Welcome back to the Playbook Power Rankings, easily the most important rankings in all of sports.
1. Regular refs (Last week: 4)
Regular refs? I’m sorry, I mean AMERICAN HEROES. Think about it, can you remember one mistake a regular NFL ref has ever made (to save time, think back only to mid-February)? I sure can’t. They are our saviors.
2. TV ratings (Last week: 9)
Everyone is so OUTRAGED by the officials that they can’t turn away from the screen. The warm light of the TV is like the heat of our hate. Or something. I don’t know. There’s another game on Thursday night and I’m too excited to write clearly. Whoops … I mean too OUTRAGED to write clearly. Outraged.
3. Golden Tate laying people out (Last week: 10)
Before, he was dropping people with blocks. Now, it’s throwing defensive backs to the ground on Hail Marys. Can anyone stop this man? Not the Packers, even when they do.
4. Packers using naughty language (Last week: NR)
Are you older than 18? Then you may follow a Green Bay Packers player on Twitter.
5. Random people talking about football (Last week: NR)
The “Monday Night Football” referee fiasco was so big it got attention outside of sports. When the “Today” show does a sports segment, you know you’re going to have to deal with uninformed people trying to talk sports with you at work. Some of these people may even be replacement officials.
6. Scoring (Last week: 7)
What was the most memorable part of the Seahawks-Packers game? The refs at the end of the game? Or the fact that both teams didn’t score on every possession? I say the latter.
7. Putting the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl (Last week: NR)
This is new. Even when the Atlanta Falcons made the Super Bowl, most people refused to believe it.
8. Chris Johnson being the worst football player ever (Last week: 11)
Best Chris Johnson line I’ve heard so far goes something like this: “Chris Johnson thinks he can beat Usain Bolt in the 40? Does it take Bolt longer than three weeks to run 40 yards?” That would be a ZING, but ZING sounds fast.
9. Jim Harbaugh’s referee-induced rage (Last week: 22)
Jim Harbaugh’s referee-induced rage made it into the power rankings in Week 1. Now everyone has referee-induced rage. Jim Harbaugh is the hipster of rage.
10. Andy Reid’s farewell tour (Last week: NR)
After making the Week 1 Power Rankings, it fell out in Week 2. But now it’s back in a big way, and with a schedule that has the Giants, Steelers, Lions and Falcons in the next four weeks, expect Andy Reid’s farewell tour to keep trending up.
11. Forgetting Andrew Luck exists (Last week: NR)
This time last year everyone was sucking for Luck. Now? Eh. No one seems to care. Luck has been so forgotten in his rookie season that I forgot to put "Forgetting Andrew Luck exists" in the power rankings until just now.
12. Putting the Ravens in the Super Bowl (Last week: 19)
Baltimore fans probably think this deserves to be higher after a win over the Patriots. Feel free to voice your displeasure by chanting naughty words. I know you will.
13. Forgetting Cam Newton exists (Last week: 13)
Before, he was being overlooked for RG3. Now, some people are remembering him, but just to say bad things about him.
14. Oakland’s long-snapping (Last week: 15)
Not only were there no issues again, but a ball snapped long allowed Raiders fans to see what they love most: Sebastian Janikowski kicking a game-winning field goal to beat one of the 25 or so teams the Raiders have no business beating.
15. Tom Brady’s looks (Last week: 8 )
His Week 1 facial wound is completely healed, but now he is doing this. He should not do that.
16. “Madden” curse (Last week: 17)
It’s another week closer to bringing down Calvin Johnson. It’s surprising he hasn’t torn his ACL tripping over a replacement official.
17. Tim Tebow (Last week: 18)
For the third week in a row, Tim Tebow had zero impact on a game. However, Mark Sanchez hit him in the head with a pass. When you’re featured in the highlight of the week, you move up a spot.
18. Reading about RG3 becoming the new NFL quarterback prototype (Last week: 12)
RG3 probably thinks bumping someone down power rankings is a dirty move.
19. Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler (Last week: 3)
Sacked only twice? Just one turnover? A win? Cutler better watch it or Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler is going to fall right out of the power rankings.
20. Putting the 49ers in the Super Bowl (Last week: 2)
Whoa. What happened there? Lots of teams have had Super Bowl hangovers and lost to lowly teams like the Vikings. But usually it's the season after winning a ring, not pre-ring Week 3.
21. Saying Joe Flacco is ELITE (Last week: 28)
No one becomes ELITE more often than Joe Flacco. Because no other ELITE quarterback has so many non-ELITE games.
22. Gambling on the NFL (Last week: NR)
Between $150 million and $250 million moved over the game-ending call in the Seahawks-Packers game. If you see a replacement ref flying a new jet, call the cops.
23. Putting the Patriots in the Super Bowl (Last week: 23)
Yes, they lost to the Ravens to fall to 1-2, but it’s pretty much impossible for their Super Bowl stock to fall lower than this. Seven seasons have come and gone without them winning a Super Bowl, but every year a whole bunch of pundits pick them to win it all. It’s almost as funny as New England’s defense and divisional opponents.
24. Danny Amendola’s fantasy stock (Last week: 6)
From 15 catches and a touchdown to five catches and no touchdown. Crazy. Does this mean it is NOT smart to put Rams players on your fantasy football team?
25. Brandon Weeden jokes (Last week: 25)
Will “Brandon Weeden is old” jokes get old fast? Sure. Will they get old before he is out of the league due to poor play and his advanced age? Unlikely.
26. Peyton Manning (Last week: 27)
His arm looked better this week. His team still looks like it is recovering from multiple neck surgeries.
27. Buccaneers Fever (Last week: 16)
The Redskins come to town this week. Plenty of good sections still available!
28. Forgetting about Eli Manning (Last week: 27)
If he is going to insist on playing well consistently in a city like New York, it’s going to be hard to forget about him. Although he would probably get a lot more attention if he played poorly consistently in a city like New York. (See: New York Jets.)
29. Clutch Michael Vick (Last week: 5)
He remembered to dig his team a big hole, setting up a comeback, but he forgot to do anything to get them back out of it. Oh, well. It happens to the worst of them.
30. Replacement refs (Last week: 1)
I have a confession: I screwed up. Last week I ranked the replacement refs No. 1, which really doesn’t make any sense. They weren’t good. They weren’t powerful. There was buzz around them, sure, but this isn’t a buzz rankings. The replacement refs should have been ranked near the bottom, not at the top. I made a mistake. I’m not perfect. OK, my confession is out of the way. Anything you’d like to share with us, Mr. Goodell?
31. Roger Goodell (Last week: NR)
Everyone wants him to be fired. And not for all the regular reasons, either. Well, still for those. But now a new one, too. Good thing he doesn’t fine and suspend everyone who “tarnishes the shield.” He would be out of a job for a while. Ohmigod! That’s the solution! Mr. Goodell, please suspend yourself!
32. The Shield (Last week: NR)
Look how tarnished it is! No. Don’t. Look away! It is too tarnished to behold! Just go. Leave this place and don’t return until you find tarnish remover.
Dropping out: Philip Rivers and the Chargers, Braylon Edwards over Terrell Owens, Wondering if the Jets have an offense, Remembering the Bills are just that bad, Failed touchdown celebrations, Aaron Kromer’s coaching stock, Putting the Cowboys in the Super Bowl, Kevin Ogletree’s fantasy stock, Stephen Hill’s fantasy stock