Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 14

The rankings stayed relatively calm this week despite some big games.  Let's see how that plays out with the Seahawks and Niners, Panthers and Saints, and Bengals and Colts all set to do battle.  Of note, Chicago has officially fallen off the board after a whole season of hovering near the bottom.  The NFC North is now the lone division not represented in the rankings.


#1 - Seattle Seahawks

Homefield is all but sealed.  That's a powerful statement for a team that thrives at home like Seattle.  Could we see a Super Bowl return eight years in the making?

Last Week: 1      Change: 0       Record: 11-1       Next Game: @ 49ers


#2 - New England Patriots

In the first half, the Patriots play like they don't even deserve to be on this board.  Then in the 2nd half, they look like they should be ranked #1.

Last Week: 2      Change: 0       Record: 9-3   Next Game: vs. Browns


#3 - Denver Broncos

Unless they stumble, Denver will have home field throughout.  Surprises always happen, but Brady/Manning XV seems like it's destined for late January. 

Last Week: 4      Change: +1       Record: 10-2      Next Game: vs. Titans


#4 - Carolina Panthers

I don't know if Carolina can go into New Orleans and win this Sunday, but on a neutral field, I'm taking the Cats.

Last Week: 5      Change: +1       Record: 9-3     Next Game: @ Saints


#5New Orleans Saints

And the Saints have set up the nightmare scenario where the scorching Panthers can overtake them and send New Orleans on the road.  Drew Brees will counter that the Saints are the winningest road team since 2009, and he'd be right.  Still, you gotta want to play in the Super Dome this winter if you're the Saints.

Last Week: 3      Change: -2       Record: 9-3      Next Game: vs. Panthers


#6 - San Francisco 49ers

Seattle has little to play for this weekend, but the Niners need this game to stay ahead in the playoff hunt.

Last Week: 7      Change: +1       Record: 8-4       Next Game: vs. Seahawks


#7 - Cincinnati Bengals

Big game for the Bengals this week, in a game which very may well determine who gets to be the #3 seed. 

Last Week: 8      Change: +1       Record: 8-4      Next Game: vs. Colts


#8 - Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs follwed up nine straight wins with three straight losses.  Their record may indicate otherwise, but they deserve to start on the road in January after completely falling apart during this latest stretch.  

Last Week: 6      Change: -2      Record: 9-3   Next Game: @ Redskins


#9 - Indianapolis Colts

If you love drama, there's few scenarios greater than the #4 seed Colts heading to Denver to open the Divisional round.  A loss to Cincy this week would get that possibility all teed up.

Last Week: 11     Change: +2       Record: 8-4  Next Game: @ Bengals


#10 - Philadelphia Eagles

I don't believe it for a second, but one look at the stat sheet could lead you to the argument that Nick Foles is the best QB in the league right now.

Last Week: 12      Change: +2       Record: 7-5    Next Game: vs. Lions


#11 - Arizona Cardinals

I don't want to kill the Cards after winning four out of five, but I have to rank the Eagles higher than them after Sunday.

Last Week: 9      Change: -2      Record: 7-5     Next Game: vs. Rams


#12 – Baltimore Ravens

Back from the dead.  The Super Bowl champs refuse to go away.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 6-6       Next Game: vs. Vikings


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 14

Surprising wins and losses abounded in Week 13 and the Top 12 reflects that with some decent activity up and down the board.   For now, though, the Patriots continue to reign supreme.  Monday Night's game will determine how long they stay at the top.


#1 – New England Patriots

Sunday's game wasn't the prettiest, but the Patriots beat a team they notoriously struggle with on the road to capture yet another AFC East title.  With the division wrapped-up, the Patriots will have back-to-back playoff-caliber tests against Houston and San Fran.

Last Week: 1      Change: 0     Record: 8-3       Next Game: vs. Texans


#2 – Atlanta Falcons

Nobody won too pretty in Week 13, which is why the Pats got to hold onto the top spot  Atlanta continued its streak of not-overly-convincing wins by downing the Saints, but taking 10 out of 11 is nothing to sneeze at.

Last Week: 3   Change: +1      Record: 10-1     Next Game: @ Panthers


#3 – Denver Broncos

The only reason Denver doesn't scare me as a potential Patriots playoff foe is that they're racking up their wins by picking on bottom feeders.  Losses to New England, Houston, and Atlanta, the other teams in the Top 4, make me question how well they'll do in January.

Last Week: 4    Change: +1       Record: 9-3       Next Game: @ Raiders


#4 – Houston Texans

After that last Denver comment, you might be wondering why Houston is ranked #4.  Well, the same holds true for them when it comes to picking on the non-elite.  The Texans will likely need to beat New England or sweep Indy to hold onto the top spot.  Time to see what they're really made of.

Last Week: 5      Change: +1     Record: 10-1     Next Game: @ Patriots


#5 – Green Bay Packers

I won't hold the debacle that was Week 12 against the Pack and force them under the Giants yet again.  Green Bay has its issues, but so does every other team on this board.

Last Week: 7     Change: +2       Record: 8-4      Next Game: vs. Lions


#6 – San Francisco 49ers

When you fail to beat the Rams twice, you're gonna drop.

Last Week: 2      Change: -4       Record: 8-3-1       Next Game: vs. Dolphins


#7 – New York Giants

The Giants had a chance to secure the NFC East on Monday Night.  Instead, the left the door WIDE open for RGIII.

Last Week: 6     Change: -1       Record: 7-5      Next Game: vs. Saints


#8 – Seattle Seahawks

If Seattle start being able to win on the road, they may quickly become the playoff team that nobody wants to face in the Wild Card Round.

Last Week: 12     Change: +4       Record: 7-5    Next Game: vs. Cardinals


#9 – Indianapolis Colts

After watching the end of the Colts' victory over Detroit, there's no denying that Andrew Luck is able to make magic happen.

Last Week: 11     Change: +2   Record: 8-4   Next Game: vs. Titans


#10 – Chicago Bears

Chicago is slowly but surely playing themselves out of a division title.

Last Week: 10   Change: 0      Record: 8-4       Next Game: @ Vikings


#11 – Baltimore Ravens

I'm almost tempted to knock them off the board, given how awful they've looked the past several weeks, and now they may have lost Suggs again.  If they can't beat the Skins, the Ravens may just be the only divison leader not part of the Top 12.

Last Week: 9      Change: -2       Record: 9-3     Next Game: @ Redskins


#12 – Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are clawing their way back into the hunt.  Surprisingly, the AFC North is not completely out of the question at this point.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A      Record: 7-5       Next Game: vs. Cowboys


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 14

With the playoff picture getting clearer and clearer, the Top 12 is getting locked down and ready for the post-season.  We’ve experienced an unprecedented lack of movement this week.  The top teams continue to win and give us little reason to shake things up..
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 13-0 @ Chiefs
What are the chances that Green Bay gets to 14-0?  I’d say about 99%.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2

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2 0 10-3 @ Broncos
Once again, people are getting down on the Patriots defense.  I agree it’s not pretty, but 13 out of 14 times, it’s been good enough to get this team a victory.  The losses to Buffalo and the Giants was due to dumb turnovers by the offense.  The Steelers loss was legit.   Bend but don’t break, baby.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3

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3 0 10-3 @ Chargers
Big game for the black birds.  The Chargers are coming on strong and could cost Baltimore the AFC North if they trip up.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 0 10-3 @ Vikings
And suddenly, look who’s a strong possibility for the #2 seed and a bye.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 6 +1 10-3 @ 49ers
The Pittsburgh/San Fran game is massive for both teams.  Whoever loses will undoubtedbly be playing a wild card game a lose their shot at a bye week. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 7 +1 10-3 vs. Panthers
The Texans are winning as a team.  They lose two QB’s and don’t miss a step.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 5 -2 10-3 vs. Steelers
This next game will prove whether or not San Fran is a contender or pretender.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 8 0 8-5 vs. Jaguars
If the Falcons can win their way into the playoffs, then they have a chance to do damage.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 0 8-5 vs. Patriots
Am I a little nervous about Tebow Time this weekend?  In a word – Yes. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 12 +2 8-5 @ Eagles
Typical Jets. They look dead and then start coming on strong.  I really want no part of them in the playoffs this year.  I’ll take my two wins to the bank and move on.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 0 7-6 vs. Redskins
The Giants manage to stay alive in the most improbable of circumstances.  What a game!
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 10 -2 7-6 @ Rams
I’m not liking Cincy’s chances for the playoffs the moment.  They’ve been dropping games left and right. 


+1
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 14

These once stagnant rankings are stagnant no longer.  There was a flurry of activity in the Top 12 this week with only the top two old faithful teams holding their ground.  Making things even more interesting is the fact that a whopping eight teams will be playing other Top 12 teams this week!  We’ve got Pats/Packers, Jets/Steelers, Ravens/Saints, and Giants/Eagles on tap in Week 15.  As a result, I’m sure these standings will look even more different next week.

Heading up our list of risers this week are the G-Men.  The Giants have been steadily crushing inferior competition the past few weeks and finally get their long-awaited bump after holding pat at the 10 spot week in and week out.  Sharing the shame of the big faller this week are the Jets, Bears, and Packers who all managed to drop turds in their big Week 14 games.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 N/A 11-2 vs. Packers
If the Patriots could somehow find a way to play every game in the snow, recapturing 19-0 would be a breeze.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 N/A 11-2 @ Seahawks
Atlanta needs to avoid the 12th man and the trap game in Seattle with New Orleans on the horizon.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 5 2 10-3 @ Ravens
The Saints are looking Super once again.  They need to win this huge matchup with the Ravens to turn next week’s game into the NFC South Championship.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 2 10-3 vs. Jets
Pittsburgh is catching the reeling Jets at just the right time. If they win this game, they will have all but wrapped up a first round bye.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 4 1 9-4 vs. Saints
Baltimore’s somewhat shaky play down the stretch has to be a concern.  They get a playoff-caliber test this week with the Saints.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 3 3 8-5 @ Patriots
The Packers had a golden opportunity to make up ground in the NFC North.  Now they’ll need to stop the streaking Pats for any real hope at the division title.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 10 3 9-4 vs. Eagles
I can’t begin to tell you which team will win the huge NFC East battle this week.  I gave the Giants the nod here over Philly simply because they had a more convincing win last week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 9 1 9-4 @ Giants
This game is Michael Vick’s huge shot at redemption.  Win, and Philly could be looking at a first-round bye.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 11 2 7-6 vs. 49ers
The Jekyl and Hyde Chargers have a cupcake schedule the rest of the way.  The 8-5 Chiefs do not.  The miracle come back might just happen after all.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 7 3 9-4 @ Vikings
There’s no shame in losing to New England in the snow.  …Unless you’re down by 33 points at halftime.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 8 3 9-4 @ Steelers
The Jets better get themselves out of this funk with Pittsburgh and Chicago on tap.  Finishing 10-6 could equal a playoff ouster.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 7-6 vs. Jaguars
Who to put here…  Tampa?  Jacksonville?  When in doubt, I have to give the nod to Peyton Manning and the Colts.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 14

With five members of last week’s Top 12 taking a hit in the loss column this week, there’s bound to be some interesting shake-ups in the rankings.  However, the top teams are continuing to hold serve week after week, making things pretty stable in the 1-4 slots.  What does this mean for the inconsistent Patriots? Well, besides the fact that they’re going to be stuck in the middle of the rankings for the rest of the year, it also means that, come January, they’re going to be forced to go on the road a face a team that isn’t going to self-implode.  If the Pats can somehow turn this season around, it won’t be because everyone else lied down for them.  Unlike last season, whoever takes the Super Bowl this year is going to have to earn it.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 1 0 13-0 vs. Cowboys
The Saints were able to bounce a desperate Cardinals team for lucky win #13.  Now they’ll have to finish off an even more desperate Cowboys team for their fourteeenth.   Their reward if they do is an almost guaranteed 16-0.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 0 13-0 @ Jaguars
Indy didn’t need a lucky break to get past Denver.  If they truly are going to rest the starters for the final three games, they’ll have a tough time with the Jags and Jets these next two weeks. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 3 0 10-3 vs. Bengals
This is, without question, the AFC team that I’d least like to see the Pats match up against in the playoffs.  Suddenly, falling to the fourth seed doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 0 11-2 @ Panthers
Brett’s starting to show his age a bit.  Adrian Peterson isn’t running all that well.   It’s a loooooong season and it may be finally catching up with Minnesota.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 7 2 8-5 @ Bills
I’m basing this ranking off the Patriots play in the second half.  After a season of strong starts and embarrassing finishes, New England managed to flip the script and pick up a big win against Carolina.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 8 2 9-4 vs. 49ers
The Eagles appear poised to claim the NFC East which very well could be the best division in all of football.  Not too shabby.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 6 1 9-4 @ Chargers
The Bengals will meet San Diego in a game that will likely determine who gets the second bye week in the AFC. After Cincy’s performance against the Vikings, I’m taking the Chargers.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 5 3 8-5 @ Lions
Arizona likely backslid their way into the #4 seed and a date with the Saints in Round 2…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 10 1 9-4 @ Steelers
…if they can get past these guys who will almost certainly be the #5 seed.  As an interesting wrinkle, Green Bay and Arizona play each other in Week 17.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 11 1 8-5 vs. Raiders
Denver loses a game and jumps a spot in the rankings?  It goes against my grain, but the Cowboys free fall is just that much worse.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 9 2 8-5 @ Saints
Wade Philips’ job and Dallas’ season may be on the line against the Saints.  The Cowboys need a win in the worst way right now.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 7-6 vs. Bears
It was a tough call between Baltimore and Miami here.  Ultimately, I believe Baltimore will end up winning the Wild Card and they did trounce the Lions.  My apologies to any Fins fans out there.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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