Perhaps we shall take an old school meander through our power rankings, which are called NFLuminati Index here at Armchair Linebacker, because we are a mystical bunch. And by mystical I mean we drink codeine cough syrup, although technically we “drank” it, not drink it, and use this altered state of consciousness to think about football on the metaphysical plane, because frankly this earthly plane is kind of a bitch ass. Here are your rankings according to the science of one Mr. Wildbird Lounger Raven Mack the man of One Thousand Feathers, which is an actual method using science and math, not just nonsense jibber-jabber like most NFL power rankings, which mimic the knee-jerk styles of college rankings systems. My shit is real motherfucker…
#1: HOUSTON TEXANS (10-1; up one from last week) – The Texans switch spots with the Falcons again, and these two teams are very much the top two teams by my methodology, though I’ll pretty much guarantee you neither one is in the Super Bowl at the end. However, if I were to pick one of the highlights of this NFL season, it would be following Arian Foster on twitter. I mean, him being interesting on twitter only makes him like the 47th most interesting person out of 100 on twitter, but that’s a pretty good showing for a celebrity, much less a football celebrity. But he is a wacky dude, and I would like to one day sit around a hobo jungle fire with him discussing the nuances of Farid ud-Din Attar’s The Conference of the Birds. Talk about epic poetry.
#2: ATLANTA FALCONS (10-1; down one from last week) – Okay, the fact that Mike Smith doesn’t even look like an NFL head coach but a guy who runs an independently-owned Ace Hardware store is eventually going to come back to bite the Falcons. They just don’t feel legitimate.
#3: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-2-1; same as last week) – The 49ers actually, through their QB controversy, add an interesting wrinkle to the concussion syndrome issue that feverishly boils just below the surface of the NFL. Alex Smith, though troubled as a starter, has earned his starting role the past two seasons. The only thing that took him out of starting was a concussion, and then having a back-up do really well now keeps him on the bench. The biggest issue facing the NFL – as well as the U.S. Army when it comes to blast explosures, which is a very similar condition – is having players admit to their injuries. Alex Smith is not being benched seen in a noble light right now, that he was a warrior at his position and it’s now time for the next guy to take a shot. No, he’s being seen as a slow-rolling failure who is finally being replaced. So when the next Alex Smith gets concussed, and it’s not as obvious a situation, how honest do you think that guy is going to be to trainers and medical staff? He could lose his starting job, and perhaps his NFL career, at least at the standard it’s at before this imaginary incident. And yet he only jeopardizes himself by putting himself out there to potentially get re-concussed while still recovering from the first. And the league doesn’t give a fuck about that. I mean, legally they do, and they’ll probably scribble off another meaningless $5 million check to some sort of brain trauma institute which will pay for a small handful of MRI sessions before the photo-op money is all gone, but they’ll also be aggressively selling $10 million worth of Colin Kaepernick jerseys in four styles at the same time. It’s business to them. It’s also business to the Alex Smiths of the NFL, who are just trying to maximize their earning potential. I guess the ultimate point here is our collective idea that making money through business is somehow this great Freedom Jesus that saves us all is bullshit. Business will fuck you up and spit you aside, and you very well might not have shit to show for that in the end. That’s the nature of Business. So shut the fuck up with this Freedom Jesus American exceptionalism bullshit.
#4: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-3; up three from last week) – In this year of mediocre sludgefests of games, where even the worst team can challenge the best (as in the Jacksonville/Houston game two weeks ago), it’s somewhat funny to see the Patriots just straight curb-stomping motherfuckers. And even funnier is how Bill Belichick is doing it with a wacky hodgepodge of offensive starters, almost as if he is consciously trying to be a dick to the entire entity of fantasy football. But when every team seems to play up or down to their competition, I think this college-style “Let’s run this shit up until it’s out of hand” mentality might actually carry them strong through the playoffs. It’s a completely different mentality that anybody else is able to express right now, and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in stiffer playoff competition.
#5: BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-2; same as last week) – The Ravens seem good but susceptible, like you bought a brand new Audi and it’s clean and you dig it and shit, but something just doesn’t feel right when you get up to 80 on the interstate. And there’s nothing obviously wrong with it, and it’s got plenty of shine, but you don’t trust it, and in the back of your head you expect it to fuck up any day now. That’s the Baltimore Ravens.
#6: GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-4; down two from last week) – I used to hate Aaron Rodgers because he looked like my youngest sister’s ex-boyfriend who got addicted to crack and almost killed her, but then I started to like him somewhere along the time I was getting shot up with morphine in the hospital during the Super Bowl where the Black Eyed Peas were obviously alien conspirators in the enslavement of soulful humanity. But somewhere in the past two weeks, one too many of those insurance commercials makes me hate him again. At first I liked it because that wife was kinda cutesy in that green top and how she softly tapped his shoulder – she was really hot in a closet-freak soccer mom type way. But that’s worn off, and now I want Rodgers to die again. I mean, not literally die, just go away from being on TV die, which I guess I could cut the TV off, but that’s easy enough during Packers games. What about the commercials, when they sneak him in when I’m not wanting him? That’s why commercials suck. My kids are watching a sweet movie or ice skating or something and all of a sudden there’s a commercial where zombie militias are shooting holes in the bodies of humanoid brownskins committing unnatural sexual acts on each other in urban landscapes. I don’t need my kids to be seeing that shit.
#7: CHICAGO BEARS (8-3; down one from last week) – Okay: reality show pitch. You trick out an old Greyhound with all sorts of ominous looking Mad Max shit, paint it matte black, but slap a Bears logo on both sides in big orange C. Then you have Jay Cutler, Jim McMahon, and both their girlfriends/wives/whatevers live on it as they drive from the far tip of Argentina, up through South America, through Mexico, back through the Midwest, to Soldier Field. That’s it.
#8: NEW YORK GIANTS (7-4; up two from last week) – The Giants looked sharp after their bye week, which is unfortunate for them because they usually win the Super Bowl when they hit that sharpened look starting in the 17th or 18th week of the season. Might be peaking too early, as Tom Coughlin teams usually only have a window of about five weeks to be on top of their game each season.
#9: DENVER BRONCOS (8-3; down one from last week) – Peyton Manning is really Peyton Manning it up and man John Elway really saw enough Peyton Manning left in Peyton Manning to John Elway him to Denver. They’re both so great, and so is Colorado, and it’s all just so great and plus doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all because they’re both white. Not only are they both white, they both smile and cut their hair like they’ve never heard a rap song in their life and I can really feel comfortable about that.
#10: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-5; down one from last week) – Look man, I will not get off the subject of how awesome those striped throwbacks were until all you bitches on the internet stop complaining. You guys are so knee-jerk, not even thinking for yourselves any more. You see something crazy, and even though it’s a million times better than the eurotrash cyber uniforms everybody has now with robot numbers, or even worse yet the stupid fucking faux Elizabethan collars Nike has on the uniforms now to obviously distinguish them from Reeboks, you guys see something that doesn’t register as completely monotonous and you go “HAHAHA THOSE THINGS ARE STUPID!” Then you stuff your fat fucking face at Applebees or Olive Garden or one of the same nine restaurants sprawling like pancreatic cancer around the edges of every fucking city in America, and you vote for Democrats or Republicans and pretend they’re so goddamned different it’s worth getting excited about, and you fucking make this world a horrible, sterile, boring, pathetic place. Fuck you.
#11: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-5; same as last week) – Somehow between Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch and the lime green accents in the new uniforms, I have been brainwashed into actually not disliking the Seahawks for the first time in my entire life. In fact, I think I might actually root for them a little bit inside. The NFC West leaves me feeling terribly conflicted, as traditionally both the 49ers and Seahawks have always been hated by me. And yet, here I am, thinking I might like them both. This all started happening when I accidentally downloaded that bisexual porn.
#12: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-4; up three from last week) – Perhaps I dislike the Colts because they are still wearing their uniforms from 1947. I’m surprised their helmets have facemasks even. I’m not surprised that Andrew Luck has sold a ton more jerseys than Robert Griffin III. Motherfuckers are racist.
#13: MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-6; up seven from last week) – I’m still upset by the logo depiction of Dolphins in football helmets, as diatribed about last week. I’m on Fidel Castro’s email newsletter list, and he’s been talking a lot about hanging out with dolphins, and what amazing creatures they are. Don’t get hung up on the politics – Castro’s a solid life scientist. Wouldn’t surprise me if the football helmet militarization of dolphins in Miami is part of the larger conspiracy to ruin Castro’s life’s work. Could you imagine having a social dream, almost making it come true in an island nation, and then some imperial power builds a prison at the edge of your island where they torture stolen humans in the Crusades 2: The Electric Boxtop Boogaloo (that’s what that one dude in the hooded thing was doing I think)? It would be fucked up.
#14: DETROIT LIONS (4-7; up two from last week) – I feel like a brother-in-arms with the Lions fans who visit ACLB, but more specifically with my brother-in-gonzo Neil. Honestly, it made me sad to see all that go down the way it did on Thanksgiving Day. But then Robert Griffin III started being awesome, and I had to monitor the turkey, plus the crazy buttermilk cornbread stuffing I made for the first time ever (which was good as fuck, thanks for asking), and I forgot all about it. But at the end of the day I remembered it, and I thought to myself, “A chink in Jason Hanson’s armor even… this thing is going to turn ugly quickly.” I’m sorry Lions bros. Start performing sigil magick for whoever you might want for your next head coach. Honestly, and this might seem like blasphemy to you, I think Mike Singletary would be a good choice.
#15: WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-6; up eight from last week) – I have two Redskins friends where we email regularly about this shit. In the past week we strolled down RIP Sean Taylor memory lane, and also attempted to convince each other how the Redskins actually did stand a chance to make the playoffs. Then we all agreed that the biggest flaw was expecting them to win the three remaining games that they should win, because the Washington Redskins never win more than 50% of the games they should win. That’s why they’re the Redskins. Still though, that Dallas game on Thanksgiving was a glorious moment.
#16: TENNESSEE TITANS (4-7; down four from last week) – I have been listening to a lot of early Three Six Mafia where they switched back and forth often times during the same song from calling themselves “Three Six” or “Triple Six” Mafia. It’s made me very afraid to get high and take my time machine back to 1994 Memphis though, so mostly I’ve been going to 1983 Atlanta, before it got all built up. Kinda nice, still small town feeling. I never take my time machine into the future any more. Always ended up just killing myself.
#17: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-5; up one from last week) – With my love of both Scandinavian mythology as well as screwed hip hop music, you’d think a purple Vikings jersey would be hanging in my closet. You’d be wrong as fuck though.
#18: NEW YORK JETS (4-7; down one from last week) – I will have a more thorough expounding upon the New York Jets in the next day or two, as a special request, so let’s save the lolols for then.
#19: ST. LOUIS RAMS (4-6-1; up six from last week) – Very much like the middle America it represents, the Rams sort of exist without the rest of us noticing. Sometimes they show up on our radar, like playing the 49ers to a tie, or busting a Zeta Cartel connected meth ring, or some crazy new fad where rural kids fuck baby burros or something, but for the most part, we never even remember they are there.
#20: BUFFALO BILLS (4-7; down one from last week) – Okay, okay, has enough losing taken place that we can stop pretending an Ivy League dude who grew a beard is somehow super cool and awesome and a wonderful thing? Because I think the Toronto Argonauts want him.
#21: DALLAS COWBOYS (5-6; down eight from last week) – Now that J.R. Ewing is dead, and Debbie Does Dallas is some teenager’s grandmother, there’s really no need for any of you outside of Texas to like the Cowboys. So let us all agree to enjoy their miserable shortcomings and unpredicted yet totally expected failures together.
#22: CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-5; same as last week) – The Bengals would be one of the worst 6-5 teams that existed ever if there wasn’t another one two spots down. Oddly enough, both franchises are their conference’s historically inept team.
#23: ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-7; down eight from last week) – At one point the Cardinals were near the top of this list. Now they are not. If you read the Football Metaphysics book, specifically the Coach-QB Quotient parts, you’d know that though Kevin Kolb was a sexier starting option, the Cardinals would’ve sustained more success with the far less sexy yet reliably okay enough John Skelton. If they had just committed to that choice for the year, they’d probably be 6-5 instead of 4-7. They still wouldn’t be that great, but when you have shitty options in life, you should always look to maximize the successes, no matter how limited a situation you were born into. It takes three or four generations, at least, before you’ll be one of the 1%.
#24: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-5; down three from last week) – Like I told you last week, the Buccaneers are not as good as their fantasy contributions would lead you to believe. That doesn’t mean they can’t make the playoffs; it just means they don’t deserve to make the playoffs. The new NFL is based on the new America though, and it’s not about deserving shit. It’s about getting shit.
#25: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-6; down one from last week) – Jay Electronica’s album will come out before the Saints make the playoffs again. Trust me on that.
#26: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-7; same as last week) – Haha oh man, both Andy Reid and Norv Turner looking to finally fall like Saddam statues this year. Hardcore Chargers fans are really weird because they are very enthusiastic fans, as if the team has actually been some sort of juggernaut at some point in its history, so this whole Norv Turner/A.J. Smith thing has shaved years off their lives. And yet from where I sit, the whole thing seems like textbook Chargers. Remember when there was L.T. and Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates on offense and the new Urlacher of Shawne Merriman on defense, and this team was going to dominate motherfuckers for years? They never even made a Super Bowl. L.T. is retired and semi-literate, Merriman might be dead from juggalo drugs for all I know, and I think both Gates and Rivers are still playing, but Gates star faded behind Tony Gonzalez as the Gronkowskis and Jimmy Grahams of the world took over TE limelight. And I’m guessing Rivers and his laser beam eyeballs are still all pissed off about everything and being a complete dick to everybody in real life, so whoever becomes the next head coach, we will get to enjoy that bad mix because Rivers is probably gonna think he is Peyton Manning. I hope they hire Marty Schottenheimer again. Schottenheimer/Philip Rivers would be great to follow as it slowly exploded through the media.
#27: CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-8; up one from last week) – As I worked through this, the Browns ended up being the last blurb I had to write. Sadly, I don’t have anything to say about them. So you get this instead.
#28: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-9; up two from last week) – The Jaguars have steadily been climbing up the charts for two weeks now, and are only the fifth worst team by NFLuminati standards at this point. And my man Cecil Shorts continues to represent for my fantasy football dreams. Word to Cecil Shorts.
#29: CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-8; up two from last week) – Quite a clusterfuck of 3-8 teams we have here this year, isn’t it? I like that little kid warming up his arm in that Cam Newton commercial though. That kid’s gonna smoke mad blunts when he gets older.
#30: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-8; down three from last week) – Jason Babin was sent packing this week, and a blowout loss against the Cowboys (Eagles are 10-point underdogs) might be excuse enough to can Reid early and try to salvage some competitive dignity out of this collection of veterans and kids that last year was supposed to be the Dream Team. Or was that the season before when Vince Young said that? Who knows man, internet-time has fucked up comprehending regular world time forever.
#31: OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-8; down two from last week) – If the Raiders can somehow find a way to lose to the Browns this weekend, that will set up in three weeks a wonderful game between the two obviously worse teams in the league – Raiders and Chiefs. An epic historical rivalry hitting a new low, which I hope to fucking God gets the Dan Dierdorf commentating team assigned to it, because I would love to watch that. I am not even joking.
#32: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-10; same as last week) – Worst team in the league, with no Andrew Luck to be happy to lose for. But rest assured, a new latest and greatest rebuilding of the Kansas City Chiefs shall start afresh, without any Belichick tree fingerprints at all I would assume. WHAT WILL BE THEIR HOT NEW PHILOSOPHY NEXT YEAR? Two words for you: Koach Kardashian.