Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NFL Quarter Pole Power Rankings: Part 1 - Party Like It's Not The Late 90's

The title is because each of the top 4 teams was terrible, horrible, no good very bad during the titular time period. Seriously, one had Ryan Leaf, one had a washed up Warren Moon, one had Jake Plummer and the worst (best) one had Bruce Coslet. Oh how times have changed.

Suck A Cock On Camera And Get FAMOUS If You Wanna Match Wits With Ya Boi JAMEIS

To be clear, this isn’t to say Jameis Winston is gay.  He’s probably not.  It's merely saying that he's stupid enough to have sex on camera - frankly I could see it happening after the Halloween eve game at Louisville - and that prospective NFL franchises have to be really bad AND really dumb enough to get on his level. These ones qualify.

32) Oakland Raiders (0-4)
31) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
29) New York Jets (1-3)
28) St. Louis Rams (1-2)
27) Washington REDACTEDs (1-3)
26) Tennessee Titans (1-3)

What's left to say about the Raiders and Jaguars? They're the last two winless teams in the league and they have the two worst point differentials in the league despite that the team directly above them literally losing a game by 42 points. It's like they try to top each other weekly with their astounding levels of awful. Maybe this means Gus Bradley's gonna get fired by Twitter DM next week? The Jags go a spot higher because their best "almost" win (Philadelphia) is better than Oakland's (New England) and their rookie quarterback has already shown more promise despite starting 3 less games.

Big ups to the Bucs. They recovered from one of the most embarrassing losses in recent NFL history to hang with Pittsburgh in Heinz Field for four quarters before stealing the win with 10 late points. They were also competitive in their other two losses - unfortunately those two losses were both to backup quarterbacks (Derek Anderson and Austin Davis.)

The Jets lone win is a squeaker over the Raiders but they at least led the Packers in Lambeau for a while and put up a good fight in home losses to the Bears and Lions. They completely bottled up Matt Forte in the former, costing me my only loss of the year in my 23 man league that currently has college players up for blind bid. It's the rare fantasy league that actually requires in depth knowledge and more than just a horseshoe up your ass so I'm still pissed about that loss.

The Rams and REDACTEDs have their only wins over the year over the Bucs and Jaguars. The Titans have been awful since their shocking opening day win at Arrowhead - arguably the most bizarre result of the young season thus far.

AFC East And Friends

Self explanatory. The rest of the most embarrassing division in football and three other crap franchises that would fit right in.

25) New England Patriots (2-2)
24) Miami Dolphins (2-2)
23) Carolina Panthers (2-2)
22) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)
21) Buffalo Bills (2-2)
20) Cleveland Browns (1-2)

The Patriots are - in a word - shocking. Tom Brady looks past it, the offensive line is a mess, the receivers are an even bigger mess (why aren't KENBRELL and Aaron Dobson getting more run like they did to keep the passing game alive with spit and tape last season?) and the defense....well, we all saw it get ripped apart by Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce. That 30-7 domination of the Vikings in Minnesota's TCF Bank home opener looked par for the course back then but it looks like a bizarre outlier now. Of course, it's still the Patriots and it's still Brady and Belichick so I don't think anyone should be REALLY surprised if and when they "upset" the Bengals on Sunday night.

Joe Philbin's reverse psychology on Ryan Tannehill might have worked against the Raiders but it's not going to work against real teams. Tannehill's still not the answer and I doubt he'll be able to keep up in four of Miami's next five - firefights vs Green Bay, at Chicago, vs San Diego and at Detroit (luckily a Jaguars game is sandwiched in the middle - or maybe unluckily. They could really use Jameis and winning that one won't help.)

If Tennessee thrashing KC in Arrowhead was the most bizarre result of the season, Carolina's D locking down the Lions in week 2 might get the silver medal. Other than that game, the Panthers have looked WRETCHED - particularly the defense these past two weeks. Kelvin Benjamin is the only bright spot here and last season looks as smoke and mirrors as many suspected it was.

You could make the case for the Steelers being A LOT lower. As previously mentioned, they lost at home to the Bucs. The Ravens dominated them on Thursday Night Football despite having all the distractions in the world. Hell, they even nearly had an epic collapse against the Browns in week 1. But they get the benefit of the doubt of not being in the AFC East. If the Bills hadn't just benched EJ Manuel, they'd probably be above them too.

The Browns have actually played well in each of their games so far but they're 1-2 and they're still the Browns.

Flashes Of Potential

These teams are all on various places on the bipolar spectrum. Sometimes they're WINNING. Sometimes they're not so WINNING. But they're always unpredictable and they're always driving their fans crazy.

19) New York Giants (2-2)
18) Atlanta Falcons (2-2)
17) Minnesota Vikings (2-2)
16) New Orleans Saints (1-3)
15) Houston Texans (3-1)
14) Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

As if any team other than the Giants was gonna kick us off in this category. The Lions thumped them on Monday Night Football to open the season. Then they lost at home by double digits to Drew Stanton when Drew Stanton was flying from three time zones over to make his NFL debut. But they've righted themselves by dominating the previously unbeaten Texans and then Larry Donnell beat the REDACTEDs all by himself on Thursday Night Football. The good news for them - and for my aforementioned 23 man fantasy team - is that Eli Manning has played better by the week. Which means he's probably getting picked five times by the Falcons defense that just got destroyed by Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Asiata (I mean, jesus, just look at that last hyperlink's headline.) Now all they have to do is score more than two points and they're golden!

The Falcons are the Texas Tech of this year's NFL - score lots of points, defense gives them up even quicker. Worth noting that their two touchdown loss in week 2 to the Bengals wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated. Also worth noting that they might have the two most dangerous gamebreakers in the league so far this year - Devin Hester and Antoine Smith.

The Minnesota Teddys might be the biggest wild card in the league now that Bridgewater is off and running as their franchise QB. Of course, he wasn't their only breakout star of last week - Jerick McKinnon (18 carries, 135 yards) and Jarius Wright (8 catches, 132 yards) say hi. If they ever get the ball to Cordarrelle Patterson, who knows how much more dangerous they could be?

The Saints are the most "wait and see" team in the league. 3 road games and 1 home game thus far means their 1-3 start is surprising but not totally shocking, especially when they lost at Atlanta in overtime and at Cleveland at the final gun. I think we're all still scratching our head at that dud in Dallas on Sunday night, though - particularly this.

The two Texas teams - who play at Jerryworld on Sunday - are pretty similar in that they're 3-1 teams but neither one appears to be as good as their record. Houston's wins are over the REDACTEDs, Raiders and EJ Manuel whereas the Cowboys needed a double digit comeback to beat the Rams to go along with their victories over mediocre Tennessee and Road New Orleans.


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