November 07, 2023
Week 9 is in the books, which marks the halfway point in the NFL season. Four teams are dead, but we have no new obituaries this week, largely because the NFC kinda stinks, but we'll get to all that below.
None this week.
12) Rams (3-6): Perhaps this is the place to show the NFC standings:
|Seed||NFC standings||Record||Conf record|
The teams with skulls next to them are who we killed off here in the Hierarchy so far. They're not mathematically eliminated. Anyway, I strongly considered killing off the Rams this week after their loss to a bad Packers team, but some bad team is going to be the 7 seed and even at 3-6 the Rams aren't that far away from the leader for that spot, which is currently the Vikings.
Last week: 10
11) Commanders (4-5): Yikes:
Dude skipped OTAs each of his last three offseasons and he's basically calling his old teammates losers.
Last week: 12
10) Packers (3-5): This is a tough team to write about, because, I mean, who cares? I was all set to kill these guys off this week, and they go and win their first game since Week 3. Even if they lose this week in Pittsburgh, I probably have to keep them alive on the same premise noted above that the NFC is bad and the 7 seed is wide open.
The 7 seed always sucks, by the way, and the NFL shouldn't have expanded the playoff format, but whatever.
Last week: 11
9) Buccaneers (3-5): NFC yardage differentials:
|Team||Yards per game||Yards allowed per game||Yardage differential per game|
Worse than the Giants. 😬
Last week: 8
8) Falcons (4-5): The Falcons feel like the the next "forever in purgatory" team:
• No quarterback.
• Bad head coach.
• Enough good players to win some games in an awful division, thus ruining efforts to land a quarterback and keeping the bad head coach employed.
• Front office that either doesn't understand positional importance or couldn't care less about it.
Last week: 6
7) Vikings (5-4): On his opening drive against the Falcons in the wake of Kirk Cousins' season-ending injury, rookie debut starter Jaren Hall drove the Vikings right down the field, but was concussed at the goal line while trying to run for a touchdown. In came Josh Dobbs, who the team had traded for five days prior. He didn't know the playbook, barely knew his teammates, and hadn't even practiced taking any snaps from under center. He had to learn the offense's five main cadences literally on the sideline before he went in the game.
The Vikings somehow put 31 points on the board, largely because Dobbs just went out and made a lot of plays, like this:
That's kind of a legendary performance.
Also, this is a great tweet:
It amuses me how when reporters ask Arthur Smith about his crappy offense he has this condescending attitude about how people who know football know how long it takes to build around your QB, and then Josh Dobbs shows up with zero time to prepare and beats Smith's team.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 5, 2023
Last week: 9
6) Saints (5-4): If the season ended today (it doesn't), the Bills would not be in the playoffs, and the Saints would have a home game.
Also... here are the combined point differentials by division:
All the AFC divisions are in the black, all the NFC divisions are in the red. No surprise that the NFC South is last.
Last week: 7
5) Seahawks (5-3): Here's what we wrote about the Seahawks-Ravens matchup in the non-Eagles rooting guide on Sunday morning:
• Seahawks at Ravens: The 49ers have their bye this week, which gives the Seahawks the opportunity to extend their half-game lead in the NFC West to a full game. Even with their current three-game losing streak, the Niners are still the Eagles' biggest threat in the NFC, in my opinion, so it's best if the Seahawks win the NFC West, which would make any Niners trek through the playoffs a very difficult one. Of course, if Seattle is able to beat the Ravens on the road, maybe they're a bigger threat than the Niners? We'll cross that bridge if we get there.
Welp, it is clear that the Seahawks are not the bigger threat. They got wrecked 37-3 by the Ravens.
Last week: 4
4) 49ers (5-3): The 49ers were on their bye, and they got to watch as all three NFC West lost. Over the last five weeks, the NFC West teams have a combined record of 4-13.
Last week: 5
3) Cowboys (5-3): The Cowboys have an interesting schedule in the back stretch of their season. Their next three opponents have a combined record of 7-19 (0.269) with a combined point differential of -256.
• Week 10: Giants (2-7, -116)
• Week 11: At Panthers (1-7, -86)
• Week 12: Commanders (4-5, -54)
And then like the Eagles, they have a difficult stretch of their own. They play games against five teams with a combined record of 30-13 (0.698) and a combined point differential of +228.
• Week 13: Seahawks (5-3, -4)
• Week 14: Eagles (8-1, +57)
• Week 15: At Bills (5-4, +80)
• Week 16: At Dolphins (6-3, +60)
• Week 17: Lions (6-2, +35)
They finish up Week 18 in Washington, where they somehow got blown out in the final regular season game last season.
With the Eagles currently in the tough stretch of their schedule, it's a pretty good bet that the Cowboys will make up some ground in November and December, but the Eagles have a pretty big advantage closing out their season with trio of games against the Giants, Cardinals, and Giants.
Last week: 2
2) Lions (6-2): The Lions had their bye Week 9. In Week 10, they face one last decent-ish opponent in the Chargers (if one would call them that), and then there are a whole lot of bad teams on their schedule the rest of the way.
Week 10: At Chargers
Week 11: Bears
Week 12: Packers
Week 13: At Saints
Week 14: At Bears
Week 15: Broncos
Week 16: At Vikings
Week 17: At Cowboys
Week 18: Vikings
Barring major injuries, the Lions will be favored in every one of those games with the exception of Week 17 in Dallas.
Last week: 3
1) Eagles (8-1): According to inpredictable.com, the Eagles have a 99.9 percent chance of making the playoffs. The Chiefs are the closest thereafter, at 97.3 percent. The odds the Eagles land each of the 7 seeds:
• 1 seed: 59%
• 2 seed: 18%
• 3 seed: 7%
• 4 seed: 1%
• 5 seed: 13%
• 6 seed: 2%
• 7 seed: Near 0%
And here are the percentages for the 1 seed:
• Eagles: 59%
• 49ers: 16%
• Lions: 15%
• Cowboys: 7%
• Seahawks: 2%
• Saints: 1%
There are plenty of nits to pick, but, big picture, the Birds are in an extremely enviable position after beating Dallas on Sunday.
Last week: 1
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