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Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 16

Just when I thought I had it all figured out.  Last week's #2, 3, and 4 teams all lose to vastly inferior competition.  Same goes for the #7 and #9 teams as well.  As a result, we have our craziest Top 12 of the year with teams moving all over the place!   Part of me has no idea if these rankings are right?  Can anybody really know that at this point?  The only thing I know is that the AFC is a general mess and that the Patriots need to just win one game and ensure themselves a spot in the chaos.


#1 – Seattle Seahawks

Only one team held their position last week, and it's the Seahawks.  It seems like it's their Super Bowl to lose, but given their history, how confident can you be?  If the Pats can't win it, I'd probably back Seattle.  They deserve it after getting hosed in Super Bowl XL and they've been the team to beat all year.  What's not to like?  

Oh yeah.  Pete Carroll.

Last Week: 1      Change: 0       Record: 12-2       Next Game: vs. Cardinals


#2 – Carolina Panthers

This time, with the Saints coming to their house, I'm thinking I like the Panthers.

Last Week: 5      Change: +3       Record: 10-4   Next Game: vs. Saints


#3 – San Francisco 49ers

The Niners just need to take care of the hapless Falcons and their in.  This team has been up and down during the season, but I don't think anybody wants to face them come playoff time.

Last Week: 6      Change: +3       Record: 10-4      Next Game: vs. Falcons


#4 – Denver Broncos

Denver survived the scare of potentially giving up their #1 seed.  However, they still have that first home playoff game to win and the Chiefs could be looming and ready for a third shot at them.

Last Week: 3     Change: -2       Record: 11-3     Next Game: @ Texans


#5 – New England Patriots

It was one of those games where if one of eight small things had happened, the Pats would be 11-3 and living large.  They didn't happen and so the Patriots fall and now need to win out to maintain that first round bye.

Last Week: 2      Change: -3       Record: 10-4      Next Game: @ Ravens


#6 – New Orleans Saints

The Saints are not the same team on the road, no matter what Drew Brees says.  Now they need to win a HUGE game on the road to keep them at home as the NFC's #2 seed.

Last Week: 4      Change: -2       Record: 10-4       Next Game: @ Panthers


#7 – Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are slowly hanging out in the shadows, waiting for their shot at their first playoff victory since Joe Montana was their quarterback. 

Last Week: 8      Change: +1       Record: 11-3      Next Game: vs. Colts


#8 – Indianapolis Colts

Indy is a tough team to pin down as their play from week to week is extremely erratic.  This week #8 seems right.  We'll see how they do in KC.  

Last Week: 10      Change: +2      Record: 9-5   Next Game: @ Chiefs


#9 – Arizona Cardinals

If the Cardinals can manage to beat both the Hawks and the Niners to close out the year, then nobody will be able to say that they haven't earned their playoff spot.  Even then, they still need a Carolina loss.

Last Week: 11     Change: +2      Record: 9-5  Next Game: @ Seahawks


#10 – Baltimore Ravens

A game that looked like a once hyped, now meaningless late season match once again has a ton of meaning.  The Patriots can either break Baltimore's season or will find themselves in an elimination game the following week against the Bills.

Last Week: 12      Change: -+2       Record: 8-6    Next Game: vs. Patriots


#11 – Miami Dolphins

The Fish have become frisky, but I don't like them at all in a road playoff game.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A      Record: 8-6     Next Game: @ Bills


#12 – Cincinnati Bengals

Yes, the Broncos and Patriots both lost to a middling divisional rival as well and didn't drop as far.  However, the Broncos and the Patriots didn't get their tails handed to them as well.

Last Week: 7     Change: -5       Record: 9-5       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.

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Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 16

I love weeks like the one coming up.  Ten of our Top 12 teams are pitted against each other in battles that will send teams flying up and down the board or cementing their spot as we head towards the post-season. 


#1 – San Francisco 49ers

To be the man, you gotta beat the man.  San Francisco beat the man on Sunday Night.

Last Week: 2      Change: +1     Record: 10-3-1       Next Game: @ Seahawks


#2 – Atlanta Falcons

Remember all that talk about shaky wins?  Well there's nothing shaky about a 35-0 drubbing of the defending champions.  Atlanta may be going from the team everyone doubted to the team nobody wants to face in the NFC.

Last Week: 5   Change: +3      Record: 12-2   Next Game: @ Lions


#3 – New England Patriots

It's hard to know whether to praise this team for coming back from down 28 or chastise them for being down 28 in the first place.  The ball didn't bounce New England's way all night, but they still hung tough and put on a second half performance that few teams, if any, on this list would be able to muster.

Last Week: 1    Change: -2       Record: 10-4       Next Game: @ Jaguars


#4 – Denver Broncos

The Broncos continue to benefit from their easy schedule, and will likely do so all the way to a bye week.  I don't care what the records say.  The Broncos aren't better than the Pats and it will stay that way until Peyton Manning can prove otherwise in the Divisional playoff round.

Last Week: 3      Change: -1     Record: 11-3     Next Game: vs. Browns


#5 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers have wrapped up the NFC North and may be able to squeak out a bye week with some help from Seattle this week.

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


#6 – Houston Texans

The Texans have all but wrapped up home field throughout at this point.  The big question for them is what this inexperienced team is going to do with it. 

Last Week: 7      Change: +1       Record: 12-2       Next Game: vs. Vikings


#7 – Seattle Seahawks

All season long the Hawks have left us wondering if they're legit or not.  After putting up 50+ in two stragiht weeks, nobody is questioning them now.

Last Week: 8     Change: +1       Record: 9-5      Next Game: @ 49ers


#8 – Washington Redskins

It's hard to believe, but the Redskins are probably the best team in the NFC East.

Last Week: 12     Change: +4      Record: 8-6    Next Game: @ Eagles


#9 – Indianapolis Colts

Tough losses to the Texans and Pats have left me wondering how ready Andrew Luck and the Colts are for the big time.

Last Week: 9     Change: 0   Record: 9-5   Next Game: @ Chiefs


#10 – New York Giants

This team has been up and down like I've never seen the past two weeks.  They'll crush a team one week and find themselves crushed the next.

Last Week: 6   Change: -4      Record: 8-6     Next Game: vs. Ravens


#11 – Cincinnati Bengals

Don't look now, but the Bengals just may have it in them to steal the NFC North.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 8-6     Next Game: @ Steelers


#12 – Dallas Cowboys

It's doubtful that three teams will be able to make the post-season from the NFC East.  It very well may be too little too late for Dallas.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A      Record: 8-6       Next Game: vs. Saints


 

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 16

Things got a little bit crazy last week with Christmas and the Top 12 needed to get deferred.  You would never guess the amount of angry emails we received demanding that we bring it back this week (unless you happened to guess zero).  Anyway, without further ado, here is the most current edition of the Foxboro Top 12.
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 14-1 vs. Lions
If you think I wasn’t jinxing the Packers by saying that they had a 99% chance of beating the Chiefs, then you don’t know me.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2

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2 0 12-3 vs. Bills
The Patriots survived a scare in Miami, but keep getting it done.   They are riding the longest winning streak in the NFL right now.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3

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4 +1 12-3 vs. Panthers
The Saints are quietly becoming everyone’s sweet heart pick for the title.  I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good thing or not.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 7 +3 12-3 @ Rams
I have a feeling that San Fran is either going to get humiliated in the playoffs, or decimate everyone in the NFC en route to Indianapolis.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 3 -2 11-4 @ Bengals
The Ravens have been extremely inconsistent on the road.  Needless to say, I will be very happy if they come to Foxoboro in the playoffs instead of vice versa. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 5 -1 11-4 @ Browns
Big Ben comes up limping at just the wrong time.  That’s gotta be concerning for Steelers fans.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo N/A N/A 10-5 @ Packers
If we had a Top 12 last week, the Lions would have been on it.  They’ve come roaring back down the stretch.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 8 0 9-6 vs. Buccaneers
The Falcons have clinched a playoff spot.  Don’t be shocked if they pull some upsets this post-season.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 6 -3 10-5 vs. Titans
If the Pats lock up the top spot, I’ll be rooting hard for the Texans to fall to the #6 seed. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 12 +2 9-6 vs. Ravens
Can the Bengals pull an upset against Baltimore, earn a playoff berth, and knock Baltimore back to the #5 spot?  It’s a tall order, but they just might be able to.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 0 8-7 vs. Cowboys
You just knew it was coming down to Week 17 for the Giants and Cowboys.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 9 -3 8-7 vs. Chiefs
Tebowmania isn’t running quite as wild as it was a few weeks ago. 


+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 16

Week 17 in the NFL is always a difficult thing to figure out.  Which teams will play hard and which will rest?  With that in mind, this Week 16 version of the rankings could very well be the most accurate we’ll have heading into the playoffs.  For the first time in a long time we have some turmoil at the top, with some shifting of the first four places.  Some teams appear to be peaking at just the right time, while others are in turmoil. 

The big riser this week is the Kansas City Chiefs, who swoop up three spots after putting together some dominating high-pressure wins.  The playoffs essentially started two weeks ago for KC and they’ve handled the situation admirably.  The big faller is also from the AFC West.  The San Diego Chargers’ roller coaster through the Top 12 continues as one week they look like contenders and complete failures the next.  They drop six spots following their big loss to drop them out of the playoffs.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 2 1 13-2 vs. Dolphins
With the AFC’s top seed wrapped up, the only question remaining is which Patriots players will play on Sunday.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 4 2 11-4 vs. Buccaneers
BIG win for the Saints on Monday Night.  Not only did they avoid a potential do-or-die situation against the Buccs this week, but their victory had to rattle Atlanta’s confidence heading into the playoffs.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 1 2 12-3 vs. Panthers
When all that stands between you and home field throughout the playoffs is the worst team in the league…   Well, if you don’t win, then you deserve what you get.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 1 11-4 vs. Bengals
Their fall this week has nothing to do with themselves, and everything to do with the Saints deserving a bump up after a gutsy win on the road.  And yes, Baltimore did beat New Orleans two weeks ago, but I’m not sure that happens on a neutral field.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 5 N/A 9-6 vs. Bears
I put the Packers above the Bears because I believe their the better team. This upcoming game is their chance to prove me right, assuming Chicago doesn’t rest everyone.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 7 1 11-4 @ Packers
The Bears have been on a tear since getting embarrassed by the Pats.  It would not shock me to see them in Dallas.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 8 1 10-4 @ Browns
Beating Carolina won’t get you very far with me.  The Steelers rose because the Chargers fell.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 10 2 9-6 vs. Titans
Peyton Manning just won’t die.  The Colts seemed destined for a tough Wild Card home game against one of the AFC North’s big boys.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 12 3 10-5 vs. Raiders
The Chiefs are streaking and could wrap up an improbable #3 seed by knocking off the Raiders.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 9 1 10-5 vs. Bills
I won’t kill the Jets too much for losing a close game on the road to a Top 6 team.  Still, their resume of late is less than reassuring as the playoffs approach.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 N/A 10-5 vs. Cowboys
If there was anybody to legitimately drop the Eagles below, I would have done it.  Looks like they’ll get a free pass this week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 6 6 8-7 @ Broncos
Some weeks I wonder if the Top 12 should be the Top 11…   The Chargers had the chance to be real playoff assassins.  However, the only team they really killed this season was themselves.
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 16

Happy New Year, everyone!

You gotta love the consensus Top 3 teams all season all tumbling like a house of cards two weeks before the playoffs start.  Well, unless you’re a Colts, Saints, or Vikings fan.  Thankfully, I’m not, which means not only do I get to see my Patriots launch themselves near the top of the rankings, but I also get to watch my hated rivals plummet.  Things are about to get interesting…

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 1 12-3 vs. Redskins
I’ve been saying for weeks that the Chargers were the #1 team in the league.  The only reason it took this long to get to this spot is my respect for teams with zero in the loss column.  Now that none of those exist, the top of the ladder is all theirs.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 4 2 10-5 @ Texans
They finally won on the road.  They finally learned to put teams away.  They finally spread the ball around.  They finally developed a run game.  I’m finally starting to believe this team can go all the way.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 5 2 11-4 @ Cowboys
If Philly wins this week, they get a bye week.  If they lose, they end up on the road in the Wild Card round.  Talk about a momentum changer…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 1 3 14-1 @ Bills
I seriously hope the Patriots go all out this week, and we’re probably better off losing and getting the #4 seed and avoiding the Chargers in Round 2.  But I believe that you need to stay sharp and give your best effort each week.  Indy never grapsed that concept, and that’s why they’re the second-banana team of the 00’s.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 8 3 10-5 vs. Eagles
Everyone counted the Cowboys out, including myself.  Now they’re a win away from a home playoff game.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 3 3 13-2 @ Panthers
A loss to Dallas is acceptable.  A loss to Tampa Bay?  That’s how you drop three spots in the rankings despite a 13-2 record.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 7 N/A 10-5 @ Jets
Yes, they’re back in the playoffs, which is cause for celebration in Cincy.  But I can’t say this team has been lighting it up lately…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 9 1 10-5 @ Cardinals
It’s rare to have two adjacent teams playing each other.  It’s even rarer that those two teams could be matched up in the playoffs as well the next week.  I think we’ll have a pretty good idea about which team is actually better when those two games are said and done.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 10 1 10-5 vs. Packers
They’ve won 6 of their last 8, but I still can’t shake the feeling that Zona will be one and done this post-season.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 6 4 11-4 vs. Giants
Losing to the 5-9 Bears and potentially costing yourself the bye week you’ve had in your grasp all season?  That’s how you drop 4 spots in the rankings despite an 11-4 record.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 1 8-7 @ Dolphins
Baltimore probably should’ve won that game, and they’ll likely be in the playoffs while the Steelers sit home.  Still, I meant what I said and I said what I meant about the winner of that game moving up and the loser falling out of the Top 12.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 8-7 vs. Bengals
Which brings me to the Jets.  A team lucky enough to make the Top 12 when they should be the #13 team.  But then again, thanks to the Colts and Bengals lying down, they’ll also be the team lucky enough to make the playoffs when it should be the Texans or Steelers with the 6th seed.
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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