The Red Shamrock: Ranking The Teams After Four Weeks With Pro Wrestlers Of Course And Week Five Picks

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The Red Shamrock: Ranking The Teams After Four Weeks With Pro Wrestlers Of Course And Week Five Picks

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It’s week five of the 2016 NFL season, which means the time has come where I rank all 32 teams based on the first four weeks of the season. Why? Because I’m just as much an expert at ranking teams as a dog picking games when food is placed in front of his selections.

 I’m legitimately considering letting my cat make my picks for the rest of the season now

When I wrote this column a couple of years ago, I picked professional wrestlers to compare teams to. I am a bit of a professional wrestling fan, and yes, I know you are shaking your heads at me right now. This guy likes professional wrestling, betting, football, and comic books. How did he ever get married?

So we should start at the top tier, right? Who is the top wrestler in the United States at this very moment? Arguably it’s AJ Styles, WWE Champion on Smackdown. Styles is very entertaining on the microphone, easily the top wrestler in all of WWE and, can wear a cartoon character’s haircut while doing all of these things. You have to feel these teams are locks for the playoffs.

 

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 Who wore it better?

AJ Styles Division

1. Atlanta – Offensive explosion last week against everyone’s NFC South pick Carolina, plus road wins over Oakland and New Orleans have them as the cream of the crop, for now. It will be interesting to see how they handle one of the top defenses in the league at Denver this week.

2. Denver – This was supposed to be a down year for last year’s Super Bowl Champions. Their defense is the key reason for all of their victories, but Simian and now Lynch may show that Denver will have a happy problem with who will be their quarterback of the future. They’ve put down formidable offenses against Carolina and at Cincinnati and I wonder if Atlanta can hang 35 on them?

3. Minnesota – We can apply what we said about the Denver defense to the Vikings’ Purple Rain. I believe 99% of all U.S. citizens thought Vikings GM Rick Spielman was absolutely nuts when he traded for Sam Bradford. Bradford is the Trent Dilfer for this team, and with wins at home over the Packers and Giants and at Carolina; I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team go deep into the playoffs if Bradford doesn’t turn the ball over and the defense avoids season ending injuries.

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 Rick Spielman isn’t number one in the Red Shamrock’s rankings, but he is number one on Lake Minnetonka

We still have some divisional champions to rank here. The Universal Champion on Raw right now is Kevin Owens, a man who doesn’t look like the type of wrestler WWE would particularly make the face of their company, but through hard work and fan support, he is currently the number two guy and face of their Monday night television show. These teams may be division leaders, but for some reason, I have questions marks about them lasting the season. These teams are most likely headed to the playoffs.

 

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Kevin Owens puts as much distance between the Red Shamrock and him as possible

Kevin Owens Division

4. Seattle – I know what you are going to tell me. The Rams are tied with the Seahawks for first in the division and beat the Seahawks. We will get to the Rams in a moment. Russell Wilson is pretty much carrying the load offensively for this team, and until Arizona can straighten out whatever the hell is going on with Carson Palmer, this still remains the team to beat in the NFC West.

5. Houston – Laid an egg at the Patriots, but seem to have a nice offensive balance at work. I think the injury to JJ Watt may open up their pass defense a little more aas they can put in a player not slowed down by a bad back. A short week Vikings visit this week and a week seven matchup with Denver will tell us exactly where Houston is for the rest of the season.

6. Philadelphia – Ok. You got me Carson Wentz. I have to start giving the Eagles some respect. For a team that was supposed to the absolute shits this season to one with a very impressive drubbing of the Steelers at home, the real test for this fantastic rookie and defense comes in week seven when the Vikings visit and week nine against the Giants.

John Cena is the real face of the total WWE brand. While he may be receiving critical acclaim for his wrestling over the last two years (and rightfully so), that still doesn’t erase the fact that not everyone was behind him all these years and he was mercilessly pushed down the fans throats. These teams are hyped up, but are a little over inflated due to schedule and luck. Most of these teams are playoff bound.

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 I’m kind of sick of only posting dude images this week, so enjoy John Cena’s girlfriend

John Cena Division

7. Pittsburgh – Offensively, they should be top five by the end of the season. Defensively, still a ton of questions. They have a relatively easy schedule with tests in week nine (at Baltimore) and a rematch in week 15 at Cincinnati.

8. New England – Talk about your favorable schedules. Things could not have gone better for Tom Brady’s return. Maybe Baltimore trips up New England in week 14 or at Denver in week 15, but has a Super Bowl winner had an easier schedule in recent memory?

9. Los Angeles – Yes, the Rams are tied for first in the NFC West. Yes they beat Seattle and suspect Tampa Bay and Arizona teams. Their luck can’t hold out forever and they will need to average more than 21 points a game to win out and hope to secure a Wild Card.

Now, it’s time for our second level, which we will call the Roman Reigns division. Reigns is the new John Cena. Pushed down the fans throat so hard they reject him quicker than a bulimic rejects a meal. These teams will be held up as potential playoff contenders, but until they prove themselves a little more, we will just keep scratching our heads trying to figure out if they are for real. Maybe one or two will make the playoffs out of here or be in the hunt in December.

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 We are all trying to figure out what the WWE’s hard on for you is sir

Roman Reigns Division

10. Oakland – Talk about riding a luck train. All of their wins have been by either one point or a touchdown and their loss to Atlanta was not a close game. We need to see Carr and company thoroughly dominate an opponent before we bump them up a tier.

11. Cincinnati – Plenty of season left for Dalton and Green to make a push to steal the AFC North or contend for a Wild Card.

12. Dallas ­– They may be inching their way up thanks to their offensive line, steady play from Dak Prescott, and Ezekiel Elliott demanding to carry the load. Things should get interesting with Tony Romo’s projected week eight return.

13. Green Bay – I think this team will sneak in on a Wild Card, but I still question their defense and how they will handle strong defensives on the road (see Vikings game). Of course, Rodgers has a primetime game against Eli on Sunday night, so I expect offensive fireworks.

14. Baltimore – The Ravens can’t run the ball and Joe Falcco seems to be struggling under the pressure, especially with a lack of deep throws (no real deep threat on this Baltimore team).

15. Carolina – What is affecting the Panthers? Super Bowl hangover? Cam’s concussion? Maybe playing down and not playing up to the level of their competition?

Cesaro is one of those stars for WWE that made the mistake of getting the fans behind them but then are slotted to never move beyond a certain point because that wasn’t what was in WWE’s plans. We’ll use the Cesaro division for teams you think should be at a certain level, but just can’t seem to make it beyond the mediocre plateau. Can’t really see anyone here making a playoff run.

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 These teams keep reaching for higher things, but one thing or another is holding them back

Cesaro Division

16. Kansas City – Looking at the Chiefs schedule, Andy Reid may make a fool of me here. Home games with the Saints and Jags, on the road against Oakland, Indy, and Carolina. He may get his team into contention and slay every Golden Corral in the area.

17. San Diego – Injuries and a defense that can’t hold a lead is what will plague them the rest of the season. They should be fun to bet a lot of covers on.

18. Arizona – Carson Palmer is out for the 49ers game, and Drew Stanton might not be the answer to their offensive woes.

19. Buffalo – I still think the wrong coordinator was fired, notwithstanding the win at New England last week. However, the schedule for the rest of the season smells like an 8-8 finish for Rex Ryan.

20. New York Giants – Struggling offensively, the last thing they need is drama from star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. Their schedule may benefit them late depending on how the Cowboys and Eagles hold up the rest of the way.

21. New Orleans – Another defense that can’t stop anyone and on offense that is dependent on how well Drew Brees is playing. They’ll be hot and cold all year.

22. Washington – The Redskins still can’t run the ball (they took advantage of a bad Browns rush defense), are suspect on defense and Kirk Cousins will have the same interception issues that Ryan Fitzpatrick has when it matters the most.

23. Indianapolis – The Colts can’t seam to protect Andrew Luck, and that’s going to keep them in the bottom half of the AFC.

Zack Ryder is a popular fan favorite (whose popularity peaked about four years ago) that is in WWE to basically lose to up and coming stars and top stars in matches, while at the same time, offering a small glimmer of hope (this year’s Intercontinental championship victory at Wrestlemania) but ultimately fail in the end (he dropped the title the next night on Raw to the Miz). These are the teams everyone wants you jump on the bandwagon for, but you know they aren’t going anywhere this year even if they catch a few surprise wins.

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 Thanks for trying

Zack Ryder Division

24. Tennessee – They are still a couple of years away, but their defense has kept them in every game this year.

25. Jacksonville – Gus Bradley may not make it to the end of the season. A lot of perceived talent in Jacksonville that seems to only show up in the last 15 minutes of games.

26. Chicago – The Bears play offense about as well as I would play offense.

27. Detroit – Another team that can’t really run. Teams seem to only concentrate on locking down Stafford’s receiver’s routes, and that looks like the best way to shoebox them all season.

28. New York Jets – I think Ryan Fitzpatrick’s nickname of Fitztragic is fitting. Much like Kirk Cousins (see above), he does just enough to make you think he is dangerous and can manage the Jets to prominence. But with three additional turnovers last week against Seattle, the Fitztragic will continue.

Our only division not named after some current WWE stars will be the teams with no hope. The Mulkey Brothers were a couple of wrestlers that would get beat up every Saturday night back when TBS was only showing Andy Griffith or wrestling. These teams have no hope this season, and should be thinking about the 2017 NFL Draft right now.

 It’s always nice for two thirds of the teams to pick up wins over these cellar dwellers

The Mulkey Brothers Division

29. Miami – Year five of Ryan Tannehill and year five of a terrible offensive line which makes for a terrible Tannehill.

30. Tampa Bay – Sophomore slump for Jameis Winston and injuries to the team will continue to plague them all year.

31. San Francisco – I expect the 49ers to be in the Zack Ryder division by the end of the year.

32. Cleveland – Nope. Not this year. I’m looking at their schedule the rest of the way and maybe they beat the Jets in week eight at home?

Speaking of no hope, that’s what my picks have looked like the first four weeks of this season. If you’ve made it this far without closing out the article, I should reward you some awesome WWE Divas gifs, followed by my picks (in bold), home team in caps, and the point spread.

This week’s picks:

49ERS (+4) over Cardinals

Patriots (+11) over BROWNS

Eagles (-3) over LIONS

COLTS (-4.5) over Bears

DOLPHINS (-3.5) over Titans

Redskins (+4) over RAVENS

Texans (+6.5) over VIKINGS

STEELERS (-7) over Jets

Falcons (+6) over BRONCOS

Bengals (-1) over COWBOYS

Bills (+2.5) over RAMS

Chargers (+4) over RAIDERS

PACKERS (-7) over Giants

CAROLINA (Pick’Em) over Buccaneers

Last week: 5-8-1

Season record: 23-36-3 (.405)

Pat Himes aka The Red Shamrock is a huge fan of sports, movies, poker, and fake sports betting. He is also cohost of The 80/20 Movie Show podcast with Gary Smith, which you can listen to for guy humor, movie reviews, and additional fake sports betting picks at www.fatherhoodrules.com. You can interact with Pat on Chaostrophic in the comment threads under his handle, Dalux247.


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