1. The St. Louis Rams.
This week, in News That Shouldn't Surprise You At All: New Rams head coach Jim Haslett's first move was to bench Trent Green in favor of Marc Bulger
. Again: totally predictable, given that starting Trent Green is about as smart as microwaving a box of tin foil. (Note to our readers: that was sarcasm. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to microwave a box of tin foil. Footbawful assumes no responsibility for any injury or property damage that may arise from microwaving a box of tin foil. Or from starting Trent Green.) Hurrah, now the Rams will surely win the NFC West! Oh wait, just kidding. Marc Bulger's pretty terrible too. Ah, right, and the Rams are 0-4. Wow, what a terrible team! Someone should start a website devoted to talking about which football teams are, like, really bad and stuff. But I digress. Here's the point: Marc Bulger over Trent Green will do nothing to redeem this team. Sowwy!2. The Minnesota Vikings.
Why? Because it's not fair to let St. Louis and Detroit have all the fun. Sorry, Vikes, but it turns out that Gus Frerotte does not, in fact, magically possess the key to sparking an uninspired team to victory. I know they say "the best offense is a good defense," but you're not supposed to take that LITERALLY, dammit. I may not know much about football strategerism, but believe me when I tell you that the best offense is, in fact, one that consists of a) carrying and/or passing the ball down the field to within 20 or so yards of the end line and b) either propelling the ball via further carrying and/or passing OR kicking the ball over the big yellow fork-looking thing. Preferably the former. Lather, rinse, repeat. Oh, and if you get this message, please pass it along to the Denver Broncos, who appear to be laboring under the delusion that the correct saying is actually, "The best defense is a good offense." Which is also quite false.3. The Detroit Lions.
Ding, dong, the witch is dead! Oh, sure, the Lions still suck big, wrinkly, donkey balls. They're 0-3 and have only been spared from dead last place in the NFC standings by a merciful Week 4 bye. But oh, my... giving Matt Millen the "To the left, to the left
" treatment is surely worth enough Positive Power Points (TM) to bump the Lions from utter, unredeemable Bawfulness to mere everyday-level Bawfulness. A recap, if you will: since Millen's arrival in 2001, Detroit has posted a 31-81 record, never had a winning season, never finished higher than third in the NFC North, and not made a single post-season appearance. Oh, and drafted Joey Harrington. To their credit, Detroit fans have been extremely vocal about their disapproval of Millen, especially following his are-you-fucking-serious contract extension in 2005. As a lifelong Bruins fan raised under the brutal, dystopian reign of the Jacobs family, I only wish we too had the courage to rise up against our evil overlords. Anyhoodle, Millen is gone. It's the end of a dark era in the history of a storied franchise, and for that we are all thankful. Until next week, that is, when the Cubs drop the Lions like a prom dress at an afterparty. Well, FINE. I didn't want you guys to sit with me ANYWAY.4. The Atlanta Falcons. Sigh.
It appears that Matt Ryan is not, in fact, the Great White Hope for this Atlanta team. Oh, sure, the Michael Turner Express will continue to alternately devastate and delight fantasy owners as the season goes on, but two 24-9 losses to legitimate division rivals tell you all you need to know about this team's longevity. The Falcons' defense is sloppy, their passing game is meh, and there's just no hope for them amid the fierce competition of the NFC South.5. The Seattle Seahawks.
What a difference a bye week can make! The 1*-2 C-Hox will bring a revitalized roster (rawr!) to the Meadowlands this weekend, as Deion Branch, Bobby Engram, and Koren Robinson will all be present to replace a wide receiver corps that previously consisted of two rusty garden rakes and Courtney Taylor's toenail clippings. There are still plenty of question marks surrounding this team, but for now, I'll give them this: they're certainly not the Rams, Vikings, Lions, or Falcons. Hooray!
*note that the "win" came against St. Louis6. The San Francisco 49ers.
"Saaaaaacks for sale! Whooooo wants to buy a saaaaaack? Coooome and sack our quarterbaaaaaaaaaack! Buy 4 sacks, get the 5th sack freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"7. The Arizona Cardinals.
I'm just going to say this: winning the NFC West is like winning a pie-eating contest at an anorexia clinic. And with 2 losses in a row and more surely on the way, it looks like the Cards won't even be able to manage that. It's not that they're a terrible team. Really. Kurt Warner consistently puts up great numbers, and both Fitty and The Edge are enviable offensive options (ooh!). But a loss to the Redskins followed by a brutal machine-gunning to death from Brett Favre and the Jets does not bode well for these Cardinals. "Remember: in these uniforms, we're not just men. We're BIRDS! Little tiny birds! Yeeeargh!"8. The Philadelphia Eagles.
Consider this: the Cardinals are 2-2 and tied for first in the NL West. Meanwhile, the Eagles are 2-2 and last in the NL East. Rough life, Iggles! Despite a lovely passing game and a defense that has proven nigh impossible to run the ball against, Philly has posted tough losses to both Dallas and Chicago -- both losses, incidentally, in which the opposing quarterback threw 3 touchdowns. Yes that's right. This team let Kyle Orton throw 3 touchdowns. Receiver coverage, anyone? Or did you already blow all your money buying chances to sack JT O'Sullivan?9. The Green Bay Packers.
A middling offense and a worse-by-the-week defense are slowly dragging this team down from Mount We Love Aaron Rodgers And Couldn't Be Happier and into The Valley Of We Miss Brett Favre Wahhhhh.10. The New Orleans Saints.
Yet another 2-2 team -- only this one looks to be on the ups. Drew Brees is quarterbacking up a storm for the Saints, who are averaging 27.8 points a game. Oh, and Jere-ME ME PAY ATTENTION TO ME Shockey is out for 3-6 weeks with a sports hernia. I'll say this much: I've always liked Shockey, and would kind of love to go drink beer and shoot pool with him in the Big Easy sometime. (Road trip, anyone?) But it's probably good for team morale to have his showboating self off the field. The Deuce is loose!11. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
:(12. The Chicago Bears.
MATT FORTE OMG! No, seriously. Despite two rough losses in a row to tough NFC South teams, the Bears' offense is looking better every week thanks to The Little Rookie That Could. Except he's not little. He's big. The point, though, is that he's awesome. The Bears toppled the Eagles this past weekend and, say I, are headed for a cushy few weeks against Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota, Nobody (note that a bye week is actually a more challenging foe than the Lions), and Detroit again. Nice. Very nice.13. The Washington Redskins.
Say it with me now: The Washington Redskins are 3-1. Oh, yes, and that's Jason Campbell over there... the only starting quarterback in football who hasn't thrown an interception yet on the season. What do I think of all this?
Actually, I think it's pretty awesome. Do I think it's sustainable? Erm. Let's just let them have their fun, shall we? Redskins season tickets and sub-prime lending for all!14. The Dallas Cowboys.
Yes, yes, they lost to the Redskins. Now we can all stop feeling guilty about the senseless exploitation and destruction of our country's native peoples and go back to enjoying ourselves at their casinos the way the Great Spirit intended. Here's something you can go ahead and lay a nice little wager on at said casinos: The Cowboys are still a very good team.15. The New York Giants.
The objective analyst in me reminds you that the Giants are 3-0 and putting up outstanding numbers on both offense and defense. The idiot New England homer in me politely requests that the Giants go brush their teeth with donkey droppings.16. The Carolina Panthers.
Here come the Panthers, baby. They're the football team equivalent of a pizza with everything on it.
Labels: NFC, Powerless rankings, when good things happen to bad football teams