Well, Week 7 was just about as funky as I thought it was going to be. I had some pretty good calls… and I had some atrocious calls. Like pretty bad calls. My best calls for the week included the Redskins, Todd Gurley, the Panthers and predicting that Matt Cassel would be bad(I went out on a pretty big limb there). My worst calls of the week included picking the Texans(don’t make picks at 2 AM Sunday morning, just a lesson), betting on Landry Jones, thinking the Colts might not be awful, the Chargers, and the Bills(bad things happen when you bet on EJ Manuel).
Anyway, I am entering Week 8, I am 68-37 for my picks this week, also going 4-2 on my eliminator picks. I also went 4-2 in my fantasy leagues which I am ecstatic for because like half my players were on bye. Next week the games are more interesting. The Thursday Night game is interesting with Miami, who is suddenly rejuvenated, and New England, who appear unbeatable. That’s a matter for Thursday’s post. Let’s look at my top 10 teams entering week 8.
1. New England Patriots(previous: 1)
This team will be on top until further notice. Brady is still on fire, and is probably a leading candidate to win the MVP. They were pushed by the Jets, but the Jets were arguably the best team they have played all year. I’m not going to waste words here, the Patriots are clearly the best team in the league right now.
2. Arizona Cardinals(previous: 2)
Alright, I am starting to come down a bit on the Cardinals. They are still the best team in the NFC in my opinion right now, but there really are not any super strong teams, especially since the Patriots have suffered some OL injuries. The Cardinals have one of the league’s top 10 offenses and defenses in terms of DVOA(through week 6), one of only five teams to do that(GB is the only other NFC team).
3. Green Bay Packers(previous: 4)
They had off last week, but they won’t move here. They still have Aaron Rodgers, but something seems off with that team. I’m not completely sure what it is, but I can’t remember being less scared of an Aaron Rodgers less Packers team in the last few years. It could be that there offensive line has been below average according to football outsiders, but you never know. They still have Aaron Rodgers, and that is something that only that they can say. I think that the Packers are still one of the best teams in the league.
4. Cincinnati Bengals(previous: 3)
What changed to possibly move the Bengals back? I just believe that the Packers would beat the Bengals on a neutral field. Other than that, the Bengals have had a great season. Dalton has played better than any Cincy fan could have ever imagined. The defense has also had a solid year, rebounding from a down year last year. The Bengals have a chance to earn a first round bye if they can keep it up.
5. Denver Broncos(previous: 5)
This has been the story of the Broncos so far this year: The defense has been incredible(if healthy), but Peyton has not been great… but neither have his running game and offensive line. Here is how I view the Broncos: If Manning can somehow tap into something deep inside him that helps him play well, or even average, in December and January the Broncos could challenge the Patriots in a single game. Seriously, Peyton is a huge X factor on this team in figuring out how far the Broncos could go.
6. Carolina Panthers(previous: 6)
The Panthers beat the Eagles, who are one of those teams giving off vibes of “we can’t quite tell if they are good or not”. They are also one of the five remaining unbeaten teams in the league. They have a very good defense, and Cam Newton is a good qb to have when your WRs are not very good. I have my doubts that the Panther could beat the Cardinals/Packers, but they are one of the ten best teams in the league no matter what.
7. New York Jets(previous: 8)
The Jets hung around with the Patriots last week, which could show that they are one of the best ten teams in the league(granted we said that about Buffalo). The Jets have a great defense and great skill players on offense. If they could just get a decent qb, this team could be scary good. But as of right now this Jets team could be destined for a playoff trip in January even with Fitzmagic at the helm.
8. St. Louis Rams(previous: 10)
I might be taking a leap, and I know they only played Cleveland this week, but the Rams seem like the kind of team that could be deadly come playoff time. They have a great defense and Todd Gurley is lightning the league up in his limited action as a starter. Nick Foles is not awful. Really they just need weapons for him in the passing game before this team can be one of the elites. The Rams might be one of the best teams in the league, and could also be headed for a playoff trip.
9. Atlanta Falcons(previous: 7)
Man, the Titans made everyone pause about how good they think that the Falcons are. I am going to toss it aside as an anomaly for know. This is still a team with Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones and Dan Quinn to coach their defense(still ranked 17th in DVOA). I am not worried about this Falcons team yet.
I think that this team is going to look really good once Big Ben is back and rolling. They have an average defense, and once Ben is back they have one of the best offenses in the league. They still have Brown and Bell, and now Martavis Bryant looks really good. If they can beat the Bengals, a Steelers division title would not be all too shocking.
Final NFL Thoughts of the week:
- I have no more words for Greg Hardy. Nothing should surprise anyone anymore. Enough people are starting to hate him now. The lesson being taught here is: if you are talented enough at something, you can be a horrible person and do horrible things and those awful things do not really matter.
- Gurley might jump into the conversation of best back in the league, the way that Odell did with the best WR conversation last year.
- So the AFC south and NFC East are really not good this year. Can’t wait for the eventual champs from these division to host a playoff game and at least one of them lose it. I think the Colts and Cowboys win the division, and that the Colts lose their first playoff game(if the cowboys are healthy they could win a playoff game)
- The Broncos and Packers play each other, meaning there will be max 4 undefeated teams entering week 8.
Non- NFL thoughts this week:
- I think that the Royals beat the Mets in 7 games. Just feels like the Royals are the more complete team, but also more of a feeling pick.
- Man did J.T. Barrett look good as the starting qb. Playoff projection: OSU, Clemson, LSU, and TCU(?). That 4th slot I have no confidence in. Also Alabama is just one beating of LSU away from jumping back into the top 4. You can’t kill the tide apparently.
- The NBA season starts tonight!!!!!!! This should be a great season as there are so many different intriguing story lines:
- As lame as this is, I think that the Warriors and Cavs play each other in the finals. Gun to my head, I’ll take the Cavs in 7. Cavs over Bulls in ECF, and Warriors over Oklahoma City
- The 8 playoff teams in the east will be: Cavs, Bulls, Hawks, Heat, Wizards, Raptors, Bucks, and the Celtics. I really like the Magic to push for that 8 seed though
- the playoff teams out west will be: Warriors, Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Pelicans, and the Jazz.
- I think that Durant stays in OKC, but on a one year deal as Zach Lowe suggested. It just makes so much sense for Durant. Gets to leave with Westbrook and Ibaka next summer, and it maximizes the money that he can make. The other thing is the thunder will come close to making the playoffs, but they always seem to be injured in the playoffs, and the Warriors just seem so strong.
- The idea of Carmelo getting traded is so fascinating. Not sure that it actually happens, but it could swing some balance in the east, especially if he goes to Chicago. He could be the player that lets them go head-to-head with Cleveland.
- Other thing to watch: this could be the 6th straight trip to the finals for LeBron. If it does not happen this year, I would be fascinated to see if LeBron takes a step back next year just because his body has accumulated so many miles over the last six year.
- MVP= Davis. DPOY: Gobert. ROY: hezonja. COY: Billy Donovan. MIP: Tristian Thompson.
Ted Van Green(@TVG_5)
Spark Sports NFL Analyst