“Yeah, once Monday Night Football is over, you can just go ahead and crank out some rankings! Just put the order together as you watch the games Sunday and have an idea of where you’d put the two MNF teams based on how they perform. Pretty simple. Even you can handle that!” I tell myself as I sit on my sofa completing contact cards from the various college fairs I attended that week.
Then Saturday turns into Sunday morning. I suddenly get wrapped up in house or yard work, or a 3-hour NACAC fair in Birmingham, or a drive back from Atlanta and suddenly, it’s Sunday night. I have to rely on a combination of NFL Network, ESPN, Chris Bermanisms, Twitter hot takes, box scores and beat writers to get a sense of what happened.
“Next week.” I tell myself, as my 5-month old daughter continues to mash my keyboard while sitting in my lap.
Tier 1: Netflix and Chill Success Stories
“Can’t believe it was 4 years ago when you asked me to come over and watch ‘The Lion King’ on Netflix, tomorrow we tie the knot”
#1. New England Patriots (3-0) – Twitter in June: “lol, pats goin 0-4 without brady, its a wrap”. Twitter in October: “…..rigged”
#2. Denver Broncos (3-0) – Trevor Siemian leading the Broncos to a 3-0 record is like that time in High School when you ended up taking that senior to the Prom. You weren’t necessarily the best option for her, but you were available and just happy to be there. I’m aware that simile flopped.
#3. Philadelphia Soul (3-0) – They won the Arena Bowl you know? Might as well.
#4. Minnesota Vikings (3-0) – Raise your hand if you thought a Bridgewater-less Vikings would be undefeated right now. If you’re THAT guy who has his hand up right now, pat yourself on the back and relish in the fact that you’ll never have any friends that really love you.
#5. Baltimore Ravens (3-0) – “I don’t like you, but my sister trusts you so I’ll just have to roll with it until you give me a reason to deliver the hands”
#6. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) – SIX interceptions? This isn’t Madden broham, you better come back down to Earth and be happy you played a beardless Ryan Fitzpatrick. The beard is what makes him Middle America’s darling, you got lucky you son of a gun.
Tier 2: “In the Heat of the Night” reruns with Grandma
#7. Green Bay Packers (2-1) – They always have an inexplicably stupid loss early on where everybody except for the team panics about it. Then they bounce back and end up getting a chance to redeem themselves by steamrolling the rest of the division. Hello Detroit.
#8. Atlanta Falcons (2-1) – Home loss to a Buccaneers squad that hasn’t beat anyone else yet is peak Atlanta. That being said, this offense gives them the opportunity to compete with anybody, if the defense shows even consistent mediocrity this can be a team that can make a decent run for the postseason
#9. Oakland Raiders (2-1) – Make Oakland Great Again.
#10. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) – You know what, good for Dak Prescott. He got the hands while on the beach at Spring Break but he recovered nicely and landed behind the NFL’s flimsiest collarbone. He’s exactly what the Cowboys need for success: a steady hand that can create plays with his legs but knows that he has a major receiving threat and pretty good defense that he can rely upon.
#11. New York Giants (2-1) – Can’t figure out what’s more mind-boggling: losing to a clearly inferior Washington team or watching Odell Beckham take his first L against an inanimate object. Also, referring to Eli-watch: 4 TDs, 3 INTs.
Tier 3: Broken axle on an elliptical machine
#12. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) – I’ll forgive you. Only because the Philadelphia Soul might legitimately be good. They are Arena Bowl Champions after all. Ron Jaworski is proud. Best team in Pennsylvania man.
#13. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – ATTENTION, ALERT, ATTENTION! ANDY DALTON DID NOT FOLD IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT FOR THE FIRST (SECOND?) TIME IN HIS CAREER. WORLD WILL BE COMING TO AN END SOON. MAKE CINCINNATI GREAT AGAIN.
#14. Los Angeles Rams (2-1) – Madden 17’s opening cinematic has the Rams making the postseason upon their return to Los Angeles. The Rams have sole possession of 1st place in the NFC West via head-to-head tiebreaker vs Seattle. Not sayin’, just sayin’.
#15. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) – Doesn’t matter whether they’re in St. Louis, Los Angeles or Mexico City. The Rams always give the Seahawks hell and it’s kind of hilarious at this point.
#16. Carolina Panthers (1-2) – The good news: Minnesota’s defense is better than most of us thought. No shame in getting shut down by a superior unit. Facing Atlanta’s defense should remedy any offensive woes they’re dealing with. The bad news: their defense is trash juice and Atlanta’s offense is the only thing they have going for them right now.
#17. Houston Texans (2-1) – I TOLD YOU TWO-BIT MATTHEWS COULDN’T BE TRUSTED. THAT’S AN “OUTSIDERS” REFERENCE, LOOK IT UP. THEY GOT BEAT BY A QUARTERBACK ALMOST NAMED AFTER A SMOKED COW BREAST. BRISSETT SOUNDS LIKE AN OFFBRAND DOLLAR GENERAL BRISKET THAT’S SPONSORED BY MIKE TYSON. AND YOU LOST TO HIM.
#18. Detroit Lions (1-2) – Listen Lions fans, there’s still hope that Matthew Stafford has turned the corner. He grew the beard and went from College Fratboy to College Hipster. You call it a lateral movement, I call it rebranding. Tomato, Toe-motto.
Tier 4: Feedback from a stereo that makes the high-pitched “wee” noise, not the standard one either, like the one at the highest point of an AKA’s squeal
#19. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) – That look like it hurt. Y’all okay? Seriously, this isn’t funny anymore guys. Get up.
#20. Tennessee Titans (1-2) – Marcus Mariotta has the tools that you can never teach a QB: pocket presence and accuracy. What they can teach him is how to not give the ball to the other team. Entry level course, don’t really have to study a lot for it.
#21. Tampa Bay Buccanners (1-2) – Jameis is fun to watch. He really is. He’s the most entertaining thing to happen to Tampa Bay since Gruden rotated quarterbacks if they sneezed too hard.
#22. New York Jets (1-2) – Ryan. Six interceptions. Six. That’s one less than the number of rings the Heat’s Big 3 claimed they were going to win. That’s as many rings as the Steelers have as a franchise. That’s one fifth of the number shots Gronk has before he can really starts to feel anything. That’s a lot of interceptions dude.
#23. The Washington Team (1-2) – Kirk Cousins looked like the guy who bet on himself this offseason against the Giants. Good for him.
#24. Buffalo Bills (1-2) – Rex Ryan wins a game and then decides to prank call Julian Edleman to ask him if he’s starting at QB for the Patriots next weekend. If he weren’t such a mediocre head coach I wouldn’t be so annoyed.
#25. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) – Taking a knee until Blaine Gabbert is no longer a starting QB in the NFL.
#26. Indianapolis Colts (1-2) – At this point I have no idea what it is for them. I just don’t think this is a marriage that’s going to work as far as Chuck Pagano is concerned. No jokes here. I wish him luck.
Tier 5: Sadderday
#27. San Diego Super Awkwards (1-2) – Even in a win you lose. Danny Woodhead is out for the year and Philip Rivers has to be thinking about how much land he can buy in Athens, AL.
#28. Miami Dawwphins (1-3) – Tannehill’s in the pocket siiiiiing Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down”
#29. Cleveland Frowns (0-3) – Cody Kessler looks about as solid as a 3rd string QB suddenly starting 3 weeks into the season could look. Nice innovation by Hue to use Terrell Pryor as much as possible. Only team on this list who didn’t really have any hopes heading into the season, so I can be positive about their situation.
#30. Jacksonville Sadguars (0-3) – YOU GUYS on the other hand. Don’t talk to me.
#31. New Orleans Faints (0-3) – What’s more entertaining? Watching Trump on stage looking like a potato or the Saints defense?
#32. Chicago Bores (0-3) – When Brian Hoyer is your only hope, it’s time to hang it up. Travel down South for the winter, it’s warmer here. Gulf Shores condo rates go down come October. Great timing. Good job, great effort. Complete the trainwreck and go hire Les Miles please.