The idea of power rankings has always been a bit silly. Check the standings–they tell you all you really need to know. But the NFL is such a capricious league. One week a team can look like they are ready to circle the wagons and rally for a division title, the next week a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a goddamn magic show ready to double team your girlfriend.
What I mean is this is a league of highs and lows and a team’s fortunes can turn on a dime. Go back and look at my rankings from earlier this year. There was a time not so long ago when it looked like the Washington Redskins were the most complete, consistent team in the division. So much for that.
Three weeks ago it looked like Cowboys would be lucky to finish at 8-8, now they look like a team that has to show up to their last five games and put 11 guys on the field who can just stand up breathe for 60 minutes to win this division. But damnit, I’m not giving up on these power rankings. I think I’ve finally got this division figured out, so let’s take a look.
1) Dallas Cowboys (7-4) I’m not particularly impressed by any one thing this team does. You watch Tony Romo and you see a guy who is confident, throwing the ball with conviction to his assortment of talented playmakers. But you can’t help but wonder as the calendar turns to December if his magic is about to run out. Romo has dominated the month of November, sporting a 19-2 career record during the month, but hasn’t fared nearly as well the following month.
Despite the good vibes coming from Dallas, their defense has been more than suspect and the offense has failed to consistently put up big points week in and week out. They are eighth in the league in points per game (24.5), but average only less than than a point more per game than mediocre offenses like San Francisco, Buffalo, and Oakland.
Still, they have a balanced offense that ranks in the upper half of the league in both passing and rushing yards per game and they’ve established themselves as the class of the NFC East. There is little doubt that it will be the Cowboys who win this division, though that’s like being the crowned the tallest midget.
Dallas will get their home game in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs, probably against Atlanta or Detroit, and if they survive, they’ll enjoy the privilege of getting demolished by Green Bay the following week.
2. New York Giants (6-5) How absolutely piss poor is this division that the Giants
are still the second best team have the second best record in the NFC East after that drubbing at the hands of the Saints last night? The Giants are in complete disarray having lost three consecutive games with the undefeated Packers looming this weekend. There’s talk that the Giants are the type of team that is dangerous enough to knock off the Packers. You know, that this could be the week Green Bay finally falters.
‘The Hell are you talking about?
The Giants rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per game, so they won’t be able to keep the ball away from Green Bay. Eli Manning, as well as he’s played this year, isn’t in the same stratosphere as Aaron Rodgers, nor does he have the same type of weapons at his disposal. And that potent Giants’ defense, fueled by its relentless pass rush has only three sacks over the past three games. I don’t think the Packers are going to hang 49 on the Giants’ defense this Sunday, but they flat-out quit against the Saints. I expect a better effort, but don’t see a miraculous turnaround this week.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7)– I’ve run out of things to say about these guys. The coaching staff is a mess, the offensive game plan is illogical, and the defense is a painfully inept. So let me put a different spin on things here.
Before the season, if you told me I could win $25,000 if the Eagles were 5-6 or better through 11 games, but I had to risk sucking a horses’s wang if they weren’t, well, I’d have gladly taken that bet. No horse would be necessary. The Eagles would be at the least 8-3 and a date with Green Bay in the postseason was a virtual certainty, right?
Well, none of that is happening now. And I’d be sucking a horse’s wang. So I guess that’s one way to put a positive spin on this season. That I didn’t take a fictional bet that involved me sucking a horse’s wang.
4. Washington Redskins (4-7) I refuse to discuss in any length a team that is this irrelevant. But here’s a thought: there’s more than a decent possibility that three of the four coaches in this division could be fired this offseason.