NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: Halloween Costume Edition
(NOTE: Rankings are considered by wins and losses, margins of victory and defeat, quality of opposition, and recent record trends)
1. Atlanta (7-0) (Last week: 1)
COSTUME: The collective team as Mike Tyson
No, not the crazy Tyson that chewed ears and found himself on the wrong side of the law. I’m referring to the Tyson that built a 37-0 record beating ham-n-eggers and has-beens, looking almost invincible in the process. Whether a Buster Douglas or Evander Holyfield awaits remains to be seen.
2. Houston (6-1) (Last week: 2)
COSTUME: JJ Watt as a tree
Watt’s wingspan is estimated to be between 7 and 14 feet, which accounts for the plethora of tipped passes that the Wisconsin lurcher has amassed. Watt is the tree in our childhood backyards that would knock down our passes in our after-school football games. Bonus: his 9.5 sacks lead the league.
3. San Francisco (6-2) (Last week: 3)
COSTUME: Frank Gore as the Energizer Bunny
You’d think being among a four-headed running back system with battery-mate Kendall Hunter, veteran Brandon Jacobs, and rookie Lamichael James means less carries for the injury-prone Gore. Instead, he’s sixth in the league with 601 rushing yards, with a 5.8 YPA average, and still going strong.
4. Chicago (6-1) (Last week: 4)
COSTUME: Jay Cutler as Carl Grimes
After Cutler’s debacled night against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears have won 5 straight games, forcing 16 turnovers, picking up 15 sacks, and scoring 7 defensive touchdowns along the way. In essence, they’re pretty good at rescuing the hapless-at-times Cutler when they have to.
5. New York Giants (5-2) (Last week: 5)
COSTUME: The collective team as Kristin Davis
With a 2.5-game lead over the directionless Eagles, the self-killing Cowboys, and incomplete Redskins, Coughlin’s crew resembles Ms. Davis, aka the only female on Sex and the City that’s actually notably attractive. There’s also a Jerry Jones/Sarah Jessica Parker/facelift joke in there somewhere.
6. New England (5-3) (Last week: 7)
COSTUME: Rob Gronkowski as Ogre
The Patriots’s hulking brute with the wacky family leads all tight ends with 580 receiving yards (second place is Jason Witten with 487) and 7 touchdown receptions. The costume doesn’t tie into his performance, but it’d just be funny to see him sniff someone and yell “NEERRRRRRRD!”
7. Green Bay (5-3) (Last week: 8)
COSTUME: Aaron Rodgers as a plank of wood that happens to be athletically gifted
Rodgers will essentially be going as himself for Halloween, as he helped lead the Packers out of a 2-3 hole with 11 touchdown passes and 0 picks over their next 3 wins. Dynamic as he can be, his lack of personality in those horrifically bad StateFarm and Pizza Hut ads is just as noticeable.
8. Baltimore (5-2) (Last week: 6)
COSTUME: Ray Lewis as Jim Morrison
“The Lizard King” is apropos for Lewis who, while he didn’t perish in a tub at age 27, may as well be crooning “The End” after his triceps tear. The Ravens’ D has generally diminished, allowing 400+ yards of offense 3 times, and Lewis, who dropped 20 pounds to maintain quickness, lacks his trademark punch.
9. Pittsburgh (4-3) (Last week: 12)
COSTUME: The running backs as a cover band that does weddings
There’s Harris, Bleier, Foster, Bettis, Parker…..and these guys. That tradition of bruising backs has whittled down to a group consisting of the injured Rashard Mendenhall, ineffective Isaac Redman, barrel-scrapers Baron Batch and Chris Rainey, and Jonathan Dwyer, the only one that looks competent.
10. Minnesota (5-3) (Last week: 9)
COSTUME: The run defense as a Tootsie Roll Pop
Gradually, teams have been giving lick after lick after lick to Minnesota’s equivalent of border patrol, and it appears the candy has been whittled down to its center. Redskins ran for 183 on the ground, then Arizona added 126. Tampa Bay crushed them with 159 (135 from Doug Martin).