Fans move up in Playbook Power Rankings
October, 10, 2012
By DJ Gallo | ESPN.com
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesChiefs fans, long known for their passion, earned a different reputation this week.Last week you thought you knew everything there is to know about the NFL. But then Week 5 came along and changed everything. Now you know nothing unless you read this.
1. Despicable fan behavior (Last week: NR)
Congratulations, Chiefs fans! No one expected anything Chiefs-related to be at the top of an NFL power rankings this season. What an underdog story!
2. TV ratings (Last week: 2)
NFL Week 5 ratings crushed the ratings for the playoffs of America’s national pastime. One example: Patriots-Broncos got an 11.7 rating compared to 3.3 for Yankees-Orioles. In your FACE, America!
3. Putting the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl (Last week: 5)
Whoa. They’re 5-0 AND they beat RG3? He’s, like, the best ever. That means that means the Falcons are now the best ever!
4. Rams kicking things (Last week: NR)
Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein is already an NFL legend. But don’t forget punter Johnny Hekker. He won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week by averaging 56.9 yards per punt in St. Louis’ win over the previously undefeated Cardinals. It’s about time the Rams got talented players to run their kicking- and punting-based offense.
5. Scoring (Last week: 1)
It’s easy to complain that there is too much offense in the modern NFL. But then you flip on Ravens-Chiefs or Seahawks-Panthers and worry if you’ll see another completed pass in your lifetime.
6. Chris Johnson being the worst player ever (Last week: 13)
He followed up his breakout 141-yard game in Week 4 against the Texans by going for 24 yards on 15 carries against the Vikings. The Titans play on Thursday next week, so he’ll be able to get his fantasy team owners off to a commanding 2-point lead.
7. Andy Reid’s farewell tour (Last week: 11)
Reid’s future is in the hands of someone who fumbles everything. That can’t feel good.
8. Putting the Houston Texans in the Super Bowl (Last week: 6)
They didn’t even blow out the lowly Jets. And look at their schedule so far: Dolphins, Jaguars, Broncos, Titans, Jets. Not a good team in the bunch. 2012 Houston Texans: worst 5-0 team EVER?!?!
9. Naughty language (Last week: 4)
No players had visible blowups this week. But we’ll keep naughty language in the Top 10 thanks to what Saints fans probably had to say about Roger Goodell again this week.
10. Regular refs (Last week: 3)
What did we ever see in these people? They’re the old girlfriend we convinced ourselves we loved. Only when we got back together, we quickly remembered why we hated her.
11. Freaking out about the Cowboys (Last week: 8)
They had a bye week so there wasn’t much to freak out about. But this week when they look mediocre again? After having an extra week of practice? EVERYONE GO INSANE. Hot seats all around!
12. Freaking out about the Jets (Last week: 7)
This team was more fun when it had flaws but won some games and played with energy. It’s hard to freak out too much about a team playing for moral victories. It’s going to be sad when Rex Ryan is reduced to making guarantees about covering the spread against the Dolphins.
13. Tim Tebow (Last week: 14)
What is Rex Ryan waiting for? Mark Sanchez is not the answer. It’s time to try out another wrong answer.
14. Putting the 49ers in the Super Bowl (Last week: 18)
They have won their past two games by a combined score of 79-3. Jim Harbaugh is back to his old running-up-the-score-on-USC ways.
15. Tom Brady’s looks (Last week: 16)
He looked young again because he beat Peyton Manning and beating Mannings is what Tom Brady did years ago when he was young.
16. Putting the Patriots in the Super Bowl (Last week: 22)
We could be in serious trouble. It seems that Bill Belichick has discovered that having a good running back is legal. He’s long been confused by which things are legal and illegal in the NFL.
17. “Madden” curse (Last week: 19)
The Madden curse is supposed to target just one player. Why did he curse Calvin Johnson’s whole team with being lousy? This Madden guy is out of control.
18. Putting the Ravens in the Super Bowl (Last week: 12)
They didn’t look very good beating the Chiefs 9-6. But reports are Terrell Suggs could be back next month. He has a basketball background. I hear those guys make great tight ends. Just another weapon for Joe Flacco.
19. Packers celebrations (Last week: NR)
We’re not seeing many fake championship belts from them this season. We probably won’t see any real championship from them, either.
20. Forgetting Andrew Luck exists (Last week: 9)
Oh. OK. There he is. Hi, Andy. Good job on that comeback win. And congratulations on becoming the NFL’s new greatest rookie quarterback.
21. Reading about RG3 becoming the new NFL quarterback prototype (Last week: 17)
Conventional wisdom Weeks 1-4: RG3 is unstoppable!
Conventional wisdom Week 5: RG3 must completely change his playing style or his career will be over quickly!
22. Golden Tate laying people out (Last week: 10)
He didn’t flatten anyone this week or commit an obvious offensive pass interference while “catching” a game-winning interpletion, but he did get his third touchdown of the season. Continuing to do that will probably help his career more than being the NFL’s top offensive linebacker.
23. Alex Green’s fantasy stock (Last week: NR)
He’s this week’s must-have waiver-wire pickup in light of Cedric Benson’s injury. But let’s be reasonable: putting a Green Bay Packers player on your fantasy team? Ha! Good luck with that. They’re terrible.
24. Roger Goodell (Last week: 28)
His stock plunged during the referee lockout, but he reasserted authority this week by randomly suspending and un-suspending people. It’s his one true talent.
25. Brandon Weeden jokes (Last week: 30)
What’s old and can’t throw? Chipper Jones. But Brandon Weeden works for this lousy joke, too.
26. Peyton Manning (Last week: 25)
The Broncos are 2-3 through five Manning starts. They were 4-1 last year through five Tebow starts. You have to wonder if this Manning could even crack the Jets’ roster.
27. Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler (Last week: 27)
Wait a minute. The Bears are 4-1? From all the drama and sulking and smirking they seemed more like 2-9. Let’s just hold Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler steady at No. 27 for a week until we figure out what is going on.
28. Replacement refs (Last week: 29)
Last week’s infield fly rule call in the National League play-in game brought back a flood of memories about these incompetent guys and lady. Gone but not forgotten. You’ll always have a place in the black part of our hearts.
29. Defense (Last week: 32)
One guy is doing it. Houston’s J.J. Watt has 8.5 sacks through five games. Maybe he can teach it to other people.
30. Saying Joe Flacco is ELITE (Last week: 21)
Against the Chiefs he was 13-for-27 for 187 yards, an interception and a 55.6 quarterback rating. It’s refreshing to have a best quarterback in the NFL who is secure enough in his best-ness that he doesn’t have to put up gaudy statistics.
31. Random people talking about the NFL (Last week: 15)
With the replacement refs debacle fading into history, fewer randoms are talking to us about football. Barring a new fiasco or scandal, we won’t be hearing from these people again until the Thanksgiving Day games.
32. Carolina Panthers (Last week: NR)
This team was a lock for the Super Bowl. But now its prediction-making center is on injured reserve. This could be the one thing that derails its inevitable title.
Dropping out: Jim Harbaugh’s referee-induced rage, Brian Hartline’s fantasy stock, Danny Amendola’s fantasy stock, clutch Michael Vick, putting the Cardinals in the Super Bowl.