Week 8 of the NFL season is in the books. There are no new obituaries, although there are some people who think the Giants are back from the dead. They're not. They're still terrible. Let's get right to it...
13) Rams (3-5)
I would feel bad killing the Rams off after the performance their defense put together against the Seahawks Monday night (more on that later in the hierarchy), but clearly, the Rams aren't going anywhere with Kellen Clemens as their QB.
12) The Washington team (2-5)
After DeAngelo Hall picked off Peyton Manning and ran it back for a TD in the 3rd Quarter, the Washington team went up 21-7, and I thought they were going to win:
Holy crap, Washington is going to beat the Broncos.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 27, 2013
That was dumb. All that did was make Peyton mad:
The Broncos rattled off 38 unanswered points in route to a rout, and put any "Washington is back!" nonsense to bed.
11) Falcons (2-5)
The Falcons can't run the ball to save their lives:
You can have all the weapons in the passing game you want, but if you have no balance whatsoever, more often than not it doesn't really matter.
10) Eagles (3-5)
Not including a kneel down against Tampa, the Eagles have had 27 straight drives without a TD on offense. During that span, they've thrown 5 interceptions, lost a fumble, turned it over twice on downs, and missed a FG.
9) Cardinals (4-4)
Carson Palmer has thrown 10 TDs and 14 INTs, and the Cardinals are 2nd in the NFL in giveaways, with 19. Somehow they're 4-4. How is that possible?
8) Bears (4-3)
Josh McCown is a career backup, and not a particularly good one. Over the course of his career, he has 1133 pass attempts. He also has 44 career INTs and an absurd 41 fumbles. In other words, McCown either fumbles or throws a pick on every 13.3 pass attempts.
However, he looks a little bit like Ivan Drago:
So he has that going for him.
The Bears are going to have to roll with McCown at QB until Jay Cutler returns, which includes a stretch against the Packers, Lions, and Ravens over the next 3 weeks. Good luck, Chicago.
7) Panthers (4-3)
The Panthers are allowing 13.7 points per game, which is 2nd in the league. They're also allowing the 3rd least amount of yards in the NFL, at just over 301 per game. The Panthers D is of course led by former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Meanwhile, Andy Reid is undefeated and Juan Castillo has a Super Bowl ring. Is there just something wrong with the water at the NovaCare Complex?
6) Cowboys (4-4)
The Cowboys were 8-8 in 2011. They were 8-8 in 2012. So far in 2013, they're 4-4.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, being 'mediocre' is more than enough to win the NFC East this year. If the Cowboys do little more than win 7 games (as long as one of them is the Week 17 finale against the Eagles), they'll win this division, which is sad.
On a side note, everyone remembers the Dan Marino fake spike play against the Jets a couple decades ago:
The Cowboys defensed Matthew Stafford's surprise QB sneak far worse than the Jets defensed Marino. I mean... look at the Cowboys defense here. I don't know if they were tired or stupid, but they're just standing there. This is reprehensible:
Hell, they played better defense when the Eagles ran the fake spike play against them in 1987, and the Eagles were only running up the score when they did it:
On another side note... Dez Bryant:
5) Lions (5-3)
He may not play a position as important as QB, but for what he does, Calvin Johnson is the most talented football player in the world.
THE CUTOFF LINE
The following four teams are clearly the cream of the crop in the NFC. Honestly, you can put them in any order, as there aren't any who have separated themselves from the pack, but this foursome is head and shoulders above the rest of the NFC...
4) 49ers (6-2)
The Niners started the season 1-2 and looked vulnerable, but have rattled off 5 straight wins and are rolling heading into their bye. In those 5 games, they have outscored their opponents 174-61. That would be a point differential of +113. The bye week is generally thought of as a good thing, but if I were the Niners, I'd just prefer to keep playing.
3) Packers (5-2)
I'm not sure if the Packers' WRs are amazing, or if Aaron Rodgers just makes the players around him better, but it's crazy how much production Green Bay gets from their receivers. The Packers lost Randall Cobb on a low hit by the Ravens' Matt Elam, forcing Jarrett Boykin into the lineup. No worries. Boykin's last two games:
- Browns: 8 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD
- Vikings: 5 catches, 89 yards
The Packers have a minimum of 4 WRs who would start for the Eagles.
This is an extremely dangerous team.
2) Saints (6-1)
The Saints are a lot like the Packers, in that they can just keep plugging in new receivers and getting production. If it weren't enough that the Saints were loaded with weapons in the passing game like Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Pierre Thomas, now they're getting good production from 5th round rookie Kenny Stills. Stills has led the team in receiving the last two games, with the following stat lines:
- Pats: 3 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD
- Bills: 3 catches, 129 yards, 2 TD
And he's making impressive plays (via @gifdsports):
1) Seahawks (7-1)
The Seahawks had 7 first downs Monday night against the Rams. Seven. And 2 of them were because of penalties. They had 3 drives of over 10 yards, and only one longer than 26 yards. They had 135 total yards. Take away Golden Tate's 80 yard TD reception, and they had 55 yards. The Rams defense absolutely dominated them.
The Seattle defense is always going to keep them in games and make plays, but the Seahawks are struggling bigtime without their 2 starting offensive tackles. I'm not a believer at the moment, but the Seahawks' next 3 opponents have a combined record of 3-18, so it's hard to imagine them not being 10-1 heading into their bye week. They'll have time to get their ish together before they play the Saints and Niners back-to-back in Weeks 13 and 14.