costly interceptions that cost them the most. He will learn from it and is on his way to being the league’s MVP.¬† The Chiefs barely lost to the Patriots and Rams on the road, which makes them a trendy choice to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. It’s sort of sad that they won’t be playing this Sunday enjoying the Bye Week.¬† Oh! The Chiefs are that amazing gravy that makes everything pop and is a fan favorite.

4. CHICAGO BEARS (8-3) Last Week: Unranked

It’s time to stand-up and recognize the Chicago Bears. A 23-16 day victory in Detroit for Thanksgiving with Chase Daniel at QB is impressive. This team has yet to be behind at halftime all year. The defense is just superior creating points on turnovers and won the game with an INT returned for a score the second straight game they have done that. They are the mashed potatoes that are always a strong choice to be the 2nd best item on your Thanksgiving plate.

5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-2-1) Last Week: Unranked

The Steelers are in Denver this week after one of the most impressive comebacks in team history overcoming the Jaguars on the road. Big Ben was awful in the first half of that game, but he came on and led the team to what he described as the best comeback of his career. The Steelers will be on the road challenging the Denver Broncos (4-6) who are coming off a big win over the LA Chargers. Pittsburgh is like that consistent Pumpkin Pie you want to devour on Thanksgiving Day with extra whipped cream!

Closing in on the top 5 this week:

New England Patriots (7-3), Houston Texans (7-3), LA Chargers (7-3).

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 11 The Turkeys of the NFL

28.BUFFALO BILLS (3-7) Last Week: 28th

I kind of look at Buffalo as the cranberry sauce on a Thanksgiving Day table. You look at it but have no interest in it. The Bills will be looking for two in a row with Matt Barkley at the helm. As bad as the offense has been most of the year, the defense is a respectable two overall allowing just 302 yards a game. The Bills will host Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) who are trying to recover from a devastating loss against the Steelers.

29. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-7) Last Week: Unranked

Tampa is that dessert that your Aunt brought over for Thanksgiving that looks good but tastes awful. The Bucs are hopeless trying to defend the field of play. They rank 27th in the league in yards given up. Combine that with the uncertainty at the QB position with Fitzpatrick and Winston back again throwing brutal interceptions its a recipe for disaster. I will be shocked if Head Coach Dirk Koetter survives this season. The Bucs have so many offensive weapons but will be lucky to win 1 or 2 more games. Tampa will host the (2-8) San Francisco 49ers.

30 SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (2-8) Last Week: 29th

The 49ers, due to injuries, are the stuffing that is ok, but you avoid putting on your plate during Thanksgiving. This team will put up a fight but most likely will come up short due to a lack of healthy players. The 49ers will play the (3-7) Buccaneers in Tampa

31 OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-8) Last Week: 32nd

Well, the Raiders are peas you never eat on Thanksgiving. It’s been a gross season though they pulled out a win in Arizona that saw Jon Gruden and Derek Carr get into it often. Oakland is probably better off losing every game from here on in, but they won’t even do that right. The Raiders will be in Baltimore to battle the Ravens (5-5).

32. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-8) Last Week: 30th

Brussel Sprouts! The Cardinals are the worst team in the NFL right now and the last thing you would pick to eat on Thanksgiving. It’s hard to watch this team from the coaching and the hopelessness of the offense which is ranked dead last in the National Football league. This season cannot end fast enough as the Cardinals will travel to LA to battle the (7-3) Chargers.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door:

N.Y. Jets (3-7), Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7), Detroit Lions (3-7).

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 13. Be blessed and safe during this Holiday Season.

Five Up Five Down The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 11

5 Worst NFL teams week 11

Five Up Five Down The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 11 is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.   Week 11 is hours away from kicking off in Pittsburgh on this crunchy groove Thursday. What did we learn from Week 10? The Saints offense is insane in the membrane.  Chiefs and Rams continue to roll, which makes this weeks match-up must-watch TV.  The Raiders are horrible, and the Jets should really be embarrassed!  Does your team sadly qualify for worst teams for Week 11?

Leave a comment, share, and email us: ImMad@UnafraidShow.com.

5 UP: The 5 Best NFL Teams Week 11

1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-1) Last Week: 2nd

This team got a terrific defensive performance that held the Bengals to 14 points on the road. The Saints still give up 23.6 a game and 376.2 yards a game, which still needs improvement and ranks 20th, but last Sunday is something to build on.  Drew Brees and Michael Thomas did it yet again as the Saints electrifying offense put up 51 points against Cincinnati. New Orleans has the highest scoring offense in the game averaging 36.7 and 6th overall in the NFL. The Big Bayou will welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to town. Saints are heavy nine-point favorites. In the 30 previous meetings between the two franchises, Eagles have a 17-13 lead with the most recent match-up coming in 2015 (Eagles win 39-14).

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-1) Last Week: 3rd

They didn’t destroy the Cardinals, which I thought was going to happen, but the Chiefs still put up 26 points in an impressive win. Patrick Mahomes II kept it going but was mortal with only 249 yards which snapped his 300-yard streak. The Chiefs still rank 31st in total team defense which is a major concern especially this week against the Rams. Kansas City has the #1 point differential in the NFL with +113 points. ¬†The Chiefs travel to LA to battle the (9-1) Rams in a Monday night contest that was slated to play in Mexico City. The two teams combined are 18-2. Rams are 3.5 favorites, and in the 11 meetings between the two sides, Chiefs have a 7-4 record with the last meeting being in 2014.

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-1) Last Week:  4th

The Rams scored 36 points but barely beat Seattle once again. LA has the #1 offense in the NFL averaging 448 yards a game and the 3rd most points at 33.5.  Jared Goff and Todd Gurley both had huge days which is nothing new for them. The defense is still a concern ranked 23rd in the NFL. In a weather break, the Rams get a home game in LA (fires withstanding) due to field issues (rain destroyed the field in Mexico City) on Monday night. This could be a preview of SB 53 in Atlanta. Rams could clinch a playoff spot with a win.

4.LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-2) Last Week: 5th

The Chargers have won 6 straight games, and the defense keeps getting better and better. Here is the good news. Joey Bosa practiced this week for the first time since week 1. The trifecta on offense of Philip Rivers (2,459 yards 21 TD ¬†4 Int 67% 115 QB rating), Melvin Gordon (672 Yards 5.38 AVG. 7 TD’s), and Keenan Allen(53 Catches 687 yards 2 TD’s) ¬†are producing big numbers. I have said this all along this team could be the most complete in the NFL ranking 11th in Offense and 12th on defense. The Chargers will welcome the Denver Broncos (3-6) to town. Broncos lead the all-time series 65-51-1 with both teams splitting last year. The Chargers will be 7 points favorites this Sunday.

5. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-3) Last Week: 1st

Well, prosperity did not last long for the Patriots who looked like a banged-up team in Tennessee and lost 38-24.  Fortunately for the Pats, they get a bye week perfectly placed to allow Gronk, Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, and many more to heal-up. New England might have an issue with an offensive line that looked overmatched for the first time since early in the year. New England will return on the 25th, with the perfect get well card, a battle versus the (3-7) N.Y. Jets.

Closing in on the top 5 this week:

Houston Texans (6-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1), Chicago Bears (6-3), Washington (6-3)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 11

28. BUFFALO BILLS (3-7) Last Week:  30th

What a great week the Bills had. ¬†They throttled the Jets on the road and cut Nathan Peterman. It was like Christmas came early for Bill fans! The Bills will enjoy a week off and have turkey and the carryover of the team’s 3rd win of the year. Somehow Matt Barkley looked like Jim Kelly but then again the QB play was so bad that anyone would have looked competent over Derek Anderson and Nathan Peterman. Buffalo ranks 31st in offense but an NFL respectable 7th overall on defense. The Bills will have a chance at another win as the sinking Jaguars come to Buffalo on the 25th of November.

29. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-7) Last Week: 31st

For what its worth, the Giants got a gutsy win on the road on a game-winning drive late. Eli had 3 TD passes with no turnovers, and OBJ had a big night. The defense is still 25th in the NFL, and it just doesn’t seem like Pat Shurmur is Head Coach material. The dysfunction on this team is still evident. Whether Giants fans want them to tank or not, New York has another winnable game this Sunday against the defensively inept Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at home. Giants will be 1.5 point favorites and have won 14 of the 21 contests between the two franchises (Tampa won last year 25-23).

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-7) Last Week: 28th

If only they could play the 49ers for 16 games, a perfect season would be in store! ¬†The Cardinals were respectable in Kansas City. It’s quite apparent they will be offensively challenged all year long, ranking dead last in the NFL. David Johnson did have a good game by his standards (98 yards on the ground and 85 through the air), but Josh Rosen throwing 2 more interceptions looks every bit as an unpolished rookie can look. The Cardinals have a very winnable game at home against the worst team on our list, the 1-8 Oakland Raiders. The Cards are 4 point favorites, and in nine meetings between the two franchises, the Raiders have won 5 and the Cardinals 4. This is my nomination for the early Turkey Bowl (3-15) record between the two squads.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (2-8) Last Week: 29th

They played another solid game but came up short against the Giants.  Nick Mullens had 2 big interceptions which offset a terrific performance from Matt Breida who had over 100 yards on the ground.  Say what you will about the record, this team comes to play no matter who is healthy or who is not which is a credit to Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers will enjoy an off week and return on the 25th playing the Buccaneers in Tampa.

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-8) Last Week: 32nd

When your QB throws the ball away on 4th down, you realize what a train wreck this season has been. ¬†The one positive is all the first round picks they have stockpiled. That’s it. ¬†Is Jon Gruden the man you want leading this franchise forward? The team ranks 23rd on offense and 24th on defense which actually is better than I thought. How happy is Khalil Mack in Chicago and Amari Cooper in Dallas? A commitment to chaos seems to be the Raiders way. Vegas are you ready for this trash?

Teams that are knocking on futilities door: 

N.Y. Jets (3-7), Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6), Detroit Lions (3-6)

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 12.

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 10

Worst NFL teams week 10

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 10 is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.   Week 10 is hours away from kicking off in Pittsburgh on this crunchy groove Thursday. What did we learn from Week 9? The Saints offense with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas is unstoppable, Patriots, with major injuries and mediocre three-quarters of play, can still beat you by 14 points, The Oakland Raiders are the laughingstock of the league, and Jason Garrett might actually be on borrowed time. Does your team sadly qualify for worst teams for Week 10?

Leave a comment, share, and email us: ImMad@UnafraidShow.com.

5 UP: The 5 Best NFL Teams Week Ten

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-2) Last Week: 4th

As the legendary Boston band Aerosmith would sing, the¬†train kept a rolling all night long in Week #9 win versus the Packers. ¬†It seems like an eternity since that embarrassing loss in Detroit, and they are now winners of 6 straight. I figure I’ll get some heat and be very unpopular that I put New England in the number one spot with two losses, deal with it. They are better than anyone right now. It wasn’t pretty versus the Packers, but they beat them by 14 when the clock struck 00:00. Tom Brady (2,494 Yards 17 TDs 7 Int 97.6 QB Rating) is still the best at getting everyone involved, and his comfort level with Josh Gordon¬†( 5 catches 130 Yards TD) is growing. Cordarelle Patterson (11 carries for 61 Yards 1 TD) was converted into a “Big RB” and looked like a playmaker a typical Patriots move that works. Julian Edelman is the best do everything guy in the NFL.

The Patriots defense made Aaron Rodgers look mortal, which is another reason for all other teams in the NFL to be concerned. Defensive end Trey Flowers caused constant pressure vs. a beleaguered Packers offensive line. Bill Belichick is the master at getting it right. He sculpts whatever the talent he has into a cohesive, reliable defensive unit. Alex Cora brought the World Series trophy to Gillette Field.  Will it be any surprise if Bill Belichick brings the Lombardi Trophy to Fenway in April? No! The Patriots travel to Tennessee to take on the feisty Titans (4-4) and former teammate Malcolm Butler.  Mike Vrabel a former longtime Super Bowl-winning (2 TD catches in SB) Patriots LB is the Tennessee Titans Head Coach. The Pats will be 7 point favorites and hold a 26-15-1 record against the Titans/Oilers franchise.

2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-1) Last Week: 3rd

Oh, the Saints went marching into the end zone a lot this past Sunday afternoon in the marquee match-up of the day. They hung the first loss on the Rams ledger by outscoring LA, 45-35. ¬†Drew Brees and Michael Thomas might be the most lethal combo in the league. With Mark Ingram back healthy with the combination of Alvin Kamara, it’s just not fair to try and stop that running duo. The offensive line does a fantastic job of creating time and space for Brees and the running backs. New Orleans just signed WR Dez Bryant to add to an embarrassment of riches.

The defense is still the teams Achilles heel. Only nine teams have given up more points. The Saints D ranks 28th in the red zone. The good news for the Saints is the Chiefs and Rams are equally as inept at stopping opposing teams. In fairness to the Saints, they have suffered some injuries but if they want to be favorites to win the SB in Atlanta that D has to shore up some gaping holes in the secondary that Eli Apple will not cure. ¬† Sean Payton’s crew has now beat the Ravens, Vikings, and Rams in consecutive weeks.¬†It’s the simple reason why I leapfrogged them over KC. ¬†This week is another tough test going to Cincinnati to take on the (5-3) Bengals.¬†The Saints are 4.5 favorites over the Bengals, but Cincy leads the series 7-6.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-1) Last Week: 2nd

Chiefs fans might be unhappy with me. Hey, you still have the best barbecue in the nation and time to move up our Unafraid rankings. Sure the Chiefs are 8-1 and just blew out the Cleveland Browns, and they get moved from two to three in my weekly rankings? What the heck am I thinking? I’m just more impressed with the Patriots and Saints. Chiefs have big wins (Steelers, Chargers, Jags, Bengals) but they still have major defensive concerns giving up 226 points. Good news for the defense, safety Daniel Sorensen was activated from the IR.

The offense is just playing Madden 19 on the easy level with a league-leading 101 point differential. Patrick Mahomes II is just insane with what he is doing (2,901 yards, 29 TD’s 7 INTs 116.7 QB Rating) though his consecutive 4 TD passes streak ended he has now thrown for 300 yards in 8 straight games. He is that good. ¬†Travis Kelce has been a stud all year long (51 catches 741 yards 6 TDs). Kareem Hunt has also been playing at an All-Pro level and torched the Browns (17 Att 91 yards 2 TD’s 5.4 AVG). The Chiefs have the (2-6) Arizona Cardinals coming to town which should be another blowout win. The Chiefs are 18.5 point favorites (the Biggest spread of the year), and KC has won 8 out of the 12 contests with one ending in a tie between the two squads.

4. LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-1) Last Week:  1st

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! ¬†From first to fourth in a brutal knockdown. I have preached all year long that the defense will be the downfall for Los Angeles. They skirted defeats to Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, and Green Bay with below average defensive display. Is Aaron Donald one of the best defensive players in the league? Yes, he is, and you could argue the best, but the LB core Dante Fowler or no Dante Fowler and that secondary is a sieve. Will Talib’s return help? It should, but what the heck has happened to Marcus Peters? Wade Phillips has to improve the defense if the Rams want to get back to the top spot in our rankings.

The offense once again put up some big numbers. Jared Goff led a massive comeback with a tremendous performance (391 Yards 3 TDs 70% and a 115.7 QB Rating). Todd Gurley was shut down and held to 68 yards vs. the Saints, but Brandin Cooks was a monster with 114 yards and TD. Why is Brandin Cooks on his third team in three years? What a player! The roadblock to Atlanta and SB 53 for LA could be the play of the defense. Rams will be home to Seattle (4-4) this week. The first meeting between the two teams was close; a 33-31 Rams NFC West win in October. Los Angeles are heavy favorites at 11.5 points, but Seattle has a 23-18 advantage in the all-time series.

5. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (6-2) Last Week: 5th

The Chargers went up to Seattle, and they balled. LA both defensively and offensively did what they needed to win in a 25-17 victory over the red-hot Seahawks. Melvin Gordon was special and ran for 113 yards. Keenan Allen looked like a top 10 Wide Reciever hauling in 6 catches for 124 yards. This offense led by Philip Rivers has so many weapons and will get better when Tight End Hunter Henry returns in December. Sure they are not seeing a lot of people show up at the StubHub Center, but this offense should be drawing more fans into those empty seats!

Why I think the Chargers could be the most complete team in our top 5 and my darkhorse SB entrant is because of the defense. They have only allowed 180 points this year. Joey Bosa is closing in on a return which led to an ESPN analyst to take an ill-advised swing at him. This unit is loaded with playmakers and a stout secondary. If you haven’t recognized Desmond King and what he is doing at the CB position check this out! The Chargers get to travel North with a divisional showdown against the woeful Oakland Raiders (1-7). LA is a strong 10 point favorite and beat Oakland 26-10 earlier this year. The Silver and Black do lead the all-time series 63-53-2.

Closing in on the top 5 this week:

Carolina Panthers (6-2), Houston Texans (6-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Ten 

28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-6) Last Week: 28th

Arizona did not move down or up our rankings due to enjoying a Bye Week. The Cardinals have two wins both against the equally inept San Francisco 49ers. Sam Bradford was released, which makes you wonder why he was even signed in the first place. ¬†2018 has been a complete failure. You have to wonder if the Coach and GM won’t be getting a pink slip at the end of the year. One must feel for the future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald. You were hoping for a better year, but the Cardinals are falling apart at the seems. Do you miss Bruce Arians yet?

When you talk Worst teams NFL week 10, Arizona must be brought up. Cardinals rank 32nd in offense, and the defense is not far behind in being woeful. Josh Rosen continues to learn (1,072 yards 10 TDs 12 INTS). as well as be more accurate. The Cardinals after the Bye Week have to figure out a way to slow down the most prolific offense in Kansas City (8-1) as Patrick Mahomes II looks to make it 9 straight games throwing for over 300 yards. I see a colossal blowout in the making.

29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (2-7) Last Week: 32nd

Well, for a team completely devastated by major injuries everywhere, how refreshing was Nick Mullins last Thursday evening. ¬†He put up a brilliant performance against the Oakland Raiders in a 34-3 win the 49ers second of the year.¬† One must wonder if the team should tank it yet could Mullins change that philosophy? Let’s temper the appearance with the fact the Raiders have the 2nd worst defense in the NFL. One guy who always shows up is Greg Kittle another gigantic performance (4 catches 108 yards with a TD).

The defense was impressive as well against the Raiders. They collected eight sacks and were constantly disrupting the running game. It was the best performance of the year from the defense that was spearheaded by Cassius Marsh and Deforest Buckner. San Francisco will get a chance to build on its successful performance on Monday Night against a struggling N.Y. Giants (1-7) team at home. The 49ers are 3 point favorites at home, and the series is dead even at 20 games apiece.

30. BUFFALO BILLS (2-7) Last Week:  29th

Oh, Nathan Peterman strikes again! ¬†If you can select a fantasy defense off of the waiver wire going up against Peterman, do it. Let’s now role the interceptions reel. ¬†What’s really crazy is Peterman has 11 INTs in his last 95 passes, whereas Aaron Rodgers has 11 interceptions in his last 993 pass attempts. It’s simply ugly. The Bears thrashed Buffalo 41-9. It was a forgettable game in what is turning into a forgettable season. It’s surprising that the Bills have two wins this year (Tennessee and Minnesota should be ashamed) and I think that Buffalo should just go all out tank mode. ¬†Why put Josh Allen back in behind an offensive line that is simply horrendous? ¬†He could get seriously hurt and has been sacked 21 times even with his mobility.

Buffalo has a short road trip to New Jersey as they take on the (3-6) N.Y. Jets. The Jets are favored by 7.5 points, but the Bills lead the all-time series against there AFC East rivals 61-54.

31. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) Last Week: 31st

Good news, the Giants didn’t lose or fall to 32nd in the rankings. ¬†Though the Cowboys are gaining ground in whacked out franchise mode N.Y. Giants are still #1 in dysfunction. It’s such a messed up situation, I don’t know where to start! I thought with all the moves this team made in the offseason they were going to compete in the NFC East and be a playoff team. Lord was I wrong! Pat Shurmur looks lost, Eli looks like he should be in a retirement home, OBJ should be frustrated, and that offensive line with the high priced addition of Nate Soldier is a pile of dog crap. The Raiders at least realized it needed to tear it down. ¬†The Giants didn’t do anything at the trade deadline, which was a big mistake.

The off-season for this franchise is going to be critical and the teams most important. When watching a Giants game, other than Barkley, you wonder why a total rebuild has not already begun. The Giants will face the 49ers on Monday Night. Eli will start versus the 49ers, which just makes you wonder does this organization get it. The combined record of these two proud franchises is (3-14). ¬†Shouldn’t the league be able to flex this turkey bowl?

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-7) Last Week: 30th

Laughingstock, unwatchable, miserable. Add a derogatory word, and it works describing the Silver and Black’s 2018-19 season. This is the worst team in the NFL. ¬†How happy is Khalil Mack in Chicago to be out of this mess? ¬† Jon Gruden, are we tanking yet? Well, they should. ¬†Actually, the Raiders really need to tank next year as well to get Tua. ¬†I don’t even know where to begin when you lose 34-3 to a (1-7) 49ers team its ugly. Derek Carr was sacked eight times, and nothing about the Oakland Raiders looked competitive last Thursday night.

The franchise should start prepping draft needs and continue unloading players in the off-season and be in full rebuild mode. Oakland will face the red-hot Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) at home this Sunday.  Expect the team to be dealing with its eighth loss of the year. The Silver and Black are the leaders of the worst teams NFL week 10.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door: 

Cleveland Browns (2-6-1), N.Y. Jets (3-6), Dallas Cowboys (3-5)

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 11.

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Seven

NFL Teams Week Seven

Five Up Five Down

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Seven is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.   Week seven is hours away from kicking off in the Mile High City. What did we learn from Week 6? Tom Brady has nimble feet, Aaron Rodgers is the comeback kid, Todd Gurley is the best running back on the planet, and the Ravens have just sacked Marcus Mariota yet again.

5 UP:  The 5 Best NFL Teams Week Seven

1. LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-0) Last Week:  2nd

The Rams are proving to be the best team in the NFL for many reasons. One of those reasons is they find ways to win games that they don’t play in very well. One guy who was dominant was Todd Gurley, who was again the best running back on planet setting career highs (208 yards 2 TD’s 7.4 Avg.) as he ran up and all over the Denver Broncos. He covered up for Jared Goff who was sacked five times and only completed 50% of his passes and threw an ugly interception. It marks the 2nd straight week of bad play from Jared after his fantastic performance against the Vikings. Goff has still put up impressive numbers on the year (1,928 Yards 12 TD’s 5 INT 110.9 Ratings) but with Gurley running this well, his numbers might decrease anyways. The Rams WR core has been beaten up recently with Copper Kupp out this week which has not helped Jared either.

The defense has played big in moments when they’ve had to. Consistency has been an issue all year long, and Wade Phillips is working on it. The Rams will finish up a long three-game road trip in San Francisco. They are 10.5 point favorites against the (1-5) 49ers who have played better than their record would indicate. The two rivals have met 137 times with the 49ers winning 69 of those contests.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-1) Last Week: 1st

If you could ever build a case that you’ve won after losing, the Chiefs proved that this week. Patrick Mahomes II legacy is still growing when he nearly outdueled the GOAT. He threw for 352 yards and 4 TD’s (1,865 yards 18 TD’s 4 INT’s 112.2 Rating) this kid is beyond exceptional! ¬†Another positive for the Chiefs in the 43-40 loss was the running game appeared in the form of Kareem Hunt (10 carries 80 Yards 8 AVG). If the Chiefs can balance the attack and eat up more time on the clock, they will win more close games. They gave Tom Brady too much time to beat them on Sunday night.

A high-powered offense again picked apart the Kansas City Chiefs defense. I realize the Chiefs are usually tough on 3rd down conversions (allowed over 50% to the Pats on Sunday night) but when you give up nearly 500 yards that will end up being a losing formula. The challenges keep coming for KC who will welcome a good Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) team to town. Chiefs are 6 point favorites, but Cincy leads the all-time series 15-13. Though they moved one spot down our list of Five Up, the Chiefs proved even in a loss they are a team who will contend for the top spot thanks to the most exciting player in the NFL.

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1) Last Week: 4th

The Saints enjoyed the Bye Week and gained a spot in our 5 Up category thanks to a Bengals loss in Pittsburgh. This week, Drew Brees and company will have to deal with a red-hot defense that just racked up 11 sacks last week. New Orleans’ schedule is brutal coming up with three of the next four crucial games on the road against (@Ravens, @Vikings, Rams, @Bengals). We will learn a lot about the Saints Super Bowl chances in the next month. Drew Brees, when its all said and done, would like to be #1 on the top 10 quarterbacks¬†list.¬†Ravens have dominated the series five games to one and are two-point favorites at home.

4. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-2) Last Week: 3rd

So the Bengals lost to the Steelers last week, what else is new? They played very well but lost on a late Antonio Brown touchdown. I am merciful; they only dropped one spot in our rankings. The defense let down the Bengals against Pittsburgh. Three Steelers had over 100 yards by run and pass, which is not a good sign for Marvin Lewis team. The Bengals have a lot of young talent and Tyler Boyd is starting to become a household name.

The offense was not without blame as well. Andy Dalton was very inconsistent and wound up with just 229 yards through the air. Joe Mixon was, in my opinion, not used enough (11 carries for 64 Yards). If the Bengals don’t want to slide out of the top five, they will need to establish the run and make Joe Mixon part of a ball attack against Kansas City this weekend.

5. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-2) Last Week: Unranked

Well, it was just a matter of time before the Patriots were going to climb into the rankings. It was not an easy decision because the Chargers and Ravens are not far behind the Patriots. They have some serious questions on the defensive side of the ball. If there is any coach who can get all the questions answered and the mess cleaned up, it’s Bill Belichick. Check back in November and that defense will probably be corrected as it is every year.

When you have Tom Brady as your QB, it covers up a lot of weaknesses. He has some old weapons back in Edelman and some new ones to play with in Josh Gordon. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it looks like Brady is getting even better. What’s in that TB 12? What is also very appealing for the Patriots is the fact rookie running back Sony Michel is looking like a stud. The Patriots will travel to the Windy City to challenge the Chicago Bears (3-2). An aspect to watch is how the Pats will block Khalil Mack. New England is two-point favorites for week seven and leads the all-time series between the two teams, 9-4. The Biggest game between these two, of course, was Super Bowl 20 when the Bears trounced New England 46-10.

Closing in the top 5 this week:

Baltimore Ravens (4-2), LA Chargers (4-2), Miami Dolphins (4-2)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six

28. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-5) Last Week: Unranked

The start of the 2018-2019 season has not been kind to the Colts. It looks like Andrew Luck is still trying to find his consistency, but he has very little to work with offensively. Indy is 30th running the ball which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the shoulders of the franchise Quarterback (1,792 yards, 16 TD’s 8 INTS 88,8 Rating). Luck has been under duress as well, already being sacked 19 times so far this year.

The Colts defense has not offered any big stops when the team needs it most. They give up a lot of yards on the ground and provide no pass rush to create sacks (10 as a team) and turnovers. The perfect get well card is coming to town as the equally inept Buffalo Bills (2-4) enter Lucas Oil Field. The Colts are favored by seven and a half points, but the Bills lead the series 37-31-1.

29. N.Y. GIANTS (1-5) Last Week: 29th

The Giants are a complete disaster right now as week seven begins. After playing better in Carolina, they came home in a must-win versus the Eagles and everyone other than Saqoun Barkley played horribly.  The offensive line did an excellent job run blocking, but the Eagles pushed them aside and terrorized Eli Manning all night. The Odel Beckham Jr. soap opera is another example of blaming the teams best player when he is not the issue. Eli Manning, as great as he has been in his career, looks like a washed-up gunslinger who is out of bullets. The Giants got a great player in Barkley but the decision to give Manning one more year seems like a disaster.

The defense has been equally inept. Eli Apple seems to be fighting everyone, and the tackling has been poor. Pat Shurmur has a lot of work on his hands, and one must wonder if he doesn’t hear the clock tick on his job. He deserves patience but the New York fan base has none. If the team continues to have terrible performances like against the Eagles last Thursday night, Pat might be a coordinator somewhere else soon. The Giants will be in Atlanta on Monday night. There is a chance to put up big numbers against a struggling Falcons defense. The Falcons (2-4) are four and a half favorites against the G-men at home, and the series is even at 12 games apiece.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-5) Last Week: 30th

The Cards are improving in some areas, but surprisingly it was the defense that let them down in Minneapolis. Somehow the Cards let the inept running game of the Vikings get 195 yards on the ground. They did create another turnover for a score. However, giving up 27 points on the road with a rookie quarterback is a recipe for a loss. David Johnson continues to be average but one bright spot is the play of Christian Kirk who was noticeable getting open against a stingy Vikings defense (6 catches for 77 yards).

The Cardinals will be in Denver tonight to face the (2-4) Broncos. This might be the worst matchup for the Cardinals historically who have lost eight of the ten matchups with one ending in a tie. This will be another learning curve for Josh Rosen (626 Yards 55.6 % 2 TD’S) who hasn’t played that bad after relieving Sam Bradford of the starting duties.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (1-5) Last Week: 32nd

Did the 49ers lose in heartbreak fashion on Monday night? Yes, they did. Like many teams, the failure to stop Aaron Rodgers late in a game lead to a loss at Lambeau Field. The team played hard, and a lot of positives come out of this loss, which is why they moved up the rankings. No team in the NFL has been hit with so many injuries. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan deserves credit because his team comes to compete every week.

C.J. Beathard to his credit has played well (892 yards 6 TD’s 5 INTs 87.3 Rating) since coming in for injured Jimmy Garoppolo. How long will this last, nobody knows? The issue with the 49ers is the defense. It’s frustrating because they get pressure and sacks but the secondary has been awful. Yes, this does include a past his prime Richard Sherman. Next up for the 49ers ¬†for week seven, is the best team in football, the Los Angeles Rams (6-0). When it pours downhill, you are 1-5, the Rams are next of course.

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-5) Last Week: 31st

Well, Jon Gruden said his team is not tanking. That’s great. ¬†Gruden grinders getting up at 4 am to put together a dated offensive system. I like Coach a lot. ¬† He is a stand-up guy, but this team is brutal and the worst in the NFL. His offensive gameplan is old, and the team is somehow worse than it was last year. Getting embarrassed across the pond in London 27-3 to a beleaguered Seahawks team is disgusting. I’ve said this all along, Derek Carr looks like a lost soul. Is he fixable? Well, that is what Jon Gruden is supposed to do. He looks like he has regressed from last year. If you listen to talk radio, the marriage of Gruden and the fans are in a state of divorce proceedings.

As far as the defense, they are minus 66 point differential – the worst in the league. It’s ugly, and the lack of depth is the fault of the entire organization. Hey, Khalil Mack says hi from Chicago. The good news for the Raiders is that they cannot lose this weekend. Oakland is enjoying a Bye week. When they get back on October 28th, the equally inept Colts will be in town. It will be a chance for the Silver and Black to get a win.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door:

Buffalo Bills (2-4), Denver Broncos (2-4), Atlanta Falcons (2-4)

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 8.