Three weeks are in the books, so it’s time to put together the meaningless but, based on the numbers, indispensable look at how the 32 teams currently stack up.
Sure, the NFL settles their business on the field. Then again, the playoffs don’t start until January.
Until then, we’ll give it the old college try.
So check where you team has landed, and be prepared to complain loudly if you disagree -- and to remain silent if you don’t.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2; 3-0): Somewhere in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger is cackling and rolling a blunt. (Actually, that’s an exaggeration. We don’t know whether he’s cackling.)
[Editor’s note: The blunt reference is an homage to Jason Whitlock. We felt compelled to explain this, lest we besmirch the pristine image and reputation of Mr. Roethlisberger.]
2. New York Jets (No. 6; 2-1): Braylon Edwards didn’t shave his beard; he swallowed it in order to soak up some of the booze. (Allegedly.)
3. Indianapolis Colts (No. 8; 2-1): Week One notwithstanding, the Colts look as potent as they were in 2009.
4. Baltimore Ravens (No. 5; 2-1): The wheels could come off my projected Super Bowl winner in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
5. Tennessee Titans (No. 9; 2-1): It became easier for the Titans to rebound from the butt-kicking they took against the Steelers once the Titans realized that most teams will take a butt-kicking from the Steelers this year.
6. Atlanta Falcons (No. 17; 2-1): The biggest win of Matt Ryan’s career came at a perfect time.
7. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 last week; 2-1): By the end of the day Tuesday, Scott Fujita’s “fat punk kicker” label for Garrett Hartley may be only 66.6 percent accurate.
8. Chicago Bears (No. 16; 3-0): The only stat that ever matters is points scored versus points allowed.
9. Green Bay Packers (No. 3; 2-1): You can’t get to the Super Bowl with more penalties than points.
10. New England Patriots (No. 10; 2-1): A win is a win, except against Buffalo, when it’s a bye.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 12; 3-0): Speed, youth, enthusiam, creativity. Playoffs?
12. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 11; 2-1): Even when combining the yardage generated by Batman and Robin, they lead Indy’s Austin Collie by only 30 yards.
13. Miami Dolphins (No. 7; 2-1): That loss to the Jets will be quickly forgotten if the Fins can beat the Pats on Monday night.
14. Houston Texans (No. 4; 2-1): Another three-team round-robin proves how crazy the NFL can be; Redskins beat the Cowboys, the Texans beat the Redskins, and then Cowboys beat the Texans.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 18; 2-1): The last time the Eagles played in Jacksonville, their quarterback puked. This time, he induced nausea in opposing defenders.
16. Minnesota Vikings (No. 19; 1-2): The Vikings offense finally looks like it was supposed to look in 2009 -- lots of running and selective passing.
17. Seattle Seahawks (No. 24; 2-1): The ‘Hawks are looking like a team that can’t lose at home, can’t win on the road.
18. San Diego Chargers (No. 13; 1-2): One of these years, the Chargers are going to try to turn it on after a slow start and fail.
19. Dallas Cowboys (No. 22; 1-2): Desperation quickly will return if they lose to the Titans and Vikings.
20. New York Giants (No. 14; 1-2): The only way this team could get more dysfunctional would be if Tiki Barber unretires.
21. St. Louis Rams (No. 30; 1-2): In a watered-down NFC West, the Rams could be in the mix for a division title.
22. Washington Redskins (No. 15; 1-2): No man has ever gotten more out of two Super Bowl wins from a team built by someone else and held together by salary cap violations.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 20; 1-2): David Garrard would be benched right now, if they had someone to bench him for.
24. Denver Broncos (No. 21; 1-2): With a 3-10 record since starting last year 6-0, at what point does Josh McDaniels land on the hot seat?
25. Arizona Cardinals (No. 25; 2-1): This team easily could be 0-3 -- and would be if they’d played someone other than the Raiders and the Rams in the early going.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 23; 2-1): Well, at least they can’t be any worse that 2-14.
27. Oakland Raiders (No. 27; 1-2): We’d hate to see how much money the Raiders would have paid Sebastian Janikowski if he could actually, you know, kick.
28. San Francisco 49ers (No. 28; 0-3): The new Bay of Pigs rivalry renews on October 17.
29. Detroit Lions (No. 29; 0-3): Surely, this nightmare has to end at some point. Doesn’t it?
30. Carolina Panthers (No. 26; 0-3): At least they’ve broken that good year/bad year/good year cycle.
31. Cleveland Browns (No. 31; 0-3): They showed life against the Ravens, but the result is becoming too familiar for the Browns.
32. Buffalo Bills (No. 32; 0-3): Maybe the decision to start playing games in Canada was the first part of the process to apply for membership in the CFL.