Green Bay Packers (7-0) - Previously: #1 - The Packers just had their bye, so let's use this space for the recap of the Chargers-Chiefs Monday night game:
1. The Chargers are crap. They're so good on paper, and everyone wants to place them amongst the league's second tier of teams, but they always screw up. Whether it's committing turnovers, botching red zone opportunities or being whistled for dozens of penalties every game, they always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot.
Norv Turner has to be fired. It's not like the Chargers don't have talent, so it has to be the coaching. How many years in a row can they underachieve without anyone falling on the sword?
By the way, I'm tired of this Norv apologists (Trent Dilfer, Steve Young). San Diego is lackadasical week in and week out. That stems from the head coach. Yes, the players need to be tougher and more focused, but that won't happen until Norv is canned. He stinks.
2. Of course, Philip Rivers deserves a lot of the blame. It was more of the same for him - looking great in between the 20s, struggling in the red zone, choking in the clutch. I don't think I've ever seen a quarterback fumble the snap when setting up a game-winning or tying field goal. There was the Tony Romo play in Seattle, but that was a hold on a field goal. This was just the most routine procedure in football. Ridiculous.
3. Rivers tossed two picks and fumbled twice. He could have thrown a third interception, but Brandon Flowers dropped it. I found it amusing that a bastard of Highgarden nearly picked off a bastard of the Trident. Winter is coming indeed.
4. Jonathan Baldwin caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Impressive numbers. He had a couple of drops, but still - Kansas City's offense is much more dangerous now that it has him going.
5. There was some shady officiating Monday night on both sides. An Antonio Gates touchdown (which cost me a win in my $125 fantasy league) was wiped out because of offensive pass interference even though Gates barely touched the defender. Meanwhile, a clear down-by-contact play by Dexter McCluster was ruled a fumble after a Kansas City challenged. It was so bad that I posted:
Mexican ref doesn't know how to use the replay equipment!
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) - Previously: #7 - Wow, so I guess Pittsburgh's defense isn't old and slow anymore.
Two notes on Antonio Brown. One, he's awesome. Two, he caused me to have the following mishap on Facebook:
Screw you, Zuckerberg.
New England Patriots (5-2) - Previously: #2 - Bill Belichick is a genius and everything, but sometimes I feel like he outsmarts himself. Like, why in God's name did he use Kevin Faulk against the Steelers? And why the hell is Chad Ochocinco still seeing snaps?
Seconds prior to a crucial third-down play in the second half, I heard Jim Nantz say, "Chad Ochocinco is on the field for New England."
When I heard this, I immediately thought, "Ah, crap. This is not going to end well."
Hey, Belichick, you have talented, young players like Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Taylor Price. Use them, for crying out loud.
San Francisco 49ers (6-1) - Previously: #4 - 49ers nose tackle Ricky-Jean Francois is a pretty tough critic, though that shouldn't come as a surprise because he's French (not that there's anything wrong with that). Jean-Francois told some bored media people willing to listen that Andrew Luck would not be the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft if he played in the SEC because of all the tough defenses. I guess Jean-Francois forgot about Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford and the great Captain Skittles.
Oh, and by the way, I like to pronounce it "Gene France-OIZE" because I'm an ignorant American.
Buffalo Bills (5-2) - Previously: #5 - The Bills just had another bye week, so let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "it don't matter is you hjave marshawn lynch and tarvis jackson their still bot going to do any this your qb will get beat like a drum"
Football's getting too high-tech for me. Since when did Roger Goodell introduce bots into the game?
2. "the Dolphins are officailly the new PAIN MEDICINE FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR FAVORITE TEAM. watch them...AND ALL THE PAIN GOES AWAY!!!. ....WARNING! this medicine may cause side affects such as: over confidence, loss of reality, and uncontrolable luaghter. its recomended that you do not take this medicine if you are curently a colts fan."
I'm guessing one other side effect causes you to hop onto GameCenter and make completely incoherent posts?
3. "sure, yeah moss and hightower are ovrrated ummm NO hightower is 3rd in rush yards ur just jelous stupid cowboy fans stop saying bad thing bout the skins i would not say anything with the sucky D u guys have. OH BURN"
Burn, indeed. That Cowboy fan will never recover from that insult.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) - Previously: #15 - Hilarious tweet from Philadelphia Daily News writer Les Bowen on Saturday:
Snow predicted for tomorrow. Eagles expected to postpone Sunday night game until May.
By the way, Philadelphia's victory over the Cowboys was its first home win in 331 days.
New Orleans Saints (5-3) - Previously: #3 - How do the Saints go from slaughtering one winless team by 55 to losing to another by 10? Makes no sense. And isn't it a bit coincidental that the week after I publish a dissertation about how the bad teams are really bad this year, they suddenly start winning and/or playing extremely well? Maybe the bad handicappers are just really bad this year. Burn!
I hacked into this writer's computer and found the next three stories he plans to publish:
1. Cigarettes do not help cause lung cancer.
2. Lindsay Lohan is not a chain-smoking whore.
3. There are no starving kids in Africa, South America and Camden, New Jersey.
Baltimore Ravens (5-2) - Previously: #6 - The Ravens have been involved in two shady outcomes recently. Here's some good proof that the Ravens-Jaguars game was fixed.
And by the way, I don't say that in jest. Jim Rome once interviewed a former New York mobster who revealed that several football games (mostly college) are fixed every week. When there's hundreds of millions of dollars involved, it's a bit naive to believe there isn't any corruption.
New York Jets (4-3) - Previously: #10 - Random rant because the Jets just had their bye:
I think some NFL rules are stupid. Of course, there are the dumb hits that shouldn't draw a flag or phantom holding calls like the one Steve Smith was flagged for that cost Carolina a victory, but I'd like to discuss ridiculous offsetting penalties.
For instance, there was one play in a game this weekend where an offensive linemen held. It prevented the defender from getting a sack, so the quarterback sprinted out and fired the ball downfield. The pass fell incomplete, but the defensive back was whistled for pass interference. The two calls would offset.
I don't get this. The pass interference was the direct result of the hold. If it wasn't for the hold, the quarterback would have been sacked and the defensive back wouldn't have had to cover for so long. Shouldn't the earlier penalty hold precedence unless there's some sort of personal foul?
Whatever. I'm not going to think too deeply about this. After all, the NFL is a league that has teams getting blown out just seven days after winning 62-7, so nothing really makes sense.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 - Bottom 10
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-8) - Previously: #30 - Beloved GameCenter poster and Colts fan Taton during his team's loss:
Anyone else think the Colts should fire Jim Caldwell and bring in Taton? He at least shows some damn emotion, and I'm willing to bet Taton never would have bothered with Kerry Collins. Plus, the press conferences would be awesome, because after a loss, he would just yell, "That is sux!" over and over.
31. Miami Dolphins (0-7) - Previously: #32 - "We're a well-coached football team." -- Tony Sparano, following Miami's 20-17 loss to the Giants.
I beg to differ, kind sir.
30. Arizona Cardinals (1-6) - Previously: #29 - Patriot54 posted the following in the Live In-Games Thread:
This Scott Hanson dude from Red Zone is going crazy this year. He'll have a heart attack by the end of Week 9.
Scott Hanson? What about me? The Cardinals play like crap when I bet on them and nearly pull huge upsets when I go against them. I have no doubt that I'll beat Scott to the hospital.
29. St. Louis Rams (1-6) - Previously: #31 - I can't figure this out, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter (the first from Facebook friend Jay B):
1. "87 yard drive on a who said jags D can stop the run very long day coming jags"
I never thought I'd see anyone confuse "so-called" and "who-said." But that's why GameCenter is so wonderful.
2. "lmao we;re talkn bout this yr, n whats gonna happen tomorrow. heres a little briedf yalls offense gna get shut out and yalls d wont be able to hang, 27-7 texans"
Confused. This guy is calling for a shutout, yet he thinks the other team's going to score seven points. How could a man like this who writes so brilliantly lack so much logic?
3. "goldy locks aint gna do nuthn but throw pics if nething. mjd might have a decent game but no 150 yard gmae "
Watch out for those pictures goldy locks is apparently going to throw!
28. Seattle Seahawks (2-5) - Previously: #28 - Pete Carroll is such a lying douche bag that his own Twitter feed isn't accurate. If you missed it, the Seahawks' Twitter feed reported an hour prior to kickoff that Tarvaris Jackson would start, but Carroll opted to go with Charlie Whitehurst instead.
I can only imagine how this works in his household...
Pete Carroll's Wife: Honey, I've been slaving all day, but all the food is ready for your dinner party.
Pete Carroll: There's not going to be a dinner party.
Pete Carroll's Wife: What do you mean!? You told me a few hours ago that the entire team was coming over!
Pete Carroll: Nah, I changed my mind.
Pete Carroll's Wife: You dick!
*** Pete Carroll's wife throws out most of the food in frustration. Thirty minutes later... ***
Pete Carroll: Hey wife, the guests will be here in five minutes.
Pete Carroll's Wife: What guests?
Pete Carroll: For the dinner party I told you about. The entire team's coming. Come on, get the food ready. Chop chop!
Pete Carroll's Wife: You mother-f***ing son of a b***h, I'm going to f***ing kill you!
27. Washington Redskins (3-4) - Previously: #25 - No one should be shocked if the Redskins don't win another game this year. Perhaps they will though if they take this GameCenter user's advice, posted after the game:
F**K YOU SHANAHAN YOU SHOULD HAVE WENT FOR THE FU**ING FIELD GOAL YOU MORON!
Yeah! The Redskins could have lost 23-3 instead of 23-0!
26. Cleveland Browns (3-4) - Previously: #27 - I have nothing interesting to say on the Browns, so more on the Redskins:
It turns out that I was both right and wrong. Helu didn't get a single carry, but had more standard-league fantasy points (2) than Torain (1).
As for my reasoning? I pretty much gave the same answer to everyone:
Helu played more snaps than Torain after Tim Hightower got hurt. But I'm not completely confident. Predicting Shanahan's running back use is like trying to figure out what women are thinking.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) - Previously: #24 - Great news, Jaguar fans - you drafted Christian Ponder!
Don't believe me? Here's proof:
If stinky Blaine Gabbert is on the Vikings, then Ponder surely must be a Jaguar.
I wonder what else is happening in this alternate universe. Perhaps Emmitt Smith is a master of the English language. Maybe Rosie O'Donnell is the hottest chick on the planet. And could it be that Matt Millen actually enjoys eating kielbasa instead of sticking it into the rear ends of "100-percent USDA Men?" Nah.
24. Denver Broncos (2-6) - Previously: #22 - John Fox told the media that he devised a special game plan for Tim Tebow against the Lions. However, Fox's play-calling absolutely blew, so I decided to call him for an interview to find out what happened.
Me: Hey John, thanks for joining me.
John Fox: Hehehehehe hahahahahaha hehehehehehe hahahahahaha.
Me: What's so funny?
John Fox: Soon my plan will come to fruition, and Tim Tebow will meet his demise! Muhahahahahahaha!
Me: His demise?
John Fox: Yes! My next game plan will look even more Tim Tebow-friendly on paper, but it will ultimately bring him to destruction! Buhahahahaha!
Me: What if he overcomes it like he did against the Dolphins?
John Fox: Impossible! But if such a thing were to happen, I will convince Lord Elway to trade away Tim Tebow's favorite receiver. He seemed to like throwing to Eric Decker. Perhaps we will ship Mister Decker off to the Jaguars for a 13th-round pick! Hehehehehehehehe hahahahahahahaha!
Me: Dude, why do you hate Tim Tebow so much? He's a good guy.
John Fox: Because no matter how many times I have asked for the phone number of that well-endowed woman he is photographed with on the Internets, he will not yield!
Me: I'm pretty sure that was a random girl who took a picture with him.
John Fox: You dare oppose me, fool!? Careful, else I shall devise a game plan to make you throw four interceptions! Muhahahahahahaha!
Me: But I don't even play football.
John Fox: Well then, in that case, I shall make everyone's beloved Tebow suffer even more! When I am done with him, he will no longer believe in his precious God! Aaaaaahahahahaha buuuahahahahahaha heeeeeheheheheheh haaaahahahahahahaha!
23. Tennessee Titans (4-3) - Previously: #26 - A victory over the Colts isn't going to persuade me to think that the Titans don't stink without Kenny Britt.
A word on the Panthers and Vikings, who are one and two spots above Tennessee, respectively. I loved what Cam Newton had to say this week regarding his team's record:
If I didn't have any turnovers, we would be undefeated right now.
I think that's awesome. A great leader takes all the blame on his shoulders even when he doesn't deserve it. If it weren't for Newton, Carolina would easily be the worst team in the NFL. The Panthers are going to be great once they assemble some talent around him.
I especially loved (no homo) what Newton said because I live in Philadelphia. I've had to listen to a sandy-vagged Donovan McNabb whine and cry for years. McNabb, beloved by the biased media for whatever reason, relentlessly bashed his teammates and blamed everyone but himself, saying stuff like, "The young guys have to step up," or "The offensive line needs to do a better job," or "We were out-coached today."
It really is a shame that Minnesota wasted six games with that overrated bum under center.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. New York Giants (5-2). Previously: #15
12. Chicago Bears (4-3). Previously: #13
13. Houston Texans (5-3). Previously: #14
14. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2). Previously: #18
15. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3). Previously: #19
16. San Diego Chargers (4-3). Previously: #11
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3). Previously: #16
18. Atlanta Falcons (4-3). Previously: #17
19. Dallas Cowboys (3-4). Previously: #12
20. Oakland Raiders (4-3). Previously: #21
21. Minnesota Vikings (2-6). Previously: #23
22. Carolina Panthers (2-6). Previously: #20
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: