I’d rather watch a Raiders play because it’s a disaster. Whereas watching the Falcons is as much fun as watching someone drive a Bugatti through the drive-thru lane at Wendy’s.
We don’t watch games so we can be bored by them or because we get off on being disappointed. We watch the NFL because it’s fun, and some teams are way more fun to watch than others. Sometimes teams are fun to watch because we have a special connection to them. Sometimes they’re good TV because they score a gazillion points. Sometimes they’re fun to watch because we LOVE to see them fail, like Jon Gruden and the Raiders.
All of that is my long winded introduction to a new spin on the ol’ NFL power rankings this week — ranking teams according to my own personal biases.
Teams I really like to watch
I suffered through so many bad Rams seasons, I started to think that’s just how you played the game, one excruciating drive at a time. Now, they’re consistently the most fun team to watch. I don’t even really care about the crappy way they left St. Louis. Hell, we’re all probably better off for having them in Los Angeles anyway. Had they never moved, Jeff Fisher would probably still be the coach, sullying the NFL one pathetic 7-9 season at a time.
My favorite team is the best team. That’s a pretty good way to start the power rankings this week.
I put the Patriots up there too, and it’s mostly just an appreciation for the purely transactional relationship Bill Belichick has with winning. It’s how I prefer to interact with waiters or investment advisors — just take my money and give me the most I can get for what I’m paying for. It’s not always terribly fun, but it works.
The Chiefs have been a lot of fun to watch this season too. They usually are under Andy Reid, who even made Alex Smith starts watchable. I’d probably enjoy them more if I didn’t already know that they’ll suffer some heartbreaking loss to a team like the Dolphins or something in the playoffs.
These are the teams that can be hard to figure out. Take the Cowboys, for example. One week, Jason Garrett’s doing all he can to avoid trying to win the game. Another week, they’re holding the Saints to 10 points. Dallas is going to the playoffs too, barring a catastrophe. Who knows what we’ll get then.
Plucky is the only word I can find for the Browns right now, and that is a helluva lot better than the adjectives we’ve used to describe this team in the past. Sure, they never had a chance against a really good Houston team, but even in a loss, the new look Browns are going keep chucking it like they have a chance until the very last whistle blows.
The Steelers offense is what Rob Deer was to baseball. They’re either going to hit a home run or strike out flailing at a pitch they should never swing at in the first place. But the best part is all this takes place under a cloud of self-inflicted drama, whether it’s the Le’Veon Bell situation earlier this season or Ben Roethlisberger chastising everyone but himself for the team’s problems ... days after he throwing a backbreaking, game-losing interception. He is truly a leader for our current age of selfish exceptionalism.
The Jaguars. Do I even have to explain myself here? They’d probably be a top five team, in whatever kind of power rankings you prefer, if not for Blake Bortles.
No good reason to watch
It can be a lot of fun to watch a team fail miserably. Not the Jets. They peaked with the Butt Fumble.
The Titans ... I don’t even know what the Titans really are. As for the Lions, the 2018 version of the team is causing people to say things like “maybe we didn’t know how good we had it with Jim Caldwell.” The Dolphins are 6-6, and it’s that particular brand of .500 play that conveys true mediocrity.
Hey, the Bills almost won this week. Bring back Nathan Peterman, imo.
Washington is the worst team and will always be the worst team, whatever the record is.
NFL power rankings, Week 14
|1||Los Angeles Rams||2|
|2||Los Angeles Chargers||6|
|5||New England Patriots||5|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||3|
|7||New Orleans Saints||1|
|16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25|
|19||New York Giants||27|
|23||Green Bay Packers||20|
|28||New York Jets||28|
|31||San Francisco 49ers||32|