Well well well, here we are with a simple two weeks left in the season and already 7 of the playoff spots are figured out. In fact, five division champs are already decided. But actually seeing the NFLuminati Index scores, I can tell you that even beyond that there are some big discrepancies in this year’s crop of NFL teams. Essentially the top six teams are on a different level, and then again after the 15th spot, there’s a big drop-off. Then there’s an even huger drop-off after the 19th team. So as you read through this list this week, realize that basically from #20 down, those teams are irrelevant, even if they are still in the playoff hunt. And #7 through #15, regardless of if they make the playoffs or not, those teams are questionable and susceptible to immediate collapse. Bear all this in mind. And just because I like to have some sort of focus, let’s go at this week’s listings with the attitude of what can be done by these teams to see this season as a success or at least the last two weeks. What must be done to move forward and make progress? I mean, I’ll probably forget that and start blathering like a fool about something completely irrelevant to this idea, but hey, you are probably used to that by now…
#1: HOUSTON TEXANS (12-2; same as last week) – Look, it is obvious to everyone that the Texans are psychically not a Super Bowl champion. And yet they are the top team in the AFC. To become a psychic champion, as I mentioned last week in relation to the Texans, you need to own your own home. Should they get home field advantage in the AFC playoffs – which it looks like they might – if they can hold their own at home, win a pair of games to be AFC champions, that will be a HUGE psychic step for the franchise. Honestly, that would be their Super Bowl victory on the psychic level, to just make it to the Super Bowl, where they would probably get waxed, awestruck by the bright lights, although shit man, if they get there, I guess they have a chance to be the new NFL’s created super-team.
#2: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-3-1; same as last week) – The main thing for the 49ers is to not stumble these last couple weeks, and earn the first round bye in the playoffs. Home field doesn’t matter, because Atlanta is a paper champion. Having that week of rest would be huge, even if more wild card teams win recent Super Bowls than not. As much as I thought the 49ers should ride with Alex Smith, and as susceptible to error as I feel Colin Kaepernick might still be, I think making that switch might be just what the 49ers needed to put them over the top. And if that does happen and they win the Super Bowl? Kaepernick taking over the duties from Smith will look comparable to a young Tom Brady taking over the Patriots from Drew Bledsoe, the deeply entrenched starter at the time. What does that mean? Probably that Alex Smith will be playing for the Dallas Cowboys next year.
#3: ATLANTA FALCONS (12-2; up one from last week) – In a post-game interview with Matt Ryan I saw, he called Mike Smith “Smitty”. This simple thing made me like Mike Smith more. Seeing some old white guy named Mike Smith seems boring and vanilla and plain and goddammit there’s enough of that in this American life. But some dude called “Smitty” seems wacky and there’s probably some off-color jokes being told as well as references to a time in Thailand back in his army days, and probably slow-cooked pulled pork barbecue is involved at times, outside, in the cold fall air, where a bunch of alcohol is drank. It made me like Mike Smith aka Smitty a little more. I still think the Falcons are fucked come the playoffs though.
#4: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-4; down one from last week) – Very simply the Patriots are a contender, but who knows if they’ll win it. Shit could fall apart one game and it’s done. At this point, they don’t even need to win anything, just show up and give the whole proceedings the glory of Brady and Belichick’s involvement. I mean, this shit is basically just like WWE at this point, although they still kayfabe it as actual competition. I would imagine we’ll get a Brady/Manning Pats/Broncos game in the playoffs at some point. Beyond that, it’s hard to predict how the NFL marketing gurus have planned this thing out.
#5: GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-4; same as last week) – Even though they’ve only won one Super Bowl with him, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are sort of the NFC’s Patriots, because they won the first Super Bowls, and because Rodgers is on every commercial ever. The return of Clay Matthews gives them added marketability as well, as the largely closeted racist NFL fan base loves a white guy LB. Who knows with the Packers though? Other than that one run through the Super Bowl, they’ve had some lackluster playoff performances as a team with Aaron Rodgers. They just don’t seem to have as much fun as when the Ol’ Gunslinger was out there funning it up.
#6: DENVER BRONCOS (11-3; up one from last week) – Peyton Manning. Colorado. White people. Money. The NFL.
#7: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-5; up one from last week) – Fuck man, I have fantasy played out the entire rest of the season where my Redskins win the NFC East, but then have to face Beast Mode. I am afraid of Beast Mode, as we all should be. It speaks to the primal urgency inside us all, but also how the promises of post-industrial society should not further enslave humans with psychic financial chains, but actually free us to happily and joyfully explore our primal urgency on a higher, more pleasurable level, that releases dopamine and serotonin galore into our brain chemistries. Essentially that’s what Beast Mode is, and why I think I am afraid of it. Does it make sense for me to sit at this desk where I am pretending to work while writing football nonsense for a blog that like 20 people will read? How does that speak to my caveman molecules, who want nothing more than to be fucking a big assed woman by a fire in a field somewhere on earth, far from the buzz of the cyberbot gridlock put up around us all? Are we truly free, or are we tricked into thinking our domestication, which has been branded as “freedom” by most media inputs, is better than being free? I don’t know man, Marshawn Lynch forces us all to confront painful questions about our own existence.
#8: NEW YORK GIANTS (8-6; up one from last week) – Ever since I realized Tom Coughlin in bewildered frustrated mode looks like the human version of a lab/chow mix breed mutt waiting for you to throw the tennis ball, it’s all I notice or look for during Giants games. Also I read some conspiratorial knowledge about Wellington Mara (how is that a rich dude’s real name in 2012?) and his connections to Roger Goodell and how all this is connected to a continued effort to oppress the Redskins. WE SHALL OVERCOME THOUGH YOU MOTHERFUCKER!
#9: BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5; down three from last week) – I volunteer with the homelesses and a homeless asked me my name and then asked me if I was a Ravens fan. I hate the fact I have to answer that question. They should be forced to do the same. Like, the home game PA announcer is, “And NOOWWWWWW… Introducing your Baltimore RAAVEEEEENNNSSSSSS!” and as Ray Lewis is doing that stupid dance in the end zone, some totally chill homeless dude with a hobo beard interrupts him and is like, “Oh, do y’all like Raven Mack? Y’all read Rojonekku? Armchair Linebacker? Yeah, that shit’s great.”
#10: CHICAGO BEARS (8-6; same as last week) – Jay Cutler gonna Jay Cutler.
#11: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-5; same as last week) – I can’t think of ways to make fun of Indiana or the Colts any more. I just don’t have it in me. It makes me sad that such a horrid place full of horrid people can actually be successful in football, albeit on the lowered scale of 2012 NFL football, where you can win 10 games in shit fashion and get crushed by good competition clearly. Basically, this is all the faults of America, tolerating and even propping up the weak, in the name of equal marketing, in some weird fake form of freedom that is purchased and believed in like a Bible but not actually practiced in our daily living. It disgusts me actually. Fuck the Colts; they are everything that is wrong with America. But you know what? They’ll win another Super Bowl before I’m ever allowed to live the life that truly feels free to me. America is not about my way, it is about Andrew Luck jerseys and smiling white people and pretending we’re doing something to stop government-made cancer by shaving the hair off of conventionally attractive bitches, who aren’t actually attractive at all, just painted over with chemicals and stuffing their tits into shape-forming bras, or even surgically enhancing them. Regardless of whether the Mayan calendar was right or wrong, we are fucked y’all – absolutely fucked.
#12: WASHINGTON REDSKINS (8-6; up one from last week) – As a Redskins fan, this talk of controlling our own destiny is sort of disconcerting, as nothing has been worse for the Redskins in the past 15 years than the effects of the things they control. It almost seems less likely we’ll make the playoffs now that we control our own destiny, at least in the ways that cliché is used in regards to sports. It would be better if we just had to do whatever and hope a bunch of other shit happened too, because then we didn’t have to concentrate on ourselves, which ultimately leads us to realize all the terrible mistakes constantly made, and paralyze our thought processes with Failure Demons. In fact, I’m not convinced at all that this is not some horrible, perverse Failure Demon at work that will culminate in a Sunday Night Football game against the Cowboys with playoff berths on the line that goes psychically wrong in a thousand ways all at once in the last ten minutes. That is actually what I expect. Hail to the Redskins!
#13: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-7; down one from last week) – Look at this position. Then scroll way down to where the Cincinnati Bengals are at #20. Sure the Steelers have lost some games, but they are a far superior team. Shit hasn’t been going their way since Charlie Batch’s emotional win over the Ravens. But come on man, the Bengals are coming to town. It’s going to be hilarious. Y’all are gonna fuck those dudes up so bad. Be chill, last wild card spot could still easily be your’s.
#14: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-6; up three from last week) – I cannot get over how weird Adrian Peterson’s eyeballs look. I really cannot. I know he’s doing wonderful and might break Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record (he won’t), but damn, what the fuck is up with that dude’s eyes?
#15: DALLAS COWBOYS (8-6; up one from last week) – I really appreciate Tony Romo because somehow the Universe created a dude who I can loathe with all the hatred I’d have for a Roger Staubach or Danny White, but updated him for the post-Internet basedgod age. Thank you Universe, for giving me Tony Romo to hate and laugh at and shit like that.
#16: ST. LOUIS RAMS (6-7-1; down two from last week) – Boy, the Rams at the Buccaneers is going to be a helluva game, ain’t it? (Crickets chirping. Tumbleweed rolls past) [How come tumbleweed is never smoking weed?]
#17: MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-8; up one from last week) – Perhaps my focus is too far from the AFC, but the Dolphins don’t even seem like a real team to me. They seem like an HBO created team at this point, where it’s mostly a sitcom but partially a drama because there’s no laugh track. Relatedly, I read some random thing that suggested Nick Saban would maybe come back to the NFL and all I could think was, “Holy fuck, doesn’t anybody remember like four years ago with the Dolphins?” I guess he’d come suck in the NFL for the Bills probably, and then quickly resign to go coach Tennessee in the SEC or some wacky stupid shit like that, constantly playing one criminal organization against the other, until eventually he is killed by Snoop and Chris in an abandoned practice facility just north of Tampa.
#18: NEW YORK JETS (6-8; down three from last week) – Dear New York Jets, I have to give it to you. As I had contemplated all the various scenarios of a Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow QB controversy, I never expected it to end with “neither… some guy named McElroy.” I did not expect you to give us the hilarity of a buttfumble gif, nor did I expect Tebow’s heroics from last year to be completely muted somehow. You are an amazing force in your ability to subjugate talent and potential and turn it into comic fodder for the internet. I think Rex Ryan should get a contract extension until forever. And go ahead and make LaRon Landry your defensive coordinator. Thanks, Raven.
#19: TENNESSEE TITANS (5-9; same as last week) – I was watching some old classic porn from the early ‘80s the other weekend and there was this thing two dudes did with an Asian chick that they called “the Tennessee Titan.” I had no idea. And good lord, how many movies has Tom Byron been in?
#20: CINCINNATI BENGALS (8-6; up two from last week) – In case you are bewildered by playoff picture scenarios, let me assure you, these Bengals will not make any playoffs. They are a horrid team, and my meta-scientific data proves it. In the five or six years I’ve been doing this, they are actually the lowest rated team compared to how good their actual record is, ever, and if they do make the playoffs, the only team that ever did so with a lower potential NFLuminati Index score was the 7-9 Seahawks that one year they won the NFC West.
#21: ARIZONA CARDINALS (5-9; up two from last week) – Shit man, I don’t even know how to joke on these guys any more. I was going to make a Pac-10 basketball joke, but I’m not sure anybody actually reads these things, so for the three people that did, it wouldn’t make any sense (as if anything ever does around here). They are the Cardinals; we should all feel bad for them. I still wish Heriberto Lazcano had been allowed to purchase them from the Bidwell family. Arizona Zetas has a great ring to it.
#22: DETROIT LIONS (4-10; down two from last week) – Man, I don’t even know what to say Lions fans. I received a few strange voicemails from Neil this past week. I think he’s off on one of his Bigfoot freak-outs again, babbling about a “Manatooley Island”. Is that a real thing? Is that a place? He sounded kinda wacked out, but I had also recently sent him some homemade psycho-ephedrine, which is a sort of herbal amphetamine/mild hallucinogenic of my own concoction. I am a scientist, after all.
#23: BUFFALO BILLS (5-9; down two from last week) – I have rolled my Bills-related gibberish into my Browns-related gibberish below. I will return to the office on January 2nd. If there are any issues that need to be handled immediately, contact Armchair Linebacker Human Resources at ACLBHR420@hotmail.com.
#24: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-8; same as last week) – I didn’t even know who that boy group in the Pepsi commercial was, but apparently it is a real thing and my second daughter who is 9 likes them. She accidentally put one of their songs on my iPod and it came on and I was like, “What the fuck is this bullshit?” but I always listen to every song that comes up on my iPod all the way through because it must’ve gotten put there for a reason, and then delete it later, rather than ever skip anything. Why skip what life puts at you? Now I understand the weakness in this thinking, as the computer algorithm of an MP3 device’s shuffle settings has a set pattern to mimic randomness, whereas actual life is completely random, although my studies of fractal geometry suggest that maybe that complete randomness has a precise pattern as well, just larger than our human brains will ever be able to discern or map out. But I don’t drink Pepsi any more. Not because of the boy group or anything, but because corn syrup is a killer. I don’t need sacred geometric crop circles to lay that one out for me. You fuckers don’t believe me, then keep on along with your bullshit. Diabetes will kill you all if liver cancer doesn’t get you first.
#25: CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-9; up two from last week) – Buffalo and Cleveland should combine and see if they can get one good team out of themselves, and then make the other team of lesser players play all their road games, so that the fans of both the Browns and Bills would get quality home games every week, but still be only mediocre. The real issue would be the NFL coordinating home games so Buffalo and Cleveland don’t share a home game on the same weekend. And if they play each other? Make those the Toronto games. LOOK! I JUST MADE THE NFL MORE AWESOME! WITH MY BRAIN!
#26: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-8; same as last week) – Well, I had been telling you the Bucs were a horrible team but a good fantasy option the past few weeks. Unfortunately, last week Josh Freeman decided to cripple a million dudes’ fantasy playoff dreams and aspirations. Little financial data is known about fantasy football, but I am going to estimate that Freeman’s performance last weekend cost fantasy football players a potential $3.7 million in fantasy earnings. That makes for a lot of fantasy pissed dudes, who will never forgive Josh Freeman. His fantasy career is basically ruined forever.
#27: CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-9; up one from last week) – As another lackluster Carolina Panthers year comes to a close, I can’t help but feel for Steve Smith, who has quietly been one of the best WRs the NFL has seen. Tough as fuck, and a chill dude, always overshadowed by the Ochocincos and T.O.’s who stomped their feet. Smith had those accusations at one point too, but quietly played out in Carolina, and is one of my favorites. If there’s a dude who I’d like to see have that last two-year run on a contender to try and get a ring, it’s him, although that sort of belittles all the previous accolades when you have to switch a team to get it. It’s like life – it sucks that some of us are born into situations that will never get but so much better. But we can walk that path with kick assery and pride and fuck shit up in an honorable way, like Steve Smith did, for the most part, I think.
#28: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-9; down three from last week) – Only two weeks left of Norv Turner as an NFL head coach, forever. I am so excited.
#29: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-10; same as last week) – Please Eagles, please, don’t beat the Redskins. And please Eagles fans please don’t bludgeon my fellow Redskins fans. Actually, Redskins fans kind of suck, so go ahead, tackle them into the bushes and piss on them. I wish we could trade fanbases, like trade 1000 Redskins season ticket holders for 1000 Eagles season ticket holders, and they had to switch team allegiances. Hopefully we get to a point of psychological pharmaceuticals that we can trick ourselves into thinking we’ve been rooting for a team all our life and create false memories or associate real memories with a different entity to artificially generate that lifelong fan emotional bond.
#30: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-12; same as last week) – Somehow I’ve secretly started having wild hopes for the Jaguars under their new crazy man owner simply because Cecil Shorts has done so well for me in fantasy football. How could you not like a guy named Cecil Shorts? And they’ll get a top 3 draft pick, which hopefully means they pick some big crazy lineman dude. They should really think about changing the uniforms though. I know Nike is going to push hard for some team to do it, saying, “The Seahawks were the only team to take a full makeover, and they made the playoffs.” The Jags would be a good choice, because most people don’t realize they exist, so if they came out with something awesome, it would knock people out. Unfortunately, Nike would be involved in designing the uniforms which means it’d be some metrosexual space alien cyberzubaz crap. But still, even blind squirrels find nuts around Christmas.
#31: OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-10; same as last week) – As the Matt Barkley draft hype train will get to rolling along before too long, it’s important we look back at the legacies of previous USC QBs of recent memory: Matt Leinart amongst various teams, Mark Sanchez with the Jets, and Carson Palmer, who is probably the most successful of them all, and yet just a barely likeable starter for one of the worst teams in the NFL. My advice to NFL teams: don’t draft Matt Barkley in the first round. Let somebody else make that mistake. If he trickles down, then maybe, but don’t count on him being worth a shit ever. If everybody else on this list is the example, he will be far more promise than realized greatness.
#32: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-12; same as last week) – The Chiefs have won 50% of their games this season after a team member committed a murder/suicide with his girlfriend. Not exactly the foundation for success. It’s gonna be hard for Romeo Crennel to roll that into corporate speaking engagements.