This week brought us the second-most interesting possibility for Week 14, and kept alive the playoffs hopes of every team, however unlikely. It also proved that the Horsemen are a bunch of selfish jerks. So let’s get into that!
Beatleteers – 216.70 [MVP: Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw – 27.60]
Revenants – 140.24 (L) [MVP: Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas – 29.90]
Spread – 76.46
These two teams have really swung their momentum around. The Revenants haven’t posted a 200+ game since Week 8, and if you don’t count that 205, it goes back to Week 5. The Beatleteers, on the other hand, haven’t posted a sub-200 game since Week 9, and Week 8 was a 200+ game too. So, Beatleteers: 200+ 5 out of the last 6; Revenants: sub-200 7 of the last 8. This also marks the Revenants worst showing of the season(and the second-worst of the league), with a mere 140.24 points, a full 10 points less than their previous worst(but not less than the season worst! Good job Horsemen!). The Beatleteers are now 7-3(7 games at 200+, 3 games at -175), with the Revenants now 4-3 in the same category. The Revenants’ All-Play record falls to 35-30, 4 games behind the Horsemen and 1 behind the Beatleteers, and within the 4-game reach of the Stompers. Don’t worry though, Revenants, the Spectres and Great Whites can’t catch you, so if the Spectres, Stompers, and Horsemen lose… They’re in the playoffs! They’re also in if the Beatleteers lose with an All-Play on the week of just two games worse than the Revenants(in the same Stompers-and-Horsemen-lose situation). As far as trending downward is concerned, the Beatleteers won every single category(and every single player) except Flex(they lost by 2.30) and Kicker(tie). They took QB by 35.66(a shootout the Saints-Falcons game was not), RB by 7.90(could’ve used ya, Sproles…), WR by 28.20(you too, Roddy White, despite Andre Johnson barely netting double digits), and Defense by 7. This game was ugly, unfortunately. I myself am a fan of competition, and this was certainly not that. The Revenants knew after Thursday night that this game was over. That’s the earliest game decision of the season, and that’s unfortunate for a team this column used to refer to as a juggernaut. But the Beatleteers are 4-1 on the week(or better) for the fourth time in six games, so the Revenants are really just another victim on the Beatleteers’ steamroll. The Beatleteers use the victory to launch themselves into third in the standings(with a record tied with two teams at 6-7, fighting for their season in Week 14), and second-best All-Play record on the season, now only 3 games behind the Horsemen. The Revenants’ losing streak worsens to 7 of the last 8, but STILL not quite dashing their playoffs aspirations, despite the putrid state of their coach’s drive to win. It’ll be a rough week, but they ARE still in this. MVP: Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw had his best week since Week 6(over San Francisco, no less), partially because his timeshare Andre Brown has been put on IR. Notice, I don’t give MVP to just the highest-scorer. I base it on their season average. Bradshaw’s new breakout performance bodes well for the Beatleteers’ playoffs hopes, who had the rank number 5, 9, 10, 15, and 16 RB’s on the week; 6th-and-7th ranked QB’s, and 1st-ranked WR. They’re a threat.
Spectres – 224.20 [MVP: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson – 46]
Great Whites – 166.60 (L) [MVP: Jets RB Shonn Greene – 24.40]
Spread – 57.60
Second-biggest spread of the week goes to the Spectres and their VERY FIRST TIME going 5-0 on the week! And they do it during the Beatleteers’ resurgence. They were the last remaining team to miss 5-0, despite tying for second in the “games at 200+category”(with 6 to the Horsemen’s 6 and Beatleteers’ 7). The rest of you have 4 games at 200+. It’s also their second-best game of the season, behind Week 4 by a point and a half. This ties their All-Play record at 27-38 with the Great Whites, and they could feasibly overtake the Stompers 4-game margin by season’s end. This is a much-needed win after a 3-game losing streak, and it keeps them in playoff contention. In fact, it puts it in their own hands next week against the very Beatleteers that are challenging them at that spot. They could still both get in, but the loser would need the Revenants and Stompers to lose with an All-Play record low enough to drop below them in the standings. This is another game where the winner took nearly every category and every player. The Great Whites took Defense by 2 and WR 2 by 6.10. The Spectres took QB by 23.60(despite the worst game of Tom Brady’s season, and his ONLY time sub-30, and yet still better than 5 of Philip Rivers’ games, 5 of Eli Manning’s), RB by 24.50(what happened to Arian Foster and Doug Martin!? Stevan Ridley’s mildly disappointing week was still better than both of them??), WR by 6.80(thanks to Decker’s near phase-out of the Broncos offense), and Flex by 4.70. The two teams tied at Kicker with 12. The Spectres put up their 1st win in 4 games to give the Great Whites their 5th loss in six games. The Spectres are now poised to take to the playoffs with one hard-fought battle against the Beatleteers standing in their way. The Great Whites have clinched a playoffs spot, but not a seed. A loss to the Stompers could give that second seed (and, subsequently, the third seed) to any of the 6-7 teams with a better All-Play record, so if they don’t want to face the Horsemen in Round 1 of the playoffs, they need a win next week. MVP: It’s really a two-fer here, as two players just really stood out this week. Cam Newton’s 45.08-point game included 232 passing yds and 3 TD’s to 78 yds on the ground. Adrian Peterson’s 46.00-point game included 210 yds on the ground(22 yds less than Cam Newton in the air!!!) and a TD to 10 yds in the air. I gave MVP to Adrian Peterson, but it was based on math, so trust me here! Cam Newton’s average on the season is 31.89 points per game. That means this game was 13.19 points better than his average. Peterson’s average on the season is was 30.51 points per game. So this game is 15.49 points better than his season average. So it was a marginally better game for Peterson. This game was also a full 13 points ahead of the second-best RB in our league(because nobody owns Bryce Brown), another player owned by the Spectres(albeit on the bench this week). The Spectres also had the second-best QB on the week in this league(nobody owns Russell Wilson), 1st-, 3rd-, and 6th-ranked RB’s, and 2nd-best WR on the week. That moves to the Spectres to best QB on the season, 2nd-best RB(12 points behind Foster), and 6th-best WR(2 points behind Percy Harvin who hasn’t played in 4 games(wow…). They also have the 4th- and 5th-ranked Defenses and the best Kicker in our League(3rd in the NFL).
Horsemen – 201.36 [MVP: Colts QB Andrew Luck – 50.44]
Stompers – 197.36 (L) [MVP: Cowboys Tony Romo – 44.02]
Spread – 4.00
So, do you remember a long time ago? When I said that the Horsemen were, I believe the term was “a bunch of selfish jerks”? Well, I stand by it. After all these years. The Horsemen are going to the playoffs. That was a given regardless of whether they were to win these next two games. The Stompers needed this win to clinch a spot, and perhaps even take 1st by season’s end. Now they have to fight for a spot. But let’s actually NOT blame the Horsemen here. This game marks the first time the Stompers have miscoached by 25 points since WEEK THREE. It’s also the first time that they didn’t play their best QB since leaving Romo on the bench in Week 8. Carson Palmer exploded for 44.34 on the week, 4th-best in the NFL, 3rd-best in this league(still, nobody owns Russell Wilson. HINT… HINT…) The only other decision to bite them was playing Felix Jones when DeMarco Murray came back, but that only cost them 12 points(if they’d chosen Danario Alexander, 6 if they’d chosen Ryan Mathews). The only bad decision the Horsemen made was trusting Greg Jennings’ return over Reggie Bush(against the Patriots, and really who would’ve chosen that?), coaching -5.30 on the week. Trending downward, the Horsemen took QB by a mere 2.70(Andy Luck carried RG3 past Rodgers and Romo with a season-high 50.44), RB by 11.90(CJ2K had a rough game against the Houston Texans), Flex by 2.50(don’t worry Felix, Greg Jennings didn’t show up either), and Kicker by a full 7(breakout game by Jason Hanson). The Stompers took WR by 12.10(interestingly, outside of the Top 5 WR’s on the week, the only other WR in the top 20 that is owned in this league is Randall Cobb), and Defense by 8(I considered the Jets’ Defense as MVP here simply because they posted 18 points, which is 12 more than the Packers that the Stompers somehow had the foresight to drop just before they put up -1 point against the Giants. The Jets saved them a point last week, and 12 this week. I’d say the Stompers knew what they were doing). A 4-point game is never a game that you can point to where it was lost, but it’s safe to say that coaching was a deciding factor(perfect coaching by both teams would’ve ended in a Stompers win by 16 points). The Stompers drop to 6-7 after finally achieving .500 on the season, and must fight the Great Whites(2-0 regular season, 8-5 All-Play) for a spot in the playoffs. If the Revenants win, they’ll also need to improve their All-Play record over the winner of the Beatleteers-Spectres game. The Horsemen continue their free ride into the playoffs(and their league-best 5-game winning streak) at 9-4. MVP: Colts QB Andrew Luck threw his best game of the season(by .06 points) with 391 passing yds and 4 TD’s(to 3 INT’s and 1 fumble(which he recovered)) and another 33 yds on the ground. Of the 11 weeks in which both Luck and RG3 have played, Luck has actually posted better numbers than RG3 6 times. When Luck was on Bye(Week 4), RG3 threw for better than Luck threw during RG3’s Bye(Week 10), so the two rookies are basically 6-6 on the season, despite RG3’s season total being 50 points higher than Luck’s. Just a tidbit I found interesting.
So that’s it! The Horsemen and Great Whites remain on top(with the Horsemen clinched), the Beatleteers and Spectres each jump 2 spots to 3rd and 4th respectively, and the Stompers and Revenants drop 2 spots to 5th and 6th. The Horsemen can’t lose their 1-seed, and the Great Whites can’t finish worse than 4th. The Beatleteers, Spectres, and Stompers can finish between 2nd and 6th. The Revenants can finish between 4th and 6th(there are only two W/L possibilities that see the Revenants in the playoffs, and they both see the Horsemen and Stompers losing).
A few more stats:
The point totals on the season have drastically changed. The Beatleteers have taken 1st with 2566.94, the Horsemen 2nd with 2535.50. The Spectres actually catapult up into THIRD PLACE with 2516, the Stompers leap to 4th with 2507.94, and the Revenants fall all the way to 5th with 2477.72(89 points behind the Beatleteers, a point deficit that we HAVE seen in one week before). The Great Whites remain on bottom with 2415.26 points.
For Points Against, the Beatleteers are the most favored. They have 2429.22 against them. The Spectres are next with 2439.74, then the Horsemen with 2457.14, the Great Whites with 2460.30, the Stompers with 2501.64, and the Revenants with 2731.32. 2731.32. Here’s some perspective. The difference between the Beatleteers Points Against(least) and the Stompers (5th) is 72.42 points. The difference between the Stompers and the Revenants is 229.68. It’s been a rough season for the guys in green.
Coaching remains firmly in the Stompers hands, with the Horsemen and Beatleteers swapping 3rd and 4th.
The Revenants have now gone 1-4 or worse three weeks in a row, and were 1-4 in Week 9 too. The Horsemen have gone 3-2 or better 5 in a row, the Beatleteers 4 in a row. This is the first time the Spectres have gone 5-0 on the week, and their first winning record since Week 9. The Great Whites have had a losing record for six weeks in a row, and the Stompers have gone 1-4, 5-0, 2-3, 5-0, 4-1, and 2-3 on the past six weeks.
The Top 5 QB’s on the season belong to(first to fifth) the Spectres, Revenants, Beatleteers, Horsemen, and Stompers. The Great Whites don’t chart that category until Rank 15. Their next two QB’s are ranked 19th and 20th. There are two free agents at Rank 16 and 18(Is that close enough to a hint? Lol. I’m close to just saying it). The Spectres next chart at 12 and 14, the Revenants at 6 and 10, the Beatleteers at 7(they’re the only team with only 2 QB’s), the Horsemen at 9 and 17, and the Stompers at 8, 11, and 13. If you just take each team’s top 2 QB’s, that gives the Revenants the best QB Corps with an average rank of 4, then the Beatleteers with an average rank of 5. The Spectres, Stompers, and Horsemen tie at 6.5, and the Great Whites at an average of 17.
The Top 5 RB’s of the season belong to (first to fifth) the Great Whites, the Spectres, the Great Whites, the Horsemen, and the Horsemen. The Beatleteers first chart at 6, the Stompers at 9, and the Revenants at 10. If you just take each team’s top 4 RB’s, the standings look like this:
Spectres – 8.25
Horsemen – 10.75
Great Whites – 12.25
Beatleteers – 12.75
Stompers – 17.25
Revenants – 18.25
However, if you take each team’s Top 3 RB’s, it changes drastically to
Spectres – 5.7
Great Whites – 7
Horsemen – 7.7
Beatleteers – 11
Stompers – 14.7
Revenants – 16.7
And if you change it to just Top 2 RB’s, it changes again.
Great Whites – 2
Spectres – 4.5
Horsemen – 4.5
Beatleteers – 9
Stompers – 10
Revenants – 14.5
I’m almost done! Trust me! I just want to do WR. The Top 5 belong to (first to fifth) the Stompers, Beatleteers, Horsemen, Revenants, and Great Whites. The Spectres first chart at 6. The Revenants then have 7 and 8, the Stompers 9, the Beatleteers 10, The Great Whites 11 and 14, The Horsemen 12, and the Spectres 15, 18, and 21. Top 2 WR’s looks like this:
Stompers – 5
Revenants – 5.5
Beatleteers – 6
Horsemen – 7.5
Great Whites – 8
Spectres – 10.5
Sorry for the stat overload. It interests me. If it doesn’t interest you, I’m sure you just skipped to this sentence anyway, so no harm no foul! Next week 4 teams have their playoffs firmly in their hands(well, the Revenants split their hopes with the Great Whites). The Revenants have to beat the Horsemen and need the Great Whites to beat the Stompers. The Stompers need to win their game with a better All-Play record than the winner of Beatleteers-Spectres or the Revenants(keyword “OR”). The Spectres and Beatleteers each need to win this game(unless the Stompers and Revenants both lose with a worse All-Play record). The Great Whites need to win to clinch second, and the Horsemen are on vacation somewhere in the tropics.
I don’t know about you, but I am so excited about this, our final week of the regular season, and all the drama that will ensue! Unfortunately, the Monday Night game is Patriots v. Texans, so we won’t even have an idea as to the Spectres'(and Andre Johnson’s, and Arian Foster’s) performance until Monday Night(unless they bench all their Patriots, which is actually a possibility), and the Beatleteers and Stompers have large investments in Sunday Night’s Lions-Packers game. The rest of us will be mostly done after the late-afternoon games, so Sunday at the Stompers’ and Great Whites’ house should be fun!
League CommissionerKyle Frederick
League of Shadows