Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GTOG's First Sporadic NFL Power Rankings

By Finesse

What's that?  You want hastily put together power rankings that are just as reliable as any put out by the pundits?  OK!

1. Green Bay Packers.  Sometimes I watch someone do something and think to myself, "Man, that guy knows what he's doing."  And sometimes I watch Aaron Rodgers and think to myself, "Man, that guy knows what he's doing. I hope he doesn't get a concussion."  Rodgers has ascended to not just the best QB in the league, but the best player as well.

2. Baltimore Ravens.  As Steelers' fans, we're dangerously close to allowing our arrogance to blind us from seeing what might be happening -- the Ravens eclipsing the Steelers as the top team in the AFC North.  The success the Steelers have had over the Ravens the past few years has been by the thinnest of margins, measurable only by the distance between Joe Flacco's eyebrows.

3. New England Patriots. Do we all fall into the same trap with the Patriots every year?  They look absolutely unbeatable and then lose high scoring shootouts to fired up teams, exposing the Pats for what they ultimately are: a one-dimensional machine with an incredible QB but no Plan B.  Still, I'm terrified.

4. New Orleans Saints.  Here's what I know:  When the Saints are down 6 at halftime, and you have Drew Brees on your fantasy team, you're excited.  Though they have similar holes as the Pats -- overreliance on the QB, shaky defense -- they actually have a decent running game and a coach that doesn't make you want to commit a homicide.

5. New York Jets. There's a feud brewing between Joe Namath and Rex Ryan.  Namath thinks Ryan hurts the Jets by pumping up his players to have them thinking that they are better than they actually are.  (Namath is right).  Rex Ryan takes offense because Namath is on the "outside."  Gentlemen, just relax, grab a beer, and kick your feet up and talk it out.

Who's next?  Find out after the jump...

6. Houston Texans.  Much like Dancing With The Stars, everyone talks about the Texans.  But even more like Dancing With The Stars, I don't watch.  (Side note: I thought the judges were too harsh on Carson and Anna).

7. Detroit Lions. Before you get too happy for Lions' fans, remember that these are the same people who like the Red Wings.

8. Buffalo Bills.  My 5 non-obvious favorite current athletes: 5) Manu Ginobili; 4) Chris Kunitz; 3) anyone in the process of sacking Tom Brady; 2) Rob Scuderi; 1) Fred Jackson.  I'm as caught up in the Bills fairy tale as the next guy, but I also think it's important that people understand that we are three games into the season.  A few years ago (not looking it up, but if you want to be our stat guy and do it for me, check our Careers page), an unheralded Broncos team started off 7-1ish but then finished 9-7ish and missed the playoffs.  If the Bills go 10-6 and make the playoffs, that's awesome.  I'm rooting for it.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers.  Kudos to Mike Tomlin for consistently moving the goalposts to make it seem like the Steelers accomplish something when they narrowly defeat bad teams.  Tomlin spent the entire week convincing the media that it was huge for the Steelers to get a win against an AFC team on the road in a hostile environment, or as he would put it, "against an AFC opponent in an inhospitable environment no less."  Lost in translation is the fact that the Colts stink.

10. San Diego Chargers.  The sleeping giant?  They have two narrow wins over Minnesota and Kansas City and they were beaten definitively by the Patriots on the road.  But the glass half full approach is this: they stink at the beginning of every season, but instead of being their normal 0-3 or 1-2, they're 2-1.  Lurking.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Josh Freeman is a good quarterback.  Raheem Morris is a good coach.  The Bucs are pretty solid.  Or so I'm told.

12. New York Giants. I watched them defeat the Eagles this week, and I attribute the victory primarily to two things: 1) Vick's concussion; and 2) Nnamdi Asomugha playing like he was Gay Island's ambassador to the U.N.

Nnamdi Asomugha! Nnamdi Asomugha!
13. Dallas Cowboys. They'll probably make the second round of the playoffs and then lose when Tony Romo fumbles while taking a knee in the victory formation with the Cowboys up 6 with 4 seconds left leading to Drew Brees connecting with Robert Meachem on an 84-yard Hail Mary as time expires.

14. Philadelphia Eagles. Last week after he left with a concussion, I promised that I wouldn't brag about calling Mike Vick's $100 million contract a mistake.  And that promise still stands, but I just thought I'd point out that I'm not bragging about it one more time just so you know I'm not bragging about it.  Truthfully, watching him on Sunday was painful.  I don't know what concussion testing there is in the NFL, but let's hope it's A LOT more stringent in Sidney Crosby's case.  Vick was awful.

15. Atlanta Falcons.  Try coming up with something to say about the Falcons that anyone who reads this site will care about.  Seriously.  I dare you.

16. Oakland Raiders. The Raiders haven't been as bad as you think for the past few years.  They will beat you if you don't finish your chances.  That, or they'll blow a 21-0 lead against Buffalo.  Either way, 9-7 (or better) is not out of the question for this team.

17. Tennessee Titans.  This is a rough estimate, but Chris Johnson is currently earning $487,000 per yard this season.  The Titans are a sneaky good team.  The defense is solid and Matt Hasselbeck is not as bad as he's supposed to be.  They come to Heinz Field in Week 5.  That's not a gimmie for the Steelers.

18. Washington Redskins. On MNF, Jon Gruden was waxing poetic about Mike and Kyle Shanahan scripting the first 15 plays of every game.  Is there anything dumber than scripting the first 15 plays of every game?  If play 8 is a fullback dive, but it's third and goal from the 9, do you still run that play?  If not, why even bother scripting the first 15 plays?  This would be like the Bachelor deciding which 20 of the 30 contestants will get the rose on the first night before exploring whether there is a connection at the cocktail party.

The First Impression Rose heard 'round the world.
19. Cleveland Browns. Colt McCoy is developing into a legit quarterback.  At the beginning of the season I picked the Browns to sneak into the last wild card spot at the expense of the Ravens.  That could still happen, but it could be at the expense of a different AFC North team.

20. San Francisco 49ers.  If they had been able to close out the Punctured Lung Game against the Cowboys, they'd be 3-0 and have a magic number of 1 to clinch the NFC West.  They should make the playoffs.  There's only one thing standing in their way.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars.  Blaine Gabbert sounds like the initial suggestion for the name of a new female character on Gossip Girl before the writers settled on Blaine Wilshire.  Blaine Gabbert also sounds like the first starting QB for the Los Angeles To Be Named Laters in 2013.  Snooze Fest City.

22. Carolina Panthers.  Roger Goodell should stop fining players and start fining the Panthers' organization for continuing to employ both Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.  This is a no-win situation.  Not for Williams, not for Stewart, not for fantasy owners, and definitely not for the Panthers.  Does the league not understand that 99% of the population is rooting for an ACL injury to one of these guys?

23. Chicago Bears. When the best thing you can say about a team's quarterback is that he's a moderately better version of Rex Grossman with a worse personality, the fact that the team is 1-2 sounds about right.

24. Denver Broncos.  For three straight weeks, I've woken up on Monday morning and not remembered whether the Broncos won or lost the previous day.  Tebow-time.

25. Arizona Cardinals. We have it on good authority that when the Cardinals put forward their $60 million offer for Kevin Kolb, he did a double take and started looking for Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew to pop out of the closet.

26. Minnesota Vikings.  Last week we debuted the Leslie Frazier Translator after the Vikes blew their second straight double-digit halftime lead.  So why not dust it off again for the third straight choke job, this time from a 20-0 lead.

Frazier's real quote: One of the things that myself and the coaches have to do is just continue to remind the guys of some of the things they are doing well and get to the meat of the problem, and if we can identify the problem I think we have the right guys in our locker room where we will get it fixed, get it turned around. We need a sense of urgency about getting that done, but if you have the right type of people, character-wise, and they truly believe in what you are trying to get done, you will have a chance of staying together and I think we have the right guys in the locker room where we can stay together.

GTOG Translator: One of things that me and the other coaches have to do is be better coaches.  We've actually identified ourselves as a large part of the problem.  I think we have the right guys in the locker room to turn this around, and I mean that literally because I'm physically not standing in the locker room right now.  Once I go back there, all bets are off.  Actually, I don't believe we have a chance of turning this around, and I don't think we will stay together.  

27. Miami Dolphins.  Best thing about the GTOG Translator is that it applies to everyone.  Let's go to  Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.

Sparano quote: “I can’t explain it.  Well, I can explain. I won’t say I can’t explain it because then you guys will say I can’t explain it. So I will say this: We haven’t played well enough. There’s critical situations that show up in games where you have to make a play."

GTOG Translator: "I can't explain it. No, seriously, I can't. I won't say that I can explain it because then you'd say that I know what I'm doing, but I know no one would believe that.  We haven't played well. Pay me 80% of my remaining salary and I'll quit right now. I promise."

28. St. Louis Rams.  0-3, but with a decent chance of winning the NFC west.

29. Tavaris Jackson.

30. Cincinnati Bengals. If you've ever wondered what it would feel like to watch a running tally of how many children die of famine each year, be a Bengals fan.

Good seats still available.
31. Kansas City Chiefs.  Just when I thought Matt Cassel couldn't be any worse, he goes and throws this game-ending interception ... and totally proves me wrong!  If you're a Chiefs fan, all you can really say at this point is that you hope no one gets hurt.

32. Indianapolis Colts.  Kerry Collins signed with the Colts on August 25th and didn't get injured until Sunday night against the Steelers, thereby exceeding the over/under for when he'd get injured by the entire month of September.  Owner Jim Irsay announced Monday that Peyton Manning probably isn't coming back this season, finally making it official: this Colts' season is a turd waiting to be courtesy flushed.

Thank you, Shaun Suisham.

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