Bills over Jets. Get ready for Slopfest '08! Starring Brett Favre, thrower of seven interceptions in his last three games! Also starring the Buffalo Bills, who last week choked up a loss to the Miami Dolphins by turning the ball over on their final four possessions of the game. Who will make the fewest game-changing mistakes? My money's on the Bills. I'm kinda done taking Favre on the road for the foreseeable future.

The "Way to let him off the hook, coach..." quote of the week: "I think there's a lot of years gambling going on in terms of making some unbelievable plays and making plays that you would like to have a chance to do it over again. But, that's what he's done and he's been very successful." - Jets coach Eric Mangini, regarding Brett Favre's habit of gift-wrapping the football and placing it gently in the hands of his opponents.

Jaguars over Sad Tigers: When your team falls is 0-8 and looks like a hopeless patsy week after week, it would be natural to just give up. But T.J. Houshmandzadeh has predicted that the Sad Tigers will NOT go winless this season. In fact, he went so far as to guarantee at least two wins because "we're a better team than we've shown." Seriously, I would be laughing my butt off if the Sad Tigers weren't so very, very sad.

The "Uh, I think it's a little too late for that, coach..." quote of the week. "When you've been embarrassed like we were, the only way to get away from that is to redeem yourself. And the only way to redeem yourself is to go do better, and do better right away, and not let it sit and spoil you." - Sad Tigers coach Marvin Lewis, regarding what his team has to do to stop sucking. Sorry, coach. I'm pretty sure your team is spoiled already.

Ravens over Browns. I know, I know. The Browns are all resurging and everything. You know what else resurges? A Taco Bell beef combo burrito after a night of heavy drinking. See where I'm going with this? If not, let me spell it out: The Browns are my pick for the "They are who we thought they were" team of the week.

The Browns really don't stand a burrito's chance.

The "Uhm, you sure about that, coach..." quote of the week: "We think we're creative. We think we have a chance to be an exciting offense; we think we've been that." - Ravens coach John Harbaugh, regarding his team's offense, which is currently ranked 27th in passing and 26 in points. Note also that QB Joe Flacco has 3 touchdowns on the season versus 7 interceptions and 6 fumbles. Which I guess is kinda of exciting...

Buccaneers over Chiefs. Blah, blah, blah, stats this, numbers that. Whatever. I'm not picking the Chiefs unless they're playing the Zeroes or the Sad Tigers. Which they aren't this week. Fantasy sidenote: Earnest Graham owners rejoice! The Chiefs are last in the league against the run (196.9) and have allowed a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns. Start him with confidence.

The "Oh, I really hope you're just kidding, coach..." quote of the week: "I think what it does, it gives you some hope that the guy can continue to play like that, that he's going to get better, and that you've got a guy who's consistent at the quarterback position." - Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, regarding last week's "Never to be repeated" 25-for-36, 2-touchdown performance by Tyler Thigpen.

Titans over Packers. The Packers aren't going to win this one, but seeing as how it's Green Bay and the Amazing Aaron Rodgers, at least they will lose in Dramatic Fashion (TM).

Fun fact #1: Green Bay is allowing 141.9 yards per game on the ground. The Titans, meanwhile, have averaged 145.0 rushing yards a contest.

Fun fact #2: The Titans have the league's best scoring defense: They've allowed only 87 points, 23 fewer than Pittsburgh and Baltimore (110).

The "Well, I certainly can't argue with your logic..." quote of the week: "Each week every team gets an opportunity to go out and play. We've had seven opportunities and won each of our games." - Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck regarding his team's 7-0 record.

Captain obvious

Broncos over Dolphins. Ronnie Brown, prepare to get a case of the runs, courtesy of Denver's 30th ranked rush defense. That said, I see this game turning into a shootout, and I'm gonna take Cutler's arm over Pennington's arm. Although, did you know, old Noodle Arm Chad is completing almost 70 percent of his passes? And that he's ninth in the league in yards (1,710)? Time to check Penny's basement for Body Snatcher pods, I guess...

body snatcher
"That's not Chad Pennington! Kiiiiiill it!"

The "Alright, enough is enough..." quote of the week: "My arm is stronger than God's, even if God's replaced his throwing arm with the Incredible Hulk." - Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, regarding his cosmic arm strength.

Colts over Patriots. No. Absolutely not. I won't do it. I will not pick Matt Cassel over Peyton Manning. Not in Indianapolis. Never. No way. Not even if Manning barely escaped a deadly sea otter attack in which he lost both arms and all but a chunk of his left leg. I don't care about all the injuries and inconsistency and flat-out pooparific play. It's just not happening.


The "Thanks for the news flash, coach..." quote of the week: "In the grand scheme of things, winning the division is going to be tough to do." - Colts coach Tony Dungy, regarding his team's chances of overcoming a 3-4 start to overtake the undefeated Titans.


Steelers over Redskins. No, wait...

Redskins over Steelers. While briefly researching this game, I ran across the following headline: Big Ben suffering weekly poundings. When I clicked on the link, it only improved slightly: Big Ben standing up -- so far -- to weekly poundings. Oh my. Call me immature to the point of idiocy if you like, but I laughed really hard when I read those. I can't possibly pick the Steelers on the road against a good team while Roethlisberger is getting pounded to regularly.

The "Oh, you're I get it..." quote of the week: "The whole NFC East is (similar to the Eagles and Giants). They're throwing a lot of blitzes at you. They're all big guys who can move around and throw different looks at you and try to confuse you." Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, regarding why he's taking those weekly poundings.

Ben jerky

Last week's record: 9-5

Season record: 53-32

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Lowest circle of hell. The Cincinnati Bengals. When the season began, I compared the Sad Tigers to milk that had gone bad before the expiration date. That analogy seemed so perfect at the time, but now I know it wasn't. No, the Bungles are more like milk that was already bad when you brought it home. So it doesn't matter if you chugged down a mouthful on your way out of the store or if you waited a few days after you go it home. That milk never had a chance. In fact, that crap was poisoned on its way out of the udder. BY THE DEVIL.

And now it's time for...bonus stats! The Bengals have been outscored 73-16 in the past two games and 217-104 this season. In the second halves of the past two games, the Bengals have allowed 49 points and scored just three. In the past two games, the Bengals have given up six touchdown passes and have just one. In 486 minutes and 21 seconds of play this season, which includes the overtime against the Giants in Week 3, the Bengals have led for just 43 minutes and 20 seconds. The Bengals are 0-8 for the fifth time in franchise history. Since 1991, the Bengals have had four 0-8 starts. In that frame of time, only Indianapolis has had as many as two 0-8 starts (1991 and 1997). Nine other NFL teams have had one start as poor as 0-8, according to the Associated Press. You realize what all this means, right?

1. The Kansas City Chiefs. Wow. When the press starts referring to you as "The woeful Kansas City Chiefs" in an article about a couple free agent signings, you just know you're a lousy team. The article went on to say: "Daily roster moves have become the norm for the Chiefs (1-6), who have become a laughingstock under general manager Carl Peterson and coach Herm Edwards." Ouchies. The sad thing is, those descriptions can't even be considered biased news reporting anymore. On the bright side, KC signed long snapper Thomas Gafford, who is joining his fourth team since 2006, so they don't have to worry about losing a game the way Pittsburgh did last Sunday.

2. The Oakland Raiders. Last Sunday, the Raiders did something I thought was impossible. No, they didn't win a game. (Although, at this point, that's probably impossible too.) They made Baltimore's rookie quarterback Joe Flacco look really good. The Slingshot Kid not only tossed for a touchdown, he also scored on a 12-yard run and almost scored again after hauling in a 43-yard pass from backup quarterback Troy Smith. A few more games against Oakland and Flacco will be turning his team's Gatorade into wine. But hey, Raiders. It's okay. Here. Have a cookie!


3. The Jacksonville Jaguars. Hey, Jaguars! Way to let the Browns come into Jacksonville and beat you! YOU SUCK!

poopy pants

4. The Denver Broncos. First four games: 38 PPG. Last three games: 15 PPG. That's what we call a downward trend. Or, if you like, a downward movement...

I like to call each floater a "Bronco."

5. The Indianapolis Colts. This team looks utterly discombobulated. And, at this point, I have no idea how to combobulate them again. But at least we've finally discovered the source of their problems: It's the EA cover curse!


Good call, Tony. Hope the $500 you got out of this was worth it. By the way, what the hell kind of game is Head Coach? And what's next? EA Water Boy? EA Guy Who Gets The Coaching Staff Coffee In The Morning? I can't wait!

6. The New York Jets. Hm. Brett Favre has 7 interceptions and only 3 touchdowns in his last three games. Well, I guess Deanna Favre was right: Her husband really is the same old Brett. Anyway, this is what coach Eric Mangini had to say after watching his team barely squeak by "The woeful Kansas City Chiefs" last week: "If you start taking into account expectations of how you perform and what you should do and not work on the things that you have to get done to win that game, it doesn't help." Wait...what? Ah, forget it. Bad news for Jets fans: Three of the next four games are on the road at Buffalo, New England and Tennessee. Ruh roh, Raggy!


7. The Miami Dolphins. Chad Pennington is carrying this team right now. End of story.

8. The San Diego Chargers. When the Bears let Ron Rivera go a couple years back, I told everyone who would listen that they were making a mistake. Now Rivara is coordinating the defense in San Diego. As of today, the Bolts are ranked 28th overall and last in defending the pass. So, hey, I guess the Bears knew what they were doing after all.

9. The Cleveland Browns. They've quietly won three of four to climb back into a division battle with the Steelers and Ravens. So let's go everybody! It's time to climb on board the...

Cleveland Steamer

10. The Houston Texans. Who ever would have thought that the Texans would be tied with the Colts and Jaguars this late into the season? Sure, they're all tied at 3-4, but still. Anyway, the Texans currently rank fourth -- yes, fourth! -- in yards per game (371.6). I'm not saying their previous three games against the Dolphins, Zeroes and Sad Tigers have helped pad that stat...actually, you know what? That's exactly what I'm saying.

11. The Baltimore Ravens. This is from the Ravens' team report: "Ravens coach John Harbaugh said 'The Suggs Package' -- the team's two-quarterback alignment that stole the attention in Sunday's 29-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders -- will be a 'viable part' of the offense for the rest of the season. 'We could see using that package every game,' Harbaugh said at his day-after news conference. 'People playing against us are going to have to be prepared for it every week. We're just scratching the surface of the things that we have in.'" Awesome! I predict the Suggs Package is going to become the new Wildcat Formation! Oh, wait...

12. The New England Patriots. The New Englanders continue to disappoint football fans across the country who were hoping for a complete and total post-Brady collapse. But look on the bright side, Patriot haters: They're not going anywhere in the playoffs and their better-than-expected record will prevent them from getting a high draft pick. So, you know, win-win! And if that's not enough to cheer you anti-Patsy folks, here's the universal sign of disrespect: The peeing Calvin.

If you own a truck, you probably already have this on your back window and/or wheel flap.

13. The Buffalo Bills. looks like the Bills are going to extend coach Dick Jauron. I would just like to point out that the last time Jauron was up for an extension, he led his team -- the Chicago Bears -- to a 13-3 record. He got the extension, and the team promptly transformed back into crap, going 4-12 and 7-9 over the next two seasons. And yes, this is, in fact, a cautionary tale.

14. The Pittsburgh Steelers. On Sunday, this team gave long snappers everywhere reason to scream out: "SEE?! WE ARE TOO IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS TO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL!" Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to get sacked back into the mid-980s. Which would cool for him, since nobody wore motorcycle helmets back then.

Don't worry, Ben. You'll love the 80s. Trust me.

15. The Tennessee Titans. Strangely enough, the Titans aren't getting as much press as you'd expect for a team that hasn't lost a game yet. We can probably thank last year's New England Patriots for that. It'll be a while before we're ready to trust an undefeated team again. And I'm fine with that. Whatever it takes to keep the 1972 Dolphins out of the papers and off SportsCenter.

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1. The Detroit Lions. There are certain laws and equations that define the world in which we live and the physical reality that anchors our lives.

e = mc^2

acceleration = force / mass

circumference / diameter = 3.1415...

And so forth. Here's another one for the ages: a professional football team cannot allow opponents to average 30.5 points per game and expect to win. Ever.

If a Rudi Johnson falls into the end zone and scores a touchdown for an team with no defense to speak of, does it make a sound? (Answer: yes, but it's something akin to the sound you'd hear if you stepped on your dog's chew toy.)

2. The San Francisco 49ers.

Since Seattle and St. Louis have both had bye weeks already, it's San Francisco's honor to be moldering at the very bottom of arguably the league's worst division with a 2-6 record. There's really not a whole lot more I can add to that, except this:

(Bonus hilarity: If you're in need of a cheap laugh, check out the YouTube page where that Mike Singletary video appears and read the comments thread, which appears to have devolved into a McCain/Obama slapfest. I knew we'd rue the day we taught koala bears to use the Internet!)

3. The Seattle Seahawks. The C-Hox finally earned just their second win of the season. They still have the worst passing game in the league (take THAT, Oakland!), but at least their defense is starting to show signs of sentient life and Julius Jones is moving the ball. As Miracle Max would say: these Seahawks are only MOSTLY dead. After all, they won't be mathematically eliminated from having a winning season for another 2 losses!

4. The St. Louis Rams. And, with that, we're nearly done with the NFC West, and we're only a quarter of the way through these rankings. I'll give them this: they... actually, I won't give them anything. Sweet mother of pearl, 3 teams in this division have combined for just 6 WINS. And here I'm supposed to give the Rams credit for managing not to go winless? NO. NO I WILL NOT. 28.7 points per game given up to opponents while scoring just 16.0 per game? That's Detroit bad. That's Cincinnati bad. That's straight up Bawful. Look, it's super great that the Rams won two in a row. Remember when San Francisco was 2-1? Yeah, neither do they. Here's the point: we're well past the point in this season where 2 wins would make me get excited about a team. Call me when the Rams have a winning percentage ABOVE .286. If I don't pick up, it's because I'm in the shower. Or because I still don't give a fuck.

5. The Minnesota Vikings. There are two things the Vikings do very well: (1) run the ball, and (2) stop other teams from running the ball. At last count, there were 845,769 things that the Vikings do terribly. You see where I'm going with this.

"Please, somebody take this... I have no idea what to do with it."

6. The New Orleans Saints. A surprisingly potent offense has buoyed this NFC South team's battle to 4 wins and a record within striking distance of first place in this season's most competitive division. Here's the thing: sometimes in professional football (I know, I know... it seems so unfair!) you have to play games at NOT your home stadium, and (again, I know: totally egregious) those games actually count just the same as the games you play at home. It's a cold, cruel world we live in, my dears. But, hey, look at it this way: if you keep it up, at least you won't have to travel up to any of those icky cold Northern states in January for those wacky "playoffs" you read about in the papers!

7. The Atlanta Falcons. See Saints, New Orleans.

8. The Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdowns, rushed for 3 more, and is currently leading the 6th-ranked passing game in the league. His Packers have fought their way back to a winning record after early struggles, and enjoyed a bye this past weekend to prepare them for their meeting with

Oh. Yikes. Yeah, the Titans are going to mash this limping Packers defense like so much pumpkin into a tasty Thanksgiving pie. That's another discussion for another time, though. (Tune into Footbawful on Friday for my pumpkin cheesecake recipe all your weekend picks!) Here's the point: I don't care how good Aaron Rodgers is, and I don't care that the Packers have a 4-3 record. They are a mind-numbingly mediocre team and their quarterback thinks he's some unholy combination of Bart Starr and Saint Sebastian. They suck and will go nowhere. This message forcefully disapproved of by the Packer Pope. Whatever. I don't trust that punk since he moved to Avignon anyway.

9. The Dallas Cowboys. Unlike my generally level-headed co-editor, I do not work myself into an orgasmic frenzy when I see the Cowboys losing. My thoughts on the 'Boys are thus: (1) Tony Romo is very attractive and I would enjoy seeing him naked, (2) I should have drafted Marion Barber III when I had the chance, and (3) I'd rather run naked through the streets of Milwaukee with "FOLLOW ME TO FREE BEER AND GERMAN SAUSAGES" painted on my asscheeks than see the Giants win this division. Hence, I suppose it saddens me a bit to have to inform you that the Cowboys are, in my humble opinion, toast.

10. The Philadelphia Eagles. A potent offense and an above-average defense are keeping this team afloat... sadly, because they have only 4 wins, they are mired at the bottom of the NFC East. It's like the exact opposite of the NFC West. Part of me thinks that this is unfair, but part of me acknowledges that throwing a team like the 49ers into a division with the Cowboys and the Giants would be much, much more unfair. Honestly, I don't think the Iggles are headed anywhere of significance this season, but they suck so much less than so many other teams in this conference that they've slid all the way to 10th in these rankings. Hooray for the ineptitude of others!

11. The Chicago Bears. These Bears are stunningly, astoundingly mediocre at nearly every aspect of the game... and yet they've got the 3rd-best offense in the league with 28 points per game and are winning the NFC North. I... I... I just... gahh. I've got nothing. Go Bears. Whatever.

12. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Scoring just 9 points against a Cowboys team that had let up a total of 64 points in its previous 2 games was not what these Bucs needed to bump them down on these Powerless Rankings. Still, props where props are due for the 5-3 record and second place in the hotly-contested AFC South. The Bucs currently have the second-ranked defense in the league with just 15 points allowed per game, and Jeff Garcia appears to genuinely want to start games. Still, the inconsistency of this team bothers me. 27 points against the Panthers and 9 against the Cowboys? What planet does that make sense on? Is it Bizarro Backwards Through the Looking Glass Neptune? Because that place is just a big tourist trap.

13. The Arizona Cardinals. Like the Bears, these Cardinals are also just 4-3 and still carving out a comfortable ass-groove at the top of their division thanks to the colossal amounts of bawful they're surrounded by. The difference here? The Cards have the number one -- the NUMBER ONE, folks -- offense IN THE LEAGUE with 28 points scored per game thanks to Kurt Warner's bionically reanimated arm having thrown for almost 2,100 yards and 14 brothershoving touchdowns. Nah, they don't really stand a chance in a conference with the Panthers, Bucs, and Giants (as Sunday's loss demonstrated)... but hot damn. At least they can, like, score points. The rest of the NFC West would love to know how they do it.

14. The Washington Redskins. I have to say: this team is an absolute joy to watch. Their play is dazzling and their wins are nearly always unexpected. They've got 6 wins on the season and are looking like the only team that's poised to give the Giants a run for their NFC East money. (Note: NFC East money is not redeemable for legal tender. Cash value 1/100 of a cent.) Critics will point to the Redskins' rather low 20.6 points-per-game offense and mutter that their win column is probably somewhat inflated. Seriously, though, watch this team play a game and then YOU come back and tell me I'm giving them too much credit. They're just great. I promise! Oh, and Jason Campbell? STILL hasn't thrown an interception.

15. The New York Giants. Whatever. Blah blah Eli Manning blah blah best run defense in the league blah blah first place. Blah.

16. The Carolina Panthers. Despite an almost-loss to the Cardinals this Sunday, the Panthers still managed to hang on for a 6-2 record and the rank of Least Eye-Gougingly Unwatchable Team in the NFC. They're still solidly middle-of-the-pack on offense with a fierce defense headed into their bye week, and here they shall remain until someone (pleasenotthegiants) unseats them. Rawr!

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The Oakland offense. I move that, until they merit otherwise, these "Raiders" have their name changed to "The People Who Come Into Your House When It's Raining And Don't Take Off Their Shoes So They Get Wet Leaves Everywhere." Because honestly? Nothing this offense is doing in any way aligns with notions of "raiding" or "plundering" or anything even remotely badass like that. Vaguely irritating and kind of inconsiderate, sure, but not "raiding." On that note, let's observe that TPWCIYHWIRADTOTSSTGWLE managed just 35 yards gained in the first half of this game. Like, 1/3 of the distance down the field. Total. It's frankly pretty amazing that this team managed to put up any points at all in their 29-10 loss to the Ravens, especially when you consider that they also managed just 47 total rushing yards. Seriously, Justin Fargas? WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? Do you have a knitting circle that's really fulfilling? Are you taking yoga? Have you been pursuing the delicate art of sushi-making? Because hand of God, son: you ain't no football player.

The Oakland defense. "We just got our tails whipped at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," sighed Tom Cable following the game. Indeed. Not only did they let the ordinarily tepid Baltimore offense nom up 375 yards for 29 points, but they got made to look foolish with a series of trick plays straight out of Generic Movie About a Ragtag Team of Lovable Misfits Who Win Big. The Ravens ran a modified single-wing offense with Troy Smith taking the snaps and rushing for 13 yards while Joe Flacco (fresh from the eyebrow waxer, from the looks of it) lined up as a wide receiver and wound up scoring a TD on a 12-yard run in the 4th quarter. I guess that means Oakland was playing the part of "Undefeated Team of Bullies Who Inevitably Fall to the Lovable Misfits." Hardly seems fair, really, given how bad Oakland is. They should really give their agent a call.

JaMarcus Russell. More like JaMightwannaconsideranothercareerpath. ZING! Russell kicked off the game for the Ravens by getting sacked in the end zone for a safety, then turned in a 15-for-33 performance with 1 interception for a 66.1 passer rating on the day. "You have to grow up fast and I think, with certain situations, you become better," he mused following the game. Just what kind of situations are you waiting for, JaMarcus? Is "one of just 16 games in a league where every game could make the difference in getting a playoffs berth" not enough for you?

Tom Cable, quote machine. Cable followed up the aforementioned "we just got our tails whipped" comment by asserting, "There's really no other way to put it." That sounds like a challenge to me, buster! How about your pick of the following:

We just got our asses thrashed repeatedly by a mob of men in purple spandex and a very fat running back.
We just played a first half so embarrassing that the football gods themselves wept.
We just lost yet another game while our batshit crazy owner went crossbow hunting at an elementary school picnic.
We just plain suck.

The Buffalo Bills bubble. Boooo! I should be more grateful for this loss, I suppose, since it allowed my Patriots to bumble their way back into first place in the AFC East. I was just starting to warm up to the Bills, though, and then they had to go and do a stupid thing like lose to the Chad Pennington Show. Really, this was a very close game in many ways: near-even possession time, 339 yards for Buffalo to Miami's 358... the difference-maker was that Buffalo coughed up 4 turnovers in the 4th quarter (an interception, 2 fumbles, even a botched punt). It's one thing to go down in a glorious blaze of bawful, like Oakland... but it's another to simply sputter and die out at the hands of Joey Porter. Actually, though, those both sound pretty awful.

Marc Bulger. The sad thing about this is that Bulger actually put up excellent numbers. 18-for-34 with 301 yards, including a career-high 69-yarder to Donnie Avery. But honestly? Bulger looked like total crap in the second half of this game. Let's not let the losing quarterback have all the fun, though...

Matt Cassel. Sweet gum-chewing Ganesh. I could throw a tighter spiral than that. Getting back to the Rams, though...

The Jim Haslett Renaissance. Really, there's not a whole lot you can come down on the Rams for this game: they kept it close without Stephen Jackson and despite the fact that New England enjoyed much better field position than them overall (not helped by the fact that St. Louis racked up 9 penalties for 63 yards lost while the Pats didn't have a single call against them). But, well... that's just it, you know? They played their absolute hardest against a team that was totally beatable, and they still came up short. How terribly depressing. Sad Tiger sends his condolences, St. Loo.

Tyler Thigpen. "What's wrong with Tyler Thigpen," you ask? Well, here's the thing. Our boy Tyler got thiggy with it against one of the all-time greats, matching Brett Favre nearly pass for pass (25-of-36 to Favre's 28-of-40) and yard for yard (280 to Favre's 290). Both QBs threw for 2 touchdowns... the difference was that Favre chucked up 3 interceptions, while Thigpen had none and earned a passer rating of 117.6 on the day. And you know what? He still lost. Because he plays for the goddamn Kansas City Chiefs.

Larry Johnson. I don't think I need to explain what sucks about the Chiefs on the field (in brief: in football, you have to do this thing called "scoring points" in order to "win games"), so let's focus on the spectacular off-the-field suckage of star running back Larry Johnson, who is currently facing assault charges for spitting a drink in a woman's face at a nightclub. This is the 4th time in 5 years that Johnson has been accused of assaulting a woman. HOLY SHIT. How does this punk still even get to PLAY FOOTBALL? I don't even have a joke to make here. It's fucking disgusting when pro athletes behave like this.

The Jacksonville Jaguars. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'll level with you: I've struggled to write about the Jags all season. They've been middling, but not awful (I believe I once noted that I can't in recent years recall a team that seemed so determined to finish the season 8-8), and despite the fact that the preseason held ominous hints that the Jaguars could very well be the new Bengals (arrests, shootings, and the like), Jacksonville kept conveniently winning a game every time I was ready to banish them to the depths of my contempt. Sure, they've got no running game (even with Maurice Jones-Drew... what a waste) and they can't rush the pass worth anything (only 9 sacks on the season? J.T. O'Sullivan would like to know when he gets to play the Jaguars), but they'd still managed to beat the Colts, the Texans, and the Broncos.

After this weekend's 23-17 loss to the staphyloriffic Browns, though? Jacksonville, I hereby dub thee Suck. Welcome to being the object of cheap one-liners and YouTube hilarity in the Powerless Rankings. Welcome to being picked against every week. Welcome to Suckville. The Chiefs will take your bags.

Oh, and Cleveland? You now get to be one of those middle-of-the-pack teams that I dissect on a numerical basis because you're no longer an easy target. Like the difference between beating up an asthmatic slow kid on the one hand, and subtly tormenting a classmate via subtle put-downs until they're driven slowly insane. I happen to be an expert at both.

This picture is great because it kind of looks like he just took a bite out of one of the Jaguars. Like taking a bite out of crime, only fail-ier. Nom!

Expecting anything other than what we already knew.

35-6, Texans over Bengals. TEXANS. THE TEXANS. THE TEAM WITH MATT SCHAUB AND SAGE ROSENFELS. Who the fuck is Kevin Walter other than the guy Yahoo! autodrafts for you in the 14th round when you leave to go get a beer and miss your pick? I don't know, but he caught two maternal-relations-having touchdowns yesterday. For those of you watching at home: yes, the Bengals are now 0-8. I AM RUNNING OUT OF HUMOROUSLY EXAGGERATED NUMERICAL DESIGNATIONS FOR YOUR SHITTY TEAM, CINCY. Seriously!

*************MONDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: Comes with your choice of fries or onion rings!*************

I think we can all agree that the Monday Night Football games this season have been terrible in every sense of the word, from the flagtacular Packers appearance to the sloppy Iggles/Cowmen shootout to the nearly offense-free Steelers/Ravens suckfest. Seriously, we should start a whole new site just to hold all the crap from Mondays. We can call it Mundane Night Football. Or something.

Anyway, the point is that last night's game was also terrible... at least for the first half, which saw one Colts TD and 2 Titans field goals for a snooze-worthy 7-6 halftime score. Thankfully, the Titans remembered that they're the goddamn undefeated Titans and rang up a 17-point 4th quarter to defeat Indianapolis 31-21. But you don't want to hear about that. On to the bawful!

Peyton Manning. Manning sent up two interceptions and accrued a passer rating of just 73.5. What's worse is that this is Peyton's second consecutive 2-pick game; he's already matched the total interceptions he threw in both 2004 and 2006 (9), and is one away from meeting his season mark from '03, '04, and '05. He still managed to connect with Dallas Clark for 2 TDs, but the fact that Dallas Clark put up the best receiving numbers in the game tells you pretty much all you need to know. When the league's best passer is opting repeatedly for his tight end instead of his wideouts, something is terribly amiss. And it's not like the Colts can fall back on their running game. Reggie Wayne still, like, PLAYS for this team, right?

The Colts' red zone defense. The saddest thing about this loss is that the Titans didn't even play a particularly inspired game. Despite having one of the league's top running games, Tennessee averaged just 2.8 yards per rushing play (yuck!) and only gained 88 net rushing yards (5 fewer than Indy). Moreover, Kerry Collins only managed 193 passing yards compared to Manning's 223. Overall, the Titans only averaged 5.2 yards per play, while the Colts had the slight edge with 5.4 yards per play... all this on more than 8 fewer minutes with the ball than TN. How, then, did the Titans take this? Because Indy's defense just gave up every time the Titans got within sneezing distance from the goal line and let LenDale White run it in twice while Chris Johnson added one of his own. Pa. Thetic. White only had 13 freaking yards on the game, and he STILL managed 2 touchdowns?! For god's sake, Indy, you're supposed to try HARDER when you're at your own goal line.

Yeah, I'm not even going to bother coming up with a caption for this one. It's pretty great just the way it is.

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"Fire! Fire from the sky! It must be Kurt Warner!"

The Carolina Panther's pass defense: Well, I feel about as stupid as those Oklahoma idiots who decided to play "chicken" with a cop. After spending last week bragging up the power of the Panther's awesome pass defense, I watched old man Warner destroy them the way his God demolished Sodom and Gomorrah: With pure fire and lightning, baby. Kurt completed 71 percent of his passes (35-for-49) en route to 381 yards and 2 touchdowns. And it's not like the Cardinals were setting up the pass with their stellar running game: Edge James rushed 7 times for 17 yards and Time Hightower had 6 attempts for only 3 yards. In the end, Carolina won the shootout, but only because Arizona, true to form, bungled the game way...

The Arizona Cardinals: You know I have to say it: The Cardinals are indeed who we thought they were. After building a surprising two-touchdown lead in the first half, the Cards spit in the face of prosperity by committing a handful of critical failures. First, late in the second quarter, coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to fake a 39-yard field goal attempt. On fourth-and-14. The play came up four yards short of a first down, so Arizona lost the ball and an opportunity for a pretty sure score. Then, early in the third quarter, James lost a fumble that gave the Panthers a shortened field and set up a game-tying TD pass by Delhomme. Warner responded on 'Zona's next possession by hitting Anquan Boldin for a two-yard touchdown, but Dirk Johnson bumbled the hold on the extra point, leaving Arizona with a 23-17 lead late in the third. (Note: That's four points the Cardinals gave up. This will be important later.) After a Delhomme-to-Smith TD gave Carolina a 24-23 lead, Warner was picked off near the goal line and the turnover was eventually translated into a Carolina field goal that accounted for the final score of 27-23. You guessed it: A FOUR POINT MARGIN OF VICTORY. You can't make this stuff up.

The moral of this story: Don't bet on Arizona on the road. Just. Don't. Do it.

Ken Whisenhunt, quote machine: Regarding his decision to go for it on freaking fourth-and-14 instead of just kicking a field goal and extending a double-digit lead on the road: "Maybe that was a little bit long to run that field goal fake." Brilliant deduction, coach.


Jake Delhomme's amazing man-crush: I had no idea Jake was so in love with Kurt Warner. Regading their pregame chit-chat, Delhomme said: "Talked to him a good while before the game. Didn't get to talk to him after. I would have probably asked him for his autograph." Then: "It's hard for me to watch our defense play because we're going over stuff, looking at pictures, but I caught myself watching him today. I'm proud of him." That's some serious love that dare not speak its name. I'm sorry to report, though, that Kurt's already spoken for. But don't worry. If the world's heaviest man can find love, so can you, Jake. So can you!

heavy man
"You can reach your goals. I'm living proof. BEEFCAKE!"

Bucs versus 'Boys: The final score was 13-9. I will now rip out my own eyes and set them on fire. Damn them for letting me watch this abomination.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneer "air show": Wow. Jeff Garcia threw 44 times yesterday. That was the plan? Seriously?! Hey, coach Gruden. Time for a new plan.

Brad Johnson, quote machine: BJ played the role of "game manager" to slow-and-steady-wins-the-race perfection yesterday, completing 19 passes for 122 yards. Boo if you must -- the Dallas fans sure did -- but that 3.7 yards-per-pass average was good enough for the win. And the Cowboys haven't been getting a lot of those lately, so don't expect any apologies from Brad. "We knew going in it was going to be an ugly game at times. Third-and-long, check it down, let them boo you -- that's OK by me. You’ve just got to manage the game." You tell 'em, Brad. And, really, it's our own fault. We should be teaching the youth of America to admire game managers, not game makers.

The Detroit Zeroes: Ford Field didn't sell out for the first time since it opened in 2002, and the fans not in attendence missed out on seeing their team scrap their usual "fall behind early and never recover" strategy to employ the slightly more depressing "take an early lead and hang onto it only to miserably fail at the end." I, for one, appreciate seeing Detroit fail in new and different ways. Although it's worth noting that they're still spreading their hoochies for opposing QBs: Jason Campbell was 23-of-28 for a season-high 328 yards with a touchdown and a career-high 127.4 passer rating, surpassing his previous career-high (established last year...against the Lions). Detroit has now allowed six of the seven quarterbacks they've faced this season set a career-high passer rating against them. They also watched Santana Moss catch a season-high nine passes for 140 yards, including a 50-yard TD that put the 'Skins ahead late in the third quarter. Moss also returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time Moss had acheived the feat since 2002. Oh, and Clinton Portis ran for 126 yards. The point, in case you missed it, is that if somebody on your fantasy team is facing Detroit this week, START HIM. Even if he dies mid-week, start him. The Zeroes are resurrecting everybody.

Chargers versus Saints: If you're a fan of shootouts, this game was for you. But I thought of this game as The Day That Defense Died. But who knows? Maybe that was all part of the plan. Said Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo: "I thought it was what the fans here wanted to see. I thought they wanted a high-scoring game. I thought they wanted to see the ball being thrown. I thought they wanted to see amazing athletes making amazing plays, and that's what they got." Amazing athletes making amazing plays? Sure. On one side of the ball, anyway.

Drew Brees, liar, liar, pants on fire: Regarding his team's win over the team that once spurned him: "This game was not about me proving a point or proving anybody wrong or saying they shouldn't have let me go. We beat a very good team today that needed a victory as badly as we did." I very nearly let this one go until he made the "We beat a very good team..." comment. That's when I knew he was screwing with us.

Michael Turner: His feast-for-famine season continues. Yesterday's numbers: 17 rushes for 58 yards, no TDs. And several thousand fantasy football team losses.

Andy Reid, quote machine: Regarding Brian Westbrook, who returned yesterday to rush for 167 yards and 2 TDs, the coach said: "He was dialed up." Memo to coach Reid: Stop trying to sound cool. You're fooling exactly nobody.


San Francisco 49ers: Gak. These guys were so bad I thought new coach Mike Singletary was going to burst a vein during the game. Samuri Mike benched J.T. O'Sucksville after he got sacked thrice, fumbled twice and threw an interception on fourth down. Then he yanked tight end Vernon Davis for slapping a Seattle player's helmet, chewed the kid out on the sidelines, then sent him to the locker room. He probably wanted to launch the defensive line into space after Leonard "The Chunk Master" Weaver caught a couple short passes and shambled his fat butt downfield for TDs of 62 and 43 yards. But, since Singletary doesn't have access to NASA equipment, he was left to beg pardon from the Niner faithful for the team's pathetic suckage. Before he went into the locker room, he removed his hat and spoke to the fans above the tunnel, saying: "I apologize. I apologize to you guys." Good times, gooooooood times.

"We're number one! At sucking!

The Steelers' offensive line: What did Ben Roethlisberger do to piss them off? Sleep with all their girlfriends and baby mamas? Refuse to add them as friends on his Facebook page? Leave dismembered skunk parts in their lockers? Whatever happened, Roethlisberger got sacked five times yesterday, bringing his season total to 23. I'm half expecting them to buy him a new motorcycle for Christmas. Oh, and speaking of Big Ben...

Ben Roethlisberger: At least part of the reason this dude keeps getting sacked is because he stands in the pocket death-gripping the ball like it's an infant he's scared to drop. Do that for the 10 seconds or so and you're gonna get hit. And in addition to all those sacks, he also tossed four picks. Man, Ben, if you're that determined to help the other team out, why not just hand over your playbook or set the locker room on fire?

Lack of foresight: Steelers long snapper Greg Warren suffered a season-ending knee injury on his final snap of the third quarter. (I never realized snapping was such a dangerous occupation.) Anyway, this injury would prove to be Pittsburgh's undoing late in the game when, on fourth-and-22 from its 18, Steelers substitute snapper James Harrison -- who had never snapped in a game in high school or college, much less the NFL -- fired his first snap over the head of punter Mitch Berger and out of the end zone for a safety. That tied the score at 14-14.

Oh, but it gets worse. Berger injured his hamstring in the second quarter. After the safety, he had to launch a free kick from the Steelers' 20. It traveled only 49 yards and set the Giants up near midfield. From there, Eli led New York on its only touchdown drive of the game. The winning drive, as it turned out.

According to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: "Nobody has two deep snappers. The best you have after that is an emergency snapper. We identified James as our leading candidate. James Farrior was next." Yeah, how'd that work out for you, coach?

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Panthers over Cardinals. The Arizona Air Show -- second in the league at 273.2 yards per game -- truly is an awesome spectacle to behold. When the Cardinal's are playing at home, that is. They're only 1-2 on the road, and their last away game on the East Coast was that 56-35 faceplant against the Jets. Now they're heading to Carolina, where the Panthers are undefeated this season. And, as I mentioned in this week's NFC Powerless Rankings, the jungle cats rank second in pass defense, allowing only 168.7 yards per game. It's like their D magically transmogrifies every opposing QB into Tavaris Jackson. I'm sorry, Kurt. Your God cannot protect you against these defensive demons. Which is how the Panthers are getting it done, by the way. They're strictly middle of the pack on offense: 16th in passing (210.0 YPG), 15th in rushing (114.0 YPG) and 16th in total offense (324.0 YPG).

"Thanks for the inspiration coach!" Part I: "We've got to take this home show on the road." - Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Stat curse of the week: Panther's kicker John Kasay is 14-for-14 on field goal this season, extending his streak to 19 straight dating to last season. But forget about the numbers: Kasay is more than just a kicker for Carolina. (He also hand-washes the team's jock straps after every game, making them silky soft and Springtime fresh!)

Ominous fact of the week: The last time the Cardinals opened the season at 4-2 (back in 2002), they went on to finish 5-11.

Cowboys over Buccaneers. Whew. Sorry I'm so flushed and out of breath. I've spent the last several hours having wild, crazy, hanging-from-the-chandelier monkey sex with the Cowboys' downfall. Of course, their collapse isn't a physical thing, so I had to, uh, use a stand-in...

I call her "How's my ass taste, Dallas?!" And we're in love.

ANYway, as fun as it's been watching the 'Boys implode, this game has one of those "wounded animal with its back against the wall" feels to it. And, as well as Tampa has been playing lately, I don't like thier chances on the road against a desperate team. Especially since their only win away from home came courtesy of one of the Bears' patented fourth-quarter collapses.

The "Awwwwww, that's so sad (but not really)" quote of the week: "It's like we've been riding a wave. Now, the wave is gone. We're just like everybody else. No matter what the talent is, publicity, whatever goes on here, it doesn't really matter." - Cowboys linebacker Bradie James, regarding his team's "Lucifer cast violently out of Heaven"-like fall from grace.

The "I don't think that word means what you think it means..." quote of the week: "The season is still prevalent." - Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears, regarding the fact that his team needs to look both ways before the chickens hatch. Or something like that. And because I have too...

Redskins over the Zeroes. Detroit is giving up 167.5 rushing yards per game. That makes them next to dead last against the run. Washington, on the other hand, ranks third in rushing by trampling over their opponents for 158.1 YPG. It doesn't take one of the world's leading footbawfulologists -- which I am, by the way -- to see where this is leading.


Out-of-context quote of the week: "There are times when there are big holes and there are times when there is not much of a hole." - Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen.

The "Uh, if you say so, coach" quote of the week: "I feel that the progression of this team this week was a good one." - Lions coach Rod Marinelli, regarding his team's progression. But, hey, when you start on the bottom, there's no place to go know what? They're stuck at the bottom.

Chargers over Saints. Ah, finally! A battle of two teams that have shocked the football world by being much worse than anybody could have anticipated. And now they get to take their Suckfest across the pond, continuing America's policy of quiet revenge against the British for overtaxing our tea or whatever all those years ago. Take that, you filthy Redcoats.

"Thanks, Captain Obvious!" quote of the week: "He has been a big part of what we have been able to do offensively and it's an injury that we have to deal with." - Saints coach Sean Payton on the out-of-commission Reggie Bush.

Captain obvious

The "Game Inside The Game" of the week: This has all the makings of a revenge game for Drew Brees, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Chargers a few seasons ago. Said Mr. MOLEY MOLEY MOOOOOOLE: "I'd be lying if I told you it was just any other game. But certainly I'm not blowing it out of proportion, and I'm not putting any added pressure on myself or my team." He then turned to Pierre Thomas and screamed "WE HAVE TO WIN THIS ONE OR I WILL HATE YOU BITCHES FOREVER!" and ran out of the locker room in tears. Note that Brees leads the league with 2,224 passing yards this season. So, you know, I think the Saints will be throwing the ball and stuff.

Eagles over Falcons. The torture that Jigsaw puts his victims through in those Saw movies is going to look like a five-year-old pulling the wings off of a fly compared to what the Philly defense is going to do to Matt Ryan this Sunday. I'm talking dark, disturbing, unspeakable things. I am being deadly serious here. I sincerely believe there's a very good chance of an "OH MY GOD CHRIS SIMMS LOST HIS SPLEEN"-type incident. Hey, maybe I'm way off base about this. But I really hope that Matt tells his mom he loves her before kickoff. I'm just sayin'.

Hey, look on the bright side: At least you aren't Matt Ryan!

"Thanks for the inspiration coach!" Part II: "This was a significant game in general for us. It's important we establish more consistency and eliminate some of the highs and lows." - Eagles coach Andy Reid, regarding the team's Week 6 cornholing of the 49ers.

The "Ya know, I don't think they're going to stop..." quote of the week: "We're not going to stop. You may get us every once in a while, but we're not going to stop. - Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, regarding Philly's defensive mindset.

49ers over Seahawks. Mike Singletary was named interim head coach of the Niners for his fiery passion, not his knowledge of Xs and Os. Still, this quote from San Fran's new head man is probably a cause for concern: "I don't really know...what button to press here and what button to press there." Dude! Seriously, how can you not know...

Do not press

Oh. Uh, well, never mind then. What the hell? Maybe it's best not to press any buttons. Just be happy your first game as a head coach is against sad sack loo-hoo-hoosers like the Seahags. That's like getting a practice game!

"Thanks for the inspiration coach!" Part III: "Right now, the guys realize that we do have something here. To what degree, I don't know, but we do have something here." - Niners coach Mike Singletary, regarding...I have no idea.

The "Well, no shit, Sherlock!" quote of the week: "Our confidence on offense isn't where it should be." - Mike Holmgren, regarding the fact that his team's offense couldn't score in a room full of hookers downing whiskey and Rohypnol shooters.

Steelers over Giants. The Steelers lead the league in sacks with 25. The Giants are tied (with the Eagles) for second in sacks at 21. Let me feed these numbers into the Bat Computer...okay, reading the printout...holy protect the quarterback, Batman! These teams are averaging about four sacks per game between them. And you know what that means: SACK PARTY!!

sack party

Now, on paper, this game seems to favor the Giants. Sure, the Steeler's have the league's top-ranked defense, which allows a paltry 228.3 YPG. But their offense is, um, not so good, averaging a meager 298.8 YPG...which ranks 25th in the NFL. Conversely, the Giants are strong on defense (ranked fourth and allowing only 275.2 YPG) and offense (second overall and gaining an amazing 395.0 YPG). Here's where the "Yeah, but..." comes in. Let's look at the murderer's row New Yawk has faced through their first six games: Washington (before they got their act together), St. Louis (ditto), Cincinnati, Seattle, Cleveland and San Francisco. So you'll understand my skepticism.

The "Uh, Really? I had no idea..." quote of the week: "There's always that little thing inside of you that wants to be the best, so I've got to get another Super Bowl before he does." - Ben Roethlisberger, regarding the heretofore unknown Ben Roethlisberger-Eli Manning Rivalry, which unbeknownst to anyone has become, by default, the premier QB versus battle in the league.

Last week's record: 7-6

Season record: 44-27

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Baltimore Ravens over Oakland Raiders. Three words: Take. The. Under. The shut-down Baltimore defense and comatose Baltimore offense will carry the day in a game that will likely feature no more than 3 scoring drives and a whole lot of Darren McFadden getting stuffed. Do not watch this game. I'm in Washington, D.C. (what a whole lot of unnecessary punctuation for one city name) this weekend and I'm doing everything in my power to ensure that I do not get stuck watching this game. I'd recommend that you do the same.

Basketbawful says: What's black, white and red all over. The Raiders after Sunday's game.

Buffalo Bills over Miami Dolphins. I'm truly sorry to those of you Dolphins fans who got all excited by those 2 exciting wins back at the beginning of the season. Now reeling from back-to-back losses to the Ravens (ick) and the Texans (double ick), Miami's inevitable plunge back into irrelevance will be hastened along by a loss to the Bills this weekend. The good news is that they play Denver next week, which means Chad Pennington will absolutely pass for 500 yards and Ronnie Brown will run the ball so hard a few innocent ladies in the stands might get pregnant. And then Dolphins fans will get their hopes up all over again before a second, inevitable disappointment. Which I guess is really bad news.

Basketbawful says: All I have to say is this: I hope all you Ronnie Brown fantasy owners sold high a few weeks ago. Oh, and Trent Edwards is my new man crush.

New England Patriots over St. Louis Rams. Honestly, I don't think anyone knows what to expect from this game. The Patriots rebounded from humiliation at the hands of the Chargers with a totally unexpected ass-whomping of the Broncos; meanwhile, the Rams have apparently chosen to defy the laws of nature entirely and win two games in a row. Seriously, I hear they've also invented a perpetual motion machine that will reverse entropy by 2012 and also makes delicious cupcakes. So, many people will tell you that anything could happen in this game -- like, honestly, Marc Bulger could very well morph into a truck, Optimus Prime-like, and mow down the Patriots defense while throwing a touchdown pass that opens up a portal into another universe. Wouldn't surprise me a bit at this point. I, however, say that the Patriots are absolutely going to win, as the one law of nature that will remain constant no matter what kind of wacky hijinks these Rams pull off is that I never pick against my Patriots. Whee!

Basketbawful says: Hm. I just don't see the Rams winning in New England. But, strangely enough, I can visualize Marc Bulger as Optimus Prime. Which would make Matt Cassel Megatron, right? Man, this is taking me to a scary mental place...

New York Jets over Kansas City Chiefs. Christ, when did the AFC become so awful? The Jets are going to win this, but we're all losers for it.

Basketbawful says: Kansas City might actually stand a chance in this game if Larry Johnson could take a break from choking bitches. But he can't, so they don't.

Jacksonville Jaguars over Cleveland Browns. Hey, everyone, Captain Obvious blogs for! Permit me a quotation, if you will: "[At] some point in their remaining 10 games the Jaguars will have to get on a roll; they will have to put together a significant winning streak of some sort; say, five in a row or six out of seven, seven out of nine, etc." In other words, if the Jaguars want to have a good season they need to win more of their remaining games then they lose. But wait: there's more! "The Jaguars’ fate this season will be determined over the next five weeks," reveals our daring blogger. That will put us at, oh, Week 12 -- so, like, the Jaguars fate will be determined by the majority of the season that remains. How deliciously novel! "Too strong a statement?" questions this maverick of the blogosphere at the end of the column. Look, buddy. A strong statement is something along the lines of, "The Cleveland Browns are an absolute toxic cesspit of godawful quarterbacking and no offensive talent who could probably find a way to make a bye week still somehow come up a loss, and I fully expect Jacksonville to mash them into oblivion." You're more like, "I expect that several players wearing outfits that indicate to which team they belong will line up opposite one another on the field and possibly throw or otherwise move an oblong ball back and forth along the turf, perhaps even resulting in points scored at some juncture... ooh, did I overstep my bounds there?" Honestly. How do these people have jobs?

I really need to, like, stop perusing I think it's making me dumber.

Basketbawful says: Let me put it to you this way, I picked up the Jacksonville defense off of waivers as a one-week fill-in simply because they're playing the Browns.

Cincinnati Bengals over Houston Texans. I hate the notion of picking the Bengals to win anything that's not the Nobel Prize for Sucking (previous recipients include Eric Gagne and every M. Night Shyamalan film after The Sixth Sense), but a) the Bengals are not an 0-16 team, and b) the Texans are not a 3-wins-in-a-row team. This seems as good a time as any to mention that I met a guy last night who's a big Texans fan, and he was talking my ear off about why they should start Sage Rosenfels under center. I told him he was an idiot and laughed in his face. You can't teach this kind of charm, kids.

Basketbawful says: I'm all for trying to pick an upset, but this is like a five-year-old bed-wetter going up against an autistic fifth grader. It'll be an embarrassing slapfight, sure, but my money's still on the bigger kid. I'm taking the Texas Toasts.

Tennessee Titans over Indianapolis Colts. Take one of the league's best running games and mix it with a run defense that couldn't stand up to an old lady with a feather duster, and what do you have? Like 8,000 yards apiece for LenDale White and Chris Johnson. Don't fight the rhythm, baby.

Basketbawful says: It's hard to pick against my Colts...but the way they're playing makes that easier and easier every week. Much as I like to man-crush on my boy Peyton, I don't see Indy taking down the league's last unbeaten team. Unless, like, they wire their defensive line with explosives. Of course, that would still require them to, like, make actual physical contact with Johnson and White...

futuremrsrickankiel's Week 7 Record: 11-3 WOOO!

Season Record: 39-31

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1. The Detroit Zeroes. Here's a quote you can immediately file under "What the fuuuuuuu...?" Detroit coach Rod Marinelli -- whose squad hasn't scored a first quarter point this season -- had this to say about the team's offense: "I like what we're doing. We have to do it better." Yes, and I like what the folks on Wall Street has been doing lately. They just need to do it better.

Sure, the Zeroes managed to score 21 points last week -- against the Texas Toasts -- but it's worth noting that Calvin Johnson caught a 58-yard Hail Mary pass on the last play of the first half and a 96-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. That's 14 points that should not have been. Lightning isn't supposed to strike twice, and it sure as hell won't strike a third time for the Lions. Good God, Detroit has become a depressing football wasteland. Seriously, I could swallow a copy of Necessary Roughness and poop a better football team than this. They're so abominable, I want to lash out violently at the world around me. So I'm going to punish you, the reader, with this music video -- starring Scott Bakula! -- from the major motion picture Necessary Roughness.

2. The Seattle Seahawks. Poor Matt Hasselbeck is suffering from a bulging disk in his back that's pinching a nerve and causing weakness in the knee he hyperextended against the Giants three weeks ago...and the Seahawks are doing everything they can to get him back on the field. Uh, listen, Seattle coaching staff: If things like "walking" and "sitting on toilet" are difficult and painful for Hasselbeck, do you really think he should be throwing a football and getting run down by 300-plus pound men? I guess when your team has thrown for a combined 156 yards in two weeks, it's natural for desperation to set in. And hey, if that's the case, I'm sure the Bears would be happy to trade you Rex Grossman...

3. The San Francisco 49ers. After being named interim head coach earlier this week, Mike Singletary released the following statement: "I'm Samurai Mike. I stop 'em cold. Part of the defense, big and bold. I've been jammin' for quite a while, doin' what's right and settin' the style. Give me a chance, I'll rock you good. Nobody messin' in my neighborhood. I didn't come here lookin' for trouble. I just came to do The Super Bowl Shuffle."

"I'm telling you, the 46 defense is gonna make a comeback..."

Bonus quote: Team owner Jed York, who once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, shrewdly diagnosed his team's problem: "I think we are getting 'out-intensitied.' I don't think that's a word, but I'm going to use it anyway." Bargleblibberfitz isn't a word either, but I'm going to use it anyway. Bargleblibberfitz!

4. The Dallas Cowboys. Watching the Cowboys slowly fall apart is like having sex for the first time all over again. I'm not even kidding. If the Dallas collapse was a physical thing, I would be dry humping it right now. A special "STIMPY, YOU EEE-DIOT!" goes out to Tony Kornheiser, who was trying to award Dallas the Vince Lombardi Trophy all the way back in Week 2. Good call, Tony. Remind me not to follow your stock tips.

5. The Philadelphia Eagles. According to the Eagles' team report: "The Eagles must get much better production from the tight end position the next 10 weeks if they hope to make a serious Super Bowl run." To which I say: "Hello, Earthlings. I am Rrellegard from the planet Klytaemnestra. I have travelled many zottlepracks -- what you Earth people know as a "light year" -- searching for an answer to this intergalactic question: How could anyone in the seven planes of reality think that tight end production is the missing element of the Eagle's Super Bowl run? ANSWER OR BE VAPORIZED, HUMAN SLUGS!"

6. The Minnesota Vikings. Let's see: 41 points, 439 total yards, and 1 loss.

vikings suck

7. The New Orleans Saints. The Saints learned two things last week: 1) why the Giants were so freaking happy to offload Jeremy Shockey and 2) that "defense" thing? Pretty important. Not that it isn't a barrel of party monkeys watching Drew Brees throw for 350+ yards every week and everything, but that's putting a lot of pressure on Drew and his mole sidekick. And Reggie Bush, the team's Swiss Army Knife, will miss the next three to four weeks after having surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee. That's bad news for a team that's only 3-4 and staring up at everybody else in their own division. On the bright side: Less than four months 'till Mardi Gras!

mardi gras
Don't worry, New Orleans. Good times are right around the corner.

8. The Atlanta Falcons. This upstart team may be the surprise of the year, but while they've improved in many areas, passing defense is not one of them. The Falcons have given up 286, 313 and 294 yards passing in their previous three games. Oh, and look! There's Donovan McNabb, licking his chops as if this Sunday's game was a giant bowl of Chunky soup. IF ONLY THE EAGLES WERE GETTING BETTER TIGHT END PRODUCTION.

Anyway, Falcons coach Mike Smith would like people to stop hounding the team's secondary about all those yards they've been Frenching up (that is, surrendering): "Our passing yardage is not where we'd like it to be, but it's not necessarily totally attributed to the play of the secondary. I think that often times people have snap judgments as to why certain things are happening. You have to always be cognizant of the linebackers' play in pass defense as well as the defensive line." Oh, so it's everybody's fault. Thanks, coach.

9. The St. Louis Rams. This team is hot, hot, hot after back-to-back wins against the Redskins and Cowboys. And -- BANG! POW! ZOK! -- just like that the Rams are in second place in the NFC West. At 2-4. Dear merciful Zeus. And I thought Detroit was a football wasteland. But before you get too excited about the Resurrection Rams, keep in mind that Stephen Jackson -- who has been their only real offensive weapon this season -- suffered a quad injury in the fourth quarter of last week's game against the Dallas. Said QB Marc Bulger: "He was in quite a deal of pain in the locker room after the game, so I’d expect him to be out a couple of weeks." The injury has since been downgraded to a strain, and Jackson is expected to play at New England this week. But after what happened to the Broncos on Monday, this matchup just kinda feels ominous, doesn't it?


10. The Green Bay Packers. Blah, blah, blah, Arron Rodgers drama, blah, blah, blah. Sidenote: Wonder what's going to happen when the weather gets nasty and the Packers have to start running the ball and stuff.

11. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jeff Garcia's performance against the Seahawks last Sunday -- 26-for-37, 310 yards, and a 47-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant on the Buc's opening drive -- effectively ended the quarterback "controversy" in Tampa. Still, Garcia's offensive explosion against lowly Seattle yielded only 20 points, so you'll excuse me if I remain a tad skeptical. Jeff still feels like a playoff FAIL waiting to happen.

12. The Arizona Cardinals. Dear 'Zona: You must stop sucking on the road. Yours truly, Footbawful.

13. The Chicago Bears. Kyle Orton is leading a high-octane Bears offense that currently ranks third in the NFL in scoring at 28.0 points per game. I know. Sounds crazy doesn't it? But as fun as Mr. Neckbeard's "out of freaking nowhere" rise to elite quarterback status has been, it can't cover up for a defense that gave up 41 points and 439 total yards to the Vikings despite blocking a punt and forcing five turnovers. They are, officially, the Bizarro Bears.


14. The Washington Redskins. That stunning loss to the Rams was followed up by a butt-ugly win over the Brown Stains. Clinton Portis is limping around...and he's not the only one. It's usually a sign when the head coach says "We're wearing down a little bit." Right?

14. The Carolina Panthers. Here's a warning for all upcoming Panther opponents:

cannot pass

After seven games, Carolina ("They're mighty fina!" ranks second in pass defense, allowing only 168.7 yards per game and a mere five passing touchdowns. Last Sunday, they slammed the brakes on the Saints Throwingmobile, holding Drew Brees and his mole sidekick to 104 yards passing in the first three quarters. And that's just the highlight of a well-balanced team. However, as those lopsided losses to Minnesota and Tampa Bay have shown, the wheels can come off pretty quickly. Not sure I'm ready to take a ride on the bandwagon just yet. Keep my seat warm, FutureMrs.

15. The New York Giants. That loss to Cleveland was a little embarrassing, in a "Lindsey Lohan accidentally showing her snatch" kind of way. But they've still sucked the least of anybody in the NFC. So they remain here for at least another seven days.

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