NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Indianapolis Colts is hit while passing during the game against the New Orleans Saints on October 23, 2011 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Power rankings. You hate them. They’re so arbitrary and pointless, especially when they include all 32 NFL teams. All you want to know after a good week of NFL action is who the bestest team in the NFL right now, and which one is the absolute barrel-scraping worst. The one so terrible, it couldn’t even muscle past other shoppers for the last $10 Krups coffeemaker on Black Friday. That’s why we have TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE NFL, where we go to great lengths to tell you who’s the top dog in football right now, this very minute. LET’S GO!
THE TOP: Green Bay Packers
The Niners could have made life easy for the Packers by winning at Baltimore and putting pressure on the Packers to keep winning in order to secure home field advantage. But nooooo. No, they had to go and look like the Browns on Thanksgiving night, and now the race for the top seed in the NFC is all but over.
One of the annoying things about a team being unbeaten late in the season is that it produces the usual round of arguments about whether or not a team should rest its players for the playoffs. Let’s just lay it out there right now: THERE IS NO CLEAR ANSWER TO THIS DEBATE. You can follow the lead of the 2009 Colts, who ditched a shot at 16-0 and ending up losing the Super Bowl. Or you can follow the lead of the 2007 Patriots, who decided to go for 16-0, went 16-0 and ALSO lost the Super Bowl. There’s no good answer. Either you rest and risk being rusty, or you play and risk fatigue and injury.
Different teams react in different ways, and there’s no guarantee the Packers would clearly benefit from one strategy over the other. All we can do is guess which way they’re leaning, and I think they’ll end up sitting Aaron Rodgers for Week 17 at the least.
THE BOTTOM: Indianapolis Colts
This is the worst team in NFL history. Even worse than the 2008 Lions.
At least those Lions made a concerted effort to NOT go 0-16. In fact, they were a cheap Bernard Berrian PI call away from going 1-15. They were desperate to avoid the mark and, as a consequence, I think we all felt kinda bad for them when that last chance to win slipped away.
Not this team. This team has been dead set on 0-16 ever since September, and I don’t think anyone in Indy cares because A) The season was lost from the get-go, and B) ANDREW LUCK! So marvel at this team for the next five weeks. We may never see a team this bereft of leadership again.