Posts Tagged ‘Power(less) Rankings’

Updated power(less) rankings : Ineptitude reigns supreme at the bottom

November 9, 2009

After Matt Stafford tossed his fifth INT of the game and Josh Wilson scampered 61 yards into the Lions’ endzone to seal Detroit’s 16th straight road loss, an idea suddenly popped into my head.

With the Lions’ record now standing at 1-7 (2-30 over the last 32 games, for those keeping score at home) and the NFL sporting a plethora of woeful franchises this season, I’ve decided to compile an elite list of the NFL’s bottom 6 teams each week.

Quite frankly, when your team is as poorly prepared for NFL competition as the Lions are on a season-by-season basis, it’s just no fun to scroll all the way down the page on ESPN’s power rankings, past the Colts and Patriots of the world, to find the Lions residing somewhere in the 30-32 range.

So, without further hesitation, I bring you the first “Power(less) Rankings” of 2009.

Chiefs Johnson Football6. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)—Tied for the worst record in the NFL with Cleveland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and the aforementioned Lions, the Chiefs and new HC Todd Haley’s awful-level has been vaguely palatable. Five of KC’s seven losses have been by an average of 6.4 points/game (blowouts at the hands Philly and SD, not included). The Chiefs also have a solid quarterback (Matt Cassel), a GM with a reputation for greatness (former Pats’ boss, Scott Pioli), and, just today, shed one of the league’s notorious malcontents, the fading Larry Johnson. While the road out of the cellar will be long and winding, the Chiefs have the type of framework in place that, if they can scoop up a couple additional pieces in the offseason (i.e. secondary help, impact RB), they could be competing for a playoff spot sooner rather than later.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7)buccaneers-loss-300x225—After picking up their first win of the season (38-28 over the respectable Packers) behind recently-inserted rookie QB Josh Freeman, the Bucs finally have something to rejoice about. Losses at Washington and Buffalo were defining low points for this once-competitive franchise, but rookie HC Raheem Morris appears willing to let his youngsters run the show despite the rugged conference the Bucs occupy the bottom position in (hello there, unbeaten New Orleans). Time and patience are going to be necessary in Tampa, but a rousing home victory is exactly the type of remedy necessary for the young Bucs’ waning confidence.

Redskins Lions Football 4. Washington Zornskins (2-6)—Owners of a pair of the worst losses in the NFL this season (see: road loss at Detroit, home loss vs. KC) and a pair of the least impressive wins this season (see: home victories over St. Louis and TB), it took a lot for me not to rank the Zornskins lower. Couple the dreadful season-long funk the ‘Skins have been in with the fact that owner Dan Snyder is willing to spend freely (and recklessly) to make his team a contender, and one could certainly argue that the ‘Skins have put together the most dismal half-season in the NFL this year. With an absurdly challenging eight games to close the regular season, in which the Zornskins will only potentially be favored once (@ Oakland in week 14), things could get a whole lot worse for this bumbling train wreck.

3. 58559750St. Louis Rams (1-7)—Having scored the fewest points in the NFL this season (77), while surrendering the 4th-most points in the league (221), the Rams would likely occupy the #1 spot on this list, save for a ‘battle of the titans’ 17-10 road triumph over the Lions. Only two of the Rams’ seven losses have been by single digits (@ Jacksonville and @ Washington) and the only functional offensive skill player on the roster is stud RB Steven Jackson. This franchise has fallen a long way from the “greatest show on turf” days of 2001, but with patience being preached during a massive rebuilding project, the Rams’ time will eventually come again (just not anytime soon).

lions dejected 2. Detroit Lions (1-7)—Perhaps it’s merely bias that prevented me from selecting the Lions as the #1 team in the inaugural “Power(less) Rankings.” Detroit has allowed the second-most points in the NFL (237), while prevailing only once over the lowly Zornskins. Although the ouster of the GM-who-shall-not-be-named has led to increasingly astute drafting (see: Pettigrew, Delmas, Levy) and Matt Stafford certainly has the talent to eventually develop into a franchise QB, the cupboard is simply too bare for HC Schwartz to put a consistently competitive team on the field. Schwartz has the Lions hustling and working harder than at any point last season, but the climb is really just getting started for the Lions.

1. Cleveland Browns (1-7)—SPORTS FBN-STEELERS-BROWNS 2 AKCapturing the dubious #1 spot on the list is Detroit’s opponent in two weeks, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns’ ravenous fans, the Dogpound, have had precious little to cheer about as “Mangenious” and co. have blundered their way to a horrific 8-game stretch. The only win on the Browns’ resume at this point was likely the worst game of the season thus far, a 6-3 road triumph at Buffalo. The Browns have only stayed within single digits in one of their seven losses and have lost by an average of 19 points/game. GM George Kokinis (in his first season) has already been axed and the league’s worst QB tandem (Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn) has done nothing to make up for a punchless defense. If you can’t wait for the Detroit/Cleveland showdown in two weeks, well, friends, you’re not alone.

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