NFL Weak 13 Powder Rankings: You won’t win out. It’s Over.

By: Will Stevenson

The turkey is old, the ham is old, the stuffing is old, and the bloating is almost over. It was quite the weekend in the NFL as teams continue to position themselves for the 1st Overall Pick in the 2017 draft. With all the good football going on, there are a few teams that just can’t get it together. Join me as we go through the worst of the worst with this weeks Powder Rankings.

*Win or lose, the Packers will return next week*

  1. Browns (0-12)
    It’s not funny anymore. The Browns are bad and it’s taking quite the toll on Head Coach Hue Jackson who was misty0eyed during his press conference following their loss to the Giants on Sunday. They have a bye week this week, so they will actually go a week without losing. Unfortunately, they can’t win either, so it’s the same old story for the Curse of Lebron.

2. Bengals (3-7-1)
No AJ Green, no possible way for Andy Dalton to look like a competent quarterback. With AJ they were bad, but without him, it’s virtually impossible to muster up offense. Let’s also add in that Giovanni Bernard was sidelined as well. It’s over.

3. Jaguars (2-9)
Blake Bortles threw for 126 yards and still had his best game of the season. That’s how it’s been going for the Jaguars this season. It’s over.

4. Bears (2-9)
Matt Barkley almost did. He almost brought the Bears back in the fourth quarter after the Titans had seemingly dominated the game. Almost. The Bears receivers dropped 10 passes, and Bellamy couldn’t hold on to one that would have tied the game and possibly won it with an extra point. It’s over.

5. Jets (3-8)
The Jets. Well, the Jets did what the Jets always do: Play great against the Patriots, only to lose in dramatic fashion. I don’t know why Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback, but I’m assuming that Bryce Petty isn’t the future either. Why did they draft him then? It’s over.

6. Cardinals (4-6-1)
Offense, defense and special teams. These are all the areas in which the Cardinals are bad at. They lost to the Falcons and bubble screens. We know the Cardinals need to win out, but doesn’t everybody? The Cardinals have been one step behind all year: It’s over.

7. Rams (4-7)
Whenever the Rams score a touchdown, they lose. There, that’s enough.

8. 49ers (1-10)
They weren’t bad. The defense was adequate and the offense was good enough to win, but they lost, again. They face the Bears next week as they might get a win, but you never known in this league. Chip Kelly better hurry up before these college jobs dry up.

9. Panthers (4-7)
Once again I sat and watched the Panthers piddle through another game. The offense was non-existent as the Raiders did what they wanted for most of the game. How did a fumble by Derek Carr become the answer? Well it was as the Panthers ripped off a few touchdowns before Carr returned and took the Raiders on a game-winning drive. The Panthers just cannot find a break this season with the close games. I just wonder why it took so long to go deep with the passing game? It’s over.

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The New York Knicks: Review

For the Knicks last nights game was so much more then a regular season win. The passion in the garden was so evident that even Derrick Rose had to acknowledge it. Their was a playoff atmosphere in the air, and the Knicks didn’t disappoint. Let’s take a deeper look inside the numbers.

Their are a few numbers I want to take a look at and the first is 30. The Knicks held the Blazers under 30 points per quarter, expect for the first quarter where Portland put up 33 points. After the first quarter the Knicks clamped down on defense and held the Blazers to 25, 23, and 22 points per quarter the rest of the game. With such a tight game ( their were 20 lead changes) the Knicks needed to defend in order to win. The club also held the Blazers to 27% from three (6/22). The Blazers average 108 per game but were held to 103. So the numbers show the Knicks put up a very impressive defensive effort.

Now let’s take a look at the offense, the Knicks have to move the ball in order to score. With 26 assist ( only 13 turnovers) on 45 made shots they did just that. Jennings doing his best Mark Jackson impersonation had 11 assist off the bench. All this ball movement led the Knicks to a 46% shooting clip. From the three point line they shot a respectable 31%. The offense primary ran thru KP as he put up his second 30 point game of the season. Porzingis used an offensive array of moves to power his way to 31 points. Step back 3s check, Cuts to the basket check, Alley oops check, fade away shots check, post up moves check. KP was firing on all cylinders last night.

However when it came down to the 4th quarter Derrick too charge. It was his pose and composure that allowed the Knicks to hold the lead. Derrick took charge of the game and dictated the offense. Rose sealed the win with a step back jumper with 3:15 left on the clock. Rose had this to say about his performance

”I’m not here to bust or brag but I’m used to being in positions where I have the ball in my hand, playing in Chicago,” Rose said. ”I’ve really played like that my entire life, through grammar school, high school, college and here.” – D.Rose

The Knicks used a group effort to pull this one out with six players scoring 7 or more points. All in all the club looks to have come together after holding a team meeting a few days ago. Since that netting the Knicks have won two in a row and climbed back to 500. The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed and look to continue to climb up the standing.

The Knicks hope to create a winning culture after three consecutive years of missing the playoffs. If this club continues to build on their chemistry they can become a team no one wants to face in the playoffs.

Inside the numbers

For the Knicks last nights game was so much more then a regularimage season win. The passion in the garden was so evident that even Derrick Rose had to acknowledge it. Their was a playoff atmosphere in the air, and the Knicks didn’t disappoint. Let’s take a deeper look inside the numbers.

Their are a few numbers I want to take a look at and the first is 30. The Knicks held the Blazers under 30 points per quarter, expect for the first quarter where Portland put up 33 points. After the first quarter the Knicks clamped down on defense and held the Blazers to 25, 23, and 22 points per quarter the rest of the game. With such a tight game ( their were 20 lead changes) the Knicks needed to defend in order to win. The club also held the Blazers to 27% from three (6/22). The Blazers average 108 per game but were held to 103. So the numbers show the Knicks put up a very impressive defensive effort.

Now let’s take a look at the offense, the Knicks have to move the ball in order to score. With 26 assist ( only 13 turnovers) on 45 made shots they did just that. Jennings doing his best Mark Jackson impersonation had 11 assist off the bench. All this ball movement led the Knicks to a 46% shooting clip. From the three point line they shot a respectable 31%. The offense primary ran thru KP as he put up his second 30 point game of the season. Porzingis used an offensive array of moves to power his way to 31 points. Step back 3s check, Cuts to the basket check, Alley oops check, fade away shots check, post up moves check. KP was firing on all cylinders last night.

However when it came down to the 4th quarter Derrick too charge. It was his pose and composure that allowed the Knicks to hold the lead. Derrick took charge of the game and dictated the offense. Rose sealed the win with a step back jumper with 3:15 left on the clock. Rose had this to say about his performance

”I’m not here to bust or brag but I’m used to being in positions where I have the ball in my hand, playing in Chicago,” Rose said. ”I’ve really played like that my entire life, through grammar school, high school, college and here.” – D.Rose

The Knicks used a group effort to pull this one out with six players scoring 7 or more points. All in all the club looks to have come together after holding a team meeting a few days ago. Since that netting the Knicks have won two in a row and climbed back to 500. The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed and look to continue to climb up the standing.

The Knicks hope to create a winning culture after three consecutive years of missing the playoffs. If this club continues to build on their chemistry they can become a team no one wants to face in the playoffs.

Hey, NBA, Bring Back The Center for the All-Star Game!: I mean, Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez are shooting threes.

By: Will Stevenson

I was never tall. My dad is 5’6″, my mother is around the same height, and I’m only 5’9″, so I never had the privilege to be tall amongst shorter men. In pickup basketball, a guy like me can go from point guard to big man in a year, or due to crazy eating habits. The big man was always overlooked in a sense, because we short guys just assumed that the big man could rebound, block shots, and shoot the occasional jumper that was always prefaced with, “No, No, No, NO, NOOOO!!!…. Ooooh nice shot!” The big man has always been put in a corner to do specific things while guys like me were allowed to do all the cool things like dribble behind our backs, run the fast break and shoot threes. At the age of 32, I’ve been able to witness the evolution of basketball with my own eyes in the NBA, and it’s something I never thought would happen.

In October of 2012, the league was changing, changing into a league in which we all countered against when guys like Mike D’Antoni with the Suns, Don Nelson with the Warriors played “small ball”. We all remember Stephen Jackson guarding Dirk Nowitzki in the post and lineups that only feature Andris Biedrins as the lone “big man” on the court. I recall those Suns lineups that feature Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson and Shawn Marion at the 4 while Amare manned the middle. We began to see teams adapt the analytics, the pace of play, the 3 for 2, and other adaptations that would make Charles Barkley’s head sit still. The Starting five, the platoon, the 6’10” Power Forward began to disappear as the big man began to drift further and further away. The NBA All-Star game rid the Center position from the ballot, turning them into “Frontcourt” players, allowing guys like Lebron, Carmelo, Anthony Davis and others to fill the roster, and not allowing a guy like Jamaal Magloire to make the team because they needed to fill the roster with the Center position. I admit, it was a dark time for the big man. Guys were getting hurt left and right, bad free throw shooting kept guys out of the game, and the increasing three pointers being taken along with the pick and roll completely took the slow-footed center out of the game for guys who were 6’9″ and 6’10”, but were agile. I can recall when Pau Gasol was the coveted big man. Marc Gasol was winning the DPOY. Even a guy like Eric Dampier could rake in the “gotta have a big man on the team” contract: that money is now given to Jon Leuer, Ryan Anderson, Mirza Televotic.

It was sad to watch as Dwight Howard kept going from team to team, coach to coach in search of someone that could treat him like Stan did in Orlando. Who was out there to allow him to be a big man again? Atlanta. A hometown move for ticket sales has turned into a first placed record that allows Dwight to be the big man he’s wanted to be: Control the paint, block shots, get a few shots up, and stay on the floor.

Dwight is just one example of the big man returning to glory. Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond, Jahlil Okafor, Rudy Gobert, and even Marcin Gortat are just a few of the centers that are still “old school”. You know, back to the basket, pick and roll and defending the rim. I know they aren’t as exciting as watching Lebron and KAT glide across the floor while running the fast break, but they are essential to the league.

And then, something strange happened, like in my opening when I referenced the “occasional jumpshot from the big man”, the three point assassin. I remember clips of Manut Bol shooting threes. I recall Brad Miller with a decent shot, and Mehmet Okur living beyond the arc as they were able to get that set-shot working as guards drove to the basket. I know there are more, but that’s what’s in my memory bank right now. Now, Brook Lopez, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Joel Embid, and Demarcus Cousins are all shooting threes on the regular. Brook Lopez is shooting threes. Marc Gasol is shooting threes! These are slow-footed, no vertical having big men that stayed in the paint and also perfected the midrange jumper as part of their arsenal, and now these guys are allowed to shoot threes? That’s right, it’s actually efficient to the offense. It opens up driving lanes as now guys like DeAndre Jordan can’t just lay off of Gasol when he’s operating the offense beyond the high post, because he might actually shoot, and score. I couldn’t believe the highlights I was watching when I saw Gasol posted up in the corner for a game-winner against the Clippers. I just assumed it was one of those things to throw them off their game; NO! This is a trend.

So here we are, NBA Evolution at it’s finest. We now have big men who can run the offense, pass, and shoot while also playing in the post. I would assume the “small-ball lineups” will hit a snag if these post-playing centers begin to shoot threes at an efficient rate in the league. With contract incentives linked to contracts and raises with All-Star appearances, bringing back the Center position is key for guys trying to get paid early, and allows for others to rake in more cash in free agency.

So look at those names. I don’t even have them all written, I just have a few. I have 12 centers that are viable candidates for an All-Star ballot. Can we bring back the center again? As a short guy, I love guards, but I also cannot dismiss the big man in our league, especially the center position that has be ridiculed and dismissed like the running back in football.

Let’s bring back the Center! NBA, your move.

To Infinity and Beyond Buzz City: The Life and Times of a Charlotte Hornets Fan

By: Will Stevenson

2016-2017 Charlotte Hornets Stats

Record: 8-4, 3rd in NBA Eastern Conference

Last Game: L 116-121 at NOP

Coach: Steve Clifford (8-4)

PTS/G: 105.9 (12th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 101.2 (11th of 30)

SRS: 4.08 (8th of 30) Pace: 98.1 (10th of 30)

Off Rtg: 107.1 (12th of 30) Def Rtg: 102.4 (4th of 30)

Expected W-L: 8-4 (7th of 30)

We have been waiting for a moment like this. As a North Carolina native, there hasn’t been much to cheer for this season. The NBA AllStar game was pulled, Bills have been passed that seem unconstitutional, the Panthers whiffed in the Super Bowl, the Tarheels lost on a game winning shot to Villanova after seemingly hitting a game-winning shot. It’s been pretty bad around here. As a Hornets fan, we usually just sit in the back and wait until the Hornets are good until we cheer, seeing as most of us were scarred by those Bobcats years. It’s funny being a Hornets fan, the Draft isn’t usually a place of optimism for us, because we have seen us pick players that haven’t panned out (the grab everybody from UNC draft), or we just trade them away to other teams (Biyombo). When we draft, we have to hope that a certain player turns out to be a diamond in the rough. Since we aren’t a destination city, nor do we have the destination organization, we don’t get the free agents that teams overdose on during the offseason. Al Horford isn’t visiting. Lebron James. LaMarcus Aldridge. Not even Stephen Curry. We’ve managed to be alright through it all, trading for average players and signing bench glue guys to keep the pace ticking for our offensive style. I want to take us through the good times, the bad, the drafts, and all the up to the current situation of the Hornets. So let’s take a look back through our history to get a gist on what type of team this organization has been building.

If you wouldn’t mind, let’s go back to the 2004 Expansion Draft for the Bobcats. http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2004_expansion.html

Washington Wizards
J.R. Bremer Golden State Warriors
Primoz Brezec Indiana Pacers
Maurice Carter New Orleans Hornets
Predrag Drobnjak Los Angeles Clippers
Desmond Ferguson Portland Trail Blazers
Marcus Fizer Chicago Bulls
Richie Frahm Seattle SuperSonics
Brandon Hunter Boston Celtics
Jason Kapono Cleveland Cavaliers
Zaza Pachulia Orlando Magic
Sasha Pavlovic Utah Jazz
Jamal Sampson Los Angeles Lakers
Tamar Slay New Jersey Nets
Theron Smith Memphis Grizzlies
Jeff Trepagnier Denver Nuggets
Gerald Wallace Sacramento Kings
Jahidi White Phoenix Suns
Loren Woods Miami Heat

Look at that list. Gerald Wallace is literally the only player that was able to be a staple of our team for a few years. Is that Zaza Pachulia, no way. When we started out in 1988, we drafted Rex Chapman, then JR Reid (ehhh), Kendall Gill, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. We had a pretty marketable young team until we didn’t resign anyone as everybody was either traded, or left in free agency when free agency started to mean something. We seemed to have hit the jackpot with Kobe Bryant, but you know how that goes. We drafted Ricky Davis in 1998, but Ricky was Ricky, which he was never able to hone in his ego and talent at the same time. In 1999 we drafted Baron Davis, which was something we hadn’t had in a very long time: A point dynamic point guard that could score at will. In 2000 we drafted Jamall Magloire (the funniest AllStar selection ever), which didn’t pan out very well for the Hornets.

Then David Stern stepped in…. New Orleans Hornets.

So yes, the expansion draft takes place and we take Emeka Okafor (2004) with the first pick. He was a defensive big man who we hoped would bring the championship pedigree to our team: Nope. From 2005-2011 the Bobcats started doing some really weird things, or it’s now known that Michael Jordan was making some pretty bad picks.

2005: Raymond Felton (5th) Sean May (13th)
2006: Adam Morrison (3rd)
2007: Brandon Wright (8th) Jared Dudley (22nd)
2008: DJ Augustin (9th) Alex Ajinca (20th)
2009: Gerald Henderson (12th)
2010: Nothing

Then in 2011, the tide changed a bit when the Hornets selected Kemba Walker (9th) with their first pick.

2011: Kemba Walker (9th) Tobias Harris (19th/traded)
2012: Michael Kidd Gilchrist (2nd)
2013: Noah Vonleh (9th) Shabazz Napier (24th/traded) Dwight Powell (45th)
2014: Frank Kamisky (9th)

*Jordan turned away picks from Boston, and also turned down the opportunity to take Justice Winslow who, in fact is MKG 2.0 (defense, more playmaking ability, and can’t shoot) just to take Frank Kamisky* (Devin Booker was available)

I don’t know if you seem a few themes here, but Jordan loved taking ACC players, non scorers, non playmakers, and the Hornets always seem to pick 9th overall. What this means is the Hornets aren’t usually super bad enough to get the first pick, they’re only bad enough to sell tickets and keep fans involved. Look at those names, look at those players and who is and was a contributor. There are many teams that have messed around and built their team through the draft: Oklahoma City, Golden State, Portland, Milwaukee (we’ll see), Philadelphia (before the tanking), Washington, Utah and a few others. It takes time, but it can work. Teams have to pick the right players, develop them and hope they stick around and stay healthy. In all of the picks Charlotte has made, only two have been close to being an AllStar, and even that’s a stretch. So whether we’ve taken the wrong guy, or taken guys that didn’t translate under our coaching staff, our draft record is right there, and it’s very underwhelming.

The Hornets have always been a cheap team. Say what you want, but the Hornets aren’t the franchise looking to go deep into their pockets to spend on a free agent. The Hornets, like other teams this offseason, were forced to sign players in order to hit the basement line of each team’s salary cap. Kemba is averaging 25 ppg this season, Cody Zeller is serviceable, Nicholas Batum is ok, but not as efficient, and Marvin, Frank and Belinelli are adding points to the lineup as the Hornets average over 105 ppg this season.

So did the Hornets do it right this time, or did we get lucky with Kemba and Steve Clifford? I can’t count how many coaches we’ve run through on account of Jordan’s hand, but it seems to be a process headed in the right direction. Charlotte hasn’t had a scoring wing in a very long time, and after Big Al’s departure this offseason, the middle seems bleak until Frank can improve his game to take over. Right now, Kemba is playing out of his mind as the pick and roll has been the halfcourt offense we’ve longed for since Baron Davis was taken from us by David Stern. At the moment, we are 8-4 and playing at a blistering pace that has been a long time coming since Clifford’s hire. Our offensive rating is high, and our defensive rating is high also when compared to our pace of play.

Maybe this is the year we make it to the second round. Maybe this is the year we go deep in the playoffs and garner respect from other fan bases. Maybe we’ll change our drafting ideals. Actually, we won’t. We’ll be the same old team we’ve always been management wise, but for right now the players and coaching staff are making being a Hornet fan something to look forward to. I’m actually looking forward to May.

*All stats and draft information are from Basketball-reference.com*

Goldberg Defeats Lesnar Sets His Sights On Title:

By Billy Clemmons

Rumblings of a Goldberg victory grew louder in the hours leading up the match after his odds to win reduced, but few expected the dominant fashion of the victory.

After pushing Lesnar down to the ground at the beginning of the bout, Goldberg speared the former WWE and UFC Champion twice, before finishing him with the Jackhammer.

The entire match was bizarre, with the usually destructive Lesnar obliterated by a 49-year-old Goldberg who announced prior to Survivor Series that this would be the only match of his comeback.

While Lesnar has lost several times in WWE since his own return in 2012, those defeats have usually come after brutal slugfests or via mischievous interference. Here is my theory as to why this took place.

A Quick Win Was Booked to Hide Goldberg’s Ring Rust

This is the theory I feel is the most plausible. Goldberg looked shaky in his only two examples of physicality within the ring since his comeback. He stumbled in a confrontation with Rusev and looked really out of shape when he and Lesnar met face-to-face on last week’s episode of Raw.

I had my doubts about his ability to put on a good match. Lesnar is one of the most overrated in-ring workers in the promotion. He has four or five moves at this stage of his career, and there was a strong chance the match would have been a botchfest.

In a worst-case scenario, someone may have gotten injured. Lesnar and Goldberg’s first meeting in the WWE is widely viewed as a disaster. When they met 12 yesrs ago, everyone knew both Superstars were leaving the company and that dynamic created an uninspired match.

It’s possible the WWE didn’t want to risk the two men creating another stinker. Many will find fault in the way the Survivor Series match was booked, but I’d take the unpredictable 45-second match over an elongated and poorly-worked 15-minute affair.

Less than 24 hours after obliterating Brock Lesnar in 84 seconds as the two squared off in the main event of Survivor Series, Goldberg appeared on Monday Night Raw and declared that his run with WWE is not over — it’s just getting started.

Though most believed that Goldberg would make a one-off appearance in WWE to promote the WWE 2K17 video game and fight Lesnar before leaving for good, that apparently is no longer the case.

Instead, the 49-year-old Goldberg will continue his run with WWE at the 2017 Royal Rumble as he declared Monday night that he will be the first entrant in the 30-man, over-the-top-rope battle royal.

It was actually ProWrestlingSheet.com that reported late Sunday that Goldberg would remain with the company through its next tentpole pay-per-view.

Whether Goldberg continues beyond that remains to be seen, though he did declare in the ring Monday that his goal is not simply to participate in the Royal Rumble for the second time in his career but actually make a run at a heavyweight championship belt.

“You bet your ass I have one more title run left in me,” he screamed. “… At the Royal Rumble match, everyone is next.”

NFL Playoff Picture: Stretch run vs Looking towards the Draft

By Will Stevenson

This season is a season of newcomers, disappointment and staying alive. While each season gives us new playoff teams along with teams the made it last year that are now struggling, fans are holding on to every game as the playoffs are just around the corner. The NFC and AFC West have a combined record of (22-7-1 and 21-8 respectively) between the top 6 teams. With their only being two Wildcard slots open these divisions are looking to snuff out the playoff chances of teams that are looking to make a late-season surge.

  1. Newcomers:
    The Cowboys are (9-1) this year, and looking at the STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE they haven’t played many good teams, but the Patriots play in the AFC East so who cares about bad opponents. Dak Prescott has been efficient this season and the offensive line has made Ezekiel Elliot an MVP candidate this year. I don’t like the Cowboys as much as the next, but when they are actually good, we must respect it.
    The Lions (6-4) are still the same team they’ve been since Matthew Stafford has arrived, the only difference is the NFC South is down-right terrible. The Lions are winning close games, in which they have trailed in the 4th quarter every game this season. Don’t worry, they’ll flame out in the playoffs or maybe before they have a chance to get there.
    I know the Buccaneers (5-5) aren’t the type of team we love, nor are they the “newcomer”, but the Winston and Mike Evans along with the defense have been able to stay in the mix as the season chugs along. We expected them to be at the bottom of the conference and division, but like the Titans and Texans, they keep winning.
    I don’t look at the Giants (7-3) as newcomers, because they are still the same team from last year, but they have won their close games this year versus their losses in close games in the previous season. Winning close games isn’t an exact skill, just ask the Panthers.
  2. Disappointments
    The Vikings (6-4) aren’t disappointments in the beginning, but throughout the season they have been up and down. First Teddy Bridgewater went down, then Adrian Peterson. Then they traded for Sam Bradford. Bradford looked good, the defense was great, but now they just snapped their 4 game losing streak.
    The Panthers (4-6) are a disappointment because they didn’t keep Josh Norman, which helped their defense, no matter how many of us said we shouldn’t have signed him. With the NFL changing every year I the standings, not too many teams can stay consistent with their winning. The Panthers are crawling back slowly, but they need to win out to take the division as the NFC East looks to take hold of the Wildcard positions.
    Arizona (4-5-1) and the Packers (4-6) are struggling along the offensive line and their defenses aren’t holding up like the should this year. Both offenses have been behind most of the year as Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers have been under fire all year long. A losing season for each club could result in coaching changes during the offseason.

National Football Conference

W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV REASON
1DAL 9 1 0 .900 5-1 .386 .352 NFC East Champ
2SEA 7 2 1 .750 3-2-1 .465 .486 NFC West Champ
3DET 6 4 0 .600 4-2 .455 .475 NFC North Champ.
4ATL 6 4 0 .600 4-3 .530 .525 NFC South Champ
5NYG 7 3 0 .700 5-3 .490 .464
6WSH 6 3 1 .650 4-2 .500 .443
7MIN 6 4 0 .600 4-4 .500 .508
8TB 5 5 0 .500 4-3 .490 .400
9PHI 5 5 0 .500 3-5 .545 .373
10ARI 4 5 1 .450 3-3-1 .445 .250
11NO 4 6 0 .400 3-3 .551 .413
12CAR 4 6 0 .400 4-4 .485 .338
13GB 4 6 0 .400 3-4 .540 .425
14LA 4 6 0 .400 3-4 .490 .500
15CHI 2 8 0 .200 2-5 .556 .600
16SF 1 9 0 .100 1-7 .555 .400

As we look at the AFC, the Patriots are at the top, which is no surprise to anyone, but it’s the other teams that have caught the fanbase with excitement.

The Raiders (8-2) are on showcase tonight against the Texans (6-3) in Mexico City as this matchup breeds to division leaders that give us exciting offense on one side, and Top 5 defense on the other. The Raiders defense has improved over the past few weeks as they have seemed to catch up with the offense. Of course we don’t believe the Raiders can actually win the Super Bowl, but we shouldn’t just discount them because they are unproven.

The Texans (6-3) have Brock Osweiler and are missing JJ Watt, which was supposed to put them at the bottom of the division, but their defense has stepped up to the challenge this season. The Texans look like their usual selves, running, defense, and bad quarterbacking. They’ll need to change things if they want to advance this postseason, or just to fight off the Colts and the Titans for the division.

The Dolphins (6-4) are actually competent this season, lately. They are running the ball very well, playing better defense, and the Dolphins won a come from behind game against the Rams in LA yesterday. Do they have enough to fend off the Bills and make the wildcard? The AFC West seems to take up all the Wildcard slots at the moment, but the Dolphins are winning, which is a surprise to us all.

The Steelers (5-5) have had injuries, bad defensive games and suspensions which have crippled them this season. With the Ravens still not able to put points on the board consistently, the Steelers have the opportunity to overtake the division.

American Football Conference

W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV REASON
1NE 8 2 0 .800 6-1 .435 .388 AFC East Champ
2Oak 7 2 0 .778 5-1 .495 .451 AFC West Champ
3Hou 6 3 0 .667 4-2 .527 .443 AFC South
Champ
4Bal 5 5 0 .500 5-2 .441 .231 AFC North
Champ
5KC 7 3 0 .700 5-2 .459 .420
6Den 7 3 0 .700 4-2 .495 .457
7Mia 6 4 0 .600 5-3 .441 .344
8Pitt 5 5 0 .500 4-3 .525 .392
9Ind 5 5 0 .500 3-4 .475 .385
10Buf 5 5 0 .500 2-4 .505 .420
11Ten 5 6 0 .455 3-5 .468 .353
12SD 4 6 0 .400 3-5 .560 .488
13Cin 3 6 1 .350 3-4 .559 .290
14NYJ 3 7 0 .300 3-4 .470 .323
15Jack 2 8 0 .200 1-6 .515 .350
16Cle 0 11 0 .000 0-8 .550 .000