Now that we finally have a leader of the free world appointed for the next four years, we can get back to the most important issue that our nation faces: arbitrary ranking of professional football!
Which NFL teams have the best chance at visiting the White House and which teams deserve to play in an outhouse? Every team has played at least half their season now, which means it's all downhill from here. So as we inch closer to the NFL's version of the exit poll--the playoffs--our weekly power rankings are really starting to take shape.
As always, we list our power rankings with each team's record followed by how their ranking changed compared to last week.
- Falcons (8-0, NC): Still undefeated, still at the top. Simple as that. EIGHT MORE GAMES! EIGHT MORE GAMES! EIGHT MORE GAMES!
- Texans (7-1, NC): I accidentally listed Houston with a 7-1 record last week. Turns out that giving them the win over Buffalo was just like handing a landslide state to a candidate with only 3% of precincts reporting. In both cases, we all knew what the result was going to be well before the contest was officially over.
- 49ers (6-2, +1): San Francisco had two weeks to prepare for a home game against the below average St. Louis offense. We're projecting a victory for the red team in California.
- Bears (7-1, +1): Should the offense just start punting on third down? The incredible defense is obviously their best scoring weapon.
- Packers (6-3, +1): Green Bay has a bye week after playing a stretch of teams that practically doubled as byes. They need to get their stellar wide receivers healthy in order to make the next step up in the rankings.
- Giants (6-3, -3): Another classic example of New York's home field disadvantage against Pittsburgh. Aren't the G-Men supposed to be the team making the 4th quarter comeback?
- Patriots (5-3, NC): They need to handle Buffalo at home this week in order to prove that they're still the class of the AFC East. Remember, they're still only a game up.
- Ravens (6-2, NC): They survived at Cleveland, but they didn't necessarily look like the better team.
- Broncos (5-3, NC): Just like New England, it feels like they're running away with their division even though they have a one game lead. Their easy schedule down the stretch should assure a playoff spot, especially if Peyton Manning keeps playing like he did before his injury.
- Steelers (5-3, NC): What a crucial road win over the defending Super Bowl champs for Pittsburgh. The two-headed rushing attack of Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman has been a welcome addition to the team's offense lately.
- Seahawks (5-4, +2): Seattle is 4-0 at home and 1-4 on the road. This surprises exactly nobody.
- Colts (5-3, +2): Indy is in the driver's seat for an AFC Wild Card spot. I think they're pretty happy with drafting Andrew Luck.
- Lions (4-4, +4): They're hitting their stride at the right time. Detroit has a pivotal rematch in Minnesota this week--they can't afford to go 0-3 in the division.
- Buccaneers (4-4, +7): The Doug Martin Show has arrived, and suddenly Tampa's offense is unstoppable. Do they have the defense to keep their hot streak going?
- Dolphins (4-4, -3): Once again Miami kept it close on the road, but obviously they need to learn how to win close games. Three of their four losses have been by a field goal.
- Vikings (5-4, -5): Adrian Peterson continues to amaze, but Minnesota's passing game is completely broken right now. Their defense was sound at the beginning of the year, but now they're missing tackles left and right. They're free falling so quickly that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers might sue.
- Chargers (4-4, +2): They looked great last Thursday, but Kansas City has that effect on everyone.
- Cowboys (3-5, -3): Stop me if you've heard this one before: Dallas battles with top team but ultimately falls short. Same old, same old for the underachieving 'Boys.
- Saints (3-5, +6): It's pretty clear that N'awlins can still rack up points. If their porous defense can make a handful of big plays like they did Sunday night, they could be a spoiler down the stretch.
- Eagles (3-5, -4): DEAD COACH WALKIN'!
- Redskins (3-6, -2): Mike Shanahan said that it's time to start looking towards next year. He's probably right.
- Cardinals (4-5, -4): They head into their bye on a 5-game losing streak...and they face a trip to Atlanta after it. Yikes.
- Rams (3-5, -1): I know Sam Bradford hasn't exactly had a ton of weapons during his tenure in St. Louis, but shouldn't he be doing more by now in his third season?
- Bengals (3-5, -1): Cincinnati is now 1-3 at home and they host the Giants this Sunday, arguably the best road team in the NFL. They're staring their fifth straight loss directly in the face.
- Jets (3-5, +1): Did they spend their bye week working on plays for Tim Tebow, or did they spend it actually trying to improve their offense?
- Raiders (3-5, -2): And there's your annual Darren McFadden injury that will inexplicably last about three weeks longer than originally anticipated.
- Titans (3-6, NC): They say the holiday season starts right after Halloween these days, and the Titans took that to heart on Sunday. They were dropping treats all over the field for Chicago.
- Bills (3-5, NC): Next up for hapless Buffalo: a trip to New England to face a team that hung 52 on them earlier in the year. Hooray!
- Panthers (2-6, +1): For at least one day, Cam Newton was still the master and Robert Griffin III was still the student.
- Browns (2-7, -1): Cleveland must be trying to find the end zone with Apple Maps.
- Jaguars (1-7, NC): The Jags aren't good and they aren't healthy. That's not an ideal combination.
- Chiefs (1-7, NC): Romeo Crennel should probably start working on his concession speech.