Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Colonel Mortimer's NFL Rankings Week Four: Quest for Peace

Announcement the First: This week I probably saw a grand total of 90 minutes of NFL football (plus highlights), instead choosing to go to a friend’s party where I stubbed my toe playing kickball, so my opinion is slightly less learned than the usually poorly learned opinions I offer. Also, after limping about for the last 48 hours, I promise to never laugh at football players with turf toe injuries from here on out.

Announcement the Second: I will be on vacation in the Arizona-New Mexico area for the next two weeks, where my internet access will be limited and I will probably not be able to catch any games, so this column will go on temporary hiatus for that period and resume upon my return. In the meantime, please feel free to play the official Colonel Mortimer’s NFL ranking home game. Seriously, don’t play the bootleg versions, I get no compensation.

Shrek the Third: Looked stupid and pointless. Plus I never saw part 2 so I’d miss a lot of references.

And now the rankings:

1. New York Giants (3-0) (2): I broke a promise and angered the football gods and the New York-French consulate so in repentance I return the Giants to their rightful place at the top of the rankings. I also vow to join the Promise Keepers and partake in multiple screenings of the Kirk Cameron film Fireproof.

2. Tennessee Titans (4-0) (4): With Kerry Collins, Vince Young, Albert Haynesworth and LenDale White all on the same squad, the Titans must have the highest physciatrist’s bill in the NFL. But at 4-0 it seems worth it for Sigmund Freud’s favorite team.

3. Buffalo Bills (4-0) (6): After consecutive close wins to the lowly Rams and Raiders, I am a little shaky pushing the Bills up this far, but after seeing the Broncos destroyed by the Chiefs, you remember that there are no easy wins in football, save playing the 49ers in 2004.

4. Dallas Cowboys (3-1) (1): T.O. complains about not getting enough touches after a loss. In other late-breaking news: the sun rose in the East, Sarah Palin is woefully unqualified to be Vice President and James Brown is a sex machine (a dead sex machine, but still…)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) (12): Raise your hand if you thought Derrick Brooks had retired…like three years ago.

6. Washington Redskins (3-1) (13): Daniel Snyder’s successful decision to fire the established coaching staff of Joe Gibbs for the new blood and ideas of Jim Zorn will be hopefully reflected in American voters’ decision of who should lead Washington’s political team in November.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) (-): Ben Roethlisberger was only sacked three times this week, an improvement from the Eagles game because with Willie Parker injured and backup running back Rashard Mendenhall out for the year, Big Ben will need to be upright to keep their playoff goal a reality.

8. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) (3): You can't blame him for being a little apprehensive with the last couple of seasons ending in an early exit at the expense of an injury, but if the Eagles offense is going to operate to the best of it’s ability, Donovan McNabb is going to need to make some plays with his feet.

9. San Diego Chargers (2-2) (10): Norv Turner to Lane Kiffin after the game: “Trust me, it’s for the best”

10. New England Patriots (2-1) (9): The team of the 00’s goes to San Francisco to play the team of the 80’s, which got me thinking why haven’t more coaches been plucked from the Patriots squad in the past few seasons? All the 49ers had to do in the 80’s and 90’s was make a playoff appearance and they’d lose one of their coordinators. In fact, since Bellicheck took over as coach of the Pats in 2000, they have posted a 93-38 record and lost three staff members to other coaching jobs (Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weiss) while the Niners went 55-77 in that time but lost four coordinators (Marty Mornhinweg, Jim Mora, Mike McCarthy, Norv Turner), to quote one of our great American philosophers, Jerry Seinfeld, “what’s the deal with that?”

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) (14): Their come from behind victories have been fun to watch, but if they are going to be a playoff contender, a nice easy victory would sure ease the fanbase.

12. Indianapolis Colts (1-2) (11): Something is obviously amiss in Indy, without the last decade of success and an inkling they’ll recover, the Colts would be a lot lower.

13. Carolina Panthers (3-1) (15): For the first time since 2005, the Panthers finally have another receiver to compliment Steve Smith, ironically its Mushin Mohammed whom they let go in free agency after the 2005 season.

14. Green Bay Packers (2-2) (5): The nightmare scenario for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay front office played out Sunday as Rodgers looked ineffective and missed parts of the game in Tampa while Favre was having a career touchdown day in New York, er, Jersey.

15. Denver Broncos (3-1) (5): Per ranking manual code 11022.040, any team that loses to a Chiefs team that looked anemic against both the Falcons and the Raiders, and who owe one victory to a favorable referee call and one to a missed Martin Gramitica field goal, shall fall 10 spots in the rankings. Strangely enough, the 1988 Phoenix Cardinals also fell victim to these rules.

16. New Orleans Saints (2-2) (-): Deuce McCallister and the defense made their first appearance this week, both will be necessary for this team to compete in what looks to be a difficult division.

17. Chicago Bears (2-2) (20): The defense is allowing more points per game then usually, but now that the offense is capable of putting up 20 plus points a game, the difference may not ultimately mean all that much.

18. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) (19): After an impressive effort in a close loss at Pittsburgh (rookie QB Joe Flacco's first away game) the Ravens are recipients of the rare move up in the rankings despite a loss.

19. New York Jets (2-2) (22): Man I don't know what to think of this team anymore, after three blah offensive efforts they put up 56? Tip to fantasy owners: Whenever Brett Favre is questionable and a game time decision, start him, he always seems to put up monster numbers in those situations.

20. Minnesota Vikings (1-2) (17): Look up "one dimensional" in the dictionary, and you'll get a picture of, well either the 2000 Baltimore Ravens or Michael Bay's directorial ouevre, but perhaps a sidebar or footnote would mention the Viking's offense thus far.

21. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) (15): Ladies and gentlemen this is perhaps the best team in the NFC West!

22. San Francisco 49ers (2-2) (21): Um, two INTs in the end zone, perhaps JT O'Sullivan isn't quite the second coming of Joe Montana that the 49ers fan desperately wanted him to be after the last two games.

In the 52 games that Mike Nolan has coached, he has managed one 3 game win streak. Obviously it's hard to compete for a playoff spot without accomplishing that, although if the rest of the teams in the division play as well as they have thus far, the division title is still within reach, hey the Rams are only 2 games out!

So with the other bay area team finally dismissing its coach this week, I ask you to predict who will be the head coach of the 49ers in 2009

a.) Mike Martz--Was this game just a hiccup, or more indicative of their true selves, offense wise? The Niners will want to maintain Martz who will be a hot commodity if he continues turning the team around after the lousy 2007 campaign. They can maintain stability by promoting him to the head spot. That said, I am not personally crazy about Martz as a head coach, least we forgot some of his shenanigans and poor sportsmanship during his St. Louis reign.
b.) Pete Carroll--In 2005, John York tried to get Carroll, who has served as a defensive coordinator for San Francisco in the past, to become the head coach, offering him complete control. Carroll turned them down. He seems pretty comfortable at USC, but he's always willing to listen to NFL offers, feeling he got a raw deal after being fired from the Patriots after they posted a 8-8 record.

c.) Jim Schwartz--The Titans defensive coordinator should be very popular at the end of the season, he was interviewed for the 49er position back in '05.

d.) Josh McDaniels--Up at the Patriots entry I pondered why there has only been three coordinators snatched from the team despite their success, part of that is the impatience of owners who will not wait until the playoffs are over to interview candidates, thus with their post-season success, New England coaches are at a disadvantage. But if the Pats fail to make the playoffs or get eliminated early this year sans Brady, you have to think the guy who oversaw the record breaking 2007 offense should get some league consideration.

e.) Steve Mariucci--The last coach to take the 49ers to the playoffs, for which he was rewarded with a pink slip (Dennis Erickson pretty much took the same team from a 10-6 record to 7-9 in one year), Mariucci, who is still rather young, was also the last coach to take a losing team (the 99-00 squad) and transform them into a playoff team. This could be a way of York offering a mea culpa.

f.) Mike Holmgren--He's set to retire after this season, but perhaps the chance to coach his hometown team, and the organization that started his career, can get him to change his mind.

g.) Mike Nolan--Hell, we are only in year 4 of his 12 year improvement plan.

h.) Post your suggestion in the comment section

23. Seattle Seahawks (1-2) (-): They finally may have some players to catch the ball this week, but the schedule doesn't offer any solace, they're at the Giants, host Green Bay, then at Tampa Bay.

24. Cleveland Browns (1-3) (26): Has there ever been such a precipitous drop between seasons than Derek Anderson meteoric rise from benchwarmer to All Star to bum in the span of a year? He barely outplayed Ryan Fitzspatrick this week.

25. Miami Dolphins (1-2) (-): The confused surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins squad that went undefeated popped champagne after last week's victory over the Patriots.

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) (24): After seeing a potential tough game against the Packers on the schedule, Falcons owner Arthur Blank calls the NFL to complain about the break in the Mediocre Team-Quality Team-Mediocre Team makeup of the team's schedule.

27. Houston Texans (0-3) (-): After looking competitive for the first time thus far, the Texans will finally get their first home game of the season.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) (31): After their first victory since October 2007, Chiefs fans triumphantly announce "Watch out for us in September 2009!"

29. Oakland Raiders (1-3) (28): Perhaps if the Raiders had pulled a victory in one of the last two close games...Lane Kiffin would be fired next week.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-4) (29): After a bad performance by backup quarterback Ryan Fitzspatrick, Marvin Lewis calls Jesse Palmer to try to get him on the team so he that has three QBs on the squad with the last name Palmer. Asked why, Lewis replied "I'm outta here after this season. Now it's all about shits and giggles, man. Shits. And giggles."

31. Detroit Lions (0-4) (30): Matt Millen is gone. For Lions fans, that's analogous to winning the Super Bowl.

32. St. Louis Rams (0-4) (-): The Rams and the Raiders both fired their head coach after 4 games, Los Angeles reassures the NFL, "yeah, we're good without a team"

See you in a couple of weeks, suckas!


Mummbles said...

I like any of your head coaching choices to be honest. I would like Holmgren back if not as a coach as a front office person. And to anwser your question about Derek Anderson, I submit one Scott Mitchell. Another very tall QB who in 1995 lead the lions with 32 TDs.

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