|NFL Power Rankings|
Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)I gave them a six-spot hike, which is almost unheard of so late in the season. I did it because they finished the season on a high note and have a good chance of running Indy into the ground Saturday and progressing out to San Diego to battle the Chargers, whom they beat in October. I wasn't so far off in August, when I had them 8-8 and second in the division. OK, you're right, I was pretty close, numerically, but achievement-wise (is that a word?) I was blah.
Denver Broncos (9-7)I didn't bump them lower for crashing on must-win Sunday because a lot of lesser lights did likewise (four out of six words starting with "L." Might be a personal record). I called them an 11-5 division champ in August, but my heart wasn't in it.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)Just where I had them. I mean is this miraculous or what? At the end of last season I was telling people that they were going to be my Super Bowl dark horse. Then all the police stuff broke and I backed off ... naah, that would be giving too much encouragement to would-be lawbreakers. Then I said, hey wait a minute, they've got real talent. I think they'll make the playoffs. Then I changed my mind again and said all that stuff's gonna bring 'em down-to 8-8. You understand, of course, that I'm treating you to an in-depth look at the workings of an unusual mind.
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)Another one of those AFC 8-7's who couldn't keep it going on Final Sunday. I had a non-wildcard 9-7 planned for them.
Tennessee Titans (8-8)I didn't like them, to a 5-11 tune. Other people liked them less.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)A gaudy 12-4 was my prediction, same as everyone else's, but I foresaw them getting upset in the divisionals by, uh, you'll find out later.
New York Giants (8-8)Why are they ranked so low when their inspirational victory over the Skins got them into the postseason? Because after overrating them all year I am balancing it off by underrating them ... but not, I'll bet, too "under" for real Giants fans, who are sick of them by now, playoffs or no playoffs, and wish Tom Coughlin would just go away, and take Eli with him, but would talk Tiki into stretching his career for another season. Do you really care how I picked them in August? "Well yeah, that's the theme of this whole thing, remember?" Andrew informs me. All right, all right already. I think I've already mentioned that I had them a 9-7 wild-carder, did I not?
St. Louis Rams (8-8)I had them 9-7 and not quite in the playoffs. I thought Jim Haslett would invigorate their defense. Instead what's happened is that ex-Rams D-linemen have populated the league.
Buffalo Bills (7-9)OK, so I was a little optimistic, forecasting an 8-8 mark for them, but the point is that I'm sailing along right now, coming close, not looking too dumb.
Atlanta Falcons (7-9)See, just where I had 'em. Remember that real nasty Falcon e-mailer from a few weeks back. How do you like it now, Jason? A noser for you, how do you like that?