Marking the halfway point of the season, I am only ranking 16 teams this week, playoff prediction style. This is never a fun column to write after a Broncos loss, but the deed must be done…
1. New England Patriots - I know, it still makes me a little sick too. They had a bye week, so it’s only fair they stay at the top.
2. Dallas Cowboys - Between our top 2 teams in each conference, it’s like Lord Voldemort and Hannibal Lecter got together and decided to run the NFL. That was a reference to Bill Belechik and Jerry Jones… you decide who is who.
3. Atlanta Falcons - Atlanta and Matt Ryan are proving that they have what it takes. If they can keep it up instead of repeating 2013, they will be a top NFC playoff team.
4. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders embarrassed the defending Super Bowl Champions on national television. They deserve to be in the top 5 for that, but it makes me very, very, sad. And it is giving me some scary flashbacks…
Ok, so I’m not old enough to actually remember it, but I remember the aftermath of that rivalry.
5. Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs are undefeated in the division… which would technically put them above the Raiders, but I digress. This hurts. Hopefully the trend ends here.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ben is back. And if Jerry Jones and Belichick are Hannibal Lecter and Voldemort, Ben is Brock Turner (too soon?). I hate seeing him win. This might as well be a list of the teams I most despise.
7. Seattle Seahawks - Seriously? Please see #6, and sub out Ben Roethlisberger and Brock Turner with Russell Wilson and… Dexter, definitely Dexter.
8. New York Giants - Perhaps a coaching change helped? Maybe Eli wants to beat Peyton’s ring count? Whatever it is, it’s working.
9. Washington - Cousins is about to face a test, can he continue the downward spiral of the Vikings?
10. Minnesota Vikings - It seems like Sam Bradford’s secrets have been figured out. Injuries aren’t helping. What started as a feel-good story is slowly crashing and burning.
11. Denver Broncos - Oh, yeah. The Broncos… Hey Kubiak, wake up! Something has to give! My colleagues have done a fine job of giving you some tips this week. Now Listen to them! The battle against the Saints is not going to be an easy one, but it has to be won, or the Broncos won’t be on this list at all.
(if you don’t get this, read last week’s rankings)
12. San Diego Chargers - That rounds out the AFC West. Hey Kubiak! Get it together!
13. Detroit Lions - The Lions pulled out an impressive win against the Vikings, showing that they are no longer the laughingstock of the NFC North…
14. Houston Texans - this is purely a result of a terrible division. The Texans shouldn’t be a playoff team this year.
15. Baltimore Ravens - Technically the Ravens are ahead of the Steelers, but if Ben stays healthy that won’t last long.
16. New Orleans Saints - The Saints are a better team than most are giving them credit for. I see a rise in their ranking, but I hope it comes after next week.
17-32. Who cares!
Here’s to hoping next week is better, Broncos Country.