It's time for the award-winning, critically acclaimed, and publicly loved DWG NFL preview. I've gotten almost everything right I've written but I'm going to change it up anyway. Here are your teams in order from worst to best with a little info added in.
#32 Seattle Seahawks - I can't come up with a single redeeming thing for this team outside of Marcus Trufant and that the all-time face of their franchise is a white WR. Every single player on this team is a complete retread and not even the good kind. Who's their best player? Marshawn Lynch? Just brutal. And are they really planning on building the offense around T-Jax and Sid Rice? Seriously, if Rice breaks 800 yards receiving I'll volunteer to sleep with the girlfriends of every blog reader, just to teach myself a lesson. Seriously though, he won't get 800. 600 would be surprising.
#31 Buffalo Bills - They might win fewer games than Seattle based on the team's divisions but I think they're just slightly better. Which they should be since they've been rebuilding for 10 years at least at this point. Now C.J. Spiller is a bust and Ryan Fitzpatrick is still their quarterback. Looks like everything is going according to plan. Oh, and Stevie Johnson is a mirage who is terrible. FACT.
#30 Cincinnati Bengals - They get the edge over these other two shitboxes merely because they should at least be a little bit fun since they have rookie Andy Dalton starting at QB, rookie A.J. Green at WR, and some other youngsters sprinkled about. You'll at least be able to imagine a successful future while watching a terrible season. And all the while Carson Palmer will be sitting in a penthouse somewhere drinking bourbon, stroking his cat, and cackling maniacally. There will also probably be a roomful of strippers involved there somewhere. Maybe a Kardashian. What am I, his biographer?
#29 Washington Redskins - Somebody want to tell me why there isn't more negative energy being tossed at this group of sad sacks? Look at this roster. There best offensive player is either Santana Moss, who is 50 years old and has been consistently slightly above mediocre for 10 years, or Tim Hightower who couldn't beat out Beanie Wells or a retardedly old Edge James to win a starting job. That's it. A couple decent defensive players I guess, but both Fred Smoot and Rex Grossman are involved, so that's probably not what you really want.
#28 San Francisco 49ers - Alex Smith? Really? Again? I guess there's something to be said for loyalty but at this point it's kind of like that chick who keeps falling down the stairs and running into door knobs but keeps coming back for more. Actually that part is commendable. Never mind. Anyway it sucks because Frank Gore and Patrick Willis deserve better. I also just checked their depth chart and apparently Ted Ginn beat out both Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree for the starting flanker role, so that can't be good. Nice career, Crabtree. This guy is more disappointing than my life. If anybody is in a fantasy keeper league and owns him they should probably try to trade him immediately, probably to someone dumb like me. (Bear -> text me).
#27 Miami Dolphins - Did you draft any Dolphins in your fantasy league? Because if you did something must gone spectacularly wrong. This whole Chad Henne vortex they've somehow trapped themselves in is fascinating. How many years are you going to go, "Well, I guess we'll go with Henne." It's fascinating. It's like watching someone convince himself to hit on a 17. Oh, wait, never mind. I forgot they signed Reggie Bush, and that's probably the answer. 11 wins, minimum.
#26 Carolina Panthers - based on some of the other power rankings I've looked at I'm overrating these guys but I'm pretty positive that I'm right and they're wrong. All the other teams I have worse than them have no discernible strength, while the Panthers have two kick-as RBs. That's more than any of these other shitheads have. Who really cares whether it's Claussen or Newton - they're both going to suck and both going to have good moments, but both will spend most of their time handing off. One thing's certain - I'm looking way forward to all the racial issues the media can dig up on the Newton/Claussen QB controversey. Should be a riot.
#25 Cleveland Browns - It amazes me that people think Peyton Hillis is good. He's like, a poor man's Mike Alstott and Alstott was overrated. Just another overhyped white dude who everybody loves because he's such a gamer and plays the game the right way. Chris Berman must have a constant erection knowing he's in the league. Guess what? Montario Hardesty is 10x better, he just can't stop getting hurt. He's like the black Fred Taylor.
#24 Jacksonville Jaguars - Speaking of Fred Taylor we might as well put the Jags here, although I'm thinking they might actually be worse than this especially since their QB controversy is going to be between Luke McCown and Blaine Gabbert this year. And, by the way, if Gabbert can't win that one by week 4 they might as well just try to trade him because Luke McCown has got to be the shittiest QB in the league since T.J. Rubely.
#23 Denver Broncos - This ranking is only assuming they start Kyle Orton, if they switch it over to Tim Tebow they're probably a top 5 team. What? You're not buying it? Why do you hate America and Jesus? What did apple pie do to you? Why are you so afraid of a successful athlete who is also deeply religious? You just wait until the first time he throws and errant pass and magical baby santa jesus reaches down and moves the ball with his mind just like Carrie over the d-back and into the hands of sexy Eric Decker for a TD. Tebow's combination of grittiness, hustlitude, gamership, and magic god powers is something we've never seen before in this league. If whoever the Denver coach can handle the awesome power and responsibility of handling this awesome power the rest of the league is fucked. Because they all love Satan.
#22 Oakland Raiders - I have no idea how the Raiders ended up this high. I think I forgot about them until now. This is a terrible team who lost its best player and is still starting Jason Campbell at QB, the same Campbell who couldn't hold off Rex Grossman. And when Campbell inevitably fails, partially because he's throwing to Darius Heyward-Bay and Jacoby Ford who are fast but can't be definitively proven to have arms, who's waiting in the wings to save the day? Kyle Boller! But never fear because they also used a third round pick next year on Terrelle Pryor! Seriously, what a train wreck. And they keep effing around with the one good thing they have in McFadden. I think they need to contract the Raiders. We have too many football teams anyway.
#21 Kansas City Chiefs - Holy crap are these guys getting way too much credit. Still Matt Cassel, right? He and Dwayne Bowe both suck. Once team's realized Bowe was the only decent receiver he was completely unable to get open at the end of the year. Guess who their #2 WR is this year? Nobody knows because they all suck. You know who else sucks? Jamaal Charles. Why is everyone making out with him this year? He's terrible. The Chiefs have a good line and that's the entire reason he had any success last year. Can they repeat? Who knows, but it's doubtful, especially once teams realize you could just have Cassel and Bowe play catch on the sidelines and they'd probably complete less than 50% of their passes, even fewer after Bowe got bored. Suck-time.
#20 Tennessee Titans - This team might have a little bit of sleeper potential, if only because they have 2 weapons who can score from anywhere at any time in Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt. Of course, Britt is also at least a 50/50 shot to land in jail at some point this year so who really knows?
#19 Arizona Cardinals - Let the Kevin Kolb era begin! How exciting. A crappy back-up QB who has shown flashes of brilliance is jumped on by a team desperate for QB help that gives up way too much to land him. Scott Mitchell, anybody? I really hope not because I'm going to have to ride Kolb in our keeper league until Peyton "Morneau" Manning gets his shit together, but I feel like there's a whole lot more confidence in Kolb than there probably should be. Plus he's on the Cardinals, where QBs go to die unless they strongly believe their lord and savior will save and protect them like Kurt Warner did. Anybody know if Kolb is a holy roller? This is important.
#18 Chicago Bears - The single greatest travesty in our lifetime is that these guys won the division last year. Between them and Seattle the NFC playoffs last season had to have been the weakest crop of all-time. And there's really no reason for optimism. Roy Williams is the big upgrade? That's the big change? A guy who has already burned out on two other teams, both of which gave him situations where he should have/could have flourished? Gross. And I even like Jay Cutler but when you're giving him Williams, a kick returner, and two sub-par wideouts (Bennett and Knox) to throw to? Gross. Plus they got rid of G-Reg. There's just nothing here.
#17 Minnesota Vikings - Hell I don't know, right here seems about right. They aren't going to be a playoff team but they should be better than the crappy Bears just based on having A.P. alone. I don't know what McNabb has left but he at least takes them from a rebuilding worthless year to having an outside longshot at a playoff berth. If the o-line can figure out to play that is. Most likely scenario is McNabb is out with a broken leg by Week 6 and we get to very quickly see exactly what they have in Ponder. My guess is a nerdier Colt McCoy.
#16 Indianapolis Colts - I have no idea how to slot this team with all the Manning hullabaloo so I'll just place them right in the middle. When/if Manning plays they're a top 5 team, without him they're a bottom 5 team - which is pretty amazing in and of itself. So many ways this could play out, but what I'm envisioning is that they completely suck with Collins to nightmarish levels and Peyton isn't ready to play until around week 8 or so when they're already 1-7. Why play him then? Just continue on this season and get the #1 or #2 draft pick and get an immediate impact guy for next year - just like what the Spurs did with David Robinson and ended up with Tim Duncan. [note: I am seeing now that everyone is making this comparison, but I'm leaving it in because it's perfect.] Won't be quite the same since one guy (except maybe QB) can't have anywhere near the impact on a football team as a basketball team, but same principle. Andrew Luck, Manning heir apparent? Could be.
#15 Houston Texans - This is the year the Texans finally take that next step ha ha ha ha who am I kidding? I think everyone who has ever written about Houston in the last 3-4 years has started their writings with those same 11 words and we're still waiting. I think we always will be. There must be something inside of Schaub that's broken because he can put up big numbers, he's got great weapons (AJ and Owen Daniels are both among the best), but they just can't get over the hump. Maybe it's a curse. I don't know what it is but on paper they look like a contender every year, and then every year they go out and lose. Oh, and Arian Foster sucks. He's like a poor man's Jamaal Charles.
#14 New York Giants - I wasn't a fan of the Giants this year in the beginning, and now you pile on all these defensive injuries and it's going to be even rougher for them (both their first and second round picks, both defenders, are out for the year probably, there cornerbacks are out for the year, and they'll likely be without both starting defensive ends for a few weeks). They'll be pesky and Eli will probably have a game or two where he throws for 350 and a few scores, which would be almost impossible NOT to do when you have the best WR in the game, Hakeem Nicks, running routes in front of you, but this is probably not a playoff team and definitely not any sort of serious contender.
#13 Dallas Cowboys - I'm excited to see how this team comes together because I think they have two players who have chances to be a couple of the most exciting in the league - Dez Bryant and Felix Jones. Don't forget, Darren McFadden got all the press on that Arkansas team, but Felix was right there with him and averaged more yards per carry by almost 50%. And Dez Bryant is the next Hakeem Nicks. Too bad Romo is involved.
#12 New York Jets - Another tremendously overrated team, and I don't care how many regular season games they win kicking the crap out of the Bills and Dolphins this team is terrible on offense. Terrible. Their defense might and probably will get them into the playoffs but that offense is stinkier than my softball bag which currently contains at least 5 pairs of dirty socks. Seriously in like, 3 years we will all be laughing about how the Jets though Mark Sanchez was a franchise quarterback when he's backing up Rex Grossman.
#11 St. Louis Rams - My sleeper team. I think Sam Bradford is a stud QB in the making, Stephen Jackson is one of the best all-around RBs since Thurman Thomas, Amendola and Sims-Walker give Bradford reliable targets, and Brandon Gibson is set up to have a breakout season and reach DeSean Jackson levels. I also confess I don't shit about their defense, so this could be a really stupid prediction, but I remain convinced this offense is about to breakout.
#10 Detroit Lions - Yes I'm buying in. I know it's always dangerous to jump on the same "sleeper" or "media darling" bandwagon that everybody else is on but this team just has a ton of talent at this point. Stafford looks great so far and has maybe the best wideout in the game to throw too and even though Javid Best isn't going to be Walter Payton he's not going to be Chris Perry either (I really thought Perry was going to break the curse of the 1st round Michigan RB, but alas). Donkey Kong Sue anchors a really, really good defensive line, but it, like everything else on this team, will depend on health. Nick Fairley is hurt right now and Stafford, Calvin, and Best have all proven themselves to be brittle.
#9 Tampa Bay Bucs - Another "media sleeper", but this one seems to have people more split with half loving their potential and the other half expecting them to fall off a cliff - obviously I'm in the former group. I don't really know why, I just really like Josh Freeman. He's got an unusual combination of being a pocket passer while also being a really good athlete, and you just don't see that combination all that much outside of West Canaan High. So I like it. Also like the guys they've surrounded him with in Blount and Mike Williams (the good one, not the fat one). And they're always good defensively so really, no reason they shouldn't be in the playoffs.
#8 San Diego Chargers - They're always going to be considered a contender because they play in a horrible division with a bunch of terrible teams so they're automatically going to pick up a pretty good number of wins, and that also means you'll never quite know if they're good or not until they flame out in the playoffs again. I started to write another sentence like 3 different times but they were all stupid. So this is all you're getting.
#7 Baltimore Ravens - They way I see it you basically have 7 legit Super Bowl contenders and they start right here with Baltimore. The defense is always good and keeps chugging along and Ray Rice is probably the best running back in the entire league. The biggest question, as always, is QB play and what can you count on Joe Flacco for? If he can Dilfer it for an entire year they'll be a contender, while if he can take a step up and become an actual weapon on offense they could end up being the best team in the league. Probably, though, he'll continue to suck and cost them a few games and then kill their playoff chances. Freakin' Flacco.
#6 New Orleans Saints - If they can figure out how to stop anybody they are going to be just as tough as any team in the league and could be the best in the league because Drew Brees is really incredible, especially considering none of his targets are particularly talented and yes I'm talking about you Colston. It's also nice to see they got rid of that twinkled toed dandy Reggie Bush and added a power back in Mark Ingram. Who was roundly stuffed on the final play of the game tonight from the one yard line, so maybe they should have just kept Reggie and drafted some kind of defensive player, even though that's kind of boring.
#5 Atlanta Falcons - Not really much doubt that they're going "all in" after giving up a shit ton to land Julio Jones in the draft. I think the guy is going to be a stud and him across from Roddy White gives Matt Ryan (note: stop with the Matty Ice thing) two awesome weapons, but Tony Gonzalez is getting awfully old and Michael Turner couldn't catch a pass with duct tape so there are still questions. They also had to ignore defense in order to make the offense better. They could make a pretty good run, but expect a good amount of 42-35 type games. They remind me a bit of the '98 Vikings. Moment of silence, please.
#4 Philadelphia Eagles - The only thing keeping these guys from being higher on this list is offensive line questions. They were already stacked on both offense and defense, and then added Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie which is going to make them really damn hard to pass on. McCoy, Vick, Maclin, and Jackson give them an insanely high-powered offense, but if the O-Line can't protect Vick and he gets hurt they're screwed. After trading Kevin Kolb away the new back-up is Vince Young. LOL.
#3 New England Patriots - Am I crazy or is nobody talking about these guys? Once again on paper they don't exactly blow you away with the oldest wideouts in history in Ochocinco and Deion Branch and there's no definitive lead back but haven't we learned by now that the Patriots are like Wisconsin basketball? As long as Brady and Belicheck are around the players don't matter because the system is fine tuned to near perfection and they always load up on guys who fit their needs even if they aren't the best on paper - just like Bo Ryan and the Badgers. And both teams are equally as irritating. And Tom Brady and Bo Ryan look like twins.
#2 Green Bay Packers - I actually bumped them up a couple of spots after watching them dismantle the Saints because I'm starting to suspect that Aaron Rodgers might be playing this game on a whole different level than everybody else - like a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady level. That of course really sucks because I hate the Packers like people from Wisconsin hate books. Don't forget though that it isn't like they rolled through the league last year, they just hot and a little bit lucky in the playoffs. Now, if they pile up a 14-2 record or something then we're all in trouble because they're young and good and if that's the case we may be looking at a bit of a dynasty here. And if that happens the terrorists win.
#1 Pittsburgh Steelers - The most boring consistently good team ever. But they're always a Super Bowl contender and a league leader in date rape. They even have a good young running back in Mendy but he someone manages to be boring too. At least on the field, his off the field tweets about Bin Laden were pretty sweet. Thankfully they're taking a step in the right direction by moving away from old boring Hines Ward and moving on to superfly Mike Wallace who I secretly love. Plus that defense is always awesome, and always the most likely to kill someone on the field someday.
NFC Playoff teams: Rams, Eagles, Packers, Saints, Bucs, Falcons
AFC Playoff teams: Steelers, Chargers, Patriots, Texans, Ravens, Jets
NFC championship: Falcons over Packers
AFC championship: Steelers over Patriots
Superbowl: Steelers over Falcons