Crazy, crazy fucking weekend of football.
For the record, I REALLY don’t think the officiating has been THAT bad. Yeah, the call at the end of the Seahawks game, okay, I get it. That’s pretty terrible. And yeah, they’ve been inconsistent at best when it comes to doling out penalties. But, you know what? Every year we have crazy officiating blunders that decide at least one game. And officials are ALWAYS wildly inconsistent with how and when they throw flags.
In this case, it’s just magnified because we JUST had this whole lockout thing before last season, and now the owners are back at it. Except, it doesn’t REALLY affect our enjoyment of the game of football; we just think it does. At some point, fans just get sick and tired of words like “lockout” and “collective bargaining” and the thought of the wealthy battling the super-wealthy in some bizarre trench-warfare over a relative pittance (to them, not to the common fan who has made the game a multi-billion dollar industry).
If you’re a sports fan, you like nothing more than to be a martyr. The only thing you actually like more than that is having your team win it all, but you’ve only got a 1 in 32 shot at that; it’s MUCH more common to be the martyr. To be able to go back to week three and say, “See! If only we weren’t screwed over by the replacement refs – and the owners – if only we’d won that game in Seattle, we would’ve had home field advantage and that would be US celebrating a Super Bowl victory!” When the truth of the matter is: if there were never replacement refs, and your team didn’t go all the way, you’d find some other bullshit excuse as to why your team didn’t win and why your fanbase is so maligned.
In reality, your team was dominated for a full half of football before you finally got your shit together, started mixing in the run with all that stupid passing, and put yourself in a position for victory. Of course, just because you were in position doesn’t mean you actually DESERVE victory. You’re the Green Bay Fucking Packers! You are CLEARLY better than the Seahawks! If you play that game in Green Bay, you win that game 100 out of 100 times! How does it take you a full half of football and 8 sacks before you figure out how to adjust? You should have been up by more than two touchdowns in the fourth quarter! Instead, you kicked field goals. So, don’t piss and moan to me about how you were jobbed. Your team lost a close game on a bogus call, but it never should’ve been close to begin with.
And, to all those people saying that they’re going to “boycott the NFL” next weekend and/or in the weekends to come, give me a FUCKING break! Anyone who says that either has a team on a BYE, doesn’t have a team at all (and is just a casual fan), or isn’t really a fan of football at all. Fuck you! You think you can get soup??? You’re wasting everyone’s time!
On to the list.
- Atlanta Falcons (3-0): In some kind of scheduling oddity, the Falcons have opened their season with three straight games against the AFC West. The main reason why I have them above Houston is: see below.
- Houston Texans (3-0): The Texans have beaten both the Dolphins and the Jags. The Dolphins and Jags are two of the four worst teams in the NFL. Look for the top two spots to remain unchanged as the Falcons play the Panthers and the Texans play the lowly Titans.
- San Francisco 49ers (2-1): Rough game this week. So much for the 49ers going 15-1; I guess they CAN be beaten. Finally, FINALLY, we saw the Alex Smith we know and love! 1 interception, 1 fumble lost, 3 sacks, 3 more QB hits … that’s what I like to see!
- Arizona Cardinals (3-0): This team is for real and it fucking sickens me. It sickens me because they’re DEFINITELY the poor man’s 49ers, and yet they’re probably going to start out 7-0, with games vs. Miami, @ St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, and @ Minnesota. Then again, can we really consider the Vikings pushovers after what they did on Sunday?
- Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Helluva win Sunday night. Of course, that’s totally the Ravens’ M.O. They win the big games in the regular season, everyone drinks the Kool Aid, then they find a way to blow it in the playoffs. Ehh, what are you gonna do?
- Seattle Seahawks (2-1): I’m ashamed to admit it, but my opinion of this team entirely hinged on how they looked against the Packers last night. I was ready to write them off with an embarrassing defeat and pick the Rams this Sunday. Now? Consider my tune changed. This defense is insane. I thoroughly look forward to watching them whenever they’re on the field. They also double as the best offense on this team, no offense (puns!)
- Green Bay Packers (1-2): It’s hard to kill the Packers in the rankings just because they’re 1-2. They lost to two of the best defenses in the NFL. That being said, I’m not going to apologize or rationalize why they should be ranked ahead of the Seahawks; they LOST! Fuck ’em, they’re 7th!
- New England Patriots (1-2): Well, they lost to a great defense and they lost on the road to a jacked up Ravens team. If they don’t come out and beat the Bills by 50, I will be shocked.
- Chicago Bears (2-1): Big test coming up. Monday night game in Big D. I think they’ll probably lose (because Romo always steps up early in seasons), but then check out their cake schedule: @ Jax, BYE, vs. Det, vs. Car, @ Ten. If they can somehow figure out Dallas’ defense (i.e. keep Cutler upright), they could rip off 5 more wins in a row!
- San Diego Chargers (2-1): Norv, Norv, Norv … I keep thinking this team is talented, but they’re probably just a bunch of stiffs. Philip Rivers can’t do it all! And Norv REALLY isn’t helping. I don’t know how the Chargers lost and stayed at 10 in my rankings. Really, any of these teams in the 10-14 range are pretty interchangeable. Don’t put a lot of stock in who’s in the “Top 10”. There’s really just a Top 9 and Everyone Else until we get a bigger sample size.
- Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): In spite of their bungling, this team has a winning record. It should PROBABLY be 0-3, but that’s life in the NFL. I really hope Vick loses his job this week.
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-1): I can’t tell if the Bengals looked shockingly good on offense, or if the Redskins are just terrible on defense. I bet the latter. Still, watch out for their next three games: @ Jax, vs. Mia, @ Cle. I’m sniffing 5-1 before a big showdown at home against the Steelers in Week 7.
- Dallas Cowboys (2-1): They’ve yet to really bust out on offense this year. With the weapons they have, they’ve got to score 30+ sooner or later, right?
- New York Giants (2-1): Nice showing against the Panthers on Thursday, but I don’t put a lot of stock in nice showings on Thursday nights. If they come back and knock down the Eagles on the road this Sunday night, then I’ll think about bumping them into the Top 10.
- Denver Broncos (1-2): So, A. this team is going to improve as Manning gets more games under his belt. B. they’ve lost to Houston and Atlanta and managed to beat the Steelers in week 1, so they’ve had a PRETTY tough schedule thus far. It doesn’t get a whole lot easier heading into the BYE (vs. Oak, @ NE, @ SD), but after that they’ve got room to really grow. Kansas City twice, Cleveland, Carolina’s nothing defense, and the hapless Saints are all on the horizon.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2): An aging team went out west and lost two games (in Devner and Oakland). Pretty sure the rest of their games are either in the Central or Eastern timezones after this week’s BYE. Just what an aging team clinging to hopes of one last hurrah needs to keep its batteries fresh.
- Detroit Lions (1-2): Tennessee had a bunch of wacky plays for touchdowns, yet Detroit still took them to OT. It doesn’t say a lot about their defense or special teams that they FELL for Tennessee’s wacky plays, but that’s why they’re 17th. This week’s game at home against the Vikings is a must-win.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2): I don’t know what to make of this team. They hold Carolina to 10 points, they hold Dallas in Dallas to 16 points … and sandwiched in the middle they give up 500 yards passing and 41 points to the Giants? I want to like this team, but they’re going to have to win some of these conference games if they think they’re going to make the playoffs.
- New York Jets (2-1): Just an awful, AWFUL team. Mark Sanchez is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL (and that’s including all the rookies stinking up the joint). They had NO business winning that game in Miami, and yet Miami is so bad they really had no business letting the game stay that close! I fucking hate the Jets so much, you have no idea. I especially hate them when I pick them in my Pick ‘Em league and have to count on them to beat shitty teams … they either let me down or look like they’re going to let me down before somehow pulling the game out of their asses. I dislike Tim Tebow, but they should just put him in there as the starter already; they’re going nowhere with Sanchez.
- Buffalo Bills (2-1): Two wins against two bad teams (KC & Cle). This week they host the Patriots and stop being over .500 for a while (games at SF and Ari follow).
- Minnesota Vikings (2-1): They beat the Jags at home in overtime, they lose to the Colts in Indy, and then they come back and thrash the 49ers? What the fuck? The Vikings are going to be THAT team, aren’t they? Enjoy your 8-8 season you fucking pantywaists.
- Carolina Panthers (1-2): The No-Defense Panthers strike again! Has the league figured out Cam? All signs point to yes.
- St. Louis Rams (1-2): Well, the Rams LOOKED frisky until they ran into the buzzsaw that was Chicago. Now they host the Seahawks. Sam Bradford, you should just retire right now, you’ve had a
- Washington Redskins (1-2): Their defense is ridiculously bad, and it’s only made worse with all those injuries. RGIII is exciting, but he can’t do it by himself either.
- Oakland Raiders (1-2): I still don’t know how they beat the Steelers. Mostly because I couldn’t bring myself to watch that wretched matchup on Sunday. I really hate not having DirecTV
sometimesevery Sunday during football season.
- Tennessee Titans (1-2): More than anything, I’m just happy Jake Locker got the win. And he looked GOOD too! The Titans aren’t going anywhere with that defense, but I hope Locker continues to make strides.
- Kansas City Chiefs (1-2): It’s a testament to how much in disarray the Saints are that the Chiefs are 1-2. They had no business winning that game and nothing will change my mind.
- New Orleans (0-3): Shame on you, Saints. Shame on you for losing to the Chiefs!
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2): Yeah, the Jags are bad, but if they continue to run like they did on Sunday, they might be the best of the bad teams. For what THAT’S worth.
- Indianapolis Colts (1-2): Man, they really blew it on Sunday losing to those Jags. I don’t much care for the looks of their schedule going forward either. I should just pencil in the Colts to be ranked in the 30s for the rest of the season.
- Miami Dolphins (1-2): They only beat the Raiders because the Raiders had to fly 3,000 miles and wear their black jerseys in that Miami sun. On every single neutral field against every single team in the NFL, the Dolphins would be 0-3.
- Cleveland Browns (0–3): Except maybe the Browns. Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone …