1. The Cincinnati Bungals. Well, uh, the thing is...
I really don't know what else I can add here.
2. The Kansas City Chiefs.Tony Gonzales wants the hell out. But he's not getting out. And his teammates feel really sorry for him. Bummer for him, huh? It's just like Leonard at the end of Memento: Tony needs to believe in a world outside his own mind. He has to believe that his actions still have meaning, even if no one will ever remember them. He has to believe that when his eyes are closed, the world's still there. But the world's not there, Tony. It's not. Welcome to NFL purgatory. But at least you'll have plenty of Lions fans to keep you company.
Bonus quote: "Hopefully, the distractions of the past week won't affect us as we prepare for Tennessee," said coach Herm Edwards. Trust me, Herm. "distractions" are the least of your worries. But on the bright side, you can still save up to 15 percent on your car insurance by switching to Geico.
3. The Oakland Raiders. Is JaMarcus Russell worried about last week's poop-tastic performance, in which he completed only 13 of 35 passes and finished with a QB rating of 40.1? Hell no, bitches. Said Russell: "You're going to have times when things go bad. Like I said, you've just got move forward, and everything's not going to be perfect as far as how you draw it up. You've just got work hard and keep going." Ah, if only hard work could transform human feces into warm rays of the brightest sunshine. However, it cannot. But like my grandpa always used to tell me, when God give you lemons...it's time to find a new God, dumbass.
4. The New England Patriots. Two weeks after getting repeatedly burned by Miami's gimmick plays, the Patriots decided to fail in a completely different manner: Getting picked apart by simple long passing plays. Said cornerback Ellis Hobbs: "We expected those type of big plays." Aaaaaand...what, exactly, Ellis? Maybe Rodney Harrison has the answer. "We just have to cover better. It comes down to one man making a play against another man." Um, yeah, okay. Thanks and stuff, Rodney.
Anyway, Matt Cassell is making it increasingly clear that Bill Belichick's "genius" was three percent luck, seven percent common sense and 90 percent Tom freaking Brady. This makes me disproportionately happy for some reason.
5. The Cleveland Brown Stains. The entire Internet almost crashed on Monday night as millions of fantasy football team owners across the country rushed to pull Derek Anderson off waivers. This, of course, resulted in trade proposals that could be legally declared "dangerously insane" by the world's leading brainologists. One such trade proposal (to me) was Anderson for LaDainian Tomlinson, straight up. Another one (to a friend in another league) was Anderson and the injured Felix Jones for Jay Cutler.
What is it about fantasy sports that makes seemingly rational people try to become all Machiavellian? Earlier this season, a close friend very seriously proposed a trade in which I would hand over LT, Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton AND Tony Scheffler for Phillip Rivers. And when I politely refused, he made it seem like I was making a grave mistake. Part of the problem, I think, is that people want to make a steal on every trade. If the trade isn't radically lopsided in their favor, they don't want to go through with it. Also, people try to trade for points instead of needs. So they'll hold onto three quarterbacks and refuse to trade one of them for a wide receiver -- no matter how badly they need one -- if they can't get additional players to make the points match up exactly. I've witnessed one evenhanded trade this season: Jay Cutler for Clinton Portis. The guy who traded Cutler already had Drew Brees and really needed a running back. The guy who traded Portis had used his first round draft pick on Tom Brady. The trade worked for both teams. Why doesn't that happen more often?
6. The Houston Texans. Okay, before we get into this, I need to issue the following notice:
Now then. From Houston's team report: "Still grumbling to himself and grinding his teeth over an early fumble on a play he knew should have ended with a touchdown, Andre Johnson took it upon his broad shoulders to help his team. When quarterback Matt Schaub went to Johnson in the left flat, Yeremiah Bell seemed to arrive there first, but Johnson was not going to be denied that football. With muscle and grit, Johnson bested Bell in a desperate tug-o'-war that at least made the Texans' season salvageable." Is it just me, or is that an awful lot of drama for an event that "at least made the Texans' season salvageable"? And what does that even mean? That they won't go 0-15? I mean, for some teams, the sky's the limit. For the Texans, four or five wins is probably the limit. So for the moment, can we please save the drama for legitimate Super Bowl contenders and Green Bay quarterbacks? Thank you.
7. The Miami Dolphins. Just when I was totally prepared to admit the 'Fins might be for real, they hand the Texans their first lonely win of the season. And what's with Ricky Williams stealing carries from Ronnie Brown last week? Anyway, I'm going to reserve my final judgment on this team until after their next three games (Baltimore, Buffalo, at Denver). Until then, let's enjoy this old clip of Dan Marino freaking out.
8. The Baltimore Ravens. Well, we finally got a look at what Baltimore's defense can do against a real offense. And the Colts didn't even have a real offense this season until they played the Ravens. And speaking of offense, the Ravens' is truly offensive. I'm not talking "Nike's Hyperdunk ads" offensive. I mean straight up "Sarah Palin thinks human beings and dinosaurs were chilling out together 6,000 years ago" offensive. (I spoke with Science yesterday, and Science is not happy about that.) Expect increasingly awful things from tackling dummy/starting quarterback Joe Flacco now that guard Marshal Yanda is out for the season.
9. The Denver Broncos. Here's a list of things that would stand a better chance of stopping an NFL offense than the Broncos right now:
1. Those little green army men. 2. The Chewbacca Defense 3. That cheap toilet paper they stock in public restrooms 4. Aquaman 5. A gentle breeze 6. Grandma
10. The Jacksonville Jaguars. They've won three out of their last four games, and now they get a bye week followed by gimmies against the Brown Stains, Bungles and Surrender Lions. I'm telling you this now so you'll be prepared for about a month's worth of "The Jaguars are for real!" stories. It'll happen. Trust me on that. But don't be deceived. Kimbo Slice looked really good during those unsanctioned street fights against homeless people and local middle school students, but we saw what happened when he finally had to face one of the big boys. Fun fact: What would Jacksonville's backup quarterback Cleo Lemon be if he wasn't a football player? "Probably some kind of entertainer. I don't know what, but I'd be an entertainer." That's some valuable information right there.
11. The San Diego Chargers. Sure, they picked apart their painfully vulnerable arch-nemeses, the Patriots, but that's like beating up your jock tormentor at your 20-year high school reunion. I mean, look at the dude. He's a balding, pot-bellied mess. That's not really a win. At best, it's a draw. In fact, you kind of lose for holding onto that crap for so long. Just let it go, man. Move on.
12. The New York Jets.From the Jets' team report: "Eric Barton and Kris Jenkins were college teammates at the University of Maryland and have been reunited in the pros with the Jets. But when the veteran Barton was asked Monday if he had any good stories about Jenkins, all he noted was that 'he does make a great omelet.' Fitting that would be Jenkins' breakfast choice, because as opposing offensive linemen have discovered, he's very difficult to pancake." Who's writing this stuff? I mean, seriously.
13. The Buffalo Bills. That 41-17 pummeling at the beaks of the Cardinals was a wakeup call for everybody who was leaping furiously onto the Bills bandwagon. But what if Trent Edwards hadn't been knocked the hell out in that game? Is Edwards the sine qua non of Buffalo's potential greatness? Is he truly the dash of salt on their life's plate of Brussels sprouts? Maybe. But I don't care if he can create rainbows by batting his eyes, the first thing the Bills need to address is their running game: Heading into Week 7, Buffalo ranks 23rd in the NFL in rushing at 98.4 yards a game despite having the fattest, er, heaviest line in the NFL. You know, I'm pretty sure I could run the ball if I had a mack truck blocking for me, so who knows what the problem is. If that problem isn't fixed, and fixed soon, I predict more beatings (and maybe additional concussions) for Mr. Edwards.
14. The Indianapolis Colts. So what can we make of last week's 31-3 booty-blasting of the Ravens? Are they the old Colts once again? Or did they simply expose an overrated defense supported by a flawed offense captained by an unsteady rookie QB? As a Colts fan, I'm hoping for the former and fearing the hell out of the latter. Back-to-back road games against the Packers and Titans should be pretty telling. Random note: Rumor has it that the Colts finally admitted to Peyton Manning's second knee surgery only to distract from the size of his bulbous head, which continues to grow unabated. Soon, no helmet in this universe will be able to contain it.
15. The Pittsburgh Steelers. They pushed their record to 4-1 -- despite that rough Philly/Baltimore/Jacksonville stretch -- before reaching the bye week. They've got a figure-four leglock on their division. And they're getting healthy: Running back Willie Parker, defensive end Brett Keisel and nose tackle Casey Hampton are all expected to play Sunday. Could the news get any better? Next I'll find out they have their own brand of delicious beef jerky. Well, what d'you know?!
16. The Tennessee Titans. "The last undefeated team in the NFL" has a nice ring to it, you know? There are still plenty of chances for them to fall off of their perch, but somebody's gotta knock them off of it first. Until then, well, it's good to be king.