College football has its polls. Other sites have their power rankings. But at KSK, we like when people suffer; it brings them down to our level. With the regular season kicking off tonight, it’s time to assess each team as it enters the full slate of play… and try to forget the preseason ever happened.
YOUR SAD SIX
1. Cleveland Browns (Previously: 1)
Spolier alert: Johnny Fucking Football isn’t your savior yet, Browns fans. Hoyer’s got the starting gig and Manziel didn’t exactly light the world on fire in the preseason. That said, it was the preseason and Manziel is a young, dumb rookie. And, hey, Hoyer was actually pretty okay last year before his injury! Thing is, the Browns are still the Browns. Josh Gordon learned the hard way smoking weed is worse to the NFL than beating a woman. Ben Tate could be interesting in the backfield with a Kyle Shanahan offense – if he can stay healthy. But, as I mentioned last time, to beat the Factory of Sadness, you have to be sadder than the Factory of Sadness.
2. Oakland Raiders (Previously: 2)
So now the Raiders may actually stay in Oakland after a pissing match with… well, no one, really. The A’s have the success the Raiders lack over the last few years. But they have a possible new stadium in Oakland and not San Antonio going for him which is pretty great when you think about other stuff. Matt Schaub was passed over for a rookie. The team is the least-desired landing spot for other NFL players. They’re still playing in that prison of a stadium. And they have a hell of a schedule thanks to playing tough division foes twice and match-ups against the cross-Bay Niners and then the Seahawks. Mark your calendars for October 26, Raiders at the Browns, a.k.a., the Sadness Bowl.
3. St. Louis Rams (Previously: Unranked)
They seemed so frisky and buzz-worthy! But then Sam Bradford went down again and Michael Sam was cut and now here we are in the Shuan Hill Era. A super tough schedule – Congrats, you get the Niners and Seahawks each twice on top of the Broncos, Eagles, and Chargers! – won’t make things any easier. That defense is STOUT, though. So the sadness is more about the Bradford loss than anything else.
4. Buffalo Bills (Previously: 3)
OMG IS EJ MANUEL THE NEW JOSH FREEMAN? WHY ISN’T HE A TEAM CAPTAIN?? AND WHY IS BON JOVI STILL MENTIONED IN THE SAME BREATH OF THIS TEAM BECAUSE THAT’S A GOOD SIGN, RIGHT? Also, did you know the Bills also play the Raiders and Browns? The Sadness Triforce! Unlike the BCS in college football, we’ll get to see how this all plays out — ON THE FIELD.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (Previously: 5)
Good God, could Blake Bortles be… okay? Could there be… hope? Meh. It’s still the Jags and Chad Henne is still the starting QB. If CShorts3 can stay healthy, he could be a decent fantasy points provider but with Henne throwing to him, Lord knows what’ll happen. The Jags have one of the easier schedules based on 2013 results and they’ll need every bit of it. As it is, the jorts-clad Jags fans probably won’t have much to root for.
6. Tennessee Titans (Previously: 4)
Go ahead, Bill Simmons. Keep trying to sell Jake Locker as a “sleeper” fantasy QB. Like the rest of their AFC South brethren, they get a pretty easy schedule, though, that could be a key to not being terrible. There’s buzz around Bishop Sankey, but the lineup of Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, and Shonn Greene won’t make you hard. The AFC South is probably – PROBABLY – the Colts’ to lose which means the Titans will be mediocre just like their logo.
FLIPPING THROUGH TINDER JUST OUT OF “CURIOSITY”
Texans, Vikings, Washington Fightin’ Snyders
The Texans get an upgrade – and by “upgrade,” I mean not as sucky – thanks to Clowney and not much else. They’re still the Texans. Kind of like the way Washington is still Washington and until RGIII can show he’s worthy of his own logo – and not punching ex-presidents – he stays here. The Vikings? Well, there’s promise with Matt Cassel (I guess?) and Peterson still at full-strength. But it could go tits-up fast.
DRINKING WINE STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE WHILE THE REPLACEMENTS BLARE FROM THE STEREO
There is nothing non-Cowboys fans love to see more than Jerry Jones failing at football and, by proxy, Tony Romo doing the same. The NFC East is pretty crap except for the Eagles who are the only team who feel like they might win a playoff game from that division. There’s something sad about consistent mediocrity that goes beyond the sadness of a few really bad years. Plus, it’s just plain fun to watch them writhe in emotional anguish.