What a weird weekend it has been for football. Half of the top 10 in the NCAA goes down in flames and the NFL’s underachievers and overachievers went nuts. Congratulations to Brett Favre, Osi Umenyiora, and other record breakers of this weekend.
The outcome of college football this weekend only further proved to me what I’ve realized all along about college football: in reality there are only five or so really good teams, a whole lot of crap teams that benefit by playing even worse teams, and that the system of AP (Arbitrary Placement) rankings is completely unfair. What’s worse is that one of the few college teams I truly dislike (Cal) came out on top over an underrated Oregon team, a school whose athletic program is one of the few that is both entertaining to watch and truly great at the same time.
So I guess my impartiality has shown through, huh? Anyways, here’s my NFL TURBO RANKINGS (better than Power Rankings and with less impartiality and more fun facts!) after Week 4 (and after the jump). [Continue reading…]
32. New Orleans Saints – Congratulations to the Saints who finally went through a week of the regular season without coming out with a loss! Things aren’t looking so easy in the Big Easy, and they’re gonna need all the help they can get from Reggie Bush now that Deuce McAllister, who was really the center of the teams offense last year, is out for the season. Can Bush bust through those defenses like they’re the animated walls from those adidas commercials?
31. San Diego Chargers – I’d relegate them to the bottom position simply out of general principle for both having so much talent and being so bad (and ruining my Super Bowl pick) if the Saints didn’t fit that criteria already. This team is already a trainwreck and a half and it’s only the first fourth of the season. While apparently the rest of the league in the middle of a quarterback controversy, I’m amazed there isn’t one in San Diego as Philip Rivers still is going through puberty while the best quarterback on the team is too busy lining up behind him. Fun Fact #1: The Chargers are in last place in the AFC West while the Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos are in a three-way tie for first.
30. St. Louis Rams – At least the Rams have an excuse for being so bad with having so many injuries on that offensive line, which is the key component to not only having an effective offense but also protecting your scorers (Marc Bulger is playing with two broken ribs and Stephen Jackson is on a break from his 2,500-yard season with a groin injury). Rams faithful are going to see what it once was like when Kurtt Leiner and the red-hot Cardinals visit the cumbersomely named Edward Jones Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis next week.
29. Miami Dolphins – At this point, it seems like the only break Cameron ‘Cam’ Cameron and the Fish can catch is a bye-week in Week 9 followed by a home game against the Bills. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long season for the Dolphins. I wish Bill Parcells was still a coach so I could make some kind of Big Tuna/dolphin-safe joke. At least they have Darren McFadden/Tim Tebow to look forward too.
28. Buffalo Bills – The Football Gods finally gave poor the Buffalo Buffalo a break after what has already been a rough start to their season. Oh, and this was pretty damn funny. Well… hope you guys enjoy Dallas!
27. Minnesota Vikings – Given that the most important player on a football team is the quarterback, the Vikings should be a lot better than this since they have three of them, right?
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Nice comeback over the Chargers, but this team is still really bad. Their offense is completely one-dimensional (and that dimension is called “Larry Johnson”) and after seeing that AFC Wild Card game against the Colts last season everyone realized that it was stoppable.
25. New York Jets – Yeah the Bills that they lost to are ranked below them, but I’ll give them the benefit of a doubt regarding that first game due to SpyGate. OK, not really. They’ve just played their losses closer than most teams in this portion of the list. The Jets have always played small-ball (limited in part by Chad Pennington’s weak arm), but right now it’s not working.
24. Chicago Bears – Remember when there were mumblings that Lance Briggs might’ve been traded to Philly for Donovan McNabb? That doesn’t sound half bad right now for both teams. Fun Fact #2: The Bears D was on the losing end of another record set this weekend as the Lions scored the most points by any team in the 4th quarter (37) for the victory.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Donovan McNabb would’ve given me negative fantasy points for those record-tying 12 (!) sacks if it weren’t for the Giants playing prevent-D. This team is so unbelievably bad right now that they’d be much, much lower if it weren’t for defense actually playing well against Eli and that I’m giving the benefit of a doubt to the Eagles for not having Brian Westbrook against the G-Men. A bye-week followed a three week stretch of Jets/Bears/Vikings before facing the Cowboys should do them well.
22. Atlanta Falcons – Things are finally looking up for this team that, on paper, isn’t half as bad as they’ve been playing. After all, their points per game has increased with each successive game (3, 7, 20, 26), finally culminating in a win. At this rate, they’ll be Super Bowl Champions after beating the New England Patriots 217-14.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – I feel sorry for any team that puts up 45 points in a game only to lose it (they did it last year too against the Chargers), but then I realize that it only happens when you have one of the worst defenses in the league. Besides, how can I feel sorry for a team whose rap sheet is as long as total yardage they gave up to the Browns?
20. San Francisco 49ers – Rest assured my fellow Niners faithful, Super Bowl Champion Trent Dilfer is here to lift up the ailing offense and save the day! Fun Fact #3: Trent Dilfer is the only starting quarterback released from his team after winning a Super Bowl.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars – There is no other way to describe a team with such a dynamic running back tandem that’s underachieving (33.3 yards per game, Maurice Jones-Drew?!) and averaging 150 yards per game passing as mediocre. Oh, how about “boring?” I’m still laughing at Dave for picking Maurice Jones-Drew with the second pick in the fantasy draft. They’d probably be ran
ked higher if they were in the NFC, but they’re one loss away from being at the bottom of the competitive AFC South.
18. Baltimore Ravens – Football is a sport where it takes experience and veteran leadership to be a great team. Unfortunately, it seems that this team is just old as opposed to having either one of those qualities. Fun Fact #4: The once-fearsome Ravens defense has given up 300 yards per game.
17. Oakland Raiders – As much as I despise this team, Daunte Culpepper rubbing it in the face of the Dolphins was pretty damn funny. Also, I’m calling for a moratorium on the whole calling-a-time-out-right-as-the-opposing-kicker-kicks-the-game-winning-field-goal-only-to-make-him -do-it-again thing that started with Mike Shanahan doing this to the Raiders. Hopefully that’ll all come to an end since it failed Urban Meyer on Saturday.
16. Carolina Panthers – Well, I guess David Carr does suck after all.
15. Washington Redskins – Jason Campbell and the rest of their offense is going to have to be much more than just efficient if the ‘Skins want to get anywhere aside from 8-8. Clinton Portis, you better start running like you’re Southeast Jerome being chased by Sheriff Gonna Getcha.
14. Cleveland Browns – Don’t ask me how it happened, but it looks like Romeo Crennel might be keeping his job at the end of this season after all. At the rate that this football team is going, Brady Quinn might have to wait for his chance to play longer than he did at the NFL Draft.
13. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals finally have a chance at making the playoffs again, but it all hinges on the performance of Matt Leinart. Unfortunately, he seems to be lacking in any confidence and it’s probably because he’s afraid of finding out what he caught from Paris Hilton.
12. New York Giants – For once Eli Manning looks comfortable and confident behind center, but it’s too bad he doesn’t have big playmakers around him like Big Brother does. Their defense looked good on Sunday night against the Eagles, but that was because McNabb was so immobile on that bad knee that he was too busy getting sacked to throw the ball into the godawful Giants secondary.
11. Houston Texans – How Matt Schaub came out of nowhere and sparked this team is unbelievable to me, but injuries to Andre Johnson and Ahman Green are going to be punishing. If anything, I’m only hoping for this team to continue sucking in order to prevent the onslaught of bandwagon jumpers who will claim to be fans since the beginning and bombard us with the “I told you so’s.”
10. Detroit Lions – We must live in a universe that doesn’t obey the laws of reality and physics when a Matt Millen-run professional football team out of Detroit with Jon Kitna at quarterback and no Barry Sanders is somehow 3-1. Fun Fact #5: Kitna leads the league in passing yards (1227) and sacks (18).
9. Denver Broncos – They’re 2-2 right now and could make some noise in the limping AFC West, but alternately they have a horrid run defense (181 yards per game) that will take a beating when they have to play LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, and an Oakland Raiders team that is running the ball very well twice this season. Fun Fact #6: QB Jay Cutler was born in Santa Claus, IN.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers– In a season where Brett Favre and the Pack are undefeated and the Texans and Lions are good, this team is the real surprise while they sit atop the NFC South by themselves. Jeff Garcia is the most underappreciated quarterback of recent history and knows how to run an effective West Coast offense. Seeing literally the whole team on the field when ‘Cadillac’ Williams was on the ground was one of the most bittersweet things I’ve ever seen in a football game. They can only hope his absence is not a major setback. Fun Fact #7: The Bucs defense leads the league by allowing only 11.0 points per game.
7. Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre being good again takes me back to my middle-school days. Despite being undefeated so far, I’ve docked them a few spots on the list for playing weak teams so far and having no running game. Fun Fact #8: Brett Favre is 3 INTs away from breaking George Blanda’s record (277) of career interceptions thrown.
6. Tennessee Titans – Apologies to my USC-alum friends, but Vince Young is by far the most exciting player in the NFL right now. I’m calling it: Vince Young breaks the Madden Curse, takes the Titans to the AFC Championship, ends world hunger, and finds a cure for cancer. OK, they’ll at least make it to the Divisional Round.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Mike Tomlin Era is off to a good start, but unfortunately Ben Rothlessburger (how do you spell his damn name?!) is still their quarterback. All the places are in set for a deep run in the playoffs, barring a regression into Grossman-level playing by Big Ben.
4. Seattle Seahawks – I gotta give it up to the Seahawks who are a lot better than I’ve previously given them credit for. Shaun Alexander is way over the hill by now, but their receiving corps looks good and Mike Holmgren continues to be one of the best coaches in the NFL. This team is one less bad fumble away from 4-0.
3. Dallas Cowboys – You all know how I feel about Tony Romo already. The ‘Boys are in serious trouble if they can give up a lot of points to a quality opponent like they did to the Giants in Week 1, but playing in the NFC will benefit them a lot. My fellow Niners fans, the Dark Ages are upon us once again.
2. New England Patriots – Why do I hate the Patriots? 1. They are flawless. 2. Bill Belichick is the embodiment of all evil, SpyGate or not. 3. They are singlehandedly making the NFL unwatchable. With the Niners so bad right now, the only thing I can root for is for the Patriots to not go 16-0. Fun Fact #9: Tom Brady’s son is named John Edward Thomas Moynahan. “JET” Moynahan. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!
1. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts have shown that they can stare adversity in the face (Titans, the resurgent Texans, Marvin Harrison’s injury) and still come out on top. One day when Peyton Manning dies, it will be revealed that he was a robot created with military technology and engineered to be the greatest football player of all time. By then I think we’ll be welcoming our Manning overlords with open arms. Fun Fact #10: Colts owner Jim Irsay owns the original manuscript (“the roll”) of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.
The Sporting Life with Carman Tse: Real talk. Click below for more.