Cat Tales The Student News Site of Mount Si High School Thu, 17 Dec 2020 21:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dec. 18–Christian Paige diversity workshops Thu, 17 Dec 2020 21:00:40 +0000 Workshops take place all day. Register at

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Dec. 18–Wildcat Film Festival Thu, 17 Dec 2020 20:59:03 +0000 Livestream starts at 4 p.m. at

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Yearbook senior tribute ads due Jan. 22 Sat, 12 Dec 2020 01:28:56 +0000 Senior tribute ads for the 2021 edition of Tenas Coma, Mount Si’s student-produced yearbook, are now on sale.  Ad submissions are due Jan. 22, 2021.

Because of the pandemic, submission of the ads is slightly different than in years past, with an all-online format. Payments can be made at the district’s online payment portal, and all ad materials will be submitted via email.  The ad order form can be viewed here

For any questions, or to submit ad materials, contact adviser Susan Holihan at

]]> 0 Fri, 11 Dec 2020 19:42:16 +0000 In the case of recent events, it’s easy to see that a lot of people have more free time on their hands than usual. As schools and jobs were shut down in the face of the pandemic, many began to binge shows excessively to fill in the time that quarantine brought up. But after eight months of lock down, it’s beginning to get a little harder to find new content to watch. But no worries, here’s a brief list of suggestions that you can marathon to pass the time.

It might be an obvious suggestion, but with the second season of “The Mandalorian” on the horizon that gives anyone the perfect excuse to rewatch as much Star Wars content as possible! The prequels, Sequels, the animated Disney show, even re-watching the first Mandalorian season? It’s a wonderful way to pass the time if you like to stay focused on one series at a time and an even larger bonus if you’re a big Star Wars fan. Continuing on the theme of Sci-fi, another great series to binge-watch is Star Trek. With about 12 movies and nine television shows you are BOUND to be passing the time at an exponential rate.

How about if you’re looking for another reason to cry? Recommendations include “The Little Prince” (2015) and “Coco”–two innocently-but-beautifully animated movies with heart-wrenching stories. Other movies notoriously known for “cutting the onions” are “The Bridge to Terabithia,” a movie about two kids and their imaginary adventures which takes a depressing turn, or “The Boy in Striped Pajamas,” a movie about a tragic friendship during the Holocaust, and lastly “The Book Thief,” also set during the Holocaust about a girl with a love of reading and the Jewish refugee they hide in their basement. Another obscure movie sure to make you bawl your eyes out includes “This Corner of the World” which is a tale of WWII from the point of view of a Japanese civilian’s eyes–with a stunning but humble artistic style and a tragic series of events, it’s definitely well worth the watch and the tears.

Maybe instead of feeling sad, you’re feeling up to childhood nostalgia! A great movie series to binge include all the Barbie movies you can get your hands on, with quite a few of them on streaming sites like Hulu. There’s a TON of Barbie movies, definitely enough to last you another six months, all while basking in the nostalgia of 2000’s animation. A personal favorite and classic is “Princess and the Pauper,” with janky animation and a slamming soundtrack. And, if you don’t favor Barbie, other great nostalgic childhood movies to watch are the original hand-animated Disney movies, almost all accessible on either Hulu, Disney+ or Netflix. Classics like “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” “Treasure Planet,” “Peter Pan” and more are definitely worth a rewatch during this time!

If you still want a childlike animation but favor more serious topics or darker undertones, other great movies include those written by Studio Ghibli. Their movies are filled with a whimsical tone and the animation style is gorgeous and detail-oriented. If you don’t know what Studio Ghibli is, they’ve animated movies such as “Ponyo” or “The Secret Life of Arrietty” but have a variety of others in store. A huge recommendation to watch “Spirited Away,” which has a sinister undertone the whole movie, as the protagonist, Chihiro, stumbles her way through the Spirit World in search of her parents.

Other shows you might want to indulge in include “She-Ra” (2018) which is an LGBTQ+ friendly animation and is a fun, whimsical watch! It’s the perfect show to binge if you’ve got younger siblings, as the show’s audience consists of teens and children alike. And If you haven’t already watched it, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is a great watch, though seeing it’s astounding renewal over the course of the pandemic, it’s bold to suggest you haven’t already watched it. Tired of the animation? Other good shows include “Umbrella Academy,” which recently came out with its second season. It’s a show about a quirky dysfunctional family with superpowers. Or how about “The Good Place,” which is a comedy of what happens in the afterlife.

But that’s not all! Students have recommended their go-to movies and shows as well. Michael Albert, the current ASB vice president recommended watching “Spider-Man 3.”

“It’s a cinematic masterpiece with subtle clues and references,” Albert said. “When I watch that movie, I get goosebumps thinking about what could be if Sam Raimi had been given a second fair chance.”

Meanwhile, Aanya Vashisht recommended the Harry Potter movies, specifically “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “The Half-Blood Prince.”

“You get to experience the adolescence with the characters,” Vashisht said. “Half-Blood Prince has a beautiful color palette and it also gets into darker themes, like you can definitely tell that something is wrong.”

Lastly, Kallyn Hibbetts pulled an obscure gem from the dark as her comfort movie. “Doogal, a movie featuring a dog on a mission to save its owner.

“Doogal is the Beyonce of cinema,”Hibbetts said.

Other miscellaneous suggestions include “The Princess Bride” or “Labyrinth” (specifically starring David Bowie).

Regardless, whether or not you decide to binge the movies on the list, is up to you! The joy of streaming services, of TV and of the internet, is that you are free to binge whatever you’d like. So let’s hunker down and binge our way through the rest of the pandemic.

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PSAT will be offered in-person in January Mon, 07 Dec 2020 17:29:20 +0000 After hosting an in-person SAT event for certain students this fall, Mount Si High School will now offer the PSAT/NMSQT to students on Jan. 26.

“Due to COVID and social distancing requirements, we do not have the capacity to test all students on site,” associate principal Vernie Newell said.

Unlike in past years, this PSAT will only be offered to students in the junior class.

“[This will be] for juniors only as this is the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test),” Newell said.

Juniors who take this assessment will be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship program if they score in the top 5 percent nationally, according to the Mount Si website.

To register, juniors who want to take the PSAT will have to fill out this form by Dec. 16. No late submissions will be accepted.

However, as with many other events this year, there remains some uncertainty about if this plan will come to fruition, in part due to the evolving situation regarding COVID-19.

“The plan is to hold the PSAT/NMSQT, however there may be outside factors that cause the school to cancel,” Newell said. “Let’s hope not.”

Students can find more information at this webpage, and can direct any questions to their counselor.


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Tech help is available for students Thu, 03 Dec 2020 00:49:02 +0000 When tech problems arise during distance learning, it can be incredibly frustrating.

The school district’s website, contains  a wide range of materials provided on the link at the top center of the titled “Distance learning 2.0 information.”

Within that page, there are links to tips on the following topics: troubleshooting, account passwords, CassLink, Schoology and information about parental resources.

Clicking on this link will give you some links to tutorials for Schoology as well as Zoom expectations. It will then introduce links leading to how to use the apps Kami, Flipgrid, Padlet, and Edpuzzle.

If a device is not working and requires assistance not provided in the previous listed categories, the district has set up an email,,  as well as a phone number, 425-831-0279, to contact for assistance.

By Brendon Windham

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Hold off on the holiday celebrations to keep them special Wed, 02 Dec 2020 23:39:29 +0000 For many Americans, the holiday season is an extremely important part of the year and is extremely cherished when it rolls around every year. However, it is to my belief that the holidays should be celebrated strictly after Thanksgiving day.

Many people, not all however, like to start celebrating Christmas the day after Halloween ends. But where’s the fun in that?!

he leaves are still on the trees, the weather is still relatively warm, and it probably hasn’t even frosted over in the morning yet! How can you be in the Christmas spirit when you’re stepping on soggy leaves as you walk throughout the neighborhood, instead of the satisfying crunchiness of frost-covered leaves or the crunch of snow under your feet?

Besides, Halloween just ended, how about we take a break and sit down for a while.

Having a gap between holidays allows people to adjust for the Christmas spirit, instead of drastically adjusting their Halloween spirit to their Christmas spirit the day after. And it’s so much satisfying for Christmas to start after you’ve waited for around a month!

The excitement just keeps building up until finally you can release your Christmas joy in a sudden burst of Christmas music and tree ornaments. Also, if Christmas is confined to a period after Thanksgiving, doesn’t that make it more cherishable?

You can look forward to that little sliver of joy and jolly all year and finally dedicate all of your energy to one short month of Christmas, instead of becoming bored and drained of your Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving even rolls around.

Anyway, I rest my case. Christmas, and other holiday celebrations, should be confined to after Thanksgiving so you can build up your holiday joy and finally cherish it for the rest of the holiday season!

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Quick and easy lunch ideas will fill your belly and fuel your brain Wed, 02 Dec 2020 23:29:24 +0000 Lunch is something that many students both equally hate and love regarding online school. It’s so easy to grab a granola bar or maybe a banana from the kitchen before a class but it’s also not as fun not eating lunch with friends in person. It’s also really easy to have a really fast lunch or no lunch at all before joining an online game during those hour-long lunches or maybe to catching up on some homework.

However, eating lunch during the day is extremely important, especially during online school.

According to an article at, “If you go too long without eating you begin to get very hungry and all you can think about is food and your next meal. This leads to deterioration in your performance at work.” Without lunch to keep students energized throughout the day, it becomes much easier to zone out and lose focus in class.

So in order to help students stay motivated throughout the day, here are five easy and healthy lunch ideas you can make at home. Either way, there are so many fun and easy lunch recipes to try and having lunch at home is a great opportunity to try them. Don’t forget to add a fruit or veggie to your meal, too!

Cheese Quesadillas

This recipe is a very popular one and is so easy to change and add things to. There are several varieties of tortillas to use, corn and flour tortillas being the most common. From there you can choose the kind of cheese. Mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, etc there are many out there. Typically, quesadilla cheese is grated, so grate that before or while heating the tortilla. (And if you have dietary restrictions, like lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, it’s very easy to choose other options to fit these needs.)

To actually make the quesadillas, a cast-iron skillet to heat up the tortillas is usually quickest but there are so many different ways. From there, add your cheese to your heated tortilla and wait for it to melt. This is also a great time to add extras, like maybe grilled chicken, beans, or taco meat. This way you can add extra nutrients like protein.

Then add the second tortilla, and finish cooking until the cheese is melted. Then add more of your favorites, like maybe some sour cream, salsa, guacamole. This recipe is so quick and easy and fun to add more extras to, so you could make it different every time.


  1. Get your preferred ingredients (minimum tortillas and cheese)
  2. Cook 2 tortillas until golden brown on a cast iron skillet or other heater
  3. Add about 1 cup to 1 ½ cups of grated cheese to one tortilla and other optional ingredients and cook
  4. Add second tortilla and cook until cheese is melted
  5. Add extras or toppings


5 Minute Fried Rice

Fried rice is a quick and delicious way to add lots of things from your kitchen into a really simple meal! Making it sounds hard, but it’s super easy to make and the only things you really need are heat, rice, and oil. To cook this in, a skillet or wok is best to get a good mix on your rice and veggies

Any type of oil works, but sesame or olive oil are often the most recommended. And for rice, white rice is most common but if you’re looking for something healthier, whole grain rice is a great option. Finally, add your soy sauce for that tangy flavor. Chop up some carrots, celery, peppers, or broccoli for extra vegetables. Scramble some eggs, add chicken or mu shu pork for some proteins as well or tofu for a vegan option. It’s really easy to change up this recipe to fit your dietary needs or whatever you happen to be craving.

Ingredients (this makes 2 servings, so feel free to make it with half of the ingredients)

1 ½  tbsp. Sesame or canola oil, divided

1.5 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

Kosher salt

2 cups cooked rice

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions sliced and separated

3/4 cup frozen carrots or diced fresh

3/4 cup frozen peas

2 eggs scrambled, cooked and chopped

1 cup chopped cooked chicken, pork or shrimp (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a wok or nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in garlic, ginger and the white portion of the green onions. Cook until fragrant.
  3.  Add carrots & peas, and other preferred veggies cook until heated and softened.
  4. Add rice (and protein if using) and continue to cook until the rice is lightly crisped and brown. Don’t stir too much, you do want to get a little bit of caramelization.
  5. Add in cooked egg, soy sauce & sesame oil. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired

Pasta Salad

This recipe is a great way to get lots of veggies and proteins into your diet. This can be similar to traditional salad, typically used with lettuce, but with pasta. Depending on how much you want to make determines how much pasta you make. For one person, it’s typically recommended to have about 2-3 cups of pasta.

And the kind of pasta,so you really can’t go wrong. Bow-ties, noodles, macaroni, etc. are all great options.  From there, the rest is up to you. Veggies are a must, and carrots, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas, peas, tomatoes, and more are great ideas. And of course protein, with grilled chicken, sausage, or even bacon. Finish off with some grated cheese of your choice and a preferred dressing and you have an easy pasta salad.

Ingredients (feel free to add or take away any of these to make it your own)

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked pasta

1 (16 ounce) bottle of any salad dressing

2 cucumbers, chopped

6 small tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the Italian dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning, and gently mix into the salad.
  5. Cover, and refrigerate until serving.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

This recipe is a classic fall favorite, and one that’s not only easy but perfect for those colder winter days. It may seem complicated, but it’s simplicity is what gives it the appeal.

For the grilled cheese, the options are endless. You can vary the kind of bread, from wheat bread to white, to italian, maybe even make it on a bagel. Then just choose your cheese. Cheddar is typically used, but mozzarella or colby jack are also delicious options.


2 slices of bread (any kind)

1 tablespoon of mayonnaise

2 ounces of cheddar cheese or American cheese

1 can of tomato soup


  1. Preheat a small skillet over low heat.
  2. Spread mayonnaise over one side of each piece of bread and place mayonnaise side down in the skillet.
  3. Top with cheddar cheese slices, black pepper to taste and remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side out.
  4. Grill until golden, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Flip and grill the other side until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, open a 14.5 ounce can of tomato soup.
  7. Pour into a pan.  Turn stove on medium heat.
  8. Stir occasionally until heated to a desired temperature.

Pizza Bagels

Pizza Bagels are a really easy lunch idea that requires little to no effort and you can vary it up as you like. First, choose the bagel you most prefer. If you’re looking for a more filling lunch, try doing a full size bagel or if you just want a small snack, mini bagels are great for that.

Next, you’ll want to add your pizza sauce. You can use marinara sauce or if you have another preferred kind, definitely use that or even forget sauce altogether and start straight on cheese. Next, similar to the cheese quesadilla recipe, choose the cheese you like. Mozzarella, cheddar, or any dairy-free cheeses are great for this recipe. Make sure it’s grated as well, so it goes on evenly. Finally, toppings. This is a great way to add to your bagel pizza, with maybe some olives, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, or pineapple.

Any way you make it, pizza bagels are great for lunch or a snack, super easy, and always a favorite, so it’s something you can make for your siblings or friends too.


2 bagels, sliced in half

¼ cup pizza sauce

¾ cup shredded cheese (any kind)

Sliced pepperoni, chopped bell pepper, sliced mushrooms or cooked sausage, if desired for toppings.


  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon pizza sauce over each bagel half.
  3. Sprinkle each with cheese and desired topping.
  4. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.


*Bonus* Mixed Berry and Yogurt Parfait


1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

⅓ cup fresh or frozen mixed berries

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons granola

Fill a small bowl with yogurt.  Top with berries and granola. Drizzle with maple syrup.  Enjoy!


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Cat Tales’ NFL Power Rankings Tue, 01 Dec 2020 05:51:09 +0000 This season for professional football has been, well, different to say the least.

Different in the fact that teams who were riding high expectations have crashed.

Different in the fact that teams who were expected to be in the basement have risen to the top.

Different in the fact that COVID stoppages have shifted everyone’s schedule and brought up the option of an 18th week to the regular season.

Different in the fact that the number of injuries is spiking due to a lack of training camps this August.

So, the only thing we can do in this strange, new, unexpected situation is try to spread some semblance of normalcy. With that said, let’s get some power rankings out there!

1.  Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)

Nobody can say Pittsburgh hasn’t been the best team in football so far. The Steelers have been able to hold so many teams on defense (338 yards per game, 17.8 points per game), while beating up on winning teams like Cleveland and Tennessee. Big Ben is coming back with a vengeance, sitting at 1628 yards and 15 touchdowns this far into the season. TJ Watt is looking like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and Chase Claypool is a breakout star with over 300 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns. The Steelers should be the AFC favorite to go to the Super Bowl this year.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)

The reigning champs have been surprisingly quiet, and people don’t seem to be ready to talk about them making a second straight appearance. The Chiefs’ offense is of course the main focal point, particularly Patrick Mahomes’ 2300 yards through the air and 21 touchdown passes and rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 572 yard season thus far has been impressive to say the least. The Chiefs have also been averaging 31.6 points per game on offense, allowing them to be the most electrifying teams in football. The Kansas City offense is a lethal weapon.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)

Tampa Tom looks even better than he did last year in New England. The Bucs have a terrifying offense, led by Tom Brady with deep threat WR’s Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, a great possession tight end who is finally coming back to form in Rob Gronkowski, and a future threat in new signee Antonio Brown. With Brady sitting at 20 touchdowns this early into the season, it’s no wonder that the Bucs have stormed through the competition, defusing teams like Green Bay, Vegas, and Carolina. Tampa looks to be on a run to an NFC crown.

4. Seattle Seahawks (6-1)

Of course, Seattle always stands at the top of the NFC, despite the lack of talent, despite the inexperience, despite everything going against them. The Seahawks are good, a phenomenal offensive team who almost never fails to break 30 points, but their absolutely abysmal defensive play keeps even the worst of teams alive. The only two possession wins that the Seahawks have are over a Falcons team that was winless under former coach Dan Quinn and a 49ers team that has over 20 players on their injury report. However, credit where credit is due, Russell Wilson had a great bounce back against the 49ers, putting up 261 yards in the air and four touchdowns after last week’s three-interception performance. The fact that the Seahawks have beaten only one team who currently has a winning record (Miami, 4-3) and even that was incredibly close does not bear well for the rough future playoff run the Hawks will have to make.

5. New Orleans Saints (5-2)

The Saints were the NFC favorite going into the season, per usual, but once again fell a little farther down the totem pole to sit in the shadow of better teams in the conference. However, you can never count the Saints out. League leader in total scrimmage yards Alvin Kamara has been as consistent as ever, and Drew Brees is working with what he has to turn this offense into a top unit. He’s lost a little bit of power on his arm, and without two of their top receivers they’ve definitely struggled against stronger opponents (losing to Green Bay, overtime win against Chicago). The Saints defense also allows too many points to bad teams (24 to Carolina, 29 to Detroit, 27 to the Chargers, 34 to the Raiders), something that they will need to clean up with their rough upcoming schedule.

6. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

The Bills are a bit of an enigma. They’re a surprise team who was expected to finish 9-7 and are on pace to finish 12-4, but they barely beat teams like the Jets and Patriots. Josh Allen looks like an MVP candidate, but then he can get benched against the Tennessee Titans while being stomped by 30 points, or throw for 150 yards and an interception against New England. They seem to play to the level of their opponents, unless their opponent is a top 10 team, in which case they can’t hold a candle to the tougher teams in the league.

7. Tennessee Titans (5-2)

The Titans looked like a top three team early on. The loss to the Steelers didn’t concern me, as Pittsburgh had been dominating all year. The loss to the Bengals, however, does concern me. A loss to the Bengals, looking like that, is not the way to make yourself a contender. They are still the best team in the division. They are still probably a contender for the AFC title. However, if they don’t figure out their defense fast, which is allowing 23 points per game and over 400 yards per game, there are some serious flags to be raised for Tennessee.

8. Green Bay Packers (5-2)

The Packers’ most glaring flaw was exposed on Sunday against the Vikings. They may be the Cheeseheads, but having Swiss cheese for a defense isn’t exactly the way to play football. Dalvin Cook exploited this defense for over 150 yards and three touchdowns, allowing a one win team to beat the NFC leaders going into the day. The most baffling thing is still how this team in the draft traded up for a QB who won’t play for a few years when several phenomenal defensive players were sitting on the draft board. The Packers had it all figured out, but the Vikings, and earlier this season the Bucs, exposed the clear weaknesses that all NFC teams seem to share.

9. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens are a bit of a strange team. They should have been the best team in the AFC. However, I think Lamar Jackson was given too much credit last season. The reigning MVP is looking mediocre to say the least, sitting at 1343 yards and 12 TDs through the air with 411 yards and 2 TDs on the ground. His QBR is 63.8 and he has broken 200 passing yards only three times this season. The Ravens have to play off their defense, which is shutting teams like Washington, Cincinnati, Houston, and Cleveland down. The run game in Baltimore has been the big part, with four players totaling 1200 rushing yards this year. But, with the Steelers riding this momentum, don’t look to the Ravens to be your AFC champion this season.

10. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)

The Cardinals are a threat. They finally found their man in Kyler Murray, their top receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, and their lead back with Kenyan Drake. They can beat teams that nobody thought they could, like the 49ers and Seahawks. However, there is one big glaring flaw in the desert, and that’s how this team plays how their QB plays. In games that Kyler Murray fails to break 75.0 for his QBR, the team is 1-2, and the only win coming in overtime with the help of three INTs thrown by Russell Wilson. If Kyler is consistent, and doesn’t give the opponent opportunities, then they can beat anyone. But, if he plays poorly, then just like with the Lions and Panthers, the Cardinals can lose to anybody.

11. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

Indy was the early favorite to win the AFC South early on, and for good reason. The team has all the talent they need in theory, but this season has raised some questions for good reasons. The Colts lost to the Jaguars week 1 and the Browns week 5. Quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown for 1860 yards, 10 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Jonathan Taylor is the only real running back on the team with only 389 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Colts are 1-1 against teams with a record better than 0.500 as well, the only win coming against Chicago 19-11. The Colts defense has held well, sitting at 310 yards per game and 16.8 points per game, however that could be due to the weaker opponents. Indianapolis is a very strange team to watch for the rest of the year.

12. Cleveland Browns (5-3)

The Browns seem to finally have their playoff push ready. However, the issue arises where it always has. Quarterback Baker Mayfield doesn’t seem ready to make the jump yet. Mayfield has 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions this year, and a 61.4% completion percentage. The young gunslinger isn’t quite ready to win a title yet, as we saw in the Browns 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and their 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns as a whole look good enough to contend for a playoff spot, but I’m not sure about an AFC title this early on.

13. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)

The Raiders surprised a lot of people. They kind of had a quiet team with no big stars to light it up, but Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs have worked their way to a 4-3 record over the toughest first seven games of the season. Carr has cleaned up his turnover problem, only having thrown two interceptions the whole season. With wins against Cleveland, Kansas City, and New Orleans but losses to Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and New England, the Raiders have a bit of ground to make up. However, with one of the easiest schedules the rest of the way (the only winning teams are a rematch with KC in Vegas and home games with the Dolphins and Colts), the Raiders should be able to work their way to the playoffs.

14. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

For a split second, the Rams had everyone fooled into thinking that they were the best team in the NFC West. They were 5-2 and coming off a dominant win over an NFC North-leading Bears team. Then, Miami came out and smacked them 28-17. Goff threw two picks in that loss and they were absolutely manhandled by the Dolphins defense. Turnover after turnover killed the Rams and exposed their glaring flaws, particularly on offense. If they can’t keep control of the ball, it’s lights out for LA. Their losses to the 49ers and Bills exhibit that mentality, too. The Rams become more suspect when you realize that four of their wins come against a NFC East division with a combined record of 8-22-1. This team doesn’t have it yet, but they could figure out a deep playoff run if they work on their weak areas.

15. Chicago Bears (5-3)

The Bears are another suspect team, particularly how they got here. Nobody expected Chicago to switch quarterbacks so early or jump out to this record by any means. Nobody expected them to take a big win against Tampa on national television. Nobody expected them to hold their own with the Saints and take them to overtime. But conversely, nobody expected a then 3-0 Bears team to lose to Indianapolis at home in the fashion they lost. They got styled on in their Monday Night Football bout with the Rams, and the Bears seem to be in a bit of a limbo. Who knows where this Bears team goes in the future, but they have a lot trending in their favor.

16. Miami Dolphins (4-3)

The Dolphins have surprised more than a few people. The fins started 1-2 with the only win coming over a bad Jacksonville team. Then they kept it incredibly close with the Seahawks, beat the 49ers, beat the Jets, and beat the Rams with their new QB Tua Tagovailoa. Miami has a real chance to sneak their way into that last wild card spot in the AFC, especially with the competition of Indianapolis and Las Vegas being the only things standing in the way, and if Tua gets better as the season goes on they may be able to steal some wins from other teams. The real quiet part of the Dolphins that nobody is talking about is how they have the best scoring defense in the league, with only 16.3 points per game allowed. Miami is on track for a really good season.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)

The Eagles look bad. But that doesn’t matter, as they have a division lead, with no real team standing in their way besides maybe Washington. However, the Eagles have a 3-win team so far. They’ve beaten an out-of-conference opponent, which only Dallas has done. They have a surefire answer at QB, which is more than the rest of the division. And they have a tie to give them an extra boost for tiebreakers. The Eagles also seem to be the most cohesive on offense, while their defense leaves a lot to be desired. They almost stole one against Baltimore when they lost off a missed two point conversion 30-28. The Eagles don’t look great, but they look just mediocre enough for them to squeak into the playoffs.

18. San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

San Fran got hit with the Super Bowl hangover in the worst way possible. Not only have they looked inconsistent at every turn, they also have the most injuries in the league in a year where their entire division seems to have it all together. The Niners are onto Nick Mullens for the third time this season for at least three weeks with Jimmy G going on Injured Reserve, while starting tight end George Kittle will end his season prematurely to injury, just like Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas. However, the 49ers season doesn’t seem to be fully over. They beat the Rams while beaten up, and Mullens brought back a higher QBR in the one quarter he played against Seattle than Russell Wilson had the entire game, and their run game got going, headed by Jerrick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. And with the overall question mark of the last NFC spot, the 49ers could move in to be a playoff team once more.

19. Carolina Panthers (3-5)

The Panthers are in a bit of a limbo-like state. They look impressive week in and week out, but they also happen to sit in a division with two playoff teams and a conference with four other teams making a wild card push. The Panthers also have a rough schedule the rest of the way, composing teams like Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, and New Orleans. Teddy Bridgewater has been mediocre at QB this season, only throwing nine touchdowns across eight games. Being down top player Christian McCaffery also hurts the Panthers offense, as Mike Davis can do good, but McCaffery can do even better. At the end of the day, the Panthers are a decent team with an impossible road ahead.

20. Detroit Lions (3-4)

The Lions seemed to be trending up, and their 41-21 loss to the Colts didn’t dash anyone’s hopes of it, as that was to be expected against a good team. They beat Arizona before, crushed Jacksonville, and got to see another Atlanta blunder. However, the biggest kicker for the Lions is Matthew Stafford’s placement on the COVID-19 Reserve list, costing the Lions one of their best players. Detroit would be higher if it weren’t for this development. The offense is nothing without Stafford, and the defense hasn’t been too stellar either, giving up 25.8 PPG. The Lions will struggle late as well, as they will have to play a rough schedule with teams like Minnesota, Carolina, Green Bay, Chicago, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay. Detroit might be close, but this year isn’t enough for them.

21. Denver Broncos (3-4)

Denver is an iffy team. They don’t look very good, but they brought it back against the Chargers, they beat the Patriots in a dominant fashion, and they got the easiest win in the NFL by playing the Jets. The Broncos have kept it close with two of the best teams in the AFC this year with Tennessee and Pittsburgh, and their defense has been consistent at least, giving up 22.9 points per game, but their offense has been lackluster to say the least with 21 points per game scored. The Broncos are a rough team to watch, especially when they face a tough opponent like Vegas, KC, or New Orleans. Drew Lock seems to have a bright future however, so Broncos fans have a bright future to look forward to.

22.Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)

The Bengals have kept it close every game except the loss to Baltimore. The Bengals almost pulled a fast one on Cleveland twice, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. The Bengals have their QB of the future in potential rookie of the year candidate Joe Burrow, and their offense has done a good job overall, scoring 24.3 points per game, and even pulling a crazy upset against the Titans. Cincinnati is a scary team when it comes to the future, and some clean ups on the defensive end of the ball can turn them into a contender.

23. Washington Football Team (2-5)

The Football Team came into this season in flames: expected to be the worst team in football, a dysfunctional front office, a last-second rebrand, and a division with two potential playoff teams. And now, with Kyle Allen of all quarterbacks, they have a chance to win the division. They are still an absolutely terrible team, and the record shows that much, but the thing is with Washington, they have a great defense, allowing 20.6 points per game and having a player who leads the league in interceptions in Kyle Fuller. Washington could pull up to be a surprise playoff team and win the NFC East.

24. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)

The Vikings should’ve been a better team then they were, and we’ve seen glimpses of this great team with the time they blew up the Packers, choked to the Seahawks, and almost caught the Titans and Falcons. Minnesota is such a strange team, especially with their formerly good quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing the second most interceptions in the league, and their best offensive player having to be Dalvin Cook sitting at 652 yards on the ground this year. The Vikings defense has also been uncharacteristically bad too, allowing 26 points per game and 421 yards per game. This team could go any way, and this offseason will be very telling of the direction the ownership and front office will take Minnesota.

25. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)

The Chargers are not great, but that’s expected with their bare-bones team. Rookie QB Justin Herbert is looking very good, and the Chargers have something to work with in a division with two other teams who are working to rebuild. If LAC can get it together soon, they could contend for a wild card. The Chargers have miraculously been outsourcing their opponents, 25 PPG to 23 PPG, and they have one of the best edge rushers in Joey Bosa on the team. Giving it a little more time, the Chargers might come back to their former glory.

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)

The Falcons suffer heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak. Matt Ryan has wasted his career in Atlanta, as his age has seen him close to the end of the line. And this season isn’t a good farewell tour if it is that, as he has seen a blown lead to Seattle, a last-second loss to Dallas, a last-second loss to Chicago, a last-second loss to Carolina, and the worst possible loss to experience against Detroit. The Falcons are a much better team than their record says, and I think that their new interim head coach will run them to about six wins this season before everything is said and done. However, with two games against New Orleans, two games against Tampa, and a game against Kansas City and Las Vegas, the Falcons have one of the roughest second halves of the season to play.

27. New England Patriots (2-5)

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Pats were on top of the world a couple years ago, and now they’ve fallen to this miserable excuse of a team. And with the only real loss being Tom Brady this offseason, I think we learned that Brady was disguising a mediocre team last season as a division champion. Cam Newton is the opposite of back, and he might not be signed next year after his terrible season of fumbling twice to seal a game, once against Seattle and again versus Buffalo. The Pats defense has been the strongest aspect of this team, giving up only 20.9 points per game across eight contests, and the offense, more particularly Cam Newton, hasn’t pulled its weight in return. Belicheck needs to go back to the drawing board when it comes to the 2021 season.

28. Dallas Cowboys (2-6)

The Cowboys had it. For just a moment, they had the division in their hands. Then, we hit the point where Dak Prescott lost everything he’d worked so hard for, including the contract he was on pace to get. In their win against New York, the Cowboys lost their lead man for the year and their backup to a concussion, leaving them with Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. The Cowboys also don’t have a great defense to back them up, giving up an astonishing 33 points per game. Dallas doesn’t even have a consistent Ezekiel Elliot to run them to the division title, leading to their inevitable rebuild next season.

29. Houston Texans (1-6)

The Texans are bad, and Bill O’Brien made them this way. They lost all their weapons for future capital, and it showed. JJ Watt is about to bow out, and Deshaun Watson looks all alone on offense. The hodgepodge receiving core of Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and Brandin Cooks seems to be barely getting the job done on offense to get Watson to 15 touchdowns through the air, with David Johnson doing a mediocre job on the ground with under 400 rushing yards. The Texans almost had so many wins, but choking Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Minnesota shows that there are bits and pieces of a real team still shining in Houston.

30. New York Giants (1-7)

The Giants could’ve been the team to jump ahead in the NFC East, but the Saquon Barkley loss ended that dream in an instant. The Giants can always keep it close, but they can never get over the hump in the fourth quarter, especially with Daniel Jones overthrowing every bad wide receiver that they have on that team. The Giants have been able to hold on defense better than other teams with 24.9 points per game allowed. New York needs a lot of work to get to the next step of their rebuild even, and this next season might be a time to reevaluate the quarterback position once more.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)

Jacksonville started the season by shocking the football world with their win over Indianapolis. They have absolutely collapsed since then, getting blown out by Miami, Houston, Detroit, and the Chargers. Gardner Minshew hasn’t performed awfully, but the second year Washington State product may be in the quarterback hot seat next season. Their defense refuses to hold, giving up 427.6 yards per game to go with 27.5 points per game. The Jags have nothing to work with on the offensive side of the ball, no receivers, no running backs, and a mediocre offensive line. This might be the worst Jacksonville has been in a long time, and that says something.

32. New York Jets (0-8)

The Jets are the worst team in the league, to nobody’s surprise. They haven’t been competitive with any team all season except Buffalo once, and even that was an 8- point loss. The Jets have given up over 20 points in every game except one. There is no talent on this team to be found outside of a couple of defensive players, and Sam Darnold will be mediocre elsewhere in a couple years. Adam Gase needs to be fired as soon as possible, and Trevor Lawrence needs to prepare to hear the Jets call his name with the top pick in the next draft and see his career die in East Rutherford.

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Dec. 21-Jan. 1–Winter Break Mon, 30 Nov 2020 22:55:36 +0000 No classes Dec. 21, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021 due to Winter Break

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