(Disclaimer: most of what you see below was written a year ago, when we first started doing these rankings. We didn’t see the need to completely rewrite it from scratch just because it’s a new season. We aren’t lazy. You’re lazy!)
Welcome back for another year 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 was a fairly abysmal first week of action for the NFL. Bad officiating, bad games and most importantly, bad teams. 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.
Feel free to check out ESPN’s rankings here:
And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-0 (Last ranked 4) Kevin – Okay before we start I have a couple of things to get off my chest. Think of it as a peek behind the Pegboards’ doors (Peek Behind the Pegboards?). First of all I haven’t written anything on here since June. So my terrible sense of humor and lack of journalistic skills might be terribler and lackier. Second of all, I didn’t watch any football this weekend. Not Thursday night, nothing on Sunday and there was no way in hell I was going to stay up until 10:30 waiting for the Broncos to start on Monday. That means all of my opinions football related are going to be like seven months old, so bear with me as I make a fool of myself. Speaking of making a fool of oneself, the Steelers at number one? Look, I watched zero football this weekend but since I live in Cleveland I know two things, one, Browns fans were stoked with how their team played against the Steelers. The Kool-Aid is orange over here and people are chuggin’. And two, beating the Browns isn’t an accomplishment worthy of moving three spots. Unless you’re the Chargers.
- Green Bay Packers, 1-0 (LR: 5) Jesse – One theme that seems to be running rampant in the NFL after week 1 is the abundance of terrible offensive lines. Seattle features its own atrocious group up front, so I’m not sure that the Packers swarming Russell Wilson is that much of an accomplishment. I’m also not sure if swarming is the best word choice there, unless Wilson is afraid of bees, just like Clifford Franklin in The Replacements. No wait, Franklin was scared of spiders. It was Andre the offensive guard who was freaked out by bees. Are you enjoying this tangent yet? We’re already warming up here, folks.
- Kansas City Chiefs, 1-0 (LR: 8) Kevin – The Chiefs at three?! This is ridiculous! This is unfathomable! This is an outrage! Wait…they beat the Patriots? Oh never mind then.
- New England Patriots, 0-1 (LR: 1) Jesse – You know why no one is making a big deal out of the Pats losing by 15 points to the Chiefs? Because it’s the Patriots and they are impervious to harsh criticism. Case in point? ESPN says they are still the team to beat this year. If the Broncos had lost that game, they’d be lining us up for a top 5 pick in next year’s draft.
- Dallas Cowboys, 1-0 (LR: 6) Kevin – I checked out of the ‘will Zeke be able to play’ story line weeks ago. Can I get an update? Asking for a friend who might be playing them this week…
- Oakland Raiders, 1-0 (LR: 7) Jesse – It’s only been one game and Marshawn Lynch has already gotten fined for flipping the double bird on the field. That dude is already a perfect fit for Oakland.
- Atlanta Falcons, 1-0 (LR: 2) Kevin – “The Falcons are 1-0 after holding onto a fourth-quarter lead against the Bears.” These are facts. Presented by ESPN. Sponsored by DraftKings. Like us on Facebook for the rest of our hard hitting journalism.
- Seattle Seahawks, 0-1 (LR: 3) Jesse – Hey, it’s the Seahawks again! If Wilson wants to stop being the most pressured quarterback in the league, then he should recruit a couple of replacment linemen, one named Andre with a brother that is hopefully named Jamal. Or he can just suit up in a beekeeper suit every week. That should protect him from all those swarms!
- Philadelphia Eagles, 1-0 (LR: 15) Kevin – I had nothing for the Eagles so I reached out to our Chief Resident Eagles Bandwagon fan Ryan and asked, “are the Eagles still a thing?” to which he replied promptly with a, “Yes?”. Is the question mark confusion over the Eagles’ existence or over my random question? We may never find out.
- Detroit Lions, 1-0 (LR: 19) Jesse – Detroit vs Arizona was one of the only games I got to watch last week, and let me tell you, if the Lions are a top 10 team in this league, then we are in for a REALLY long season. Sure, they beat the Cardinals pretty handily (much to the chagrin of my girlfriend from Arizona), but that’s in large part due to the injury to David Johnson and the fact that Carson Palmer is getting a tad forgetful in his old age. He just can’t remember which team he’s supposed to throw to.
- Carolina Panthers, 1-0 (LR: 16) Kevin – The Panthers beat the Niners and moved up five spots. I feel like ESPN wants to inflate the Panthers’ ranking so they can run a bunch of anti Cam Newton articles when they burn out and miss the playoffs. They’ll probably be a top 5 team after they beat the Bills this week.
- Minnesota Vikings, 1-0 (LR: 17) Jesse – “The run-pass balance is exactly what Bradford needs to finally flourish in the NFL. Watch out for Minnesota, NFC.” Because building up Sam Bradford as a legitimate threat has never backfired before in his career, right?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 0-0 (LR: 13) Kevin – I was going to make a joke about how the Bucs are so anonymous that I didn’t realize their game was postponed this week but any jokes at Florida’s expense seem distasteful right now.
- Baltimore Ravens, 1-0 (LR: 21) Jesse – If you’re a Ravens fan that’s really excited about your defense after week 1, then you didn’t watch last night’s barnburner between the Bengals and Texans, where Andy Dalton and co. only mustered up a measly nine points. That team you shutout last week still hasn’t found the end zone. I would pump the brakes a bit on hyping up the Ravens D.
- Denver Broncos, 1-0 (LR: 9) Kevin – Like I said, I didn’t stay up to watch the Broncos last night because I would have been up until one in the morning. You know how hard it is to discuss basis points at work after five hours of sleep? But, and allow me to put my homer hat on, I did watch a ten minute recap and I have to give ESPN a big middle finger on this one. They were up 24-7 going into the fourth. Everything was clicking. And then three dumb plays, two of which had some questionable calls, and the Chargers are back in it and we drop seven spots for that?!? Seven spots for three bad plays? If I scroll down and see the Chargers moved up I might retire from this post because it’s not even funny at that point.
- Tennessee Titans, 0-1 (LR: 12) Jesse – The real Titans offense may not have found its groove yet, but Kevin dropped 63 points on me with them in Madden last night. And you’re probably thinking, “Wow Jesse, you must really suck at Madden,” and you’re not entirely wrong, but I have never felt as completely helpless on defense as I did for that game. If the real Titans can replicate even a fraction of that production, they’re going to be in business this season.
- New York Giants, 0-1 (LR: 11) Kevin – ESPN asks, “How much better will the offense be, even with Beckham?” to which I say, “much much better”. To which they respond with, “but how much better really?” to which I reply, “seriously much, much better, I’m sure you have an analytics team that could break this down for you in terms of stats and probable wins” to which they reply “ana-what-tics?”
- Los Angeles Rams, 1-0 (LR: 27) Jesse – “New coach Sean McVay has the offense moving the ball, and the defense dominated without lineman Aaron Donald. The Rams will be in the NFC playoff picture in 2017.” Okay, I know that these are labeled as possible overreactions, but dear God ESPN, the Rams were playing the fucking Colts. This is what the Colts have looked like in every game without Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck for the last seven years (save for one stretch when they had the wily veteran Matt Hasselbeck in there). Get a grip on yourselves, okay?
- New Orleans Saints, 0-1 (LR: 23) Kevin – I did see Adrian Peterson yell at Sean Payton on the sidelines on Sportscenter today. I like to imagine that’s what compelled ESPN to move them up four spots after a loss. I imagine a big ol’ white guy saying, “see this team has some fight in them, I like where they are headed”.
- Arizona Cardinals, 0-1 (LR: 10) Jesse – I’d like to point out to all Cardinals fans, and my girlfriend, that at least you have the Diamondbacks for the next couple of weeks. After that? Umm, possibly still the Dbacks, though hopefully not because that would mean the Rockies didn’t make it past the Wild Card game? I don’t know what else to tell you.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-0 (LR: 28) Kevin – I’m going to quote The Ringer here who wrote an actually enjoyable recap of the NFL Week 1, “The Jaguars are above .500 for the first time since 2011…Since their last day above .500, the Jaguars have changed coaches five times (Jack Del Rio, Mel Tucker, Mike Mularkey, Gus Bradley, Doug Marrone) and changed owners.” Fascinating. This boggles the mind. I just started (legally) drinking the last time the Jaguars were .500 and I, along with all three of the Jaguars fanbase, haven’t stopped drinking since. Cheers, boys.
- Los Angeles Chargers, 0-1 (LR: 24) Jesse – Let me see if I understand your logic here, ESPN. The Chargers are losing pretty badly for the majority of the game Monday night, only to almost come back and then choke it away at the end like they always do, and they move up two spots. Meanwhile, the team that won that game and who looked pretty impressive, only to almost let the Chargers back in it because they got all conservative at the end, drops seven spots?! Sure, that makes total sense. Oh, and go fuck yourself ESPN rankings guy.
- Miami Dolphins, 0-0 (LR: 25) Kevin – Great, two of my spots are joke free and wasted because of this hurricane. This is the worst thing to ever happen to anyone in regards to a hurricane.
- Washington Redskins, 0-1 (LR: 20) Jesse – Here’s something to chew on. Kirk Cousins, a guy who looked pretty average on Sunday against an Eagles team that wasn’t in the playoffs a year ago, could potentially become the highest paid player in the league next offseason. All he has to do is throw it a million times this season and get Kyle Shanahan excited about a potential coach/quarterback reunion over in San Francisco, and they will back up the truck to lure him away from Washington. What a world we live in.
- Cincinnati Bengals, 0-1 (LR: 22) Kevin – Jesse already burned the Bengals better than I could , “A good rule of thumb is to not overreact to week 1 of the NFL season. You don’t wanna get too high or too low, unless you’re a Bengals fan and you just watched your quarterback toss four picks and your team get shutout.”
- Houston Texans, 0-1 (LR: 14) Jesse – “Houston needs to shore up its line fast to have a chance this year.” Well, Houston could start by paying Duane Brown, their competent left tackle who is holding out, what he is asking for. Or you know, they could just let Deshaun Watson run for his life all season, because he won’t always get to play the Bengals like he did last night. Meanwhile, Brock Osweiler is getting paid $15 million by Cleveland to back up Trevor Siemian in Denver. I’m telling you, it’s one hell of a world we live in.
- Buffalo Bills, 1-0 (LR: 26) Kevin – What’s more painful? Sitting through a Bills-Jets game or reading this blurb and realizing someone got paid to write it, “The Bills are 16-17 the past three years basically following the formula of riding McCoy’s and Tyrod Taylor’s playmaking ability. They could hover around .500 again this year doing the same, even with their offseason makeover.”? Excuse me while I puke.
- Chicago Bears, 0-1 (LR: 29) Jesse – Can you imagine joining an organization that is trying to rebuild itself for your first big promotion and then immediately being saddled with expectations like this: “Quarterback Mike Glennon had a quiet three quarters before nearly capping off a comeback in Week 1 against the Falcons… and comeback bid or not, Mitchell Trubisky will be leading the offense sooner rather than later.” Granted, I saw Glennon play in the preseason and he looked like garbage. He may very well have looked that way for three quarters on Sunday. I don’t know, because I don’t watch the Bears except when they’re playing the Broncos. But how ridiculous does it sound that he would get benched for losing to the defending NFC Champions in his first game as the starter? I can’t think of a single other franchise that would place that much irrational pressure on its new quarterback right from the start.
- San Francisco 49ers, 0-1 (LR: 31) Kevin – “The 49ers scored three points in their season opener after ranking 27th in scoring last year.” Fuck ESPN, you have officially broken me. It’s week 1 and this is already the most atrocious thing I have read all year long. I’m 95% convinced these rankings are written by some sort of football algorithm. Like they took the best of John Madden and Phil Simms and had some interns feed a neural network with the scripts to shoot out the most mundane “analysis” possible.
- Cleveland Browns, 0-1 (LR: 30) Jesse – Well shit, I stand corrected. “If quarterback DeShone Kizer cuts down on the sacks (seven), the Browns could be a competitive team.” Oh sure, let’s put it all on the rookie quarterback to make the Browns a competitive team. Do you know how many quarterbacks have failed to make the Browns a competitive team since they returned to the NFL back in 1999? Or how many of their fans still wear jerseys with names like Couch, Quinn, McCoy and Manziel on the back? Well then ask Kevin, because he still lives there and I’m sure he’d love to talk about that.
- Indianapolis Colts, 0-1 (LR: 18) Kevin – “If “Luck” isn’t on the back of the quarterback’s jersey, the Colts aren’t getting anywhere near the playoffs in 2017.” OH MY GOD SOMEONE TAUGHT THE A.I. PUNS, WHO TAUGHT THE A.I. PUNS?!? We are all doomed.
- New York Jets, 0-1) (LR: 32) Jesse – Imagine starting the season with Josh McCown as the best quarterback on your team, and being perfectly okay with that. Then imagine that instead of throwing to Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, he gets to try and complete passes to, ” Jermaine Kearse and Will Tye — were both acquired in September.” That’s right. The Jets are putting the hopes for their entire offense on a journeyman quarterback and two receivers that they picked up off the street this month. If that isn’t a complete tank job, I don’t know what is.
And that’s it. Enjoy the games this weekend. We (Jesse) will try not to be so lazy and get this up before the Thursday night game next week.