I wasted nearly five hours watching the Browns lose, missed the epic Monday night showdown in Minnesota, and lost my second straight fantasy week. My enthusiasm for the NFL is at a season-low, but here's some Power Poll Rankings for you anyway.
32. St. Louis Rams 0-4 (31)
Leave it to the Rams to blow my plans to highlight the Browns' number one pick each week. While Cleveland showed some signs of life in an overtime loss to the Bengals they should have won, the Rams were getting shut out against the 49ers.
31. Cleveland Browns 0-4 (32)
Positives: Mohammed Massaquoi (8 catches, 148 yards); Jerome Harrison (29 carries, 121 yards); the Browns defense (held Cincinnati to seven straight 3-and-outs at one point); Shaun Rogers two blocked kicks; Brodney Pool looking like Ed Reed; WR Mike Furry's coverage skills (he was in at safety in overtime); Derek Anderson looking like an NFL quarterback and actually getting the offense to show a little life (in their play and in their demeanor); Josh Cribbs returning kicks (as always). Negatives: Braylon Edwards had zero catches, one drop, and then punched one of LeBron James's friends later that night (if LeBron ends up leaving Cleveland because of this, Edwards will go from being hated to being most hated); Derek Anderson's interception in the end zone; Eric Mangini's use of timeouts and challenges; Carson Palmer's 15 yard scramble on 4th down to set up the game-winning field goal.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-4 (30)
Kellen Winslow's 2009 season so far: 17 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs. Is that worth the great David Veikune (who, along with fellow second round pick Brian Robiskie, hasn't even seen the field yet for Cleveland) and the largest contract ever given to a tight end?
29. Kansas City Chiefs 0-4 (29)
Matt Cassel gets two more garbage time touchdowns (to go along with the two he got last week against the Eagles) to bring his season total to 5. If the Chiefs keep getting blown out, Cassel could end up with the most improbable 30 TD season in history.
28. Oakland Raiders 1-3 (27)
JaMarcus Russell: 12-33, 128 yards, 0 TDs, 1 fumble lost, 1 rush for 1 yard (I would have liked to have seen that). Who does Oakland fans want to see die more, Al Davis or JaMarcus Russell?
27. Washington Redskins 2-2 (28)
Jason Campbell may have had two touchdown passes, but he also turned the ball over four times (3 INTs, 1 fumble lost) and had another fumble recovered by his own team. If Byron Leftwich were the Bucs starter, I'm pretty sure Washington would have lost.
26. Detroit Lions 1-3 (26)
If nothing else goes right this season, the Lions can at least hang their hat on the fact that they may turn out to be the highest scoring 3-13 team ever (21 points per game, which doesn't seem like much, but remember that I'm a Browns fan, and my idea of a lot of points is a little skewed by watching an offense that can only muster 12 points a game).
25. Buffalo Bills 1-3 (23)
In a Sunday littered with poor quarterback play, Trent Edwards (14-26, 192 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs) may be the worst.
24. Carolina Panthers 0-3 (24)
The good news about the Panthers' bye week: Jake Delhomme couldn't throw an interception.
23. Tennessee Titans 0-4 (19)
I guess Albert Haynesworth really did matter that much. The Titans have the look of a team that just may be terrible.
22. Seattle Seahawks 1-3 (21)
I'm officially done with the Seahawks. With Byron Leftwich's benching in Tampa, Seneca Wallace has taken over as the QB who's decent stats (645 yards, 66 C%, 3 TDs, 2 INT, 1 rushing TD) disguise how bad he truly is.
21. Miami Dolphins 1-3 (25)
The Wildcat still works, at least as long as you're playing the Bills.
20. Arizona Cardinals 1-2 (20)
Hopefully Kurt Warner got some Just For Men in his hair, the Lord in his heart, and an offensive line protecting his blindside during the bye week.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-2 (22)
I don't know what to do with this team. After the first two weeks, they looked awful, and I wrote them off. Naturally, they followed that up with impressive wins over division rivals Houston and Tennessee. Let's just consider them back at square one, and whatever they do at Seattle this week will determine how good they really are.
18. Houston Texans 2-2 (18)
Steve Slaton (192 yards, 3.3 average, 1 TD) looks like a shitty version of Jamal Lewis (in 2008, not 2004). Is Slaton secretly 57 years old?
17. Dallas Cowboys 2-2 (15)
Counting on Tony Romo as my fantasy QB may have been a costly error. Why is Sam Hurd all of a sudden his go-to guy in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown? Shouldn't Romo have recognized that Champ Bailey was on Hurd? It's bad enough that he went to Hurd once, but twice? Bring on Jon Kitna!
16. Atlanta Falcons 2-1 (14)
Not knowing what else to do with himself, Michael Turner spent his bye week at the grocery store, carrying people's bags to their cars. Promptly after he carried out his 370th bag, his knee exploded. I hope he'll be alright for this week's game.
15. Cincinnati Bengals 3-1 (11)
A win's a win, but when you need Carson Palmer's running ability to carry you to victory, you know you had a rough day. If long-snapper Brad St. Louis isn't cut this week, I don't know what else a long-snapper has to do to get cut.
14. Denver Broncos 4-0 (16)
I still don't think they're this good, but allowing only 26 points over 4 games is pretty damn impressive regardless of the competition.
13. Green Bay Packers 2-2 (12)
Great job, Green Bay. Now Brett Favre really is never going to go away.
12. San Francisco 49ers 3-1 (17)
The 49ers did to the Rams what good teams are supposed to do to the Rams (beat them by 35). Therefore, the 49ers are a good team.
11. San Diego Chargers 2-2 (9)
San Diego's offense is explosive, and Philip Rivers makes some of the most ridiculous throws I've ever seen. The defense, on the other hand, is a major cause for concern.
10. Philadelphia Eagles 2-1 (8)
Donovan McNabb's ribs were starting to feel better, until a mysterious man wearing a Houston Cougars hat clubbed McNabb in the side. Kevin Kolb may still be the Eagles' starter coming out of the bye week.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-2 (13)
Building a 28 point lead on the Chargers is impressive; winning by only seven in that same game is not.
8. New York Jets 3-1 (2)
Thank God the Browns didn't draft Mark Sanchez. OVERRATED!
7. Chicago Bears 3-1 (7)
Matt Forte (12 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD) finally breaks out of the epic duel he was engaged in with Steve Slaton to determine which sophomore back would slump worse. Slaton now has a stranglehold on the title.
6. Baltimore Ravens 3-1 (4)
5. New England Patriots 3-1 (10)
If Mark Clayton could actually catch, and/or if the league wasn't out to protect Tom Brady at all costs, the Ravens may just be the best team in football, while the Patriots would be looking to regroup from a 2-2 start.
4. Minnesota Vikings 4-0 (6)
Brett Favre does it again, and by "it" I mean annoy the ever-living shit out of every American who gives a damn about football.
3. New Orleans Saints 4-0 (5)
The Saints continue to carry Drew Brees's touchdown-less ass to victory, but how much longer can they keep winning despite their iffy quarterback play?
2. Indianapolis Colts 4-0 (3)
Congratulations to Peyton Manning on his unprecedented fourth MVP trophy. Great job!
1. New York Giants 4-0 (1)
If Eli Manning misses even one game, the Giants may be so demoralized by the sight of David Carr in their backfield they may just fold it up and call it a season. (The rest of the NFC can hope, can't they?)