Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Powerlines: Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Something about this photo creeps me out...are these guys hands gigantic, or is it just me?

Week 3 in the NFL has come and gone, and we're starting to get a better idea of where the power truly lies. There are surprises to be sure...Broncos at 3-0 and Titans at 0-3 jump to mind, but really we're starting to know who is good, and who is not. The teams who are terrible are more clear cut at this point, as the top of the heap is yet to be determined, but that's what makes football so great. And now...the power rankings!

1. Saints – Yes, this is probably too high, but since these are my rankings and I enjoy watching Dr. Drew Brees operate on opposing defenses, I’m going to stick them up here at number one, even if they should probably be slightly lower.

2. Ravens – The defense is not nearly what it was a year ago, but then, the offense is much further along than it was before. The Ravens may have one of the most impressive wins of the season in going into San Diego and taking down the Chargers in Week 2. This team is legit, this team also wears too much purple, but whatcha gonna do??

3. Giants They are banged up, and dont have much in the way of wide receivers, but the Giants are still a team to reckon with.

4. Vikings The Vikings have done exactly what I expected them to do with their somewhat easy opening schedule. Things start to get tougher as theyll play the Packers twice, the Steelers and the Ravens in the next stretch of games. How gigantic will those Packer games be as Brett Favre will face the team with whom he should have retired?

5. Jets In the preseason looking at the Jets, I was less than impressed. However, Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan have won me over. Sanchez just looks like a quarterback should, and I absolutely love Rex Ryans attitude. He is the type of arrogant that can rub off on a team and make they play better than the sum of their parts. The Jets are for real, I say.

6. Colts The Colts are hitting their stride, and as long as they have Peyton Manning, theyre in the hunt.

7. Patriots The rumors of the demise of the Patriots have apparently been greatly exaggerated. I was writing tunes for their burial dirge last week, but after the dominating way they took down Atlanta, perhaps they arent as done as I had hoped.

8. Steelers The Steelers look poised for a precipitous fall from grace. Im not ready to lower the hammer yet and send them into the teens in the rankings, but unless they right the ship, that day quickly approaches. The Super Bowl sheen is fading fast from the champs. But seriously, how do you lose to the Bengals?*

9. Chargers If I am a San Diego fan, I see no reason to panic just yet. The Bolts have played some good ball, and they are only one back of Denver. There is a lot of season left, the Chargers should win the West.

10. Packers There is no better way to get healthy than a date with the St. Louis Rams, after faltering at home versus the Bengals, the Pack looks to be back on track and Im sure they wont need any more motivation to face Favre and the Vikes in Minnesota on Monday Night. That game is going to get some crazy good TV ratings, Im sure.

11. Eagles After feasting on the Chiefs, the upcoming schedule does not get a whole lot more difficult. The Eagles have to face the gauntlet of Tampa, Oakland, Washington, from which they should emerge with a 5-1 record. If Donovan McNabb was going to get hurt, this was not the worst time of the season to have to try and get through without him. Kevin Kolb has been solid. Although Michael Vick definitely showed some signs of rust against Kansas City on Sunday, I hope he continues to improve.

12. 49ers Its time to acknowledge that the 49ers just might be a good team. If they were able to keep a 39 year old man from completing a 39 yard TD pass at the end of the game on Sunday, San Francisco would be undefeated right now. The best part of this is that with the success of Mike Singletary in a copycat league, perhaps even more owners will start to consider hiring coaches that are not entirely mentally stable. Ah, I love me some Coach Crazy. Singletary is the man.

13. Cowboys Wade Phillips is a terrible head football coach, right? We can all agree on this? Why is he still employed? Perhaps an even better question would be, how on Gods green earth did he get three chances to be a head coach. The Cowboys are coming to Denver, but they look less than stellar at the moment. Im not going to guarantee that the Broncos win, but lets just say I wont be shocked if it happens.

14. Bears Since both he and I are diabetics, and since he played for my favorite team last season, I think I was blind to it, but Jay Cutler is a giant tool. Im glad hes in the league, because he makes it more fun to cheer against the Bears. Its good to have a villain, and Cutler plays that role spectacularly. Im not saying he isnt a good quarterback, he just isnt very likable. Plus, he looks like a retarded Beatle, which is fun; Its John, Paul, Ringo, and Georgeplus Jay who rides on the short bus.

15. Falcons Boy, if youd told me before the season that Falcons-49ers in Week 4 would be a huge game, Id have been skeptical. HoweverFalcons-49ers this week is a huge game. The Falcons need to get their mojo back after getting musket whipped by the Patriots last weekend, and the Niners need to have their hearts reattached after having them ripped out by Brett Favre on the last play of the game.

16. Bills The Bills are a bit of a hard luck team. Their city is dying, they are likely going to move to Canada in the next decade, and they always seem to be just short of being a good team. Plus that whole four Super Bowl losses in a row thing in the early Nineties. I see reasons to hope in Buffalo, but I think they dont quite have enough to compete in the AFC, especially with the Jets and the Pats in their division.

17. Cardinals If I were a gambling man, I dont think there is any way in the world I would ever put money on the Cardinals. This is one of the most Jekyll and Hyde teams in the NFL. You never know if youre going to get pounded by them or beat the living snot out of them. Either option is a possibility each and every week. The Cardinals have zero consistency.

18. Broncos I want to believe, I really do. The Broncos have been one of the most consistent teams so far this season, Josh McDaniels regular season to this point has been as good as his offseason was bad. If he keeps coaching this way, Ill have to take back all the bad things I said about him in the offseason. The reason Im holding off on the Orange and Blue Kool-Aid is that they really havent beaten anyone yet. The Bengals might be good, but the Broncos win against them was aided by a healthy amount of luck, and the Browns and Raiders are cover your eyes awful right now. In another five weeks we will know a lot more about how much we can trust the Broncos. For now, Im reserving judgment, and Im hoping like mad that they are as good as they have looked to this point.

19. Bengals - *Footnote to my Steelers commentThe Bengals might actually be pretty good. They are one ridiculously lucky Denver Broncos pass away from being undefeated.

20. Texans Matt Schaub is putting up some pretty numbers, but I dont know if there is enough toughness in this team. The Texans really need to put something together, as they are due to be a decent team, and theoretically they have the talent this year. There is just a certain something missing from them, and I cant put my finger on what it is. One thing I know for certain is that they need to never wear those all red uniforms ever again. Those are dreadful.

21. Titans What a weird game this weekend. The Titans were playing the Jets, or was it the Oilers playing the Titans? In an homage to the AFL, the Titans wore Oilers uniforms and the Jets wore Titans uniforms. (The Jets were named the Titans before they were the Jets, and the current day Titans used to be the Oilers.) That is confusing, but it meant that no matter the result, the Titans would win the game. Unfortunately for the Tennessee faithful, it wasnt the team that will continue to be the Titans, as Tennessee fell to an unthinkable before the season started 0-3. Last year the Titans won their first ten games. This year they have already equaled their loss total from the entire year, and theyve only played three games.

22. Seahawks I am convinced that someone in the Seattle organization lost a bet, that is the only possible reason that any NFL team would take the field in a color that is best described as snot green. If Dominique Wilkins was the human highlight film, the Seahawks were just human highlighters against the Bears on Sunday. That uniform needs to go away quickly, as it is beyond dreadfulThe Hawks as a football team struggle without Matt Hasselbeck, who I am beginning to think faked an injury just so he wouldnt have to play in those monstrosities.

23. Jaguars The Jaguars showed some signs of life in beating the cherry red Texans. Im not expecting that to be a trend, however.

24. Panthers Jake Delhomme cannot possibly have any confidence left, its gone. Completely. There is a very good chance that Steve Smith is going to kill someone on the Panthers sideline this year. Did you see him yelling into the air and to anyone who would listen to him on the sidelines on Monday night? He looked completely homicidal. Jake Delhomme should just demand a trade right now. My favorite part of the Smith rant was after he was done and some sideline lackey carrying some cups of Gatorade almost ran into him, and then bolted out of the way with the fear of God in his eyes. Steve Smith is scary.

25. Dolphins There is no life or energy in the Dolphins, and now they dont even have Chad Pennington who is done for the year. Its going to be a long football season in Miami.

26. Redskins Ive seen enough, I think the Redskins suck. Stick a fork in them, because they are DONE. (Yes, Im aware its only week 4, I dont care, they are finished. Jim Zorn is packing up his office as we speak.)

27. Raiders Im not saying that Jamarcus Russell overthrows his targets, but there were Broncos defensive backs calling for fair catches on interceptions on Sunday.

28. Buccaneers The best thing I can write about the Buccaneers is that theyve managed to keep their losses to 13 points or less each game. I wish the Broncos played Tampa this year.

29. Lions Look out for those frisky Lions! Off the schneid after 19 straight losses, that has to feel good if youre a Detroit fan. I gotta say even I felt pretty good for the Lions, and Im no friend to Detroit, but there is only so much consistent losing a soul can takeunless youre a Pirates fan.

30. Chiefs This AFC West team is dreadful, and the offseason coaching overhaul may have made things worse rather than better. Amazingly that sentence doesnt apply to the Broncos, but rather to Kansas City. I have to say, I was expecting more than what theyve shown to this point.

31. Rams This team just doesnt care

32. Browns and this team is too inept to even know HOW to care.

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