In My Power Rankings Vol. 3
December is the time of the year where we separate the pros from the cons and the platinum from the bronze. September is an extension of the preseason, October you begin to form an identity, and November is when you see which of the teams can compete for something beyond the calendar year. December however is the meat and potatoes of the season. This is where the best teams play their best football. If your team still has a chance at 10 wins then nothing prior matters, it's all about how you #finish
Tier 1- February contenders (Teams 1-6)
· Tier 2- Legitimate underdogs (7-13)
· Tier 3- Not quite contenders (14-20)
· Tier 4- Teams that need a drastic change to compete (21-32)
1. Rams- Record: 11-1
· (clinched NFC west)
· Strength: BEEF
· Flaw: No real flaw. My only concern is how Head Coach and play caller Sean McVay responds in the mud in January.
· Synopsis- The Rams defense is fully healthy for the first time all year, perfect timing
2. Patriots- Record: 9-3
· Clinch AFC east with win vs Dolphins on Sunday
· Strength: QB and Coach
· Flaw: Linebackers
· Synopsis: December is upon us and New England appeared to be the best team in football this past weekend. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
3. Chiefs- Record: 10-2
· Strength: Quarterback and TE
· Flaw: Linebackers in coverage
· Synopsis: Similar to the Rams, the cavalry has arrived at the right time. Justin Houston and Eric Berry ascend the Chiefs into legitimate contenders for February. As great as Mahomes has been the Chiefs are not beating the heavyweights in the NFL without those two. Houston allows for more one on one opportunities for Dee Ford and Chris Jones while Eric Berry is the DNA of this defense.
4. Saints- Record: 10-2
· Strength: Complete team
· Flaw: There aren’t too many things that have an effect on a player the way confidence or lack thereof impacts a cornerback. Eli Apple is the Matador, and opposing Quarterbacks are the bull.
· Synopsis: I think the Cowboys exposed some things about this team. Press man and pressure, that’s the blueprint. The Bears, Rams, Cowboys, and Seahawks can all beat this team in January. The key for New Orleans is to get off to a fast start and dictate their pace.
5. Texans- Record: 9-3
· Strength: Complete team and dominant play-makers on both sides of the ball
· Flaw: Their inability to beat New England.
· Synopsis- As I said on the Live Lab, Deshaun Watson is Russell Wilson with Tom Brady Mechanics. This team can beat anybody, they just have to get past New England. They have elite play-makers on all three levels. If you missed the live, here it is:
6. Chargers- 9-3
· Strength- Melvin Gordon
· Weakness: Attrition and inconsistency from the BEEF.
· Synopsis: The Chargers displayed they can be a 60 minute team vs the Steelers. Head Coach Anthony Lynn doesn’t get the credit he deserves in my opinion. I think this team has a realistic chance of getting to the big game in February; their biggest roadblock is their own 53.
7. Bears- Record:8-4
· Strength: Defense
· Weakness: Quarterback
· Synopsis: The Bears defense is good enough to do what the 2000 Ravens, the 2002 Buccaneers, the 2013 Seahawks, and the 2015 Broncos all did. Khalil Mack in January is more valuable than half the quarterbacks in my opinion, and I cannot believe the words that are coming out of my mouth.
8. Cowboys- Record: 7-5
· Strength: Defense
· Weakness: The overall play at Quarterback and the inconsistency with the offensive line
· Synopsis: Who are the 2018 Dallas Cowboys? They are a team with a defense that could potentially go to waste if the offensive culture doesn’t get the facelift needed to maximize the potential. Dak Prescott has playmaker like ability, sometimes that’s all you need with a defense like this (see Seattle 2012-2014).
9. Seahawks- Record: 7-5
· Strength- Running game and speed on defense
· Flaw: There’s no glaring flaw on this football team
· Synopsis- They are arguably the best coached and the best 60 minute team in football. The good news for Seattle is their biggest roadblock is the Rams who they’ve lost to twice already. Third time’s a charm so they say.
10. Eagles- Record: 6-6
· Strength: The level of talent is greater than last year’s championship 53
· Weakness: Tackling
· Synopsis: The Eagles will be the most dangerous team in the playoffs if they get there
11. Colts- Record: 6-6
· Strength: Quarterback
· Flaw: Inconsistency in the trenches
· Synopsis- The second most dangerous team if they get to the playoffs
12. Steelers: Record 7-4-1
· Strength: Ben
· Flaw: Roethlisberger
· Synopsis: Ultimately the inability to come to a long term solution with Le’Veon Bell will doom this team, and perhaps even beyond just this season.
13. Ravens: Record- 7-5
· Strength: BEEF
· Flaw: Inconsistency at QB
· Synopsis: Joe Flacco should stay on the bench for the rest of the regular season. If Lamar Jackson gets this team to January, then you start Joe Flacco. No offense to Lamar, but he is not ready to face a professional defense in January.
**This is the part where I stop with full reports. The rest of the teams are either too inconsistent, inept at situational football, lack BEEF, and or do not have a Quarterback
14. Vikings- Record: 6-5-1
· Flaw: No beef
15. Panthers- Record: 6-6
· Synopsis: It’s time for Riverboat Ron to sail elsewhere
16. Titans- Record: 6-6
· Flaw: Inconsistent
17. Dolphins- Record: 6-6
· Synopsis: It’s time to move on from QB Ryan Tannehill. He is who he is at this point and who he isn’t is a February caliber QB
18. Broncos- Record: 6-6
· Synopsis: Season ending injuries to Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders will be too much to overcome for a surging football team.
19. Packers: Record: 4-7-1
· Synopsis: The most disappointing team in football
20. Browns: 4-7-1
· Synopsis- The Cleveland Browns finally have a respectable NFL team
21. Bengals- Record: 5-7
· Synopsis- It’s time for a new coach, and maybe a new QB
22. Buccaneers- Record:
· Weakness: A wise coach once said if you have two quarterbacks then you don’t have one.
23. Falcons- Record: 4-8
· Synopsis- Matt Ryan has a lot of fundamentals he needs to clean up. When healthy the Falcons have a roster worthy of any team in the NFL but it all goes to waste if the QB play isn’t better
24. Redskins- Record: 6-5
· Synopsis- Losing one quarterback is detrimental enough, losing two is a death sentence.
25. Lions- Record 4-8
· Synopsis- Transition year for the Lions, year 2 should be better.
26. Jaguars- Record- 4-8
· Synopsis- The championship window is barely cracked open at this point, if Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler or Josh Johnson is the QB of this team you may as well shut it and shutter it and trade everybody.
27. Jets- Record: 3-9
· Synopsis: An offensive minded culture is needed to save the young QB.
28. Cardinals- Record: 3-9
· Synopsis: See Jets synopsis.
29. Bills- Record: 4-8
· Synopsis- See Jets and Cardinals synopsis
30. Giants- Record: 4-8
· Flaw- Culture
31. 49ers- Record: 2-10
· Synopsis- As valuable as a QB is the 49ers need to be aware of their weakness on both sides of the ball and address them in the draft.
32. Raiders- Record: 2-10
· Synopsis: Year Damn One