It's Thursday. That means another edition of esoteric tiered power rankings on ATL.
This week, we're getting creative. After four weeks of watching and re-watching teams on Game Rewind, we present the the teams we enjoy watching the most -- and least. If you disagree with anything here, you are clearly wrong because this list is full of irrefutable facts.
The 49ers' front seven is the single most impressive group of players in football. No coaching staff is more creative on defense or in the running game. While the rest of the league zip, the 49ers zag. They are a joy to watch. The Eagles are an entertaining mess in so many ways, and they continue to somehow win. The Patriots' transformation on offense to a power team, along with defensive end Chandler Jones and a healthy Brandon Spikes at linebacker, has made them a lot more interesting.
The Seahawks' defense also is a blast to watch because it's so unique. Quarterback Russell Wilson seems like this year's Tim Tebow. He's confounding, but you can't look away. Quarterback Peyton Manning transforming the Broncos into the Colts is a weekly evolution that will stay interesting all year. You don't know where this goes. Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III make mediocre squads fascinating. I want to be there from the beginning with their careers. The Texans' front seven rivals the 49ers for entertainment. J.J. Watt is worth this tier alone.
We've seen this before: Green Bay Packers
The Packers' offense might be too similar to previous years, but it's always fun to watch quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Listening to announcers act like Cedric Benson isn't a replacement-level mediocre running back knocks the Packers down a peg.
Every season, I latch on to a few random teams that wind up being a lot more interesting than expected. The Dolphins and Vikings fit the bill early this year. The Vikings have a little magic to them. Quarterback Christian Ponder is such an unknown. It's cool to see bionic running back Adrian Peterson, wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive end Jared Allen on a feisty team.
The Falcons are experiencing a post-Mike Mularkey boost in watchability. Their fast-break offense, wide receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon's presence probably makes them ranked too low here. It's weird watching the Ravens and Steelers without being impressed by their defenses.
The Rams' offense has improved under coach Brian Schottenheimer, and the defense plays aggressive. They are a sneaky fun team. The Bears might have their best defense since 2006. Quarterback Jay Cutler remains one of my favorite quarterbacks to watch, partly because the highs are so high and the lows are so low. The same remains true for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. This could be a banner year if you are into Cowboyschadenfreude. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul moves the Giants up a tier by himself.
I usually love watching the Bengals. There's nothing better than seeing wide receiver A.J. Green dominate. They get knocked for predictability; they lose to the good teams and beat the bad teams. The Cardinals' defense has stars at every level. I need to watch them more. Titans quarterback Jake Locker's first year as a starter and running back Chris Johnson are interesting subplots, but Tennessee is sneaky awful. The Lions get knocked for wasting so much talent. The Bills' defensive line has been a huge disappointment.
The Jets have zero pass rush or passing game. The offense was never this bad under Brian Schottenheimer. After four games, I still don't feel like I know these Chargers. The Saints' defense is depressing. The offense has the same cast of characters but is slightly worse at everything. The Browns make me feel sorry for their fans. The Raiders used to be an entertaining mess, but they aren't fun to watch anymore.
No one throws more 5-yard passes on third-and-8 than the Jaguars. The raised expectations makes their wildly conservative offense more disappointing. And the defense has regressed.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.