The NFL is at Week 14 already and the season is getting dangerously close to being over (NOOOOOOO!!). Only a few teams have risen to the top of the league, but most are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The leads of three divisions are either tied or only have a one-game separation between the leader and the second place team. A total of 17 teams are vying for the 12 available postseason spots and many of the games this weekend will help make the playoff picture a little clearer.
As of right now, only two teams, the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, have clinched spots in the postseason. The Patriots, Texans, Steelers and Saints all have a chance to punch their tickets to the postseason this week with wins combined with losses from other teams. Needless to say, many teams see the playoffs in their sights.
Here are the NFL Game Power Rankings for Week 14:
1. Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Average Ticket Price: $196.92
After inexplicably icing his own kicker by calling a timeout as kicker Dan Bailey attempted a game-winning field goal, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has been under fire all week. But he doesn't have time to dwell on last week with the NFC East Division lead in the balance this Sunday against the Giants.
The NFL is now headed into the last quarter of the season and many playoff contenders are facing major injury concerns. On the top of that list are the Houston Texans, who have a long list of injuries despite being tied for the best record in the AFC.
The team has been without All-Pro defensive end Mario Williams for the past two months after putting him on the injured reserve with a torn pectoral (ouch). If that wasn't a big enough hit, the team was forced to put QB Matt Schaub and back-up QB Matt Leinart on injured reserve as well the past couple weeks. They have also been without Pro Bowlers RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson for stretches this season as well. It's tough to be a Texan right now.
The Texans are definitely not the only team struggling with injuries. The Bears lost starting QB Jay Cutler for the season, the Raiders have been without RB Darren McFadden since he hurt his foot on October 23, and the Lions won't have RB Jahvid Best for the rest of the season due to a concussion. I guess it's just that time of year, when every team is dealing with injuries, some more than others.
Here are the NFL Game Power Rankings for Week 13:
1. New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
Average Ticket Price: $207.30
The Packers head into this game still undefeated, but they will face a team with plenty of experience knocking off undefeated teams. As you may remember, it was the Giants that ended the New England Patriots’ undefeated run in 2007 in Super Bowl XLII (as a Pats fan, I've been trying to forget). This game doesn't have the same implications, but you can bet the Giants will be fired up.
Just like turkey, stuffing and pie are all staples of Thanksgiving, the NFL has found its place as a tradition of the holiday with the Thanksgiving Day games being some of the highest rated of the whole season. I know that the games will be on the television in my house and I can't wait.
This year's slate of games is the best in recent memory, mainly because the Lions are good again. Detroit will have most of the country rooting for them as well because who doesn't love to root for the underdog? Their opponents, the Green Bay Packers, are currently 10-0 and have been dominating nearly every team they have played. Ford Field will be rocking on Thursday, which should give the Lions a great home-field advantage. The game schedule begins with the Lions vs. Packers at 12:30 p.m. (FOX), followed by the Cowboys vs. Dolphins at 4:15 p.m. (CBS) and finally the nightcap of the Ravens vs. 49ers at 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network).
That's just the Thanksgiving games! This week is looking like one of the better weeks of NFL football in 2011, so here is the full run-down of the Week 12 NFL Game Power Rankings:
1. Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots
Average Ticket Price: $182.52
Although the Eagles have struggled this season, currently sitting at 4-6, the fans in Philadelphia continue to come out for their team, especially against the top teams in the league. It's still up in the air whether or not Michael Vick will play, but after beating the Giants last week, the Eagles’ confidence is growing and the Patriots need to take notice.
Every week in the National Football League seems to find some sort of theme that runs through almost every game. For example, Week 10 seemed to have many games that proved that you cannot write off any player or team.
People began to question the New England Patriots before last week's game against the Jets following two straight losses. They questioned whether QB Tom Brady was "losing it," but the Pats proved that they were still contenders, dominating the Jets 37-16. Another quarterback that everyone doubted was Tony Romo, who was nearly perfect against the Bills, winning 44-7. Of course we have to mention the most polarizing player in the league, Tim Tebow. Despite only throwing for 69 yards, Tebow helped lead the Broncos to another win. Tebow is now 3-1 since taking over as the starting QB and the Broncos are only one game back in the AFC West division.
It seems whenever people start to dismiss someone or some team, the teams responds the following week. That's just one of the reasons the NFL is the best sports league in the world.
Also (I know I say this almost every week, but) the NFL season is going by way too fast! Are we really already at Week 11? COME ON!! Ok, well, rather than dwell on the fact that the season is flying by, let's take a look at this week's NFL Game Power Rankings:
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average Ticket Price: $203.52
Every team in the NFL has shown flaws and weaknesses this season; that is, every team except the Packers, who remain undefeated. Going into their game last week against the Vikings, many thought their defense was going to be their downfall, but they held the Vikings to 266 yards and just seven points. So much for that theory.
You may or may not have noticed that there were no power rankings last week, which was because, well, we had no power. No worries, though, because we are back with the Week 10 NFL Game Power Rankings which are led by games featuring rivals from the NFC North.
At the top is the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the yet-to-be-beaten Green Bay Packers. While the Vikings have not exactly been a great team this year (a 2-6 record with the 4th worst passing offense), the team already played the Packers tough earlier this season, losing 33-27. The pressure will be a little greater on the Vikings and their rookie QB Christian Ponder this week with the game taking place on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Just behind the Vikes and Packers is the match-up of fellow NFC North teams, the Lions and Bears. The Lions sit at 6-2 and are trying to keep pace with the Packers leading up to their Thanksgiving Day battle.
This week's slate of games has plenty to love for any NFL fan, as no team is on their bye week. Without further ado, here are the Week 10 Power Rankings:
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Average Ticket Price: $240.82
They probably should just start etching Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ name into the MVP trophy now, because no player has been as great as Rodgers this season, throwing for 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions.