I began writing this piece two months ago and immediately forgot about it. Naturally, I decided to finish it by the start of the playoffs. Will I revise my opinions? No. Like Dom Toretto’s gang, me and my takes are ride or die.
Folks, we are
five seventeen weeks into the season. We have survived not only Beak Week I (and II) but Ramapolooza (also I and II) as well. Y’all deserve a nice break, so here are some power rankings. But in true Tasteful Profanity fashion, I will be eschewing pick descriptions in favor of selecting a song with a selected lyric that I feel appropriate.
Also, I will only be ranking the NFC because who gives a shit what happens in the AFC?
*Spoiler alert: The Chiefs collapse down the stretch, Jacksonville leans too hard on Fournette at the first semblance of a lead, costing themselves a chance at the Super Bowl, Big Ben has a horrendous road game and bounces Pittsburgh out of the playoffs early, and the Patriots cruise through the AFC lEast, ending up as the AFC representative in the championship.*
Let us begin.
16. New York Giants
Artist: Alkaline Trio
Selected Lyric: “Shaking like a dog shitting razor blades”
Alkaline Trio sums up the Giants’ direction after sticking with a 37-year-old Eli Manning and drafting a running back at the top of the first round.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Song: June on the West Coast
Artist: Bright Eyes
Selected Lyric: “I spent a day dreaming of dying in Mesa, Arizona”
Dying in Mesa, Arizona is basically what the Seahawks have been doing in Glendale for the past couple of seasons. The worst part is that dying is basically the only interesting thing to do in that whole state.
14. San Francisco 49ers
Song: Fool’s Gold
Artist: Aaron Carter (yes, seriously, he is still making music)
Selected Lyric: “You traded my heart for some fool’s gold”
Carter is probably overvaluing a second round pick here, but he definitely nails what the Niners got in return.
13. Dallas Cowboys
Song: Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
Artist: The Highwaymen
Selected Lyric: “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys”
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Song: This is the End For You My Friend
Selected Lyric: “We will not witness this anymore/ This is the end for you my friend”
Fitzpatrick’s hot starts came and went. He was benched at halftime for 1st overall pick Jameis Winston. We may never witness a career journeyman play that far out of his mind again.
11. Atlanta Falcons
Song: All Falls Down
Artist: Kanye West (feat. Syleena Johnson)
Selected Lyric: “Oh when it all, it all falls down/ I’m telling you oh, it all falls down”
This basically encapsulates what has happened to the Atlanta defense through the first five games of the season. Key player after key player has gone down with an injury and the offense has not been able to do enough to stem the bleeding.
10. Detroit Lions
Song: Lose Yourself
Selected Lyric: “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy/there’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti”
The Lions have managed to knock off Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but also lost to Dak Prescott (2018 vintage), Jimmy Garoppolo, and Sam Darnold. Will they end up overcoming this uneven start? Probably not.
9. Minnesota Vikings
Song: Clear the Air
Artist: Off With Their Heads
Selected Lyric: “Goddamnit I’m falling apart/I’m down on my knees in the dark/Feeling for whatever’s left/But the pieces have fallen too far”
You may think I am too hard on a team that just rattled off 3 straight wins, but the Minnesota Vikings lost to the fucking Buffalo Bills. Also, their head coach decapitated a bunch of stuffed animals one time and the team promptly ended the season 0-6. Additionally, Harrison “PFF’s top safety of 2017” Smith has not completely recovered from his abysmal showing against… Nick Foles.
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Song: For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
Selected Lyric: “I put my faith in you, so much faith/and then you threw it away”
This is 100% due to the comment on Mookie Alexander’s Enemy Reaction saying “Fire Doug. He’s taken the Eagles as far as he can take them.”
7. Washington Football Team
Selected Lyric: “We flipped our finger to the King of England/Stole our country from the Indians/With God on our side and guns in our hands/We took it for our own”
The team from the other (lesser) Washington has three wins of less than seven points, one blowout win, and two losses by a combined 36 points. They may end up on top of the NFC East, but they are not a scary team.
6. Green Bay Packers
Song: Casanova, Baby
Artist: The Gaslight Anthem
Selected Lyric: “Do you hear that whistle wail/I feel the end is comin’ in/I’m a whole lot worse for wear”
Aaron Rodgers is probably the best quarterback the NFL has ever seen. But his peak was like half a decade ago and he has gone from having historically great seasons to having slightly above average seasons. Plus, he makes too many plays outside the pocket to be considered a true great.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Song: Constant Headache
Artist: Joyce Manor
Selected Lyric: “But I’m a constant headache, a tooth out of line”
While the last couple of weeks have been nice, watching the Seahawks offense over most of the last 20 games has been enough to give anybody a constant headache. Can Schottenheimer fix this? The Seahawks make it this far up the power rankings because they have a couple of blowout wins and also all of their wins have been nail-biters. Do not @ me.
(Editor’s Note: You can feel free to @ Peter on twitter @HDR0bot just to piss him off.)
4. Chicago Bears
Song: The Devil’s Takin’ Names
Artist: The Lawrence Arms
Selected Lyric: “Shall we dance/Or maybe just limp around/Our feet are cold and beat/And strangers to the ground”
As a former Chicago resident, I can confirm that it gets cold as shit. Ideally, the Seahawks will not have to play in Chicago again. However, it would be oh so sweet to watch the McRams get pummeled in the cold and snow again.
3. Carolina Panthers
Song: The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
Artist: Brand New
Selected Lyric: “So keep your blood in your head/And your feet on the ground”
Cam Newton is one of the more spectacular players in the NFL. Beyond the quality of play which is generally good, he has been remarkably healthy for how often he puts his body on the line for his team (with one Super Bowl-sized exception).
2. New Orleans Saints
Song: Twin Size Mattress
Artist: Front Bottoms
Selected Lyric: “This is for the lake that me and my friends swim in/Naked and dumb on a drunken night/And it should’ve felt good/But I can hear the Jaws theme song on repeat in the back of my mind”
Drew Brees completed almost 75% of his passes at 8.2 yards per attempt, threw a TD on 6.5% of his pass attempts, had only 5 INTs, and was sacked just 17 times. It was one of the best QB seasons in recent memory. And it is going to be upstaged by Patrick Mahomes going nuclear on the league. This’ll be the third such time that Drew Brees puts up an MVP-caliber season only to have some other contender swoop in and overshadow him.
1. Los Angeles Rams
Song: Los Angeles Is Burning
Artist: Bad Religion
Selected Lyric: “But down here in the city of limelights/The fans of Santa Ana are withering”
Sports media fell in love with golden boy
Aaron Rodgers Andrew Luck random career journeyman who gets a starting job instead of Colin Kaepernick Sean McVay when he managed to remember all eleven Bears defensive starters before the very-much-so-remembered defensive players held his offense 214 total yards and 4 interceptions. The resulting mini-meltdown in the Rams fandom after he lost to Generational Talent Nick Foles and the (incredibly overrated band) Eagles was almost as sweet.