Cody Schoeler’s Week 15 NFL West Power Rankings
Posted on December 14, 2022
It’s the holiday season. Time to roast chestnuts by the open fire, dash through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, and deck the halls with boughs of holly.
And once you get all those very important things out of the way, it’s time to go Christmas shopping (unless you’re very on top of things and have already checked that off your list).
I’m going to do a little Christmas shopping of my own but not for my family (I’ll get to that later), for the eight teams in the west divisions.
Now, normally you ask someone to give you a list before you shop for them, but I’m not going to do that. The teams would all just ask for the same thing anyway, a Super Bowl ring, and only one team gets that each year and it’s out of my control.
So I’m going the surprise route for my gift-giving. I’m not going to give each team what they want, I’m going to give them what they need.
And I don’t know how you decide the gift-opening order but in my family, we go by where you rank in the west power rankings, so that’s how we’re going to present the presents here.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: Buckets of Ketchup
What do you get the person, or NFL team, that has it all? How about whatever it is that would make their best player happy?
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been playing at an insane level this season. He has also not been shy about sharing his love for a certain tomato-based condiment.
That’s why I’m giving the Chiefs buckets of ketchup, so they can then turn around and regift it to Mahomes for everything he has done for them this season.
Even on his off days, like he had on Sunday in the 34-28 win over the Broncos, Mahomes is still good enough to get the job done.
Throwing three interceptions won’t stop him from making underhand tosses that lead to 50-yard touchdowns and scrambling around the pocket like Pac-Man before throwing for another score.
The Chiefs owe a ton of credit, and ketchup, to Mahomes for leading the team this year, and what better way to do that than with this gift?
2. San Francisco 49ers (9-4-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: Bubble Wrap
Sometimes it’s nice to present a team with a gift that every member can use. Hence, bubble wrap for the 49ers.
They can first use it to cover wide receiver Deebo Samuel from head-to-toe after he got injured in the 35-7 win over the Buccaneers over the weekend.
But that will be far from the extent that the 49ers can use this gift.
They should also use it on tight end Georgie Kittle and left tackle Trent Williams, who have battled injuries this year, running back Christian McCaffrey, just to be safe, and quarterback Brock Purdy, so whatever curse that got Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before him doesn’t strike.
The only thing standing between the 49ers and a trip to the Super Bowl is injuries, and maybe the Philadelphia Eagles because they’re pretty good.
The bubble wrap will help deal with one of those issues, I’m not really sure if it will help them against the Eagles.
Plus, it’s just really fun to pop, which is a great way to stay entertained when you’re blowing out a team like the Buccaneers.
3. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: Wool Socks
You know I had to go with the all-time classic gift at some point. Everybody loves getting socks for Christmas, they’re the best.
The Chargers are also going to need these wool socks if they want to make a playoff run, which should be their goal.
Buffalo, Kansas City, Baltimore, Cincinnati. What do all those places have in common, other than having football teams better than the Chargers? They get cold in the winter.
If the Chargers do make their way into the playoffs, something that looks more likely after the 23-17 win over the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, they’re going to have to play in some cold playoff games.
They don’t have much of a chance to win the division at this point, meaning they’ll need to make the playoffs as a wild-card team, which means they’ll have to play their postseason games on the road.
So they may end up having to go through more snow than the Iditarod to get to the Super Bowl.
I thought about getting the Chargers something to help on the field like a nice hand warmer for quarterback Justin Herbert or some heaters for the sideline but those were a little out of my budget.
So, wool socks it is, because nobody likes cold feet.
4. Seattle Seahawks (7-6-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: Several copies of Seattle tourist guides
There has been a youth movement in Seattle.
The Seahawks have several rookies contributing such as running back Kenneth Walker, cornerbacks Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant, and tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas.
But those players have jumped so quickly into the starting lineup that they haven’t had any time to explore the city. They haven’t seen the Space Needle or Pike Place Market.
So what better thing to get a team with so many young, inexperienced players than a full set of tourist guides?
Maybe going out into the city and visiting the Fremont Troll will help take the sting off a tough 30-24 loss to the Panthers that the team suffered over the weekend.
Plus, nothing is better than a gift that you can get multiple uses out of.
And with the chance to add even more young talent in the 2023 draft, including Denver’s first-round pick that projects to be very early, those tourist guides are going to be put to good use in Seattle.
5. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: A tub of Icy Hot
It’s hard to get a gift for a team made up of 53 players and plenty more on the coaching staff. So, in that case, it’s easier to get a gift for just a few of the players.
That’s why I’m getting the Raiders a tub of Icy Hot (which I’m not sure even comes in a tub but I can get it specially made for them).
Running back Josh Jacobs, wide receiver Davante Adams, and defensive end Maxx Crosby have been carrying the team this season. I’m guessing that has caused their back and shoulders to be a little sore.
Hopefully, the Icy Hot helps with that.
That soreness may have been a reason for the Raiders’ 17-16 loss on Thursday Night Football at the hands of the Rams.
And if the Raiders want to make the playoffs, which there is still an outside chance of happening, then they’re going to need those three players to be healthy.
6. Arizona Cardinals (4-9-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: A PlayStation 5
There was a lot of discussion over the offseason about the video games habit of quarterback Kyler Murray. That was just one of the factors that led to a chaotic summer, which led straight into an even more chaotic season.
Maybe the Cardinals took the wrong approach to Murray’s affinity for Call of Duty. Instead of chastising him for it and contractually forcing him to watch film, maybe head coach Kliff Kingsbury should hop on the sticks with his star quarterback.
That’s why I’m giving the Cardinals a PlayStation 5, to improve the chemistry in the organization.
What else are they going to do for the rest of the year? Play football? They certainly didn’t do that during Monday’s 27-13 loss to the Patriots.
Unfortunately, in that loss, Murray suffered what appears to be a season-ending injury as well.
That’s obviously terrible news for him and the organization, but it could give Kingsbury the opportunity to game with him, which will benefit the whole team next season.
7. Los Angeles Rams (4-9-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: A Blu-Ray DVD of NFL Super Bowl LVI Champions: Los Angeles Rams
Nostalgia is a powerful drug. And when a team is as dead as the Rams appear to be, sometimes nostalgia is the only thing powerful enough to save them.
This gift is all about remembering the good old days. And by that, I mean less than a year ago when the Rams won the Super Bowl.
I’m sure watching this DVD, on Blu-Ray of course, would cheer the players up a little bit. I’m sure Thursday’s 17-16 win over the Raiders did that too, but they may not be able to rely on too many more of those wins coming around.
And with tons of star players such as defensive tackle Aaron Donald, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and quarterback Matthew Stafford injured, they have plenty of time to pop this gift into the DVD player (do people even have those anymore) and remind themselves of what this team is capable of.
And when the DVD finally gets passed around to head coach Sean McVay, hopefully it will help convince him to stick with the team and not go chase announcer money from Amazon, which is coincidentally where you can buy the DVD.
8. Denver Broncos (3-10-0)
What they’re getting for Christmas: An Ancient Lamp
You can’t give a genie as a gift. I checked all the laws and regulations and apparently, that is a no-go.
But, nothing is stopping you from gifting a team an ancient lamp with the hopes of there being a genie inside it.
And at this point, three magical wishes are the only thing saving this Broncos team, even though they did look good in Sunday’s 34-28 loss to the Chiefs.
Their first wish is obvious: Turn quarterback Russell Wilson back into the version of him they thought they were getting when they traded for him.
The Broncos could use the second wish on replacing head coach Nathaniel Hackett with a competent coach and the third wish on cloning cornerback Patrick Surtain so that they could field the best secondary in the league.
And if the lamp pulls a Wilson and doesn’t end up being what the Broncos hoped it would be, then at least it can light up a corner of a room or something.
—More from Cody Schoeler—
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