One quarter of this season is in the books. A lot of changes have been made from the pre-season rankings, and now we have a pretty good idea who are contenders and who are failsauce.
32. Oakland Raiders (0-4) – Wow. This team sucks so much. They just fired head coach Dennis Allen, but even Vince Lombardi couldn’t win here. Rookie QB Derek Carr was a lone bright-ish spot, but he may be out a while with a knee injury. If I could feel bad for the dirty silver and black, I would. This team has a very good chance of going 0-16.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) – At this point, even Kevin has to admit that this team is total crap. This supposedly solid defense has given up an average of 38 points per game. Wretched.
30. Tennessee Titans (1-3) – This team is poop. It doesn’t matter how bad their division is, they have no hope.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) – The Bucs finally won a game in week 4 against the Steelers, and are now on pace to go 4-12. That sounds about right.
28. Washington Redskins (1-3) – I thought they’d climb the rankings with Cousins starting in place of RG3. But Captain Kirk is a backup for a reason. And the rest of the team is so bad, it doesn’t matter much anyway.
27. St. Louis Rams (1-2) – Never was a big fan of Bradford, but the Rams do seem to be missing him. The defense is surprisingly soft
26. New York Jets (1-3) – Geno Smith started the season looking like he might actually be a serviceable starting QB. Then he started throwing to other teams more than his own.
25. Minnesota Vikings (2-2) – A lot of people have the Vikings squarely in the middle of their power rankings, but I’m not convinced. They’ve won a couple of blowouts, and looked horrendous in their two losses. Bridgewater does look surprisingly good.
24. New England Patriots (2-2) – It’s really difficult to put the Patriots all the way down here and feel legit about it. But all the other teams above them on this list would beat them in a head-to-head, so this is where they are. Let’s face it: the Patriots are not for real…and that’s spectacular!
23. New Orleans Saints (1-3) – Another team falling rapidly. The defense is bad, and the offense doesn’t look like it should. The talent is there, but something’s missing. I still think they can turn it around, but it’s looking pretty bad for da Who Dat’s.
22. Cleveland Browns (1-2) – The highest ranked of the 1-win teams are the Cleveland Browns. The Browns lost by 3 points to Pittsburgh and 2 points to Baltimore. They look okay on defense, and Hoyer the Destroyer is the surprise QB of the season. I can see this team going 8-8.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – The Steelers have looked good in exactly one game – against Carolina. The once legendary defense is one of the worst in football. Their strength is now their offense, particularly their run game. I don’t think there’s a better 1-2 combo than Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount.
20. Carolina Panthers (2-2) – The Panthers looked like the Panthers for the first two games. Then their defense decided to not give a crap anymore, giving up 75 points in their last two games. Cam needs to get healthy soon.
19. Buffalo Bills (2-2) – They would be higher, but Kyle Orton Is now the starter. Yuck.
18. Miami Dolphins (2-2) – They don’t make ‘em more average than this. Major kudos to them for not only beating the Raiders, but then proceeding to stomp them into the dirt with an iron boot to the throat. They have some drive for a mediocre team.
17. New York Giants (2-2) – Ex-Bronco Robert Ayers is going all beast-mode for them, and the Playbook of Eli is actually effective. Finally, for the first time in 18+ games, he looks like he gets it.
16. Dallas Cowboys (3-1) – The Cowboys have surprised everyone by having a decent defense. Meanwhile, the offense has figured out how to be good with Tony Romo as QB: rely on a great run game.
15. Chicago Bears (2-2) – Da Bears. Like the Steelers, the once dominant defense now sucks. And like the Steelers, they have a bipolar QB. But they have more talent than the Steelers.
14. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) – They have a lot of issues to be this high, but Matty Ice is the equalizer. The offense is good enough to go punch-for-punch with anyone.
13. Houston Texans (3-1) – This team is legit. If you put a top-10 QB in there, they might be nearly Broncos-level. Forget defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt should be MVP.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) – This is a totally different team with Jamaal Charles playing. Who said that running backs don’t matter anymore? The Broncos could learn from them…
11. San Francisco 49ers (2-2) – Defense covers a multitude of sins, and there are not many defenses better than San Francisco’s.
10. Green Bay Packers (2-2) – Green Bay looks like a team that’s slowly starting to figure everything out. They will make the playoffs, and I’m still not convinced that they are only the second-best team in the division. I think that they will overtake the Lions…
9. Detroit Lions (3-1) – …who are having themselves a nice start to the season. Detroit is doing everything right: playing defense, and adding just enough offense to pull out wins.
8. Indianapolis Colts (2-2) – After starting 0-2, the Colts got everything clicking in the last two weeks, putting 40’s on the board against two bad division rivals. Their weak division is their benefit for making the playoffs, but will bite (and has bitten) them when they actually play good teams.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – I’ll admit, the Ravens kind of scare me. Kubiak’s offensive scheme is already getting huge results, and they look like a team that could make some noise in the AFC.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) – The offense had an off game against the Niners, scoring exactly zero points. Some of that was San Fran’s good, but a lot of it was Philly’s bad. They’ll bounce back.
5. Arizona Cardinals (3-0) – How can a team with a below-average QB (who’s been injured) be this good? By doing everything right, especially coaching. If the Cards’ coaching staff were in Denver, the Broncos would be one of the best teams in football history.
4. San Diego Chargers (3-1) – This team has it all: a sizzling QB, talented skill players, and a thumping defense. Denver will be neck and neck with them all season.
2. Denver Broncos (2-1) – I thought about dropping them below the Bengals and Chargers, but I wizened up. This team is still the best in the AFC. That said, if the playoffs were to start right now, the Broncos would be the 6-seed. I hope that the pathetic excuse for coaching and play calling we’ve seen so far is intentional sandbagging, with the hope that this team can “peak” at the right time.
1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) – What can I say, they beat the Broncos. They wouldn’t have won on a neutral field, nor would they have won if Denver had good coaching. But the fact of the matter is that they deserve to be in the #1 spot. For now.