Well, the time comes when the lights need to be turned on and the party must end. We had a good run of 10 weeks, as we watched the league’s worst teams flop around like wounded ducks as a few of them tried to convince us they weren’t losing on purpose for the 2012 NFL Draft’s top prize – Stanford QB Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, our party is pretty much over and we can stick a fork in this Suck for Luck campaign. Barring a miracle – and by that I mean the sudden desire to win – the Indianapolis Colts will have the first pick in the next draft.
And that’s fine, because that’s what their fans and ownership openly pined for to very little criticism. Apparently the Colts are allowed to lose on purpose, so let’s all tip our caps to the eventual team that will make Luck the No. 1 pick. In the meantime, we’ll take one last rundown of the power(less) rankings – and don’t worry, we’ll still review each game in our own fun way in the coming weeks – while I try to decide if I want the Miami Dolphins Whiffin’ for Robert Griffin III or Playing Lames for LaMichael James. Maybe Losing Whack, Son for Justin Blackmon?
1) Indianapolis Colts (0-10) – Peyton Manning says he’s fine with the Colts drafting a QB with their first pick in the next draft, and of course he is. If his neck gets better and he can play again, he’ll start and make $29 million while mentoring Luck, who he has already mentored during college.
2) St. Louis Rams (2-7) – I can’t even pretend to know what this team needs. What a sad regression. My guess would be Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon as a top target for the Rammies now, but they’ll still have to suck worse than Minnesota. That’s a daunting task, friends.
3) Minnesota Vikings (2-7) – If you’re a Vikings fan, you have to be pretty excited about Christian Ponder’s potential. He looks poised and ballsy enough. But is he ballsy enough to lose more than the Rams? I know, this plot line sucks hard.
4) Miami Dolphins (2-7) – My favorite new phrase in this two-game winning streak of the Dolphins is they are “finally using Reggie Bush properly.” Gee, you mean they finally grasped how to throw screen passes to the RB with the most receptions in the NFL since he was drafted? Someone get Tony Sparano his MacArthur Genius Grant now. Also, relevant:
5) Carolina Panthers (2-7) – I’ve really enjoyed the Cam Newton era thus far, but my one complaint about him is that he expects to win every game, and if that’s my biggest complaint then good for him. Every QB should think that way. But when your defense is as terrible as the Panthers, you have to be realistic.
6) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) – The Jags deserve complete blame for the Colts just waltzing to 0-16. Jacksonville was the only franchise sorry enough to lose to Indy and they’ve blown it. Sure, they can win the next one, but it won’t matter by then. Bunch of jerks.
7) Cleveland Browns (3-6) – Make no mistake, Cleveland is the worst team in the NFL right now.
8) Seattle Seahawks (3-6) – I’ve left Marshawn Lynch on my bench in two fantasy leagues for the last two weeks as he’s finally reached Beast Mode. I will start him this week against the Rams. So what do you think? MCL? ACL? Gotta be something like that.
9) Arizona Cardinals (3-6) – Ken Whisenhunt says that he won’t listen to any comments about a QB controversy now that John Skelton is playing well while Kevin Kolb is out with turf toe. You know why there’s no controversy? Because the Cardinals knew that Skelton was good enough last season and they still traded away their best defensive player for Kolb.
10) Washington Redskins (3-6) – Chad Henne wants to stay with the Dolphins next season, so that might put a damper on Mike Shanahan’s plan to collect the most incompetent lineup of QBs in NFL history. Baby steps, though. He has to sign David Carr and Joey Harrington first.
11) Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) – At least the “everyone is injured” excuse is finally an option. Also, DeSean Jackson owing Drew Rosenhaus a ton of money for using his credit card may be my favorite story of the season thus far. Has an agent ever kneecapped a client? Let’s wait and see!
12) Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) – The NFC West is entertaining in a “let’s go push a bum into traffic” kind of way. That said, and with Matt Cassel possibly done for the season, the Chiefs are that bum.
13) Denver Broncos (4-5) – Tim Tebow is 3-1 since becoming the Broncos’ QB, so I’m not going to point out that two of those wins are against pathetic Miami and Kansas City teams. Instead, I will predict he only wins 2 more games this season.
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) – The Bucs have lost three in a row since upsetting New Orleans in Week 6, and I can’t watch a second of it in Orlando because nobody is going to their games. I am thankful for this.
15) San Diego Chargers (4-5) – On one hand, Philip Rivers could just be in a funk and snap back into his status as one of the best QBs in the NFL at any moment and right the ship. On the other hand, Norv Turner’s going to get a lot of rest after this season.
16) Tennessee Titans (5-4) – If Chris Johnson is really back and ready to run like the guy who complained that he deserved $30 million guaranteed, then the Titans could be about to stir some sh*t up. More on this in a moment.
17) Buffalo Bills (5-4) – Always remember, Ryan Fitzpatrick just got $59 million.
18) Dallas Cowboys (5-4) – This is starting to feel like one of those ass backwards, “they shouldn’t even be in the playoffs” seasons for the Cowboys.
19) Oakland Raiders (5-4) – I still don’t get the Darrius Heyward-Bey silent treatment. Whatever he did, they’re keeping it a nice secret.
20) New York Jets (5-4) – Rex Ryan has gone from suck to blow.
21) Atlanta Falcons (5-4) – And so the crowd is slowly turning on Mike Smith for his lack of aggression and killer instinct as a coach. That must be a relief for Matt Ryan.
22) Houston Texans (7-3) – Back to the Titans, this should be Houston’s season to shine, but those poor damn Texans. Matt Schaub is out for the season and now they have to count on Matt Leinart. Oof. Maybe David Carr should make himself available.
23) Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) – This isn’t really much of a revelation but AJ Green is an absolute stud.
24) Baltimore Ravens (6-3) – All that bragging and boasting over sweeping the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Ravens turn right around and hand the division lead back to them by losing to the f*cking Seahawks.
25) Chicago Bears (6-3) – The Bears are the latest team to call the Detroit Lions dirty after Matt Stafford tackled DJ Moore by his head after an interception. But if you watched that game, the Bears were just as dirty, which is good because they’ve been missing a set of testicles.