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|MarsBro's NFL Ranking: Week 17|
We near the end! And playoff spots are rapidly dwindling...
Angelic 2 The Core
Houston Texans (+/-0)
I thought about whether or not the Broncos deserved this spot more or the Texans. The simple fact is that both are awful, but while the Texans have remained competitive in their games, Denver has, at the very least, won a handful of games--including one against Houston. Houston defeating the injury-riddled mess that is Tennessee also doesn't mean much; everybody's tearing apart that corpse nowadays. It's splitting hairs over two teams that really don't matter at all and are in complete shambles, with the Texans' sole silver lining being their draft pick haul. Careful with this whole winning then though! Chicago might sneak up on that #1 pick at this rate...
Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz
Denver Broncos (-3)
Hackett was fired, and there has been plenty written about how he was a poor coach and got what he deserved. Sure. But it isn't Hackett out there missing reads, forcing throws, failing to scramble, holding the ball for too long, and failing to lead drives anywhere. Carroll schemed an offense in Seattle that covered these flaws, and without that in place, Wilson has been exposed in a major way, revealing several holes in his game that a veteran of his supposed caliber shouldn't make. His third pick (oh yes, he was in a giving mood!) was particularly egregious, where he refused to get an easy 1st and instead took a TD shot that was never necessary. Better get into those Sean Payton sweepstakes, because Russel is not a good QB and will need a top-level offensive coach to hide his faults. The locker room is also a complete and utter mess, which should be fun to navigate. When you lose the trust of the OLine, your career is essentially toast, and the defense is gassed.
About That Life
Indianapolis Colts (+1)
The Indy tank job keeps rolling around at a comfortable pace. It's new pilot is BIG DICK NICK, who rewarded the Chargers with three beautiful picks that were inexcusable for an experienced QB. But that's fine; Jim Irsay has a plan, and it's called SUCK FOR LUCK. Oh wait, we did that... it's called LOSERS WANTING RIVERS. Nope, did that... WINCE FOR WENTZ? Shit, did that one too. FALLING FOR RYAN? That didn't work either? Fuck. Okay. Uhm... BELOW PAR FOR CARR it is! Golly, this organization has such a clear path and is so trustworthy, I feel like they're totally respectable and know what they're doing. Be lucky Denver and Houston are miraculously worse.
Chicago Bears (+1)
Be honest: when you saw that halftime lead, did you *really* think that the Bears were ever going to hold onto it? That was the most predictable loss of the week and most predictable lost lead. Not much else to say since the flaws are the same and nothing can possibly improve until this new regime gets a new draft cycle. The Claypool trade is increasingly becoming worrisome.
Arizona Cardinals (+1)
Kliff Midsbury looks hungover, out of his depth, and done with professional football. When the season comes down to starting Trace McSorley, then that's probably the only possible reaction to have. What ensued was a pathetic offensive performance and a defense that was JJ Watt and, well, just JJ Watt. Once the Buccaneers realized "yo, we can run AWAY from this Watt dude," the game was sealed. No shot the McSorley Cardinals ever win in OT. Much like Denver, it's time to dive headfirst into the Payton sweepstakes. The issue there, however, is the Arizona roster has a lot more question marks, and Murray will likely be unavailable until October of next year, which likely means a guaranteed losing season. Not a good position to be in.
|27||Waking the Cadaver|
Atlanta Falcons (+/-0)
The Ravens really didn't do much because the Falcons can't do much. Hopefully the Atlanta roster and Ridder are both able to develop, but this is starting to become pretty sad to watch. Mistakes and turnovers while generating precious few of your own generally means losing football games. It's pretty dire when you aren't even in the running for the NFC South!
Cleveland Browns (-4)
Outplayed by Baker Mayfield lol
|25||Sleeping With Sirens|
Las Vegas Raiders (-8)
Alright, I'm tired of giving the on-paper talent of this team the benefit of the doubt. Here you shall stay, you underachievers. That was the most predictable flop of a final drive imaginable; everyone saw that pick coming, everyone knew Carr would crumble. Win or lose, the Raiders inspire zero confidence, often looking horrendous regardless of the final result. A this point, the Carr Question has to be raised again, what with this being yet another season that's going nowhere and his flaws remain as present as ever. He got his college buddy and they're still unable to translate that magic into points. Then again, with McDaniels at the helm, any new QB is likely doomed to become trapped in his restrictive system. This was supposed to be a year where they challenged Kansas for the title. Instead, they're once again on the outside looking in, and they have no solutions to offer for the faults of their coaching or roster. Dark days inbound.
|24||Pianos Become the Teeth|
Tennessee Titans (-5)
Oh yes, and the Titans belong back here too. The injuries continue to an absurd extent that surely raises questions about practice routines and strength & conditioning programs, the offense is dead, and the defense is exhausted. This is the look and feel of a team that has surrendered the season and understands that everything is forfeit. Jacksonville can take that playoff spot; nobody wants to see this bullshit on TV--us Titans fans watch out of a warped sense of obligation. Malik Willis will make a fine tank commander for next season, however, as the Titans roster is so gutted that losing for picks is probably the only option going forward. I'd be more upset, but I think I was secretly dead inside ever since the Bills game.
|23||The Black Eyed Peas|
Seattle Seahawks (-2)
The slide continues. The Seahawks went to battle against Kansas and, as could have been likely foretold, came out on the losing end. I'm happy Geno got himself a pro bowl, but his early level of play is looking more and more like an unsustainable phenomenon that was entertaining for a handful of weeks. The defense still needs to seal up the cracks, which Denver's unintentional tank job will be happy to assist with.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1)
Brady maintains his newfound shaky performance, this time resulting in costly picks that were thankfully not-so-costly against a Trace McSorley offense. He was able to cobble together another salvage job, but it's something that's really only possible against the bottom of the barrel of the league. Come playoffs, Tampa has demonstrated how quickly it can fold in on itself when presented a greater challenge. When a hobbled Fournette is the impetus of all things on offense, things are not OK, and Bowles' cowardly calls and Leftwich's abysmal scheme are a match made in Hell. A big game nears against Carolina to determine the fate of the division, with the losing assuredly missing the postseason. Time will tell if the pirate gang can do this funky thing called "Playing a full game!" and not come out looking flat for 58 minutes.
Microphones in 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4)
C'mon now, the Steelers weren't going to lose on Franco's day. They were going to look like shit, as they have basically all season long, but they weren't about to disappoint a franchise legend. The defense did what they needed to against the putrid Raiders, and by some sort of devil magic, the team is now immune to elimination this week. What the hell.
|20||The Royal Guard|
Sapphire in the Lonely Castle
Los Angeles Rams (+4)
Baker Mayfield looked like his old Cleveland self as he carved up what was once a dominant defense in Denver. He did so well in fact that he was benched AND pitched a no-punt game. Him and Cam Akers quickly made the game out-of-reach, which was definitely aided by a surprisingly solid defensive performance and a boatload of picks--including one by the Broncos' backup, who clearly could not stop the bleeding. It's a meaningless win in terms of playoff implications since the team has long since been tossed out, but any given squad will want to play hard and finish strong. Baker in particular is likely playing for a future job, although I think a year learning with the Mcvay/Stafford combo might be best for his growth. A good win in an otherwise poor season.
New Orleans Saints (+1)
Feel like I have a slight blindspot for this team because of Andy Dalton. He's the nicest dude in the league, after all! Anyways, the Saints managed to grind out a tough one against the Browns, although the playcalling remains not NEARLY silly enough for my tastes. They managed to eliminate Cleveland, which is really just a Christmas present for the whole league. Thanks!
Kill the Moonlight
New York Jets (-5)
Holy hell, that was demoralizing. The Jaguars willingly left points on the field and the famously aggressive Doug Pederson played it safe because they were *that* confident the Jets couldn't move the ball. Until Streveler came out of left-field in relief, they were right; the Zach Wilson Jets were putrid, concocting 3-and-outs like a professional disaster chef. His time in New York is definitely terminated. The locker room hates him, the fans absolutely despise him, and Saleh's patience has run thin. This could have been even uglier if Pederson wanted to dial it up. What a waste of a pretty awesome roster.
|17||Black Matter Device|
New England Patriots
Feel like nobody is really talking about Mac Jones' dirty hit on Eli Apple. It's not the first time he has stepped out of line and shown some unsportsmanlike tendencies, and if you aren't named Tom Brady, you aren't getting away with that. Jones played admirably down the stretch to try and flip the game around in a commendable comeback effort, but it ultimately fell short. That's what happens when you fool around for several quarters and barely survive on the loosening grasp of a stout defense. I'm not really one for hot takes so I'll stop short of saying "THE GAME HAS PASSED BILL BY," but his loyalty to 'his guys' is definitely causing this season to slip through his fingers. Fire Patricia.
The Anomalies of Artificial Origin
Carolina Panthers (+10)
Oh God, here we go again... how is it that when everyone else plays horrifically, you do well? Huh?! Be consistent, sheesh. Losing to the decrepit Steelers then demolishing the Lions *that* easily? Figure it out, damn it. It can't be argued that Wilks has this team playing harder than Rhule ever did, and there's clearly a fighting spirit that has reinvigorated a roster that really isn't as bad as one might expect. Sam Darnold is playing mistake-free football and has even shown flashes of a deep ball game that could open up the offense. The main prize, however, is a running dual threat of Hubbard/Foreman that ran wild on Saturday. Tampa isn't the powerhouse they once were; getting that run game online for that upcoming matchup could mean a playoff berth.
Miami Dolphins (-5)
So, Tua is concussed again. Somebody needs to teach this man how to protect himself and how to fall properly. Watch how Brady lives to fight for another down, then compare that to how Tua remains in the pocket and desperately tries to extend a play that isn't there. Sometimes, you have to eat the sack or eat the down. The NFL world hopes he's able to get healthy again, although he should likely ask himself if he wants to keep going at this rate; the concussions are starting to pile up. It also seems as though McDaniel's scheme has been found out and exposed by opposing defenses, as they once again feasted upon poor throws and messed-up timing. The seventh seed is still theirs, but plenty of teams are lined up behind them eager to steal it...
|14||Woe Of Tyrants|
Kingdom of Might
Baltimore Ravens (+4)
Baltimore is off to the playoffs. They are still likely frauds, but to what extent we will not really know until seeding shakes out. Their weaknesses have become so clear recently that they're catnip for basically anyone else in the top level of the AFC. If Jacksonville wins out, that likely means the Ravens head to Duval, and I think Pederson will eat them alive.
New York Giants (+1)
Yes, I've been very forgiving of the Giants this season. What Daboll has done with basically nothing is incredible, and they're still in charge of their playoff destiny if they can wrap up the end of the year. While the Vikings are streaky as hell, they're still a tough team, and losing by an act of god isn't something I'm going to penalize too harshly. Beating the Colts should lock up a seed for New York and get them playing playoff football, and if seeding held constant, that would mean traveling to... SAN FRANCISCO?! Uh-oh.
|12||The Sawtooth Grin|
Washington Commanders (+/-0)
The Commies ran into the buzzsaw that is the Niners, which was a game they probably weren't going to win unless another San Fran QB was injured. Then again, at that point, Shanahan would likely just take snaps himself. The org is again staring down the Taylor Heinicke question, but for this season at least, the answer is obvious: roll with the hot hand. Wentz is not an upgrade, and no better starter is waiting in the wings. Tying the future to Wentz was the original mistake; returning is not the solution. Heinicke's faults are obvious on tape, but that's the lot Washington stuck themselves with, and he has mostly been decent enough to keep the squad competitive. It's ultimately up to Rivera's choice, although I don't see a viable alternative.
|11||The Monolith Deathcult|
Green Bay Packers (+5)
Remember when I (somewhat jokingly) said the Packers could run the table? Well, they're nearly in that position. They still require help from the Commanders, who will have to drop one of their final games. If that happens, it's win and in; defeat Minnesota, defeat Detroit, and Rodgers will sneak into the postseason. This team has teased potential, but Rodgers' stunning inaccuracy this year and his unreliable WR room leave ample room for doubt. That being said, they're riding momentum off a 3-game winning streak, and I'm not one to count the bad man out just yet. The defense will need to create some turnovers against the Vikes to make it close, which they had no problem with against the Dolphins. Time to prove if you belong or not, lads!
|10||Show Me A Dinosaur|
Detroit Lions (-4)
Run defense? Hello? Run defense?!??! Jesus, I know Carolina is better than they might look from the W/L column, but make a tackle or two or at least make it *look* a little harder. After such an amazing winning streak, it feels like all the wind has been taken out of Detroit's sails. This one hurts, and the fact that their upcoming opponents have terrifying runners--Fields in Chicago and Green Bay's Aaron Jones--is cause for greater concern. If the postseason is still in the cards, Campbell will need to figure something out fast. Getting torched by Sam honest-to-goodness Darnold is generally not conducive to winning football games.
The Crown of Winter
Minnesota Vikings (+2)
If the Vikings can hit game-winning field goals from 60+ yards out, I just have to believe that only two scenarios are occurring: blowout in the first round, or a Superbowl win. No in-between here; this is a team of destiny or a complete lack of it. Cousins also remains astoundingly clutch--ignore the narratives, the man is a good QB--and Jefferson is the x-factor that can propel the offense onwards. Hockeson is also coming more into his own as a vital part of the passing attack. Being able to line up against highly-talented teams more frequently is the next step, as the magic is no use if down multiple scores against a team not called the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1)
Pederson went into New York with an airtight gameplan: quick, immediate passes and plays to avoid the pass rush, dink and dunk to avoid challenging the corners, punish with Lawrence's mobility when necessary. Saleh's refusal to play the defense further up sealed the deal, as the Jags were content eating clock and killing the Jets in the short game. They're now officially in control of the AFC South and therefore their playoff fate. Considering how well Trevor has played and how much the team has grown, I'd be intimidated to travel to Duval.
Chutes Too Narrow
Los Angeles Chargers (-1)
Justin Herbert is headed to the playoffs. Wow. With Brandon Staley coaching, I never thought it would be possible. In fairness to the should-be-fired Staley, the defense has surprisingly been the main positive in these past few weeks. Why the offense is healthy and still struggling to put up points is alarming. Yes, the Colts' defense plays much harder than it reasonably should in a tank year, but being unable to capitalize with all weapons healthy is not a good look for postseason success. Herbet can make anything possible even with an easily-exposed OLine, so maybe the magic will happen, but I have little faith in Lombardi's scheming. The hard part is over, at least; the Chargers are back to playoff football!
Dallas Cowboys (+2)
WHAT. A. GAME. A genuine game of the year that was likely the only entertaining game of the weekend (except for the Broncos; I love a good collapse). Prescott looked to be on the road to a horrendous game, but after his head-scratching pick, he caught fire and reliably moved the Dallas offense down the field. Crucial turnovers proved to be the deciding factor in an explosive shootout, and the Cowboys managed to snag a well-earned win against a rival. Not having to account of the running ability of Hurts was definitely helpful, but going down that road distracts from an amazing game by Dallas overall. These are the sort of contests you need to snag a victory in to build confidence and demonstrate toughness against top level teams.
Love is Worth It
Kansas City Chiefs (+/-0)
Nice, easy win against Seattle. Good for y'all! The number 1 seed remains in the balance, although they'll need some substantial help to get it.
The Great Cold Distance
Buffalo Bills (+/-0)
Solid W against Chicago, although the offense's random inability to score is concerning with Cincinnati's offensive firepower on the schedule. Allen has been feeling the need to play hero ball with his WRs being more unreliable than expected, which has led to the team putting on some odd performances. Nothing too bad, but something requiring improvement.
|3||I Would Set Myself On Fire For You|
Believes In Patterns
Cincinnati Bengals (+/-0)
|2||Noise Trail Immersion|
Symbology of Shelter
Philadelphia Eagles (-1)
San Francisco 49ers (+1)
|Let's get this show started.|
|I hate you, I was so hopeful|
|Curious to see where Detroit and Carolina end up!|
|Surely I won't overrate the Panthers again because everyone else sucked and they did OK, right? ... RIGHT??!|
|Carolina already waxed that ass.|
|Really think Denver deserved to be last here. But otherwise this list is gold as usual.|
|god the league really is tremendously mediocre right now besides the top 6 here|
|Lot of bad football, lot of average football, and a lot of comebacks because leads aren't real.|
|- bengals losing lael collins is a huge hit to their super bowl hopes. think they'll still be okay in a matchup against buffalo and kc (especially with von out)... but if the season ended today they'd be hosting the chargers in the wild card which is a potentially awful matchup for them if bosa is back for the playoffs as expected|
- big test for buffalo's offense against cincy this week. they've been good enough to keep pace for the top seed obviously but it just doesn't seem like they'll be able to hang against mahomes or burrow if they're hot. would be nice to see them have a huge game here.
- dallas defense is on red alert now after allowing 34 points in each of the last two weeks, this week to gardner minshew. seems like dak and the offense can hang at least but not even mahomes can sustainably win that way. really hope we get to see dallas/philly with both dak and hurts on the field soon
- whoever gets the top seed out of kc/buffalo/cincy likely strolls to the AFCCG while the other two duke it out in the divisional round
- unless the giants/commanders/lions pull off an upset in the wildcard (very possible considering how vulnerable the vikings are)... looks like philly will face dallas in the divisional round while and the niners won't see either until the championship game (if at all)
- of the non top 6 teams here... i think the chargers or ravens have the most dark horse potential. chargers are finally getting healthy and as inconsistent and disappointing as the ravens are i definitely think lamar has the ability to win a few games he shouldn't.
|also i know the steelers mathematically have like a 4% chance to make the playoffs but i just picked the rest of season's games in the playoff machine like i do every week and they somehow got the 7 seed lmao. mostly comes down to a) i think tua is done for the season and b) i don't think lamar will play this week.|
|Denver deserved to be last here |
At least the Texans have been mildly competitive in some of their games despite their record, and they dont have a quarter-billion dollar QB.
|Chargers feel like they *should* be a dark horse, but nearly every time I watch their offense, I feel like it's a possum playing dead and I'm just yelling at it to do something already.|
I did not think keeping Texans ranked 32 would be controversial!
|“I did not think keeping Texans ranked 32 would be controversial!”|
It’s just that the Broncos NUMBER 3 RANKED DEFENSE was exploited by Cam Akers and Tyler Higbee. I have been complaining about the Rams’ offensive line all season and they allowed all of no sacks and 1 pressure the whole game. The Broncos may have won more games but they looked like the worst team in the NFL on Sunday because they WERE the worst team in the NFL on Sunday. I’m not just saying this because I am a Rams fan, it’s just how does an injury-riddled Rams team exploit that defense so badly?
|Cam Akers was a ghost for most of the season and popped off for 3 tuddies and they made Baker look great.|
People are saying the Broncos should just cut Wilson and eat the short term cap hit and just start the rebuild now. If that happens, it will mark this whole debacle as the worst trade in NFL history. Maybe the Ricky Williams trade would be comparable.
|The PR rebound is in full effect though lol, after weeks of teammates visibly getting upset at Wilson, they're now all claiming from top to bottom that he's just the most brilliant man to ever toss the pigskin.|
|“People are saying the Broncos should just cut Wilson and eat the short term cap hit and just start the rebuild now.”|
kinda hard to start a rebuild when you lack the assets to do so. realistically, they’re probably stuck with him for at least 2 more years.
|You need to nail the next head coaching hire and get whatever you possibly can out of Wilson. Mask his flaws and salvage whatever is left. If the same conversation is happening years down the line, then yeah, probably going to have to eat that cap hit.|
|i think russ could potentially be decent again if he just swallowed his pride and ran the same kind of offense he did in seattle that made him successful in the first place. could even hire darrell bevell as the oc. not as if the broncos don't have the personnel to do it either|
|so i got nfl+ for like $12 the rest of the season and rewatched the raiders/steelers all 22 and made a spreadsheet describing what happens on every play. was actually really fun/interesting and something i want to do for every steelers game going forward... my biggest takeaways:|
- maxx crosby is elite, and was far and away the raiders best player.
- for a dude whose been widely written off as a bust, i thought clelin ferrell played really well lol
- the raiders traded away a kings ransom for davante adams... yet they inexplicably just don't run plays for him??? seemed like a solid 80% of their pass plays were schemed to get the ball for renfrow, mack hollins, foster moreau??? not even like the steelers were doubling him or anything. said guys fucked carr on multiple occasions, 2/3 of his picks were entirely their fault. 4d chess by josh mcdaniels here.
- pickett's biggest problem is he holds the ball way too long. the steelers oline is underrated in pass protection, and easily give pickett enough time to get the ball off. receivers get open. idk if he just doesn't see the field well or he doesn't trust his eyes or what... but i think the steelers offense is on the precipice of being really good if he can fix this, i swear half his incompletions are him leaving the pocket and throwing the ball away despite a guy being open earlier in the play.
|Maxx Crosby is a freakin dude he’s the only reason to even watch Raiders games.|
|all I gotta say is I really hope the lions beat the packers and the rams beat the Seahawks next week. If that happens I will be sobbing like a little bitch |
|All I wanted was for the Rams to beat the Broncos. I got what I wanted. At this point I’m waiting for the playoffs|
|Rams have one more objective: beat Seattle.|
Clear the way for the Lions, otherwise whether or not they beat Green Bay is moot (besides denying a divisional rival ofc)
|Oh right. Okay, BEAT SEATTLE! GIVE THE LIONS THEIR SHOT!|
|honestly if the lions win but the rams lose, yeeting Green Bay from the playoffs would be a more satisfying end to the season than getting clobbered in the first round (not that that necessarily happens, just saying) (but I still want them to make the playoffs sooooooo bad)|
|I wish stafford was playing in the rams game… him getting the lions into the playoffs without even being on the team would be legendary|
|i honestly feel like a kid watching big ben again... dude plays kinda shitty the entire game but pulls it out in the end like clockwork on primetime two weeks in a row now|