NFL Snark Rankings: Pre-Season Edition
Yeah, it’s over now, but I can breathe somehow
When it’s all worn out, I’d rather go without
~ Alice In Chains, Over Now
The NFL preseason has mercifully come to an end, and between injuries and suspensions, most teams didn't make it through completely unscathed.
Especially in St. Louis, where QB Sam Bradford was lost for the season after tearing his surgically-repaired ACL in a meaningless exhibition game. However, you do realize this turn of events has an impact in real terms on your very well-being:
It's unlikely the NFL will change the preseason schedule anytime soon -- but they keep trying -- so they keep charging regular season prices, and up here in South Alaska ... errr….Seattle, we accept the extortion, sell out home pre-season games, and get riled up like game day. Fans need practice to get ready for eight Sundays of tailgating at 8am and calling in sick on Monday.
With the regular season kicking off Thursday night in Seattle with the Packers coming to town, it’s time to hold your annual fantasy football drafts, submit your survivor picks and guest guessers, and then reflect upon the past month of pigskin action we just witnessed.
Are we in agreement that Michael Sam sacking Johnny Manziel was the highlight of the preseason? I’m partial to Peyton Manning talking trash to Texans CB DJ Swearinger. That was pretty cool!
Every team gets a clean slate, but for these five, there's just no getting around the fact that they could use four additional pre-season games to get their stuff together and prepare their draft boards for the war room. As if.
1. Dallas Cowboys 0-4
A strange off-season got even stranger when a report surfaced that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he’d like to finish his career as a Cowboy. Stay in Minneapolis, Adrian, you have a better chance at a Super Bowl ring -- and that would be slim as opposed to none -- especially if the Boys keep Romo behind center. Dallas had the worst point differential in the preseason at -56. They get to host the 49ers in Big D during Week 1 and then travel to Tennessee and St Louis before hosting the Saints at home. Jerry's Boys could be 0-5 before traveling to Seattle Week 6. A top-five pick for them to bungle in the 2015 draft is quite likely with that schedule.
2. Buffalo Bills 1-4
The Fighting Bison of Southern Ontario got the luxury of playing five pre-season games since they hosted the HOF game against the Giants. Rookie WR Sammy Watkins suffered a rib injury in the pre-season finale against Detroit because head coach Doug Marrone wanted him to “get more time with QB EJ Manuel.” That’s a stellar idea, because I’m sure they don’t spend much time together in the weight room, practice field, airports around the country waiting for the team flight, and now the trainer’s room. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs since 1999 when they lost on the Music City Miracle play against the Titans. Well, don’t expect any miracles this year, other than a top-five pick. Other than that, have you dudes learned to speak Canadian yet? Or are you still living on a prayer that your new owner won't move the club?
3. Kansas City Chiefs 1-3
Only Dallas had a worse point differential than Kansas City at -48. What happened to the stellar defense from last year? Stud RB Jamaal Charles dropping a box on his foot while moving out of the training camp dorms certainly had Chiefs fans holding their collective, barbecue-reeking breath. Kansas City has a relatively easy schedule, other than those two home-and-homes against division rival Denver, and then Seattle, and San Francisco, and New England, and Pittsburgh, and the Chargers twice, and the Cardinals. They also get the Raiders twice and the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins, so don’t feel too badly for them. A return trip to the playoffs will prove difficult, but they were the Cinderalla team last year, and you know how the NFL scheduling format punishes uppity clubs.
4. Indianapolis Colts 0-4
This team looked horrible in the preseason, allowing 38 more points than they actually scored. How long until they pull the plug on RB Trent Richardson? Andrew Luck may break Matt Stafford’s single season record for pass attempts (727), which makes WR Ty Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, and TE Coby Fleener great fantasy football options. Oh, and Andrew Luck a top-five fantasy QB. Very tough opening schedule: at Denver and home against Philadelphia. Over/under on those games should be at least 100 each! Bovada!
5. Cleveland Browns 1-3
The more things change, the more they remain the same. Incompetence and mixed messages from Browns management has been the norm since they returned to the league in 1999. QB Brian Hoyer was named the starter even though rookie diva QB Johnny Manziel outplayed him greatly and looked like the playmaker he was at Texas A&M. The Browns recently found out WR Josh Gordon will be suspended the entire 2014 season for smoking marijuana. Wrong state, dude. Come to Washington or Colorado! While he's pondering that, Cleveland opens on the road in Pittsburgh and then gets to come back home and host New Orleans and Baltimore. 0-3 is all but assured at this point, as well as a top-three draft pick. I thought crappy teams were supposed to get easy schedules the following year?
Folks, I’m sure glad we can move on to games that actually count, now that the pre-season is over. Don’t forget to catch the pre-game concert by Pharrell and Soundgarden in Seattle on Thursday night, because the NFL is all about entertainment, unless it has to do with dunking a football over the goal post after scoring a touchdown.
We can’t have players celebrating. Only fans …