Each week, SiriusXM NFL Radio’s hosts vote on the top six teams in both the NFC and AFC. This week’s voters include James Lofton, Bruce Murray, Alex Marvez, Bill Polian, Maurice Jones-Drew, Gil Brandt, Jim Miller, Pat Kirwan, The Opening Drive, other NFL Radio hosts, Brian Lauvray, Bobby Bonett, and you, the fans! (To participate in the fan vote, visit siriusxm.com/power12poll.)

All channel listings subject to change.


It’s a few days before Halloween, and in lieu of haughty commentary and superlatives, the Power 12 this week is breaking down what really matters: What each NFL team should be when they go out trick or treating on Halloween night. Hope you enjoy, guys and ghouls!

NFC

1. Green Bay Packers (6-0)

Week 8 opponent: at Denver Broncos, Sunday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 83, Internet channel 811)

“The Bobs” from Office Space

“The Bobs,” outside consultants, or “efficiency experts,” from the cult classic about workplace dissent, aren’t really bad guys. No, instead they’re just hired to sift through the corporate culture and coolly determine what’s relevant and “productive” to Bill Lumberg and Initech. Aaron Rodgers, sitting back in the pocket, has been calmly scanning opposing defenses on a weekly basis with the removed demeanor of The Bobs, as he asks, “What would you say you do here?,” and throws yet another touchdown with the casual satisfaction of turning in some TPS reports (on time and under budget, natch). You get the sense that the Packers are getting a promotion.

 

2. Carolina Panthers (6-0)

Week 8 opponent: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Monday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 804)

The Incredible Hulk

Much like The Hulk himself, the Panthers’ seven-game winning streak to start the season has not been pretty, but it has been very effective. Superhero-esque Cam Newton has been punishing would-be defenders with his arm and legs thus far, and Carolina’s defense can aptly be summed up by “HULK SMASH!” Halfway through a very tough four-game stretch, and no team yet has discovered a way to slow down this marauding and pummeling squad.

 

 

3. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)

Week 8 opponent: at Cleveland Browns, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 228, Sirius channel 132, Internet channel 800)

Iron Man

Not to get too-superhero heavy, but who else could the Cardinals be? The red uniforms match Iron Man’s armor and Arizona’s potent offense has nearly as many weapons (John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Johnson, Michael Floyd and Carson Palmer to name a few) as Tony Starks’ own arsenal. The comparison goes even deeper when you consider that both Iron Man and the Cardinals have one fatal flaw. For Starks/Iron Man, it’s the piece of shrapnel lodged against Starks’ heart; and for the Cardinals it is the fragility of Carson Palmer’s aging body. Lousy mortality, it’ll get ya every time …

 

4. Atlanta Falcons (6-1)

Week 8 opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 231, Sirius channel 121, Internet channel 801)

Sexy #PizzaRatSexy #PizzaRat

At first glance your reaction could be, “Whoa! All right! Sexy Pizza Time!” And then you look closer and realize it’s a meme costume about a rat that carried a slice of pizza down an NYC subway, and you get disappointed about civilization. Similarly, the Atlanta Falcons, with their wide receiver god, Julio Jones, and a decent defense, may have you thinking, “Whoa! All right! Atlanta is Good!” Sadly, both Sexy #PizzaRat and the Falcons are nothing more than a fraudulent zeitgeist glued together by a confused and oddly optimistic few (horny, Internet bloggers in one case, and Falcons fans in the other), soon to be forgotten to the sands of time. Atlanta, much like a Sexy #PizzaRat, you may meet at a Halloween party*, is more sizzle than substance.

*Unless said #PizzaRat is dressed up as such ironically, then you’re in the clear; but seriously, nobody should dress up as, nor engage with a #PizzaRat (or Falcons fans, probably).

 

5. Minnesota Vikings (4-2)

Week 8 opponent: at Chicago Bears, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 136, Internet channel 817)

GOB Bluth

Minnesota, the GOB to Green Bay’s Michael Bluth, is always working so hard to impress their more successful brother/divisional rival. While there is occasional, minor success, the Vikings, much like GOB, are typically left with nothing to show for it by the end of the episode/playoff time. Similarly, GOB’s limited repertoire of magic tricks and the Vikings offense has one really good trick (Adrian Peterson) and many poorly executed sleight of hands (Teddy Bridgewater pass attempts).

 

6. New York Giants (4-3)

Week 8 opponent: at New Orleans Saints, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 230, Sirius channel 133, Internet channel 820)

Charlie Brown from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

In spite of the terrible loss to Philadelphia two weeks ago, the Giants are the reigning “dictator-for-life-of-the-week” of the banana republic known as the NFC East. Much like the hapless Charlie Brown, the New York Giants simply are letting life take them where it wants to. A week up and a week down is no way to dictate your own life and to forge your own path, Giants. Stop cutting too many holes in your ghost costume, stop accepting rocks from people when you go trick or treating, and start winning (or losing) with more consistency.

 

NFC fantasy football spotlight: Jonathan Stewart (RB, Carolina)

2015 stats: 423 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 4.1 yards per carry, 6 receptions, 30 receiving yards

With many teams on bye and with the inevitable injuries piling up, running backs are in demand. Coming off two straight excellent games against much better defenses (Seattle and Philadelphia) than what the Colts pack, look for Jonathan Stewart to continue his “Rocktober Fest” into November.

 

AFC

1. New England Patriots (6-0)

Week 8 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins, Thursday 8:25 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 818)

The shark from Jaws

The cold, dead, black, endlessly deep eyes of a great white shark are, for many marine critters, the last thing they likely saw. Those same dead, black and unblinking eyes are what’s staring down every team unlucky enough to face the Patriots thus far. New England’s role as the apex predator of the AFC’s ecosystem was further cemented following their rough and tumble victory over the New York Jets. Until further notice, all opponents are going to need a bigger boat when facing the Patriots.

 

2. Cincinnati Bengals (6-0)

Week 8 opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 82, Sirius channel 135, Internet channel 824)

Appetite for Destruction-era Guns ‘N Roses

Andy Dalton as Axl? AJ Green as Slash? Tigers are an awesome jungle cat? The motif may be a bit too on the nose for some, but this also makes too much sense not to happen. Furthermore, “Welcome to the Jungle” is one of the best stadium songs/”get hype” songs out there. Again, makes too much sense not to happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1tj2zJ2Wvg

 

3. Denver Broncos (6-0)

Week 8 opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers, Sunday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 809)

GhostfaceGhostface

Denver’s defense solely consists of killers. Ghostface, the sadistic murderer from the Scream franchise, embodies death and hopelessness for his victims like few contemporary “bad guys” do. In short, he is the perfect mascot for the Denver-area professional football team. Live in Denver? Petition your state lawmakers to change the team name from “Broncos” to “Ghostfaces.”

 

4. New York Jets (4-2)

Week 8 opponent: at Oakland Raiders, Sunday 4:05 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 84, Internet channel 821)

The Great Wall of China

As great as the Denver defense has been all season long, no team has been better at stopping the run than the New York Jets. Opponents are averaging 71.5 yards per game – and that’s maybe not even as telling of how dominant the Jets have been. What could be more telling? Having the Jets dress up as the Great Wall of China and being visible from space.

 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3)

Week 8 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 1 pm ET (SiriusXM channel 82, Internet channel 824)

Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad finale

That desperate mirth across Jesse Pinkman’s face? That’s the hysterical elation of someone finally freed from everything that had held them down. The Steelers (and their fans) may be approaching a similar sensation with Ben Roethlisberger likely to start this week following a month or so of the Michael Vick and Jarvis Landry Show. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant are all riding in the back seat of Jesse’s car …

Jesse Pinkman

 

6. Miami Dolphins (3-3)

Week 8 opponent: at Miami Dolphins, Thursday 8:25 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 83, Internet channel 816)

Tony Montana from Scarface

In spite of the terrible start to the season, the Dolphins are clawing their way back to relevance in the playoff chase, much like Tony Montana’s clawing and rapid ascent from lowly refugee to violent, wheeling and dealing, drug kingpin. Especially after their head honcho, Joe Philbin, was fired, the Dolphins face peril at every turn, and have no way to ascertain who is friend and who is foe. Despite Dan Campbell’s very short tenure as the interim head coach, he’s found a way to motivate the heretofore underachieving team (see: the dismantling of the Texans from Sunday), and this Halloween costume fits. Much like the titular protagonist of the film, Campbell and his wards face a violent and uncertain future in their division and must rely on their wits, cash and paranoia to survive. Remember Dan: “In this country, first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women wins.”

 

AFC fantasy football spotlight: Ronnie Hillman (RB, Denver)

2015 stats: 323 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 4.9 yards per carry, 6 receptions, 17 receiving yards

After CJ Anderson’s less than inspiring efforts to jumpstart the Broncos running attack, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak has insisted that Ronnie Hillman will be receiving more carries moving forward. There’s no time like the present, and Week 8 should give Hillman a great shot at impressing his head coach against a suspect Green Bay rushing defense.

 

 

Week 8 Power 12


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