Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NFL Power Rankings - Week 1

Riding the subway in New York is brutal in the summer because if the air underground isn’t disgusting and stale to begin with, the heat adds an extra layer of stank to it. On top of that, you add the overcrowded nature of rush hour and sprinkle in a solid mix of homeless people and you have a pretty nasty cocktail. The other day I’m minding my own business on my way home, listening to my iPod when I catch this mangy dude stumbling through the train and I assume he’s begging for change. I typically enjoy hearing some of the more creative signs and requests from the panhandlers, like outside of dinner last night when a guy said he needed 50 cents to fix the rotary engine on his helicopter. That’s a good effort. The guy on the subway wasn’t actually begging, but instead he was hoping to sell something: Batteries. He’s walking through the train with an open package of batteries yelling “Double-A’s, triple-A’s, C’s & D’s – I got your batteries right here - $1 for a battery.” Who needs batteries while they’re on the subway? Not to mention they likely are used/dead batteries that he’s selling. Everyone on the train is using an iPod, iPhone, blackberry, kindle or reading the paper. None of those activities require Duracells.

So how does this relate to the NFL Power Rankings after the opening weekend? It probably doesn’t, but it made me think that while I don’t want to overreact to week 1 results, I have to stay with the times and not continue to proclaim that the teams at the top will remain at the top. It also reminded me of the days back when people used to use those big clunky Discman to play CD’s while working out and you had to be careful not to make the CD skip constantly. Well the Discman was released in 1984, so this week’s rankings are broken out by some of the top movies from that year.

The Terminator

1 – New Orleans

The Saints are the kings until someone knocks them off. They proved that they could win a game on defense by handling the Vikings when their offense wasn’t clicking. They have a very tough road test on Monday night to maintain the top spot.

2 – New England

The Patriots were the cold, destroying terminators in week 1, laying the smack down on the Bengals. They scored the most points in the league and despite the final score, their young defense shut down the Bengals early. Tom Brady had a helluva ride last week, getting in a significant car accident but escaping injury, signing a huge contract extension, lighting up the Bengals and all the while getting to come home to Gisele every night. I’d say that’s winning at life.

3 – Green Bay

Losing Ryan Grant is a significant blow for the Packers, and if GM Ted Thompson wasn’t so opposed to free agency or trades, they may have been able to add someone like Laurence Maroney (only cost the Broncos a 4th rounder), Marshawn Lynch, or Willie Parker. Instead they signed someone off a practice squad. If the running game struggles, you will see a return of the “Ted Thompson Ruined My Christmas” t-shirts.

4 – Baltimore

Ray Lewis remains the baddest terminator in the league. That hit he laid on Dustin Keller was textbook and I’m pretty sure if he hit me like that, I would be dead. Not in the figurative sense – they would have to peel me off the turf and just take me right to the cemetery. The Ravens difficult schedule continues with another road game, this time at Cincinnatti where Palmer, Ochocinco and Owens will test their banged up secondary more than Mark Sanchez did.

5 – Pittsburgh

Don’t look now, but if Troy Palomalu stays healthy, the Steelers defense could return to its dominant form and it won’t matter who lines up under center.

Ghost Busters

6 – Houston

The Texans were finally able to rid themselves of their own personal Slimer – the ghost of the Indianapolis Colts. They also could have quoted Bill Murray’s Dr. Venkman character: “We came. We saw. We kicked it’s @ss!!” Unfortunately all a week 1 win does is secure they won’t have a winless season. The Texans haven’t had problems early in the season as much as they have had problems when they really have to win. But for now, they have a dominant running game, a passing game that wasn’t needed, and an aggressive defense. That’s enough for a top 6 position to me.

7 – Indianapolis

On the other end of the spectrum are the Colts. With their defense suddenly looking like more of a liability than planned and Bob Sanders likely out for the year, there are some real concerns in Indy. I’m not sure a visit from the underachieving but talented Giants running game is the cure.

The Natural

8 – Tennessee

Chris Johnson is a natural when it comes to running the football. I saw on halftime of the Monday night game that they clocked him at 22 mph during his 76 yard touchdown on Sunday. Like Robert Redford knocked the cover off the ball, Johnson can run the cleats off his shoes.

Romancing the Stone

9 – Minnesota

Brett Favre and Brad Childress are about as annoying as Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. In reality, since this is their second act together, maybe they should be connected to the sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, but that movie came out in 1985. While losing to the Saints isn’t a disgrace, the lack of passion, energy and life from Old Man Favre is a definite concern.

10 – New York Giants

There’s just something about Big Blue that I can’t get behind this year. They are about as exciting as a stone. Good enough to beat the bad teams (like Carolina) but will struggle against better competition (like Indy this week).

Beverly Hills Cop

11 – New York Jets

This whole tier of teams fits into the Eddie Murphy quote: “You arresting me for getting thrown out a window?” And while the media gnashes its teeth about the way the team treated Ines Sainz, the team should be spending more time trying to figure out how wonderboy Mark Sanchez went from looking as good as Ms. Sainz to looking like George Lopez during the off-season.

12 – Dallas

The Cowboys offense struggled mightily despite the presence of all those weapons. Is that a credit to Washington’s defense? Possibly. But more likely, the Cowboys have to put it all together, shore up their offensive line play and only then can they even imagine playing a home game in the Super Bowl.

13 – San Diego

While not part of the movie, it seems like San Diego used another Eddie Murphy line from his stand up routine: “I’ll take the zero” (look up the routine about having a boner in class and getting called upon to come to the front of the class). The Chargers took the zero in the rain against a young and feisty Chiefs team.

14 – Atlanta

Maybe the Falcons aren’t ready for prime time after all. I do believe that the Steelers defense can be an elite unit, but to only manage field goals is unacceptable from an offense with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. So I am arresting them for falling out the window.

15 – Cincinnati

The Bengals got thrown out the window by the Patriots and they have the foot prints on their rear ends to prove it. They better buckle down at home against the Ravens or the season could disintegrate quickly.

Karate Kid

16 – Washington

I’m not sure how long the Redskins will stay in the upper half of the league, but after beating the Cowboys, they’ve earned this spot. They are the upstart who beat the fancy dressed, fancy trained rich kids with a controlled and disciplined game.

17 – Seattle

The Seahawks bought into Pete Carroll and Cheerleader Carroll used “the Crane” to kick the snot out of the 49ers in week one. I fear that his act grows thin quickly, but for now, they deserve this ranking, probably 10 spots higher than I would have had them before the season started.


18 – Philadelphia

Andy Reid had his nice fuzzy little mogwai in Kevin Kolb, but unfortunately he exposed him to water (aka the Packers defense) and it spawned a gremlin of a quarterback controversy. Michael Vick looked back to his old speed against Green Bay and after he leads the Eagles to a victory over the Lions, the team is going to have a hard time stomaching a move back to Kolb. Kolb looked timid, weak-armed and scared before Clay Matthews knocked him out of the game.

19 – Arizona

Kurt Warner’s retirement spawned a whole mess of gremlins in the desert, first with Matt Leinart and now with Derek Anderson. While Anderson’s numbers looked respectable at the end of the game, he still has accuracy problems and the Cards barely held off the lowly Rams. This may be the highest the Cards get ranked all season.

Sixteen Candles

20 – Kansas City

The Chiefs pulled off a great upset against the Chargers riding the youth movement with rookies Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki and young running back Jamaal Charles. They came of age a little in the Monday night game, so I guess that makes Matt Cassell equal to Molly Ringwald?


21 – San Francisco

Not only did the 49ers make a terrible splash with their pathetic performance at Seattle, they also have a lot in common with Darryl Hannah. Both were huge in the 80’s and both are liked for some strange reason I can’t understand. No matter how intense Coach Singletary stares at his players, the 49ers cannot be successful with the poor communication between their offensive coordinator and the quarterback that plagued them in week 1.

Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom

22 – Miami

The Dolphins get credit for winning, but there is doom ahead because their offense was stagnant against a poor Bills defense. That huge stone that is chasing Indiana Jones – that’s the Patriots about to run down the Dolphins.

23 – Jacksonville

This is another team that won, but in unconvincing fashion against an inferior opponent.

24 – Carolina

Boy am I glad that Carolina got rid of that turnover machine in Jake Delhomme and got a conservative game manager like Matt Moore because he won’t turn the ball over……wait, nevermind. Moore basically melted in the bad weather and Giants pressure like the bad guy’s faces at the end of Indiana Jones.

25 – Oakland

Oakland reminds me of the scene in the movie where the bad guy stops Indiana Jones in the market and starts to wave his big sword all over the place in a huge display of power. Indy calmly pulls out his pistol and shoots the guy. Well the Raiders had me convinced with their big sword trade of Jason Campbell and maturing wide receivers. The Titans pulled out the pistol in week 1.

26 – Detroit

No need to rehash it – the Lions were robbed by a terrible rule. And that’s why they are ranked higher than the Bears despite losing to them. Even though they lost Mattew Stafford and will likely plummet after this week, they get a bump for the effort in week 1.

Nightmare on Elm Street

27 – Chicago

Yes, Jay Cutler threw for a lot of yards, but he’s still a turnover machine and will be a nightmare for Chicago’s playoff chances.

28 – Denver

What was more overhyped? Tim Tebow’s debut or the ridiculous Bachelor spin-off, Bachelor Pad? Tebow was a non-factor and Bachelor Pad was just a pairing up of sluts with meatheats.

29 – Tampa Bay

They are the second team in this tier that won last week, but the team they beat was barely better than Notre Dame. Raheem Morris has some potential on this team, but Bucs fans wish they could just sleep away the season.

30 – St. Louis

The Rams showed a considerable amount of spunk against the Cardinals and Sam Bradford looks like he has the skills to be a franchise QB. Unfortunately they will not win many games if they have to throw it 55 times a game and only give Steven Jackson 22 carries.

31 – Cleveland

Well that didn’t last long. Did we really expect the Jake Delhomme experiment to work with the Browns? Do you really expect Jennifer Lopez to be anything other than a monster pain in the ass as a judge on American Idol? Do you really expect Jenn Brown to be famous for her sideline reporting or her looks?

32 – Buffalo

If Packers GM Ted Thompson wasn’t so opposed to trading, the smart move would be to tell Buffalo RB Marshawn Lynch to bring a few extra bags with him to Green Bay this weekend. Instead Lynch will have to continue to suffer through a rough season while his former Cal teammate quarterbacks a contender without much of a running game.

No comments:

Post a Comment