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NFL Power Rankings through Week 16: New Year’s Edition!

Steelers QB Charlie Batch congratulates Rams DE Chris Long on another strong effort to securing the #1 pick and the title of worst team in the league. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

In honor of the ongoing holiday season and the impending arrival of 2012, I made the executive decision to continue the cheap gimmick approach to my column. Welcome to NFL Power Rankings: New Year’s Edition!

(Insert pathetic party blower noise maker toot here.)

Just one more week to go on this puzzling NFL season (a handful of dominant teams, a ton of .500 hoverers, including two division winners with less than 10 wins): a New Year’s Day extravaganza of high-stake Week 17 games. So with no more games scheduled for 2011, let’s look forward to 2012 and examine each team’s New Year’s Resolution.

Without further ado, this week’s NFL Power Rankings of who should be “out with the old” and “in with the new” through Week 16:

32 (31). St. Louis Rams (2-13)

New Year’s Resolution: Try not to catch on fire lighting too many celebratory (read: drunken) New Year’s Eve fireworks for being on the verge of stealing the first pick in the draft. Slice Sam Bradford’s Achilles’ tendon to justify drafting Andrew Luck.

31 (32). Indianapolis Colts (2-13)

NYR: Try not to self-combust thinking how they won two in a row and decided to cost themselves the first pick in the draft.

30 (29). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11)

NYR: Avoid nine-game losing streaks. Otherwise known as, fire Raheem Morris.

29 (30). Minnesota Vikings (3-12)

NYR: Sit Adrian Peterson the next time they’re playing a meaningless game when Rex Grossman could just as easily win that game for them.

28 (28). Cleveland Browns (4-11)

NYR: Follow the Miami Marlins “new city/new players/new uniforms” blueprint to a tee.

27 (27). Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11)

NYR: Hire someone to kidnap Blaine Gabbert, erase him from team record books, and never speak of him again. Also, never again draft a long-haired quarterback (for further evidence see: Painter, Curtis).

26 (24). Washington Redskins (5-10)

NYR: Don’t let John Beck or Rex Grossman assume the most important role on your football team, or really any other role that involves them donning any sort of headgear with any sort of protective purpose. Well, unless you count the hearing protection provided by a headset and the UV ray protection of a cockeyed visor.

25 (25). Chicago Bears (7-8)

NYR: Berate Caleb Hanie, berate whoever thought Hanie was an acceptable back-up quarterback, release Caleb Hanie, release whoever thought Hanie was an acceptable back-up quarterback, pay Matt Forte. In that order.

24 (26). Buffalo Bills (6-9)

NYR: Abstain from paying players ridiculous seven-figure sums based on a four-game sample.

23 (22). Kansas City Chiefs (6-9)

NYR: Make ritualistic sacrifices to the gods using the blood of fired coach Todd Haley to both stay healthy and curse Tim Tebow.

22 (23). Carolina Panthers (6-9)

NYR: Let Cam Newton get some tattoos. Okay, so maybe that’s my New Year’s Wish List, not the Panthers’ New Year’s Resolution. Sue me.

21 (19). Miami Dolphins (5-10)

NYR: Hire Bill Cowher’s jaw or Jon Gruden’s rich man’s Donald Trump toupee.

20 (18). Arizona Cardinals (7-8)

NYR: Make one less blockbuster trade for an unproven quarterback than in 2011.

19 (12). San Diego Chargers (7-8)

NYR: Hire a coach with a pulse that occasionally surpasses 60 beats per minute. Otherwise, enroll Norv Turner in an electroshock therapy program.

18 (15). Seattle Seahawks (7-8)

NYR: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but build on the momentum from 2011! I always knew Tarvaris Jackson had it in him.

17 (13). New York Jets (8-7)

NYR: Play defense, cut down on snacks, don’t sign wide receiver X with troubled history, stay away from 17-year-old girls.

16 (21). Oakland Raiders (8-7)

NYR: Surprisingly, try NOT to win a playoff game and forfeit an extra first round draft pick to the Bengals for Carson Palmer’s corpse.

15 (20). Tennessee Titans (8-7)

NYR: Embrace the future and let Jake Locker take over at quarterback, unpay Chris Johnson.

14 (17). Philadelphia Eagles (7-8)

NYR: Ban rhyming team monikers created by Vince Young, ban Vince Young from talking to the media, see if the NFL can schedule 16 games against Dallas for next season.

13 (11). Denver Broncos (8-7)

NYR: Pray harder.

12 (9). Dallas Cowboys (8-7)

NYR: Play harder. Also, don’t ice your own kicker.

11 (16). New York Giants (8-7)

NYR: Avoid massive second-half hemorrhages.

10 (14). Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

NYR: Beat the Steelers or Ravens for once, root wildly for the Raiders to win in the playoffs for that extra first round draft pick.

9 (8). Houston Texans (10-5)

NYR: Hire a witch doctor to prevent so many injuries, put up more than 20 points with T.J. Yates at quarterback, win a playoff game, avoid becoming the newest iteration of this year’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

8 (7). Atlanta Falcons (9-6)

NYR: Show up against other good teams.

7 (10). Detroit Lions (10-5)

NYR: Fewer penalties, find a running game, and above all, don’t stomp on people.

6 (6). Baltimore Ravens (11-4)

NYR: Give the ball to Ray Rice more often, alternatively known as avoid 11 for 24 performances and complete more than just 56.8% of your passes.

5 (5). New England Patriots (12-3)

NYR: Draft defensive players with actual talent. Please.

4 (4). Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4)

NYR: Force more turnovers, beat the Ravens, keep Big Ben out of bars.

3 (3). San Francisco 49ers (12-3)

NYR: Score touchdowns instead of field goals, upgrade Alex Smith, win the Harbaugh Bowl (well, Jim vs. Jon on Madden, anyway).

2 (2). New Orleans Saints (12-3)

NYR: Make every team in the NFL play in a dome, make music video of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” starring Drew Brees and his scar.

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (14-1)

NYR: Defend the Super Bowl title, successfully keep Aaron Rodgers off the cover of Madden for the second year in a row with some inane voting process, make actual championship/discount double-check belt.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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One comment for “NFL Power Rankings through Week 16: New Year’s Edition!”

  1. [...] NFL Power Rankings through Week 16: New Year's Edition! | Sports … Welcome to NFL Power Rankings: New Year's Edition! (Insert pathetic party blower noise maker toot here.) Just one more week to go on this puzzling NFL season (a handful of dominant teams, a ton of .500 hoverers, [...]

    Posted by Power Team 500 Ton | January 2, 2012, 1:08 pm

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