Week 10 is in the books and with the Falcons losing, the final undefeated team is defeated. That means the 1972 Dolphins really deserve to top this week’s power rankings. But to do that, I’d have to show you a picture of this Dolphins fan, and no one wants to see that Dolphins fan. Thanks to me for not showing you that Dolphins fan. Now onto the rankings …
1. The Jets’ car crash (Last week: 24)
If only it was possible to completely ignore this 3-6 team as it deserves to be. But they fail to just go about their irrelevance quietly like the Bills or Jaguars.
Let’s recap the Jets’ week. First, Rex Ryan said the Jets are still gunning for the playoffs. Then they got crushed by the Seahawks. Then Rex Ryan reportedly cried. And, finally, “more than 12” Jets players decided to rip the team’s backup quarterback -- a backup with a higher career passer rating than Mark Sanchez.
The only bright spot, if you can call it that, in the week was the “more than 12” phrase. That’s a kind way to say “pretty much everyone thinks Tebow stinks.” Like if you wanted to be polite about how bad the Jets are, you could say: “They will win fewer than 16 games.”
2. Injuries (Last week: 22)
Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger all left injured this week. It’s easy to complain about there being too many rules protecting quarterbacks, but watch a game in which Jason Campbell or Byron Leftwich is forced into action and you may decide it should be a felony to even touch a starting NFL quarterback.
3. The rolling calamity that is the Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 8)
The Chiefs took their first lead of the year on Monday night! They also blew their first lead of the season. But what really stood apart is one play halfway through the third quarter in Pittsburgh.
With the Steelers facing third-and-7 at their 26 and the score tied, Leftwich dropped back to pass, the ball flew out and Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston scooped it up and ran into the end zone for a 16-10 lead. Then the Chiefs decided to engage in a full-team dance party and got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then the “fumble” was ruled to be an incomplete pass and the Steelers, instead of having to punt, got a first down thanks to Kansas City’s idiocy.
When football historians look back one day and try to decide which 1-15 team was the worst of all the 1-15 teams, this one play will set the Chiefs apart. Also, the fact that they’re coached by professional napper Romeo Crennel.
4. Norv Turner’s inevitable dismissal (Last week: 4)
Norv Turner isn’t even good at postgame tirades. Even the worst coaches try to earn themselves a Coors Light commercial on the way out the door.
5. Andrew Luck (Last week: 1)
Andrew Luck was good in a win over the Jaguars and his jersey is now in the Hall of Fame. Because many experts think his bust will be there one day, too, it’s probably time for the people in Canton to start looking for a sculptor who specializes in neck beards.
6. Andy Reid’s farewell tour (Last week: 2)
There’s a school of thought going around that if rookie Nick Foles plays well -- an impossibility behind Philadelphia’s line, but it’s fun to let your mind wander into the realm of fantasy worlds sometimes -- the Eagles might retain Reid so he can mentor the young quarterback.
The Eagles might not be all that successful on the field, but they are the best franchise in the NFL at coming up with flimsy justifications for keeping coaches. “Well, we could get divorced. But what about the kids? Nick Foles is so young. A breakup would be very hard on him. No, let’s stay together forever, Andy Reid. Maybe we can learn to love each other again.”
7. Things that can’t be unseen (Last week: 7)
Brandon Marshall on Wednesday accidentally tweeted out a picture that featured a background cameo of a naked teammate changing. He then deleted it and apologized. And, no, the teammate was not Jay Cutler. Because Jay Cutler doesn’t change. He is who he is. If anyone needs to change, it’s you people.
8. TV ratings (Last week: 3)
For the first time ever, NFL games have been the most-watched show on television through the first 10 weeks of the season. Oooh! I have an idea for a new sitcom I want to pitch to the networks. It’s the Jets and Chiefs playing a football game. That’s the comedy part. The situations would be stuff like third-and-17s and scrambles for fumbles and the like. Ratings gold.
9. Peyton Manning (Last week: 11)
He’s in the MVP discussion while little brother is in the midst of one of the worst stretches of his career. Perfect timing, too, because next week is Thanksgiving. You had your little run as the Manning’s favorite son, Eli. But it’s over now. Peyton gets the biggest turkey leg.
10. Fantasy waiver wire crap (Last week: 14)
This week’s jewel is ... Danario Alexander? Consider your fantasy championship secured.
11. Unnecessary rudeness (Last week: NR)
Reggie Bush on the “Paul and Young Ron Show” in Miami this week, when asked whether he would want to see Bills fans shirtless at a cold weather game: “Not Buffalo women.” Rude. Like there aren’t ugly people in Miami. Why do so many people at Dolphins games wear bags on their heads then?
12. NFL prospects (Last week: NR)
We’re at the point of the football season where half the NFL teams are looking to next year and much of college football broadcasts are spent talking about which players can “play at the next level.” Conventional wisdom is now that USC quarterback Matt Barkley will be able to play at Carson Palmer/Matt Cassel/Matt Leinart/Mark Sanchez level, which is why his draft stock is plummeting.
13. Weather (Last week: NR)
Weather is starting to have more of an impact on games. The Sunday night and Monday night games were played in rainstorms and Thursday night’s Dolphins-Bills game will be played in close to freezing weather. Advantage: Bills. The Dolphins are used to warm weather and it will be harder for their defensive backs to catch Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes when their hands are cold.
14. Scoring (Last week: 15)
Ten teams scored 31 points or more in Week 10. I was going to wow you with the points per game average, but Oakland’s defense continues to skew those numbers to a ridiculous degree.
15. Putting the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl (Last week: 9)
They say losing teaches you more than winning. What it taught the Falcons is that they better hope the Saints don’t slip into the playoffs, because they can’t beat the Saints.
16. Putting the Houston Texans in the Super Bowl (Last week: 19)
They won a “potential Super Bowl preview” by beating the Bears. If the Texans and Bears meet in the Super Bowl, let’s just give the win to the Texans and instead watch commercials and Beyonce and eat dip. No one wants to see that game again.
17. Putting the Patriots in the Super Bowl (Last week: 17)
They only beat the Bills by six at home. That should count as a tie, same as the 49ers-Rams game.
18. Freaking out about the Cowboys (Last week: 16)
They beat the Eagles, picked up a game on the Giants and now they have a cake schedule for the rest of the season. OMG! The Cowboys are going to run the table and win all of the Super Bowls! Could this be the best 4-5 team EVER?!
19. Jay Cutler being Jay Cutler (Last week: 13)
There’s a temptation to tell Jay Cutler to avoid running out of the pocket so he doesn’t get hurt again. But he plays behind the Bears’ offensive line. Running full-speed into the teeth of the defense is the safest thing he can do.
20. Doug Martin (Last week: 6)
From 251 yards to 68 yards. Some have said Doug Martin needs a nickname. How about Doug “Chris Johnson” Martin?
21. Defense (Last week: 29)
The Steelers and Ravens play this week. Instead of fans at the game holding up a “D” and a piece of white picket fence, it probably makes more sense to hold up a giant check with “Roger Goodell” on the “Pay to the Order of” line.
22. Naughty language (Last week: 30)
Steelers lineman Willie Colon was flagged this week for cursing at an official. What the ####? Doesn’t that happen on every play? If this is the new normal, games are going to take seven hours to play.
23. Saying Joe Flacco is ELITE (Last week: 28)
Baltimore set a franchise scoring record last week. Let us never hear anyone ever again question that Joe Flacco is the best quarterback (in Ravens history).
24. Bye weeks (Last week: 10)
The Titans, Giants, Seahawks and Vikings are all off this week. Probably a good week to turn Adrian Peterson over to scientists for testing.
25. Putting the 49ers in the Super Bowl (Last week: 23)
Sister kissers! Sister kissers! You kiss your sisters!
26. Putting the New York Giants in the Super Bowl (Last week: 20)
They look awful. Watch out for them? The Giants are the only team who inspires hope of a Super Bowl by playing terribly in the regular season instead of hope of a high draft pick.
27. Random Steelers running backs (Last week: 5)
These random people might have to help in pass protection this week. Pittsburgh will have to block for an extra six seconds per play to give Byron Leftwich time to complete his elaborate windup and delivery.
28. “Madden” curse (Last week: 18)
Calvin Johnson had his best game of the season last week. If the curse is planning to take him out on the Thanksgiving game before all of America, things could get ugly. John Madden’s cruiser will be pelted with turducken chunks.
29. RG3 (Last week: 25)
Andrew Luck destroyed him last week in every statistical category.
30. Tim Tebow (Last week: 26)
Tim Tebow has a better career quarterback rating than Mark Sanchez, beat the Jets last year and won a playoff game while the Jets were sitting at home. If the Jets players had negative things to say about Tebow, I assume their opinions of Sanchez couldn’t be printed in a family publication.
31. Rams kicking things (Last week: 27)
Young G.Z. missed a game-winning attempt last week. It’s starting to look like kicking footballs really far isn’t going to be what gets the Rams over the hump. Looks as though I’ll be scrapping “Kickeyball,” my book manuscript on how the 2012 St. Louis Rams revolutionized football.
32. Chris Johnson being the worst player ever (Last week: 31)
Another 100-yard game with a touchdown. Johnson is the worst worst player ever ever.
Dropping out: Packers celebrations, Roger Goodell, Trade deadline