Shower Rankings -- Week 16
Every Tuesday morning, I wake up an hour early so that I can sit on the floor of my shower and meditate on the current state of the NFL until the water runs cold. This morning, through the power of prayer, the following rankings were revealed to me:
1. San Diego Chargers (13-2): Are Chargers fans at all worried about Phrivers’ recent completion percentage? Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding didn’t make this many fruitless passes.
2. Chicago Bears (13-2): Tank Johnson has returned to active duty aboard the U.S.S. Kahkenbalz and will probably see time against Green Bay. Chiwetel Ejiofor will be looking for additional carries as Thomas Jones continues to nurse a bad ankle. Grieseman expects to scorch a poor Green Bay secondary. Give the points and take the over.
3. Baltimore Ravens (12-3): The Ravens are the AFC team with the best shot of knocking off the Chargers. Of course, if you believe the experts at ESPN, that is similar to saying that Trap-Jaw is the villain with the best shot of knocking off He-Man. Ain’t gonna happen.
4. New England Patriots (11-4): With 7:07 remaining, Tom Brady scrambled for a first down, and took a monster hit from Clint Ingram, which left the Patriots’ quarterback writhing on the field. Before CBS could even run the first replay, Heaven was mobbed by 13 million incoming requests, each beginning with “Deah Goaahd.”
5. Indianapolis Colts (11-4): Monday, the Colts positively thrashed one of the hottest, most talented teams in the league. Six days later, they got carved like a Christmas goose by The Great Dayne and his Texans teammates. All of this serves as evidence that the Indianapolis Colts are the Aaron Stampler of the NFL.
6. New Orleans Saints (10-5): Once again, Sean Payton demonstrated why he is the front-runner for Coach of the Year honors, as he led an offensive attack that was more favorably balanced than a 9-gram quad.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6): Jeff Garcia passed and ran the ball to great effect, leading the Eagles to a huge win over Dallas, and cementing his place as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The trophy will probably go on his mantle next to the NFL Come-on-My-Back Player of the Year awards he has won each year since 1999.
8. New York Jets (9-6): The Jets came away with an enormous win in an unwatchable game that earned votes for the worst holiday television since Carrie Fisher serenaded Chewie, Malla, and Lumpy with her rendition of “Life Day.”
9. Dallas Cowboys (9-6): Jack Twist never got cornholed as violently as these Cowboys did on Christmas.
10. Denver Broncos (9-6): Did you hear on CBS that Jay Cutler is from Santa Claus, Indiana? Not sure if you had heard that or not, because it seems somehow fitting that a quarterback from Santa Claus, Indiana would perform well and earn a victory on Christmas Eve. You know, because of the connection between Christmas and Santa Claus? Turns out that’s where Jay Cutler is from. Santa Claus, Indiana. Which is kind of an amazing coincidence. At least, it’s a coincidence when he starts a game on Christmas Eve. I thought it might be worth mentioning. Being that he comes from a town called Santa Claus, and all. Santa Claus, Indiana. Jay Cutler. Santa Claus. Christmas. CBS. Cutler Claus.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (8-7): Brad St. Louis will go down as the second most criticized snapper of 2006 (B. Spears).
12. Seattle Seahawks (8-7): Lofa Tatupu was the sole Seahawk in the celebratory spirit as Seattle backed its way into a third consecutive NFC West championship. “We may have won it by default,” said Tatupu, “but the eight games we have won, we've earned it.” Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault!
13. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7): Umpire Garth DeFelice was hit in the neck by a David Garrard pass and was taken to Baptist Hospital where Reverend Cleophus James offered to usher him into the light. The invitation was declined by DeFelice. James apparently proceeded without him.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7): Are you desperate to snap a three-game losing streak? Need to get back above .500? Playoff chances withering faster than Brett Favre’s butt cheeks? America West Airlines now flies direct to Oakland International Airport. America West: You’re Not the Only Ones with Reservations.
15. Tennessee Titans (8-7): Sean Payton is going to win Coach of the Year, and Eric Mangini will be a close runner-up. But Jeff Fisher clearly deserves some recognition for coaching excellence in a season in which his team started 0-5, yet managed to play meaningful football through week 17 with an outside shot at post season play. Therefore, I am pleased to present the First Annual Jeff Fisher Award for Coaching Excellence in a Season in Which a Team Started 0-5, Yet Managed to Play Meaningful Football Through Week 17 With an Outside Shot at Post Season Play to… [opening envelope]…[reading results]…[looking pleasantly surprised]…Jeff Fisher!
16. New York Giants (7-8): Eli Manning threw two passes on his opening drive, completing both for 55 yards and a touchdown. Over the next 57 minutes and 43 seconds, he completed 7 of 23 for 19 yards and an INT. What’s Jesse Palmer up to these days? Sure he sucks, but at least he’s dreamy.
17. Buffalo Bills (7-8): Welcome to another episode of The Coach’s Clipboard, where you match wits with some of the sharpest minds in the NFL. Today, we examine the following scenario: It’s week 16. Your team is down by one point at home, a potential playoff berth on the line. You have the ball, 4th and 5 at your opponent’s 28 yard line, with under a minute remaining. Your place kicker is a career-best 5/5 for the game, including a kick of identical distance from the same end of the field. What do you do? Obviously, you attempt the winning field goal with your red-hot kicker who already made one from the same spot, right? Wrong. Dick Jauron explains why it is superior to play for the conversion, even if your offense had previously gone 2 of 10 on 3rd down, “It's not very often, in an NFL game, you see a player sitting on the bench eating a sandwich.”
18. Green Bay Packers (7-8): I am a Bear fan, and it so happens that I will be in Green Bay to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If circumstances dictate that the Packers control their own playoff destiny when Football Night in America rolls around, I am going to have an e-Rex-ion harder than a cheese curd buried in a Saukville snow bank.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8): A few weeks ago, I argued that the Pittsburgh Steelers were putting forth the least spirited title defense since Balboa-Lang. I was wrong. Balboa-Thunderlips is more like it.
20. Atlanta Falcons (7-8): The shower does not buy into the whole Mike Vick coach-killer thing. First of all, the only coach-killer recognized by the shower is Latrell Sprewell, who should really be considered more of a coach-aggravated-assaulter. How can any player be a coach-killer when the coach’s job is to use his players in a system that will give them the best opportunity to succeed? If Mike Vick is costing Atlanta its best chance to win, then Jim Mora owes it to himself and to his team to play Matt Schaub. Then Vick, along with his 130 million dollar contract, would no longer be a coach-killer. He would become a GM-killer, instead. At least we know Rich McKay’s dad won’t be calling into any radio talk shows.
21. St. Louis Rams (7-8): Lost in the shuffle of a thrilling overtime victory was news that Steven Jackson was named The Sporting News “Athlete most likely to be cast in the title role of Predator 3.” I, for one, feel that this recognition is long overdue. Sure, a lot of guys in the NFL have Predlocks, but only S-Jax has oversized, dual-axis mandibles and a self-destruct button built into his forearm.
22. Carolina Panthers (7-8): Two weeks ago, I criticized the logic of a game plan in which John Fox asked Chris Weinke, loser of 15 consecutive starts, to throw the ball 61 times. Not surprisingly, Weinke’s dubious streak was extended to 16 consecutive losses. Then 17. Then, against Atlanta, John Fox finally found a way to win with Weinke: a 7:1 run to pass ratio.
23. Miami Dolphins (6-9): The loss to the Jets ensures that Nick Saban will experience his first losing season as a head coach. Once official, the ‘no-losing-seasons’ distinction will be removed from the ‘trivia’ heading of Saban’s Wikipedia biography. This, in turn, will enhance the visibility of the factoid that Saban’s grandfather was named Stanko. Stank-O sounds like he could be a halfway decent Thundercat. He could spray urine on his enemies and refuse to bury his stools.
24. San Francisco ***** (6-9): Fact: If the ***** didn’t get swept by the Arizona Cardinals, they would be very much alive in the NFC playoff race. Fact: Any team that gets swept by the Arizona Cardinals has no business stepping foot on the playoff racetrack. Or the porcupine racetrack, for that matter. So, God if you’re above, and it’s orphans that you love, then please help the porcupine I chose. Fact: 9 out of 10 people have absolutely no idea what that last tangent was in reference to. The tenth is laughing heartily about something he hasn’t seen in twelve years.
25. Minnesota Vikings (6-9): If your leading receiver has 18 yards, you are not allowed to win in the NFL as of 1924.
26. Houston Texans (5-10): Congratulations to the Houston Texans, who recorded their first ever victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. To me, this is kind of like beating my brother-in-law Pete in any contest involving trivia. I’m severely out-gunned, but I know that if I can hang in there and take enough beatings, eventually, I’m going to get lucky and win one. That’s when I retire with the belt.
27. Arizona Cardinals (5-10): Matt Leinart is out for the season, meaning that it will be up to Kurt Warner to manage the high-power Cardinal offense while maintaining an expertly-manicured dirty shortbeard, suspended in a perpetual state of 9 o’clock shadow.
28. Washington Redskins (5-10): The Redskins put Shawn Springs on IR and released Mike Rumph, leaving their secondary with the second most conspicuous gap of 2006 (B. Spears).
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11): Chris Simms signed a multi-year extension with Tampa Bay, suggesting that he will be around for awhile. I believe that now is the time to bestow a spleen-related nickname upon Chris Simms. Something that will stick for the remainder of his career and remind people that he has no spleen. Had Chris followed in his father’s footsteps in New York, he could have been the Jolly Spleen Giant. But he didn’t, so we will have to work harder. The Spleen Lantern? Mean Joe Spleen? Lean, Mean, Sans Spleen Machine? Mr. Spleen? Albi-no-Spleen? Spleenage Wasteland? Phil Simms Could Have No Fat, His Son Could Have No Spleen?
30. Cleveland Browns (4-11): Cleveland isn’t the worst team in the league, just the least interesting. Braylon Edwards likely has some talent, but he hasn’t done anything. Kellen Winslow is more interesting off the field than he ever has been on it. Reuben Droughns is about as entertaining as his name would suggest, and the average NFL fan probably can’t name a single player on the Browns’ defense. When Willie McGinest left New England in free agency, he may as well have been stepping into a Skarko-bound TARDIS.
31. Oakland Raiders (2-13): If the Raiders can defeat the Jets, they can play spoiler and end their own season on a high note. However, since the Raiders cannot defeat the Jets, they will establish a new franchise record for losses in a season, and Al Davis will be forced to take a good, long look in the mirror. Not to reflect on the questionable nature of his decision-making, mind you. Rather, for Al Davis, a long look in the mirror is punishment akin to self-flagellation.
32. Detroit Lions (2-13): What happened to the walkout? Did someone shoot Cyrus just as everyone was getting ready to mobilize? Can you count to 8:57, sucka’s? Apparently not.