NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 4 in the books

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.

DEAD

Obituary:

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.

7 – 2-2 3-1.

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.

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  16. […] West.  Oops.  Back in June, I made two long-shot bets in Vegas.  I bet the Vikings would win the NFC North at 9/1, and I bet the Cards would win the NFC Championship at 40/1.  I figured that with the […]

  17. Mikhaili says:

    I wonder if we will see some honest journalism next week with the Eagles joining the Vikes in the graveyard… 1-4 overall, with the Cowboys (twice), Deadskins (twice), Patriots, Jets, and Bears left to come… No way their going 9-2 for the remainder to make the playoffs.

    1. Mikhaili says:

      they’re not their…

    2. I agree the Eagles are hanging by a thread, but hang on a second… Those teams you mentioned… I assume you mentioned that group of teams because you think they’re all really good teams? If so, I’m not sure why Dallas would be included.

  18. packimop says:

    I think NO’s defense gets a bit of a pass against Houston and GB. Those offenses are nasty. On the other hand, JAX and CHC offenses are putrid. Curious to see how they do moving forward.

  19. TheDeepBall says:

    it’s funny because as grateful to the Lions you think Eagles fans should feel, Redskins fans are laughing at both of you.

    Though the Giants have gotten lucky for 3 games in a row now, especially in the Rams game. I think Tom Coughlin sold his soul.

  20. asylum says:

    I appreciate your love for the Skins D Jimmy. That LB corps really is playing well together, and as Kerrigan continues to gel in his new role, its only going to get scarier for opposing teams’ offense.

    You are right that the O does not need to do anything other than not make mistakes, but i think that Kyle Shanahan is the wild card. He truly does call some brilliant plays, but plays that seem to be designed for an Offense much mroe talented than the one on our current roster. Little Shanny needs to get a better grasp of his pieces on offense, or you will continue to see Rex Grossman throwing late in ballgames on first down with a lead…..if you have not seen a skins game this year, that means turnovers.

    I think the Gmen are comign on strong and while I hate them about the same as you do and think they are lucky as hell to be sitting at 3-1, but Eli has actually started playing with some nuts and makign big plays….hah, lets see how long that keeps up.

    HHTR

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