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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:
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.
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.
NYR: Avoid nine-game losing streaks. Otherwise known as, fire Raheem Morris.
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.
NYR: Follow the Miami Marlins “new city/new players/new uniforms” blueprint to a tee.
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).
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.
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.
NYR: Abstain from paying players ridiculous seven-figure sums based on a four-game sample.
NYR: Make ritualistic sacrifices to the gods using the blood of fired coach Todd Haley to both stay healthy and curse Tim Tebow.
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.
NYR: Hire Bill Cowher’s jaw or Jon Gruden’s rich man’s Donald Trump toupee.
NYR: Make one less blockbuster trade for an unproven quarterback than in 2011.
NYR: Hire a coach with a pulse that occasionally surpasses 60 beats per minute. Otherwise, enroll Norv Turner in an electroshock therapy program.
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.
NYR: Play defense, cut down on snacks, don’t sign wide receiver X with troubled history, stay away from 17-year-old girls.
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.
NYR: Embrace the future and let Jake Locker take over at quarterback, unpay Chris Johnson.
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.
NYR: Pray harder.
NYR: Play harder. Also, don’t ice your own kicker.
NYR: Avoid massive second-half hemorrhages.
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.
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.
NYR: Show up against other good teams.
NYR: Fewer penalties, find a running game, and above all, don’t stomp on people.
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.
NYR: Draft defensive players with actual talent. Please.
NYR: Force more turnovers, beat the Ravens, keep Big Ben out of bars.
NYR: Score touchdowns instead of field goals, upgrade Alex Smith, win the Harbaugh Bowl (well, Jim vs. Jon on Madden, anyway).
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.
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.