Sid Saraf’s NFL Power Rankings Week 15
I love me a good media frenzy.
We were all treated to a great one on Thursday night when Lonzo Ball met LeBron James for the first time on the court. The game ended in predictable fashion, with the Cavs pulling away late for the win.
However, the fun started after the final buzzer, when LeBron pulled Lonzo aside in the privacy of the middle of the court with every camera in the building pointing in their direction to drop some words of wisdom. And the national media got the vapors.
Ermagerd! What did LeBron tell Lonzo? That he hates his dad? That he’s coming to Los Angeles next summer? Maybe asking if he can be part of the Big Baller Brand?
I feel LeBron should take it further. He needs to travel to every NFL stadium via chopper on Sundays and pull certain key players aside and give them free advice.
For example, for:
Aaron Rodgers: “Listen, don’t get hurt again. Watching Brett Hundley is interesting for a week or two, but that’s enough.
Tom Brady: “Don’t worry about that Monday night stinkbomb. Everyone knows you’re going to smack the Steelers around this week.”
Russell Wilson: “Have you ever considered pulling a me and taking your talents to a team that has a decent offensive line?”
Case Keenum: “Seriously, it doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the season. You’ve done enough this season to have at least a backup job in the league for as long as you want one.”
Sean McDermott: “Really? Nathan Peterman? Really?”
Eli Manning: “I hear Jacksonville is lovely this time of year. Just sayin’.”
Hue Jackson: “We can probably get you a job in our video department. At least you’ll get some victories under your belt.”
Nick Foles: “Some idiot will give you a big contract if throw more TDs than INTs over the next few weeks.”
Dan Snyder: “I mean it! Red Hawks is decent team name!”
Joe Flacco: “You’ll always be elite to me.”
Come on, LeBron. It’s time to spread your intelligence.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how the league is shaping up heading into Week 15.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
NFL’S TOP 10
1) Eagles – I’m giving them the top spot this week because even though Philly lost its MVP-caliber quarterback, it still finished the game strong and beat the Rams. However, this will most likely be the last time we see the Eagles ranked this high. Enjoy it while it lasts.
2) Patriots – Don’t be fooled. We’ve seen this movie before. The Patriots stumble to an ugly loss and everyone sounds the alarm for the end of the New England empire. And Monday’s loss to the Dolphins looked pretty bad, for sure. But again, don’t be fooled. Everything will be back to normal by the end of this week.
3) Steelers – I’ve said it before, there’s just something about this team that bugs me. I think I figured out why: I won’t fully buy them as a true contender until they beat the Patriots. They’ve got a chance this week.
4) Vikings – Nobody likes moral victories, but it’s encouraging that the Vikings didn’t play well against the Panthers, and still made the loss interesting at the end. If they get homefield advantage in the playoffs, they might be impossible to beat.
5) Rams — Tough loss, especially because they had their chances to get the W but couldn’t get it done late. However, Sunday is the game they’ve been circling on their calendar for a while.
6) Panthers – Just as I had predicted, that win over the Vikings was so Panthers. Just when people think the offense is in a spiral, the team bounces back.
7) Saints – Always rough to lose a winnable game. It’s even rougher when a Drew Brees interception kept you from a game-tying field goal. Ouch.
8) Jaguars – I’ll say it a thousand times: It’s amazing a team with Blake Bortles leading the offense is on the cusp of a 10-win season. Impressive.
9) Chargers – They’re not losing for the rest of the regular season. And they’ll be in the playoffs at 10-6. Book it.
10) Seahawks – I just can’t leave Seattle out of the rankings, even though an argument can be made the Falcons deserve this spot more. That loss at Jacksonville was discouraging, but they’re back home now with their backs against the wall. They usually respond in this type of situation.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Muhammad Wilkerson: The Jets seem to be done with once highly regarded defensive end. Coach Todd Bowles announced the team left Wilkerson at home as they travel to New Orleans this week. He’s been a problem child this season and it’s not surprising the team is sick of it by now. He’s in the second year of a five-year deal and with him set to make $16.75 million next season, it’s safe to assume Gang Green is going to cut ties with him.
Sammy Watkins: The wide receiver has discovered that winning is a lot more fun than chasing statistics. Yep, that’s what moving from Buffalo to Los Angeles will do. (I know, the city has nothing to do with it.)
Adrian Peterson: Welp, the Cardinals put the veteran running back on the IR with a neck injury. It’s about time he hangs it up, right? What else does he have to prove?
Brock Osweiler: I enjoyed watching the Thursday night game with that overhead camera. And when you watch the game from that angle, you can see that Brock O is capable of making good decisions. Maybe he’s not so bad after all.
Roger Goodell: The commish says he’s looking at his new contract as his last. Let the rampant speculation begin for his successor begin!
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 15
Chargers at Chiefs: There are some tasty games this week. And this one is on Saturday! Like I said before, the Chargers aren’t losing again this regular season. So, expect Keenan Allen to make a big play, expect the pass rush to get after Alex Smith and the Chargers to win this one. Not by a lot, but they’ll win.
Packers at Panthers: Aaron Rodgers is back! And he says he’s not here to save the team. Whatever, Aaron. Keep doing your emo shtick. It works for you. However, I think the Panthers are going to win this one.
Rams at Seahawks: This is the time for the Rams to win in Seattle. The Legion of Boom is damaged, Cliff Avril is gone and L.A. is healthy enough to bring a solid effort. Going with the homer pick here.
Titans at 49ers: Jimmy G, bro!
Patriots at Steelers: Just in case what I said earlier didn’t sink in. The Patriots will win this game. Probably by two touchdowns.
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.