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Gratuitous picture of Shania Twain celebrating a touchdown.

We are now 50% of the way through the football season which means the Browns are just 25% of the way through losing twelve games.

I’m 50% of the way through my third beer which means I’m 150% drunk.

It’s time to power rank the NFL teams. As always, I am doing this without any resources other than my inebriated brain. In other words, I’m allowing myself access to just one football almanac: the faded, torn-up, inarticulate one that exists somewhere inside this dome of mine. (I am currently watching the Cowboys-Redskins game on mute, and the second half of the previous sentence may or may not be what Jerry Jones is saying to Mike Tirico and John Gruden right now on the topic of Tony Romo). As I was typing that, Tony Romo just got knocked into a coma. If Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy start facing off right now in prime time, consider this Browns fan the luckiest man in the world.

I digress.

1. DENVER BRONCOS- Snore fest. The Broncos are really, really good. The scary part is that their defense has improved leaps and bounds, meaning the only way you can beat them is if you get to play them in January or February and Brock Osweiler hasn’t taken over the starting job. Do you see what I did there? I did it because Peyton Manning is known as a choke artist in the playoffs (despite the Super Bowl ring + three Conference Championships).

2. DALLAS COWBOYS- I have to put the Cowboys here because Brandon Weeden just took (what I think is his) first snap for Dallas, handed off the ball to Demarco Murray and watched him scamper sixty yards downfield. Here is a foolproof blueprint for winning: hand the ball off to Demarco Murray 600 times in a season and employ Brandon Weeden as the backup quarterback to a thirty-five year old quarterback that has exactly zero body parts that work outside of his jockstrap. That’s how you win Super Bowls, folks. No, the Cowboys are being exposed tonight by Colt McCoy and the Redskins which means this sentence should have ended after the word “tonight.” But seriously, I cannot think of a fan base that more so deserves to watch the Brandon Weeden Show every Sunday. Here’s to Tony Romo retiring tonight.

3. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Gimme a break, this teams sucks. Haven’t they done this in the past? There is no possible way this team wins the NFC West… no possible way… right?! All I know is that Phoenix fans deserve exactly nothing, and they particularly do not deserve to watch their own team play a Super Bowl in their own stadium (a storyline that is already tired).

4. DETROIT LIONS-  Have you seen this year’s Thanksgiving schedule? It is, without question, 200% more appetizing than any rations you could put in front of me for Thanksgiving. Lions vs. Bears. Cowboys vs. Eagles. 49ers vs. Seahawks. And don’t give me that “But the Bears aren’t even good!” shtick because we both know you are going to watch every minute of Jay Cutler slinging wounded ducks into the Lions secondary while Ndamukong Suh knocks him unconscious and steps on his balls on literally every play. Oh, AND the Lions were my Super Bowl pick on last week’s podcast because I listen to too much NPR and read the New York Times too often.

5. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- I once attended a 49ers game. I believe it was week five of the 2011 season, and I had just relocated to the bay area. They were playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle of 3-1 teams. It had been a minute since the 49ers were good at football, but Jim Harbaugh had, himself, just relocated, and he was changing that before our very eyes. Anyway, I found some tickets for $20 a pop in the ninth row behind the end zone (seriously, though, 49ers fans were not sold on this potential fool’s gold). The Bucs — led by Josh Freeman at the time — kicked a field goal on their first drive. After that, the Niners scored something like 48 unanswered points.  My friend, Jesse, and I were standing and clapping for one of their many touchdowns when several “Niners fans” behind us started yelling at us to sit down. They were telling us to sit down at an NFL football game. The players were celebrating, running back toward the sidelines, and they wanted us to sit down. Why do I have this team rated so high? Because I thought of that story and wanted to write it down before I forgot.

6. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- I own Jeremy Maclin in my fantasy league and good jesus is that guy a horse. He dove through Gatorade jugs, got knocked unconscious (don’t care what the medical staff claimed, he did), was bleeding from his ear, and proceeded to put up about 200 yards of receiving with two touchdowns because Jeremy Maclin don’t do no drills.

7. BALTIMORE RAVENS- Contrary to what I said on my podcast last week about the Colts, this team is going to win the Super Bowl because they used to be the Browns and that’s how that goes. I have no idea what it’s like to watch your ex get happily married and famous, but I assume it’s a lot like a Browns fan watching the Ravens win Super Bowls. Second-most intriguing “if-their-first-string-QB-goes-down” second-string quarterback is absolutely Tyrod Taylor. I’m not sure what makes me say this other than wanting to inform you that I’m aware that the second-string quarterback for the Ravens is Tyrod Taylor.

8. GREEN BAY PACKERS- Aaron Rodgers bothers me. It’s for one reason, and one reason only. I thought he had a really nice opportunity to throw his hat in the ring of “professional athletes that are not stupid bigots,” but instead chose to make it as clear as he possibly could that he “really, really likes women,” and is not gay like everybody kept saying he was. Why couldn’t he have used that moment in time to say, “Hey, who gives a fuck?” Instead of, “Hey, man. I really, really like women and I like to have sex with women in all different kinds of positions and I don’t hate gay people as long as they don’t come around me.” I don’t know, maybe I’m being harsh here, I just thought he was way cooler than he proved to be.

9. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS- Last week I said this team was going to win the Super Bowl. This week I say the Ravens will. Next week? The Montreal Alouttes. No, but I actually think the Colts are really good, and, somehow, I’m going to try and construct an argument that yesterday’s dismantling at the hands of the Steelers actually further proves that: the Colts defense — after looking impressive through the first seven weeks — could not have played worse on Sunday afternoon. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards against the Colts defense (which is about how far Big Ben needs to stay away from most females). And yet! Andrew Luck led them to within one score (42-34, I think?) in the fourth quarter. That is an offense that I would not like to face come playoff time. And if their defense can play like they had been prior to yesterday? Watch out world.

10. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- I can’t move this team any lower than this. I just can’t. I genuinely think they will be just fine, though they likely will not win the NFC West (for those scoring at home, that’s two NFC West teams not named the “St. Louis Rams” that I picked to NOT win the NFC West, so 49ers it is, I guess).

11. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Oh, how weird: the Chargers jumped out to a great start and are now reeling? It must suck to be in the AFC West and know that your best-case-scenario is taking a wild card berth. My uncle cheers for the San Diego Chargers and likes to play the “we suck” card, which would be totally fair if he weren’t talking to a Browns fan. I mean, for fuck sake, the Chargers have been to the Super Bowl and I kind of remember when they were 14-2 that one time.

12. CINCINNATI BENGALS- It’s really difficult to tell what you are going to get from this team on a week-to-week basis. One thing is for sure: you are going to get a volatile Andy Dalton and he’s probably going to have red hair. I have no faith in this team and here is a fun NFL fact for those who are reading this still, for some reason: no team has ever tied a football game and gone on to win the Super Bowl (may or may not be true, but we all know it’s probably true).

13. NEW YORK JETS- joking. Not that drunk yet.

14. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- WOULD YOU RATHER: win a Super Bowl with Alex Smith as your quarterback or not win a Super Bowl? I BET YOU RE-READ THAT SENTENCE AND THEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT. It was pointed out to me that “Kniles Davis” is even more fun of a name than “Miles Davis.” So that counts for something, right?

15. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Is this team better than their record or are we all suckers for the way they play against teams in the dome? I’m going for the dome (that’s what he said).

16. MIAMI DOLPHINS- I feel like I’m massively underrating these dudes, but I’m far too lazy to go back and edit this list. Editing this list involves changing the numbers in front of the team names and everything: i.e., not doable.

17. BUFFALO BILLS- Their running back situation is like the fourth season of Friday Night Lights prior to Luke Cafferty being forced to enroll at East Dillon. Seriously, what was the plan for them at running back? Am I forgetting a character, or were they really that fucked until Luke showed up? Also, my earliest football memory: my dad took my brother and I to go watch a football game at a local bar named “The Colatina Exit,” named for the progressions you execute prior to returning to your car (Cola, Tina, Exit). The Bills were playing the Cowboys in the Super Bowl and I announced to my father that I was cheering for the Bills. He laughed, threw his head back and said, “Please don’t, they lose every time. It’s a tradition of sorts.” Five years later, I decided to become a Browns fan.

18. CAROLINA PANTHERS- I remember when the Panthers and Jaguars were expansion teams in 1993 and I was in the first grade. Two of my friends and I insisted on routinely going pee together at the three urinals down the hall from our classroom. We each designated one of the three urinals “ours” — I think mine was on the far right. We then proceeded to name our urinals. Mine was named Jaguar. Dylan’s? Panther. Danny’s? Fox. I used to have no explanation for how Fox connected into all of this, but we were obviously brainwashed young’uns that loved to watch football on FOX.

19. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- WWHOOOOOPPPSSSS. I forgot the Patriots. Honest to god. I’m also not sorry about it, nor am I editing these rankings. Let’s just pretend the Patriots aren’t good, as we were when they got blown out by the Chiefs during week 3 (or something).


21. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Existing counts for something in the NFL.

22. NEW YORK GIANTS- Have you noticed that I’m now just listing the NFL teams as they come to my head? I’m tired. I’m drunk. This is taking too long.

23. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Please don’t make me rant. The Oakland Raiders looked so bad yesterday that I find it truly remarkable the Browns only beat them by 10 at home. Incredible. The Browns are so bad. The rest of their schedule is a bunch of teams that are going to make the playoffs or just barely miss out. The Browns will not just barely miss out, as they will inevitably finish 5-11 (though I do think 7-9 is a remote and potentially miraculous outcome). Losing Alex Mack was the third-worst thing that could have happened to this team (first worst: losing Joe Thomas, second worst: going 3-2 prior to playing Jacksonville on the road and everybody talking them up like they were going to win the goddamned super bowl).

24. HOUSTON TEXANS- During the Lions-Falcons early game in London, JJ Watt was shown shaking the hands of US Army soldiers. Do you think they were thanking him for his service to our country?

25. ATLANTA FALCONS- LOL. Has Mike Smith been fired yet?

26. CHICAGO BEARS- A delicious barrelfire of completely watchable football. I love watching this team play. I am not joking. Matt Forte! Brandon Marshall (crying)! Martellus Bennett! Alshon Jeffrey! SMOKIN’ JAY CUTLER! It’s like a fantasy football oil tanker that fell over and started leaking its contents onto your roster and you thought to yourself, “You know what? Oil aint that bad, as it tastes a lot like money.”

27. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Teddy Bridge(toTerabithia)Water seems like a legit Dual Threat, which seems like a good time to state that we started a podcast named after him (and his dualthreatedness).

28. WASHINGTON REDSKINS- Colt “Dragonmaster” McCoy is a winner. I was wrong when I said he wasn’t. He just beat the Cowboys. But actually — do you think Dan Snyder Jay Gruden is now forced to start the Dragonmaster next week even if RGIII is healthy?! The drama surrounding the Washington Football team is too much fun.

29. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- This team could disappear and nobody would care/notice.

30. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- This team could disappear and nobody would care/notice. (Note: Denard Robinson, LOL).

31. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Everybody keeps saying 0-16 isn’t out of the question — seriously, look at their remaining schedule if you haven’t; they are fucked — but what they don’t bring up is that 0-16 is never out of the question for the Oakland Raiders.

32. TENNESSEE TITANS- This is, hands down, the worst franchise in the NFL. Their name sucks, their uniforms suck, their fans suck — the only interesting thing with them week-to-week is to see which QB they run out.

33. NEW YORK JETS- How did I end up with 33 teams?