Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NFL Power Rankings after Week 5

Before I get to this week’s rankings it’s time for another quick story – I guess there is a new way to go grocery shopping that I haven’t been aware of. I’m at the grocery store, just grabbing a couple quick things for dinner. As I make my way to the check-out counter, there is a cart with milk and a box of cereal waiting in line. Since the line is not long, and there is no one within sight of the cart, I move past it and start to put my 5-6 items on the conveyor belt. As the check out lady is about to start scanning my items, the owner of the mystery cart comes back. She is a husky lady with ratty hair and wearing a moo-moo. She also has her arms overflowing with groceries – with more than a dozen things in her arms. She gives me a dirty look and a huff-and-puff for skipping past her cart. To which I just glance back at her and say “I didn’t know that’s how we shop now. Put the cart in line and then go get your groceries and come to the front of the line whenever we’re done.” Sorry lady, you are the toolbox of the week.

While I generally think Gregg Doyle is typically as intelligent as that lady at the grocery store, this article on Jimmy Clausen makes a few good points. Given the injuries that the top QBs have suffered, I think he has to be among the leaders along with Tebow and McCoy. And he might be the top pro-ready QB available.

On to the rankings, and since last week I went with 1991 songs, I decided to fast forward a decade to 2001 for this week. In 2001, the Ravens defeated the Giants for the Super Bowl title, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman separated and Miller Park opened in Milwaukee. So on to the rankings……..

(1) Giants (last week: 1) – “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly
The Giants continue to roll in a game over the Raiders that Antonio Pierce said felt like an exhibition game. Eli looked fine only having to play half the game and got some extra rest for his heel. Just imagine if Brandon Jacobs gets on track.

(2) Colts (2) – “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige
Ho-hum, another week, another dominating performance by Peyton. So brother Peyton and the Colts are comfortable here as the best team in the AFC and #2 in the league.

(3) Saints (3) – “Pop” N’Sync
Right now, I’m pretty sure Drew Brees and Jeremy Shockey could get as much ass as the boy bands in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Looking at that picture - how did these guys score chicks? The Saints are rolling with offense through the air and on the ground and a playmaking defense. This week they have a chance to claim the top spot when the host the Giants.

(4) Vikings (4) – “All Or Nothing” by O-Town
This is pretty much the story for the VIkes this year – if they don’t win it all, then the Brett Favre experiment wasn’t worth it. And Brett has put that pressure on himself by claiming this is the most talented team he has ever been a part of.

(5) Broncos (10) – “I’m Real” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule
After McDaniels and the Broncos took care of Belichick and the Patriots in Denver, not only did we get one of the best fist-pumping exhibitions in years, but I am now a believer. We’ll see if the Broncos fade into oblivion as fast as Ja Rule.

(6) Falcons (9) – “Stronger” by Britney Spears
With their beat-down of the 49ers in San Francisco, they proved that they were stronger after their bye week and their hiccup against the Pats was not a red flag. Big game against the Bears this week, so let’s hope Matt Ryan doesn’t turn into the crazy Britney and shave his head and marry some weird high school friend. In 2001, Britney was still a hit, still dating Justin Timberlake and still among the hottest women out there.

(7) Eagles (11) – “I’m Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado
The Eagles are like a bird because they are flying high right now. With McNabb back, they look dangerous. However, there still is that lingering issue with Michael Vick in the background and how much he should be used. Right now his contribution has been hung like a bird – not his physical stature, but his contribution has been extremely small and meaningless – and when I first heard this song, I thought she said “hung like a bird” – yeah, I know. It makes less than no sense.

(8) Bengals (15) – “Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse
The Cardiac Kids continue to squeak out close games, and have now beaten their two toughest competitors for the division title, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. And who is that guy in Cedric Benson’s uniform? So let’s see, Benson is on a 4-1 team and Kyle Orton is 5-0? And they couldn’t win in Chicago? Maybe Chicago is the problem!?!?

(9) Jets (8) – “Stutter” by Joe featuring Mystikal
After getting off to a brash, trash-talking, 3-0 start, the Jets have stuttered by losing 2 straight, including having the Dolphins march down the field on that vaulted defense to win the game. Signs of cracks in the foundation or just a hiccup? I believe the defense is good, and the addition of Braylon Edwards will be huge contribution for Mark Sanchez.

(10) Bears (12) – “Hero” by Enrique Iglasias
Coming off their bye, the Bears face a tough test against the Falcons. But if Cutler continues to play smart , he has the potential to be the biggest hero in the Windy City.

(11) Patriots (5) – “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox Twenty
Fitting because if Matt Light is out for any amount of time, it has a huge effect on the Patriots. Brady is just starting to get comfortable with his protection and standing in the pocket, and losing one of his longer-tenured linemen is a serious blow to that comfort level. And Perfect Tommy played poorly against Denver, particularly hitting Welker in the ankle when he was open on a crucial drive in the 4th quarter.

(12) Ravens (6) – “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm
Let’s see, Ray Lewis is a smooth criminal because he got away with (allegedly) being involved in a stabbing? Or because Ray Lewis is the remix/improvement of Lawrence Taylor, much like this song was the remix/improvement of Michael Jackson? Either way, the Ravens are reeling and blaming the referees rather than looking in the mirror.

(13) Steelers (13)– “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind
It’s been awhile since the Steelers won the Super Bowl, and it’s been awhile since the Steelers had a dominating running game. They have the talent to win games, but have not been as dominating as expected.

(14) 49ers (7)– “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys
For an up and coming team like the 49ers, I suppose there are going to be some minor setbacks along the way. Getting absolutely housed by the Falcons at home qualifies as one of those setbacks.

(15) Packers (16) – “Jaded” by Aerosmith
Probably a week late for this song after getting bent over by Brett Favre. Hopefully the bye week provided the team some time to get over the Vikings game, and shore up their offensive line troubles. They added Mark Tauscher back, so hopefully that helps.

(16) Chargers (14) – “The Space Between” by Dave Matthews
This is the last of the real teams, and the space between them and everyone after this point is considerable. The Chargers have offensive firepower but there are issues with their defense and Shawne Merriman continues to be a distraction.

(17) Cowboys (19) – “More Than That” by the Backstreet Boys
The ‘Boys need to show more than that by needing overtime to beat the pathetic Chiefs. They might be the biggest fraud of the teams with a winning record. Speaking of frauds, so shoving someone is considered a brawl? I guess if you’re over 70, named Bernie Madoff and in prison, then yes.

(18) Dolphins (21) – “The Call” by the Backstreet Boys
A great call by the Dolphins to go with the Wildcat run to win the game against the Jets. And Chad Henne looks like he has the arm strength, intelligence and swagger to be successful in the NFL.

(19) Cardinals (17) – “Angel” by Shaggy
I think a guardian angel is the only way the Cards escape with that game against the Texans. Getting the pick-6 return and then a goalline stand to hang on for the win was extremely improbable for a team known for offense.

(20) Seahawks (23) – “Where the Party At” by Jagged Edge
If Matt Hasselbeck can stay healthy, there could be a party in Seattle. What a difference he makes, and with him, this team might be the most underrated team on this list. Kind of like January Jones, who can be very up and down in Mad Men – yet she can bring the heat when she’s on top of her game – like she does in GQ this month.

(21) Jaguars (20) – “Peaches & Cream” by 112
I guess it’s not all sweet times for Team Hyphen. I have absolutely no idea what they are or what to expect from them. None.

(22) Texans (18) – “Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do) Mya
Like Mya, they are a flash in the pan. They have a week when they look great, and then they disappear just as quickly.

(23) Lions – “Play” by Jennifer Lopez
I suppose I should have used a JLo song for the Dolphins since she is a part owner of the team now, but oh well. The Lions can play and manage to keep the games close, yet still haven’t developed the ability to finish and win games. As Colin Cowherd said “The difference between a playa and a player is that a player closes a whole bunch of 4’s but spills wine on himself and stutters when he’s around a 9 or a 10. A playa closes the deal with the 9s and 10s.” The Lions aren’t even quite to the player level.

(24) Panthers (24) – “Turn Off the Light” by Nelly Furtado
Barely squeaking out a win against the Redskins and having to come back from a 17-2 deficit, is another nail in the coffin for John Fox in Charlotte.

(25) Redskins (27) – “Let Me Blow Your Mind” by Eve with Gwen Stefani
Just a few more weeks, Mr. Zorn, then you’ll be free to get hired by ESPN as their 231st pro football analyst.

(26) Titans (25) – “When It’s Over” by Sugar Ray
The Kerry Collins Era is over. Or at least it should be. The Titans stink and have nothing left to play for. They barely even put up a fight against the Colts. Might as well hand the keys to Vince Young and see if he can keep it between the lines.

(27) Browns (25) – “In The End” by Linkin Park
So how bad is it in Cleveland? Brady Quinn now wants out, and who can blame him? If your coach is going to stay with a guy after going 2-17, what are the odds you’re going to play again? About as good as the odds of Donovan McNabb asking to be traded to the Rams if Rush Limbaugh becomes their owner.

(28) Bills (22) – “What Would You Do?” by City High
That question is directed to you, Ralph Wilson. Are you going to trade Terrell Owens? Is there anyone that wants him? If there is anyone willing to give you anything (Chicago? Back to SF?) I think you should take it since he’s on a 1-year contract, and your team is barely better than the UFL teams.

(29) Chiefs (29) – “You Make Me Sick” by Pink
This has to be how Scott Pioli is feeling after trading for Matt Cassell and seeing him play like a guy who never started in college or his first 4 years in the pros.

(30) Buccaneers (31) – “I Wanna Be Bad” by Willa Ford
Mission accomplished. You’re bad. Is Raheem Morris in danger of getting canned after one year? The only thing giving him a chance is that Josh Johnson doesn’t appear to be horrendous. But it might be the Tyler Thigpen situation – an athlete can make some plays on a terrible team and look better than the rest of the team.

(31) Raiders (30) – “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” by U2
It keeps getting worse and more bizarre in Oakland. There’s really nothing to say about them other than they are lucky they already won a game this year, or they would be speeding towards 0-16. Instead they’re speeding towards 1-15.

(32) Rams (32) – “Ms. Jackson” – Outkast
I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, your son is on a terrible team that is likely not to win a game all year.

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