As always, I've ranked teams 32nd to 1st, with each team being ranked based on whom they beat on a neutral field. Meaning: 31 could beat 32, 30 could beat 31, and so on...
Preamble: I channeled Ric Flair at the top of the postgame podcast w/ Ralph on Sunday afternoon, so here comes the Nature Boy:
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5): They're just...wow. This team is not good.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4): I said on the Monday night podcast with Dave, Ralph and Juge: Greg Schiano does not make it to Christmas. Which is too bad. He won't be able to hand out copies of his favorite holiday film: Silent Night, Deadly Night.
30. New York Giants (0-5):
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4): (insert joke about the Steelers BARELY beating the Bye Week.)
28. Minnesota Vikings (1-3): Question: would you trade Adrian Peterson for Jimmy Graham, straight up? Yeah, me neither.
27. Washington (1-3): I'm partial to the Washington Warriors. All the Griffins logos remind me of Harry Potter.
26. Carolina Panthers (1-3): I think Ron Rivera makes it to the end of the season before being fired.
25. St. Louis Rams (2-3): I look forward to hearing local sports talk cover for this team another week since they pulled out a W against the worst team since the 0-16 Lions.
24. Atlanta Falcons (1-4): the great Drew Magary theorized that Mike Smith would have to go back to chauffeuring mob bosses after this season. I think Mike Smith looks like he chauffeurs high-priced call girls for mobsters. Subtle difference, I know, but it's there.
23. Buffalo Bills (2-3): I look forward to seeing a Vaccaro-plex on whichever practice squad player happens to suit up for Bills when they play the Saints.
22. San Diego Chargers (2-3): Bolts? More like DOLTS, amirite? IS THIS THING ON???
21. Houston Texans (2-3): Remember when we all thought Matt Schaub was going to ascend into the top spot of that second tier of quarterbacks, just below Brees, Manning, Brady and Rodgers? Let us never speak of that again...
20. Oakland Raiders (2-3):
19. Cleveland Browns (3-2): The Browns have nothing, and yet things are looking more up for them than the Falcons.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3):
17. New York Jets (3-2): Thank you, Nick Folk.
16. Tennessee Titans (3-2):
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-3): Those of you who think Tony Romo shoulders the most blame for Sunday's loss to the Broncos, please hurl yourselves off the Bonne Carre Spillway. Dude threw for 500+ yards and helped his team get 48 points. The Dallas defense ought to be drawn and quartered for the way it played.
14. Arizona Cardinals (3-2):
13. Miami Dolphins (3-2):
12. Detroit Lions (3-2): Embarrassed in Green Bay.
11. Green Bay Packers (2-2): If the Saints had to travel to Green Bay in January, I'd be worried. If they had to come to the Superdome? I'm not dropping one bead of sweat about it. FACT. #WeGotThis (Copyright: Wang)
10. Baltimore Ravens (3-2):
9. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2): The Who Deys saved the Who Dats' hopes for Brees' extended term as record-holder.
8. Chicago Bears (3-2): Speaking of the Vaccaro-plex, it took me until yesterday to finally realize Kenny's last name is CC and not RR. I'd been spelling it like rhymed with "perro" because I'd seen it in 20 different places on my Twitter feed. Remember folks: it's a double CC, like "SUCCESS." Oh, maybe if Kenny hits a different variation of the Vaccaro-plex we can change it to the SUCCESS-plex.
7. San Francisco 49ers (3-2): Congrats, you embarrassed an overrated Texans team.
6. New England Patriots (4-1): Tom Brady, you're not as "mobile" as Jay Cutler. And Jay Cutler got popped quite a few times. Prediction: Tom Brady gets sacked at least 5 times. Another prediction: the Saints are flagged at least twice because of the "Tom Brady Rule," which is: you hit Tom, Tom whines, refs call a penalty.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0): Do you think Tony Gonzalez would like to be traded to a team that at least looks like a winner at this point in the season? If he were on any other team, I'd feel bad for Mr. Gonzalez, but because he's on the Falcons...meh.
4. Seattle Seahawks (4-1): Memo to Jeff Duncan: I know you want to keep the 'woe is us' vibe going by tweeting how nobody can stand up to the Seahawks in Seattle. But if the road to the Super Bowl goes through New Orleans, all your incessant worrying is for naught. Just throwing that out there.
3. Indianapolis Colts (4-1): I'm impressed. The AFC South is absolutely theirs to lose.
2. Denver Broncos (5-0): The Broncos may have a +91 point differential, but they're giving up an average of 27.8 points per game.
1. New Orleans Saints (5-0): In contrast, the Saints are giving up 14.6 points per game. And before you Kansas City folk start chanting about how few points your defense is surrendering, just hold your horses and be happy you're not having to rely on stories about George Brett to make yourselves relevant again. #HEEL
And in closing...if this isn't the greatest Ric Flair promo of all-time, it's without question Top 3. And if you think differently, I'll reverse knife-edge chop you half to death and slap the figure four leg lock on you so fast it'll make your head spin.