Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season is in the books, and there are many "narratives" (2014 winner of the Crummiest Sports Journalism Word Award) to cover. In other news ...
I'm lying to myself ...
... because I'm a Panther hater. (See below.)
There's a shake-up in the top 10, but not necessarily where fans are expecting it. The top three teams still look appropriate to me, based on who they played, their body of work this season and -- in the Patriots' case -- the bodies they'll be getting back. As for the rest of the rankings, there is movement just about everywhere, all the way through the first 31 teams. Don't worry, Titans fans: Your spot is secure. They aren't even lobbying for the last spot anymore. Thoughts? @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Let the dissension commence!
Still, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, #SKOL and all that Purple People Eater stuff to the Vikings, who ensured a spot in the playoffs for the first time in three years with the authoritative win over the Giants on Sunday night. After seeing the Vikes run the ball, tackle and dominate the game in the elements, are we suuure we don't want an outdoor stadium in Minnesota? Just asking. ZiggyWorld isn't complete yet, right?
Big ups to Brandon, who surprised a few folks in leading Houston to the much-needed Week 15 victory in Indy. Some of us did see the win in Nashville coming, but not necessarily Weeden spinning the ball as well as he did. Sure, Jerry Jones let us know he, uh, could throw that footbawl, but in Nashville, Weeden posted only the third 100-plus passer rating start of his career. He threw for just 200 yards, but that's because the Texans were up five scores in the third quarter. Raise your hand if you thought Houston would be up five scores on anyone after being down five scores in Miami in October ...
**A)** That boy good.
**B)** Maybe Norman got *too* hyped up for his slapfest with Odell Beckham Jr. and suffered a hangover of sorts.
**C)** No one wanted to throw at Cerrano in "Major League" (i.e., it's easy talking smack to Roddy White, Josh. Ahem. *Cough.*). </content:power-ranking>
**A)** One of the teams almost scored 50.
**B)** It wasn't your team.
**C)** Rueben Randle and Xavier Rhodes didn't get into a slugfest over baseball bats and trash talking.
**D)** The Giants wanted to tackle in the fourth quarter about as much as you want to see another FanDuel spot.
**E)** Tom Coughlin's cold, red face looked exactly like it did in the 2007 NFC Championship Game. The man hasn't aged a day. </content:power-ranking>
Meanwhile, Tim Hightower ... What the heck, man? The veteran running back put up 169 total yards and two touchdowns, with nobody watching. Still counts.
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase has been mentioned as a hot head-coaching candidate. Well, that's nice. Enjoy a new system for the eighth time, Jay! Funny, but it was the defense that won the day in Tampa Bay, forcing three turnovers while allowing just 14 points when the outcome was still in doubt. (The Bucs scored a garbage-time TD.)
**UPDATE:** The Eagles announced late Tuesday that Kelly has been released. </content:power-ranking>
OK, back to next season. The issue going forward is that there aren't going to be many guys available in free agency or the draft, so we might indeed be looking at San Francisco's 2016 opening-day starter. Definitely seems like it could happert, uh, happen.