October 29, 2014

Bleach 603 - What the Hell

Another nutty Bleach chapter.  Let's discuss!

Spoilers after the cut.

October 28, 2014

2014 NFL Power Rankings, Week 8

It's another crapshoot week for the Rankings.  There were a few surprises in Week 8 that I didn't foresee happening; thus the preponderance of 5-3 teams in the bottom of the list.  I'm not sure what to think of any of them.  And I dropped a couple that I could very well have left in, although I wasn't terribly fond of that idea.

Honestly, this endeavor is fluid until the regular season is over.  Even then, we don't know who's going to win in the playoffs.

But that's a couple months away and we're talking about teams who are reaching the halfway point or are going to do so next week.  With eight games played, one would think we'd have a better idea of who is good and who isn't.

Not so fast.

What do we know?  Well, the South divisions stink, the West divisions are pretty tough, the East divisions might get entertaining down the stretch and actually yield multiple playoff teams, and the North divisions are jumbled.

After that, it's hard to say anything definitively, because week-to-week performance for every team not located in Colorado or Arizona is basically a toss-up.

Here are the Rankings for Week 8:

October 23, 2014

Bleach 602 - Bane Licking Good

Another Bleach chapter is out, so let's discuss, shall we?

Spoilers after the cut.

October 21, 2014

2014 NFL Power Rankings, Week 7

I find it particularly interesting when I don't have to change the Rankings much from week-to-week.  In the case of Week 7, eight of ten teams that were in after Week 6 won.  As a result, Cincinnati gets knocked out (because really, they haven't done anything since their bye), and San Diego takes a fall.

And yet, all of a sudden, it looks like there are some strong teams out there. Obviously, this is a rather huge departure from the first couple weeks of the season when we had no idea if anybody was good.

Still, there are only four teams with one loss and no undefeated teams.  That's an anomaly after seven weeks, I think.  But things are proceeding nicely and now the thing to be concerned about is the thing that rears its ugly head the most in any NFL season: injuries.  A key injury to any of the ten teams on my list this week could severely derail them.  There's the usual bad luck with INT's and blown coverages that result in losses, to be sure, but injuries (or the lack of them) will as usual determine who can remain successful through the remainder of the season and who will fall off, thus leave us wondering "what if".

Here are the Rankings for Week 7:

October 16, 2014

Bleach 601 - Verge on Vermillion

Another Bleach chapter to gawk at and wonder, why?

Spoilers after the cut.

October 14, 2014

2014 NFL Power Rankings, Week 6

Even in a week with fewer surprises than usual, there were still a couple of results that had people shaking their heads.

As I write this, the Monday night game has been over for a few hours.  It wasn't pretty, but when are they ever?  It's not often that those games are any good; NBC has generally taken all the good matchups.  ESPN and CBS/NFLN are left with the scraps for Monday and Thursday.

At any rate, being a Cowboys fan, I have to give them some credit here at the top.  Not only have they won five in a row after that mind-numbingly bad loss in Week 1, but they just went to Seattle and took out the champs.  Unsurprisingly, since the NFL is now a running league, the Cowboys did it with defense and running the ball a bunch of times.  This shouldn't surprise anyone, since Seattle's offense is usually pretty plain (aside from when they're making special effort to be anything other than boring) and when the running game isn't working, there's not a lot they can do otherwise.  The problem with Russell Wilson at this point in his career is that the OC and Pete Carroll don't seem to trust him enough to let him go on a consistent basis.  He was somehow able to do it against Washington, but then again, they somehow have a worse defense than the Cowboys.

Romo played well when he wasn't just handing it off to Murray/Randle and watching them run.  There wasn't the huge mistake like in the game against Denver from last year.  There were mistakes, to be sure, especially on special teams, but Romo isn't responsible for their tomfoolery.

Also, I should probably address the tie.  Cincinnati and Carolina played 75 minutes of football and there wasn't a winner.  NFL coaches are conservative; this is the nature of the beast.  When jobs are highly coveted (outside of Oakland or Jacksonville, at least), guys will do things conservatively and minimize risks to lessen their chances of losing said job.  Marvin Lewis doesn't appear to have anything to worry about, given that his dreadful playoff performance has yet to result in negative consequences, and yet he was obviously comfortable enough going for a field goal when he could have had Dalton...you know, win the game (cue Herman Edwards clip...now).

Dalton didn't get a chance and Mike Nugent honked the kick in hilarious fashion. There's your ball game.

Also, Brady, Peyton, and Rodgers looked like their usual "elite" selves.  I like it.

Here are the Rankings for Week 6:

October 8, 2014

Bleach 600 - Snipe

Another week, another Bleach chapter.

But this week is a little special, because Bleach made it to 600!

Spoilers after the cut.

October 7, 2014

2014 NFL Power Rankings, Week 5

Ho-hum, just another week in the NFL!

Not a lot of surprises, really, which was nice.  Although we're down to 0 undefeated teams, which is always a bummer.  I try to highlight the ten best teams every week here on NHC, and it's damn difficult to do that when none of them have a 0 in the loss column.  But I'm always flying by the seat of my pants anyway, so I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference.

One surprising result was the sudden "resurrection" of the Patriots.  True, they're still just 3-2, but they looked a hell of a lot better on Sunday night than they had at any point in the first four weeks.  Also, what's up with Cincy and Arizona?  Is it the competition?

I hope so, because teams that start 3-0 shouldn't just fade as we approach midseason.

At least Peyton Manning looks like an "elite" QB.  I can't say that about Drew Brees much longer, I don't think.  Unless he's due for a "resurrection" himself in the coming weeks.

Here are the Rankings for Week 5: