NFL Snark Rankings: Playoff Edition
Just because the NFL regular season is over doesn’t mean the end of bad football has been played out on gridirons across America.
Not when the Cincinnati Bengals are involved.
I hope you all enjoyed the Snark Rankings presented each week during the season. As the Super Bowl brings a close to 2013, it also brings a close to the pigskin Snark Rankings.
Let’s talk about those Cincinnati Bengals for a minute. Not only did I choose them for a playoff survivor pool, but I drew the Bengals randomly in my own playoff pool. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Finally, we get to talk about good teams for once.
- Cincinnati Bengals – After their performance against the San Diego Super Chargers, they may revert back to being referred to as the Bungles. Hosting a home playoff game typically sets a team up for success and a chance to advance to the next round. However, when the visiting team -- the No 6 seed, no less -- comes into your house and beats you at your own game, you've got problems. Andy Dalton was turnover prone, and don’t think because he passed for 334 yards that he had a great game. Where was the Bengals' ground game and stout defense? The Chargers surely had both those facets working for them. The Bengals last playoff victory was against the Houston Oilers in 1990, which they followed up by losing to the Raiders and ending Bo Jackson’s career. You’re always going to be the Bungles.
- Denver Broncos – Here’s a team I didn’t expect to make this list, but that performance in the Super Bowl was just awful. Starting off with a safety was just the beginning of their problems. The Seattle Seahawks showed the world just how good they are by not allowing Peyton Manning to get comfortable, and Percy Harvin came back just at the right time. Even if Manning set a Super Bowl record for completions and Demaryius Thomas set a record for receptions in the big game with 13, none of it mattered as they failed to score the entire first half. It’s going to be a long off-season in Mile High, but as the saying goes: “There’s always next year.”
- Kansas City Chiefs – So what’s worse than blowing a 28-point, 3rd quarter lead on the road in a playoff game? How about losing Jamaal Charles, Donnie Avery, Kniles Davis, Brandon Flowers, and Justin Huston to injuries? Oh, and the Chiefs now have the longest active losing streak in the playoffs at eight, breaking a tie with the Lions. That’s great that they’re no longer associated with Detroit, but was anybody covering TY Hilton? This was the second-largest comeback in post-season history. The Buffalo Bills recovered from a 32-point deficit to beat the running and shooting Houston Oilers on that fateful day in January 1993.
- Indianapolis Colts – The AFC didn’t have a very good showing in the playoffs, as this is the fourth team from the American Football Conference to show in the Snark Rankings. The Colts made a miraculous comeback against the Chiefs in the Wild Card round; however, they marched into Foxboro and got stomped by the Patriots, or more specifically, by LeGarrette Blount and his four rushing touchdowns. Andrew Luck had a tough day, throwing four picks. Don’t count the Colts out in 2014, especially with Luck under center. He’s the real deal.
- Carolina Panthers – Finally, an NFC team that put up a dud in the playoffs! Carolina finished the regular season with a flourish to capture the NFC South title from the Saints and earned the No 2 seed. They hosted the San Francisco 49ers in the second round and lost 23-10, but it wasn’t really that close. It was a hard fought defensive game, and the Panthers did hold Colin Kaepernick to 196 yards passing, of which 136 went to WR Anquan Boldin. With one of the top defenses in the league, Carolina will be back in the hunt in the 2014 regular season, as long as Cam Newton pulls his head out from underneath that towel.
I hope you all enjoyed a truly memorable 2013 season. I’m sure the 12th Man will, as they decorated MetLife Stadium in a sea of blue and green. The teams featured on this list will travel the road to redemption in 2014. Can the entire Broncos team fit in a confession booth?