Sid Saraf’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 12
Since it’s Thanksgiving week, maybe we should compile a list of the NFL’s biggest turkeys! Eh? Eh? Just kidding. Themed pieces always fail to deliver and I won’t subject you to one.
Yours truly gets to work on Thursday, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because I’ll actually get a chance to watch football. During a normal holiday, things can get hectic, especially if you’re attending a big Thanksgiving gathering.
There’s outfits to choose, side dishes to fight over, you need to travel to the site of the meal (which is really only a big deal in L.A.), greet everyone, run to the store because an aunt forgot something and so on.
And even if a TV is on, there’s so much loud conversation it ruins the experience.
So, I’ll get to watch the first two games in peace before I head out to start my Thanksgiving. I’ll miss the last game, but it’s Giants at Redskins, so who cares.
Anyway, let’s see how the league is shaping up heading into Week 12.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
NFL’S TOP 10
1) Patriots – Couldn’t be more confident in a team. They went to the high altitude in Mexico and laid a beating on the sinking Raiders. And allowed just eight points in the process. Bravo.
2) Eagles – They deserve credit for what they did to the Cowboys after halftime. They get an easy one at home vs. the Bears before hitting the West Coast to play the Seahawks and Rams. It’s not hard to picture them winning all three.
3) Saints – Still don’t understand how they erased a 15-point deficit with six minutes left to play. Goes to show Drew Brees has still got it. And that must frighten everyone else in the NFC. If you manage to slow down the Saints’ power running game, you can still get shredded by a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
4) Vikings – Their defense is frightening and the offense is playing mistake-free. That will be good enough come January.
5) Steelers – Thanks to their mini-bye after their Thursday win over the Titans, they’ll be nice and rested to take apart the Brett Hundley-led Packers at home.
6) Panthers – They seem to be getting stronger by the week. I heard some people say that the 2017 Panthers look better than the 2015 team that reached the Super Bowl. I’m starting to believe them.
7) Rams – That loss on the road was tough, but the game was closer than the final score made it seem. If Cooper Kupp doesn’t fumble on the 1-yard line, things could have gone very differently. Shut up, I know I’m a homer. Anyway, there’s no time to weep over this loss with the Saints coming to town this weekend.
8) Falcons – Sunday’s win was strange. The Falcons looked to be in complete control of the game, until suddenly the Seahawks were driving for at least a game-tying field goal with less than a minute left. Atlanta needs to learn how to put teams away.
9) Seahawks – Is Seattle really running an offense? Seems to me it’s just snap the ball to Russell Wilson and let him run around until someone gets open. I feel bad for the guy. If they ever learn how to protect him, it will be interesting to see how much of a jump he’ll make. Also, opposing offenses had to watch Sunday’s game with glee. You can score on this team now.
10) Jaguars – Most people wouldn’t put a team quarterbacked by Blake Bortles in their top 10. But I’d rather see Blake in here than the Chiefs, who just tripped over themselves in a loss to the Giants. The previously 1-8 Giants.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Side dishes: When it comes to Thanksgiving, it begins and ends with stuffing. I’m a little more fortunate because my mother will bring some Indian dishes to the gathering on Thursday. If you haven’t mixed turkey with curried okra, you’re missing out.
Ruh Roh!: News broke on Wednesday that Tom Brady was held out of Patriots practice with an Achilles. Just the word Achilles used that close to their quarterback’s name should send shivers up the spine of every New Englander. However, not to worry because he’s reportedly “fine” and is expected to play on Sunday.
Seahawks running backs: Jon Gruden and Sean McDonough kept talking about the Seahawks being unable to keep a running back healthy. And it couldn’t have been more than five minutes until Mike Davis, recently brought up from the practice squad, went down hurt. He likely won’t play against the 49ers, leaving Seattle with one option: Eddie Lacy. Ugh.
Jameis Winston: I’m so done with this guy. I don’t care if he’s completely exonerated in this Uber groping situation, he’s just too much trouble. And the Bucs have won two games in a row without him. With Old Man River Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. I can see Winston and Tampa parting ways sometime soon if things don’t improve fast.
Paxton Lynch: Looks like Brock Osweiler wasn’t good enough for the Broncos. Or anyone for that matter. So, now the rookie gets a shot to lead the Denver offense. Attention, fantasy players: Pick up the Raiders defense.
49ers: Another week goes by and Jimmy Garoppolo still isn’t playing. Still a smart move.
Darrelle Revis: Signed with the Chiefs on Wednesday! Good to see him back in the game. The Chiefs still stink though.
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 12
All the Thanksgiving action: Vikings at Lions? Chargers at Cowboys? Those are some watchable games, if you ask me. You may or may not be awake long enough to get through Giants-Redskins though.
Panthers at Jets: This could be a trap game for Carolina. With a crucial road game coming up against the Saints next week, the Panthers just might overlook a Jets team that has the potential to punch you in the mouth.
Dolphins at Patriots: It’s always fun when these two teams get together. Don’t get nuts, I’m not picking Miami. But it will be closer than one would think.
Saints at Rams: Easily the game of the week. And based on what I saw last week, the Saints will be able to run on the Rams. And L.A.’s secondary isn’t quite strong enough to completely shut down the Saints’ passing attack. I’m picking New Orleans to extend its winning streak.
Jaguars at Cardinals: Arizona has almost nothing left. Which means we could actually see Jacksonville improve to 8-3. Wow.
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.