You’ve heard of Power Rankings, yes? These are the NFL’s Powerless Rankings, the teams that — for the moment, at least — turned in some of the ugliest performances of the week. Behold: the Sorry Six.
The rules here are simple: these are the six teams, players, units, coaches or fan bases that turned in the sorriest performances of the week. They’re not necessarily the worst in the league, but they still ought to be ashamed of themselves. And we start with some unfamiliar faces around these parts…
1. New England Patriots
Yes, we’ve seen all this before. The Patriots stumble, and they look weak, and they lull you into thinking that they’re hobbled, and then BAM! They win 12 straight and waltz right into the Super Bowl. What I’m saying is, gloat while you can, folks, Tom Brady’s winning it all again this year.
New England draws Miami at home this weekend. If the Patriots take care of business, which they absolutely should, all this “are the Patriots fading?” talk vanishes into the Massachusetts wind. But if the Dolphins take the W? Hoo boy, Boston sports radio is gonna be a cesspool.
2. Green Bay Packers
How do you get thrashed by Washington and 120-year-old running back Adrian Peterson? Yes, Clay Matthews got jobbed by refs for daring to come within three area codes of the quarterback. But there’s no excuse for a sloppy loss like this. On the plus side, the game was in Washington, so nobody saw it happen live.
Buffalo’s coming to town this weekend for Green Bay, and that’s usually quality medicine for aches and pains. But then, Minnesota thought the same thing last week, too, and look what happened to them.
3. Oakland Raiders
It’s Week 4 and we’re already running out of ways to politely say that the Silver-and-Black Grudens stink worse than dumpster juice. This week, they play the Browns, and if Oakland manages to lose that, they’ll punch their ticket to Sorry Six Elite Status! (Note: Sorry Six Elite Status conveys no benefits, expressed or implied, other than persistent mocking.)
4. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals were down two points late and looking at a crucial third-and-2 play. Send in David Johnson, right? Wrong. Arizona coaches decided to “teach Johnson a lesson” for missing a block earlier in the game by benching him for the game’s most crucial play. The Cardinals lost the game, but Johnson learned an important lesson, and in the end, isn’t that really what’s important? And Arizona wonders why it won’t break .500 for the next decade.
Arizona plays Seattle this weekend in a divisional matchup that’s the NFL equivalent of a couple puppies scuffling, except not nearly as cute.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick (First-half model)
More like FitzTragic, am I right? Huh? Huh? We all know the lifecycle of Ryan Fitzpatrick – brilliance to suckitude and back to brilliance – but it’s rare we see the whole magical transformation in the course of one game. Tampa Bay’s got a weird little problem on their hands – play the very good quarterback who has terrible tendencies, or play the mediocre quarterback with genius tendencies. It’s like the whole “the other lane always moves faster” conundrum; no matter which decision the Buccaneers make, unless they win every game from here on out, they’re gonna get mercilessly second-guessed.
6. Atlanta Falcons defense
Bad enough that they gave up 43 points to their bitter rival New Orleans and lost the game, but they also lost Ricardo Allen for the year, which, if you’re keeping track, means Atlanta has already lost 47 starters on D this year. Even so, you shouldn’t be in a situation where you wonder, “well, hope that’s enough!” when your offense scores 37 points.
Atlanta will be starting a bale of hay at right tackle this week, but the good news for the Falcons is, they’re playing the Bengals, so they’ve still got a fighting chance.
And that’ll do it for this week’s Sorry Six! Congrats to all the teams that made it, and even more congrats to those that didn’t. Got comments? Hit us up by email or find us on Twitter at @jaybusbee. Catch you next week, and remember … never be sorry.
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