This is it guys! Three weeks left in the regular season and the NFC is a bigger mess than it has been in years! If the NFC is a heavyweight boxing match, then the AFC is a seven year old’s tickle fight. And the NFC East is a Bermudas Triangle of incompetent football. Let’s get to this week’s rankings!
1: Baltimore Ravens
This was the hardest any team punched Lamar Jackson in the face, as the Bills defense through hell at the Ravens’ quarterback all day. And Jackson walked away with a TKO victory. Baltimore has the one seed in the AFC in his grasp, and the division will be theirs as soon as next week.
2A/2B/2C/2D: New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers
On any given day, these four teams can beat each other. Every one of these teams has signs of greatness while also having maddening flaws. As the top four teams in the NFC, it really does set the conference up well for what could be an absolutely amazing playoffs. Only two of these teams are going to get a bye. One of these teams is gonna be a road wild card team because, even though the Cowboys are a laughing stock, they are guaranteed a home game. Two MASSIVE games are coming up in the next couple weeks with the 49ers and Seahawks still having one game left, and the Packers going to Minnesota to play the Vikings one more time, with Minnesota only a single game back in the North. The Saints can shut it down, their division is already won.
6: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are a step below the four teams above them, but are still rolling right now. The offense has stepped up as the defense has faltered, and as long as the Vikings play at noon on a Sunday in the first round of the playoffs, they are a team that nobody will want to play. If they have to play a true national television game, though, they are absolutely screwed.
7: Tennessee Titans
Don’t look now, but this is the most ridiculous resurrection of a season in a while now. Count me among the camp that didn’t think Ryan Tannehill was anything more than a backup quarterback anymore, but he is playing himself into a real payday next season, before he goes full Osweiler and harpoons that team’s salary cap when he turns back into a quarterback pumpkin.
8: Kansas City Chiefs
It’s probably a very small measure of revenge that the Chiefs beat the Patriots in a random game in December after losing to them in the AFC Championship last year, but it’s got to be thrilling to know that, at this point, Tom Brady is basically just Vinny Testeverde with a ridiculous diet.
9: New England Patriots
This team is trash and any New England fan that has the balls to complain about officiating should be forced to root for the Cleveland Browns for eternity. The Patriots have gotten more breaks over the years than a Trump lackey.
10: Buffalo Bills
There is something to be said about a team like the Bills that are clearly inferior on paper, yet play the hell out of better teams and take them down to the wire. Inevitably, they are going to live and die by whether Josh Allen shoots them in the dick or not, but if they can manage him, then this team becomes the ultimate “I don’t want to play them” team of round one of the playoffs.
11: Houston Texans
It’s really not a great look to beat the Patriots (even though that’s become more of a normal thing as the Patriots slowly get dragged to hell by the surly grasp of father time) and then turn around and get the absolute piss kicked out of you by Drew Lock, which seems like it should be the name of a rich snob in a teen movie.
12: Los Angeles Rams
Remarkably, the Rams have played themselves back into wild card contention by realizing that Todd Gurley is a running back, and not a chia pet, so instead of letting him sit in the sun and slowly sprout, they have had him run the ball, and it’s worked. They completely shut down the Seahawks and provided me with one of my most thrilling fantasy moments ever, which I’m now going to describe because THIS IS MY COLUMN AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT.
So I play in a 14 team league and because of the size and to increase scoring, we introduced individual defensive players five years ago. In the first round of the playoffs, I was holding on to a small lead, with my last player being Dante Fowler of the Rams. My opponent had Cooper Kupp and Bobby Wagner. In the fourth quarter, Wagner went on a tackling rampage, and with 3 minutes left in the game, he overtook the lead by 0.17 points. Then, just as I was getting ready to set fire to everything around me, Fowler came up with half a sack in the final two minutes, pushing me ahead for a narrow victory that put me in the semi-finals. God I love (hate) fantasy football.
13: Pittsburgh Steelers
This is just gonna happen. The Steelers taking a wild card spot after the start they had is like going to the dentist. It sucks, nobody is gonna enjoy it, and you just have to sit back and let the anesthesia kick in to tolerate it.
14: Chicago Bears
I swear to shit, if the Bears fuck around and win 10 games and miss the playoffs because they pooped themselves against the Chargers and Eagles…
15: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This team is not good but I any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll be goddamned, they are pretty fun to watch. Jameis Winston threw for 450 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. Say what you will, but any team that is gonna pass that much that consistently and just be completely off the wall and unpredictable creates must watch television.
16: Indianapolis Colts
This is the end…..my only friend, the end…..
17: Denver Broncos
It’s the Drew Lock era, baby! Noted Bojack Horseman impersonator John Elway might have lucked into his future quarterback. Now watch him screw it up by dry humping his salary cap into oblivion by spending 20 million per season to bring in Melvin Gordon, only to watch him break down like Funny Cide at the Preakness.
18: Cleveland Browns
So apparently Odell Beckham has been playing with a sports hernia all season, which is fucking insane to me. I was diagnosed with a hernia in January. I have days where I don’t want to get out of bed. I tried to play softball this year, and I wasn’t able to move by body to swing a bat. I can’t ride a bike. Yet, Odell is out there getting scapegoated every week by white people.
19: Oakland Raiders
This team went from sexy sleeper pick in the AFC West to going back to being a laughingstock in a matter of three weeks. It’s good that some level of order has been restored in the NFL when the Raiders have the common courtesy to be a giant fucking disaster.
20: Dallas Cowboys
This team is going to win the NFC East in spite of the fact that they made Mitch Trubisky look like Joe Montana on national television. The NFC East should be sunk into the Atlantic Ocean.
21: Philadelphia Eagles
I’m not gonna lie. I’m writing this before Monday Night Football. Even if this team wins, I wouldn’t move them up a single spot than this because this team is basically built of balsa wood and Chinese tooth paste and is set to self-immolate any time now. In fact, if they were in any other division than the Alabama Educational System of football, their season would be completely over.
22: Heathrow Chargers
You know how, when you have a dog that you know is dying, and you decide that you are going to take it to have it put down, and then all of a sudden, the day you are going to, the dog shows a bunch of life, and is running around, and deep down in your heart you know the dog is hurting and even though they are doing their best, you know what the right thing to do is?
That was Philip Rivers on Sunday. It’s still time to take him out back and Old Yeller him.
23: New York Jets
It’s really depressing that I’m putting this team this high, but it really says a lot about how absolutely atrocious the bottom of the NFL is. The top of the NFL is Lindsay Lohan, circa 2006. The bottom of the NFL is Lindsay Lohan now.
24: Carolina Panthers
A report came out that the Panthers were going to look at trading Cam Newton in the offseason. Are they sure? Has Kyle Allan really set the world on fire so much that you are now thinking of jettisoning a former MVP? I know that Newton might be done, but holy hell, this team seems like it is trying to get sucked into a black hole of NFL irrelevance.
25: Atlanta Falcons
I absolutely predicted that this team was going to screw around late in the season and manage to save this awful coaching staff. This team is going to somehow end up with seven wins, and the owner is going to say that the team is building on something and keep everyone, then go back to having sex with a reciprocating saw.
26: Arizona Cardinals
There is an old proverb: When you have three running backs, you have zero running backs. David Johnson deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award, which I will forever refer to as the Peyton Hillis Award, for the player who has a great season, then immediately falls off a cliff, and just ends up being drafted by the worst fantasy players you know every year.
27: Detroit Lions
There were a couple weeks when Matt Patricia tricked people into thinking he might know what he is doing. I never fell for it. Fat Rich Kotite isn’t going to be a coach anymore in a couple weeks. Just another big, dumb, wilted apple from the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
28: Washington Dan Snyder is a Prolapsed Assholes
Dwayne Haskins limped off the field at halftime then was back on the field in the second half, because any team that watched their future go tits up by rushing Robert Griffin III back a few years ago shouldn’t be responsible for learning from their own mistakes.
29: Jacksonville Jaguars
Don’t be sad it’s over, Gardner Minshew, just be happy it happened in the first place.
30: Miami Dolphins
This team can’t even tank properly. They went from the most obvious tank team of the season to the possibility of not even having a top three pick in the draft this year. If I were the Dolphins, I’d immediately fire Brian Flores and replace him with Matt Patricia. Now THAT is a man who could lead a team to a good tankin’.
31: New York Giants
Just assume that if they win on Monday night, I’d have them ahead of the Lions. I’m sure as hell not getting out of bed to edit this used Geo Tracker of a football team.
32: Cincinnati Bengals
Just good enough to keep it interesting. Still crappy enough to pull off the tank loss. It’s gonna be thrilling when Joe Burrow pulls an Eli Manning and refuses to play for this team.