No new deaths this week, although the Vikings are on life support. What a crazy season. By no means did I ever buy for a second that the Cowboys were among the cream of the crop, but holy crap... the way they came out and just moped around in a blowout loss against the mediocre Jacksonville Jaguars to go to ONE AND SIX? Absolutely mind blowing. The latest look at the hierarchy of the NFC:
Dead, buried, and disgraced:
2011 could be just as bad for Dallas, too. They're going to have to replace FOUR old offensive linemen (Andre Gurode, Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, and Kyle Kosier) that will all be 33 years old by the end of next season. Not to mention, that secondary is a major weakness. Their top 3 corners all have issues - Terence Newman will be 33 years old, Mike Jenkins' play has severely regressed, Orlando Scandrick has been a disaster - and their safeties (Gerald Sensabaugh and Alan Ball) are among the worst duos in the NFL. Also troubling is that 3 of their core players are quietly getting up there in age - Tony Romo will be 31, DeMarcus Ware will be 29, and Jay Ratliff will be 30 next season. And not to pile on, but are we sure their vaunted 3-headed monster at RB was ever really that good?
As much as I'd like to, I don't want to make this whole thing about Dallas, so let's just say they have a lot to fix and move on...
Dead and buried:
Wondering if I buried the 49ers too early. I mean... they were 1-6, but that division is just so ridiculously awful...
Special thanks to the Lions for their win over the Skins.
Taking it on the chin:
Three teams have made the playoffs after starting 2-5. The Vikings won't be the 4th, but I'm not quite ready to bury them yet.
The Cardinals actually showed a little something by coming back from a 21 point deficit against the Bucs, I guess. Still, they lost... at home... to the Bucs. The Cards are tied with Carolina for last in the NFC with a -65 point differential. They stink.
See the rest of the NFC hierarchy after the jump...
Oh boy. Rex Grossman? Really? Rex Grossman is the better option to run the 2-minute offense, according to Mike Shanahan? Over Donovan McNabb? Wait... Let me digest that for a second. Rex. Grossman. Better option in crunch time than Donovan McNabb. Welp, I guess Shanny doesn't trust McNabb. That's really the only reasonable conclusion one could come to in this situation. Good thing you gave up a 2 and a 3/4 for him, Shanny. Bang up job there. Have fun with the media this week.
Mildly Relevant Again:
Yeah, they beat the lowly Panthers, and yeah, you can pick out any number of holes on that roster, but if you're a suffering Rams fan, you have to be extremely fired up that your team is legitimately still in the hunt to win that division, bad as it may be.
Pete Carroll has done a great job with this talent-challenged team, and they're somehow 4-3. Well, they're 4-3 because they've played only one team with a winning record (the equally meh-diocre 4-3 Bears), and they were just manhandled by the Raiders. It's a little unfair that this team is likely to have a home playoff game.
Meh-diocre, Part 2:
Horrible OL will keep them from seriously contending.
I still don't buy it, but it's cute while it lasts:
NOTE: At this point, we set a cutoff line indicating a significant gap between the the above teams and the teams listed below...
What the hell is this team, anyway?
Wasn't this team supposed to be an offensive juggernaut? Well, they looked completely listless on offense against the Jets, but their defense was spectacular in throwing a shutout.
How do you lose badly to teams like the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, and then come back and completely outplay the Pittsburgh Steelers? Impressive win last night by the champs, but until they can prove they can win the games they should win (see next week's matchup in Carolina), I have to leave them right here.
The bye guys:
The status of each of these 3 teams remains the same as last week.