I thought about writing about Harshbarger’s poor luck this past week, in that he scored 122 points and lost while Meyers scored 81 points and won…but I did my intro last week about tough luck games, and frankly I don’t feel bad for Harshbarger because before this week he had the least points scored against him of any team in the league.


I thought about writing about how my team had an awesome week, that I won another week in the eliminator challenge, and that despite losing these past 2 weeks in the toughest part of their schedule, the Chiefs are looking like a playoff team…but I’ve written about that one before as well.


I thought about writing about how the NFC is absolutely dominating the AFC in our league, how I predicted it multiple times, and how it’s ironic because the AFC is clearly the better conference in the NFL…but I figure I should wait until Damn gets destroyed this week and the NFC improves to 7-0 in interleague play before I write about that one, so assuming all goes according to plan, you can consider this paragraph a preview of next week’s post.


So, in the spirit of the recently released BCS poll, I’m left with doing a power ranking. Now, I rarely actually look at ESPN’s power rankings anymore because, more often than not, I find them laughable. The one that I did look at was between week 3 and 4 when Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Kansas City were the only remaining undefeated teams. The experts somehow had the audacity to rank the Bears in the top 5. What a joke. So I’ve decided to do my own, and maybe when I’m done I’ll compare them to the majority opinion, but I really need to do a power ranking because I’ve heard it’s the best way to prepare for bets, and I’ve been getting absolutely crushed in my bets. Had I made a power ranking before last weekend, I never would have bet on the 3 teams that I did…and wouldn’t you know it, I lost all 3 bets. I am just hemorrhaging $60 per Sunday like it’s my job.


So without further ado, here are your Commish’s Power Rankings heading into Week 7:


<b>Winless, and not by accident:</b>


32. Carolina (0-5)

31. Buffalo (0-5)


Buffalo has at least made a couple of their games interesting, although it’s never looked like they were actually going to win any of their games.  But with the exception of the game against New Orleans in which the Saints just looked absolutely pathetic, the Panthers haven’t even been within 12.5 points of an opponent yet this season.  They are so unbelievably bad that I would actually be perfectly okay with you taking the 49ers against them in eliminator this weekend, even though the 49ers are a West Coast team going on the road to play a 1:00 game, and if you don’t know how I feel about those West Coast teams in those games, then you clearly haven’t been reading my musings in the past.


<b>Frisky, but not making the playoffs:</b>


30. Cleveland (1-5)

29. Detroit (1-5)


The Browns and Lions are basically the same team: they will both come out and punch you in the mouth for 4 quarters no matter who you are, but 9 times out of 10 (well, 10 times out of 12) they will find a way to lose the game.


28. Oakland (2-4)

27. Cincinnati (2-3)

26. Denver (2-4)


The Broncos and Raiders are basically the same team as well: they will randomly win a game they had no business being in, and then follow it up by losing a game they should have won easily. I would have to imagine that rooting for Denver or Oakland is about as frustrating as playing a golf tournament as an amateur, because a good day early on will keep you optimistic that you’ll finish atop the leaderboard, but then you miss 3 out of 6 makeable putts against teams like the Arizona Cardinals, and at the end of the day, you’re near the back of the pack looking up at people you know you have more talent than.  In other news, if you think the Bengals should be higher than this, come talk to me on December 13th if they somehow have 5 wins. I think the only game in the next 8 weeks that they have a legitimate opportunity to win is Week 11 against Buffalo, and if they’re 2-7 at that point, don’t be surprised if they drop that game as well.


<b>Capable of losing in any given week:</b>


25. Tampa Bay (3-2)

24. San Francisco (1-5)

23. Dallas (1-4)

22. Seattle (3-2)

21. St. Louis (3-3)

20. Arizona (3-2)

19. Chicago (4-2)


That’s right, all 4 teams in the NFC West are among the 13 worst teams in the NFL (which might even be generous) and one of them is inexcusably going to make the playoffs. Say what you want about the lack of fairness intrinsic to the BCS, but I’m going to say that it’s ridiculous that there’s a slightly better than remote possibility that Max Hall and Matt Cassel will each be starting a home game in the playoffs. Yikes.


For the record, this section is the reason that I’ve hated power rankings in the past: I’ve always felt the “experts” give too much love to teams that were supposed to be better than they are, i.e. Dallas and San Francisco. But having constructed one of these things now, where else am I supposed to put these underachievers? You can’t possibly tell me that if the Buccaneers went head to head with either the Cowboys or the 49ers you think Tampa Bay would win that game. I mean, my word, the Cowboys are a 3 point favorite this weekend against the Giants, who are probably the 3rd or 4th best team in the NFC, and I can’t even argue with that line.


<b>Impressively average:</b>


18. Jacksonville (3-3)

17. Washington (3-3)

16. Kansas City (3-2)

15. Green Bay (3-3)

14. San Diego (2-4)


You could pretty easily argue that the Jaguars should be lower than this considering they’ve lost each of their 3 games by 25 or more points, but I would argue that they’ve won a couple of impressive games, and that I made these rankings before the Monday night game.


In regard to the Chargers being this high in my poll, I think they’re much better than their record. I would say they’re easily a 5-1 team with even the slightest bit of good luck on their side. They’ve got 3 more tough games before their bye week. If they can win 2 of them and get to 4-5, they’ll probably end the season with a 10-6 record.


<b>Playoff hopefuls with definite flaws:</b>


13. Minnesota (2-3)

12. Miami (3-2)

11. Tennessee (4-2)

10. Houston (4-2)

9. New Orleans (4-2)

8. Indianapolis (4-2)


Obviously not all of these teams can make the playoffs, since at least 2 of the 12 playoff spots are going to go to teams ranked lower than this, but each of these teams has about 80% of what it takes to make the playoffs and contend once there.  The Colts and Saints are both lacking a running game. The Texans can’t stop anyone from moving the ball. The Titans and Dolphins have pretty solid defenses but can’t score with any regularity or rely on their quarterbacks for anything. And the biggest flaw with the Vikings is their record. They’ve played the toughest schedule of the season and have either won or been within one possession with 2 minutes left in each game…and most of those games were before they got Randy Moss. They’re only going to get better, and in an NFC without any real cream of the crop, they could easily represent the NFC in the Super Bowl before it’s all said and done.


<b>Someone from the NFC has to make the Super Bowl:</b>


7. New York Giants (4-2)

6. Atlanta (4-2)

5. Philadelphia (4-2)


Hard to deny that these are currently the 3 best teams in the NFC, and also hard to imagine this won’t change 7 days from now, because either one of them is bound to lose or New Orleans is bound to destroy Cleveland and jump back into the discussion.


<b>The Favorites:</b>


4. Baltimore (4-2)

3. New England (4-1)

2. Pittsburgh (4-1)

1. New York Jets (5-1)


With each passing week, I become more frustrated that I didn’t put $2,000 on the Jets to win the Super Bowl back in April when they were getting 25-1 odds. Want to know what they are now? 6.5-1. As long as they don’t win it all, I’ll be happy…unless it means Pittsburgh ends up winning again. Ugh. Either way, barring something catastrophic, I can’t imagine any of these 4 teams misses out on the playoffs, which means the AFC East, AFC North, and both wild card spots have already been spoken for. Tough luck for Miami, and whichever 3 teams end up not winning the AFC South.



So now that we know (more or less) who stands where in the league’s hierarchy of talent, let’s dive into the best Eliminator options of the week.


#5. Kansas City vs. Jacksonville


Jaguars are playing a 1:00 game following a Monday night shellacking, and the Chiefs might not lose at home this season.


#4. San Francisco @ Carolina


Yes, I do believe the Panthers are that bad, and that the 49ers are going to start turning their season around.


#3. Atlanta vs. Cincinnati


In case you hadn’t noticed, I think the Bengals suck. I have absolutely no idea how they beat the Ravens, aside from the fact that Flacco threw 4 interceptions in that game.


#2. New Orleans vs. Cleveland

#1. Baltimore vs. Buffalo


There’s no excuse not to pick one of these teams, unless you’ve already used them both, which isn’t the case for any of our remaining survivors. Both of these games should be blowouts, but if either of those is going to be even remotely close, I think Cleveland has a slightly better chance of making a game out of it.


The Commish’s NFL Upset of the Week:




*******Games of the Week*******



~~~~~~~Blowout of the Week~~~~~~~


Duncan’s Packers (4-2) over Damn’s Bill (1-5)


<i>Projected Line-ups:


GB: Romo, Mendenhall, Benson, Knox, M. Austin, Boldin, Gates?, Titans, K?




Buf: Cutler, Lynch, R. Brown, L. Evans, Britt, Sims-Walker, Cooley?, Seahawks, K?</i>


I have absolutely no idea how Damn won last week, but there’s no way he’ll do it this week with 2 of his 3 most valuable players on a bye, and the 3rd possibly missing a game with a concussion. I know Garland set the record last season for most points in a week, but I think Damn may set the record for least points in a week.


Final: GB 121-56.



~~~~~~~Upset of the Week~~~~~~~


Harshbarger’s Chargers (2-4) over A’s Bengals (4-2)


<i>Projected Line-ups:


SD: Freeman, Jacobs, Torain, Welker, Jennings, S. Johnson, H. Miller, Raiders, Janikowski




Cin: Brees, RB1?, RB2?, Harvin, R. White, B. Lloyd, Quarless, Packers, Longwell</i>


5 Reasons:


#1. Holy lack of running backs.


This situation is why in one of my leagues this year I completely loaded up on guys with Week 8 byes. Kauffman is going to be in trouble this week because of a lack of running backs and again in Week 10 when Brees and 5 other members of his roster are on a bye. Why not just punt 1 week away rather than trying to put together a half-assed line-up 2 or 3 times during the middle of the season? Eventually this strategy will catch on.  As for this week though, I don’t think Kauffman has any option but to play Jerome Harrison and make a bid on Chris Ivory or Tim Hightower. That’s downright disgusting. I have 3 running backs on my bench who will probably have a better week than any of those options, but it’s not as if Kauffman has anything enticing on his roster to offer me aside from LaDanian Tomlinson, or as if I particularly want to help out the only guy ahead of me in the AFC standings. It looks like for the first time this season, Harshbarger is going to have the edge in the running back department, and a significant one at that.


#2. Josh Freeman is better than you realize.


He’s not going to blow you away, but he’s not going to kill you either, and if your starting quarterback is on a bye, you can do worse than a back-up who will likely score in the 15-20 point range.


#3. Brees hasn’t been the breeze he once was.


Aside from a “rough” game against the Cardinals, he’s been nothing short of solid, but he has yet to have one of those “I’m going to single-handedly carry you to a fantasy victory” types of weeks that he had three or four of last year and that you had to spend 25% of your draft budget for. You have to think he’ll have one of those games against the Browns, but you also have to keep in mind that the Saints really haven’t yet begun to look like a Super Bowl caliber team.


#4. Wes Welker vs. San Diego.


It may seem strange that I’m putting this down as an advantage for Harshbarger since the Chargers statistically have the best pass defense in the NFL, but more often than not, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The best quarterback the Chargers have faced thus far is either David Garrard or Sam Bradford, your choice, and the wide receiving group in those 2 games averaged 12.5 receptions for 146.5 yards and a TD. Now they have to deal with Tom Brady, and even though I think they’re desperate team that’s bound to win at home, I also think they’ll give up more than a few yards through the air, which bodes well for double W.


#5. The Packers defense will not get a dozen points.


Even if the Vikings don’t pull off the win, they should put up at least 3 touchdowns, and I think Favre might potentially avoid the dreaded pick six.


X-Factor: Steve Johnson.


Who? Dude’s only owned in 11% of leagues, as compared to his teammate Lee Evans who’s owned in over 70% of leagues, but he’s the most productive/reliable wide receiver on the Bills roster. That may or may not be a compliment, especially considering they’re facing a decent pass defense this week, but he was able to score against the Patriots and the Jets, so he just might be able to do it again this week.


Final score: SD 100-92.



~~~~~~~Game of the Week~~~~~~~


Garland’s Giants (4-2) @ Montgomery’s Rams (5-1)


<i>Projected Line-ups:


NYG: E. Manning, C. Johnson, S. Jackson, Maclin, Marshall, Crabtree, A. Hernandez, Rams, Barth




StL: Orton, Gore, Rice, D. Thomas, R. Williams, Ward, M. Lewis, Ravens, Crosby</i>


Week after week I’m amazed to see Montgomery in first place in our league. The only good thing this team was supposed to have was two really solid running backs, and neither of them have even been playing up to their potential yet, and he’s still leading the league with draft day steals like Orton, Collie, and Keller. Totally unpredictable. And even with three wide receivers on a bye, he’ll still be in a good position to win this week, which he better do, because I can’t imagine he’ll win in either of the following two weeks on Rice and Gore’s bye weeks.




QB:  Eli Manning hasn’t exactly been stellar and the Cowboys defense hasn’t exactly been porous, except for the game in which they refused to blitz Jay Cutler. I can’t foresee Manning scoring more than 20, and even that might be a stretch. For Montgomery, Orton is averaging over 300 yards and 1.5 TDs per game and is facing a secondary that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to threw for 2 TDs each week and has given up significant yardage to solid quarterbacks. Rivers had 28 points against the Raiders two weeks ago, and I expect the same from Orton. Edge: Montgomery.


RB: Can you say score fest? Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, and Ray Rice against the 20th, 26th, 27th, and 28th best rushing defenses, respectively? Holy guacamole. I think Gore and Rice have just slightly better days, but only because they’re playing against the 0-5 teams and should be salting away games in the 4th quarter while Jackson and Johnson might be pass protecting in the 4th quarter of games that they’re trailing. Slight edge: Montgomery.


WR: With DeSean Jackson likely out this weekend, Jeremy Maclin should get a few more looks from both Kevin Kolb and the Titans defense. Not sure he’ll have a very solid game. Same goes for Brandon Marshall against the Steelers. That leaves Michael Crabtree against the Panthers, who have surprisingly been pretty good against the pass since getting torched in Week 1 by the Giants. I’m not exactly drooling over any of Garland’s options. And frankly, I don’t like any of Montgomery’s options either. Demaryius Thomas has only had 1 good game, so it’s tough to predict a big day from him. Hines Ward immediately benefitted from getting Roethlisberger back last week and should continue to get a lot of looks this week, even if it is against a pretty defense pass defense in Miami. Unbelievably, Roy Williams is the most promising wide receiver in this matchup, which means I’m going to have to give an edge to Montgomery again, although I will say that Maclin could easily swing this thing in Garland’s favor if he isn’t being double teamed all day.


TE: Aaron Hernandez gets a lot of looks from Brady, but after how many drops he had last week, that may change real quick. Marcedes Lewis on the other hand is going to continue to get looks regardless of whether Garrard or Edwards is in the game, and the Chiefs aren’t exactly amazing against opposing tight ends. Edge: Montgomery.


Def: I like the Rams against the Bucs…but I also liked the Rams against the Lions until they went out and gave up 44 points to Shaun Hill and company, so my optimism is limited. Montgomery currently has the Bears as his defense, probably because ESPN somehow has the Bears getting more points than the Ravens defense against the Bills, but whether or not he swaps in the Ravens, I think he could run a clean sweep through this matchup. Slight edge: Montgomery.


Final: StL 138-107.