Thursday, December 8, 2016

NFL Poll: Week 14

Not much change at the top of the NFL poll this week, as the top six teams remain the same.  Somehow, the 1983 AFC West has taken over the League.  It must be awful to be a Chargers fan.  Meanwhile, as the world gets colder, the Steelers and Ravens are moving up:

1.  Dallas Cowboys:  11-1
2.  New England Patriots:  10-2
3.  Oakland Raiders:  10-2
4.  Kansas City Chiefs:  9-3
5.  Seattle Seahawks:  8-3-1
6.  Denver Broncos:  8-4
7.  Detroit Lions:  8-4
8.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  7-5
9.  Atlanta Falcons:  7-5
10.  Baltimore Ravens:  7-5

Last week was the Week of Destiny for the Redskins and Dolphins.  The Redskins, despite losing their first two games, had scraped together a record of 6-4-1 that had them on the verge of playoff contention.  They were going to Arizona to play a disappointing Cardinals team that was 4-6-1 after making the NFC Title Game last year.  The Dolphins started off 1-4, but then won six straight over the Steelers, Bills, Jets, Chargers, Rams, and 49ers.  Not exactly Murderer's Row, but it meant that the Dolphins were 7-4 and going to Baltimore to play a 6-5 Ravens team that is usually tough down the stretch.  In other words, both the Redskins and Dolphins were going on the road against veteran playoff teams -- but teams with worse records.  In other words, these were very winnable games.  Here's what happened:

The Redskins led 20-17 going into the fourth quarter, but where outscored 14-3 in that quarter and lost 31-23.

The Dolphins were hammered 38-6 in Baltimore.

So the Redskins fell from 9 to 13, and the Dolphins fell from 11 to 15.

The Game of the Week this week is on Thursday Night, as the NFL tries to find a reason for football fans to watch football at a time when no one really wants to watch.  This week they have the Raiders at the Chiefs, and it's great to see these two old favorites of mine ranked above Denver, even if that's not likely to last.  On Monday night, the Patriots will host the Ravens in a fixture that's usually good for some controversy.  But you can take Sunday off, as there are no top-10 match-ups that day.