You call yourself a football fan? Wake up, we’re witnessing a historical NFL season! Week 5 marked the first time since 1970 that an NFL team hasn’t reached 4-0, and the lack of front-runners has made Sundays pretty damn awesome. There’s an excitement in the air that’s been severely lacking the past few years, and almost every division race is wide open. In honor of this momentous occasion I’m bringing back my dheerja.com-patented Wack Factor Power Rankings. The small number of you who haven’t memorized my posts word-for-word may need a refresher on the Wack Factor. Totally understandable, it happens to the best of us.
The Wack Factor Power Rankings are NFL division leaders ranked by level of “wackiness”, determined mostly by variation from preseason favorites. Here are my Week 6 rankings:
1. Kansas City
7. NY Jets
Note: consider this my official I-told-you-so! on the Chiefs call in my preseason predictions.
The Wack Factor Power Rankings are informative, but the real beauty is that the division leaders picture really just scratches the surface of the madness going on this season. Wackiness galore!
NFC East: This division race has been exciting for a while, but did anyone think the Skins would actually play a role in the competition they bottomed out the past two years? The Eagles are hanging on for dear life with their injury battles, and does anyone know what the hell is going on with the Giants offense? Dallas is second in the league in yards per game and hasn’t lost by more than a touchdown, yet they’re 1-3 and their hopes of a home Superbowl are quickly slipping away. Come on Boys, you knew it was over when Kim dumped Miles. You better hope she hates Jessica Simpson enough to rebound with Romo and resists her bad-boy urge for Vick. Never cross a Kardashian if you want a ring!
NFC West: Moment of silence for Niners fans. We feel your pain. At 0-5 in the NFC West you’re past the bottom rung of the ladder, you’re tunneling to China at this point. But you know what’s REALLY crazy? I still think the Niners will take this, and not because “Jed York” sounds so similar to “New York Jets” that I’ll listen to anything he says. They lost to New Orleans, Atlanta, and Philly by three points or less – heartbreaking losses to the defending champs, the team winning their division over the defending champs, and a team out for blood in one of the closest division races in the league. They have Oakland, Carolina, and Denver next with a pretty easy schedule after the bye. They’re gonna do it. Oh and can Niners fans please stop chanting for Carr? Do you realize how bad David Carr is? And then there’s Arizona. From the above rankings the biggest question is why Arizona is so wacky when they won their division the past two years, including one Superbowl run. Two words: Kurt Warner. Two more words: Matt Leinart. Last two: Max Hall. The NFC West might belong in Canada but it’s still shocking that the Cards are in the lead with the QB roulette they’ve been playing.
NFC North: Injuries make this division race more competitive than it looks. Mike Martz’s offense places the Bears’ success in Cutler’s hands, and without him they could easily lose key games in a tough schedule. Green Bay is riddled with injuries to Rodgers, Finley, Matthews, Lee, Martin, and Pickett, and they face the Dolphins, Vikings, Jets, and Cowboys before the bye week. The Vikings are impossible to predict. Brett Favre is the most agonizing player in the NFL, and Monday Night’s game was the perfect example. Playing like a rookie for the first half, he did a complete 180 after his 500th touchdown, and immediately started blatantly clutching his elbow so when he eventually threw the game-deciding interception he would have an excuse for retirement #216197 next year. Everyone hates him so much I don’t think a single person was excited for him after the milestone touchdown, including his family since we all know he’s a dirty, guilty old man. Simmons compared Randy Moss to the crazy girl you’d never marry, Favre is the cougar who’s REALLY good at what she um “does”, but gives you an STD every once in a while. Combine those two and I really have no idea what happens. There’s a great ring analogy somewhere in there but I think I’ve said enough.
NFC South: The Falcons coming out of nowhere to beat the reigning NFL champs, combined with Tampa Bay’s surprising and inexplicable success raises the wack factor of this division considerably. The Saints are trying to remedy their injury situation and it’ll be a close race with Atlanta, but I strongly believe in the Madden Curse and its season-ending powers. Come on people when are you gonna BELIEVE!
AFC East: Everyone knew this would be one of the closest divisional races in the league, so the wackiness is relatively low. This division is going to come down to head-to-head matchups between the Jets, Pats, and Fins. It’s easy to call this ending as it is now with the Jets taking it all, especially with their 3-0 divisional record, but a closer look raises some interesting points. The Jets dominated New England at home and barely won a nail-biter at Miami, while New England crushed Miami in Florida. It’s tough to win at Gillette, and the Pats could beat both the Jets and Fins at home. The AFC East title is still up for grabs between these three teams, and each game promises to be a headliner. At least everyone can bond over steamrolling the Bills! Woo!
AFC West: I’m sorry, what? The Chiefs are winning their division and the Raiders, Chargers, and Broncos are tied at 2-3? Wait no, the Raiders win the tiebreaker and are in second? What is going ON?! Unfortunately this is just bad football and whatever team comes out on top isn’t making it out of the first round of the playoffs, but it’s fun to root for the Chiefs and Raiders out of compassion for their remaining fans and hatred for Philip Rivers the d-bag. Seriously, it must suck to be his teammate. This is the wackiest division in the NFL right now and I love it.
AFC North: The Ravens were a trendy Superbowl pick, so their success is probably the least surprising. The Bengals are a total mess, but the Ravens-Steelers race is going to be awesome, and the loser between the two should end up taking a Wild Card. Good football by two well-rounded teams.
AFC South: Four 3-2 teams is really pretty to look at, and it makes me shiver in excitement to watch all FOUR of these teams duke it out to the finish. What’s interesting is that each team has extreme strengths and weaknesses that balance out enough to throw the division race wide open. Houston is 5th in the NFL in rushing yards and run defense, but dead last in passing defense. The Colts are 4th in passing yards, but a lowly 28th in rushing yards and 29th in run defense. Jacksonville is 4th in rushing yards, but 26th in passing yards and 29th in passing defense. The Titans are 6th in rushing yards, but 27th in passing defense and 28th in passing yards.
2010 NFL season overall wack factor: 8/10
Here’s hoping it gets even better, cheers!