Who doesn’t like end of the season power rankings? Everyone wants to know who is the top dog right now and how would you rank the teams after 14 games of the season. Heres how General Peppers of The Cover 4 ranks them:
1. New England Patriots
And it isn’t even close. After a slow start, including a loss at home to the NFL Record Holding Worst Blowout Ever Arizona Cardinals, the New England Patriots have distanced themselves from the rest of the NFL. They’ve beaten the other best teams in the AFC, The Broncos and Texans, by an average of nearly 20 points. They’ve dropped 50+ twice. They lead the league in both yards and points, and this with both of their elite tight ends missing extensive time on the field. They can run the ball efficiently, beat you deep, short, over the middle, in the red zone. This offense has no weaknesses and is lead by quite possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. What makes them scary is that their defense is finally clicking on all cylinders. Their first round picks, Dante Hightower and Chandler Jones, have given the Patriots their most athletic defense in nearly a decade. Fun stat: Did you know the Patriots are 21-0 over the past 2 and a half years in the second half of the season. Belichick’s ability to improve a team is legendary.
2. New York Giants
Colin Cowherd said it best, “I Trust the Giants.” It’s the greatest compliment one can give a football team. I know they’re gonna lose ugly games to bad teams. I also know they’ll probably lose to the Falcons on the road this week. But with everything on the line, do you think the Falcons are within 10 points of the Giants? Me neither.
3. Denver Broncos
Fact: This is the best defense Peyton Manning has ever had.
Opinion: Demaryius Thomas ight be the most athletically gifted player Peyton Manning has ever had on offense.
Fact: The Denver Broncos have beaten 2 teams with a winning record.
Fact: Both those teams are 7-6 and in the AFC North.
Fact:The Broncos 3 losses all came against teams leading their divisions
Fact:The Broncos were down by 14+ points in all three games.
Opinion: I have no clue how good the Broncos really are but it’s Peyton Manning and that’s better than 95% of the league.
4. Houston Texans
Two blowout losses to two high powered offenses. The Texans have distinct problems, but a majority of them are chalked up to injuries. The one truth is this: Texans cannot get behind early. They need to be able to run the ball and achieve big plays through play action. No play action and this offense shuts down.
5. San Francisco 49ers
The AFC’s Houston Texans. With a lead this team is nigh unbeatable. But if you are able to beat or stalemate them at the line of scrimmage you can bring this offense to a stand still. Still, elite players at every defensive position and depth at all offensive skill positions.
6. Green Bay Packers
Do not be shocked when the Packers make it to the Super Bowl. This is, without a doubt, the most injured team in the NFL. These players are slowly coming back. Aaron Rodgers will not forget how quickly you buried him.
7. Seattle Seahawks
There are 4 things we know about the Seattle Seahawks:
1. Pete Carroll, despite his flaws, knows how to coach a defense. His teams tackle in space, don’t give up big plays, and are efficient at all 3 levels.
2. The Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL. Ask New England. Ask Green Bay. They also have a top 5 special teams. This combination has a history of working well.
3. The Seahawks have the best home field advantage in all of sports. In a league where parity rules, the Seahawks, no matter how bad they may be, always win at home. If they get a home game in the playoffs they will win it. Ask the Saints.
4. Russel Wilson has gotten better every week and so has the Seattle Offense. Sidney Rice is recovering from his knee(finally) and Golden Tate has exploded in his third year(the typical break out year for WRs). Lynch looks stronger than ever.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Giants v. Falcons. In Atlanta. 2nd Round of the Playoffs. Atlanta -2. Who here isn’t taking New York on the Money Line? Exactly. This is the worst best team I’ve ever seen. They are average to below average in all facets excluding throwing the ball, and even that has slipped recently. They’re gonna win this weekend and I won’t move them an inch.
9. Baltimore Ravens
There isn’t more talent on any team in the NFL outside of New England. For the Ravens it’s about putting it together. Oh yeah, and Flacco not throwing up ducks in the playoffs. Good luck with that.
10. Indianapolis Colts
If I have to hear one more person talk about how RGIII has thrown fewer picks than Andrew Luck I’m going to start breaking things again. Andrew Luck has been given the entire playbook. No babysitting, no holding back. They didn’t craft a college offense around him and ask him to throw bubble screens and safe passes. He’s asked to throw it 50 times a game down the field to rookie receivers and tight ends. He is, without a doubt the greatest rookie I’ve ever seen. Rookie of the Year shouldn’t even be a close vote.
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Sports Activist for The Cover 4