At last the NFL is finished with the bye section of the season and we are comparing apples to apples (or turds to turds in the case of the Jets and Jaguars). Although if there are more incidents similar to the Dez Bryant debacle on Tuesday night, there is a real possibility that the NFL will be tanking or playing football in March. On to the fun!
The Top Ten
- Kansas City Chiefs (11-1). The Chiefs struggled entirely too much in a relatively close win over the Broncos. Please note that the Broncos defense is what Red calls “not bad.” The MVP race is coming down to Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen.
- Pittsburgh Stealers (11-1). Red preemptively bumped the Stealers down a notch last week based on their declining offensive production and statistical improbability. As with Texas longshot lawsuit attempting to subvert the will of the voters, Red estimated that the probability of the Stealers going undefeated was one in one quadrillion (or if you prefer one gazillion). Stealers are a good bet to lose two in a row when they travel to western New York on Sunday.
- Buffalo Bills (9-3). See note above re: MVP. Brian Daboll’s offense is using Josh Allen’s talent to the max. Cole Beasley is likely to have a 1000 yards receiving. Yes, you read that correctly. And all of this without a top tier running back.
- New Orleans Saints (10-2). The first team to clinch a playoff spot and probably cruising to a first round bye as the Saints should finish no worse than 12-4. Taysom Hill needs to be on the field at least 50% of the time after Drew Brees is back.
- Green Bay Packers (9-3). Red heard a credible argument from Charlie Palillo that Aaron Rodgers is the greatest NFL quarterback of all time after passing the 400 career touchdown mark on Sunday. He needs another Superb Owl appearance to cement that idea in most minds.
- Cleveland Browns (9-3). Call Red impressed with exciting win over the dangerous Titans last week. Everyone keeps waiting for the implosion. Not gonna happen – at least not until the playoffs.
- Indianapolis Colts (8-4). Now in the driver’s seat in the AFC South. Red just threw up a little in his mouth. That opening day loss to the Jaguars really looks strange now.
- Los Angeles Rams (8-4). Defense good. Offense still suspect. Record speaks for itself.
- Tennessee Titans (8-4). Losing to the Browns is not shameful. Titans have relatively easy closing stretch with Jaguars, Lions, Packers and Texans. That last game could be for the division title if the Colts stumble.
- Miami Dolphins (8-4). The Dolphins have moved into the top ten the old-fashioned way – by winning games. With a decent offense and a good defense the Fins could surprise some folks. But their stay in the top ten could be short-lived with the toughest remaining schedule in the league – Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders and Bills. Ouch!
Were Not Dead Yet!
11. Seattle Seahawks (8-4) The worst 8-4 team in the league. Russell Wilson’s dreams of an MVP are fading.
12. Baltimore Ravens (7-5). There’s nothing liking beating up the Cowboys on national TV to boost your spirits and your playoff chances.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5). The Bucs have beaten one good team in the Packers and one mediocre team in the Raiders. An easy closing schedule ( Vikings, Falcons, Lions, Falcons) probably puts them in as a wild card. It should be illegal for any team in contention to get to play the Falcons twice in the last month of the season.
14. Los Vegas Raiders (7-5). The Raiders season may have been saved by the stupidest defense call this millennium when the Jets called all out blitz on Sunday.
15. Arizona Cardinals (6-6). Hanging on only because the NFC is filled with sick franchises.
16. New York Giants (5-7). No one really wants to play the Giants right now.
The Pond Scum
- New Jersey Jets (0-infinity). Red would not have believed that the Jets could not win a game somewhere. He got bamboozled.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11) This team actually beat the Colts in week one.
- Dallas Cowboys (3-9). And unbelievably not yet out of it.
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1). Sad.
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1). How appropriate that the Bengals and Eagles played to a tie earlier in the season. Carson Wentz will find a home as radio color guy for UND football.