So referring back to last week's rankings. Four of my top five teams lost in Week 13. Does it mean anything big picture? Yes and no depending on who you ask. In any case this was the toughest week of all doing these rankings. Here is today’s podcast from this morning breaking down the rankings with ‘Boston’ Jack on the Earnestly Speaking Football Show.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-2)
Despite Carson Wentz’s season ending injury, here’s some reasons why I am ok with them at #1 at least this week
1. Nick Foles is a good enough quarterback to guide this team to the #1 seed.
2. Their remaining schedule is mostly cake. (@Giants, Raiders, Cowboys)
3. Their roster is still very deep and they are one of the most balanced teams in the league.
This is not a endorsement as to whether they can actually win the NFC because I still find it hard to believe given how well Carson Wentz played this year that it is replaceable. But Nick Foles is not a bad option to have as your backup.
2. New England Patriots (10-3)
Ok so they lost to Miami.
Tom Brady is 7-9 for his career when playing in South Florida. One of the few kryptonites in Brady's arsenal. But it’s really simple for me to justify the Patriots at #2. I still believe New England is a better team than Pittsburgh and until I am proven wrong this coming Sunday when the two teams meet I will keep driving this narrative.
3. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
Played a so-so game right up till the 4th quarter then nearly beat Carolina altogether. I came away from their loss actually feeling even better about them if you can imagine that.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
Everything when it comes to the Steelers rides on this Sunday’s matchup against New England. Beat Brady and Belichick and we have a different conversation and perception on how I view them.
5. Carolina Panthers (9-4)
The Panthers may frustrate me week to week but depending on the team you’re getting or whatever mood Cam Newton is in, they are still the most dangerous team in the entire NFC.
6. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
In my opinion the Rams best themselves this past Sunday in their loss to the Eagles. Too many stupid penalties which by the way was their own doing.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
Finally a win that I can put some stock into. Beating Seattle definitely alters some of the conversation in the AFC. Best defense in the entire league and Blake Bortles is playing smart.
8. New Orleans Saints (9-4)
To be quite honest I do not know what to make of the Saints in the long term. Drew Brees is still good.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
It’s quite possible they may be the 3rd best team in the entire AFC. Yet their season hangs in the balance this weekend vs. Kansas City. Can they continue the good fortunes?
10. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
Every time you want to count them out, here goes the Falcons again. What was most strange in Week 13 was they won in the most in-Falcony way. Matt Ryan tried every which way to donate the game to New Orleans. They win out and the NFC South is theirs.