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January 6, 2010 6:00 AM

Owning up to some rank predictions

booze pic YES! copy.jpgBecause it's clear so many NFL teams have no pride (we're looking at you, Giants) we figure there's no harm in revealing how out of order our preseason rankings were in the Grill Room.
Hey, at least we're still here from behind the cover of the bar dishing it out, pal... 

Our preseason No. 1 team, Pittsburgh, blew it when it decided to take the entire month of November off, while our No. 3 team, those Giant impostors, decided to see what they could do without playing a lick of defense all year. Thanks for nothing, guys. Now grab a mop and clean up your mess.

The Eagles were close to being everything we thought they'd be, and might get there yet, though Donovan McNabb is doing that odd thing with his mouth where he verbally tears down what his right arm had a big part in building up. 

San Diego is the league's big-shot. That one is no real surprise, though the fact that Norv Turner is looking a lot like one of the NFL's better coaches is. Sorry, Norv, but that would be an indicator of just how poor the coaching has become across the league. There's a reason the 23 ex-Patriots assistant coaches currently heading up NFL franchises were, um...assistants.



For most of the year, New Orleans and all their open receivers were the season's headliners. We certainly didn't see that one coming. Lucky for them the season is capped at 16 games, though, or they might have played their way right into the No. 13 spot we had them tabbed for at the beginning.

You'll see we nailed San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Oakland right on the button, while Detroit screwed us just barely when it overachieved by one game. Say one thing for us, we know crap when we see it. Not sure how we missed Cutler's stink in Chicago, though.

And, hey, give Dallas some credit will ya? We're not about to.

Prost!

THE STRONG STUFF
  • 1 (5) San Diego (95 proof, 13-3)  Let's see how these rabble-rousers handle the view from the penthouse. 
  • 2 (6) Indianapolis (93 proof, 14-2) There is so much poetic justice that San Diego took over the No. 1 slot from these quitters Maya Angelou is working up something fitting.
  • 3 (13) New Orleans (92 proof, 13-3) Forget all this no-team-has-ever-won-a-Super-Bowl-after-losing-its-last-three-games crapola. Anything is possible in this watered-down league these days. 
  • 4 (8) Minnesota (91 proof, 12-4) Don't be too fooled about how fat they got whipping up on those blue goons from N.Y. Sunday. But getting first-week bye was huge.
  • 5 (9) Dallas (88 proof, 11-5) Well, now you've done it, Dallas. You've clawed your way toward the top. Good luck forgetting how dizzy these heights usually make you feel.
  • 6 (16) Green Bay (87 proof, 11-5) Wouldn't want to play these dudes right now, would you Cardinals?
WORTH A SHOT
  • 7 (2) Philadelphia (85 proof, 11-5) So McNabb is throwing his young receivers under the bus after debacle in Dallas Sunday. It's amazing how such a likable guy is so unlikeable sometimes.
  • 8 (4) New England (84 proof, 10-6) Patriots' otherwise good chances to make a lot of noise in the playoffs went down quietly with Wes Welker.
  • 9 (10) Arizona (82 proof, 10-6) So, you let this week's playoff opponent have their way with your players in your house last Sunday, but this week you plan to stand up and do something about it? Good luck with that.
  • 10 (17) Cincinnati (83 proof, 10-6) That'll be the same team that roughed you up in the Meadowlands visiting you this Sunday, Bengals. Better hope, you aren't the same team. 
  • 11 (18) Baltimore (78 proof, 9-7) Well they made it, stupidity and all. This crew is all brawn and no brains.
WATERED DOWN
  • 12 (1) Pittsburgh (77 proof, 9-7) We may never know what in the hell happened to this team in November, but because of it we know where they'll be in January.
  • 13 (15) Carolina (76 proof, 8-8) Nobody in the NFC would want to play this squad right now. Lucky for them, they don't have to.
  • 14 (7) Tennessee (73 proof, 8-8) What could have been if they had gotten out of bed on time for the first two months of the season.
  • 15 (11) Atlanta (71 proof, 9-7) They did it! They did it! Back-to-back winning seasons! It's just plain sad what some sorry franchises get excited about sometimes.
  • 16 (23) N.Y. Jets (70 proof, 9-7) Has there ever been a luckier team than this one? Shut up, Rex, let somebody else take a crack at that one.
  • 17 (12) Houston (65 proof, 9-7) Should schedule a game with the Falcons and call it the "Pat on the Back Bowl."
CHEAP STUFF
  • 18 (21) Miami (58 proof, 7-9) Will be dangerous next year if they can find a legitimate NFL receiver.
  • 19 (28) Denver (55 proof, 8-8) Say what you want, but at 8-8 this team overachieved this year.
  • 20 (20) San Francisco (54 proof, 8-8) Finished just where we thought they would. Our man, Mike...
  • 21 (3) N.Y. Giants (52 proof, 8-8) When Giants' defensive players were told they had to return their equipment and face their 137-pound owner Monday, they asked if they could perform their favorite rollover trick.
  • 22 (25) Jacksonville (50 proof, 7-9) We like Jack in the Grill Room, but how many more chances does he get?!
  • 23 (14) Chicago (49 proof, 7-9) When the draft rolls around, Bears fans will be reminded yet again what a disaster this year was. Cruel world, it is.

ROT GUT

  • 24 (30) Cleveland (45 proof, 5-11) Mangini is such a pain in the butt, that even when his team wins four in a row he makes it difficult on management.
  • 25 (19) Washington (43 proof, 4-12) Dan Snyder made Jim Zorn watch as he hired Mike Shanahan and his whole family Tuesday.
  • 26 (26) Oakland (41 proof, 5-11) Raiders Nation anxiously watching to see if their Cable deal is renewed.
  • 27 (24) Buffalo (38 proof, 6-10) Cleaned house on Monday, but Cowher is showing buyer's remorse.
  • 28 (31) Kansas City (36 proof, 4-12) K.C. Star columnist Jason Whitlock took an ad out in his paper thanking Chiefs management for bringing his whipping boy, Haley, back for another year.
  • 29 (29) Tampa Bay (35 proof, 3-13) Looking to load up on low draft choices for another year, Bucs decide to bring back this Raheem Morris dude.
  • 30 (22) Seattle (29 proof, 5-11) Speaking of low draft choices and interesting coaching hires.
  • 31 (32) Detroit (20 proof, 2-14) Team started long, slow trip back to mediocrity with two-victory season.
  • 32 (27) St. Louis (9 proof, 1-15) Overachieved with one win this year.
(*) denotes 2009 preseason rankin

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