NFL Snark Rankings: Week 12
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'
~ Bob Dylan
For the human race to succeed, it must be open to change, embracing it, accepting it, and responding in a productive manner. Otherwise, all we do is maintain the status quo, and that often becomes stale.
Change at the top seems to be a very common occurrence, especially if you’re a high-ranking official in the Obama administration as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took a page out of former Attorney General Eric Holder's playbook and announced his resignation this week.
For NFL teams, change at the top often happens week to week, with underdogs pulling off an upset. We saw that again on Thu 20 Nov in Oakland, where the Raiders finally notched their belt. A momentous occasion like this warrants an extended video experience:
But do know these are still the Raiders:
It was a classic trap game for the Chiefs, coming off an emotional win against the Seahawks just four days earlier. Perhaps they looked past Oakland, and in human terms, rightfully so.
Expect more change to come with five weeks left in the season, particularly as teams jockey for playoff position. Don’t worry, we’re not going to bother with those teams. What fun would that be?
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) – Their road game against the Colts turned out to be much closer than anybody thought, including Jaguars fans. All six of them. Jax sacked Colts QB Andrew Luck five times and recovered two of his fumbles, so at least there's optimism on one side of the ball. The Jags are now in a dead heat with the Raiders for the No 1 overall pick in the NFL draft next April. Expect change in that race, too, since they each finish with tough schedules. Jacksonville gets one more crack at a victory when they host the Titans in Week 16. Heck, the Titans might join the race for the No 1 overall pick by that point. It’s going to be riveting action.
2. New York Jets (2-9) – Sticking with the change-at-the-top theme, will Rex Ryan survive until the end of the season? I don’t mean literally. Figuratively, he’s already dead in the eyes of Jets fans, as another dreadful performance was likely the nail in his coffin. Perhaps players were thrown off having to travel to Detroit to take on the Bills Monday night because of Snowmageddon 2014 in Buffalo. I’m guessing many more Bills fans made the trip, since they're in playoff contention. The Jets are also in contention for that No 1 overall pick, since they're benching Michael Vick in favor of Geno Smith. Did they not learn from the Bills benching EJ Manuel? The Jets welcome the Dolphins to town on Monday Night Football. Foreboding.
3. Washington Redskins (3-8) – Just like the Jags-Colts game, the 'Skins kept it close -- too close -- with the 49ers in Santa Clara. RGIII had another tough day, getting crushed by 49ers DE Justin Smith and sacked a total of five times. He had slightly more than double that many completed passes for 106 yards and no TDss. As I said the week before, this team needs to see more Alfred Morris and perhaps more passes from Pierre Garçon. Could he do any worse than RGIII? Griffin played his way onto the bench for this week's matchup with the Colts. The Other Gruden’s post-game comments about his star QB were less than flattering, so I’m wondering if there won’t be another head coaching change in the off-season. Gruden seems not to be the Yes Man that owner Daniel Snyder needs to exert his will. If former Longhorn Colt McCoy wins this week, how could Snyder possibly think Griffin is the answer behind center? Does anybody give them a chance of finishing the season well with three straight games against their NFC East opponents? Maybe, if the real McCoy is still in charge.
Too bad ol' Amos bought the farm. The Big Farm. And so it goes.
4. Tennessee Tuxedos (2-9) – As if their game in Philly wasn’t going to be difficult enough, Josh Huff returned the opening kickoff 107 yards for a TD 13 seconds into the game and frankly, that was that. The worst rushing defense in the league was just what the doctor ordered for Shady McCoy to regain the trust of fantasy football owners across the country.
After the Tuxes lose to the Texans next week, three straight against the Giants, Jets, and Jaguars should eiter give players a bit of confidence or completely destroy what's left of their dignity. QB Zach Mettenberger looks decent, but the defense is so dreadful, they have to take one of the top d-linemen in the draft. Once again, more of Bishop Sankey, please.
5. Oakland Raiders (1-10) – Wow! what a huge drop the Silver & Black took this week, after shocking the entire gridiron, gangland, and various other worlds by beating their AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a crying shame that RB Latavius Murray was knocked out of the game with a concussion after gaining 112 yards on four carries and two TDs in the first half. He was on a roll.
Cheers to a speedy recovery, kid!
Savor the moment, Raiders fans, because not only did that blip in the losing streak get your picture removed from Webster’s Dictionary under feckless, but it's the only victory you’ll get in 2014. That is, unless the Bills are somehow napping in Week 16 or still have jet lag from flying across country. You’re not beating the Rams, 49ers, Chiefs (again), or Broncos. We know there will be change at the top, as a head coaching search has become an off-season Raider tradition. Perhaps they can look through the Black Friday ads, as literally everything is on sale and available this Friday. Never know where you’ll find a hidden gem.
And no, that does not include a deviously retired Charlie Weis.
We’re sad to see the G-Men drop out of the Snark Rankings, as the other New York team joined in the fray. They fought tooth and nail with the Cowboys, and although they lost, Odell Beckham Jr provided the ultimate highlight reel with his one-handed TD grab. Even when Eli throws TD passes, it takes a once-in-a-lifetime play from a WR to save his patootie.
Possibly in tribute, Bills WR Robert Woods does a combo Beckham and David Tyree, whom you surely remember from Super Bowl XLII:
The G-men could use you, Mr Woods.
While you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table with your family -- does an adopted cousin from your mother’s third marriage count as family? -- give pause for the many blessings in your life. And if you’re a Raiders fan, you may want to put out a plate of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and wine for the football gods who pulled off the most shocking upset in recent memory.
What’s even more shocking is seeing a naked grandma smoking a cigarette in the kitchen. You may want to inquire with local motels about vacancy.