Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mid-Season Psychic Rankings AFC South

The AFC South is a young division that in terms of stability of power
is sort of like north Africa at this point, in that there was a
changing of the guard very obviously but nothing that seems permanent
is in place yet, and the old systems are still perhaps tinkering in
the background, or who the fuck knows? It's a division where no one
has even gotten everybody else to the ground yet, much less put a foot
to their throat and pushed a 12-inch knife against the jugular to make
demands. But let's go worst to first on the psychic scale...
#4: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (currently 31st on this season's NFLuminati
Index, which is ACLB's own power rankings system if you somehow ended
up here for the first time ever and don't know what the fuck is going
on) - This is a team with zero identity but a new owner who has the
potential for crazy. More than starting QBs, teams go with their
owners, and if this Khan cat embraces his successful zaniness, it
could be really good for the Jaguars, though they really need a
re-branding of some sort, whether it be a new logo or colors or even a
new city. The great thing about this too is that Khan could actually
be an interesting Robert Irsay, in the same division, which might be a
twitter age Jerry Jones/Dan Snyder thing. Irsay is kind of a dumbass,
so it would be great to have somebody actually try to be wacky and be
actually wacky at it and not just sort of painful and embarrassing.
All that being said, the Jags are a horrible franchise with little
psychic power at this point, if any. They are multiple factors away
from being relevant, and really in retrospect it makes Jack Del Rio's
early successes even more impressive. He should get a shot somewhere
else.
#3: TENNESSEE TITANS (currently 20th in the NFLuminati Index) - I
wrestled with where to place the Titans/Colts, but mostly because I
personally dislike the Colts and enjoy the Titans. But I was smart
enough to realize that was just bias. Historically, the Houston Oilers
are a hipster's favorite, to be sure, but they lack the storied
highpoints of the Baltimore Colts. Both teams are sort of ripped away
psychically by city moves from their most famous moments, though the
Colts have won a Super Bowl in Indy. It's also funny how a yard makes
such a difference psychically, as the Titans were that far away from a
Super Bowl victory against the Rams, and now over a decade later we
all remember the Greatest Show on Turf still, but the Titans are just
the Titans. Psychic moments like that are strong on us, the public,
and though we forget the details, the end results remain.
Not sure what direction the Titans are going either. Jeff Fischer's
philosophy was stamped deeply on this team, and it's probably going to
take Mike Munchak and the next guy after him to really take that off
the Titans. On top of that, they lack a galvanizing star, which is
sad, because Tennessee is a team placed in position geographically to
be successful psychically. It's a football-loving area, and people
need something to help them forget how low the Volunteers have gotten.
Something doesn't jibe with the color scheme of the Titans in
Tennessee though, something sort of NFL Europe or USFL-y about them.
Perhaps incorporating the state flag motif more obviously even, and
discarding the powder blue of the Oilers days would help. Perhaps more
Earl Campbell memories would help too. I don't know. I think the
potential to dominate the division is more fertile in Tennessee than
anywhere else, though player personnel at this point doesn't support
that thought. But it feels like if one of these teams were to be
powerful, it would be Tennessee.
#2: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (currently 15th in the NFLuminati Index) -
Something has never felt quite solid about the Colts ever since they
moved to Indianapolis. Maybe it's Indiana itself that feels awkward,
because I've felt the same feeling about the Pacers even during Reggie
Miller's heyday. Andrew Luck is enjoying early success, and honestly
with a last place team's schedule and no real depth of quality teams
in the AFC, I'd say it's a pretty good chance the Colts take the
second wild card spot. Don't mistake that with continuity of Colts
greatness, if they were really all that great under Peyton Manning
beyond Manning in the first place. More than any other team, this one
was a smoke-and-mirror creation of one good player, and as much as I
hate me some Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck lacks the freestyle
playcalling skills stupid Peyton has. Luck can be good and take them
to the playoffs fairly often, but he seems to me to be Philip
Rivers/Matt Ryan type, not a history maker (if football technically
does actually make history). I guess that's good enough though in the
new NFL.
#1: HOUSTON TEXANS (currently 3rd in the NFLuminati Index) - The
Texans are a team thick with young talent. The real question becomes
what on offense sets them over the top? Arian Foster is great, but RBs
expire quickly. Andre Johnson was secretly as good as Calvin Johnson
in the past, but he's on the "crafty veteran" portion of his NFL
career at this point. The Texans have definitely done themselves well
by establishing a defensive identity though, as that rape-like forcing
of will on opponents has much more psychic strength than scoring
points in abundance. And even letting Mario Williams go, a former #1
overall pick, strengthened their defense psychically because it has
established they are bigger than one man. That has humbled Brian
Cushing and will humble J.J. Watt. I cannot tell you how much I hate
the Houston name and colors, and how weak that shit all was as a
post-9/11 knee jerk marketing response by the NFL. But somehow the
Texans are currently the strongest psychic power in the AFC South.
Don't get that twisted though, as none of these teams has a strong
hold on that, and the Texans are literally one month away from being
back at the bottom, should Universal Magnetics make it so. So it
becomes a matter in this division of who stakes that claim strongest.
The Texans have everybody beat on personnel right now, and perhaps
even front office structure. And Houston is certainly a football-happy
area, who loved the Oilers, and loves football. Plus with the Cowboys
on permanent dysfunction mode it seems, the Texans are a couple of
high profile wins away from pushing their psychic ownership of this
division deeper, as well as in Texas. They need to have a big regular
season moment as well as a highly notable playoff moment that is not
followed immediately by a neutering loss. Crushing somebody in the AFC
Championship and then having a respectable and close loss in the Super
Bowl might do the trick.

9 comments:

SandyC said...

Raven - I loved the look at this division. It's not one I've followed closely, being a Lions fan, but it gave me lots to think about.
One signature win to show "they've arrived" for the Texans would be on Sunday night in Chicago. If they can trounce Chicago at Soldier Field, that will put other teams on notice. You're right though that it could vanish just as quickly if they don't go farther than last year.

I am curious about your statements comparing Luck to Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers. For one, he is more mobile and physical than either of those guys, and for another, he is composed and seems to have competitive fire that I haven't seen from those guys. I don't have any real bias and hardly watched him during college, but have watched him vs. Green Bay, Miami, and Jacksonville this year and he seems like he can make average receivers look like stars. Am I off the mark here? I just couldn't help thinking that your assessment of him might be colored by your Manning/Colts dislike.

Raven Mack said...

He looks like the kid from Freaks & Geeks grown up, and he plays for the Colts. Have you ever been to Indiana? The worst white people on earth live there. At least in the south we have the excuse of our brains being baked by humidity. Indiana is just a soul suck. So until he wins Super Bowls fuck Andrew Luck. I realize that's not very scientific but actually it is, just a different type of science.

Raven Mack said...

Also I forgot to do the rest of the division because I had to clean up goop from heads.

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