The Stack is back on this Tuesday and we have a few things to talk about. Not huge headlines, but somewhat signifcant news nonetheless. Plus my week 12 NFL power rankings are unveiled below so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, November 27:
Panthers outlast Eagles on MNF
The Carolina Panthers got the better of the Philadelphia Eagles in the battle of NFC disappointments, beating the Eagles 30-22. Cam Newton was sensational, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. He added two more on the ground. He hurt a lot of people in fantasy and helped a lot of people (myself included). The Panthers I think are better than their record shows and this can give the team a little confidence in hopes that they can salvage the season. The Eagles are a disaster. Andy Reid will be fired. There's just no other way. The Eagles will blow up the entire organization. They've already started to fire a lot of people in the front office. At least there was one bright spot last night and that was rookie running back Bryce Brown. He rushed for 178 yards (Eagles rookie rushing record) and two touchdowns, but he did have two costly fumbles. The nightmare that is the Eagles season continues.
Evan Longoria signs $100 million extension
The face of the Tampa Bay Rays just got a little richer. Evan Longoria signed a ten-year extension worth $100 million, ensuring that he will be a Ray his entire career. It is a smart move by the Rays. With all of their interchangable pieces, there is little question that Longoria is the best player on the team and a player that will keep the Rays as a consistent playoff threat. They have some good pitchers like David Price, but Longoria is the best bat on the team, not to mention that he is really good defensively. He is the face of the franchise and one of the best players in baseball. Great move by the Rays to lock him up longterm.
Ndamukong Suh avoids suspension
So, apparently you can kick quarterbacks in the groin and get away with it. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will not be suspended by the NFL for his "awkward" kick to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's groin in their Thanksgiving Day game. Given Suh's past history, including last year's Thanksgiving stomp against the Packers last year, this is surprising. You can make the argument that the kick was an accident, but given Suh's actions in the past, it's hard to not think he tried to add a little something in connecting with Schaub. The NFL will still most likely fine Suh, but he needed to be suspended. Someone needs to get it through his head that his actions are not normal and he is upsetting a lot of other NFL players. There is a reason that he has been voted dirtiest player in the game two times now. And his actions may end up costing him once he can hit free agency. The NFL missed on this one. They needed to suspend Suh. If you're a Lions fan, I'd like to hear where you stand on this.
And one other big NFL headline to pass along...Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis may be back sooner than expected, and I mean real soon. As in week 15 soon. That is what Yahoo! Sports is reporting. Would be a big boost to a Ravens defense that has been suspect this year to say the least. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Oh yeah, one more headline, promise. The Seahawks may be down their top two players in the secondary pretty soon as cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner have been suspended by the league for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. Both players plan to appeal meaning they should be available to play this week against the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks defense would still be good, but nowhere near as good as they would be with these two in the lineup. Sherman is considered by many the top cornerback in the league. This is a story to keep your eyes on.
NHL, NHLPA agree to use mediator
Whether or not hockey fans would like to view this as good news, the NHL and the NHLPA agreed on Monday to use a mediator in hopes of making some progress towards ending the lockout. Easier said than done. Both sides have got to give a little in order to gain a lot. Unfortunately, they both seem hellbent, particularly the league, on making the other side crack and fold under pressure and accept the deal on the table. One way or the other, all hockey fans want to see is a new deal get done. With every day that passes, optimism, whatever little there is left that a season can be saved, continues to dwindle. Here's hoping a deal gets done!
NFL week 12 power rankings
1. Houston Texans 10-1
Playing almost ten quarters in four days and winning both overtime games is downright impressive. This team deserves the extra rest.
2. San Francisco 49ers 8-2-1
Regardless of who is starting at quarterback, Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith, this 49ers team is really, really good.
3. Atlanta Falcons 10-1
They may not be winning games by much, but the Falcons are winning these close games, which bodes well for this team in the playoffs.
4. New England Patriots 8-3
Who needs Gronk? The Patriots are a threat running the ball, making them extra dangerous on offense with Tom Brady. Their defense is pretty good too.
5. Baltimore Ravens 9-2
Play of the year: Ray Rice's catch and run to convert 4th and 29 late in the 4th quarter, a game the Ravens eventually won. That kind of heart will be rewarded in the playoffs.
6. Denver Broncos 8-3
I know the Chiefs were ready to play a division rival, but a game like that will get the Broncos bounced early come playoff time.
7. New York Giants 7-4
Will the real Giants team please stand up? I think they did Sunday night, and they'll need to play that way the rest of the season given their remaining schedule.
8. Chicago Bears 8-3
Knew the Bears would come out with a dominating performance. They may have a bad offensive line, but there is no denying Jay Cutler makes this team so much better.
9. Indianapolis Colts 7-4
The Colts just keep winning and Andrew Luck has tied Sam Bradford for most wins as a rookie quarterback. I'm guessing he'll pass that.
10. Green Bay Packers 7-4
Packers were embarrassed Sunday night. I'm guessing they'll rebound and embarrass the Vikings Sunday. The sky is not falling in Green Bay.
11. Seattle Seahawks 6-5
Seahawks really needed to pull out a win in Miami and with the impending suspensions to their top two players in the secondary, this loss may come back to haunt the Seahawks.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-5
Bucs were close to beating a really good team, but settling for field goals will get you beat. Bucs must improve on that if they want to make the playoffs.
13. Cincinnati Bengals 6-5
The Bengals better hope that the success they've had the last two weeks against the AFC West translates to more wins against the rest of the NFL.
14. Washington Redskins 5-6
Watch out for the Redskins. RGIII is red hot right now. Eight touchdowns in the last two games. They're making a charge for the playoffs.
15. New Orleans Saints 5-6
If not for a couple of pick sixes, the Saints would be looking at 6-5 instead of 5-6. They have no margin for error the rest of the way. But I wouldn't doubt this team.
16. Minnesota Vikings 6-5
Let's see...the Vikings get blown out by an embarrassed Bears team Sunday and now go to Green Bay to play an embarrassed Packers team. Vikings better bring their A++ game.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5
The Steelers and their fans are praying Big Ben comes back this week. The Steelers playoff hopes are looking real bad if they have to go another game with Charlie Batch.
18. Dallas Cowboys 5-6
The Cowboys simply don't know how to put a complete game together. Their loss combined with the Giants win and the surging Redskins means it is going to be real tough for the Cowboys to make the playoffs unless they win out.
19. Miami Dolphins 5-6
Dolphins scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter is a good sign for Dolphins that they can come back and win games. Need more weapons though to be consistent.
20. Detroit Lions 4-7
Lions did get jobbed on that one play on Thanksgiving, but the Lions, just like Ndamukong Suh's shot at Matt Schaub, may have kicked their chances of making the playoffs with that loss.
21. St. Louis Rams 4-6-1
If he can stay out of trouble, the Rams have a great young cornerback in Janoris Jenkins who will be with them for a long time and make that defense great.
22. San Diego Chargers 4-7
The Chargers have talent, but cannot hold onto leads in the second half or put a complete game together. That is why they are 4-7.
23. Buffalo Bills 4-7
They're close, but need more weapons on offense and need the defense to be more consistent if they want to win and compete for a playoff spot.
24. Tennessee Titans 4-7
So where did Chris Johnson go? Wasn't a very good performance by the Titans, but then again, no one should be shocked if you've seen this team this year.
25. Cleveland Browns 3-8
When you force eight turnovers against the Steelers, you deserve to rise a few spots. The Browns are better than their record shows.
26. Arizona Cardinals 4-7
Cardinals have the worst quarterback situation in the league hands down. They need to find a franchise quarterback who can go with their defensive talent and Larry Fitzgerald.
27. Carolina Panthers 3-8
Finally, the Cam Newton we all expected to see this year showed up. Need more of that for the fantasy owners.
28. New York Jets 4-7
Awful showing by the Jets at home Thanksgiving night. How wouldn't Tim Tebow make this team better?
29. Philadelphia Eagles 3-8
Bright spot...rookie running back Bryce Brown. However, the Eagles have lost seven in a row and look ready to call it quits.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-9
The Jaguars are a better team with Chad Henne at quarterback than at any other point during the season with Blaine Gabbert under center. That was evident Sunday.
31. Oakland Raiders 3-8
Maybe Carson Palmer is really wishing he was back in Cincinnati right now. Oakland stinks.
32. Kansas City Chiefs 1-10
Good effort against the Broncos, but I mean really, who else do you think should be at the bottom?
Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to Tuesday's biggest sports stories and headlines