NFL Power Rankings: Super Bowl Contenders Face Michael Myers, Only One Survives
The Haddonfield Hunter had many victims during his Hollywood heyday. I, of course, am referring to the classic John Carpenter version, so if your first thought was of the candy corn Rob Zombie-butchered form with Michael's compassionate mother and his irrational childhood fear of hair trimmers, this article is not for you. Shoo! Go away!
Much like those helpless teen queens, each season 11 team falls victim to the pressures of post-season play—going downstairs for a beer after the classic "I'll be right back" line, only to end up stuck to a wall thanks to a long kitchen knife courtesy of a murderous Michael Myers, who just happened to be hanging around an empty pantry—though impossible, how awesome is that scene? Seriously.
Every year we hear about the "Team of Destiny" on their way to a championship. In sports, and in life, success can go hand-in-hand with fate. As Laurie Strode learns in class during the first few scenes of the movie: "What Samuels is really talking about here is fate. You see, fate caught up with several lives here. No matter what course of action Collins took, he was destined to his own fate. In Samuels' writing, fate is immovable like a mountain. It stands where man passes away. Fate never changes."
Who will remain standing this season while others pass away? Who will be this year's sole survivor? This year's Laurie Strode?
Here, we take a look at my top eight teams and see who survives their encounter with the famous slasher in comparison to his bloody gallery of victims.
Judith Myers: Detroit Lions
No one noticed Michael carrying a headstone around town? He's sneakier than I thought.
Man, iced out by your own little brother in a super girly clown outfit? That's a tough way to go. But such will be the fate of the Detroit Lions in this year's NFC playoffs.
Entering as the wild card, the Lions will be on the radar of many analysts as a potential first round upset pick. But how does a team, who for years has been the NFL's version of the ditsy, well-endowed opening kill victim, deal with sudden success?
Not well, I would imagine.
But, don't fret, Lions fans. In a year or two you'll be promoted to an ancillary character who at least makes it to the halfway point of the film. Perhaps the nerdy boyfriend who everyone hopes is going to kick it sooner than he actually does? We can all hope.
Phelps Garage Dude: Buffalo Bills
The Bills are a flash-in-the-pan. Much like the poor sap up there, the Bills aren't used to getting much screen time. I think we're all in agreement that this is Mr. Phelps Mechanic's claim to fame: "Hey, hotstuff. Ever seen Halloween? Remember that dead guy in the weeds? Yup, all me. Can I buy you a Skinny Margarita?"
I bet it works every time.
Though usually as unimportant as the pick-up artist above, the Bills actually are a very intriguing team. That offense is going nuts behind Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it's the defense that makes things interesting. They are the only blemish on the Patriots otherwise perfect season, and half of Tom Brady's eight interceptions this year wound up in the hands of Bill ball-hawkers. Brady has thrown four picks in single game during his career about as often as you see Mike Myers move faster than a brisk walk.
It just doesn't happen.
Buffalo's 12 interceptions are second only to Green Bay's 13, and a defense that can turn the ball over like that against the Patriots can change the tide on anyone come playoff time. Keep your eye on the Bills.
Annie Brackett: Dallas Cowboys
One of the longer death scenes of the movie, Dallas will also drag things out when they finally make it into the playoffs. Like Annie, they will succumb to asphyxiation, though by their own hands.
Dallas chokes every year, why will 2011 be any different?
At the moment, they are behind the New York Giants by one game, with two meetings against the G-men scheduled in weeks 14 and 17. I've got Dallas winning both of those, as I don't have much faith in the Giants.
The 'Boys are first in the league against the rush and are mostly healthy for the first time in a while. Apparently, Tony Romo survived a previous encounter with Michael where he suffered a punctured lung, but he seems to be moving around just fine.
And DeMarco Murray? Holy crap. This guy might be for real. He's an Oklahoma product and a third-round pick. He's not a pretender. 253 yards is a pretty nice fill-in week for Felix Jones.
Bob Simms: New Orleans Saints
Though being pinned to the wall like a human thumbtack isn't a fate you'd wish upon anyone, maybe Bob shouldn't have hinted at child molestation while in the Mystery Mobile outside the house earlier in the film. Karma, Bob. Karma.
A fake Halloween film series wiki cited Bob as being a TE for the high school football team. Ironically, Saints TE Jimmy Graham might be the talk of the fantasy football world. He has been an absolute monster this season with over 600 yards already. Another successful TE product out of the U? Go figure.
The Saints are legit, but I don't see them getting past a certain NFC powerhouse with a certain "Discount Double Check" touchdown dance.
Lynda Van Der Klok: Pittsburgh Steelers
She TOTALLY flashed her stuff. She TOTALLY broke the rules.
Billy Loomis (not a coincidence that he shares his last name with Sam Loomis of both Halloween and Psycho) told us of the rules in Scream: you show your stuff, you don't survive.
Troy Polamalu TOTALLY used his cell phone during a game this season. Tomato, tomahto.
Now, is that a stretch? It TOTALLY is. (For those of you not getting this 'totally' reference, I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself.)
But seriously, the Steelers are an interesting team; they got trampled on 35-7 by the only good team they've played so far: Baltimore. But, the good news is that they only have two tough games left in New England and San Francisco. They're going to make the playoffs rather easily, and once they get there it's tough to predict what will happen.
The fact that Baltimore put up 30+ on them and an anemic Indianapolis Colts offense managed 20 points is alarming. If New England shreds them this week, then I don't see why the same won't happen when they meet up in the playoffs.
Lester, the Family Dog: San Francisco 49ers
Thought I forgot about this one, didn't you? Good ole Lester. I guess curiosity killed the dog, after all.
As Sheriff Brackett astutely puts it: "It's Halloween. I guess everyone's entitled to one good scare." This team will put a scare into just about anyone.
The Niners are the underdog of this season who actually have the most chance of making some noise come playoff time. San Fran is one of only two teams to allow less than 100 points up to this point (though both teams have already had their bye weeks), and their rushing attack is once again murderous with Frank Gore slashing into secondaries on a regular basis.
They do what every team hopes to do: run the ball and stop the run.
That combination is going to be tough on the opponent they're paired with in the playoffs. The only problem is Alex Smith. Yes, Jim Harbaugh has him playing better as of late, but do you really trust him with the ball in the playoffs? Do you really trust Michael Myers to remain in the same creepy background camera angle for more than half a second? Wait, that's a bad comparison.
Dr. Sam Loomis: New England Patriots
Dr. Loomis knows Michael better than anyone. The Patriots, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick know post-season success more than anyone else in the league right now. They won't cower away from the pressure. Like Loomis, they will run full into the face of Michael Myers, guns blazing.
Tom Brady looks as determined as ever to get back to the Super Bowl; his arm looks as prolific as it did when he threw 23 TD's to Randy Moss en route to a perfect regular season. Wes Welker is doing his best Moss impersonation, and the Law Office of BenJarvis Green-Ellis is showing signs of life in the run game.
The question remains: Will Chad Ochocinco or Albert Haynesworth end up playing to their full potential this season? If they do, then this team could reach a completely different level.
The problem here is that Loomis isn't really a survivor. He is barely mentioned in the later movies, and in the remakes he gets completely owned by Michael and actually dies. That's why the Patriots are behind this last team—and character—as the true survivor of this list.
Laurie Strode: Green Bay Packers
I hate picking the obvious winner as the champion, but this is Halloween. This is a series. And if there's one thing a series has, it is a recurring character. A triumphant hero who faces death time and time again yet emerges unscathed.
Aaron Rodgers looked Michael Myers in the face a year ago and is ready to do so again.
Now, can I guarantee Rodgers has celebrated a life of celibacy in the mold of Laurie Strode (after all, the rules must be observed)? You look at that baby face and tell me what you think.
But surely, other parallels can be drawn.
The Packers have the best offense in football. Of the last five Super Bowl Champions, only one was really known for its defense: Pittsburgh in SB XLIII.
Offense can win championships - it has been proven.
The Pack haven't really had a tough schedule and won't for the rest of the year. They won a shootout in the opener against New Orleans but don't play another of the truly elite teams the rest of the way so, it's tough to get a full read on them.
The important thing is that the Brett Favre curse has been lifted. No longer does Rodgers have expectations to live up to as he has already carved his own name in Packer history. The pressure is gone, and I think they will be even better prepared come this year's playoffs because of it.
When it comes down to it, that offense is just going to be too much for teams to handle.