After clearing the joint last night, our bartenders knocked back the good hooch and set about putting together our inaugural NFL 100-PROOF RANKINGS.
Why bartenders, you ask? Because in all of your life, and all the people you've ever known, have any of them, even once, made more sense than a bartender?
THE STRONG STUFF
- 1) Pittsburgh (100 proof) The Grill Room subscribes to the thinking that the champ is the champ until proven otherwise. Plus, Pittsburgh runs the best organization in football.
- 2) Philadelphia (94 proof) This is a nasty team, and the controversial Vick signing signals that they are all-in this year for a title. Better be, because the window's closing fast.
- 3) N.Y. Giants (93 proof) Who does Eli Manning throw to? Otherwise, the best combined O- and D-lines in football keep the Giants in the hunt for the promised land.
- 4) New England (91 proof) Were No. 2 until dumping Seymour. Know Belichick's a genius and all, but hard to see how giving up your best defensive player makes any sense.
- 5) San Diego (90 proof) Despite coach Norv Turner, but because the Chargers are loaded on both sides of the ball. Need to stay away from Tequila, though.
- 6) Indianapolis (83 proof) Big falloff between No. 5 and 6, but Manning's still around, and the schedule is reasonable. Even catch their nemesis Patsies at home this year.
- 7) Tennessee (82 proof) Because Jeff Fisher is the GR's favorite coach. The dude gets every bit of talent out of his hard-nosed squad year in and year out. How long can Collins keep chucking it, though?
- 8) Minnesota (80 proof) We're buying this team's chances. All Favre has to do is make a couple of big plays each game and hand the ball to his magnificent RBs. The defense is mean.
- 9) Dallas (77 proof) You either like the Cowboys or you hate them. We hate them in the GR. Maybe in a year when nobody is licking their boots, the 'boys can step up and actually do something?
- 10) Arizona (74 proof) Because the GR subscribes to the thinking that the Super Bowl loser has to be in the Top 10 until proven otherwise. How long can Warner go on?
- 11) Atlanta (72 proof) Another squad we're buying. The Gonzalez pickup made too much sense. Coach Smith also seems to be the real deal.
- 12) Houston (69 proof) If the season ended now, they'd be in the playoffs with this ranking. Schaub must somehow stay healthy, though.
- 13) New Orleans (68 proof) This team reminds us a lot of the Chargers in the 80s. All O and no D. But, dang, they got plenty of O, and the best QB in the conference.
- 14) Chicago (66 proof) The bouncers at the GR would run Cutler and his big mouth in a minute. Let's see what happens if he struggles early and has some real press to deal with.
- 15) Carolina (64 proof) Not sure why we are showing so little love for this squad. Call it bartender's instinct. Delhomme just seems finished to us.
- 16) Green Bay (62 proof) Suddenly every one's designer pick. If defensive wizard Dom Capers can work his magic with this defense, we'll get on board with the hype. Until and if...
- 17) Cincinnati (59 proof) Yeah, a bit of surprise but if QB Palmer's back and healthy, and if the 12th-ranked defense from a year ago keeps stepping up, this team could surprise. Shut up, Chad.
- 18) Baltimore (58 proof) LB Scott, gone. WR Mason, gone. D-Coach Ryan, gone. Playoff chances, gone.
- 19) Washington (56 proof) Too bad they play in the toughest division in football. Too bad Dan Snyder's their owner.
- 20) San Francisco (54 proof) We like Mike in the GR. Coach Singletary will have this squad playing hard...or else.
- 21) Miami
- 22) Seattle
- 23) N.Y. Jets
- 24) Buffalo
- 25) Jacksonville
- 26) Oakland
- 27) St. Louis
- 28) Denver
- 29) Tampa Bay
- 30) Cleveland
- 31) Kansas City
- 32) Detroit