There are times when parity in the NFL just gets annoying. This week was one of them.
Finally, there are no more undefeated teams. The Packers lost to Kansas City in one of the more improbable results of 2011 and some believe that they're "in trouble" thanks to injuries on the offensive line and to star WR Greg Jennings. I think that's ridiculous; they didn't fluke their way to 13-0, even with a leaky sieve of a defense. Injuries on the O-line are troublesome, there's no doubt about that. But I don't think it's to such a degree that the Packers go from the best team in the league to a team that's "in trouble".
Then again, if the Packers don't repeat, so much the better.
Here are the standings for Week 15:
None of us did that great, but I really took it on the chin. I could go through all the mistakes, but we saw how teams played. We know what happened.
Here are the Rankings for Week 15:
1.) New Orleans (11-3) [+1]
This is not to say that the Saints are better; in fact, the Packers already beat New Orleans in Week 1. Does anyone still remember that game? I admit, it's becoming more and more obscure with distance. Anyway, the Packers lost this week while the Saints put up a ton of points on the hapless Vikings, so the Saints are moving up this week while the Packers drop a spot. That's just how these things go.
2.) Green Bay (13-1) [-1]
Like I said above, I don't think this team is in trouble. There are still two weeks left in the season, plus a bye and home-field advantage throughout (let's face it, they're not losing out), so there is time to get things straightened out. Plus, without the whole undefeated bugaboo holding them down and/or back, they should be feeling free. Aaron Rodgers isn't injured, so they've got a chance to win.
3.) New England (11-3) [+2]
Apparently, this Denver team doesn't bother Tom Brady. Even the defense stiffened. Losing Andre Carter will probably hurt them in the playoffs, but it's hard not to see the Pats winning out and getting a first-round bye.
4.) San Francisco (11-3) [+3]
Despite the power outages, the 49ers persevered and got a tough win at home. I guess it would have been better had the Steelers shown up, but whatever. A win is a win, right? Just when it looked like San Francisco was getting a little too pleased with itself, they go out and beat one of the better teams in the league. I'm not sure if they can hold off New Orleans for the #2 seed, but if they keep playing like they did on Monday, it'll be a heck of a race.
5.) Houston (10-4) [-2]
It's funny how the Texans can beat good teams and then lose to Carolina. I hesitate to say that T.J. Yates was "exposed" or what have you. He's not a good QB to begin with.
6.) Pittsburgh (10-4) [-2]
I don't think it was expected that the Steelers would lose in SF, nor should it have been. But with Roethlisberger's injury, plus his rash of turnovers, they apparently didn't have much of a chance. I wish I had known that beforehand.
7.) Baltimore (10-4) [-1]
I know that Baltimore should technically be in front of Pittsburgh, but can you really blame me for moving them down after that pathetic non-effort they put in on Sunday night? Well, whatever, it doesn't matter. Losing to the Chargers, even when they're no longer slumbering, is pretty embarrassing given that Rivers was throwing games away with regularity just a couple weeks ago. We all expect Baltimore's defense to do more than it did, as well. They looked absolutely pathetic, unable to cover anybody or hit Rivers in the mouth. Once again, another disappointing and inexplicable loss.
8.) Atlanta (9-5) [+1]
It seems funny to say it now, but I had a hunch that Atlanta would do something like this late in the season. There's just too much talent there for them to flounder around. Hard to see them catching New Orleans for the division, but the Wild Card is theirs to lose. Given how home-field worked for them last season, maybe a road playoff game or two would be better to build some character. Or display some character, who knows. There are no guarantees, but with Matt Ryan and those receivers, I imagine Atlanta is a tough out if they're playing like they're capable of.
9.) Detroit (9-5) [+1]
Why is it that nobody can figure out that covering Calvin Johnson is a good idea? And that leaving him open for even a second will lead to very bad things. We know the Lions started out great and then got sidetracked in the wilderness there for a bit. Where do they go from here? Well, they have San Diego in Week 16, and that seems troublesome. But this Lions team specializes in comebacks and we've seen San Diego's vulnerability arise in that specific area. So at this point I'd call it a wash.
10.) Dallas (8-6) [-]
Nothing better for the Cowboys than to go out on Saturday, beat Tampa Bay, and then watch Sunday as the Giants somehow find a way to fall flat on their goddamn faces to Washington. I imagine any number of Cowboys players (and coaches, and maybe even Jerry himself) saying a prayer of thanks for that one. Still, they play Philadelphia and the Giants to close out, and as a Cowboys fan, I've gotta say I have a bad feeling. It's not like they can't win both of these remaining games...it's just not bloody likely.
Just one team dropped out of the Rankings this week. It was the Jets. Good riddance, I say; that's what you get for losing to Philadelphia and giving them false hope about making the playoffs. Yeesh.
I'll take the Texans tomorrow night; the Colts might be a little frisky thanks to finally winning a game, but they can't afford to keep winning, blah, blah, blah.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!