Friday, January 6, 2023

NFL Week 18

I have decided to change the NFL rankings.  Instead of relying on Dan Hanzus at, I am going with ESPN's power rankings, which reflect the views of "a group of more than 80 writers, editors, and TV personalities."  That feels more like the old AP Poll.  So, with one week left in the regular season, here is the Top 10:

1.  Kansas City:  13-3
2.  Buffalo:  12-3
3.  San Francisco:  12-4
4.  Dallas:  12-4
5.  Philadelphia:  13-3
6.  Cincinnati:  11-4
7.  San Diego:  10-6
8.  Minnesota:  12-4
9.  N.Y. Giants:  9-6-1
10.  Baltimore:  10-6

Miami (8-8) is Number 15.  Washington (7-8-1) is Number 21.

Every game is a divisional game this week, and we have two top 10 matchups.  At noon Central on Sunday, the Number-6 Bengals host the Number-10 Ravens.  At 3:25 PM Central on Sunday, Number-5 Philly can clinch the number-1 seed in the NFC by beating the Number-9 Giants in Philly.

By the way, here are some suggestions if the NFL has to hold neutral site games in the AFC.  A neutral-site game between the Chiefs and the Bills should take place in Chicago.  A neutral-site game between the Bills and the Bengals should take place in Philadelphia.  A neutral-site game between the Chiefs and the Bengals should take place in Chicago.


  1. For the first time since 2000, neither the Patriots nor the Steelers will be in the playoffs.

  2. A very fond farewell to Andrew Siciliano and the Direct TV version of the Red Zone Channel, which did more than anything else to keep me interested in the NFL during the long years of Patriot domination.

  3. Direct TV and Andrew Siciliano have provided Red Zone coverage since 2005. To me, it is just about the only significant improvement in TV's coverage of sports in this century.

  4. After tonight, there will be 1 college football game and 13 pro football games left in the season.

  5. The Patriots, Steelers, and Broncos have combined to win the AFC Championship 27 times since the AFC was formed in 1970. This year, none of them will be in the playoffs.

  6. Down in Frisco, Texas, South Dakota State has won the I-AA college football championship, beating North Dakota State 45-21. NDSU was going for their 10th title since 2011 -- they had never previously lost in the final. Instead, the crown goes to the Jackrabbits for the first time.

  7. Here's how South Dakota State won it all:

    12/03/22: S. Dakota St. 42, Delaware 6
    12/10/22: S. Dakota St. 42, Holy Cross 21
    12/17/22: S. Dakota St. 39, Montana St. 18
    01/08/23: S. Dakota St. 45, N. Dakota St. 21

  8. In the last game of the regular season, Detroit goes to Green Bay and beats the Packers 20 to 16, thus eliminating the Pack and making clear that the NFL certainly does not fix the games to get playoff matchups that would pull big TV ratings.

  9. What a regular season that was. My favorite team was the Dolphins, and then my next favorites were the Steelers, Jaguars (strangely!), Chiefs, Chargers (strangely!), Commanders, Eagles, Lions, Bears, Panthers and 49ers (strangely!). Strangest of all was that I found myself rooting less for the Packers than I ever have in my life. Now, truthfully, I still was rooting for them a little, and I had a twinge of sadness when they were eliminated last night. But, mostly, I was happy for the Lions, and I wish they had made the playoffs ahead of Seattle.