DISCLAIMER: This gets pretty raunchy and completely inappropriate in parts and will definitely be offensive to some people. You’ve been warned, so don’t tell me I crossed any lines. I saw those lines, looked at them, and stepped right on over.
We're about half way through the NFL season, and I think we have a pretty good idea of what teams can win the Super Bowl and what teams can't. That's what this post will be all about: separating the 32 NFL teams into divisions based on their chances of winning the Super Bowl.
In honor of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries recent divorce, I'll name my divisions after the Kardashian family, but including Kris who, of course, is no longer a part of it. Hopefully it ends up sounding more funny than stupid, but who knows. I'll give it a whirl anyway. Oh yeah, and I left out Rob.
The Kendall and Kylie Kardashian Division
These teams are definitely showing potential, but they’re just not ready yet. We don’t feel comfortable picking them to be the best, because they’re just too inexperienced. They’re still young, and it’s a little weird that we’re even talking about them being good in the first place. We’ll just have to wait a few more years until it’s politically correct for us to say they can be winners.
The Detroit Lions
Youngest hottie: Calvin Johnson
The Lions got off to a hot start, and then lost 2 in a row before beating up on poor Tim Tebow. Matthew Stafford is finally staying healthy(ish) and Calvin Johnson might be the best player in the entire league. The defense is even starting to play better. Unfortunately, I need to see them play against some of the top teams in the NFL (Thanksgiving Day against Green Bay would be a good start) before I can start calling them Super Bowl contenders. Let’s not forget, they were the only team in NFL history to go 0-16 just three years ago.
The Cincinnati Bengals
Youngest hotties: AJ Green and Andy Dalton
Just when you think Marvin Lewis has to go (again), the Bengals start to play decent football. Dalton looks like an NFL QB, and Green is carrying my fantasy team and the Bengals offense. The defense is playing out of its mind right now as well, but I don’t see them holding up like that for the entire season. This team is just too young to be contenders quite yet, but don’t be surprised if they continue to make some noise. After all, that’s what this whole category is about, isn’t it?
The Khloe Kardashian Division
These teams, like Khloe, have been the ugliest teams in the NFL family this season. These are the teams that have no shot at winning the Super Bowl, and no one really seems to like them for any reason. They do seem, however, to have one decent part clinging on to their otherwise pretty worthless football lives (the Lamar Odom of the team).
The Indianapolis Colts
The Lamar of the team: Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis
Curtis Painter is a third string NFL QB, not a backup and definitely not a starter. They have no offensive line other than Jeff Saturday, and they have no running game. It will be interesting to see what this team does if they get the #1 overall pick in April's draft, because Andrew Luck will be waiting for them and they're definitely the first team that comes to mind that has no shot at winning a Super Bowl.
The Miami Dolphins
The Lamar of the team: WR Brandon Marshall
Another team who’s bottom-dwelling status gives them a shot at Andrew Luck in April, which is about all they have to look forward to. But look at it this way, Dolphins fans: Who would have thought the Bills would be tied with the Patriots for the division lead almost halfway through the season? The Bills have sucked just as bad as you have for quite a while, and they seem to have turned it around, so there’s always hope. Just not this year.
The St. Louis Rams
The Lamar of the team: RB Steven Jackson
Good win over New Orleans last week. That gives you 1 on the season. Steven Jackson will always run hard, he’s the consummate pro. Now if these guys only had more of them. See you next year, Rams.
On second thought, maybe the year after.
The Denver Broncos
The Lamar of the team: OLB Von Miller
I’m still on the Tim Tebow bandwagon, but I may be hopping off soon to start my own. The “Tim Tebow, just at another position” bandwagon. He looks pretty crappy as an NFL QB, but I’d still love to have him on my team. This is another squad that will be drafting high in April, and presumably it will be a QB other than Luck. He’ll probably be gone because the Broncos f’d up and won 2 games already. If it were me, I’d go with Matt Barkley from USC.
The Seattle Seahawks
The Lamar of the team: I had to search pretty long to find this one – P Jon Ryan (He’s 9th in the league in punting average and tied for 4th in punts inside the 20)
See above, and that will tell you what kind of season this team is having. When your punter is your team’s bright spot, you’re in some trouble. I have absolutely no idea how this team has won 2 games this year. I will admit, however, that Tarvaris Jackson is having a fairly decent season amidst his injuries. I thought he’d be much worse. Regardless, the rebuilding continues for Pete Carroll.
The Kris Humphries Division
These teams, like Kris, have had their moment in the spotlight and may have earned a few bucks while doing it. However, like Kris, their fifteen minutes of fame is now over, and they’ll only be mentioned in the next few years as a joke when people gossip about the NFL (Kardashian) family. There may be something to look forward to in the future though, like Kris having a real job again if the NBA lockout ever ends.
The Cleveland Browns
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: QB Colt McCoy
The Browns are a below average NFL team, and Kris is a below average NBA player. However, they’re not nearly as bad as the Khloe teams; they at least have more than 2 wins this year and play competitively. Things seem to be looking up in Cleveland (poor Cleveland fans, the Browns being 3-4 equates to “things looking up” for them) but they’re still not going anywhere this year.
The Minnesota Vikings
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: RB Adrian Peterson
I’d also like to add that Christian Ponder could be an “NBA Lockout is over!” moment for the Vikings, but he’s only started 2 games so I’m withholding judgment.
The Vikings are the bottom of the barrel in the NFC North. They’ve blown more leads in a half a season than Kim’s blown rappers/athletes. Their defense isn’t as good as it was supposed to be, and Donovan McNabb was clearly not the answer. Maybe Christian Ponder will be, but not this year.
The Jacksonville Jaguars
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: RB Maurice Jones-Drew
The Jags have had a surprisingly decent defense this season, currently in the top 10 in the league in points and yards allowed per game. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t looked too terrible in his first year, but that’s about the best you can say for him. Head Coach Jack Del Rio is probably on his way out after this season (although who knows, we’ve been saying that for like 3 straight years now). Even the Jags “NBA Lockout is over!” moment hasn’t produced like he usually does. See you early in the first round again, guys.
The Washington Redskins
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: OLB Brian Orakpo
The positive thing for the ‘Skins is that Mike Shannahan seems to finally be getting something together for this team. However, the QB duo of Rex Grossman and John Beck is getting them right back to the top half of the draft again. They don’t have any QBs to throw to the WRs they don’t have, and they don’t have any above average RBs to hand the ball off to either. These guys aren’t sniffing anywhere near the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: QB Cam Newton
Cam Newton is putting up pretty monster numbers considering he’s in his first year with no offseason preceding it, and that’s helped wide out Steve Smith to a resurgence in his 11th season. However, there’s no running game to speak of which was supposed to be this team’s strong suit, and their best player on defense, MLB Jon Beason, is out for the season. Cam should be getting some pretty decent help next year with his team drafting so high.
The Arizona Cardinals
Their “NBA Lockout is over!” moment: RB Beanie Wells
Kevin Kolb hasn’t been what this team expected when they traded for him from Philly for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick this offseason, and then proceeded to sign him to a 5 year deal worth $63 million, $20 million guaranteed. He hasn’t performed terribly, but he hasn’t lived up to that deal, either. On the other hand, they still have Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells is finally living up to his 1st round draft pick status. At 1-6, however, they’ll be scouting for a top 10 pick in the draft this offseason.
The Kim Kardashian Division
These teams are over-hyped, over-rated, and over-televised, just like the Kardashian family’s most “famous” member. These teams haven’t really done much this season, but people keep talking about them and forcing them down our throats anyway. Some people, me included, aren’t real sure why people like these teams so much, because while they may have some good-looking talent at first glance, they don’t seem to have much of anything else.
The New York Jets
Their Kim-like quality: Rex Ryan’s mouth and Mark Sanchez’s photo-shoots
The Jets are a defensive-minded, smash mouth football team. Problem is, their defense isn’t all that great, and they can’t run the ball all that well. Mark Sanchez can’t carry the offense by himself yet, and I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to. Rex’s Super Bowl guarantees will continue to sound moronic because they haven’t come true yet, and they won’t again this year.
The Dallas Cowboys
Their Kim-like quality: Rob Ryan’s mouth and Tony Romo’s “celebrity status” even though he hasn’t done anything yet … hmm, sounds familiar …
Leave it to all the media members to continually bang the drum that is the Dallas Cowboys. I have no idea why people love to talk about them so much. Newsflash guys: This team isn’t winning anything, and they probably won’t even make the playoffs. Their QB is overrated, they just finally figured out that the best RB on the roster is DeMarco Murray 7 weeks into the season, and their defense has 2 good players. Jerry Jones is going to be disappointed, again.
The Houston Texans
Their Kim-like quality: For everyone to keep expecting more of them than they can actually manage. And their “loose defense”
Every year, the “experts” are saying this team will finally win the division and contend. Okay, they might win the division, but only by default if it happens. Peyton Manning’s team wins every season, and since he’s out for the season, his team’s not any good. The offense is still potent, but I have yet to see Matt Schaub win an important game. Their best player on defense is also out for the year in Mario Williams. Until then, everyone can lay off because they’re not Super Bowl contenders.
The Philadelphia Eagles
Their Kim-like quality: Overrated. And their “loose defense” as well
The Dream Team. Oops. At least things are looking up for them and they might manage to put some things together down the stretch, but let’s not get carried away after the last few games. Yes, they’re playing better, but they’ve dug themselves quite a hole. And I don’t think they’re beating Green Bay or New Orleans or San Francisco in the playoffs. I thought their defense was supposed to be tight in the back end? (Couldn’t help myself there)
The Kourtney Kardashian Division
The teams in this division are vastly underrated and don’t seem to get enough pub, and definitely not as much as the other teams in this NFL family. I’m not real sure why, because they’re at least as good looking as the Kim Division and better looking than the Khloe Division. They’re also much smarter than and not as insane as their sister divisions. They seem to be the forgotten teams, even though they probably bring as much, if not more, to the table. However, like Kourtney gets dragged down by her moron husband Scott, there’s something about these teams that won’t allow them to reach their full potential.
The Buffalo Bills
Their Scott: Defense
One of the better stories in the NFL this year, and I’m drinking their Kool-Aid. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a legit QB, and Fred Jackson is one of the best RBs in the league. They even have weapons, albeit young ones, for Fitzpatrick to throw to. Their defense isn’t Super Bowl caliber though, and it will let them down at some point.
The New York Giants
Their Scott: Eli Manning’s inconsistency
We learned last year from the Packers what a team can do even after getting decimated by injuries, and the Giants are proof of that this year. They keep finding ways to win, even with seemingly half their team on IR. Eli will have a bad game at a bad time at some point, and it will keep this team from getting to the Super Bowl.
The Chicago Bears
Their Scott: Jay Cutler
The Bears are quietly putting things together on Matt Forte’s back. Jay Cutler has been playing better and not getting sacked as much, two things that probably go hand in hand. Their defense is still pretty decent, but like Eli, Cutler will throw the wrong pass at the wrong time to prevent this team from winning a championship.
The Kris Jenner Division
These teams are up and down week to week, frustratingly inconsistent. One week they might look like the best team in the league, and the next they show up and have no clue what’s going on. One week they’re geniuses, and the next week they’re insane…ly bad. Like Kris, they tried a face-lift for their team, but it’s just not helping.
The Baltimore Ravens
Their face-lift: Stocking their wide receiver position and trying to get younger.
I hate to put the Ravens in this category, but it has to be done. I thought they might be a Super Bowl contender, but they’re not. Joe Flacco hasn’t taken that final step yet, and they continue to put the ball in his hands way too much instead of handing it to Ray Rice. They’ll be competitive and probably make the playoffs, but they’re not a team that can win the Super Bowl. A Championship team doesn’t lay the egg that they did against Jacksonville.
The Tennessee Titans
Their face-lift: A new coaching staff and a new QB
They’ve looked better than people thought they would this year, but the same things that have got them looking good will end up being their downfall. You can’t get a whole new coaching staff while bringing in a new quarterback and expect to win a Super Bowl, it just doesn’t happen that way.
The San Diego Chargers
Their face-lift: Trying to replace Darren Sproles
Philip Rivers is having an awful year by his standards. I still maintain that Norv Turner can’t get the job done as a Head Coach, so that should be their face-lift area next year. Ryan Matthews hasn’t been what they thought he’d be, so you can’t crown their ass this year.
The Oakland Raiders
Their face-lift: Trading for Carson Palmer
They gave up way too much for an aging, slightly above average quarterback that isn’t getting them to the Super Bowl. Run DMC is showing that he’s one of the top backs in the league, but it’s just not enough. Keep building through the draft and they might end up alright eventually, but not this season.
The Kansas City Chiefs
Their face-lift: Not trying to mess with success
The team is playing better now, winning 4 in a row, but they lost their best offensive weapon in week 2 and lost their first 3 games of the year. They looked absolutely horrible to begin the season. Losing 3 and then winning 4 is the definition of being up and down, which is why they’re here and not going anywhere this year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Their face-lift: Drafting defensive line help
It’s too early to judge whether that was a good idea or not, but again, this team is just too inconsistent to be serious contenders, and the D-line isn’t the problem. Josh Freeman is regressing after having a break-out year last year, and they’ve had some key guys banged up as well. Not this year, Bucs fans.
The Atlanta Falcons
Their face-lift: Roddy White
This Dirty Bird’s defense hasn’t played up to par this season, nor has Matty Ice. They’re too busy trying to play with all their toys on the outside, and forgetting what got them to 13-3 last year. Michael Turner and the play-action passing game. The NFC is too competitive and the road to the Super Bowl would be too tough for these guys to go through on the road after the hole they’ve dug so far this year.
The Bruce Jenner Division
These teams have actually accomplished something so far this season, and may be able to call themselves Champions, like Bruce. It’s not their fault that they’re being brought down by the rest of their NFL family. Unlike the rest of the teams, these teams have an actual, legitimate reason for people to talk about them and for them to be on national TV. People can watch these teams without wondering why they’re watching them in the first place.
The New England Patriots
Gold Medal: Tom Brady
I’ll never count this team out as long as they have the Brady/Belichick Combo. Their defense is woeful, but they always seem to end up coming together toward the end of the year. Brady still has his 4th quarter magic and weapons to throw to, so they’re still Super Bowl contenders in my eyes.
The Green Bay Packers
Gold Medal: Offense
Aaron Rodgers might be the best player in the NFL right now, and is certainly playing like the best quarterback. He has so many weapons to throw to, and the defense is allowing a ton of yards but not a ton of points. They’ve won 13 straight games including the playoffs, and they’re playing just as well as they ever have during that streak. Until someone knocks them off, they’re the best team in the league.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
Gold Medal: Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is one of the best QBs in the league, but doesn’t get recognized that way by most people. Other than Rodgers, I don’t know another guy that could buy enough time to throw with the offensive line they have. They do, however, have some young, speedy receivers to go along with the savvy vet Hines Ward, and an excellent tight end in Heath Miller. The defense is starting to pick back up, and this team always plays well in December and January. They’re definitely a contender.
The New Orleans Saints
Gold Medal: Offense
You could say a lot of the same things about the Saints that I said about the Packers. Great QB, tons of weapons, decent enough defense. I know they just lost to the Rams last week, but every team throws up at least one egg during the year, and that was theirs. Now that they got that out of the way, I see a determined team finishing out the second half of the year and rolling into the postseason.
The San Francisco 49ers
Gold Medal: Defense
Yes, you read that right. I believe the San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl contenders. Before you close out of this, stick with me for a minute. If they don’t give up a 4th quarter lead and lose in overtime to the Cowboys in week 2, they’re 7-0 right now. We would be talking about them and the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers as the two undefeated teams in the entire NFL.
If you need further proof, look at these stats:
6th in points per game
1st in points allowed per game
6th in rush yards per game
1st in total points allowed
10th in yards per game allowed
5th in third down percentage against
If that’s not enough for you, and you’re saying, “Wait, Alex Smith is still their quarterback, isn’t he?” Yes, yes he is. How about these stats?
Smith is tied for 8th with Ben Roethlisberger in QB rating at 95.7
Smith is tied for 8th with Mike Vick in completion percentage at 63.2
Smith is tied for 1st with McNabb and Bradford (neither of which are currently even playing) for the least interceptions in the league with 2 (By the way, Smith has 3 times as many TDs as the other QB still with a starting job, Bradford).
To sum up, the team is in the top 10 in points per game, points allowed per game, rushing yards per game, total points allowed, yards per game allowed, and third down percentage against. Alex Smith is in the top 10 in rating, completion percentage, and interceptions.
What does this prove? This team is winning with defense and the running game, and Alex Smith is playing the best football of his career and managing the game. What team does this look like to me? The 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who coincidentally won the Super Bowl that year with defense and the running game. Who was their QB? Trent Dilfer. In that season, Dilfer completed 59.3% of his passes (less than Smith), threw for just over 1500 total yards, and finished with 12 TDs and 11 INTs for a 76.6 rating in 11 games. This year, Smith is on pace for about 2500 yards, over 18 TDs and 5 INTs. The Ravens D finished the season 1st overall in points per game, and the 49ers are currently 1st overall in points per game. The Ravens finished 5th overall in rushing yards per game, the 49ers are currently 6th. Eerily similar, huh? Yes, it is perfectly possible that the 2011 San Francisco 49ers could end up being the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.