As snow covers the ground and the summer becomes a distant memory, so to does the dreams of most football fans. As teams have now completed their tenth games of the season, we stare down the barrel of reality that around five teams can win the Super Bowl this year. Everyone assumed the Patriots and Rams would be there. The Ravens were a playoff team last year and made the logical leap into the elite this season. The Packers and 49ers, on the other hand, were both coming off terrible seasons before making the jump into contention this year.
And the other teams expected to compete this year? The Rams have quarterback issues. The Eagles have quarterback issues. The Bears have a quarterback black hole that could devour us all. Meanwhile the Bills, in spite of being objectively bad, are going to tap dance into the playoffs. Someone is bound to win the AFC South to earn the right to somehow lose to the Bills in the first round of the playoffs.
Football is stupid. Like, the guy jumping through the cake in the November Rain video stupid. Anyway, here are this week’s power rankings.
1: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are building up signature wins and thanks to the bad crapping by the Steelers on Thursday Night Football, have opened up a sizable three game lead with just six to play. Lamar Jackson continues to play at an MVP level and is starting to get some deserved talk as one of the best quarterbacks in all of football.
2: New England Patriots
I feel like this happens every year. Right around December, the Patriots start to tuck in a little, start winning some uglier games, just try to get out of town healthy. Then the moment the playoffs start, they pull a Fast and the Furious, hit the nitrous, Bill Belichick says “Too soon, Junior” and they move on to the Super Bowl. It’s a story as old as time.
3: Seattle Seahawks
It seemed serious initially, but it’s huge that Tyler Lockett was not seriously injured on Thursday night, and is out of the hospital and hopefully on track to play on Sunday. The Seahawks are not a deep team at wide receiver, and Lockett missing any time would leave the team relying on some guys with the last name Brown and rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf, who has had some infuriating drops over the past few weeks.
4: San Francisco 49ers
If you want me to take you seriously as a Super Bowl contender, you need to learn how to put away a team like the Arizona Cardinals every week. The 49ers keep getting wins against bad teams, but they are going to have to put on their big boy pants on Sunday night against the NFC North leading Packers. Speaking of…
5: Green Bay Packers
The Packers have to looks at the way the NFC is breaking and think that this could be their best opportunity in years to make the Super Bowl. Every other contender seems to have a glaring weakness, and the Packers are in the same boat, with issues in rush defense. But their ability to hide some of their issues, along with Aaron Rodgers showing up and showing out on a near weekly basis could have the Packers as the favorite in the NFC with a win Sunday Night.
6: New Orleans Saints
If the Panthers keep shooting themselves in the foot, then the Saints will have this division wrapped up by the time the calendar hit’s December. That’s great for Sean Payton’s team, as they can use the final month to fine tune their team and get Alvin Kamara into gear in time for the playoffs.
7: Minnesota Vikings
At halftime on Sunday, I was ready to dump this team down the standings and point out that nobody owns anything as hard as Vic Fangio owns the Vikings. Then the Vikings realized they were the more talented team, the Broncos realized they were nothing more than a scarecrow whose General Manager is the human version of Bojack Horseman, both in notoriety and look, and they became the first team in five years to come back from at least a 20-0 deficit at halftime.
8: Kansas City Chiefs
Nothing quite like the Chargers in Mexico to cure what ails you. Patrick Mahomes still doesn’t completely look right on his knee, but “not completely right” Patrick Mahomes is still better than 80% of the quarterbacks in the NFL.
9: Buffalo Bills
I mean, this team is going to win 10 games this year. Nine wins is going to pretty easily garner a playoff spots in the AFC this season, and the Bills are basically in cruise control to get the five seed. They still have the Jets, Steelers, and Broncos on the schedule, meaning that as long as they don’t trip down a collective flight of stairs, this team will control its own fate.
10: Dallas Cowboys
If you squint just right, you see a team that is highly functional through the air and is being dragged down by their mega-dollar running back. Ezekiel Elliott has not looked like himself yet this year, while Dak Prescott has recovered from early year struggles to find himself putting together the most passing yards in a two game stretch in Cowboys history.
11: Indianapolis Colts
For as good as the Colts are with Jacoby Brissett as quarterback, they deserve to be left out of the playoffs simply because they have Brian Hoyer has their backup. You know that when Colin Kaepernick sues the NFL again, he can just put a picture of Brian Hoyer up as evidence, and the judge should be like “case closed. I rule for the plaintiff.”
12: Oakland Raiders
Not betting on the Raiders to make the playoffs was not something I was intending to regret before the season started. A big part of the turn around this season has been the play of quarterback Derek Carr. Jon Gruden was basically threatening to trade him all last year, decided to stick with him, and Carr has responded by putting up the type of season you needed him to put up: fast, efficient, minimized mistakes.
13: Houston Texans
The Texans had an opportunity to come out and make a statement against the Ravens that they were a contender in the AFC and that any team wanting to win the Super Bowl was going to have to go through Houston first. Instead, they put their dicks into a door jamb and slammed it on themselves repeatedly.
14: Los Angeles Rams
They may have beaten the Bears on Sunday night, and the Bears might suck, but at least the Bears aren’t “paying Jared Goff a metric ton of money to be bad” bad.
15: Tennessee Titans
The least interesting team in the NFL, 11 years running, is well on pace to go 8-8 this season, while playing their homespun version of mediocre. If the color beige was a football team, it would be the Titans.
16: Carolina Panthers
Now, that was embarrassing…
17: Pittsburgh Steelers
NOW, THAT WAS EMBARASSING!!
18: Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz isn’t a good NFL quarterback, and I’m not sure I’m going to be convinced otherwise. Wentz should send Mitch Trubisky an edible arrangement every week because Trubisky is so outwardly bad that people don’t tend to notice how shittily Wentz has been playing.
19: Arizona Cardinals
This team is everything a rebuilding team and its fanbase could hope for. Young, entertaining, stays competitive, and does just enough to lose every week to ensure a high draft pick and the ability to draft a game breaking defensive player that they desperately, desperately, desperately, desperately need.
20: Jacksonville Jaguars
I mean, they are still somewhat competent. They are still losing. But without Gardner Minshew at the helm, it’s just a less interesting, oatmeal type of losing. No flash. No flair.
21: San Diego Chargers
Everywhere Philip Rivers goes, he has to hear the song “This is the End….my only friend, the end” as he hoists himself into his minivan so he can drive around his baseball starting lineup of children. God, it must be depressing to know his career is almost over and that he’s just gonna have to be home dealing with that every day. I guarantee you he is going to tell his agent that he’s willing to be a backup quarterback somewhere until he is 50.
22: Cleveland Browns
IF YOU’RE GONNA BE DUMB, YOU GOTTA BE TOUGH. IF YOU GET KNOCKED DOWN YOU GOTTA GET BACK UP! Seriously, this entire team is a Jackass movie playing out in football form. Cleveland’s stadium is going to have a sink hole form, devouring the entire team, and all anybody will talk about is how Baker Mayfield didn’t get eaten by the sink hole with any class.
23: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are gonna fuck around and finish 7-9. Watch. Nobody is going to get fired from this collective pet rock of a football organization. Mediocrity will reign supreme in the world of Home Depot!!
24: Chicago Bears
It’s pretty thrilling that the Bears have gotten to the “inventing injuries so they don’t hurt their shitty quarterback’s feelings when they bench him” part of the season.
25: Detroit Lions
They have Jeff Driskel as their starting quarterback. They deserve this.
26: Denver Broncos
This team has boring bad perfected. I thought the Falcons were figuring out the best way to be that, but the Broncos are out here teaching a masterclass in it.
27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s almost fitting that the
Buccaneers are going to inevitably break down and give Jameis Winston
a contract extension that is going to immediately ejaculate a million
articles saying that Winston is both underpaid AND overpaid. “He’s
only making 24 million dollars per season and he makes plays
downfield.” “You could hire a Juggs machine that will throw fewer
interceptions.” “His teammates seem to like him.” “Reports
are that the entire wide receiving corps is threatening to boycott
the team if Winston gets an extension.”
The NFL offseason is truly thrilling.
28: New York Jets
It was announced that Adam Gase and his coaching staff are safe this offseason. Upon hearing this news, there were celebrations instantly heard coming from the New England Front Office.
29: New York Giants
Please, for the love of god, shut down Saquon Barkley. He is a star in this league but he hasn’t been healthy most of the year and he’s getting grinded down a team with absolutely no reason to be doing anything other than lose games. LET THE WAYNE GALLMAN ERA COMMENCE!!
30: Miami Dolphins
This sweaty, tropical clown car can’t even tank properly.
31: Cincinnati Bengals
Now this is a team that knows how to tank properly! The Bengals are the Da Vinci of tanking. Someday we are going to be able to look back on this as their masterpiece. I want the 2019 Bengals season to hang in the Louvre.
32: Washington Scissor Kick Dan Snyder in the face with a Broad Sword
It takes a pretty special brand of shitty to be worse than a team that hasn’t won a game yet this season, but here we are. Congratulations Washington, you football version of a Chilean Mine. Dwayne Haskins is doomed to fail, like co-starring in a movie with Dane Cook.