Thanks to the Robinson Cano news that broke today, the sports blogging workload went up, so, there will be no picks post this week. But that post is the mashed potatoes to the Power Rankings’ filet mignon–sure, both are awesome, and they go so well together, but if you absolutely had to choose just one, you’d take the filet. It’s a no-brainer. Despite missing last week, there wasn’t a ton of movement, as we’re at the point in the season where you pretty much know how good or bad teams are.
The Top Three:
1) Seahawks: The Seahawks dominated the Saints 34-7 on Monday night at Century Link Field, leaving no doubt who the best team in the NFL is. (Well, except in Gleason’s mind. But I have it from a reliable source that his refusal to rank the Seahawks #1 is “straight trolling,” as you might expect.) It looks like Percy Harvin will miss at least another week, but this team doesn’t need him to beat up on just about anyone thrown in front of them. If the Seahawks can escape Candlestick Park with a win, there’s a very good possibility they end up 15-1.
2) Broncos: Peyton Manning continues to dominate, and he’s now just nine touchdown passes away from tying Tom Brady’s record of 50. The defense continues to be a problem, however, allowing 28 points to the offensively-challenged Chiefs last week. The Broncos’ offense alone keeps them in this spot, because the other aspects of the team are mediocre at best.
3) Panthers: The Panthers are the hottest team in the league right now, winning seven in a row, and looking like they might be the second best team in the NFC. They’ll have a chance to prove it this week against New Orleans, in a game that I personally think is very winnable for the Panthers. Their defense is nearly as good as Arizona or Seattle’s, while the offense is ranked 8th in the league by DVOA. Don’t be surprised if the NFC Championship game is a rematch of Carolina and Seattle.
It’s not fair that it’s so cold in Pullman, because nobody should have to wear pants at a time like this. Enrique Rojas, the reporter who originally said the Mariners may be willing to go as high as ten years and $240 million, was first to report that Robinson Cano would be signing a contract with the Mariners for ten years and $240 million. That’s a lot of years, and a lot of money. Probably too many years, and too much money.
Despite that, it’s hard not to be excited as a Mariners fan. How could you not be when your team signs one of the five best players in baseball? Cano is definitely the best second baseman in the game today; he’s the rare solid defensive middle infielder that hits like a first baseman or a corner outfielder. Since 2010, Cano has not had a wRC+ below 134, and his lowest WAR in that time span is 5.3. If you’re going to spend stupid money on someone, it might as well be a true superstar.
I didn’t believe that the Mariners are going to acquire Robinson Cano before, and I still don’t believe now.
Every year the Mariners seem to serve one purpose in the marquee free agent market: Leverage. Star players’ agents dangle their clients before the Mariners looking to draw their interest, just so the M’s can make an offer that drives up the price for the client’s actual intended destination.
I believe that is what is happening right now with Robinson Cano, and I believe the Mariners not only know they’re getting played, they are complicit in getting played.
As George King with the NY Post said, “Knowing the Mariners need to create a buzz around a team that has alienated its fan base, Cano’s representatives lured the Mariners into the picture.” The Mariners, for all their wining and dining and negotiating with Robinson Cano, probably know Cano is a carrot and they know they probably have no real chance at the star 2nd baseman. Stars, especially Latino stars, don’t want to play their home games in far-off, cold and rainy, white bread Seattle for a non-competitive Mariners team that honestly is nowhere close to contention and probably won’t be in the foreseeable future. Cano, a native Dominican who loves partying in New York City, is probably no exception.
So why play along if you’re the Mariners and you know there’s no chance at Cano, and no better than a dim chance at substantially improving your team?
I tried my hand at substitute blogging yesterday, but pinch-blogging is much more my style. I’m more of a hitter than a teacher, unless I’m teaching someone how to hit. This post is not about how to hit, though, it’s about who the best teams in the NFL are as of today, in our estimation. There’s been a lot of shake up, as we missed last week’s rankings…we voted, but I don’t have access to the results, so the changes will be from the last published power rankings post (week 10). Interestingly, the top three candidates for MVP quarterback the top three teams. Who would’ve guessed? Good news: the tone of this post is going to be much happier and lighter than if Gleason had written it. Find out why!
The Top Three:
1) Seahawks: Hey, look who’s on top of the charts! The Seahawks own the best record in the NFL, and have gotten there with 40% (the bad 40%, even) of their starting offensive line, and have played six road games against five home games. Seattle is the only team that ranks in the top 10 of offensive (7th), defensive (2nd), and special teams (1st) DVOA. Now, the Seahawks are healthy: the entire offensive line is back, and Percy Harvin has come to be the destroyer of worlds. If Seattle beats the Saints in two weeks, they may occupy this spot through the end of the season.
2) Broncos: The Broncos fall from the top spot really by no fault of their own. The Broncos are tied with the team they just beat, the Chiefs, for the second best record in the NFL at 9-1, but there’s no denying the Broncos have had a fairly easy schedule, and there are legitimate concerns about their defense, which ranks 17th in DVOA. Still, they are led by Peyton Manning, so they should be able to overcome many of their defensive shortcomings. After beating the Chiefs with relative ease, it’s clear the Broncos are the class of the AFC.
3) Saints: The third team in our power rankings is much more well-rounded than the second: the Saints are one of only three teams in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in two of three DVOA categories–Carolina and Seattle are the only other two. Drew Brees has many weapons including Darren Sproles, Jimmy Graham, and Marques Colston. Barring an upset, the Saints should head to Seattle 9-2 for Monday Night Football with the #1 seed in the NFC essentially on the line. Read more…
Yes, I am a huge James Bond fan, and my favorite is The Man With The Golden Gun.
Anyways, the diamond midfield good idea, or gooder idea? How should it work? I don’t know either, but this is just my opinion.
I love the diamond if it included Ozzie, Bradley Evans, Clint Dempsey, and MTBN (Midfielder to be named). That other midfielder would need to be a passer who could control the tempo of the game because as accurate as Ozzie is passing, and how well he does attacking, sometimes he has a tendency to waste a lot of energy tracking back and not being able to break up as many counters as he could have.
I realize that most people could point that out, but there is one thing that I see with the midfield so far. Dempsey plays the one-two pass very well with his teammates, and his teammates don’t play it as well as he does. During stretches of the Portland match Clint would make a good pass then continue his run forward with nothing to come of. Then it seemed that Clint would make that good pass to spread play, then stay in the midfield to help pass the ball forward instead of getting forward and creating.
In my mind, obviously not many in MLS can talent alongside Clint, but a guy who does one or two things well would help a lot. Let that midfielder make that pass TO Dempsey within 25 yards and let that Texan create to players like Eddie and Oba, not Eddie creating. I love Eddie, but he can’t create chances like Dempsey. Eddie is way better finishing chances (Obviously). But I really want there to be a better understanding coming from the Sounders, and it helps that Sigi is back.
What player should it be, you ask? Xavi, Pirlo, or Wilshere you say? Maybe Gundogan, or Sahin? Yeah, now I’m just throwing out players names at this point. But that under the radar kind of passer that can play some long balls and play some defense. Christian Tiffert perhaps?
Greetings, blog readers! Gleason is more busy than I am this week, so I will be substitute blogging. Don’t go switching names on me, because when I find out I’ll send you straight to the principal. Yeah, that’s what kind of substitute I am. Now take out a piece of paper and a pen–we don’t use pencils in my class–and get to note taking! Here’s what the so-called experts came up with this week.
|Matchup||Brett G.||Brett M.||Jordon||Dan||Steven|
|Saints @ Falcons||Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints|
|Bears @ Rams||Bears||Bears||Bears||Rams||Rams|
|Steelers @ Browns||Browns||Browns||Browns||Browns||Browns|
|Buccaneers @ Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions|
|Vikings @ Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers|
|Chargers @ Chiefs||Chiefs||Chiefs||Chargers||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|Panthers @ Dolphins||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Jets @ Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Jaguars @ Texans||Texans||Texans||Jaguars||Texans||Texans|
|Titans @ Raiders||Raiders||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans|
|Cowboys @ Giants||Cowboys||Giants||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Broncos @ Patriots||Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Patriots|
|49ers @ Redskins||49ers||49ers||49ers||49ers||49ers|
What? No one picked the Seahawks to win this week? What an outrage! …I’m just kidding kids. I like to have fun when I teach. They’re not playing this week, so no one is going to get in trouble for not picking them.
However, there are a number of things wrong with this chart. The most glaring is that Jordon Grangruth has picked the Jaguars for the second time this season. Obviously, the Texans are a dumpster fire, but the Jaguars are a garbage dump fire in the middle of a village primarily made of wooden buildings doused in gasoline, just in case. Sure, the Jaguars won a game, but I’m pretty sure Tennessee’s entire team was tripping balls on acid that Sunday and they still only lost by two points. Rule number one in my class is if you pick the Jaguars, you fail.
Another glaring error is that most of my co-writers believe the vastly superior Cowboys will beat the bad-but-surging Giants. Haven’t you learned anything from history? The Giants are only conducting a science experiment to see how bad they can start a season and still squeak into the postseason as a clearly awful team and somehow win the Super Bowl. The Cowboys will lead this one comfortably by two scores in the fourth quarter before Eli Manning leads his team to within three. He will then throw a seemingly game clinching interception, but in trying to get another first down, DeMarco Murray will fumble the ball, it will be returned to the two yard line, and the ghost of Brandon Jacobs will punch it in for the win, making everyone who covers the NFL just give up at sportsing.
Other than that, they have some pretty solid picks. I want you all to look at that board and see what you could be some day. Look at it, study it, become it.
The normal teacher has a statement for me to give you: Agree with us? Disagree with us? We want to hear it! Tell us how smart or stupid we are in the comments, give us your picks. We’d love to have a good conversation with you guys. We know you’re out there, reading and lurking, lurking and reading…
If you missed it last night, here’s our final show before Thanksgiving, and our penultimate show of the semester. Tom Wassell couldn’t make it this week, so Brett and I break down Week 11 by ourselves, then move on to predicting weeks 12 and 13. As Cougs, we felt compelled to discuss the Megan Coghlan situation, you can find that at about 55 minutes into the recording. Jordon Grangruth also stops in to talk some Sounders with us, and we preview all the games we’re going to miss over break.