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S2014Q02:: GZL Quarterly Power Rankings
By Anthony Fernandez
Special to gzl-football.com

S2014Q02:: GZL QUARTERLY POWER RANKINGS
The Kanye West Edition
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
AF, GreenZone Media Committee

WANT TO CATCH UP?
S2014Q01


MERCY::
32. Miami Dolphins ( LR #10)
31. St. Louis Rams ( LR #28)
30. Atlanta Falcons ( LR #29)

”Yuck! It’s prime time, my top back, this pimp game, ho! I’m poppin’ too, these blue dolphins need two coffins.”

I’m pretty sure these three teams have screamed “mercy!” and tapped out on the 2014 season. The Falcons are easily the most talented team in the bunch, and stand a strong bet to make me eat my words by beating me next week (much like the Saints did following the Q1 Rankings).The Rams have boatloads of talent, but GM Richardson hasn’t been around much. Makes you wonder if he is thinking about next year – or maybe clocking out completely. The Dolphins are in (by far) the best position moving forward, as they have an unheard of FIVE 1st Round Picks in the upcoming draft. Early peaks at the class indicate this will be a GREAT draft to have five 1sts for.


THE NEW WORKOUT PLAN::
29. Carolina Panthers ( LR #21)
28. Cincinnati Bengals ( LR #30)
27. San Francisco 49ers ( LR #32 )

”That’s right, put in work, move your ass, go bizzerk, get your salad, no dessert.”

The Panthers, Bengals and 49ers have shown signs of life this year, but reading the tea leaves, it’s very clear to see that none of these teams will be making the playoffs this year. I don’t think that was the overall aim though, as each franchise knew there would be bumps when they committed to young Franchise QBs. The Panthers have Matt Barkley, the Bengals have Ryan Tannehill (and Collin Klein), and the 49ers have Geno Smith – so it’s only a matter of time before these clubs slide up the rankings.


COLDEST WINTER::
26. Minnesota Vikings ( LR #26 )
25. Philadelphia Eagles ( LR #15)
24. Chicago Bears ( LR #9 )

”If spring can take the snow away, can it melt away all our mistakes? Memories made in the coldest winter, goodbye my friend.”

These three teams got off to decent enough starts, but by the end of the 2nd Quarter look to be completely out of it. There is still time to turn it around, but if they don’t do it soon, it’s going to be a long, lonely, quiet, cold winter. The Vikes are one of the most well run teams in the league from a GM standpoint, but for whatever reason they seem to be lacking the coaching necessary to turn the talent into wins. Aaron Rodgers has been unspeakably quiet since the Packers dealt him following the Super Bowl win, and Jay Cutler is reportedly not in the good graces of new management despite a Super Bowl trip early in his career and being in MVP talks numerous times in his career. For some reason, and maybe it’s because this is the K-tizzle special, I still believe the Bears and the Chi are a dark horse for a Wild Card.


BAD NEWS::
23. Baltimore Ravens ( LR #24)
22. Houston Texans ( LR #31)

”People will talk like it’s old news, I played it off and act like I already knew, let me ask you, how long have you known too?”

The Ravens joked this week that they might be the best (2-5) team in history – but I’d argue they aren’t even the best (2-5) team of 2014. Sure, my ass might still be stinging from the spanking the Texans gave me after I trashed them on the PTI Program, but I do think that however you rank them, these are certainly two of the best (2-5) teams GZL has ever seen. The bad news is that at (2-5) in divisions with the Steelers, Jaguars and Titans – it’s a nearly impossible scenario that either of these teams will win the division. The shots at a Wild Card look bleak too, but each team is talented enough that I doubt either GM has ruled it out. That is bad news for teams on their schedule, because you can easily glance over your schedule and THINK you are getting an extra BYE week, only to be smoked and sent home embarrassed (like the Bucs last week).


THROUGH THE WIRE::
21. New York Jets ( LR #20 )
20. Dallas Cowboys ( LR #13)
19. San Diego Chargers ( LR #12)
18. New England Patriots ( LR #23 )

”How do you console my mom or give her light support, telling her your son’s on life support?”

These are four teams with outstanding GMs and winning pedigree, but for whatever reason they have found their seasons on life support at the halfway point. The Jets was somewhat voluntary – as they have proven to be “sellers” on the trade market. The Cowboys and Chargers have been two of the biggest disappointments in the league in 2014, and it’s very likely the Patriots have been the biggest disappointment in the first 5 years of GZL. Despite all the trials and tribulation, none of these teams can be effectively ruled out at this point – but the W’s will have to start pouring in THIS week. There is no more time to waste. We’ll find out very soon who will triumph, and who will unplug their life support machine.


BLAME GAME::
17. Indianapolis Colts ( LR #17)
16. Washington Redskins ( LR #14)
15. Cleveland Browns ( LR #19)

”On a bathroom wall I wrote ‘I would rather argue with you than to be with someone else’, I took a piss and dismissed it like ‘f-ck it’ and went and found somebody else, f-ck arguing harvesting these feelings, I’d rather be by my f-cking self, til about 2AM I call back and I hang up and start to blame myself. Somebody help.”

These are three very good teams that are in abusive relationships. The Browns are playing as good as ever, but the undefeated Steelers are playing so good it likely won’t matter. The Redskins are a contender in the NFC, but a 5-game Giants win streak and an injury to QB Chad Henne might relegate them to a Wild Card. The Colts have done everything in their power to overcome Jake Locker and Byron Leftwich under center, but it now looks like they won’t be able to overcome the Jags and Titans. Regardless, one of these teams almost surely WILL make the playoffs, and maybe more. Once you’re in the tournament, anything can happen. I like Boston Mallett the best of the bunch, so the Browns get the nudge. I got the Redskins next because Henne will be back to close out the year.


BIG BROTHER::
14. Denver Broncos ( LR #22)
13. Kansas City Chiefs ( LR #6)
12. Oakland Raiders ( LR #N27)

”Have you ever walked in the shadow of a giant, not only a client, the presidito hola hovito, the game is getting foul, so here’s a free throw.”

In four seasons, these three teams have watched the San Diego Chargers win two Super Bowls and two division titles. The Raiders have been TO a Super Bowl, but that seemed like a lifetime ago. The Chiefs are still searching for their first playoff trip, and the Broncos are still searching for their first playoff win. The situation looks much better in 2014 however, as the defending SB Champion Chargers have fallen off a cliff, and all three of these teams appear poised to snatch the division crown. For at least one year, it looks like they will best big brother. Each team has some issues though – the Raiders are counting on a scrambler, the Chiefs have lost Andy Luck for most of the year, and the Broncos still have mostly unproven QBs under center. All things considered, one of these teams is going to get a home playoff game.


SEE YOU IN MY NIGHTMARES::
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( LR #2)
10. New Orleans Saints ( LR #18)
9. Detroit Lions ( LR #25)

”After tonight, there will be no return, after tonight, I’m taking off on the road, I got the right to put up a fight, but not quite cause you cut off my light, but my sight is better tonight and I might, see you in my nightmares.”

My Buccaneers had an awful 2nd Quarter, losing 3 of 4 after starting (4-0). It’s a bad time to start sliding, with 6 of the next 7 games on the road. Our first two losses came to these very Saints and Lions, and if this slide continues (that also now has a loss to the lowly Texans on the resume), it’s very likely we will look back at that two-game stretch against the Saints and Lions and see where we fell off the tracks. These are two franchises that historically have haunted me, and I swear when I go to bed at night I have nightmares of these two awful franchises. They plague my existence, both in these leagues and in real life. From Kev’s pesky Saints in RZL, to the “who dat” chanting in a the once quiet NFL NFC South where the Bucs were once the only SB-Champions, to just missing out on numerous draft picks by a pick or two to the a-hole Lions (Megatron, Suh, and likely Milliner now). It never ends. I hate these two teams, and I hate them even more in GZL now that the Saints have Eli and the Lions are playing like the defending NFC Champions again. Also, we are (4-10) v. these teams All-Time in GZL.


WELCOME TO HEARTBREAK::
8. Tennessee Titans ( LR #11)
7. Arizona Cardinals ( LR #7 )
6. Jacksonville Jaguars ( LR #8)
5. Seattle Seahawks ( LR #5)

”And I can’t and I can’t stop, no, no, I can’t stop. Spinning, can’t stop having these visions, I gotta keep with it.”

It’s a position that any GM who has been around for a long time has been in – playing solid football, but being unable to have a bad day because it could be the difference in the #1 seed and the #5 seed. It’s tough to breathe when you’re in a race this tight, and I’m speaking from experience. The Cardinals were playing well enough that they almost got bumped over the Seahawks here, but an ugly loss to the lowly Bengals kept them at 7, while the Seahawks also stayed landlocked due to some uninspiring wins (somewhat of an oxymoron). The Jaguars have restocked by acquiring WR DeSean Jackson to play alongside Philip Rivers and Bull Griggs, but he was very nearly a Titan. These two should slug it out until the end, but I think the Jaguars are a more explosive team. Either way, some deserving teams in this group will get their heart broke and have to play an extra game.


RUNAWAY::
4. New York Giants ( LR #16)
3. Buffalo Bills ( LR #4)

”Let’s have a toast for the douche bags, let’s have a toast for the assholes, let’s have a toast for the scumbags, every one of them that I know.”

The Giants and Bills are two other teams that, like the Packers and Steelers, are running away with their divisions. If I had to pick one of these teams as a “favorite”, I’d definitely go Giants, but the Bills were ranked higher in the Q01 Power Rankings, and haven't done too much to lose that. The Giants have closed the gap with a huge 5-game winning streak, but I can’t in good conscience rank them higher than the Bills who share the same record and have a win OVER the Giants on their resume, even though I trust the Giants BACKUP QB more than I trust RG3 right now.


CHAMPION::
2. Green Bay Packers ( LR #3 )
1. Pittsburgh Steelers ( LR #1 )

”Tell me what it takes to be number one? This is the story of a champion!”

A combined (14-1), these have been the two most dominant teams in the league, hands down. On top of that, both franchises have Championship pedigree, having won Super Bowl II and Super Bowl III respectively. While Steelers GM Ricky Lung was not with the Steelers at the time, he is one of the most tenured GMs in the community, and has led some successful Saints teams here. The Packers have a time bomb with Matt Schaub that will eventually revert to his much more injury-prone self, but in the mean time they have stockpiled a huge lead in the NFC North. While these are my two picks for SBV, it’s just about a lock these two will be Champions of the North, at the very least.


Thanks for reading! This will be a QUARTERLY feature! Would love to hear your thoughts!


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