'Tis the season to give thanks, for playoff-push football is upon us ...
... and so are the Week 14 NFL Power Rankings.
With merely a month to go, the AFC wild-card race will be a dogfight, with one team at 8-4, six teams at 7-5 and another at 6-6. Playoff action on the NFC side is a bit more cut-and-dried. A bit. The Packers, Eagles and Cardinals are all lodged at 9-3, so the battle for home-field should be great theatre. The limp for the NFC South -- with every team at least two games under .500 -- is a different story.
On to other races ...
Aaron Rodgers is the best player on the hottest team in the league. J.J. Watt has been amazing, no doubt, but he's playing for a 6-6 club. And I'm sorry, but here's the honest truth: Quarterbacks are generally more valuable than defensive ends in today's game. Just look at last season. The Packers got eight healthy games out of Rodgers, and the team ended the season with eight wins. Meanwhile, the Texans got 16 healthy games out of Watt -- and finished with a league-low two wins. Can you ever imagine a team with Rodgers under center for all 16 games going 2-14? Value = wins, people.
So we attempt to sort out the aforementioned wild-card contenders, home-field hopefuls and NFC South flunkies below. And as for the rest of the teams, well, those are there, too. As always, feel free to share your take: @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Let the dissension commence!
In non-Watt statistics news ... In the 95-year history of the NFL, just 26 quarterbacks have thrown six touchdown passes in one game. Ryan Fitzpatrick is now one of them. Yup.
In case you were wondering, Issiac Holt blocked that punt back in '86. Holt was the only Viking to remain with the Cowboys as part of the infamous Herschel Walker deal and win a Super Bowl ring. All the other guys were let go immediately or dealt. Another long-time assistant -- like Zimmer -- made his head-coaching debut in Minnesota that year: Jerry Burns. Burns took the team to the postseason in 1987, '88 and '89.