If this week didn't emphasize the fact that there aren't any real "great" teams in the NFL anymore, I don't know what will. I sense a lot of shuffling in my rankings. Let's find out.
32. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) (31, L @OAK) - We have a new champion of suck. All the entertaining Dennis Green press conferences in the world won't save his job if this keeps up.
31. Oakland Raiders (1-5) (32, W ARI) - Maybe they can get above #30? Nahhhh.
30. Miami Dolphins (1-6) (29, L GB) - What the hell happened to Ronnie Brown? I thought he was supposed to be the future? The LAST thing they need to do is put more of the game on Harrington's shoulders.
29. Cleveland Browns (1-5) (28, L DEN) - Have the Browns even cracked 6 wins since they came back into the fold? Do people in Cleveland even know they still have a team?
28. Detroit Lions (1-6) (27, L @NYJ)
27. Tennessee Titans (1-5) (26, BYE) - Six of the eight NFL divisions have one one loss team. That's a lot of bad teams making themselves known 1/3 into the season.
26. Houston Texans (2-4) (30, W JAC) - You gotta give them credit for an impressive victory against a good team. They need to build off of this.
25. Washington Redskins (2-5) (23, L @IND) - A good first half, but they completely tanked the second.
24. Buffalo Bills (2-5) (21, L NE) - When your QB gets so distracted by the referee that he drops the ball, you know you are in for a long season. The D is good, but that offense is bad.
23. San Fransisco 49ers (2-4) (22, BYE)
22. Green Bay Packers (2-4) (24, W @MIA) - Beat a bad team, but a win is a win is a win.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) (25, W PHI) - Gradowski is following in the grand tradition of Polish NFL QBs like.....uh......
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) (19, L @ATL) - May actually be better under Batch right now.
19. Dallas Cowboys (3-3) (17, L NYG) - Romo's picked up Drew's bad habits already. If Bledsoe loses the starting job, that would be the third such job he's lost in 5 years.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) (11, L @HOU) - This is what you get for getting spanked by the Texans. This is typical Jacksonville, though.
17. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) (20, W SD)
16. New York Jets (4-3) (18, W DET) - New England's only divisional competition right now; with a cupcake schedule the rest of the way, they are still a playoff possibility.
15. St. Louis Rams (4-2) (16, BYE)
14. Carolina Panthers (4-3) (12, L @CIN) - Maybe not.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) (7, L @TB) - McNabb and Westbrook are having good seasons....but the rest of that team needs work.
12. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) (9, L MIN) - No Alexander and now no Hasselbeck may equal bad times for Seattle leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.
11. Cincinatti Bengals (4-2) (15, W CAR) - Good bounce back win, but they still have a lot of divisional games left in a very tough division.
10. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) (13, W PIT) - Yay, Vick threw for 4 TDs. Let's see him complete
9. New Orleans Saints (5-1) (8, BYE)
8. New York Giants (4-2) (10, W @DAL) - Good divisional win, but still not quite in the "elite" (or what passes for elite this year) yet.
7. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) (6, BYE)
6. Minnesota Vikings (4-2) (14, W @SEA) - A solid all-around team people may be sleeping on. These types of teams win championships in this era. Monday will be a very interesting matchup.
5. San Diego Chargers (4-2) (1, L @KC)
4. New England Patriots (5-1) (4, W @BUF) - Next two prime time games (@MIN, IND) should really tell us if they've pulled it all together.
3. Denver Broncos (5-1) (5, W @CLE) - Ditto (IND, @PIT). They will probably have to ramp up the offense to get it done, though.
2. Indianapolis Colts (6-0) (3, W WAS) - Like I said (@DEN, @NE). The defense seems to have regressed from last year and losing your starting safety doesn't help. I will honestly be amazed if they are 8-0 by Election Day.
1. Chicago Bears (6-0) (2, BYE) - Grossman may be cooling off, but I still can't put them below Indy because of the defense.
If the last hour didn't happen, this week would have been pathetic for football. The Bears' comeback puts it up a notch to just plain bad. Will this drop them from their perch at #1? Let's find out.
Starting with #32 (Gee, guess who that is?): (Record/Position last week/Last game result)
32. Oakland Raiders (0-5, 32, L @DEN) - 11 to go.
31. Arizona Cardinals (1-5, 26, L CHI) - *Insert assorted choking and gagging noises here*. Matt Leinart looks like he could be something, but Edgerrin James has been a massive disappointment. They couldn't get two or three yards rushing for another first down on that last drive with him?
30. Houston Texans (1-4, 27, L @DAL)
29. Miami Dolphins (1-5, 24, L @NYJ) - The season is officially lost. Can't wait until the 4th quarter to make a run at it, guys.
28. Cleveland Browns (1-4, 28, BYE)
27. Detroit Lions (1-5, 31, W BUF) - You can flip/flop these three all you want.....
26. Tennessee Titans (1-4, 29, W @WAS) - .....they aren't going anywhere (though Tennessee might have the brighter future).
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4, 30, W CIN) - But at least they are off the schnide.
24. Green Bay Packers (1-4, 25, BYE)
23. Washington Redskins (2-4, 22, L TEN)
22. San Fransisco 49ers (2-4, 19, L SD) - At least they lost to a GOOD team, unlike #23.
21. Buffalo Bills (2-4, 21, L @DET) - McGahee is KILLING my Pit fantasy team.
20. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, 17, L @PIT) - Way to show up guys. Plus, you almost ruined Polamalu's perm!
19. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, 23, W KC) - A nice confidence booster win, but you know you're desperate for talent when you sign Chad Brown.
18. New York Jets (3-3, 20, W MIA) - J! E! T! S! Meh! Feh! Eh! May be a spoiler down the road (possibly a very slim Wild Card shot), but won't challenge New England for division.
17. Dallas Cowboys (3-2, 18, W HOU) - It was the Texans; let's not get ahead of ourselves. That first quarter was sloppy as hell.
16. St. Louis Rams (4-2, 15, L SEA) - Kept it close, but couldn't knock off the Alexanderless Seahawks. Bad division loss.
15. Cincinatti Bengals (3-2, 10, L @TB) - Took a tumble with a poor outing against a winless team. They need to get it together.
14. Minnesota Vikings (3-2, 15, BYE)
13. Atlanta Falcons (3-2, 8, L NYG) - Vick fans aren't going to live on that Green Bay playoff win like Al Bundy with his four touchdowns, are they? One-dimensional teams can't win regularly.
12. Carolina Panthers (4-2, 12, W @BAL) - Probably should move up a few spots soon.
11.Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2, 9, BYE)
10. New York Giants (3-2, 16, W @ATL) - Seven sacks of Michael Vick = me being impressed. Gutting the Atlanta D for over 200 rushing yards = more impressed
9. Seattle Seahawks (4-1, 11, W @STL) - Deion Branch (2 TD receptions)....*tear*
8. New Orleans Saints (5-1, 14, W PHI) - Deserve to be in the top 10....but not any higher than this. 4-1 conference record is nothing to sneeze at.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (4-2, 2, L @NO) - Another team that needs consistency on defense.
6. Baltimore Ravens (4-2, 4, L CAR) - Kyle Boller actually did well subbing for McNair, but I doubt he can keep it up (McNair probably won't miss any time anyway)
5. Denver Broncos (4-1, 2, W OAK) - C'mon, 13 points against the Raiders, AT HOME? They (Denver) have a dominating D, but that offense needs to get it going. I doubt we'll see the 2000 Ravens redux here.
4. New England Patriots (4-1, 7, BYE) - Like I said, might as well hang the divisional banner now.
3. Indianapolis Colts (5-0, 6, BYE)
2. Chicago Bears (6-0, 1, W ARI) - Never should have been that close.
1. San Diego Chargers (4-1, 3, W @SF) - Yes, I am Bill Simmons under an assumed name.
Here's one man's look at the 32 NFL teams and how they stack up (w/scattered pithy comments at no extra cost to you). Let's see how long I can stick with this.
Starting from the bottom:
32. Oakland Raiders (0-4) - They are at the quarter-pole to history. I don't think this team has ANY redeeming qualities.
31. Detroit Lions (0-5) - Finding new ways to lose every week, the latest being Jon Kitna's two turnovers leading to touchdowns in the 4th to blow a 17-3 lead.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
29. Tennessee Titans (0-5) - Ranked best of the worst due to a spirited effort against the Colts.
28. Cleveland Browns (1-4)
27. Houston Texans (1-3) - David Carr is the highest rated QB in the league so far. I'll let that sink in.
26. Arizona Cardinals (1-4) - Kurt Warner lost a starting job to a rookie. Shocking, I know. This is, what, year 8 of the "rebuilding" process?
25. Green Bay Packers (1-4) - Can we just admit that Brett Favre is done and get on with it? This is like some farewell tour of a band that hasn't had a hit in a decade.
24. Miami Dolphins (1-4) - When Joey Harrington is a better option at QB, you know you aren't good.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) - Yeah, Ben was rushed back, but they aren't running the ball all that well, either.
22. Washington Redskins (2-3) - Daniel Snyder is the Steinbrenner of the NFL....and he's getting even worse results.
21. Buffalo Bills (2-3) - Well....we thought they had a good D.
20. New York Jets (2-3) - 0-2 at home. It obviously is A-Rod's fault (or Fireman Fred; someone push that guy off that other guy's shoulders already).
19. San Fransisco 49ers (2-3) - Arizona says they will improve, but the Niners have actually done it.
18. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) - Does Parcells have Mo Lewis on speed-dial yet?
17. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) - Perfect spot, right in the middle.
16. New York Giants (2-2) - Last of the Mohicans of Mediocrity.
15. St. Louis Rams (4-1) - Look at who they've beaten (Denver, Detroit, SF, Green Bay). Doesn't feel like a contender, does it?
14. New Orleans Saints (4-1) - Yes, it's a good story. Now shut up about it.
13. Minnesota Vikings (3-2) - These three teams are....
12. Carolina Panthers (3-2) - Up....
11. Seattle Seahawks (3-1) - And down.
10. Cincinatti Bengals (3-1) - O-line is allowing too many guys to get to Palmer, leading to fumbles. Chad Johnson is the Likeable T.O.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars - What Leftwich giveth, Leftwich taketh away.
8. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
7. New England Patriots (4-1) - Offense has potential but needs tuning; the defense is there.
6. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) - Seems low for an undefeated team? That's because they haven't looked impressive in any of their games this year (even against Houston). That run defense is absolutely putrid (200+ yards to the Titans?).
5. San Diego Chargers (3-1) - Rivers was impressive against a very good D.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1) - Offense was exposed a bit Monday night, but the D is too good to ignore.
3. Denver Broncos (3-1) - 49 points in 4 games isn't gonna cut it, however.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) - Many worthy candidates for #2, but McNabb's the MVP frontrunner so far.
1. Chicago Bears (5-0) - Grossman's been impressive as hell and that defense is a beast. They can definitely hang with an AFC power at this point.
KKK isn't the only one that can make wild stabs in the dark when it comes to the upcoming NFL season.
Order of Finish:
New York Jets
Thoughts: Miami's improved under Nick Sabin, I'll give you that...but I'm not quite ready to pull the plug on New England's division title hopes like a lot of pundits are. Miami's going to win 8+ games this year, but lest we forget, Dante Culpepper SUCKED last year before his knee injury (4 TDs to 8 INTs). Now, that may have been because the Vikings had absolutely nobody to replace Randy Moss, but it's something to think about. Plus, if Culpepper goes down again, Miami's hopes fall to Joey Harrington.....I don't think many Dolphins fans want to think about that right now.
As far as New England, the only concerns I have are defensive; that offense is going to be murderous this year if the preseason is any indication. A healthy Corey Dillon being spelled by rookie Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk coming in for 3rd down situations and as another receiver? Yikes. Plus, this is the year Ben Watson puts up Tony Gonzalez-type numbers. As we saw in the Denver playoff game last year, this kid can FLY. The Patriots will be employing a lot of 2 TE sets using Watson and Daniel Graham where Graham stays in to block (his strength) while Watson gives Brady a nice fat target to throw to. Like I said, the only concerns I have is with the D, more specifically, the linebackers and secondary. Their success depends on the health of both Tedy Bruschi (wrist injury) and Rodney Harrison (knee torn to shreds). If they perform in their leadership roles, the D will be successful. As far as the "devastating" loss of Adam Vinatieri: he's a kicker, folks. Gostkowski looks like he can get the job done. Let's worry about him in "clutch" situations when we get there.
I put the Bills above the Jets solely because the Bills D is better and they have Willis McGahee. Neither team is cracking the 5 win mark.
Order of Finish:
Thoughts: This may be the weakest division in the AFC this year. Too many question marks for every team to really say that any of these teams are going to win more than 10-11 games. Cleveland will remain in the dregs of the league, Baltimore's defense is aging quickly and McNair may be on the downside of his career (he's better than Boller though). Who knows if Carson Palmer is fully recovered from his knee injury (Culpepper had a three month or so head start on him) and their defense I don't think is going to cause nearly as many turnovers as they did last year. Pittsburgh wins the division, but let's face it, they had all the breaks fall their way in the playoffs. Cincy losing their QB and falling apart, Indy's stupidity, Denver not really deserving to be in the title game (but I'm not bitter. Oh no.) and Seattle putting on one of the worst Super Bowl performances in recent memory. That's not happening this year, I'm afraid.
Order of Finish:
Thoughts: The Colts are going to win the division again....but it's not going to be as easy as it has been. As kkk said, their window of opportunity is closing fast. Jacksonville AND Houston are going to steal divisional wins from them, I think. No Edge is going to impact the offense more than people would like to believe as it remains to be seen if their rookie RB can handle Peyton's tendency to audible out of every single play. Marvin Harrison is aging, so expect Manning to look at guys like Reggie Wayne more often. Jacksonville is going to be the same "Sexy pick that doesn't quite meet expectations" team they've been for the last few years while the Texans will improve to the 5-7 win range. Vince Young will experience growing pains in Tennessee, as his style is going to be tough to translate into an NFL offense.
Order of Finish:
Thoughts: The Raiders will be lucky to win one game in this division. Aaron Brooks will be pining for the simple insults like fans wearing paper bags with "'Aints" written on them by the third or fourth home game. That being said, I believe this division falls the same way kkk says: San Diego will struggle with an unproven QB at the helm, I'm not completely sold on KC's defense being THAT improved as well as Larry Johnson completely carrying the offense when guys like Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez start to decline. Denver's pretty much the only really solid team of the division with a running game (featuring the fantasy stud du jour), Plummer not making nearly as many mistakes as he used to (and Jay Cutler waiting in the wings, who looks like the most NFL ready QB of the guys drafted this year) and a decent defense.
I'll look at the NFC whenever I post next.
- I am not watching another Red Sox/Yankees game for the rest of the season after last night's record setting debacle. The fans would like you to believe that this is two teams playing each other at their best when in reality you get 4 hour snoozefests with 30 pitch at-bats and the occasional big play. And now that the bullpens will be running on fumes this weekend, it doesn't look pretty.
- Reason #2132 I hate progress: I went up to Saratoga Springs, New York last weekend for a little vacation. There was a K-Mart right next to the hotel we were staying at, so we went there to grab some stuff. I could go on about how friggin' UGLY the place looked and all the white trash in upstate NY seemed to congregate there, but that's not what really pissed me off. That happened as the guy in front of me tosses a .59 cent roll of Scotch tape on the counter.....
....and pulls out his debit card.
....AND PULLS OUT A FUCKING DEBIT CARD!
I wanted to beat the guy with my package of Goldfish crackers. Plop the tape on the counter, give the lady the two quarters and dime, take your penny and GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE!
Remember Ken Jennings? The guy that cleaned up on Jeopardy!? Apparently him writing a funny, wiseass, tongue-in-cheek "Dear Jeopardy" letter on his blog is "biting the hand that feeds him".
This is why I didn't get into journalism.
BTW, Ken's blog is actually pretty damn funny.
Tonight, my beloved Playstation 2 of almost 5 years finally gave out on me. Can I have a moment of silence, please? I'll get one of the Slim PS2s to replace it, but it just won't be the same.
December 25, 2001 - October 1, 2005
Is it just me, or do the people that networks send out in the middle of major storms to stand there and say "Wow, it's pretty bad out here" deserve to be swept out to sea or have a tree fall on them? I saw a bit of CNN's coverage today and saw Anderson Cooper almost get run down by some debris and NOT ONCE did I hear him say "Hey, I think we should head for some shelter."
A hurricane has a lot of wind and rain and you shouldn't be caught in it....we get it. There will be plenty of time for pictures of destroyed houses and trees down when the thing moves away.
Hey, at least we don't have to hear EVEN MORE about that missing girl in Aruba.
Oh, and I'm sick of hearing that little Fox News Alert chime EVERY FIVE FUCKING MINUTES!! It's not an alert anymore after you do it once.
Satellite News is holding a poll to see what episodes fans would like on future DVD collections. All the eps that aren't on DVD are listed, so I guess they are confident that they will be able to get any of the most popular ones. For the record, my choices are:
212: GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (the one with Jet Jaguar. I saw the movie on Sci-Fi a few weeks ago)
306: TIME OF THE APES (A Japanese version of "Planet of the Apes"? I'm THERE)
610: THE VIOLENT YEARS with short: YOUNG MAN'S FANCY
611: LAST OF THE WILD HORSES (the spoof of the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of Star Trek)
421: MONSTER A-GO-GO with short: CIRCUS ON ICE
The next collection (probably due out in the fall), will include Sci-Fi episodes Phantom Planet and fan-favorite Hobgoblins. Get Jack Frost on there, and I'll be one happy PK.