Carl Weathers, master thespian and former Oakland Raider, watches every NFL game from his man cave to compile his weekly Power Rankings exclusively for Heckler readers. Mr. Weathers, despite playing only eight NFL games, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

1 – Oakland Raiders
There’s a little Black Hole in my heart today after the Raider rally fell short Sunday but the Men of Black remain #1 based on strength of schedule, RPI, FPI and PSI (think about that, Pats!). Matt McGloin & Marcel Rece hook up for two TD combos vs. Cincy after Derek Carr suffers a first half TKO.

2 – New England Patriots
It’s a Thursday Night Throwdown Thriller in Brady-achusetts! Recently paroled QB Tom Brady throws for 288 yards and four TDs (three to this week’s Master of Disaster Rob “RoboGronk” Gronkowski) in a 28-21 smelting of the Steelers. The Cowardly Commish Goodell showed his true colors, staying away from New England on opening night. Pretty low, my man.

3 – Green Bay Packers
The Mean Green Stuffing Machine lets loose some Chicago carnage, crushing Cutler & crew 31-23 in the Windy City. No Nelson? No problem, Aaron Rodgers fires three TD missiles (including a couple to a guy older than George Foreman, Packer retread James Jones). Next up: NFC title game rematch in Title Town vs. Seattle! The Rumble in the Land of Obesity!

4 – Seattle Seahawks
The Rowdy Rams are formidable, especially in St. Louis, but man, if you can’t get a yard from Marshawn Lynch when you need it in OT you might as well be giving up the WBC/NFC unified belt before the bye week. “Religious” Russell Wilson threw for 251 and a score but got sandwiched for six sacks in the 34-31 setback.

5 – Denver Broncos
Dynamite Denver “D” gets The Men of Manning into the top five, flummoxing flaccid Flacco with a Swiss Army Knife smorgasbord of slobber-knockers: 2 INTs (one for a TD by Aqib Talib), 3 sacks, 7 TFL and 9 QB hits. The Orange Crush’s 19-13 ransacking of the Ravens registered an 8.0 on the Richter Scale, baby!

Patrick O. Elia