Forward: So let me start by saying that yes, I am still watching the NFL. I’ve talked about this before, but I want to put it on here because this is something I’ve wanted to say for quite awhile.
If you’re boycotting the NFL because of the racial inequality protests, please understand that is your right and I have ZERO intention to change that. You are an individual with your own mind, and whatever decisions lead you to doing just that, you should stick to it. I’ve been watching football, the NFL in particular (I didn’t get into CFB until college) since I was young. I’ve known the same thing that we all know: the owners don’t treat the players the way that they should be treated. The players, mostly black, are cattle to them, they can mistreat and play all the double standard cards that they wish with them. We’ve been indoctrinated to see football players as exchangeable, as guys who are useful until someone better can fill their role. A lot of the cliched mantras that you’ll hear repeated over and over again in press conferences stem from this idea. I’ll cover Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown on a later post, but those two guys situations, and their coach, are a reflection of what people see “wrong” with the NFL. These players can make large sums and also demand large sums of money, something their college counterparts cannot. Mike Tomlin knows how to work with and communicate with young men in a way that Jon Gruden can’t do nowadays. The tides have changed because of social media giving us more access to these players and who they are as people. Long story short, I continue to watch this league because I’m entertained by it, yes, but also, I love seeing these players come up and be great. I’m a diehard Falcons fan, but I’ll be damned if I don’t root for Cam Newton because to me seeing him break stereotypes and be a great NFL QB makes me happy.
That is all. Let’s get to the rankings.
(College Football is way worse with the way players are treated in terms of individuality)
#32. Buffalo Bills – Never in my 29 years of life have I seen a team so bad that a player retires MIDGAME.
#31. Arizona Cardinals – I feel bad for two people: JJ Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald. Just start Rosen.
#30. New York Giants – Eli realized halfway through Sunday that he should’ve pulled a Vontae Davis
#29. Seattle Seahawks – The locker room was a mess for years, hints of it were there but we didn’t pay attention enough to it and didn’t care. Man, the thought process behind that Super Bowl decision makes more and more sense as years go by: Carroll wanted his QB to be the hero.
#28. Detroit Lions – Y’all ran Jim Caldwell out of the Motor City for Bearded Jared Lorenzen
#27. Pittsburgh Steelers – The whole thing is about to fall apart and it’s NOT Tomlin’s fault. He doesn’t negotiate contracts and he’s not going to babysit Brown and make sure he shows up for work. This thing is about to implode anyway with Ben’s play being an assault on our eyes. So blow it up and start over and let Tomlin build another Super Bowl team.
#26. Oakland Raiders – Jon Gruden is still in 2003 and that’s unfortunate for him and the Raiders. Maybe he adjusts to the new era by season’s end, maybe he tanks Derek Carr’s career. Hopefully it’s the former.
#25. Houston Texans – Watson made a rookie mistake and considering he’s played less than 16 NFL games, he essentially is one. The Texans are still a mystery, but Watson will turn it around.
#24. Washington Football Team – To quote StuGotz of The Dan LeBatard Show: “33 of 46 for 292 yards. Ladies and Gentlemen: The Alex Smith experience”
#23. Chicago Bears – I like going back and watching Matt Nagy’s offensive schemes and play designs. You can tell he tries to meld his offense to his players, which is the sign of a good coach. I think he will eventually help develop Trubisky into something, but maybe not this year.
#22. Tennessee Titans – I have an uneasy feeling that Mariotta’s career will be looked back upon as “what could’ve been”
#21. New York Jets – I hope this team gives Bowles more time: they have a legitimate defense now and Darnold does show promise.
#20. Cleveland Browns – Okay, so they LOOK better. They’re a field goal kicker away from being (legitimately) 2-0. This is a different team, would love to see what happens with Tyrod all year, but expect Baker once they’re out the playoff hunt.
#19. Dallas Cowboys -Don’t be fooled. They’re still mid, the Giants are just worse.
#18. Baltimore Ravens – I don’t know. I really don’t know.
#17. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is back, I’m happy for him. I was scared that he may not bounce back the same, but he’s almost there.
#16. New Orleans Saints – Defense looked better against the Browns….take that for what it’s worth.
#15. Carolina Panthers – #FreeCam
#14. San Francisco 49ers – Great Coach/QB Combos go a long way. It’s great to see Kyle Shannahan’s development professionally from his combative times as OC to having full blown control with a franchise QB.
#13. Atlanta Falcons – Not sure which team we’re going to get from week to week but if the offense is as productive as last week then expect them to make a deep playoff run. It’s the injuries on defense that may get them down the line.
#12. LA Chargers – The Chargers ran into a buzzsaw with the Chiefs offense week 1. I had them pegged to win the West, but I don’t know if they can keep up with KC. Still a dangerous team.
#11. Green Bay Packers – As long as Aaron Rodgers can stand up, they have a shot. Also, their defense has gotten substantially better.
#10. Cincinnati Bengals – Am I buying into them? No. I’m simply giving them false hope before it all comes crashing down.
#09. Philadelphia Eagles – Wentz is back! Expect them to pick up where things left off within a week or two.
#08. Miami Dolphins – See Bengals.
#07. Denver Broncos – Seriously rooting for Case Keenum to succeed. Slow start so far, but this Broncos team still has what it takes to succeed.
#06. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – We all know Fitzmagic is going to crash and burn by midseason. We expect it actually. It’s just fun to watch DeSean Jackson come back to life for a few weeks.
#05. LA Rams – Sean McVay and Wade Phillips are the reason why I have them ranked this high. I think we all know by now what Goff is, it’s the situations that McVay can put him in that make him look so much better than he really is.
#04. New England Patriots – They’ll probably never leave Top 5 all season, especially once the Gordon deal is finalized.
#03. Minnesota Vikings – Zimmer cut the problem immediately and I wish I could make those kind of decisions in life.
#02. Kansas City Chiefs – They’re incredibly unbalanced, but my God Patrick Mahomes looks like the real deal. We definitely need to give Andy Reid more credit than we do.
#01. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles is the anti-Peyton Manning: terrible against everyone else but turns it up against the Patriots.