According to the Caveman
We’re (almost) at the halfway point in the NFL (stupid 17 can’t be divided by 2). Some teams have risen impressively (the Patriots and Lions are rising stars) while others have slid into the depths of a lost season (Bears and Falcons are so screwed). Where does everyone fit on the ranking of power?
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) – The Jags are trying their best to be worse than Oakland. But they’re even failing at that.
30. New York Jets (1-7) – So. Many. Turnovers. Rex Ryan is on the hot seat!
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) – I put them above the Jets solely because of their stud defensive tackle. Dear John Elway, I want Gerald McCoy on the Broncos, paired up with Pot Roast. That would be epic.
28. Tennessee Titans (2-6) – This team is still poop. They’ll be lucky to go 4-12.
27. St. Louis Rams (2-5) – Besides a win against the Seahawks, they have had almost nothing positive come out of this season. A great team can win without their starting QB (see Arizona). The Rams are not a great team. They’re not even a good team.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6) – I have the perfect analogy for the Falcons – they are the Colorado Rockies of the NFL. They have a lot of talent, but they can’t pull it all together, largely due to being constantly bitten by injuries.
24. Washington Redskins (3-5) – The defense looks good, but the merry-go-round at QB will prevent the Skins from being able to pull together a winning season.
23. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) – The Vikings are making some good strides. Bridgewater may end up being the best of the QB class of 2014.
22. New York Giants (3-4) – Eli may retire before Peyton does…
21. Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) – I feel sorry for Cam Newton. He’s pretty much the only good player on his offense (except maybe TE Greg Olsen). Plus, the very fact that they have a tie means they suck.
20. Cleveland Browns (4-3) – Hoyer the Destroyer is looking more like the backup QB he’s been most of his career. The Browns are still winning, but a no-touchdown performance against Jacksonville tells me all I need to know.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) – After starting the season as one of the best teams in the league, the Bengals are worse than their record suggests. And that tie is stupid.
18. New Orleans Saints (3-4) – Here’s a prediction – the Saints will go 8-8. That’s because they’ve won their 3 home games and lost their 4 road games.
17. Houston Texans (4-4) – The Texans are the only team with a .500 record. How sweet is that? The probability of that is something like 2,500-to-1. Anyway, as their vanilla record suggests, Houston is very average.
16. Miami Dolphins (4-3) – The Dolphins are exactly the opposite of the Saints. First, their defense is impressive. Second, they’ve won their last 3 road games, while losing their last 2 home games.
14. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) – They are still scary at home. But on the road, the Seahawks are just an average team. And because they will likely be without home field advantage (if they even make the playoffs), they have no chance to be back in the Super Bowl. Awesome.
13. San Francisco 49ers (4-3) – The weak link on this team is Colin Kaepernick. I wonder if they miss Alex Smith yet? Plug in a top-10 QB, and the Niners would be dangerous.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) – A sudden but convincing improvement on offense has lifted the Steelers from being the worst in their division to being right up there with the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers have an offense that’s bailing out their defense? What???
11. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) – I’m scared for the Broncos when they go into Arrowhead. After a weak start to the season, the Chiefs are 4-1 in their last 5 games, including wins against the Patriots and Chargers.
10. Indianapolis Colts (5-3) – Everyone was really high on them after their 5-game win streak. But who did they beat? The Jags, the Titans, the Texans, the rapidly reeling Bengals, and the hot-and-cold Ravens…not exactly the cream of the crop.
9. Baltimore Ravens (5-3) – Yeah, they can smack down bad teams. But they are 1-3 against teams with a winning record.
8. Green Bay Packers (5-3) – When they fly, they fly high. But their defense, particularly their run defense, is keeping them from being an elite team.
7. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) – The Cowboys came back down to earth in an overtime loss to the lowly Redskins. That said, they remain one of the best NFL teams…for now.
6. San Diego Chargers (5-3) – The Chargers are a great team. But due to an unexpectedly strong AFC, they will have to be very good down the stretch to make the playoffs. They’ll do it, but it won’t be easy.
5. Detroit Lions (6-2) – I’m having a really tough time putting them into the top 5, but I have no choice. With 6 wins at the halfway point, the Lions are getting it done. And that’s without the best player on their team for the past few weeks (Megatron). When he returns, the Lions could climb even higher.
4. New England Patriots (6-2) – I hate the Patriots. I hate everything about them and everything they stand for. But it’s hard not to admire their success. They have a below-average team talent-wise, and here they are at 6-2. Denver should go into NE on Sunday and whoop them, but don’t tell me you’re not nervous.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) – The Eagles have two loses – at San Francisco and at Arizona. Both of those losses were close games, in which the Eagles very much beat themselves. I think that by season’s end, they will have the best record in the NFC.
2. Arizona Cardinals (6-1) – Who would have predicted that the Cards would lead their dreaded division by two games…at the halfway point? With the loser of the Cowboys/Eagles rivalry likely taking one NFC Wild Card, Arizona’s play will knock either the Seahawks or the Niners out of the playoffs. Awesome.
1. Denver Broncos (6-1) – Now that’s more like it. Convincing wins against playoff teams is how you get to #1. The Broncos have the same record as the Cardinals, but Arizona’s single loss was a thrashing by these very Broncos. No homerism here – the Broncos are the best team in football.