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Alt Rankings: Arizona Cardinals make statement


The Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers have a chance to reach the postseason. A realistic chance? Well, that's not the way I would put it. But as Lloyd Christmas once said, "So you're saying there's a chance."

But not really.

Now, I get how much fun it would be for the Browns to make the playoffs (and as predicted in this space, I foretold of the Browns making a run). That would be pretty cool. But the Chargers and the Jets are going about it all wrong. They should make a run the other way.

For the Chargers, a playoff appearance would only be a disaster because it would mean four more years of Norv Turner and A.J. Smith. And that's not good for anybody in San Diego. The best use of Turner's time would be as the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. (And that really should be the top priority of the Ravens. I would try to bring him in for the playoffs if the Chargers do get eliminated and ultimately fire Turner.)

And for the Jets, it would mean one more year for Mark Sanchez. I mean, how could you dump a quarterback who has led your team to the playoffs once again? He only wins games right?

This might not be the deepest draft class, but the Jets and Chargers clearly haven't put much thought into what you're doing in the long run.

And I guess it should be pointed out, too, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are still alive.

Undaunted, we will continue our look at those teams competing to have the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, no matter who the top dog is. And until we have a better name, we will continue to refer to this space as the Fans for Barkley.

And without further ado ...

The Titans have to be a contender. The way they came from ahead to lose at Indianapolis was really one of the better performances on this list. That showed the Titans are taking this run for the top spot pretty seriously. And you can tell it means a lot to Chris Johnson who got out of his mid-season run, and really has struggled down the stretch. With four wins, however, it might be too late for the Titans to really get the top spot, but a trip to the top 5 is clearly realistic.

How can the Lions go from playoff team in 2011 to out of contention and trailing the Vikings in 2012? Well, you have to look no further than the mastery of coach Jim Schwartz. Have you ever looked at Schwartz on the sidelines and got the impression that he had everything under control? Of course not. He seems to have that distant stare you see from morose party goers this time of year. So with Schwartz in charge, this team is a contender. The Lions move ahead of the Titans based on a recent common opponent. The Lions meltdown against the Colts was much more spectacular than the Titans from Week 14, so they deserve this spot.

The Raiders defense looked good at times on Thursday night, but their break but don't bend philosophy eventually won out as the Broncos put this team away in a laugher. Seriously, the Broncos looked disinterested for one of the biggest NFL rivalries. In prime time no less.

When Jamaal Charles broke through the defenders and scampered for a long touchdown for the first score of all of the games on Sunday, you might have thought the Chiefs had a chance to win. But the Chiefs found a way to lose and are once again in the hunt for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Uh, you guys lost to the Jets.

Some say there are no style points in the NFL. Those people are wrong. The Cardinals made a definitive statement with their historic loss on Sunday. That loss said this team is a clear contender for No. 1. This is not hyperbole, but you have to wonder if the Cardinals will ever score an offensive touchdown again this season. No joke. If the Cardinals never score again on offense, would it surprise you?

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