2016 NFL Week 7 Powre Rankings

2016 NFL Week 7 Powre Rankings
M.D. Wright

We are getting to the midpoint of the season, where some of the separation that generally occurs in divisions, while tiebreakers that will decide wild card seedings are in play — while teams who will be jockeying for the #1 pick in the 2017 Draft are squaring off, as well. Here are the rankings heading into Week 7.

1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0).
The Vikes are undefeated. The end.

2. Seattle Seahawks (4-1).
The Rams own Seattle, but other than that, they’re still Seattle of the past four years. And, a point that has been glossed over by many, Earl Thomas had not been himself since the shoulder injury that hampered him heading into Super Bowl XLIX… he is back to his old self now.

3. New England Patriots (5-1).
It would not come as a surprise that they find themselves embroiled in another accusation of cheating.

4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1).
This feels a lot like 2007 and 2014. Dallas fans better hope the fates of those seasons don’t befall their beloved Cowboys again.

5. Atlanta Falcons (4-2).
The Falcons showed signs for three quarters in Seattle (before the Seahawks began playing a ton of soft zone and surrendering 21 points in the process) where they began going on midseason slides as they’ve done in the past, but this team should be here to stay in 2016.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2).
The Steelers better win every game at home, because they have been awful on the road for the past couple of seasons.

7. Buffalo Bills (4-2).
A month ago, we mused about Rex Ryan getting fired. Then they won four straight. And all in dominant fashion, no less.

8. Denver Broncos (4-2).
The Broncos are in a quandary if Trevor Siemian can’t get going until teams call off the dogs defensively. Paxton Lynch came out firing in relief of Siemian against Tampa, but then he started the next game and looked as bad as Jared Goff did in preseason.

9. Oakland Raiders (4-2).
The Raiders were awful on the road for years; particularly back east. Now they’re awful at home. What sense does this make? And it cannot be about moving to Las Vegas, because that likely won’t happen for three more years. Most of the guys on the roster won’t be there in 2019.

10. Washington Redskins (4-2).
Flimsiest 4-2 record, and naturally their players are spouting off to the media as if they are world beaters.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2).
The Chiefs can do damage if they stick with their formula with Jamaal Charles back.

12. Houston Texans (4-2).
Brock Osweiler pulled through in the end, but he had a brutal time of it for three quarters (and really most of the season thus far). With tensions mounting between him and head coach Bill O’Brien, it will bear watching whether the Texans turn to Tom Savage at any point this season.

13. New York Football Giants (3-3).
This is the most underachieving (offensively) team in the NFL.

14. Green Bay Packers (3-2).
The Packers and the Giants have similar issues in that their offenses are disjointed, and more predicated upon the efforts of receivers to win every single route, as opposed to play calls that are designed to exploit their abilities over the defenders they face. This is the chief reason why both offenses seem to stall for long stretches every week. The only difference is that Odell Beckham can consistently beat man coverage, none of the other receivers on either team has shown that he can do so, hence the struggles of the respective Super Bowl-winning QBs for each team.

15. Arizona Cardinals (3-3).
The Cards have underachieved on offense also, but their defense seems to have picked up traction in Week 6.

16. Tennessee Titans (3-3).
They are quietly just a game out of first place in the AFC South with some of the best smoke and mirrors work you’ll see.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2).
The ridiculous talk about Carson Wentz finally slowed down, as he has struggled in back to back games, even failing to lead the offense to a single point until late in the game against Washington.

18. Detroit Lions (3-3).
The Lions’ offensive attack is more diversified without Calvin Johnson, but now their defense has become an issue again.

19. Baltimore Ravens (3-3).
The Ravens are an utter mess injury-wise. Terrell Suggs (5 sacks) SAYS he wants to play through a torn muscle in his arm, but that is ego and machismo talking. Defensive ends/linebackers need every muscle in their arms to be effective against mountain man offensive linemen.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3).
The division is not out of reach if they somehow run off a few wins and keep pace with the Falcons in advance of their second match up of the season, after defeating Atlanta in Week 1.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4).
We have maintained that the Bengals miss Tyler Eifert dearly; particularly in the red zone. Despite the best efforts of AJ Green and Giovani Bernard, teams need a big in-line target in the red zone in order to free up their inside game and outside receiving targets.

22. St. Louis Rams (3-3).
7-9 or 8-8 isn’t out of the realm of possibilities after a 3-1 start. And some more Gregg Williams trifling behavior on the final kneel downs in their loss to the Lions.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3).
The Jags have won two straight and really should be 4-1 right now, but Blake Bortles has to erase that disgusting hitch in his throwing motion which has become more prominent in each passing game. Defensive backs and linebackers only need that split second that a hitch provides to key on where passes are going and can break on the ball that much quicker. It’s the biggest issue for the Jags’ passing attack thus far this season.

24. San Diego Chargers (2-4).
The Chargers have responded very well to the massive losses of offensive talent due to injury (Keenan Allen, Steve Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver) and are still a very good offensive team. Of even more surprise is how well their defense has played this season when not much was expected from them; with and without Joey Bosa thus far, which they have been through three games in each scenario.

25. Miami Dolphins (2-4).
Do not be deceived; the Fins still are not good. The Steelers are shells of themselves on the road. You will see the real Dolphins against Buffalo in Week 7.

26. Indianapolis Colts (2-4).
The only player on this team that should be absolved of any blame is Franklin Delano Gore. That INCLUDES Andrew Luck.

27. Carolina Panthers (1-5).
Cam Newton is a sore loser and a front runner, and so are the Panthers.

28. New Orleans Saints (2-3).
Look at how the Saints have won games. No one cares about Drew Brees’ stats. This is a bad football team.

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-5).
Colin Kaepernick may be confident in his abilities, but if the idea for him to forfeit guaranteed injury protection monies in exchange for the right to play (thereby absolving the 49ers of any liability should he be injured), with THIS roster, was beyond foolish.

30. Chicago Bears (1-5).
The Bears have been competitive, but they are not good enough to rely on 3rd and 4th receivers to be the only players who can create separation for a middling QB like Brian Hoyer.

31. New York Jets (1-5).
The Jets season is over, and it is time for them to begin looking at who their long-term quarterback should be. Ryan Fitzpatrick should be benched and only available due to injury; even if Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty (assuming he is recovered from injury and can at least play now) struggle even worse than Fitzpatrick — which is unfathomable at this point — before it costs several people their jobs; not the least being the general manager and head coach. The Jets did the smart thing not capitulating to Fitzpatrick’s demands for a long-term contract, because in the backs of their minds, they knew this was possible, and even probable, this year. If there is a silver lining to this, along with the bad news regarding Eric Decker (who will miss the rest of this season and POTENTIALLY all of next season), is that they can get good, long looks at young players like Cherone Peake, who Fitzpatrick nearly got killed in Arizona, Jalin Marshall, and Quincy Enunwa in an expanded role, should they choose.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-6).
The Browns are just too young, inexperienced, injured and lacking in depth to finish games. They’ve been competitive, and Hue Jackson has them trending in the right direction. But they are gonna be doormats for a while.

2016 NFL Week 6 Bettor’s Guide

2016 NFL Week 6 Bettor’s Guide
M.D. Wright

Last week was alright, although there were a lot of spreads that were blown due to final drives going one way versus the other (including a couple of backdoor covers that were predicted and fell just short), but picking winners has always been a strong point; and Week 5 was more of the same in that regard.

Last Week:
SU: 11-3
ATS: 7-7

SU: 50-27
ATS: 40-37

Week 6:
Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
My Call: SD +3
Over/Under: Over 45

The Bolts have invented ways to lose games unlike any team in recent memory in any sport. The home team in these Thursday Night Football games tend to fare better on the short weeks, even though both teams here had to travel. San Diego has played well for 55 minutes in most games, and without several key players on both sides of the ball. They just have no finish. Despite their shortcomings thus far this season, we still think the Bolts will finally figure it out; although not without some drama.

Denver                          23
San Diego                    26

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
My Call: CIN +8.5
Over/Under: Over 47

Until the Bengals get Tyler Eifert on the field and productive in full football mode, it was clear in Dallas that Cincinnati is going to struggle to score consistently.

Cincinnati                  24
New England             28

Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Football Giants
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: NYG -3
Over/Under: Under 43.5

Both teams’ offenses make you hide your eyes. In the case of Baltimore, it is understandable, but with the Giants, it is galling.

Should be a low-scoring slugfest with a good bit of ugly football, especially with the number of injuries on both sides.

Baltimore                       16
NY Giants                      20

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana
My Call: NO +3
Over/Under: Over 53.5

The Panthers are not good. 2015 is over. We cannot reiterate this enough. The Saints are a tough team to slow down offensively at home, and the Panthers have had trouble slowing down anyone this season; even Blaine Gabbert.

Carolina                      26
New Orleans              34

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
My Call: PIT -7.5
Over/Under: Under 47.5

Let’s not.

Pittsburgh                 33
Miami                         13

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
My Call: JAX +2.5
Over/Under: Under 47

One can only hope that the Jaguars, with seemingly forever off after their London game, will have worked out the kinks on defense with the amount of talent that they possess on that side of the ball; given that this is Gus Bradley’s supposed calling card. The Bears are an utter disaster.

Jacksonville                      26
Chicago                              20

San Francisco 49ers vs. Buffalo Bills
New Era Stadium
Orchard Park, New York
My Call: SF +7.5
Over/Under: Under 44.5

Seems just like yesterday that we were speculating about Rex Ryan’s future with Buffalo. He righted the ship just in time. Colin Kaepernick is returning to the field as starter for San Francisco, and with his new extension, which forfeits injury protections and playing with a team that is bereft of talent, it is probably the worst time for Colin to return to the field. The Bills are kicking ass and taking names of late.

San Francisco                    20
Buffalo                                24

Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions
Ford Field
Detroit, Michigan
My Call: DET -3
Over/Under: Under 43.5

Both of these teams are unpredictable.

You don’t know what you’re going to get from either offense (or defense) from one game to the next, it seems. When in doubt, go with the home team.

Los Angeles                       16
Detroit                                20

Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee
My Call: CLE +7
Over/Under: Under 43.5


Cleveland                         15
Tennessee                       19

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins
FedEx Field
Landover, Maryland
My Call: PHI -2.5
Over/Under: Over 44.5

The Redskins are likely to be without Kirk Cousins’ security blanket, Jordan Reed (concussion) for this game, which complicates things for a team that has a bevy of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. However, we just saw the Eagles struggle on the road against an equally subpar Lions team, so who really knows when it comes to these “rivalry” games.

Philadelphia                       34
Washington                       24

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Oakland, California
My Call: OAK -1
Over/Under: Over 46.5

This (or Atlanta vs. Seattle) should be the game of the week nationally, to be quite honest. People are tired of watching Dallas every week. We love the Raiders over here. The Chiefs have diversified their offense a BIT, but still do not pass the ball downfield enough to be taken seriously; particularly against a team that does so relentlessly as the Raiders (and the Steelers before them, against the Chiefs). This is about as evenly matched that a game can be, and then the rivalry aspect can be factored in, as well.

Kansas City                         26
Oakland                               31

Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field
Seattle, Washington
My Call: ATL +6.5
Over/Under: Over 46

Seattle is coming off a bye, presumably giving Russell Wilson time to recover from an assortment of nicks and bumps that had him hobbling around on both legs (and passing for over 300 yards) just before the bye. With permutations that will have an effect on who likely ends up with a potential first round playoff bye, the winner of this game will have an important tiebreaker (presuming Atlanta does not go into one of its patented late-season swoons) at the end of the regular season.

Then there is Julio Jones vs. Richard Sherman. Mercy.

Atlanta                           27
Seattle                            30

Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field
Green Bay, Wisconsin
My Call: GB -4.5
Over/Under: Under 47.5

Dak Prescott gets humbled. Which is weeks too late in occurring.

Side Note: Who else is sick and tired of seeing Dallas on the Game of the Week at 4:25 or in primetime? Goodness.

Dallas                          17
Green Bay                  27

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
My Call: HOU -3
Over/Under: Over 46.5

Houston has not exactly lit up the skies (mostly due to Brock Osweiler’s inefficiencies and lack of experience as an NFL starter), although you’d think they would with the weapons they have. But without the right QB to drive the vehicle, what do you expect from those star players?

The only reason to take the Texans and the points is because the Colts are on the road and have no real defense to speak of; it may be an igniter for the Texans offense.

Indianapolis                     20
Houston                             31

New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona
My Call: ARZ -7.5
Over/Under: Over 46

The Jets can’t cover anyone, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s tenure as starter of the Jets should be coming to a close soon (if Todd Bowles is not asleep at the wheel).

NY Jets                       19
Arizona                     34

BYE: Minnesota (5-0), Tampa Bay (2-3).

2016 NFL Week 5 Bettor’s Guide

2016 NFL Week 5 Bettor’s Guide
M.D. Wright

Last week was marginally better, although we missed out on some calls against the spread. There were a couple of last-minute, backdoor covers and blown straight up calls due to teams like San Diego, but overall, it was a recovery from the disaster that was Week 3.

Last Week:
SU: 9-6
ATS: 9-6

SU: 39-24
ATS: 33-30

Week 4:
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, California
My Call: SF +3.5
Over/Under: Under 43

This is bad. Two backup QBs (although Gabbert is technically the starter for the 49ers, even if it is by default) on a short week. Turnovers galore. Advantage defenses. San Francisco will miss NaVorro Bowman, however.

Arizona                        19
San Francisco             16

Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota
My Call: HOU +6.5
Over/Under: Over 40

Minnesota’s defense is good, but it is not on par with Denver and Seattle. It’s 3rd (de facto) behind those two, but there are plays to be made if the offensive playcaller actually exploits its offensive talent — something the past two teams the Vikings faced sternly refused to attempt, despite opportunities available on film — but Brock Osweiler is not taking good care of the football, even with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller on the outside and Lamar Miller available out of the backfield in addition to his rushing duties. Given how the Texans failed to even show up in New England two weeks ago, we’re not bullish on taking them straight up, but they should cover.

Houston                     20
Minnesota                 24

Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
My Call: TEN +3.5
Over/Under: Under 43

This is when the Titans finally get over the hump, right? They’ve kept games close. The Dolphins are an utter mess and the head coach admitted that he does not even know what he’s doing with his personnel; which showed last Thursday in Cincinnati.

Tennessee                      17
Miami                             15

New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
FirstEnergy Stadium
Cleveland, Ohio
My Call: CLE +10.5
Over/Under: Over 46.5

The Browns have been in every game except Week 1. They will be in this one, even with Tom Brady returning. They’ve also beaten the Patriots with marginal talent before.

Not happening this week, though.

New England                     31
Cleveland                           23

New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
My Call: PIT -7
Over/Under: Over 48.5

When the schedules are made, they are based upon how each team finishes the previous season in its division, with respect to the other teams in the league. The first place schedule — i.e. the team that finished first in the division the previous season — isn’t usually the most punitive slate the following season. It’s the second-place schedule that often does in the team that finished second the year before. And that is what you are seeing with the Jets. Those second place teams seem to always be the ones who make jumps or return to what was previous success. The Jets are facing that every week thus far this year (excluding their division game against Buffalo in Week 2). Ryan Fitzpatrick has not held up well against anyone but Buffalo. The Steelers aren’t playing around right now.

NY Jets                      19
Pittsburgh               34

Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland
My Call: BAL -3.5
Over/Under: Under 45

The past two games (both wins) the Redskins have faced a team that was unwilling to exploit Washington’s deficiencies in the secondary, and another that was largely incapable — outside of one receiver that owned Josh Norman in the process, for three quarters — but the Ravens have a stable of weapons and have no problems utilizing the talent (although Joe Flacco is not throwing his famous deep ball with nearly as much frequency as previous years thus far). With both its starting safeties out for season, expect the Redskins to struggle against the Ravens’ passing attack.

Washington                     17
Baltimore                         23

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions
Ford Field
Detroit, Michigan
My Call: PHI -3
Over/Under: Over 46

We cannot trust the Lions right now until further notice as relates to covering.

Philadelphia                           27
Detroit                                     23

Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
My Call: CHI +4.5
Over/Under: Over 48

The Bears will get a lead, while Andrew Luck plays poorly and turns over the football. But wait, the bottom will fall out for the Bears, and Luck will have one of his stat-padding comeback games and win in the final moment.

Chicago                         24
Indianapolis                26

Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Denver, Colorado
My Call: ATL +5.5
Over/Under: Under 47

If this game were in Atlanta, we’d be more confident in taking Atlanta and the points. The Falcons will make plays (regardless of whether or not Tevin Coleman plays), but we feel as though they won’t be able to make the one or two that they will need to make in order to pull off this relative upset.

Atlanta                           22
Denver                           24

Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, California
My Call: BUF +2
Over/Under: Under 39

First to 10 wins?

Buffalo                     13
Los Angeles             9

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Oakland, California
My Call: OAK -3.5
Over/Under: Over 49.5

Shoot out, and, if the Bolts ever have a lead in this game, they’ll blow it. Hopefully, no ACLs are involved.

San Diego                31
Oakland                   38

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
My Call: CIN -1
Over/Under: Under 45.5

Beware of the officials when considering this one, but more than that, Dak Prescott’s out here sounding like Oklahoma’s backup QB when speaking about the Bengals defense. Tut-Tut!

Cincinnati                              24
Dallas                                      10

New York Football Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field
Green Bay, Wisconsin
My Call: NYG +7.5
Over/Under: Under 48

Are the Giants ever going to “break out” like the head coach says? Given that he is the chief reason why the offense has not? We have taken the Giants on the strength of their offensive potential — which has yet to be realized in any game thus far in 2016 — and they have let us down in all four games, despite two wins and two covers. Green Bay has defensive issues against the pass. If the Giants do not exploit that weakness this week, they will not be taken (with the points) until they demonstrate that ability. The defensive potential — which is good to great — is neutered due to self-imposed offensive futility.

Green Bay does what they do. Most teams know, no more so than Ben McAdoo. Yes, teams change verbiage and add a wrinkle here and there, but generally, the concepts  are the same. Much of what Green Bay does is run here and there to keep teams honest and much of the passing attack is timing-based, with Aaron Rodgers improvising if the play breaks down. Teams learned that if they press the Packers’ receivers and get near Rodgers’ feet, they will force Green Bay to be heavily reliant upon Rodgers’ improvisation. Even as a QB of his stature, that is not a recipe for consistency. If the Giants are able to get some of their defensive backs in time for this game, they will be well-stocked to defend what the Packers do.

We are not proponents of “Team X has Team Y’s number” and citing game scores from 1997, when none of the players on either team was playing. Match ups are what drive football. The Giants generally match up well with Green Bay, although they are coming off a short week while Green Bay had an extra week to prepare.

NY Giants                   24
Green Bay                  23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, North Carolina
My Call: Pick ’em (TB)
Over/Under: No Line

There is no line due to the uncertainty of Cam Newton’s availability for this game. He does have an extra day to pass through the concussion protocol. At this rate, it appears that Newton will not play.

Honestly, it does not matter if he does or not, because the Panthers are brutal on both sides of the football; particularly in their secondary. They haven’t mounted much of a pass rush this season, either; outside of a couple of small windows.

Tampa Bay                    27
Carolina                        20

BYE: Jacksonville (1-3), Kansas City (2-2), New Orleans (1-3), Seattle (3-1).

2016 NFL Week 4: “What We Know”

2016 NFL Week 4: “What We Know”
M.D. Wright

Week 4 was quite the interesting week; for some, interesting for the wrong reasons, and then there were complete 180s done by teams over what they output during Week 3. At any rate, let’s get into some of the other things that we’ve learned and now know after Week 4.

— What are the Miami Dolphins? What is their identity? Who are they? There are only so many coaching regimes that you can go through before you realize the existing personnel just does not work.

— AJ Green could have easily had 15 catches and 300 yards against Miami and their stubborn insistence to play zone virtually all game.

— The Bengals won, but their offense is missing another red zone receiving threat. They won’t get their chief target other than Green (Tyler Eifert) back for at least another week.

— The Jaguars tried hard to blow yet another game, but the Colts refused the offer.

— Phillip Dorsett has a bright future if he can remain healthy.

— Franklin Delano Gore continues to leap up the all-time rushing yardage chart.

— Did we learn anything that we didn’t already know about anyone on the Titans or Texans this weekend?

— The Browns found yet another way to lose a game that they had a chance to win.

— Isaiah Crowell.

— Terrelle Pryor owned Josh Norman like a rag doll, but since the Redskins (aided by shady officiating) won, Norman naturally comes out gloating afterward.

— Speaking of gloating, how does Norman attempt to chide his former team Carolina about getting roasted by Julio Jones, when Jones did more against Norman in their last meeting than he did against any one of the Panthers’ corners on Sunday?

— Russell Wilson is bionic.

— The Seahawks’ bye could not have come at a better time.

— The Jets have room for one or two more losses before they should consider starting Christian Hackenberg a la the Football Giants with Kurt Warner and Eli Manning in 2004.

— Jimmy Graham.

— We knew Weeks 1-4 would be house money for Patriots fans. They had excuses lined up if/when they lost any of the four games, and would then still try to tell you how “great” Tom Brady was despite anyone who stepped in his stead had the same success.

— Julio Jones can do whatever he wants on the football field if Shanahan and Ryan actually attempt to get him the football.

— 2015 is over. The Panthers are not good on offense or defense.

— Steve Smith actually pulled away from Raiders’ defensive backs for a long touchdown. How can this be?

— Jordan Howard.

— The Bucs fired Lovie Smith to get even WORSE with more talent?

— How are the Rams 3-1? And with CASE KEENUM?

— The Bolts found yet another way to lose a game in a way that is truly unbelievable, but not shocking for them.

— The officials swing a game for the Dallas Cowboys. Stop if you’ve heard this before.

— Le’Veon Bell did not miss a step, but can he stop getting suspended?

— The Vikings aren’t as good as they were made to look on either side of the ball on Monday night, although you wouldn’t have known it by listening to Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden pull for them like the Vikes’ local radio announcers all night.

— Eli Manning was seeing ghosts, rushing throws, refusing to pass downfield when opportunities were there. That has been an issue all season with the stodgy offense.

— Ben McAdoo spends more time feeding the goofy, inaccurate narrative about Odell Beckham and less in managing the game and exploiting the great number of offensive weapons that are in park (or neutral) while the Giants can’t even score 20 PPG with even more talent than they had last year when they scored 27 PPG. Go figure.

— Speaking of the Beckham narrative. It’s got to stop. There are several players who do worse, and defensive backs get away with taking liberties with him without warning and with impunity, but the slightest thing he does draws overreaction from the media, and now, the officials.

— But then you read this, and you realize that the narrative, ratings, page clicks and storylines are all a part of the “entertainment” that is  professional sports.

2016 NFL Week 5 Powre Rankings

2016 NFL Week 5 Powre Rankings
M.D. Wright

Even more changes to the rankings this week, as we are now at the quarter point of the 2016 Season — already. The overreactions after games have toned down a bit since Week 1, but there’s still a lot of season left. Who needs a “franchise” quarterback anymore? That may be a stretch, but some of these teams are getting by without one.

1. Denver Broncos (4-0).
Trevor Siemian has played decently, but Paxton Lynch is the real deal. Kubiak says they feel good about Siemian coming back in time to play in Week 5 with a shoulder bruise, but they won’t lose anything with Lynch (and may gain a bit, even).

2. Minnesota Vikings (4-0).
Sam Bradford’s not as good as he was made to look in Week 4, but the Vikings play pretty much error-free football (or just not called for penalties on defense, a la 2013 Seattle), while turning over opponents.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1).
Week 3 was an aberration. Week 4 was not.

4. Atlanta Falcons (3-1).
The Falcons look good for now, but they do this every year. “Check with me” in November and December like a QB making route adjustments pre-snap.

5. Seattle Seahawks (3-1).
The Rams (somehow) own Seattle, but even that loss doesn’t look bad anymore. Seattle’s hungry again. That’s bad for the rest of the NFL. Russell Wilson’s basically playing on no legs and carving up teams. Scary.

6. Oakland Raiders (3-1).
The Raiders are for real. Derek Carr is, also. Then again, we told you he would be coming out of college.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0).
We are still not sold on this team on other side of the ball, but 3-0 is 3-0.

8. Green Bay Packers (2-1).
The Packers have a chance to make a statement by beating Dallas in a couple of weeks. For now, they need to keep pace with the division-leading Vikes.

9. Baltimore Ravens (3-1).
It seems as though they are doing it with smoke and mirrors. They really are fortunate to not be 0-4.

10. Houston Texans (3-1).
The “weakest” 3-1 team in these “powre” rankings, but they can use that stinker in Foxborough as motivation to work on making themselves better offensively, while validating the massive Ewing Theory with JJ Watt.

11. New England Patriots (3-1).
It would be hilarious if Cheatin’ Tom’s return resulted in a loss to the Browns.

12. Dallas Cowboys (3-1).
Cincinnati will be the first team that will force Dakota Prescott to make plays downfield. That will be the truest gauge of how legitimate he is, as he has mainly dinked and dunked and thrown to wide open receivers the few times he passed the ball more than 15 yards in the air downfield. Off play action.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2).
Tyler Eifert may play vs. Dallas, and they need him back. Badly. Despite the herculean efforts of AJ Green, the Bengals don’t have much else in consistent receiving threats.

14. Los Angeles Rams (3-1).
How is this team winning games with THAT quarterback?

15. New York Football Giants (2-2).
The Giants are hamstrung by an overly-cautious head coach/play caller whose motto is “Protect the Duke” — while the team does everything to the contrary, doesn’t utilize its Top 3 stead of receiving weapons, and has an arguably 3rd worst defensive coordinator in all of football still living off 2007 and 2008 mismanaging talent in ways that only Charles Kelly at Florida State has achieved.

16. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2).
You don’t overreact to blowout losses unless they happen more than once in a season.

17. Buffalo Bills (2-2).
Rex wins a couple of games and goes from acting like he’s at a funeral (his own, as it was trending toward) to gloating again. Difficult to pull for this guy.

18. Washington Redskins (2-2).
Needed the refs to win the past two games, still don’t expect them to be any better than 3-5 at the halfway mark. Washington was 29th in defense last season, and are 29th right now. Josh Norman’s on social media taking jabs at the Panthers for getting torched by Julio Jones, as if Jones didn’t do the same to Norman the last time they squared off.

19. New York Jets (1-3).
Fitzpatrick’s time with the Jets feels eerily like that of Kurt Warner’s with the Giants before Eli Manning took over midseason. Another couple of stinkers (or injury; the former is likely, given the opponents) and it may be Hackenberg time. Skip right over Geno Smith and accept that the 2nd Round pick and $12 Million were wasted on the two QBs ahead of Hackenberg on the depth chart.

20. Arizona Cardinals (1-3).
The Cards just aren’t good. They’re out of balance on offense, and they don’t really have a consistent pass rush. They need to juggle their personnel on the back end and capitulate to Tyrann Mathieu’s request to play the slot corner position. He’s not affecting games back deep when the Cards are getting manhandled in the middle of the field every week.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3).
Tampa’s season is basically on the line next Monday, and it is time for the Bucs’ secondary to join the NFL, because it has been outright putrid all season. It doesn’t help that Tampa’s offensive line has regressed and gives Jameis Winston virtually no time in the pocket regardless of the opponent.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3).
Between the head coach and the regression of Blake Bortles (although he was better against the Colts defense in Week 4), the Jags have thoroughly underachieved out of the gate. They have two games with Houston that will basically decide the AFC South. We do not expect the Colts or Titans to be there in the end.

23. Miami Dolphins (1-3).
We cannot figure out for our lives how this team is this bad. Ryan Tannehill is not a franchise quarterback, but there are a lot of other issues with this team that belie talent.

24. Tennessee Titans (1-3).
All the Titans can do is keep games close, Marcus Mariota has largely  been incapable of making the throws the Titans need the most in the clutch.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-3).
2015 is over. The bandwagon is emptying quicker than a rogue cop’s clip when confronting an unarmed Black man. Cam Newton has taken a beating all season thus far, akin to the year where he looked like a shell of himself physically and these same “lifelong Panthers fans” wanted to run Newton AND Ron Rivera (along with others) out of town. Keep this up, and you’ll hear it again this year.

26. San Francisco 49ers (1-3).
No one knows what Blaine Gabbert was doing in the 2nd half Sunday. Not even Gabbert himself. We did see the officials swing the game in Dallas’ favor. Yet again.

27. San Diego Chargers (1-3).
No one invents more ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory than the Bolts.

28. New Orleans Saints (1-3).
We openly mused whether Drew Brees would ever win another game in the NFL. And we still should be, but the Bolts will be the Bolts.

29. Indianapolis Colts (1-3).
Andrew Luck throws a ton of passes every week, and receives even more of them from his media supporters.

30. Chicago Bears (1-3).
The majority of Jay Cutler’s guaranteed money and punitive cap hits end after this season for the Bears. John Fox knows what he’s doing when he says Cutler’s (paraphrasing) not going to just walk right back into the starting job whenever he is cleared to return to action. The Bears are better off tanking for Brad Kaaya.

31. Cleveland Browns (0-4).
The Browns had a four score lead on Baltimore one week, blew it, had a lead late in the 3rd quarter against a pretty bad Miami team and blew it, and were driving to go up by potentially 10 points late in the game against Washington, before fumbling (no, not that one), throwing an interception and “that fumble” and losing. The refs don’t respect the Browns, nor do their opponents.

32. Detroit Lions (1-3).
The Lions should have had their way with the Bears and managed six (6!!!) points.