JJ Rankings WEEK 9

By on November 4, 2014
The Cardinals and Patrick Peterson (21) shut down the Cowboys this week 28-17.  Above, Peterson returns a block field goal attempt on the last play of the first half to preserve a 14-10 halftime lead for Arizona. Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) and tight end Jason Witten (82) can't stop Peterson before he returned it 60 yards. (USA TODAY Sports / Matthew Emmons)

The Cardinals and Patrick Peterson (21) shut down the Cowboys this week 28-17. Above, Peterson returns a block field goal attempt on the last play of the first half to preserve a 14-10 halftime lead for Arizona. Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) and tight end Jason Witten (82) can’t stop Peterson before he returned it 60 yards. (USA TODAY Sports / Matthew Emmons)

 

The NFL is a funny league. The balance of power is so uneven. For instance, in the AFC North, Baltimore is in last place with a 5-4 record. In the NFC South on the other hand, New Orleans is in first place with a 4-4 record. So while it is possible that the Ravens will miss the playoffs, the Saints could potentially host a home playoff game. Also in the NFC, while the San Francisco 49ers have the same 4-4 record as the Saints, it is within the realm of possibility that they too will miss the playoffs. So in reality, it isn’t about how the talent on your football team, but rather about location, location, location. Speaking of location, enjoy my week 9 rankings below:

1)       Arizona (7-1)

  • The Cards did exactly what a team on the top perch should do: pummel any team that sends Brandon Weeden out as its starting QB. At the halfway point of the season, is there any question that Bruce Arians is coach of the year?

2)       New England (7-2)

  • A healthy Gronk makes the Pats offense lethal. If he stays away from frat parties, New England could make some noise around playoff time
3)       Denver (6-2) Cold weather and Tom Brady are kryptonite for Peyton Manning, but overreacting over a road loss to a 7-2 Pats team is silly. The Broncos are still a Super Bowl threat (photo Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports)

3)       Denver (6-2)
Cold weather and Tom Brady are kryptonite for Peyton Manning, but overreacting over a road loss to a 7-2 Pats team is silly. The Broncos are still a Super Bowl threat (photo Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports)

4)       Detroit (6-2)

  • The next three weeks will tell if the Lions are legit or not: home against suddenly hot Miami, then on the road against Arizona and New England. If they can pull off 2-1 or better during that stretch, they may open some eyes in the NFC

5)       Kansas City (5-3)

  • Alex Smith will never be considered an elite QB in the NFL, but man does he move the chains. The Chiefs converted 8 of 13 third down opportunities against a stout Jets defense

6)       Philadelphia (7-2)

  • We’ll see if Mark Sanchez can continue the mojo he showed on Sunday. Nick Foles wasn’t setting the world on fire, but he was running Chip Kelly’s offense well before breaking his collarbone
7)       Green Bay (5-3) Packers fans are hoping the well-timed bye gave Aaron Rodgers’ tight hammy time to heal (Rocket Sports & Entertainment file photo/Travis Failey)

7)       Green Bay (5-3)
Packers fans are hoping the well-timed bye gave Aaron Rodgers’ tight hammy time to heal (Rocket Sports & Entertainment file photo/Travis Failey)

8)       Pittsburgh (6-3)

  • Who needs a run game? The emergence of Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton has transformed the Steelers passing offense into a juggernaut. The only difficult game on the schedule over the next 6 weeks is a road game against the Bengals. AFC beware

9)       Indianapolis (6-3)

  • Andrew Luck has been hit more than any QB in the NFL. He is a big dude, but the offensive line and running game need to step up if the Colts expect him to last all season
10)   Seattle (5-3) Offensive line injuries and the lack of downfield weapons are a bit concerning, but Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch may be enough to carry the Seahawks into the postseason.  (photo by  Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports)

10)   Seattle (5-3)
Offensive line injuries and the lack of downfield weapons are a bit concerning, but Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch may be enough to carry the Seahawks into the postseason. (photo by Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports)

11)   Cincinnati (5-2-1)

  • Andy Dalton seems good for one or two bad turnovers a game and the defense is ranked 30th in the league. Despite that, the Bengals find ways to win. Like I’ve said over and over in these rankings, good teams find a way to win

12)   Dallas (6-3)

  • The Cowboys get a mulligan for the Brandon Weeden start. Any team would. The health of Tony Romo is much more concerning
13)   Miami (5-3) Ryan Tannehill looks like he is starting to put it together. With the weapons he has on offense, and the NFL’s 3rd ranked defense, the Dolphins are starting to look dangerous (Steve Mitchell / US PRESSWIRE)

13)   Miami (5-3)
Ryan Tannehill looks like he is starting to put it together. With the weapons he has on offense, and the NFL’s 3rd ranked defense, the Dolphins are starting to look dangerous (Steve Mitchell / US PRESSWIRE)

14)   San Francisco (4-4)

  • Colin Kaepernick’s errors are really starting to hurt the 49ers. Inaccuracy and fumbles are hardly what you expect when you pay a man 20 mil per year. The defense can only do so much

15)   Baltimore (5-4)

  • The Unibrow looked lost against the Steelers blitz on Sunday night. Get pressure on him, and the Ravens offense crumbles. As a side note, T Sizzle is the shittiest nickname in the NFL

16)   Buffalo (5-3)

  • 5 of the Bills next 6 games are against teams with winning records. If they are legitimate playoff contenders, this stretch will make or break their season
17)   San Diego (5-4) What the fuck happened to the Chargers? Three straight losses, including the most recent embarrassment against the Dolphins, has San Diego reeling (PR PHOTO)

17)   San Diego (5-4)
What the fuck happened to the Chargers? Three straight losses, including the most recent embarrassment against the Dolphins, has San Diego reeling (PR PHOTO)

18)   Cleveland (5-3)

  • Which Brian Hoyer will show up against Cinci? The first half Hoyer that gives the game away, or the second half Hoyer that leads the Browns to victory? To beat the Bengals, the Browns are going to need 4 good quarters from their QB

19)   New Orleans (4-4)

  • The Saints have won two straight quality games. It is no coincidence that Mark Ingram has emerged as a workhorse running back over that time frame

20)   Houston (4-5)

  • The Texans may get a chance to see if the Ryan Mallett trade pays dividends

21)   Minnesota (4-5)

  • Teddy Bridgewater lead the Vikes to 2 impressive clutch drives in the 4th quarter. Matt Asiata is emerging is a battering ram near the goal line

22)   St Louis (3-5)

  • When the Rams have their pass rush going like they did against the 49ers, they are tough to beat. Despite the inconsistent offense

23)   Carolina (3-5-1)

  • Cam Newton’s stats have regressed every year since he entered the NFL. When you consider the lack of weapons he has on offense, that doesn’t bode well for the Panthers going forward

24)   Washington (3-6)

  • The good news: RGIII looked solid in his return since dislocating his ankle. The bad news: the Redskins figured out a way to lose again

25)   New York Giants (3-5)

  • It gives me great pleasure that both New York teams suck balls. Great pleasure

26)   Atlanta (2-6)

  • Mike Smith is probably still roaming around London looking for the 22 straight points the Falcons surrendered to the Lions last week

27)   Chicago (3-5)

  • Given how the Bears season has gone thus far, they probably spent their bye week on the road

28)   Tennessee (2-6)

  • Consistently hovering in the low 20s in the power rankings is justified by being in the bottom 10 in both total offense and total defense. Good luck finding a W in the next 3 weeks against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Phili

29)   Jacksonville (1-8)

  • Want an example of how NFL coaches are smarter than college coaches? Denard Robinson is turning out to be a pretty promising running back. Too bad Michigan asked him to throw passes for 4 years

30)   Tampa Bay (1-7)

  • Mike Evans somehow managed to have a break out game against the Browns, despite Mike Glennon looking like…well….Mike Glennon

31)   New York Jets (1-8)

  • Michael Vick looked like an improvement at QB, and Percy Harvin added 100 yards receiving. The defense just couldn’t get off the field. Go figure

32)   Oakland (0-8)

  • The Raiders played their best game of the season Sunday, taking the Seahawks down to the wire. When you are 0-8, moral victories are pretty damn close to real victories
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