The Stack is posting at a little late today, but not as late as yesterday and there are a few things to talk about. From the MNF game to NFL power rankings to Johnny Football, there is a lot to react to so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Tuesday, December 11:
Patriots throttle Texans on MNF
The Houston Texans said that this was the most important game in franchise history for them. I'd really hate to see how they play in a game that didn't hold as much importance. The Patriots jumped on the Texans right out of the gate, holding a 28-0 lead before Houston even got on the board. The Patriots wound up winning 42-14. Tom Brady was stupendous once again, throwing four touchdowns. He was in synch with all of his receivers. The Texans were bad all around. Their offense couldn't do much to keep drives going and turn them into points, something that has to be a concern for them. Of greater concern though is their defense, which put up another putrid effort. Injuries are a big factor, but the Texans defense under Wade Phillips has been very good. This type of performance over the last month has to leave many Texans players and their fans scratch their heads. Patriots said last tonight that perhaps the Texans aren't the best team in the AFC though a rematch would likely come in Housto, but based on how the Texans have played recently, that certainly is not a given.
Heisman Trophy thoughts
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy Saturday night, becoming the first freshman ever to win the award. He received 474 first place votes and beat Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o by a little over 300 points. I'm a little surprised how close it was. I guess I deem 300 points close. I thought Te'o should have won the award, but I have no issues with Manziel, especially with all of the numbers he put up. When you put up 4,600 total yards in the SEC, the best conference in football, you deserve to win. Don't know when a defensive player will win the award. Te'o certainly was deserving of it this year just as Ndamukong Suh deserved the award when he was up for it. But Manziel, aka Johnny Football won the award and he had a mangificent season. Congrats to Manziel. Great part is that college football fans get to watch him for another couple of years. Wonder what he'll do for an encore.
MLB pitching moves
Sunday night, the Kansas City Royals bolstered their roster significantly, trading away their top prospect, one of the best in the minors Wil Myers and three other prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis. The Royals have put together a pretty good farm system and may be jeopardizing their future a bit by making this trade, but considering their getting one of the better pitchers in the game and someone who is the top of the rotatoin guy, the Royals have sent a message. That message is "win now!" They traded for Ervin Santana earlier in the offseason and now have put together a pretty tough rotation. They have decent hitting so this is a team that definitely has a shot to win the AL Central. It's a weak division. Maybe they can get a wild card spot if they don't win the central. One thing is certain. The Royals have some expectations this year, something they haven't had in a really long time. Can they handle that pressure?
Also, former Royals ace Zach Greinke signed a six-year deal worth $147 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a record for a right hander. Considering he's had issues handling the spotlight, it's interesting that he would sign with the Dodgers. Maybe Greinke has gotten over that anxiety. He's a very good pitcher and the Dodgers are putting together a very good ball club, though they appear to be handing out huge deals left and right. If they want to hand out another one, I'm available. And I'll just ask for $50 million, maybe even $40 million.
NFL week 14 power rankings
1. Denver Broncos 10-3
Peyton Manning continues his MVP type season and the Broncos continue to be perhaps the hottest team in the NFL and the team with the most momentum entering the playoffs.
2. New England Patriots 10-3
Tom Brady made a statement making his MVP case. The Patriots also are making their case for best team in the NFL.
3. Houston Texans 11-2
Bad loss for the Texans. Now the questions will flood in about whether or not this team is actually Super Bowl material or even the best team in the AFC. Still think they are.
4. Atlanta Falcons 11-2
The Falcons inability to run and their inability to start fast is exactly why a lot of people don't believe in this team. They need to start proving the doubters wrong.
5. San Francisco 49ers 9-3-1
The 49ers may have won, but I still have doubts that Colin Kaepernick can effectively lead this team to the Super Bowl.
6. Green Bay Packers 9-4
The Packers have finally found a running game and they are getting healthy making them one of if not thee most dangerous team in the NFC.
7. New York Giants 8-5
Big beatdown by the Giants against the Saints. Can they do that the final three weeks? With this team, we think so, but at the same time, we just don't know.
8. Baltimore Ravens 9-4
Firing Cam Cameron will make Ravens fans happy only if that means Ray Rice gets the ball more.
9. Indianapolis Colts 9-4
Andrew Luck wasn't at his best, but the Colts know how to win as a team and that makes them dangerous come the playoffs.
10. Seattle Seahawks 8-5
The Seahawks defensive performance really helped fantasy owners (like myself) or killed fantasy owners.
11. Washington Redskins 7-6
How is RGIII not injured more seriously? Fate may be playing a hand in all of this and that means the Redskins are destined to do great things.
12. Chicago Bears 8-5
Bears defense doesn't look the same without Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler's poor play as of late could mean the Bears miss the playoffs if they don't fix things soon.
13. Cincinnati Bengals 7-6
Bad loss for the Bengals who had a golden opportunity to take control of the final AFC wild card spot. A short week lies ahead with a game at Philly with a suddenly hot QB.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6
Embarrassing loss for the Steelers. You simply can't do that. Fortunately, a Bengals loss has kept them in the playoffs...for now.
15. Dallas Cowboys 7-6
Big emotional win for the Cowboys following the events of the weekend. Losing Dez Bryant though could send their playoff hopes crashing.
16. Minnesota Vikings 7-6
Christian Ponder is God awful, Percy Harvin is on IR and yet somehow Adrian Peterson continues to gaini yards and is closing in on 2,000.
17. St. Louis Rams 6-6-1
Rams may not have a superb offense, but my gosh is their defense good. They're relevant and have an outside shot at the playoffs.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-7
If you want to make the playoffs, you can't give up two fourth quarter touchdown drives at home like the Bucs did Sunday against the Eagles.
19. Cleveland Browns 5-8
The Browns trio continue to make it harder for new boss Jimmy Haslem to find a reason to fire the coaching staff.
20. Carolina Panthers 4-9
Cam Newton provided yet another glimpse of his superb talent and why the Panthers are a better team than their record says they are and that they will be good next year.
21. New York Jets 6-7
Somehow, someway the Jets are one game back of the final playoff spot in the AFC. No one believes in this team though.
22. Miami Dolphins 5-8
If the Dolphins had any weapons on offense, they'd have a chance at the playoffs. Not this year though.
23. Buffalo Bills 5-8
Defense played much better, but the lack of a running game cost the Bills and now they've lost Fred Jackson for the year. So much expectations, so many failed hopes.
24. Detroit Lions 4-9
Lions had a chance to end their skid at Lambeau, but felt it best to save beating Green Bay in Green Bay as a goal for next year since this year is pretty much shot.
25. New Orleans Saints 5-8
Drew Brees is struggling by his standards and with a bad defense like the Saints have, Brees can ill-afford to struggle. Major reason why the Saints are where they are.
26. San Diego Chargers 5-8
Norv Turner may be on his way out the door, but that was some impressive whooping the Chargers gave the playoff hungry Steelers.
27. Philadelphia Eagls 4-9
Well, if Andy Reid is gone at the end of the year, at least the Eagles have the quarterback of the future in Nick Foles.
28. Tennessee Titans 4-9
Titans had a chance against the Colts, but too many self-inflicting mistakes did them in. Kind of like their whole season has gone.
29. Oakland Raiders 3-10
Could playing Terrelle Pryor mean the end of the Carson Palmer era in Oakland. Maybe, but it's not like Palmer has made the Raiders any good.
30. Arizona Cardinals 4-9
A 58-0 beating, zero quarterback production, nine straight losses equals long year in the desert.
31. Kansas City Chiefs 2-11
At least Jamaal Charles is a bright spot for the Chiefs. Too bad they're constantly losing so they can get him the ball more.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-11
So that grip Chad Henne had on the starting quarterback spot is awfully loose right now.
Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to top sports stories from Tuesday