Sid Saraf’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
You can see the wrong choice coming from a mile away.
Here’s an example. I enjoy visiting the bars every now and then. Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t an everyday thing. Just every now and then. And what good American doesn’t enjoy a cocktail?
There comes a time during a typical night when I have to make a decision. I’ve had three drinks. Should I have a fourth? The responsible thing would be to stop and wrap things up. There would be no terrible late-night eating, no headache tomorrow and the bill would be relatively inexpensive because the drinks were had during happy hour.
The dance usually lasts about 20 minutes.
“You having another one?”
“No, I’m getting ready to head out. I’ve got some leftover pizza in the fridge and a DVR three months pregnant with ‘You’re the Worst’ episodes.”
10 minutes go by.
“You sure? Come on, have one more with me. The Lakers are starting.”
“No, no. I feel good, if I have another one, things will get away from me.”
You probably know how this ends. Once you see your buddy get that fresh drink and Lonzo Ball airballs his first 3-pointer, your mind changes. Before you know it, you’re 3 more drinks in, you’ve done a tequila shot, your bill has risen exponentially because happy hour ended at 7 and you left at 9, you’re ubering home and ordering a new pizza once you get there because you forgot you had leftovers in the fridge.
What I just described is what Ezekiel Elliott put us through the last few months. We all knew how this story was going to end. He was going to serve that 6-game suspension no matter what legal machinations he dreamed up.
The NFL was always going to win. Why fight the inevitable? Instead of sticking around in a pointless fight, running up his legal bills, drawing constant media scrutiny and costing his team his presence during a critical stretch of the season, he could have made the wise choice and cut his losses right at the beginning. He would have already been back for 5 weeks by now.
He chose … poorly.
Anyway, let’s see how the league is shaping up heading into Week 11.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
NFL’S TOP 10
1) Patriots – It doesn’t matter that the Eagles have the league’s best record. If these two teams face each other, give me New England all day. The Patriots have won five straight, their defense has come together and nobody would be surprised if they didn’t lose the rest of the way.
2) Eagles: Sorry, Philly. You’re the victim of being out of sight and out of mind last week. However, the good news is they’re coming off a bye week and get to face the Zeke-less Cowboys. This should be an easy one.
3) Saints: Forget about their reborn defense, who would have thought a Sean Payton/Drew Brees team would be this reliant on the running game? That was a bully-style win over the Bills. Impressive.
4) Rams: Yeah! How about those Rams, eh? Eh? EH? Now the bad news: They have a BRUTAL schedule down the stretch. I feel they’ll make the playoffs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they fall short.
5) Steelers: They should be above the Rams, but I don’t know what to say about last week’s … performance. Nobody can tell me the Steelers and the Colts are close when it comes to talent. They won, sure, but Pittsburgh needs to pick it up on the road.
6) Panthers: It was surprising when Carolina traded Kelvin Benjamin away at the deadline. But that could very well be addition by subtraction. The defense is tough, Cam Newton looked sharp on Monday night and the team will be a terror going forward.
7) Vikings: They lose Sam Bradford. They lose Dalvin Cook. Whatever, they’re fine and rolling with Case Keenum. Never thought I’d write that sentence.
8) Seahawks: That Thursday night game was quite the bloodbath. No Richard Sherman going forward? Yuck.
9) Chiefs: Sorry, I’m down on this team right now. But they’ve got the Giants on the road this week. Time to get healthy!
10) Jaguars: Hey, why not? The Falcons have better personnel all around, but this Jags defense is savage. Man, if they only had a quarterback.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Aaron Rodgers: So, Mr. Discount Double-Check is back on the practice field. Will we see him back on the field before the end of the season? It would be epic to see the Packers back door their way into the playoffs.
49ers: Smart, smart, smart. They made a huge splash by landing Jimmy Garoppolo and are doing the smart thing by holding him out. In fact, there’s no reason for him to play for another couple weeks, at least. Let C.J. Beathard take it for a minute and keep their prized possession off his back.
Jerry Jones: A letter from the NFL accuses the Cowboys owner of conduct detrimental to the league. Like I’ve said before, a blood-letting is coming.
Greg Olsen: The Panthers tight end will be in the broadcast booth for Sunday’s Rams-Vikings matchup as his team is on a bye. That’s interesting to say the least. Even though FOX promised to keep Olsen out of the pregame meetings, the Vikings weren’t happy to have a potential future opponent hanging around and possible gathering intel. Can’t say I blame them.
Ben McAdoo: The Giants head coach is not long for the job. And he keeps making bizarre statements to the media. He probably decided to have some fun while he’s still around. He was nothing to worry about in the long run. He’ll get a coordinator job.
Pile on the pylon: The most irritating thing about this season is this rash of referees ruling a “loose” ball touching the end zone pylon a touchback with the ball going to the other team. What kind of crap is that? And it has cost teams games!
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 11
Titans at Steelers: I feel Tennessee is overrated. It’s up to the Steelers to prove me right. Shouldn’t be a problem at home. Even on a Thursday night.
Rams at Vikings: Hoo boy. The student has become the master. Last year, Jared Goff and Case Keenum were part of the 2016 dumpster fire Rams. Fast-forward to the present and they’re on two surprise teams and are facing each other. What a feel-good story. Give me the Rams, even on the road.
Redskins at Saints: This will be a watchable game, because the Redskins are the best 4-5 team in NFL history. Will the Saints train keep rolling?
Eagles at Cowboys: An NFC East matchup is always a crowd-pleaser. Despite Dallas’ shortcomings.
Falcons at Seahawks: Another good Monday night game. ESPN must be leaping for joy. Give me Seattle at home.
Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 - Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 - Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.