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Official r/NFL Week 3 Power Rankings
|1.||Chiefs||+1||3-0||The Chiefs looked like the defending Super Bowl champions against the Ravens and took no prisoners. Despite a slow start to the year, the Chiefs offense woke up in a big way and came out guns blazing and never looked back. The Chiefs defense also turned in a stellar performance at all levels and held the Ravens to only 13 points over the whole game. This is the Chiefs team that was promised in the offseason, and Mahomes further proved why he is the best QB in the NFL by stunting on those hoes.|
|2.||Seahawks||+1||3-0||Who needs a defense when you have literal Jesus Christ at quarterback? Ol' Pete has really embraced the let Russ cook movement and it shows; Russell's been absolutely unstoppable, no matter how hard DK may try (ilysm DK ❤️💜). Key players like Jamal Adams and Chris Carson suffered injuries against Dallas, but hopefully nothing is too serious. But back to the good stuff. Skybox Schotty has been a godsend this season. The offense is C O O K I N G and nobody's coolin this stove, baby. Not even FITZMAGIC HIMSELF. Oh and FUCK TRYSTEN HILL. ALL THE HOMIES HATE TRYSTEN HILL|
|3.||Packers||+1||3-0||The Packers are just happy they didn't Bostic that onside kick at the end. Great training for next week against the Falcons|
|4.||Ravens||-3||2-1||One day, the Ravens will beat Mahomes. But not yesterday. Better hope that OL can take on Chase Young. At least the Ravens have the branding and beltway advantage over WTF for next week.|
|5.||Bills||--||3-0||Dread it. Run from it. ‘Stache Allen arrives all the same.|
|6.||Steelers||+1||3-0||It would be improper not to mention the Watt reunion that happened on Sunday, but it was overshadowed by the likely implosion of the Texans' season as Pittsburgh forced them to 0-3 in what was likely already a "must-win" scenario for Houston. This bodes well for the Steelers as the pressure was on them going into this game to eliminate a potential rival early and put the Ravens in the rearview mirror early on by forcing them to keep pace vs a stellar Chiefs team. The Steelers travel to the Titans in what will be a huge road test for them to stay tied for 1st in the AFC.|
|7.||Titans||+1||3-0||The Titans were able to squeak out a win against the Vikings on the foot of Steven Gostkowski's 6 FGs. Now they face their toughest challenge of the year, navigating multiple positive COVID tests and a shutdown of their facility.|
|8.||Patriots||+3||2-1||Thuney played great at center, Sony and Burkhead stepped up, and the run game won the day. This coming week at Kansas City is pretty huge, win or lose the Patriots will learn a lot about what they need to improve on as the season goes forward.|
|9.||Rams||-3||2-1||The Rams have dominated the second half this season, outscoring their opponents 52-20. Unfortunately, a slow start and defensive lapses at key moments meant too little too late versus the Bills and will keep the Rams from going 16-0 this year.|
|10.||49ers||+2||2-1||After demolishing two teams in the league with a next man up philosophy Belichick would be proud of, some questions remain. Unfortunately a matchup against Philadelphia might not provide all the answers.|
|11.||Buccaneers||+3||2-1||The Buccaneers pulled off a win on the road against an injury depleted Broncos, putting them atop the NFC South. Tom Brady looked like his usual GOAT self, and the defense racked up 6.0 sacks and 2 interceptions against the Driskel Kid. So with the Bucs playing the Chargers and rookie QB Justin Herbert, it should be an easy win, right? Wrong. Since 2011, the Bucs are 3-12 against rookie QBs, so it could be a rocky upcoming game at home for the Bucs. Combine that with the fact that Donovan Smith will have to block Joey Bosa, and Tom Brady might need to pay his snake oil salesman trainer Alex Guerrero overtime after next week. Unlike the Chargers, however, he won't have to worry about puncturing his lung.|
|12.||Saints||-3||1-2||Much like Johann Freiderich Bottger, Sean Payton finds himself summonsed before the royal court of Saints fans demanding an explanation why he's failing to produce gold as they expect. The Saints have started seasons in worse positions, but the weight of expectations on this team and the clear lack of synergy on the field (and another PJ Williams blunder) means Sean Payton will be hoping he stumbles upon the recipe for white gold quickly.|
|13.||Cardinals||-3||2-1||A letdown game seemed inevitable after all the hype and Kyler for MVP talk the past week. Hopefully the team learned from the mistakes and is ready to move on. Taking care of the ball will be a huge emphasis as losing the turnover battle by 3 can't happen. Safety is now also a concern as it appears Budda Baker will be out at least a few weeks. The next two road games will be critical as the schedule will start to get a lot tougher.|
|14.||Raiders||-1||2-1||The Raiders are not the best team in the league.|
|15.||Bears||+1||3-0||The big story, of course, is the benching of Mitch Trubisky. Nick B. D. Foles came into the game without any system reps since training camp and casually threw 3 touchdowns in 4:27 of game time. A mix of late-game heroics and tremendous opponent implosions have left the Bears' sitting at the season's unlikeliest 3-0, and if Foles can stay healthy they may have a much higher ceiling on offense than anyone anticipated. Extend Allen Robinson.|
|16.||Cowboys||-1||1-2||There's a pile of dead bodies on both sides of the ball, but somehow Dallas is still competitive. Despite such bad offensive line play that they did the cupid shuffle at halftime, Dak went blow for blow with Russell Wilson. On the fun side, the team found new and exciting ways to shit their own bed. A muffed kickoff return and multiple missed extra points were some plot twists no one saw coming. Sundays are ugly right now, but if they can get ahold of a Cleric or a Celestial Warlock or maybe a Lore Bard, hell, even a Necromancer, this team could be nasty in a month or so. Plus, its not like there is intense competition to win the division.|
|17.||Colts||--||2-1||Ho-hum, the Colts destroyed the Jets. Colts fans' were encouraged by the display on Sunday but caution reminds that it was only the Jets, who look entirely uninspired.|
|18.||Browns||+6||2-1||At 2-1 the Browns finally have a winning record for the first time since December of 2014. 2,123 days to be exact. With Baker Mayfield tossing two touchdowns and Nick Chubb running in two more the Browns have everyone taking note. Is this the year they turn it around?|
|19.||Texans||-1||0-3||In 2014 Bill O'Brien was given the reins to a team that was struggling. Their offense was anemic, their defense was weak in the secondary, and on the whole they just came up short when it really mattered. Now after 6 years under his leadership, the offense is anemic, the defense is weak against the run, and the team is struggling. Of course Deshaun Watson is better than Tom Savage, and Fat Randy plays for the Bengals now, but really the team feels poised to go 9-7 and fail to come out on top in the critical moments of critical games. I'm sure they'll look better against teams that are weaker than the Chiefs and Ravens, but if the Texans can't challenge the top squads in the NFL, how much have they really moved forward since 2014?|
|20.||Chargers||-1||1-2||An opponent who should have been a win on paper, a significant player going down to injury (CHJ may miss 4-6 weeks with a foot injury), and falling behind early only to fall short of a comeback. Nothing more 2020 for the Chargers than to go full 2019. Credit Herbert for his poise throughout the game, coming back from that rocky start to become the third QB ever to throw 300+ yards in his first two games. The Chargers, and the offense in particular, cannot afford to have a slow start against Tampa Bay.|
|21.||Vikings||+1||0-3||Justin Jefferson put up 175 yards and Harrison Smith put up another elite performance, but the Titans still eked out a one-point win thanks to rookie mistakes at corner and the Vikings' interior offensive line getting posterized yet again.|
|22.||Lions||+7||1-2||This baby can fit so much emotional confusion in it. The Lions defense had 3 picks, which means fans have 3 reasons to be hype for next week. Golladay was a monster as always, but Stafford is making weird mistakes. He took sacks he shouldn’t have, and Detroit has come to expect so much more from the offense... but fuck it. A W is a W. Time to chug the Kool-Aid, because there is an undeserving reason to be hype again.|
|23.||Dolphins||+5||1-2||Rumors of Fitztragic sightings seem to have died down, as the beard magic shined through en route to Ryan Fitzmagic setting multiple records in a rout of the Jaguars. Is this a sign of what's to come, or just beating up on a bad team?|
|24.||Jaguars||-3||1-2||[On Location] "The Jaguars decided to take the week off from football inste— (shuffling notes) I'm now being told the Jaguars did not in fact take the week off from football, and were instead embarassed by some old bearded man on Thursday night. Sounds like the squad will have a few extra days to try and get it's act together, as what it says here sounds like the defense was downright abysmal, and likely illegal in at least six states."|
|25.||Falcons||-5||0-3||In the middle of the fourth quarter on September 27, Arthur Blank's 78th birthday, hundreds of confidently depressed Falcons fans simultaneously predicted something that hadn't ever statistically happened in NFL history with such nonchalance it felt arrogant. Since two churches in 2014 were demolished to make way for Atlanta's new(ly cursed) stadium, under no circumstance has a lead remained safe. All the talent in the world can't stop the Falcons from Falconing weekly in the most Falconly ways ever Falconed. Classic Falcons.|
|26.||Panthers||+4||1-2||The Panthers notched their first win in week 3. But given the quality of their opponent and the shaky nature of the win, it's hard to read too much into it. The run and pass defenses are still porous, the chemistry on offense isn't quite there yet and Teddy Bridgewater is uneven. All that being said, the team is moving in the right direction and the system continues to gel after a short offseason. In a wide open division like the NFCS, anything can happen.|
|27.||Washington FT||-2||1-2||Despite QB Dwayne Haskins 3 INT day, Washington had a 20-17 lead in the third quarter before the numerous self-inflicted wounds became too much to overcome. Ron Rivera continues to preach patience and trust in the process while seemingly tapping out in back to back games down 2 scores with timeouts left on the board. Everyone understands the fear of injuries but giving up so readily is a bad look and might contradict the "culture" message that Rivera wants to instill.|
|28.||Eagles||-5||0-2-1||What kind of coward elects to punt on 4th-and-12 from mid-field with 19 seconds left in overtime? The Eagles' organization is garbage.|
|29.||Broncos||-3||0-3||Jerry Jeudy has played three NFL games. He has caught passes from three different QBs. No fact better captures the combination of bad injury luck and front office ineptitude that the Broncos have this season. A big steaming turd meets another big steaming turd (the Jets) this week. Whoever wins, America loses.|
|30.||Bengals||-3||0-2-1||Joe Burrow continues to excel, despite having no training camp, pre-season, or a functioning offensive line. The Bengals are essentially parking their Ferrari on the street right now. Maybe next off-season they can buy a garage.|
|31.||Giants||--||0-3||The Giants, not to be outdone by their Metlife brethren, went out Sunday and got curb-stomped by the San Francisco Injured Reserves. Daniel Jones has gone from "Danny Dimes" to "Danny Duds" as he looked far inferior to backup QB Nick Mullens Sunday. He can run, but he's had the same problems plaguing him since last year, and no, the blame for that does not rest solely on the OL. The Giants get the LA Rams next, which means we all get to see perennial all-pro Aaron Donald go against their Costco brand-OL.|
|32.||Jets||--||0-3||In a heroic effort to get Adam Gase fired, Sam Darnold became the first quarterback to throw two pick-sixes in one game since Geno Smith.|
[PI] A Demon From Earth (Ch 36)
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After finding a suitable location, and setting up the target stand at 50 yards, I broke out an adjustable shooting bench and some sandbags, and gave Andy practical instructions in the use of a rifle.
He was a quick study. He got the four rules correct the first time I asked him for them, and listened to my instructions carefully. I never had to repeat things twice.
Finally, we were ready to fire, so I handed out earplugs and showed them how they were used. I demonstrated the techniques I'd described, loading five rounds into the magazine, and putting them on the paper. After firing, I removed the magazine, after showing how the bolt locked open on the empty magazine.
We walked out to inspect the target, and change the target out. At 50 yards, they all stayed inside about a three-quarters inch circle, though I was offset from the bullseye about three inches. I guess we'd need to adjust the zero. Not bad, actually, since I'd never actually fired the bloody thing. ARs aren't really my bag.
We went back to the bench, and I adjusted it for Andy's height. No need to make things harder than needed at the start.
I put one round in the magazine, laid it on the bench, and turned things over to my student.
He adjusted the stock for his reach, latched the magazine in place, dropped the bolt release, and brought the rifle up to his shoulder as I'd shown. He carefully looked through the scope, keeping his eye from getting too close. He started taking slow, controlled breaths, squeezed rather than pulling the trigger, and held it back while he went through the recoil.
Damn. I wish everyone I taught to shoot paid that much attention.
"How'd that feel? Was the kick ok?"
"It was surprising, but it didn't hurt. Let's go look!"
"Alright. Clear and ground your weapon, please."
He pulled the magazine out, looked in the chamber, and left the bolt open with the rifle on it's left side so I could see inside as well.
We walked out to the target, and the little shit had nailed it straight through the X. I laughed and grinned at that. He looked smug.
"You figured out how the scope was misadjusted and corrected for it?"
"Yes. It seemed unlikely that all of your shots would have been off the same amount from your doing, and the lines on the paper showed how far to go the other way."
"You've got the right idea. We can adjust the scope so you won't always have to compensate for it. Ok, let's go do a string of five shots, and see how you did, although I have pretty high hopes. After that, we'll move the target further out, and give it another go."
I circled the one hole in the paper so we could distinguish it, and walked back to the bench. I handed him a magazine that I knew had only four rounds in it. He slotted the mag in the rifle, and tripped the release. He got settled again, and at a nice even pace, fired to empty. The rifle stayed rock steady when he pulled the trigger the fifth time, and it didn't go bang. Just as instructed, he set the rifle down and stepped back, asking what was wrong.
"Nothing. I apologize for the trick, but I wanted to see if you were anticipating the recoil any."
"You told me not to."
"Telling someone not to anticipate and them actually not doing it are two different things. This is my first time teaching an elf to shoot, after all."
"Ok. I understand. Did I do it correctly?"
"I'm a little sad that not all my future students will be like you. You did just fine. Let's go look at that target and then move the stand."
We hiked back out, and while he had a little vertical stringing, his shots were all dead centerline. I was impressed, and said so.
After moving the target out to 200 yards and replacing the paper, we went back and I let him load his own magazine.
"No more tricks. This is all you. Keep it in mind that you're going to need to compensate four times as much for the scope at four times the distance."
He loaded and fired. We drove over to the target this time, and his shots were all within five inches vertical and three inches horizontal, though offset the same direction as my first string had been, even if not nearly as much.
"You've got excellent left to right control, but your vertical grouping is a bit off. Still, you're well within the target zone. I'm sure you already figured out that you didn't compensate quite enough for the scope error. That said, you're doing a truly excellent job for your first time with a firearm. I've been doing this for 140 seasons, which is a long time for my people, and it took me a lot longer to get that good."
"Thank you. Credit is due to the instructor, your directions are very clear, and you seem to always have a different way to explain if something doesn't make sense the first time."
We changed the paper again, drove back, and I grabbed the spotting scope so I could show him how to adjust the zero on the rifle.
Once that had been accomplished, and he had shot a few more five round strings, we'd been at it for almost two hours. I decided it was time to go for 300, and then call it a day. Shooter fatigue is real.
We drove out, picked up the target stand, moved it another 100 yards, and replaced the paper target.
"Ok Andy. Ten rounds this time, for bragging rights. Show me your stuff."
Using what I'd told him about holdover to adjust for the range increase, he methodically put all ten rounds downrange. I had him clear the weapon and stow it in the truck box, putting the bench and stool away as well. We hopped in and went to pick up the target.
All the hits were within six inches vertical and three horizontal. And they were all centered very nicely around the bullseye, with five of the hits within the nine ring including one not more than a hair off the X.
"That one's a keeper, Andy. Very well done. Let's head back to town and I'll introduce you to the joys of cleaning guns."
I annotated the corner of the paper. "300 yards; zero wind; first day" and then signed it and handed it over.
Fess went off to show the elf he'd given a rifle to how to actually use it, and left Corwin and I to take inventory of the ammunition. And to start in on belting more of it for the damned MG-42.
"You should have bought the machine that does this," I said to Corey.
"Yeah, you're not kidding. I never expected to go through so much of it so quickly, though."
"This is really annoying. We're leaving some for Fess, right?
"Oh hell yes. Half? I think that he gets to do half."
"It seems only fair."
An hour later, and we had finished our part, so we started counting ammo boxes. I knew what I had brought, and Corwin had a pretty good idea of what he had, but Fess had just thrown stuff in the truck, and hadn't written a damned thing down.
In the end it turned out we were sitting on 17,300 rounds of .308, of which 1,900 were 169 grain Gold Medal Match for my SRS. Fess had brought several crates of loaded FAL mags, which accounted for 2,100 rounds. There were only 1,400 rounds of tracer, though, so we'd need to start loading them 5:1 instead of 4:1, or just accept that we'd be out of them at the end. At least all of the various types of stuff we had -- Lake City, Australian and South African milsurp, and so forth -- were the same standard 147 grain NATO loading so we didn't have to worry about mix and match.
Corey had 300 rounds for his Griz, and between the three of us we had 2,700 rounds of 10mm. Though that was a much more mixed up batch. 180 grain truncated cones, 165 grain Gold Dots, some ludicrously snappy 135 grain rounds making 1600 fps, and so forth.
1,600 rounds of .50 BMG, some of it milsurp M2 ball, several cans of M17 tracer, which was apparently all Fess wanted to run through Stormbringer, and Corwin had brought 400 rounds of 750 grain Hornady match rounds.
"Dude, what did these run you?"
"Don't ask. I don't want to think about it. I definitely don't want to think about what the replacement cost will be."
"Yeah. We're kinda burning out our stocks here. I wonder if there's a market for elven artwork back on Earth…"
There were 99 rounds of 40mm grenade ammo left, there was a can with an actual label stating that it held 200 rounds of 12ga, although it had full brass cases and was only marked "MGP". Fess had the only shotgun so I guess that was his. He had also, for some reason, brought a whole case of .22lr ammo. 5,000 rounds. Which, since to the best of my knowledge, we hadn't brought an actual .22 firearm, was just taking up space. Or maybe it had just already been in the truck.
There were also two cases of 5.56 and a can of empty STANAG mags, presumably for the rifle Fess had given the elf.
"Ivy?" I looked up.
"Hey, you're Friday, right?"
"My actual name is Peilomäärini!ee. But your friend seems to have a tendency to just rename anything he can't pronounce. Andinirüün'ai has been called three different things since Fess arrived."
"Uh, is that 'Andy'?" Corwin asked.
"Yes. I'm not sure if it's an insult or not, but I don't think there's much chance he'll change."
"It's probably a good sign, actually. If Fess wanted to insult you, it would be really, really, really obvious. He, uh, doesn't usually mince words," I replied.
"He certainly didn't when it came to talking to the old king. I wanted to ask you about him. He… I don't even know what to ask. He is obviously caring towards Anneke, and he's been kind at times to us as well. But then he can also be exceedingly violent and even cruel. He apologized for it later, but I thought he might kill me in the truck during the battle when I questioned his actions."
"Fess… he's had a rough couple of years. Well, longer than that, honestly, but the last few have been extra hard. It's kind of put him on edge. He'd never hurt an innocent person, but he's also got a very particular sense of honor. Actually, Corwin could probably explain it better than I could. They're a lot closer in philosophy than I am."
"Well, he's way more inclined to get into fights to defend other people than I am," Corwin said. "But in general, yeah, you're not wrong."
He continued, "Fess thinks about the world in very black and white terms, which is a thing we share. We like to decide what is right and what is wrong well in advance, and then know what the right path is and follow it. I'm actually kind of surprised that he let himself be flogged for killing the king, since he said the reason it happened was because he was defending the kid. Then again, if he thought it was necessary to keep her safe, that probably explains it."
"Wouldn't he have been punished for that where you come from?"
"So… it's not perfect but any means, but in general, self defense or the defense of others is considered to be a fundamental right. People have even avoided punishment for killing those charged with upholding the law, when they acted outside of it. Although that's unfortunately rare."
"But the king's word is law. Are things so different there? What if he had killed your king?"
"Ahhhh, um. We don't have one. A couple hundred years ago we did. The king at the time was treating our ancestors poorly, and so we threw him, and his army, out of the country. We were a colony that had been established a long way away, and they thought we could be treated badly because of it. So we fought them over it, and founded a new country based on the idea that everyone was equal. Although we didn't do a very good job of it for a long time, and actually we're still kinda working on it. But the flaw isn't in the ideal, just in the implementation."
"That's very strange. How does it even work if no one leads you?"
"Poorly, some times. But we do have leaders. We just get a voice in who they are, and at least in theory, they have to follow the same rules as everyone else. And since we're so set on the idea of people being equal, it means that we pretty much all find slavery to be extremely offensive. That's a big part of why I'm even here. Well, ok, and I was also worried that my friend might have gone crazy when he started talking about elves and trolls and psychic dinosaurs and ringworlds."
"You!" I shouted. "You said you thought he was telling it straight!"
"Well, yeah, I couldn't just agree with you, could I? What would be the fun in that?!"
Friday looked at us like she thought we were both crazy.
"Anyway, does that make sense? Or did I just make it worse?" he asked her.
"I don't know. But what you say does match what I have seen from him. Still, I wonder, is he a good person?"
"I mean… he's one of my best friends. I'm kinda biased. We share a philosophy that a lot of our people find rather odd, mostly because we take principles to their logical conclusion. And since it's rare, it's deeply important knowing someone else who understands our point of view on things. But, to actually try and answer your question, despite the amount of carnage he wrought yesterday, he's actually a pretty gentle guy. As long as no one harms him or people he cares about, anyway."
"He has certainly demonstrated what happens in that situation. I don't think anyone here questions that."
"Look," I interjected. "Ultimately we can't actually help you here. If you don't already trust Fess, it would be foolish to trust the word of the people he brought with him."
"That's… a good point."
I went on. "But I can tell you that both Corey and I have lives and lovers back on Earth. We're not staying, and we're certainly not going to try and take over. Fess is… more likely to stay than we are, but you couldn't force him into the role of leader. He's not going to try to usurp your queen either."
"But he's leading the war!"
"I bet that if you asked him, he'd say it was more of a consulting gig. I suspect he thinks of this as an interesting problem to solve, and even if he wouldn't admit it, a good chance to try out some of his toys. But even if you wanted him to be king or whatever, he wouldn't find that interesting, and he'd almost certainly refuse. Forcefully, if needed."
"Well, you've definitely given me something to think about. Thank you for your time."
"Sure. I hope it helped."
"I don't know, honestly. You humans are very confusing."
"And we're weirder than most," I replied.
She walked off, looking deep in thought and shaking her head.
Once we'd gotten back, Ivy and Corwin congratulated Andy on his shooting, and let me know that I had a great big pile of ammo and links to assemble once I was finished. We started the process of rifle disassembly so he could clean his gear. I gave him a kit of materials for the purpose of his very own, since presumably some day I would be going home.
Sisme came by at some point during the process, wrinkling her nose at the scent. Ah well, I guess Hoppe's isn't for everyone.
"Thank you for showing us how to use these weapons of yours. You… only brought the one?"
"They're pretty expensive. And Andy here is the only one of your troops I've spent enough time around to really feel comfortable arming."
"A shame. If we had these for the entire guard, we would never fear the trolls again."
"These things have a way of spreading. And we're going to take care of the trolls regardless. I'm afraid you're going to have to make do with just Andy having the one."
"It is still certainly a very impressive gift. Thank you for your efforts on the behalf of my people."
"You're most welcome, Sisme."
She said something else, and Oz asked if I needed him to explain things for Andy, because the queen required his presence. I said that I could show him what to do visually, and they took off together.
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