5 weeks left in the regular NFL season, 4 games left for your favorite team. How do they fit into the playoff picture? Are they mathematically eliminated like Cleveland and San Francisco? Or pretty much out like Chicago, Arizona or Carolina?
I don’t have a favorite pizza chain by the way. I just don’t want you to be trash.
Tier 1: Nothing is as good as that local pizza spot. You know the one!
#1. Dallas Cowboys – Not sure if it’s up for debate right now. Their defense leaves a lot to be desired and could be exploited if an opponent has the weapons to keep them off balance. Other than that, they have an offense that can keep an opposing offense off the field, the best o-line in the league and one of the best young backfields in the NFL. Now if only we can get Ezekiel to wear a full shirt, that might be how he loses his powers.
#2. New England Patriots – A scare there against the Jets, but that is a division rival who gets up for at least those two games per year. That said, it’ll take more for me to knock them down a few pegs.
#3. Oakland Raiders – Another strong offense with a questionable defense. They should’ve put that game against Carolina away but let them climb right back in it. The difference between this Raiders team and Raiders teams of old? They have the weaponry to answer back. Derek Carr still looks like the final boss of a criminal syndicate Pokemon game. Team Rocket Admin Derek Carr wants to battle. Probably has a Golbat.
#4. Seattle Seahawks – Tough loss against a really good (but inconsistent) Buccaneers team. Still one of the better teams in the league if they can lock up one of the 2-seed.
#5. Kansas City Chiefs – Two of the best teams in the league come from the AFC West. The Chiefs offense isn’t going to make any DC lose sleep, but that defense. Oh man, that defense. They’ll make you turn the ball over.
#6. Atlanta Falcons – When they’re on, you can’t stop them. It’s just too bad that they do as good of a job stopping themselves. Okay, that’s not fair, Matt Ryan is having an MVP season but his defense gives up 27.5 ppg (only, NO, SF, and CLE give up more). To add to that Trufant is now out for the season, which means they better keep putting up 32.5 ppg.
Tier 2. Papa Murphy’s and New Dominoes
#7. Detroit Lions – I had a mini-freak out about this last week. The Lions are a game out of 2nd place in the NFC. Let that sink in. Megatron wasn’t holding this team back, in the least, he was bailing them out, but his removal forced Stafford to develop and learn to distribute the football. He’s really become the leader of this team and it’s remarkable to see.
#8. Miami Dolphins – Shh. They’re on a 6-game win streak and currently own the 6th spot in the AFC playoff race. Not saying it will happen, but they still have a shot at the AFC East crown…with a meeting at home against New England on January 1st. Happy New Year.
#9. New York Giants – Another team on a huge win streak that people really aren’t taking seriously. The only question about them is their performance on the road and whether or not they can win with their lackluster running game.
#10. Baltimore Ravens – Eh. Ehhhhhh.
#11. Denver Broncos – Hopefully for them Trevor is okay to go next week, because this is NOT the time to have your rookie see what he can do. Cause, um, you’re in 7th now.
#12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – This team is fascinating. One of the best young QBs in the league, a dominant WR and a budding defense. Put some days all three facets don’t want to function together and they look like a basement dweller, and some days they look like the best team in the NFC. Would be interested to see them play Dallas in the postseason…
#13. Washington – I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Kirk Cousins bet on himself. And. Won.
Tier 3. Pizza Hut
#14. Minnesota Vikings – Still mid free-fall, but AP might be back in a week or two and that may be soon enough to save them and steal a wildcard spot.
#15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Done giving them the benefit of the doubt. They’re an average team with a whole lot of potential that probably won’t make the playoffs.
#16. Tennessee Titans – They get two big tests in a row, if they can steal one of those games, and beat Jacksonville, they’ll get Houston coming into town on January 1st who could be 8-7 walking in.
#17. Houston Texans – Win your next 3 and Tennessee won’t be able to get sassy with you January 1st.
#18. New Orleans Saints – Remember one of the teams whose defense was worse than Atlanta’s? Well hello!
#19. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers has to basically be flawless for the next five weeks for the Packers to make the postseason. That’s not impossible, it’s Aaron Rodgers, but it is improbable because this team and coach are trash.
#20. Buffalo Bills – Just another promising season that’s going to end with a 9-7 record and no playoff appearance.
Tier 4. Papa John’s, Jet’s Pizza
#21. San Diego Chargers – Mike McCoy doing just good enough of a job to not get fired.
#22. Philadelphia Eagles – LOL
#23. Arizona Cardinals – At some point you’ve got to start working to find a replacement for Palmer. Stanton is not it. Don’t bother bringing in Cutler unless you’re going to draft a guy to replace him after 2017. Find a solution.
#24. Indianapolis Colts – I forget they’re technically in the race for the AFC South too. This is still a bad team whose roster needs to be re-evaluated after the season, a playoff appearance would just give the Front Office complacency.
#25. Carolina Panthers – I’m not saying that saying “All Lives Matter” is what ruined Cam, but I’m not saying it’s not either. In all honestly though Cam alone can’t bring a mediocre team back to the playoffs by himself year after year after year.
#26. Cincinnati Bengals – I’m not going to call for Marvin Lewis’s job, because it won’t matter anyway.
Tier 5. Papa John’s Commercials and Frozen Store Pizzas
#27. Los Angeles Rams – The Danny Woodhead comment is peak Jeff Fisher. 7-9.
#28. New York Jets – Please allow Todd Bowles to fix this defense, don’t throw him under the bus and get rid of him yet. Todd, please build a defense and find a quarterback not named Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith.
#29. San Francisco 49ers – Hey, they’re way better than their record shows. Seriously, they’re fiesty.
#30. Chicago Bears – If the Bears get an SNF appearance in the near future and Jordan Howard doesn’t say “UAB” as his University I’m calling Bill Clark.
Tier 6. Old Dominoes and Little Ceasar’s
#31. Jacksonville Jaguars – Hold on real quick, I want you to see something.
#32. Cleveland Browns – You see this? You see them Jacksonville? They would whoop you ten different ways from Sunday. They have almost 0 talent offensively, but they play like hell for their coach, who they like, because he’s one of the brightest minds in football. I don’t blame you guys, the product isn’t good, and I hope you get it fixed next season with a new coach (send Gus to Atlanta as DC or DBs coach). Cleveland took 12 straight Ls and still gets up to keep fighting, I’m predicting they knock off Cincy and Buffalo after their bye.