Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NFL Power Rankings - 80's Movies

The NBA tipped off last night, the World Series starts tonight, the NFL season is almost at the midway point, and Halloween I this weekend. Halloween - the holiday that gives girls an excuse to dress up as a slutty (fill in the blank). It’s also the holiday when the characters that hang out in the subways and certain parts of Chelsea or Boys Town fit in with the rest of the crowd.

Word on the street is that Philly is trying to come up with a musical act to play before game 3 of the World Series to counteract Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes tonight. Not sure what Philly’s options are……Boyz II Men? Hall & Oates? Can you imagine the crowd getting pumped up to “Maneater” or “Private Eyes”?

Started looking through costume ideas and it seems the hot costumes this year were the stars of the 80’s that died during the year – Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett. So this week’s power rankings are broken into tiers based on the top movies during the 80’s based on worldwide box office sales. Had to leave out some great movies, unfortunately: Beverly Hills Cop, Batman, Crocodile Dundee and Back to the Future II. Without further ado……..

The “Top Gun” Tier
The quintessential movie of the 80’s, these are the top teams in the league. These are the teams that could grab the microphone in any bar and belt out “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and the rest of the bar would join in. They could land Kelly McGillis, and play beach volleyball and not get a grain of sand stuck on them. The movie had a great cast, with Cruise, Kilmer, Edwards, McGillis, Robbins &Meg Ryan – and these teams have great casts.

1. Saints (last week: 1) – A great comeback win over Miami to cement the fact that they can overcome adversity. And now Reggie Bush says he thinks the Saints can go undefeated the entire season. He also said once he wins the NFL MVP award, it will vindicate him against all the negativity he has faced so far in his career. Now we know why he & Kim Kardashian are a good couple – similar intelligence and lack of talent.

2. Colts (2) – They were supposed to destroy the Rams, and they did. They continue to roll through the league with a precision and workman-like approach.

3. Broncos (5) – Coming off their bye, they get another stiff test by going to Baltimore. Something tells me that after the game, they’ll be able to chomp their gum in Ray Lewis’s face and say, “That’s right. Ice….man. I am dangerous.”

4. Steelers (7) – Their defense pulled them through a tough game against the Vikings, and they’ve now won3 straight games after the 1-2 start. The offense is clicking, and the defense has returned to its dominant self from last season. No truth to the rumor that they requested permission to buzz the tower during their bye week.

5. Vikings (3) – The Viking luck finally ran out against the Steelers, and suddenly they look in their rearview mirror and they have a MiG on their tail in the Packers. A loss this week in Green Bay would drop them into a tie for the division lead after their strong start.

6. Patriots (8) – Ho-hum, another week, another terrible team destroyed. This time after a long overnight flight to London. The Pats offense is humming right now, and in no small part because Wes Welker appears to be fully healthy. Bill Belichick is the commander who gets the coffee spilled on him during the fly-by. “Dammit that’s twice! I want some butts!”

The “Rainman” Tier
Proving Tom Cruise was a legend in the 80’s, here’s another of his greatest hits. Like Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), these teams are quirky, and have some issues, yet still have the ability to be dominant – like Ray counting the toothpicks in the jar.

7. Bengals (9) – That was the definition of a beat-down that they put on the Bears. Old-school, ran over them, threw over them, and created a ton of turnovers. Now they get a bye week before facing the Ravens and Steelers in back-to-back weeks.

8. Giants (4) – There are some legit concerns about whether the Giants pumped themselves up with a weak schedule in the first 5 weeks of the year. After their second straight loss to a good team – first in New Orleans, then home against the Cardinals – the questions are starting to get asked about the offense and the defense.

9. Eagles (16) – Probably didn’t deserve this big of a jump after beating the hapless Skins, but they do appear to be on a roll. The only blemish on the week was Westbrook getting the Christ Tucker in “Friday” treatment (“You got knocked the F#ck out!”). We will know a lot more about this team after the Giants game this week. Another Philly-New York battle. The red-headed stepchild teams from Philly match up pretty well with their big brothers in the city. Although this is the Giants first chance for revenge on McNabb for his phone-call-on-the-sidelines antics of the playoffs last year.

The “Return of the Jedi” Tier
There is only one team that fits into this category – The Green Bay Packers. In case you haven’t heard, Brett Favre makes his return to Lambeau on Sunday. And based on what he did the first half of the Jets season last year and thus far with the Vikings, Favre is showing he is more than Mark Hamil – capable of performing in more than one role. The reason this was one of the greatest movies in the decade? Because of the Ewoks. What other movie had those funny, furry little guys for entertainment? And didn’t it seem like the Ewoks and Chewbacca should have been able to communicate better?

10. Packers (11) - The Packers have tuned up by crushing pathetic teams in the Lions and Browns, so they come in ready. Will they be able to block Jared Allen better this time around? If not, Rodgers is going to look like Amy Winehouse again after the game.

The “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” Tier
This was the #1 movie of the decade. It was a story of a lost alien, and the teams in this category, may not be aliens, but they definitely have bouts of being lost. They have had some “Ouch” moments and they seem to play better at home. They have some flaws, but also have the ability to make the bike fly past the moon at the right time.

11. Cardinals (15) – Well, after they beat down the Giants in the Meadowlands, it appears they found some of that alien power that had taken over their defense during their Super Bowl run last year. The offense is capable, even with a banged up Boldin, and the attacking defense has found a rhythm. They’re now in position to take control of a division that it appeared the 49ers were all over.

12. Cowboys (19) – Romo Pyle and Austin Miles appear to have learned to communicate like Elliot and ET lately. The Cowboys have looked like the team they thought they would be, and beating the Falcons was a very impressive victory. They now get the weak Seahawks at home to continue their hot streak, and continue to build Romo Pyle’s confidence. His play right before the half - dodging, ducking and finally finding Crayton in the endzone was the type of play that raised expectations for him in the first place.

13. Falcons (6) – That was a concerning loss to a Cowboys team that was floundering a little before that game. It was obvious that their banged up secondary is a problem that could keep them from being among the top teams. Huge test this week with the Saints in the Superdome. The Saints can put a strangle hold on the division with a win, and the Falcons can prove they will have staying power like Drew Barrymore after ET.

14. Ravens (13) – Coming off a bye week, they need to right their ship in a bad way, and face a tough Denver team in Baltimore. A chance to prove that they are the team in the beginning of the year, and not the team the past 3 weeks.

15. Jets (14) – Pretty sure Sanchez just cemented his first sponsorship deal with Oscar Mayer. Everyone wanted to know where he got it, but I’m pretty sure Rex keeps a solid stash of hot dogs, Skittles, M&Ms, Cheetos, and Milk Duds nearby at all times. More importantly, the Jets did what almost seemed impossible, making the Raiders actually bench Fatso Russell.

16. Chargers (20) – It’s not overly impressive to slaughter the Chiefs, but they have the talent to play with anyone in the league. It just seems Norv Turner has no ability to fire up his team. Maybe he and his brother Ron (see #19 below) can wait in the unemployment line together during the off-season.

The “Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom” Tier
The second of the Indiana Jones movies – and while Raiders of the Lost Ark was far and away the best of the three movies, this one has the title that’s most appropriate for these teams. Teams that are in the Temple of Doom, with the ability to make the playoffs, but their lack of consistency could be their eventual doom. Is Harrison Ford the greatest actor of all time? I think he has a really strong case for it. The dude was in 2 trilogies that dominated the 80’s, the Tom Clancy movies in the 90’s (Patriot Games, Clear & Present Danger) among other great hits. If you just forget that time when he got an earring and pretended he wasn’t as old as he actually was, it’s been an amazing career.

17. Texans (17) – Well they finally broke out on the upside of .500 and immediately are being questioned whether they can sustain it. Matt Schaub is putting up tremendous numbers, leading the league in TDs (16) and yards (2,074) while being 4th in the league in QB rating (104.4). But even with those stats, would you want him with the ball in his hands when you need a game-winning drive? Schaub might be Warren Moon 2.0.

18. 49ers (10) –What’s the biggest difference between Alex Smith and Michael? Alex Smith is happy to have VD. (that’s Vernon Davis, Hildo). I hope for Smith’s sake that he is able to take this chance at a career rebirth and run with it – otherwise he can take his position among the biggest busts: JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch, Michael Vick & Scarlett Johansson.

19. Bears (12) – What an embarrassment against the Bengals. Is Lovie Smith going to be on the hotseat? If he doesn’t find a way to be better now that he has his supposed franchise quarterback, he will be. Having the Browns come to town is a nice way to lower the heat on his seat. Ron Turner can't turn down the heat - he's getting fired. He got his QB and has not had success, while his rejects (Orton & Benson) are lighting the league on fire.

20. Jaguars (21) – MJD is the Short Round of the Jags. I wonder if he’s going to accuse the Commissioner of cheating? Did you know Short Round was also in Goonies, and was in 22 episodes of “Head of the Class”?

The “Rambo: First Blood Part II” Tier
These are the teams that are doing battle while short-handed and facing long odds for success. Not sure any of these teams have the ability of John Rambo to pull off the impossible, but the tagline for the movie “What most people call hell, he calls home” is appropriate for all these teams.

21. Dolphins (18) – Team Wildcat put up a valiant fight against the Saints, but will not be able to take the next step with Ted Ginn dropping passes all over the field. The running game continues to be dangerous, with Ricky Williams running like someone stole his pipe.

22. Bills (24) – Are we supposed to be impressed that they beat the Panthers when they had 12 guys on defense and the Panthers only had 10 guys on offense. Wait, Jake Delhomme plays for the Panthers? Could have fooled me……and the Bills.

23. Seahawks (22) – Continuing a trend of playing well when you count them out, but once you build conviction, they match up about as well as Sylvester Stallone next to anyone over 5’4”.

24. Panthers (23) – John Fox is considering benching Delhomme. Considering? Then again, he knows he’s getting canned after the season, so maybe he’s just having some fun and wants to see how many INTs he can throw in one season. It’s the equivalent of lighting the house on fire before Bill Cowher has to come in and try to put out the fire and see if there are any salvageable parts.

The “Ghost Busters” Tier
The movie boasts a power line-up of big name actors and actresses going along with a ridiculous storyline. It’s entertaining because you have a couple of stars like Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis providing funny moments, but overall, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece. There is some talent in this tier (Calvin Johnson, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, etc.), but these teams are a joke. The house has been getting crushed this season because they can’t make the spreads wide enough when these teams play any of the top teams in the league. It means a couple things – we’re going to start seeing some college-football-style 20+ point spreads in the very near future, and the gambling apocalypse is coming. At some point, the underdogs are going to have a week when they cover or win and all of us that continue to pound the favorites are going to get crushed. It’s coming. Be warned.

25. Lions (25) – They remain the tallest midget of this group. Stafford looks like he might be ready to return to the line-up, which should bode well for them to have a chance to cover a couple spreads and steal a couple victories in the second half of the year.

26. Browns (26) – Hard to believe this team is better than 6 other teams. SIX. And this team is horrendous. The Browns have scored 6 or fewer points in 4 of their 7 games – including winning one of those games. Awful, and pretty obvious that the Browns are not going to play Brady Quinn to ensure he doesn’t reach his playing time quota to get a sizeable performance bonus.

27. Raiders (26) – So much for that playoff prediction by Richard Seymour. They finally benched Shamoo Russell, but it’s not like Bruce Gradkowski is exactly a huge upgrade. They are the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL – a total train wreck that somehow continues to stay in the news even though no one really cares any more.

28. Chiefs (29) – Exhibit #356,731 why athletes without any education should be restricted from using Twitter: Larry Johnson. Hey Turner brothers, save a place for LJ in the unemployment line.

29. Titans (28) – Sure LJ, they’ll hold a spot for you right next to Chuck Cecil. And Chuck might be holding a spot for Jeff Fisher, since the Titans owner is now demanding to see why he’s paying Vince Young a boatload of cash. Can Vince have an Alex Smith-like revival of his career? He doesn’t have VD, but he does have a fast Johnson (Chris).

30. Redskins (30) – There really isn’t anything else to say about the most messed up situation in the entire league. They’ve surpassed the Raiders as the biggest circus in the league. If Snyder really wants to produce a winner, he needs to clean house completely and turn it all over to Mike Holmgren or Mike Shanahan. Zorn has effectively become everyone in the Ghost Buster movie that gets slimed.

31. Buccaneers (31) – Maybe its Gozer the Gozerian that is causing the Bucs to be so pathetic. Or maybe it’s a general lack of talent. Might as well start the Josh Freeman Era inTampa because if you’re going to crash, you might as well go down in flames.

32. Rams (32) – Steven Jackson continues to put up 100 yard performances without touchdowns and the team continues to get blown out, week after week, only putting up an average of 8.6 ppg. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re permanent owners of the basement, St. Louis Rams.

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