Thursday, September 28, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings (Week Three - SPECIAL PROTEST EDITION!)

ESPN and Sports Illustrated can eat shit - these are the only pro football rankings anybody needs.

By: Jimbo X

This Week's Episode:
"The Nothing Makes Any Sense League"

NOTE: In a display of solidarity with the 200 or so NFL players who participated in the weekend's anti-Trump protests during the national anthem, I decided to write this week's column on one knee. And then, in a further display of solidarity with the proud, valiant constituents of the National Football League Players Association, I then drove drunk, slapped my wife and refused to pay child support.  - THNX, MGMT


Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Season Point Differential: +36

At this point, KC running back Kareem Hunt isn't just the frontrunner for offensive rookie of the year, he's probably the odds on favorite for MVP of the whole damn League. His impressive play continued in the Chiefs' 24-10 win over the Chargers, where he had 172 yards and 1 TD on 17 carries. Just three games into his NFL career and he already has 401 rushing yards and is tied with Todd Gurley for most touchdowns on the season with six. And unsurprisingly, K.C. leads the League in rushing yards per game, averaging 162 on the ground every contest.

Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
Season Point Differential: +21

Despite the screwjob finish, the Falcons nonetheless managed to eke out a win against the Lions Sunday, "beating" Detroit 30-26. Our entry on the Lions will go more in-depth on those particular circumstances, but offensively, at least, the Falcons continue to perform quite well; Matt Ryan went 24 for 35 for 294 yards, two TDs and (very uncharacteristically) three interceptions, while running back Davonta Freeman rushed for 106 yards and one score on 21 carries. Oh, and Julio Jones did alright, too, concluding the game with 91 reception yards on seven catches.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +38

I'm starting to see a pattern with the Jaguars. In week one they blew out the Texans, and in week two they got blown out by the Titans. So considering last Sunday's game in London against the Ravens was on an odd-numbered week, of course Jacksonville was going to win 44-7. Blake Bortles looked great with four TD passes and 244 yards, but Sacksonville's D looked even better, holding Joe Flacco and their patented no-name offense to just 52 passing yards. Which, naturally, probably means the Jags are going to get butt-fucked out of existence by the Jets this weekend, because apparently that's how the world works now.

Los Angeles Rams (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +32

Sure, their home stadium might only be at half capacity, but the L.A. Rams are playing at full force. In their narrow 41-39 Thursday night win over the lowly, lowly 49ers, Jared Goff went 22 for 28 for 292 yards and three passing touchdowns, while Todd Gurley carried the rock 28 times for 113 yards and two scores. Still, not all is right in Rams-World; I mean, these motherfuckers did let Brian Hoyer throw 332 yards against them ...

Detroit Lions (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +22

With eight seconds left on the clock, Golden Tate bounced into the end zone to give Detroit what appeared to be a game winning TD. Alas, further review revealed that Tate had his knee down a couple of inches shy of the end zone edge, and since there is a mandatory ten second run-off after touchdown reviews, the clock was reset to zero and Detroit lost the fucking game 30-26. Well, considering all of the attempts to interject "reality" into the product, the multitudes of screw job finishes and half empty stadiums over the weekend, maybe the NFL is secretly being booked by Vince Russo these days? 

Denver Broncos (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +18

A week after throttling the Cowboys by 17 points, the Broncos came crashing back to reality with a 26-16 loss to the Bills. Trevor Siemian went 24 for 40 for 259 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, with receivers Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Bennie Fowler III each getting at least 50 yards on the day. And at least the Broncos kept the pressure up, sacking Tyrod Taylor four times and walloping him after the pass eight more.

Oakland Raiders (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +18

The less said about this game, the better. Apparently too busy thinking about what to do during the national anthem that they forgot to prepare for a football game, the Raiders g0t shellacked 27-10 by the Washington Redskins on prime time television. Perhaps spiteful that their quarterback was the only person who stood up for "The Star Spangled Banner," the Raiders' highly touted offensive line enigmatically collapsed, and Derek Carr got sacked four times and lobbed two interceptions, completing the game with just 118 yards and one TD pass. Oh, and Marshawn didn't do shit, racking up only 18 yards rushing. You can relive the misery anytime you want right here, but I really wouldn't recommend it.

Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +17

The run game was the difference maker in the Titans' 33-27 win over the Seahawks Sunday. With 115 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries, Tennessee back DeMarco Murray had almost twice as many yards as the entire combined Seahawks backfield; complemented by Derrick Henry's 54-yard, 13 carry day, Tennessee ultimately outyarded Seattle on the ground by a 195-69 margin.

We now live in a country where standing during the National Anthem is considered "controversial." Thanks a lot, Obama.


Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +14

Perhaps a little bit disoriented and discombobulated by all that protest nonsense, the Steelers wound up dropping a 23-17 shocker loss to the Bears over the weekend. Big Ben went 22 for 39 for 235 yards and one TD, with top receiver Antonio Brown recording 110 yards and one touchodown on ten catches. But they also royally screwed the pooch in terms of their run game, chalking up a paltry 70 on their own end while allowing Chicago to rack up 220.

Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +13

So, uh, are the Bills good now? T-Mobile went 20 for 26 for 213 yards and two TDs in his team's 26-16 win over the Broncos Sunday, and Buffalo's defense managed to record two INTs off Trevor Siemian. Of course, the Bills being the Bills, I'm fairly certain this is just build-up to monumental heartbreak a little bit later down the road, so yeah, don't get too excited there, Buffalo faithful

Washington Redskins (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +11

The Redskins positively butt-fucked the Raiders last Sunday night, besting Oakland 27-10. Kirk Cousins finished the game 25 for 30 for 365 yards and three touchdowns, with top receiver Chris Thompson accumulating 150 yards and one TD on six catches. And the defense made a joke out of the Raiders' highly coveted O-line, sacking Derek Carr four times for a cumulative loss of 22 yards.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +10

The Vikes rebounded in a big way this past Sunday, besting the Bucs 34-17 in a contest that saw CASE KEENUM of all people go 25 for 33 for 369 yards. Also putting in great showings in the contest for Minnesota? Top back Dalvin Cook (27 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD) and wideout Stefon Diggs, who finished the contest with 173 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. 

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +9

It was a close one, but the Eagles nonetheless managed to stave off the luckless Giants en route to a 27-24 victory over the weekend. Carson Wentz went 21 for 31 for 176 yards and one TD, with the Eagles' running back committee outpacing the G-Men by a ludicrous 193 yard-to-49 yard margin. But yeah, about that secondary letting Eli Manning throw 366 yards on the day ...

Carolina Panthers (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +5

Well, raise your hand if you thought the formerly win-less Saints were going to thump the Panthers 34-13 over the weekend. Cam Newton, in particular, had a really bad showing, going 17 for 26 for 167 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. Oh, and he fumbled the ball twice, had six passes deflected and ate dirt behind the line of scrimmage four times for a cumulative negative 28-yard loss. So yeah, all that to say ... glad to see you're feeling more like yourself, Cam!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Season Point Differential: +5

After looking fucking fab last week, Jameis Winston and pals sucked out loud against the Vikes on Sunday, losing to Minnesota by a 17-point margin. In the 34-17 loss, the Bucs' QB went 28 for 40 for 328 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. And hoo boy, did Tampa Bay blow it on both sides of the rushing game. The final ground yardage numbers at the end of the game? Minnesota, 125, Tampa Bay, just 26.

New England Patriots (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +4

Alright, let's talk statistics. I'm seeing a lot of other power rankings out there that have the Patriots listed either number one or number two, so what are they doing ranked at the halfway point on my countdown, you might be asking yourself? Well, the stats don't lie, homey: Tom Brady might be doing his part to ensure the Pats lead the League in passing offense, but by that same token? They're also ranked DEAD FUCKING LAST in total defense, allowing their opponents to average a whopping 461 yards against 'em per game. Sorry - even with Tom Terrific lobbing four  or five TD passes every contest, having a D that atrocious isn't something you can turn a blind eye to.

Damn ... Axel Foley has gotten fat.


Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Season Point Differential: +2

Three games into the NFL season and we still have no idea which Cowboys team is going to show up. The 'Boys rebounded from last week's 17-point bruising from the Broncos with a 28-17 win over the Cardinals last Monday evening, with Dak Prescott lobbing the rock for 183 yards and two touchdowns on 13 completions. Ezekiel Elliot also looked solid, gaining 80 yards on the ground plus a TD via 22 carries, but that pass defense could use some work: there's no reason for Carson Palmer's old ass to be recording 325 yards a game, doing anything.

Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Season Point Differential: 0

It took some overtime play, but the Packers did manage to avoid the major upset against Cincinnati. In the 27-24 win, Aaron Rodgers went 28 for 42 for 313 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with Geronimo Allison (yep. that's the name his parents came up with, despite having nine months to mull it over) racking up 122 yards on six receptions. The Packers might want to work on their O-line, though; letting your QB get sacked six times a game ain't exactly a recipe for another Super Bowl run.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Season Point Differential: -3

So what was the catalyst for the Ravens' 44-7 loss to the Jaguars in London? Jet lag? Food poisoning? Was the entire team so distraught over Donald Trump's criticisms that they were left literally shaking and unable to play pro football? Either way, giving up 244 passing yards to Blake goddamn Bortles is unforgivable, as is the piss poor quarterbacking from both Joe Flacco (8 for 18 for 28 yards and two INTs) and Ryan Mallett (six for nine for 36 yards and one utterly meaningless TD.)

New Orleans Saints (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -5

Well, Drew Brees had a great day against Carolina in the Saints' 34-13 victory. He lobbed the rock for 220 yards and three touchdowns, in the process completing 22 out of 29 passes. And because I really can't think of anything to say about the rest of the game, I'll just list the top rusher and receiver and their stats: Mark Ingram (56 yards and one TD on 14 carries) and Michael Thomas (87 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions.)

Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -11

Neither the Titans or the Seahawks decided to show up for the national anthem performance, and from the looks of it, the Seahawks decided to not show up for the game itself either. Sure, sure, Russell Wilson did lob the rock for 373 yards and four touchdowns, but he also fumbled the ball away twice and went a mediocre 29 for 49 on pass attempts. Coupled with a lethargic run game, it's no surprise Seattle wound up dropping the game 33-27, really.

Miami Dolphins (1-1)
Season Point Differential: -19

The Fins got poached by the formerly win-less Jets last Sunday, losing 20-6 in a fairly lifeless performance. Jay Cutler reverted to his true self in the outing, going 26 for 44 for 220 yards and a 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. And the run game was practically non-existent; at the final horn, the Dolphins only had 30 rushing yards on the day, with top back Jay Ajayi only recording 16 yards on 11 carries. 

New York Jets (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -20

Holy shit, not only did the Jets actually WIN a game over the weekend, they won convincingly over AFC East rivals Miami 20-6. Josh McCown went 18 for 23 for 249 yards and one TD pass, while New York's running back corps racked up 103 total yards on 34 carries. Leading all receivers in the game was Robby Anderson, who racked up 95 yards and one TD on only three catches.

Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -20

The Cards kept it kinda sorta close against Dallas on Monday night, but they still wound up dropping the contest 28-17. Carson Palmer went 29 for 48 for 325 yards and two touchdowns, but he also got sacked six times for a cumulative loss of 42 yards. And the run game was not even close to being productive; at the final horn, the Cardinals could only muster 49 yards on the ground, with no rushing touchdowns.

...says the man making billions of dollars off black people giving each other brain damage.


Houston Texans (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -21

Well, the Texans came dangerously close to upsetting the Pats over the weekend, but alas, New England still managed to outdo 'em 36-33. Deshaun Watson did pretty good in the loss, finishing the game with 301 yards and a two-to-two TD-to-INT ratio, and Houston's running back committee impressively outran New England's rushers by a 125-to-59 yard margin. Alas, there is something seriously amiss about this team's defense: even if they did sack Tom Brady five times over the course of the game, that doesn't really make up for letting him toss FIVE touchdown passes and rack up 378 yards in the air. 

Chicago Bears (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -22

Don't ask me how, but the Bears were somehow able to beat the Steelers 23-17 Sunday, this despite QB Mike Glennon finishing the game 15 for 22 for only 101 yards. Oh, wait, I remember how they won: because Jordan Howard had 138 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, while the Bears' second most productive running back (Tarik Cohen) STILL had eight more rushing yards than the entire Pittsburgh running back committee. 

Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
Season Point Differential: -37

Well, somebody had to win Sunday's battle of 0-2 teams when the Colts clashed with the Browns, and Indianapolis found themselves walking out of the contest with the W. In the narrow 31-28 victory, Jacoby "Whisker Biscuit" Brissett went 17 for 24 for 243 yards and one TD, while receiver T.Y. Hilton finished the game with 153 yards and one touchdown on seven catches. And because the Gods of the Gridiron really love us, the Colts' next game will be a prime time Sunday night contest against the Seahawks, which will undoubtedly seek to rewrite the dictionary entry on what "ugly" looks like

Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
Season Point Differential: -19

It's not exactly a title they should embrace, but the Chargers remain the best team without a win in pro football. Alas, their 24-10 loss to the Chiefs was their worst loss of the season thus far, with Phillip Rivers going 20 for 40 for 237 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. But on the bright side? At least L.A.'s defenders managed to sack Alex Smith five times, I suppose.

Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Season Point Differential: -20

It's official - the Cleveland Browns are Charlie Brown. Yet again, the team everybody forgets is technically an expansion squad from 1999 lost a heartbreaker, their latest coming in the form of a 31-28 loss to Indianapolis. I reckon head coach Hue Jackson is mighty nervous right about now; odds are, this upcoming Sunday's game against the also-winless Bengals is likely to be a "loser leaves town" match ...
San Francisco 49ers (0-3)
Season Point Differential: -25

Well, the Niners at least attempted  a comeback against the Rams last Thursday night. In the 41-39 loss, Brian Hoyer went 23 for 37 for 332 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while back Carlos Hyde scored two touchdowns and finished the game with 84 yards on the day. And the defense did sorta kinda go after the QB, registering seven hits and five deflections, so there is that, I guess. 

Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)
Season Point Differential: -27

The Bengals came very, very close to beating the Packers, but they ultimately hunched the pooch and lost the affair 27-24 in overtime. The sad thing is Andy Dalton actually had his best performance of the season thus far in the failing bid, going 21 for 27 for 212 yards and two touchdowns, with top wideout A.J. Green chalking up 111 yards and one TD on 10 catches. The good news for Cincy? Since they're taking on the Browns next week, there's a guarantee at least somebody will be exiting the game with positive integers on the left side of the win-loss column. Unless there's a tie, which, let's face it, is probably a 50-50 likelihood. 

New York Giants (0-3)
Season Point Differential: -33

Well, here we are. Following Sunday's heartbreaking 27-24 loss to the Eagles, the New York Football Giants are still sans a W. Sure, Eli Manning had more than 350 passing yards and OBJ had two really neat-looking touchdowns and Sterling Shepherd had 133 receiving yards on the day, but for whatever reason, this team just couldn't seal the deal down the stretch. Will the team's luck change this Sunday against the Buccaneers? Well, if it doesn't, expect some heads to start rolling at the Giants' executive offices ...


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