Also, behold the Dolphins
As always, the headline gives it away: these proprietary rankings are founded upon on overreaction, the very currency of modern sports fandom. Teams rise and fall based on what they’ve done for their fans lately. If you’re looking for serious ordination by serious people, might we suggest, practically everywhere else on the internet.
THE DEADWEIGHT EIGHT: 32-25
Their seasons are basically over, even if they’re not all mathematically eliminated just yet.
32. HOU (2-10), down 5
A picture is worth a thousand… tears?
31. JAX (2-10), up 1
Only because the Texans have decided to Jacques Cousteau their season.
30. CAR (5-7), up 1, BYE
The best thing that happened to the Panthers this week was not playing.
29. NO (5-7), no change
And this is one of his GOOD throws!
Taysom Hill throwing the football is so funny pic.twitter.com/HxRt6szR8s
— give ISM snaps at RB (@notHuberto) December 3, 2021
28. NYG (4-8), down 4
You guys think Pete Carroll loves to punt? Joe Judge loves to establish the punt. This is not a joke. (OK fine it’s a joke, but you’d believe me if I said it was real.)
“We’re executing for 60 minutes to try and win. We felt it was necessary to try and get Riley (Dixon) involved early, as we knew he was gonna be big for us this week”.
— Wesley Steinberg (@WesSteinberg) December 6, 2021
27. NYJ (3-9), down 2
New league rule: If you trade a team your first-rounder, you can petition to stage a double-or-nothing game with them in a televised overtime period the week before the Super Bowl.
26. LV (6-6), down 4
25. CHI (4-8), down 2
There’s no shame in losing to the Cardinals and being 4-8. We would know.
THE SEDATE EIGHT: 24-17
Don’t watch them every week, they’ll put you to sleep.
24. ATL (5-7), down 3
Especially the Falcons. They’re like the Bears with another win.
23. PIT (6-5-1), up 5
Calling Ben Roethlisberger a noodle-arm is disrespectful to al dente pasta everywhere.
22. DEN (6-6), down 8
21. SF (6-6), down 5
Would’ve been blown out in Seattle if Gerald Everett’s hands had fingers. Good thing Jimmy Garoppolo throws the handsomest interceptions, or fans might begin to turn on him. Like, in the column on the right. Theoretically.
20. SEA (4-8), up 10
Nobody rose more in the OPR this week, because nobody overcame more self-flagellation, self-sabotage and self-footshooting, while still prevailing, than your Seattle Seahawks. Also nobody’s offense had been playing with as much persistent putrescence.
Also nobody else scored on a fake punt. Also nobody else notched a safety.
If you’ve never seen this tweet before, it means you’re probably not on Twitter, which, congrats, don’t do it, but you gotta admit Kevin has the Seahawks figured out:
The Seahawks have literally never played in a normal game.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) November 12, 2019
Fun fact: Travis Homer’s 73-yard untouched to the house scamper was the longest gain on a fake punt in 25 years.
19. DET (1-10-1), up 7
The Lions had been flirting with victory more awkwardly than you with a swimsuit model. But they finally closed the deal, against the Vikings, on this pass as time expired:
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 6, 2021
And the OPR committee is always pleased when good things happen to Jared Goff. He’s our boy. Always has been, always will be. Good for you, Jared.
(Plus now the Lions won’t get off the schneid against the Seahawks!)
18. MIN (5-7), down 5
Their playoff odds tumbled from 45.2 percent to negative 10.1 percent with the loss to Detroit. #Math
17. TEN (8-4), no change, BYE
Honestly we don’t think they’ll win the AFC South at this point.
THE NEARLY GREAT EIGHT: 16-9
They coulda been contendahs!
16. BUF (7-5), down 10
They lost to a team that passed the ball three times all game. We don’t care what the conditions were. Seriously, this was Mac Jones’ passing “chart.”
They got beat by the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re no longer in first place in the AFC East. Josh Allen’s middle name is “Regression.” All four statements are factual.
15. CIN (7-5), down 7
Bungling their shot at glory once again.
14. LAR (8-4), up 3
Congrats on not losing for the first time in four weeks. Because you played the Jaguars.
13. PHI (6-7), up 7
Two words: Gardner Minshew. Two other words: Nick Foles. Two even otherer words: Not helping. Two last words: Our Seahawks.
12. DAL (8-4), up 6
11. LAC (7-5), up 4
You literally do not know from week to week, or quarter to quarter, or drive to drive, what you’re getting with the Chargers, except the full Seahawks experience, without all the wins historically but with all the heartache.
10. CLE (6-6), up 2, BYE
9. BAL (8-4), down 4
How can you win a playoff game if you can’t even win a two-point conversion?
This reminds the committee that Kyle Shanahan was quoted saying the 49ers would’ve gone for two if their final fourth-down pass had been successful Sunday afternoon. Sure, Kyle. We see you reading this column from your hotel room:
THE ELITE EIGHT: 8-1
(But not in an NCAA trademarked way, at all.)
8. GB (9-3), up 1, BYE
7. WFT (6-6), up 3
You can and should upgrade either, but if it’s all you have, it can be enough.
6. IND (7-6), up 1
New favorites in the AFC South.
5. KC (8-4), down 1
How about that Chiefs defense, huh?
Sept: 31.7 ppg allowed
Oct: 27.0 ppg
Nov: 11.7 ppg
Dec: 9.0 ppg
Another thing about the Chiefs is that 10 of their 12 games have been against teams who are currently .500 or better. They’re not feasting on the AFC South like some people, who will remain nameless.
4. MIA (6-7), up 7
Five straight wins, all by a touchdown or more, and they edged the Patriots in Week 1, which shouldn’t count, but there are very few rules in the OPR universe, and most of them are shit, so let’s see how far the Fish can carry this momentum, which doesn’t exist, and try to enjoy the roller-coaster ride, much like this paragraph.
3. TB (9-3), down 1
Still winning the NFC because power rankings don’t mean squat. Maybe they’ll get lucky and for a Super Bowl opponent, draw the —
2. NE (9-4), up 1
Bill Belichick, man. Good thing there’s only one of him.
1. ARI (10-2), no change
Get that No. 1 seed so you can rest your starters in Week 18. No reason.