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Article:NFL Powerless Rankings: September 16th, 2008

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Ah, two weeks down – two to go. There’s been some underachieving, some overachieving, and some conference altering injuries. Never mind that the 2008 NFL Draft could shake out to be one of the best we’ve seen in a while, at least from an offensive skill position perspective. I know I said I was going to try and do a bottom five, top five type deal with this – but instead I’m just going to focus on the bottom ten teams. Think of it as a black abyss in regards to a team’s playoff hopes. The good news? It’s only Week 2. So there’s no reason to get all hysterical and panic – although the time to do that is drawing near.

Cue the weaklings!

Dishonorable mentions: Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers

23. Minnesota Vikings

It’s funny how a popular sleeper pick ALWAYS manages to underperform, year after year. The Cardinals in 2006, the 49ers in 2007, and now it’s shaping up to be the Vikings in 2008. What do all of these teams have in common? Ding-ding-ding! They all have/had questionable QBs under center!

24. Seattle Seahawks

One could say the Seahawks defied the odds the past few years in their quest for multiple back-to-back NFC West crowns. On the other hand, you could say that they were able to do this in large part to there being absolutely zero competition for them to topple en route to the top. Either way, despite the NFC West looking as weak as it ever has, the Seahawks appear to have finally succumbed to reality. Pretty much their entire WR corps has been injured in some way or another. Although they could still pull it off if they get some of them back soon, it’s not looking very good. So much for a Mike Holmgren feel good last hurrah story..

25. Houston Texans

Granted, the Texans only loss this far was to the powerhouse Steelers, but they still were a disappointment considering the hopes attached to them in the pre-season. With a bottom ten, especially one this early in the season, there’s always going to be some question marks in the rankings – and the Texans are perhaps the biggest one this time around. All they need to get out of the basement is to defeat the resurgent Titans this Sunday. Yeah, exactly.

26. Atlanta Falcons

Ah, how much difference a week makes. Despite looking mighty impressive in a Week One romping of the Lions, the Falcons appeared to fall back to earth in a Week Two loss to the Buccaneers. This wasn’t too surprising. They have a rookie QB and were playing the Lions, after all. More on that team with an epically horrible GM in a bit.

27. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders won this past week, however it was against the Chiefs who are arguably the worst team in the league. Any team with as many questions at head coach as the Raiders have will have a difficult time winning consistently. The defense looked loads better, but again, it was against the Chiefs. Only time will tell if their rushing attack can prove to keep them in some ball games. It can only do so much.

28. Cincinnati Bengals

Just when you think they have it all together, are healthy, and are primed for a potentially upbeat season, the Bengals offense (the very thing that kept them legit, by the way) shits the bed and plays like one of the worst units for the first two weeks. Are they trying to get Marvin Lewis fired or something? Or is it a coup d’état against fantasy football owners? I’m stumped.

29. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs were one of the teams none were too high on heading into the season, and one of their best players is now at odds with the coaching staff. Larry Johnson is right though, they need to give him at least 30 carries a game. What have they got to lose? (Hint: Absolutely nothing)

30. Detroit Lions

After an impressive first half in 2007, many thought the Lions had solved their losing woes and would actually finish with a winning record. The team has talent, there’s no doubt about that, but Matt Millen needs to go. Until he does, the shadow of all his poor decisions is going to loom over this team. What’s it going to take before he resigns? A riot?

31. Miami Dolphins

Many were optimistic about the Dolphins this year, with myself included. However, with the team’s refusal to pound the rock and no real option at QB with Chad Pennington’s inability to play competently, they’re just as bad as last year. Except this time around the defense doesn’t have Jason Taylor. Either Ronnie Brown bounces back and returns to pre-2007-injury form, or this team may end up struggling to win much more than their sole win total in 2007.

And the “winner” is…

32. St. Louis Rams

I don’t have anything nice to say about the Rams, so I’m not going to say anything at all. Except that I feel awfully bad for Marc Bulger. I don’t care what QB you put behind the Rams offensive line, they wouldn’t be effective wondering whether or not they had to go to the emergency room that night. End of story. The Rams need to get working on that sorry excuse for an O-line, because as of right now, it truly is offensive.

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