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Outkicking the Coverage/Power Rankings – Week 14

DeMarco Fury

DeMarco Murray wanted to go to a team where he felt he was wanted, needed and respected.  He thought that team was the Eagles.  Unfortunately, Murray soon discovered that the change of scenery, and especially the change of offensive lines, was not all that it was cracked up to be.  After 13 games, DeMarco has only one game where he has rushed over 100 yards.  In the past month, as the Eagles have tried to find themselves, Murray has seen a steady decline in touches as he finally bottomed out last week with 8.  Chip Kelly ended up utilizing Darren Sproles frequently and even played little used Kenjon Barner ahead of Murray.  The change paid off as the Eagles upended the heavily favorited Patriots on the road.  Murray, of course, was not satisfied with the win and has reportedly taken his displeasure straight to the top, to owner Jeff Lurie.  I can understand Murray’s frustration but going above your boss’ head to complain to his boss never works out.  With Ryan Mathews set to return from his concussion, the immediate and long term future of DeMarco Murray in Philadelphia is a huge question mark.

Manziel’s Last Chance… Again

This is Mike Pettine’s worst nightmare.  After getting the most out of his veteran signal caller, Josh McCown’s body just couldn’t take any more.  Austin Davis was thrust into action in the previous week and played admirably on short notice.  Pettine had to know it was a long shot that Davis could equal that feat but his desire to never coach Johnny Manziel again was so strong that he had to roll the dice.  Predictably that dice roll ended up snake eyes and Manziel is back, baby.  If Manziel comes out and actually strings together some competent starts and puts some decent plays on film, Pettine will be chastised for not fully committing to Manziel.  If Manziel continues his erratic and underwhelming play, Pettine will be chastised for not fully committing to Manziel.  At this point, Pettine is a dead man walking in Cleveland and will be coaching the rest of the year in a no-win situation.

Eddie Lazy?

Last Thursday night, Eddie Lacy was locked and loaded in millions of fantasy lineups as everyone jockeyed for playoff position in the ever important Week 13 matchups.  Sadly, for those that finally started to believe in Eddie Lacy after his dominant Week 12 performance, your faith was rewarded with 5 carries and 4 yards.  The Packers, of course, went on to win the game with the Lions in a miraculous finish resulting in very little immediate chatter as to why Lacy was unceremoniously benched.  As the celebratory mood faded, it was soon revealed that Eddie Lacy missed a team curfew the night before the contest.  Lacy’s running mate that evening, Alonzo Harris, was subsequently released over fear that he was a negative influence on the 25-year-old running back.  Lacy’s season has been quite a disappointment and the lack of focus on and off the field appears to be a serious issue.  Head coach Mike McCarthy called Lacy ‘rejuvenated’ after his rough week so time will tell if the benching was enough to get his attention.

Real Wives of NY Jets

New Jet Brandon Marshall and the Giants Cullen Jenkins got into a little fracas on the field during their rivalry game this weekend.  Marshall is, of course, the extremely emotional star receiver who after a down season in Chicago has come to the Jets and played a pivotal role in turning the franchise around.  During the game, Jenkins made an attempt at crass trash talk and referenced Marshall’s ‘girl’ in which the Jets receiver took immediate umbrage with.  “I believe in trash talk. Some guys get up for that. But some things are off limits. He made a comment about (and) he said, ‘My girl.’ He didn’t know I was married.”  Marshall had to be restrained early in the game but was able to maintain his composure and help lead the Jets’ comeback in the Meadowlands.  For his part, Jenkins admitted he was out of line and offered an apology per Marshall for his offending words.  Brandon Marshall has been virtually unstoppable this season and it’s going to take more than a little trash talking to get him off his game.  Even if it comes from the largest of opponents, “So there you go, baby, he is 500 pounds and I went after him” Marshall exaggerated.

What Can Browner Do For You

The Saints are not a very good defense.  They were so bad that their play got their position coach fired.  Although there are plenty of players playing below their ability, the poster boy for the Saints bad defense this year has been cornerback Brandon Browner.  Once a member of a the Legion of Boom and a Super Bowl champion last year with the New England Patriots, Browner has been a weekly punchline for the Saints as he has racked up a woeful 21 penalties in 12 games this season.  His poor play even drew the ire of new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen on the sideline during last week’s game but just like clock work, on the next position, Browner was on the field and giving up another big play.  Head coach Sean Payton remains in denial over his starting cornerback’s deficiencies and claimed that Browner “played well” despite countless video evidence to the contrary.  Former analyst Shannon Sharpe chimed in on social media that Browner “couldn’t cover a twin bed with a king sheet.”   Did I mention the Saints are not a very good defense.

POWER RANKINGS

1. Carolina Panthers (12-0), last week 2: Playing in New Orleans was the last tough test this team had to face until the playoffs

2. New England Patriots (10-2), last week 1: Everything that could go wrong went wrong and yet they were a couple dropped passes away from tying the game

3. Arizona Cardinals (10-2), last week 3: The Cardinals are cruising and the Rams put up little fight last week

4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2), last week 4: Cincy dispatched of the Browns and now host the rival Steelers in a huge game

5. Denver Broncos (10-2), last week 5: Osweiler keeps game managing this team to victories which is all they need

6. Green Bay Packers (8-4), last week 6: One Hail Mary possibly changed the course of the Packers’ season

7. Seattle Seahawks (7-5), last week 8: Guess who’s hitting their stride

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), last week 9: The only thing that can stop the Steelers’ momentum is a goal post

9. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5), last week 11: The Chiefs are quickly rising up the ranks in the AFC and this power ranking

10. New York Jets (7-5), last week 12: Sometimes one win can change a season and with the rest of the schedule less than daunting, the Jets may have found that win last week

11. Minnesota Vikings (8-4), last week 7:  The Vikings showed they weren’t ready to take the next step with a poor showing against the Seahawks

12. Indianapolis Colts (6-6), last week 10: Hasselbeck just has to stay alive for one more week before Luck hopefully returns

13. Buffalo Bills (6-6), last week 13: The Bills beat a hot Texans team and got themselves back into the race

14. Atlanta Falcons (6-6), last week 14: Fans have been complaining about the offense and now Julio is

15. Houston Texans (6-6), last week 17: Houston failed to take over the lead in the AFC South with a poor showing in Buffalo

16. Chicago Bears (5-7), last week 18: The Bears come crashing back to reality after losing at home against the feisty Niners

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6), last week 20: The Bucs and their rookie quarterback are growing  up fast

18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7), last week 22: This team came out of nowhere with a full team effort, minus one disgruntled running back

19. Washington (5-7), last week 21: The Skins fought back and gave away a huge game to the Cowboys on Monday night

20. New York Giants (5-7), last week 15: The Giants are playing small

21. Oakland Raiders (5-7), last week 16: Like their rookie star receiver, the Raiders are fading fast

22. Miami Dolphins (5-7), last week 23: A new offensive coordinator somehow yielded a worse offense but they still managed to hold on for a win

23. Dallas Cowboys (4-8), last week 24: And just like that, the Cowboys season is clinging to life

24. New Orleans Saints (4-8), last week 25: Do yellow flags follow Browner around New Orleans even when he’s on the street?

25. San Diego Chargers (3-9), last week 26: This entire team needs to be placed on IR

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8), last week 27: Bortles is taking the next step but the defense is taking steps backwards

27. Baltimore Ravens (4-8), last week 28: I don’t think things can get worse in Baltimore unless they run out of crabs

28. St. Louis Rams (4-8), last week 19: This team is packing it in while they simultaneously pack up in preparation for their move

29. Detroit Lions (4-8), last week 29: The Lions played not to lose and ended up doing just that, just like every team before them

30. San Francisco 49ers (4-8), last week 30: Gabbert enjoyed the best game of his career and looks to keep the good times rolling against the lowly Browns

31. Tennessee Titans (3-9), last week 31: That was a huge step forward last week but consistency continues to elude Mariota.

32. Cleveland Browns (2-10), last week 32: Manziel is back for his last chance.

About TD Hill

Troy D. Hill currently resides in Southern California where he enjoys checking in on the forums at Fantasy Sharks in near perfect weather all throughout the year. Although Troy grew up in Baltimore, he is an avid New York Jets fan and constantly questions why he puts himself through such misery. TD Hill is heading into his third season with Fantasy Sharks.