Sid Saraf’s NFL Power Rankings Week 7
I hate “Hard Knocks.” There, I said it.
I was like the rest of you, once upon a time. The start of August always brought a sense of giddiness and excitement that only comes with the smell of mini chimichangas baking in the oven.
“Oh, man! It’s the Cowboys this year! Jerry Jones! Texas-sized hijinks! Blah blah blah!!”
That was me every year. And every year, I would buy in to whichever team was being featured. Couldn’t get enough of the predictable storylines: the undrafted rookie just hanging on for dear life, the veteran trying to make it another season in the pros, the poor bastard who suffers a season-ending injury on Day 2, coaches swearing in meeting rooms, coaches swearing on the practice field, coaches swearing at bed check, etc.
And I’d drink the Kool-Aid.
“Man, that wide receiver looks great! Wow, look at that gutsy middle linebacker! There isn’t a gap he won’t fill!”
And does it work out? No!
The 2007 Chiefs? Finished 4-12 and lost their last nine games of the season. The ’08 Cowboys? Missed the playoffs at 9-7. The ’12 Dolphins went 7-9. The 2014 Falcons went 6-10 and Mike Smith got fired. Last season’s Rams? No comment.
Which brings us to the 2017 Buccaneers. I was all in on them. Mike Evans? Wow. DeSean Jackson? Smoke show! Gerald McCoy? A beast! James Winston? Maturity! Look at all that film he watches now!
I couldn’t be more off the bandwagon right now. Their biggest claim to fame to this point is staying close with the Patriots on a short week. Their only wins are against the Mike Glennon-led Bears and the dumpster fire Giants. They’ve managed to lose to the Vikings, who had Case Keenum under center and the Cardinals, who were just breaking Adrian Peterson into the lineup.
Has anyone seen the Buccaneers defense lately? And Winston wasn’t exactly blowing our doors off before suffering a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in Arizona.
So, in summation: Screw you, ‘Hard Knocks,’ for making me believe in nonsense. No more!
Anyway, let’s see how the league is shaping up heading into Week 7.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
NFL’S TOP 10
1) Eagles: Carson Wentz for MVP? I’m not there yet, but I’ve seen the chatter on the interwebs and I’ll allow it. That was a gutsy win on a short week and on the road, no less. They deserve to grab the top spot after Kansas City suffered its first loss.
2) Chiefs: Sorry, you lose, you drop. Those are the house rules. And honestly, what the hell was that? What is it about the Steelers that gives you fits? It’s confounding. Does anyone else have the feeling we’re destined to see this game again in January? And with the same result?
3) Patriots: Their defense is terrible and it doesn’t matter. Tom Brady will keep this team in every game and will likely win most of them.
4) Panthers: They’re not that fun to watch on most days. But they’re capable of exploding at any time. At some point they’re going to make Christian McCaffrey a big-play threat.
5) Seahawks: The good news is they’re coming off their bye week. The bad news is Cliff Avril might not be back for a while, if ever. The Seahawks will miss his presence down the stretch. But for now, they’re still solid.
6) Steelers: This team is confusing. Just a week ago, they looked on the verge of imploding with all of their issues. Nothing like a trip to Kansas City, right?
7) Rams: Everyone is waiting for the bottom to fall out. What if that doesn’t happen?
8) Vikings: Maybe Jerick McKinnon looks capable of handling the running game. And their defense is strong enough to mask their quarterback issues.
9) Packers: They don’t have the personnel to mask their quarterback issues. This might be the last time they’re in these rankings this season.
10) Broncos: What the hell was that on Sunday night? Keep this up and you’ll be nothing more than a 7-9 team with an amazing defense.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Andrew Luck: He suffered a setback this week and nobody knows when he’s returning to the field. Just forget about it. Pack it in and come back in 2018. It’s for the best.
Ezekiel Elliot: Is he suspended? Not for now! Will get he suspended in the future? Maybe! Are your eyes crossed from all the legal crap? Mine are!
National anthem: Another week and we’re no closer to a resolution. Credit the group of owners and players who met in New York this week. Apparently, it went well, whatever that means.
Adrian Peterson: Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. It’s amazing how fast he picked up the Cardinals offense. And it’s also amazing how eager the Cardinals were to feed him the ball. He never belonged in New Orleans. No offense, Sean Payton is kind of a tool.
Browns QBs: DeShone Kizer said getting benched last week in favor of Kevin Hogan “sparked my competitive juices.” Lovely. Don’t worry about the juices, dude. Just find open receivers and make accurate throws. The juices don’t matter.
Martavis Bryant: He apparently requested a trade from the Steelers, but then said he didn’t. I think we’re done here.
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 7
Chiefs at Raiders: Nothing like an AFC West showdown on a Thursday night. I’m going with Kansas City to bounce back from that ugly loss to Pittsburgh.
Cardinals at Rams: Looking forward to seeing this one coming at us live from foggy Londontown. Homer pick: going with the Rams?
Falcons at Patriots: Judging by their last two games, this should be a cakewalk for the Patriots. But the Falcons are thirsty for this one. They’ll still lose, but it’ll be somewhat close.
Redskins at Eagles: Finally, a decent Monday night game. Gimme MVP candidate Carson Wentz for the win.