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.
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!
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:
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.