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Rick’s Pigskin Piñata: Taking a Swing at the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Tough sledding this week for the NFL, and the entire world/universe/Beverly Hills, as this is the first week of competition where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will not be watching football or controlling their fantasy team, I Like Rushin’ Ends, as a married couple.

Certainly the news has been difficult for the sports world, and more so to the NFL, as there is no protocol set in place for dealing with such symbolic injuries to the mind and soul. (What the fuck, Roger?) But the show must go on—and by show, I mean the goddam up-and-down stress-nut that is the NFL. So let’s all share one final scoop of Chocolate Fudge ice cream, and then get back to the matters at hand.

Because Week 3 in the NFL is some serious shit.

Do you feel it? That tingly feeling you have in your knee area… right now? That’s what I like to call the Knee Tingles.You’ve watched your team compete for two weeks and, still—you have no clue what the hell is going to happen.

They were good in Week 1, but struggled in Week 2…ahhhhhh!

They were bad in Week 1—so you sold your house and decided to take up golf—but they were awesome in Week 2…whaaaaa?!?! Sorry, honey.

They were steady in both weeks, but…the franchise is a straw house with 14 week’s worth of wind ahead…you can feel it, right in your knees!

The good.

The bad.

The steady-ish…

What to do, what to do, what to do?

Yes, nothing exposes knee-jerk reactions—good or bad—better than the aftermath of Week 2 in the NFL. And it makes Week 3 that much more interesting.

What do we know? Still nothing, really, almost less today than last week. Currently there are eight teams that have a chance to go undefeated and 24 that don’t, and that’s about as solid of a summation as  willing I’m willing to give. But, it was so much fun taking a swing at the unknown last week that I decided to string up the piñata again for another go in Week 3.

Stick, please.

Let’s rank!

32. Cleveland Browns: 0-2 (last week: 31)

Sweet Jesus!

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Hi! I’m your new quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst.

31. Chicago Bears: 0-2 (last week: 30)

Even though I feel like it would be cool to smoke a cigarette with Jay Cutler, I don’t see him as a solid leader. The good news: Lou Malnati’s will ship deep-dish pizza nationwide, so Bears fans can still have a taste of home-sweet-home while they numb their inevitable pain:

30. Buffalo Bills: 0-2 (last week: 27)

The Bills’ can in the Bud Light Team Can lineup looks like a regular Bud Light. The fans deserve better.

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29. Washington Redskins: 0-2 (last week: 25)

Jay Gruden strikes me as a guy who spends too much time commenting on random YouTube videos.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars: 0-2 (last week: 18)

Here’s a case of Knee Tingles, with the second-largest drop from last week to this week. Yes, I was wrong—for now—and I’m not too much of a credible expert that I can’t admit it: these Yags might be nothing more than the Yags of ye’ olden days. (Still gotta burn those uniforms, too.)

27. New Orleans Saints: 0-2 (last week: 24)

Your kicker, their kicker…they all suck, huh Saints fans?

26. San Francisco 49ers: 1-1 (last week: 26)

It’s not as easy when you can’t take mulligans—or play the Rams.

25. Tennessee Titans: 1-1 (last week: 29)

I wasn’t comfortable with ranking the Titans up four spots on the list this week—but then I went to a Hall and Oates concert and forgot that I put them there. Oh well, run the ball with more efficiency and my mistake might actually look like calculated genius in a few weeks.

24. Miami Dolphins: 0-2 (last week: 21)

Ignore a dolphin and it might just bite you in the ass. Richard Dreyfuss echoed a similar warning about a shark once, and look what happened then. I mean yeah, I still like this team and think its better than 24th.

23. Los Angeles Rams: 1-1 (last week: 30)

Actual football was played in Los Angeles in Week 2, and it was a beautiful thing…sans the offensive output and Jeff Fisher’s mustache sweats. Still, 1-1 will get a lot more celebrities in the seats (after brunch) than an 0-2 team will. Good defense, too. (More Gregg Williams, please!)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1-1 (last week: 11)

Yes: Knee Tingles, no question. But this team has no chance to go undefeated now that they lost—s0 wear whatever the hell uniforms you want, gang—and losing the Muscle Hamster isn’t going to help Jameis Winston’s interception issues.

21. New York Jets: 1-1 (last week: 22)

Revis Island is starting to look more like a peninsula that offers Groupon.

20. Indianapolis Colts: 0-2 (last week: 20)

You’ll hear a lot of football analysts say, “It starts up front.” The Colts don’t have this. If the Colts were a restaurant, the parking would be in the rear.

19. San Diego Chargers: 1-1 (last week: 28)

At the Chargers’ current injury rate they might be playing Ironman football by Week 6, but there is something to be said about the way Phillip Rivers can piss people off.

 

18. Atlanta Falcons: 1-1 (last week: 23)

Any football team that can move around the baseball diamond the way the Falcons did last Sunday is a team I’m willing to put in the top 20.

17. Detroit Lions: 1-1 (last week: 15)

Theo’s town went to bed happy last week, and then awoke this week to a hiked taxes, missing hubcaps, and three additional stop lights in a 50 mph zone. This is not change for the better, Lions. Make Detroit great again (copyright: 2016).

16. Kansas City Chiefs: 1-1 (last week: 16)

The first two shaky weeks for the Chiefs have me wondering who’s really coaching this team…

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Perhaps they take turns?

15. Seattle Seahawks: 1-1 (last week: 4)

At this point, allowing the Seahawks’ offense to actually play with a 12th Man might be fair.

14. Dallas Cowboys: 1-1 (last week: 17)

Famous Alfreds:

  1. Molina
  2. Hitchcock
  3. Bruce Wayne’s butler
  4. Morris (Get ’em, Cowboys!)

13. Oakland Raiders: 1-1 (last week: 6)

You have to protect your own baseball diamond, guys. Christ.

12. Philadelphia Eagles: 2-0 (last week: 19)

I want this team to the real deal—but wins over the Browns and the Bears are what the league will eventually (after reading this blog) call “Velveeta” wins.

11. Baltimore Ravens: 2-0 (last week: 14)

You too, Ravens. That is definitely not cheddar…I see wax.

10. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-1 (last week: 8)

I know, I know: your lawyer fucked you. You’re innocent—the refs, the challenges, and so on…all of them played a role in the poor rushing attack and confused defense. Right?

Right?!?!

9. Minnesota Vikings: 2-0 (last week: 13)

Top 10 courtesy of Stefon Diggs and his touchdown celebration—where he acts like he is digging (watch closely):

Simple, yet classic. Snort.

8. New York Giants: 2-0 (last week: 12)

Different week, same bias.

7. Green Bay Packers: 1-1 (last week: 3)

Aaron Rodgers aged 40 years before halftime on Sunday night. He seemed befuddled, unhappy, annoyed—perhaps the music/crowd was too loud and he couldn’t read the goddamn defense ’cause it was too dark in there!

Regardless, here’s Olivia Munn:

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6. Houston Texans: 2-0 (last week: 10)

If this team wins in Week 3 against the New England Patriots, you’ll eventually be able to listen to the re-telling of the tale on audiobooks at Texas’s soon-to-be largest library: The Brock Osweiler Library.

5. Carolina Panthers: 1-1 (last week: 5)

A lot of people say that Carolina BBQ is the best in America. You can make the case, however, that it’s not smart to ingest that much vinegar before doing exercise like football. The Panthers remain at No. 5.

4. Denver Broncos: 2-0 (last week: 7)

As promised, Denver: The defense is a powerful force and, considering you won the Battle of the Types of Horses against Indy, this team is definitely worthy of a top-five nod.

3. Arizona Cardinals: 1-1 (last week: 9)

When Charles Grodin first laid eyes on Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper he said, “She’s spectacular.”

Oink Oink, Cardinals.

Oink…Oink.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-0 (last week: 2)

Yinz got all wet n’at on Sundee, but still gotta dub-yuh! How’s come? Well, I’ll tell ya’ how’s come…Yinz have saw-led defnse and aw-ffense, and them turrible towels swing just-is easy when-dare all wet n’cattywampus.

Here we go!

(Editor’s note: this native tongue in the Three Rivers region is quite lovely background noise whilst enjoying a Primanti Brothers sandwich and an Iron City.)

1. New England Patriots: 2-0 (last week: 1)

Still numero uno.

And, before you go writing off New England’s chances this week and/0r third-string QB hopeful Jacoby Brissett, remember this: Brissett was born three months after Brad Pitt’s film A River Runs Through It was released. Coincidence? Well, Pitt’s brother in that film eventually went on to do great things as a QB under James Caan’s guidance in The Program.

If you’ll take that as solid reasoning, then I guess—actually, can I borrow $500? It’s for some…new piñatas.

Until next week, enjoy the games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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