I’m a little late with my hierarchy this week. Oops. If anyone cares, then, well, good. Anyway, we have our first death this year.
Oh, 2011 Vikings. I had such high hopes for you. A seemingly good defense, a QB with a clean slate and a “better situation,” an immensely talented RB, and other decent weapons to sprinkle in. Let’s do a brief review:
– Week 1, up 10 at the half, LOSS.
– Week 2, up 17 at the half, LOSS.
– Week 3, up 20 at the half, LOSS.
– Week 4, no big lead at any point, but a LOSS nevertheless… to Kansas City!
Are the Vikings the worst team in the NFC? Not even close. But they’re in a division that includes the 4-0 Packers and Lions, and at 0-4, they don’t have enough talent to overcome this hole they’ve dug.
I bet the Vikings to win the division when I went to Vegas back in June, which reinforces the notion that I don’t know shit about shit.
Thanks, Vikes. I mean… at least hang in there longer than 4 effing weeks. Complete waste of $100. You no longer get a mention in the hierarchy from here on out. Bye.
15 – A rare team I had pegged from Day 1.
Stinkapotumous. The Rams’ already bad pass D has now lost both their starting corners, and they have absolutely nothing on O. With the whole annoying “Suck for Luck” thing, it’d be kind of funny if the Rams had the Number 1 pick this year, with Sam Bradford already in place.
14 & 13 (in whatever order you prefer).
I’m hoping the Niners keep winning, because really, I don’t feel like thinking of things to write about these two teams that I really couldn’t possibly care about any less.
12 – Relevant going forward, but not in 2011.
I’ll probably kill these guys off after they lose to New Orleans this week, but this is a team headed in the right direction.
11 – Biggest disappointment in the NFL
Atrocious defense, worst set of LBs in the NFL, bad safety play, insanely weird red zone play calling, careless fumbles, questionable leadership, rookie kicker missing easy FGs, poor execution, no fire… Am I piling on?
10 – Romo’d
I saw a tweet about Tony Romo this week that I kinda liked. I don’t remember who is was or the exact wording, but it went something like this: “Tony Romo needs to stop trying to be Peyton Manning, and just be Eli Manning.” Interpret that however you choose.
9 – In just as much trouble as Philly.
With the Eagles getting all the attention as THE under-performing team, the Falcons have kind of slipped under the radar. However, unlike the Eagles, the Falcons play in a good division and from where I’m sitting, I see a 2-2 team that has the Packers coming to town, and two teams ahead of them in their own division that have clearly looked like better football teams so far. A loss will likely put them 2 games back in the NFC South, with a 2-3 conference record as well. They’re in big trouble if they lose to GB this week.
8 – The third team in the hierarchy that made the playoffs last year already in jeopardy of falling too far behind this week
We’ve already covered the Eagles and Falcons, but the Bears are another 2010 playoff team in serious danger of falling out of reasonable division contention this week. The Lions have an outstanding opportunity to bury the Bears on Monday night. A loss will put them 3 games behind Detroit, plus head-to-head losses to both the Lions and Packers, and an 0-2 division record. They probably wouldn’t recover from that. “Must win” gets thrown around very loosely these days, but this is a true must win.
Can’t talk about this lucky-ass team yet. Still bitter. Remain far from impressed.
6 – Toughness.
I think a lot of people look at Alex Smith, the lack of weapons on the outside, and a banged up Frank Gore, and think “This team stinks.” I was certainly guilty of that last week. But that defense is legit. Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman are the best 3-4 ILB duo in the league.
5 – Ugly, but effective.
After a Week 1 home loss to the Lions, I blasted the Bucs for doing absolutely nothing whatsoever during the offseason to improve their team, despite having a zillion dollars under the cap. Then they rattled off 3 straight wins, and they have my attention. This week they’re in SF, in what is quietly a very big game. It’s gets reeeeaaally difficult for the Bucs starting this week. Here’s their next 6 opponents: @Niners, Saints, Bears, BYE, @Saints, Texans, @Packers. Brutal. Let’s see what’chu got, Raheem.
4 – I know. I can’t believe I have this team this high either.
I guess I just really believe in that defense. I have an unhealthy love for the Skins’ linebackers. Perhaps it’s because my own team’s LBs are thoroughly craptastic. Ryan Kerrigan is making a strong play for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Brian Orakpo was the NFL Defensive Player of the Week last week with 3 sacks. London Fletcher keeps playing like… London Fletcher. And Rocky McIntosh, the one guy that I had pegged as the lone “non-standout” is standing out in a big way. McIntosh barely got a sniff in free agency, and signed back with the Skins on a one-year deal. That won’t happen this time around. If he continues his current high level of play, he’s going to earn himself a nice payday.
Meanwhile, the DL is monumentally improved from a year ago, and the free agent acquisitions, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Josh Wilson, are filling in nicely, Wilson in particular.
The offense doesn’t need to press the issue. Run the ball, make plays where you can, and punt when need be. Rex Grossman isn’t going to put this team on his shoulders and win games, but if he can limit the mistakes, they’ll be in every game, regardless of the opponent. This team reminds me a little bit of a very veeeeerrrrry poor man’s… as in like a homeless man’s… like… a homeless man that doesn’t even have a shopping cart… 2000 Ravens. You know what? Nevermind. I take that back. I’m not sure I even want to go out on that limb even with the overdone disclaimers.
3 – OK, I believe.
Eagles fans owe the Lions a certain debt of gratitude for their comeback from being down 27-3 last week in Dallas. They at least provided Eagles fans 5 seconds of “Haha, at least Dallas crapped the bed in spectacular fashion too” before returning to their misery. But this team is looking scary, and most impressively is that they’re 3-0 on the road. Crazy to think that rookie first round pick Nick Fairley hasn’t played a single snap yet.
2 – Inconsistent defense, but that O…
Gave up 42 to GB, then 13 to Chicago. Gave up 33 to Houston, then 10 to the Jags. They gotta clean that up. But that offense… weapons galore. The Saints offense is what the Eagles could be if the Eagles didn’t play stupid.
1 – Still the best.