Monday, October 18, 2010

Pretender, Contender or just plain Awful

I feel like Will Ferrell in Old School- "we are streaking through the quad to the gymnasium! Everyone's doing it!!" As a writer who likes football, I feel like I have to write about which teams I believe are for real. I mean, hey, everyone's doing it.

We'll go from worst to first. Part One today, Part Two tomorrow.

The Dynamic Duo (Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers)
Buffalo (0-5)- Being a Bills fan is like cutting onions: you cry every time you open your eyes. The Bills are so bad that they might get relocated to Toronto. Canada. That bad.
Carolina (0-5)- As bad as the Bills are, the Panthers might just be as bad. Despite superduperstar receiver Steve Smith, this offense is atrocious. At the end of last year, there was some hope for this season as Matt Moore came into his own. And now, Moore is on the bench, and everyone feels bad for Jimmy Clausen. You think that defense misses Julius Peppers?

Hopeless. For now. (Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions)
Cleveland (1-5)- Have lost some games this year that they could have won, but there is a reason they lost. This team has no veteran leaders who have been there, done that. Peyton Hillis looks like a diamond in the rough, and the defense has been serviceable, but this team has a ton of holes. Colt McCoy looked pretty good on Sunday against a ridiculous Pittsburgh defense. Keep an eye on him. [Trending: steadily awful]
Detroit (1-5)- I would say that it is unfair to drop them this low after losing their franchize (these Jets fans are really rubbing off on me) quarterback in week 1, but Shaun Hill looked like the second coming of Joe Montana last week. OK, so it was against the Rams, but he looked good again this week against the F-is-for-ferocious Giants defense until he broke his arm (Drew Stanton even played OK, huh?). This team has some potential (Stafford, Best, Johnson and Suh), but it seems they will be cellar dwellers for one more year. [Trending: until they get a QB, downwards]

Preseason Darlings (Oakland Raiders, SF 49ers, SD Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings)
Aside from Oakland, all of these teams were considered playoff teams, or even serious Super Bowl contenders. I was amazed to read before the season began how many writers thought the Raiders were going to be "sleepers" this year ( This season, more than any other in recent history, proves how little sports writers actually know (besides me, I know everything).
Oakland (2-4) Could be 3-3 if Sebastion Janikowski would've had a decent game against Arizona a few weeks ago. Still, this team seems lost. Jason Campbell wasn't the answer at quarterback. Bruce Gradkowski certainly isn't getting them to the playoffs. They aren't far away, but they aren't close either. (Quick rant- this year's Raiders remind me of the Toronto Blue Jays- they have some random talent, and they could win a few games, but they aren't threatening anyone. Both are 2 or 3 impact players away from being contenders) [Trending: nowhere fast]
SF (1-5)- Sorry Simmons, better luck next year (Simmons' prediction for the 49ers: 13-3! Anyway, I don't think anyone saw this coming. They have been on the brink for a few years now, and everyone was hopping on the Mike Singletary bandwagon. And then the wheels fell off. Very quickly. There are a lot of things wrong with this team, but it seems like they have the talent to compete. They just aren't competing. Simple as that (I think). [Trending: couldn't possibly get any worse, right?]
SD (2-4)- Like everyone else, I am dumbfounded. Did this team really just lose to Oakland and St. Louis back to back?! Really? Wow. This team could easily lose 10 games this season. To add to their troubles, All-Pro Antonio Gates went down with an injury this past week. [Trending: downwards, fast]
Cincinnati (2-3)- I don't know how this team beat Baltimore. Carson Palmer has been shaky (possibly the understatement of the year) and their power running game has lacked consistency. Preseason favorites to win/compete for the AFC North title, they would be lucky to finish at 500. Terrell Owens has looked rejuvenated though, and if Palmer can find his mojo, they might just be able to eke out 10 wins and a potential wild card spot (might be the least likely scenario in all of sports. That, or Vernon Gholston becoming an impact player. Pick your poison.) [Trending: towards a dark place]
Dallas (1-4)- Despite a huge amount of talent, this team simply can not put it together. I would not be surprised to see a wanted for murder poster with Jerry Jones' face on it in the next few weeks. Imagine spending a billion dollars on a new stadium, a ton of time and energy to get that stadium a Super Bowl, and watching your team of superstars play with the effort of Manny Ramirez in the outfield. I mean it is truly unbelievable that this team has one win. If they don't wake up, Coach Phillips (who may or may not be alive at this point) is gone, and there will be a whole lot of roster turnover this offseason. [Trending: Their owner might kill a man. You tell me]
Minnesota (2-3)- Probably less talented then the Cowboys, but somehow managed to beat them yesterday. I wrote about Percy Harvin last time- this is why:
These types of players win you games, and the Vikings have a few of them (Harvin, Moss, Jared Allen). Like I said before, when they get Sidney Rice back, look out. [Trending: upwards]

Somehow, Some Way, Surviving (Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals)
Seattle (3-2)- Another one of those, "Whattttt???" teams. They aren't that good, but they are playing in a terrible division, and have won some close games. Apparently, Pete Carroll has them playing hard, I just don't see this team winning more than 8 games. Could possibly steal a playoff spot (and subsequently get destroyed in the first round). By the way, maybe Matt Millen wasn't such a bad GM- Mike Williams looked pretty good on Sunday! Just kidding, he may be one of the worst GM's in recorded history. [Trending: somewhere, possibly a black hole- no one really knows whats going on here]
St. Louis (3-3) Looked horrendous last week, and very good this week. The Rams have a chance to be good, it just seems like they are more likely to emerge next season. Bradford looks like the real deal, unfortunately, all of his top receivers are dropping like flies. [Trending: holding their own- not good, not bad]
Arizona (3-2) Could Max Hall be the answer? [Trending: as far as Hall takes them]

Hot n' Cold (TB Buccaneers)
TB (3-2)- Started off strong, probably the class of the division. Bump in the road this week against New Orleans, but Freeman still looks like a young Roethlisberger making very strong throws, and being quite a mobile quarterback. [Trending: towards the playoffs]


Quick Thoughts from around the NFL:

- Sanchez looks like himself again. Phew.
Every Patriot fan can exhale, because Mark Sanchez is back to being the second coming of Vinny Testaverde. OK, he isn't that bad, but some of his throws the past two weeks have been downright maddening for Jets fans. Did you see his interception this week? Inexcusable. ( - the first play) Luckily for him, the Broncos gave the Jets every opportunity to win the game, and they took advantage. I'm not saying the Jets didn't deserve to win, I'm just saying the Broncos should have won that game. Either way, the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets are 5-1, and have 2 out of their next three games against the Lions and Browns. Again, this AFC race is going to be very exciting until the end.

-Sam Bradford might be worth every penny.
For someone who made 50 million before his first snap as a pro, Sam Bradford was going to have to be pretty damn good, pretty damn quickly. He has answered the call. Playing with that offensive line, and those receivers, he has done everything he could possibly do to keep the Rams in contention. Bradford is going to be an elite quarterback within a few years if he can find some help and get some protection.

-What is up with the NFC?
There doesn't seem to be any real contenders in the whole division. Atlanta was considered the best, but they don't look too impressive. Matt Ryan still hasn't recovered that magic from his rookie year. The Giants could be a top team, but they are very inconsistent right now. If the defense keeps it up though, they will resemble their squad from 2007 (minus gunman Plaxico Burress). I guess the Eagles and Saints are contenders, but they really aren't scaring anyone. The contenders look like they are all in the AFC.

-James Harrison is an A-Hole.
I don't care what position you play, or what you are paid to do. This is disgusting.

Links to come tomorrow. Enjoy, and tell me what you think of the rankings!

And one last thing:
How bout dem Yankees!

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