Welcome back for another round of Power Ranking Ramblings! The rankings that we crank out every week are identical in order to the nonsensical ones that ESPN spews out every week. This is partly because creating power rankings from scratch is a painstakingly lengthy process and Kevin gave me the death glare when I suggested that we come up with our own. However, the main reason we do it that way is because ESPN’s rankings are… well, they are just awful. You will seldom come across something as overly biased and ill-conceived as ESPN’s opinion on who the best teams in the league are. And it’s a lot of fun to call them out on this, so the point of our rankings is to rip on ESPN’s version as much as possible.
Or at least that’s how it started. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it’s been a fairly abysmal year for the NFL. Bad officiating, bad games and most importantly, bad teams. There are three squads in each conference who have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl, and after that it’s a whole bunch of meh. So while making fun of the Worldwide Leader in Sports and its rampant stupidity is always a good time, we can scarcely allow the league’s overall mediocrity to skid by unscathed.
For those of you out there who refuse to believe that ESPN is really this dumb, you can see for yourself here…
…and then our version will be waiting for you when you get back. Like an early Christmas present!
- New England Patriots, 11-2 (Last ranked 2) Jesse – “Brady and the Patriots are still thriving without their top offensive weapon, but they could miss him against the Broncos this week. Brady is 2-7 overall in his career at Denver, including playoffs.” This will never not make me happy. The Broncos could lose this weekend and Brady would still only be 3-7 at Denver. It’s the little things in life that you treasure.
- Dallas Cowboys, 11-2 (LR: 1) Kevin – THE WHEELS ARE FALLING OFF THE COWBOYS’ BANDWAGON! Is it Christmas already?
- Kansas City Chiefs, 10-3 (LR: 7) Jesse – Why do you always fall for the Chiefs, ESPN? Every year they convince you that they’re this unstoppable powerhouse, only to be stopped dead in their tracks in the playoffs. What’s the equivalent of blowing a 3-1 series lead in the NFL? Because that’s what the Chiefs will be doing come January.
- Oakland Raiders, 10-3 (LR: 3) Kevin – DEREK CARR ISN’T A PERFECT HUMAN BEING! Seriously, Christmas is early this year.
- New York Giants, 9-4 (LR: 14) Jesse – You think that Brady and Belichick aren’t nervously glancing over their shoulders at the Giants and saying, “Fuck. Not again,” the closer we get to the playoffs? Because they definitely are. Also, this is a bit of a ridiculous jump up the rankings for the Giants, but hey they did beat the Cowboys.
- Atlanta Falcons, 6-5 (LR: 10) Kevin – The Falcons stomping of the Rams probably wasn’t the reason for Jeff Fisher’s firing but it also didn’t help. I think everyone in St. Louis…er…Los Angeles should be sending the Falcons a thank you card.
- Seattle Seahawks, 8-4-1 (LR: 4) Jesse – Alright, so here is where the methodology for these rankings loses me. ESPN says these are based on who would win in head-to-head matchups, and yet despite getting throttled by the Packers last week, Seattle remains four spots ahead of them. Really ESPN? Do you think the Seahawks would do so much better if they played again this weekend, or is that just your erection for the 12th man showing?
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-5 (LR: 5) Kevin – Le’Veon Bell lit it up against Jesse in fantasy football last week. And now I face him this week. Let’s just say his name is a bad word to us now.
- Detroit Lions, 9-4 (LR: 8) Jesse – The Broncos have a worse record than the Lions do this year. Is 2016 over yet?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-5 (LR: 12) Kevin – The Bucs have been hot but they have a true test against the Cowboys this week. That was my impression of ESPN’s writing. I think I did a good job making it sound like I knew what I was talking about without providing any real information.
- Green Bay Packers, 7-6 (LR: 11) Jesse – I’m really shocked that the Packers aren’t in the top 5 this week. Maybe ESPN likes the Seahawks more than the Packers?
- Baltimore Ravens, 7-6 (LR: 6) Kevin – Oh god, why are the Ravens rearing their ugly bird head again? Go away Ravens, you’re just a darker version of pigeons.
- Denver Broncos, 8-5 (LR: 9) Jesse – “The Broncos are not only in real danger of missing the playoffs following their loss to the Titans, but also of losing out. Their next three games are against the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders, teams who are a combined 30-8 this season. Good luck, champs.” Fuck you, ESPN.
- Washington Redskins, 7-5-1 (LR: 13) Kevin -I wish Donald Trump would rename his new hometown team the Washington Donalds. That would put the cherry on top of all the crazy things he has done since being elected.
- Minnesota Vikings, 7-6 (LR: 15) Jesse – “Sam Bradford has completed at least 70 percent of his passes in six straight games, something only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Joe Montana have done since the AFL-NFL merger.” When most of those passes are only three yards past the line of scrimmage, it isn’t nearly as impressive. Nice try though, ESPN.
- Tennessee Titans, 7-6 (LR: 19) Kevin – How the hell did the Broncos lose to an imaginary team? Can anyone prove that this franchise existed before Sunday? No? That’s what I thought.
- Houston Texans, 7-6 (LR: 22) Jesse – Man, Brent is going to be handed this division because he is able to squeak out wins over the crappy AFC South teams. Help us, Tennessee Titans. You’re our only hope. Oh wait, you guys beat us last week. Screw you Titans!
- Miami Dolphins, 8-5 (LR: 16) Kevin – As Broncos fans we need the Dolphins to do a whole lot of losing. Which means we have to root for the Jets, Bills and Patriots. Football sucks sometimes.
- Arizona Cardinals, 5-7-1 (LR: 17) Jesse – Finally giving up on the Cards, huh ESPN? It only took 13 weeks of extremely mediocre football and the corpse formerly known as Carson Palmer to make that happen.
- Cincinnati Bengals, 5-7-1 (LR: 24) Kevin – “The Bengals have their first winning streak of the season!” I can’t tell if ESPN is truly thrilled or just being super sarcastic. Knowing their odd love of the Bengals it’s probably the former.
- San Diego Chargers, 5-8 (LR: 21) Jesse – The Chargers have 17 players on injured reserve?! Yeah guys, you’ll really be a hit in L.A. when all of your decent players, except for Philip Rivers, are hurt all the time.
- Carolina Panthers, 5-8 (LR: 23) Kevin – “Imagine what the Panthers could be doing with Newton playing at even an average level”. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 NFL MVP!
- New Orleans Saints, 5-8 (LR: 26) Jesse – Maybe Drew Brees is intentionally phoning it in so that the Saints will dump him and he can sign with the Broncos this off-season? That’s all I can figure.
- Indianapolis Colts, 6-7 (LR: 25) Kevin – Holy shit. The Colts are still in playoff contention. What world do we live in?
- Buffalo Bills, 6-7 (LR: 18) Jesse – Man, the most entertaining game this weekend may be Browns vs Bills, if only to see who will try and choke in this game the most. It would classic Buffalo to set up Cleveland for their first win, only for the Browns to go full Browns at the moment and screw it up.
- New York Jets, 4-9 (LR: 29) Kevin – Petty and the Jets! Okay I didn’t come up with that myself. I saw it on TV. But who cares, you still giggled at it.
- Philadelphia Eagles, 5-8 (LR: 20) Jesse – I guess the Eagles watched the World Series and figured the secret to success was riding the best arm on their team into the ground. Hey, the Browns brought analytics to their team, so you can’t blame the Eagles for trying.
- Chicago Bears, 3-10 (LR: 28) Kevin – “The Bears might not be winning every week, but they’re hanging in there.” This is exactly how Browns fans talk themselves into watching their damn games every week. Just stop it everyone.
- San Francisco 49ers, 1-12 (LR: 31) Jesse – I mean, if I were a Niners fan I’d be happy that Kap wasn’t a complete trainwreck and was doing at least something right. Then again, rocking a Castro shirt probably puts you at a point of no return in the land of douchebags.
- Los Angeles Rams, 4-9 (LR: 27) Kevin – “The Rams held the Seahawks to a field goal the last time they played, but will that happen again this week?” Spoiler alert, no, that did not happen again this week.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-11 (LR: 30) Jesse – How does Gus Bradley still have a job? How does Gus Bradley still have a job? How does Gus Bradley still have a job?
- Cleveland Browns, 0-13 (LR: 32) Kevin – Two sentences to sum up the existence of the Cleveland Browns? “This edition of the Power Rankings runs on Dec. 13. That will mark the one-year anniversary of the Browns’ last win, a 24-10 victory over the 49ers with Johnny Manziel starting at QB.”