NFL Snark Rankings: Week 15
After watching some of the 'action' in the NFL's Week 15, one could surmise that it's turning into the WWE with scripted plays and predetermined outcomes.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are teams clearly tanking to improve their draft position.
Do the Redskins realize they traded all their first round draft picks for the foreseeable future?
At least, the main story lines weren't about any of the horrendous officiating episodes that seem to be the norm this year. However, there's still one game left to play this week, and it should be a terrific Monday Night Football matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions. Since neither of these teams are in danger of making the Snark Rankings, here's a an early treat: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
- Houston Texans – Uninspired, unmotivated, and uneventful are just a few adjectives to describe the Texans' latest performance in Lucas Oil Stadium, where they mustered up a 49-yard Randy Bullock field goal. This performance gave Indianapolis the AFC South division crown in what is quickly shaping up as one of the most dysfunctional divisions in football. Well, OK, the NFC East is giving them a run for their money. Good luck in 2014, Houston, after you've drafted a rookie QB who rarely pans out, unless you’re the Colts. The Texans host the Broncos next week, where Denver is 'only' a 10-point favorite. Perhaps that’s more indicative of their Thursday night loss at home to the Chargers than reality, where the Texans are abysmal. This game is going to get ugly fast!
- Washington Redskins – You'd think that Mike Shanahan would’ve learned from the Michigan-Ohio State game a couple weeks ago that it’s better to kick a game-tying extra point and take your chances in overtime rather than try and fail miserably for the winning two-point conversion. Of course, when your team commits seven turnovers, you shouldn’t be in position to win the game in the first place. Perhaps that says even less about the state of the Atlanta Falcons, who, if you’ll notice, dropped out of the Snark Rankings this week with a big W. Way to go, Falcons! Redskins QB Kirk Cousins played very well in the loss and, with the benching of Robert Griffin III, has now ignited a QB controversy in DC. Just what this team needs. There's another report that Mike Shanahan wants to return in 2014. Maybe he doesn’t mean with the Redskins.
- Oakland Raiders – Holy moly, what a terrible performance! The 56-31 loss to the Chiefs was the highest score in an NFL game this year. Better yet, Jamaal Charles led my team to a fantasy football playoff victory, as he scored five TD’s and gained 215 yards from scrimmage. The Raiders clearly need to work on defending screen passes, as Charles had four receiving TD’s and added another on the ground just for kicks. The win also clinched a playoff spot for the Chiefs. What team wants to host them in the first round of the playoffs? The Colts; that’s who.
- New York Giants – The Giants were shut out at home for the first time since 1994. That’s an impressive streak, but not as impressive as the performance the Seattle Seahawks' defense put on, intercepting five Eli Manning passes and holding the Giants to just 181 total yards. What this game really showed is that the Seahawks are comfortable playing at Met-Life Stadium, home to this year’s Super Bowl. For the Giants, it’s just another major setback in their effort to move forward as a competitive NFL football franchise. They're going to finish with just enough of a mediocre record that will preclude them from getting a high draft pick to help with the rebuilding process. I don’t know what to say Giants fans, except that, at least, they have two recent Super Bowl trophies to brag about.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Hello old friend, we’ve missed you the last couple weeks. It’s great to get together and catch up on old times over the holidays. How are things? Oh, you lost at home to the Bills, 27-20? Well, hope things improve for you in the new year and you can get back on your feet. When people fall on hard times is when you really see who your true friends are and who runs away like you have a case of swine flu. Still, despite the adversity, you dudes have to have the best collection of player names in the NFL, with the likes of Ace Sanders, Cecil Shorts, Clay Harbor, Bryan Anger, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Josh Scobee 'Doo.' If only Marcedes Lewis was spelled like the German luxury sedan, it would truly be a Motley Crue. (I know that group goes with umlauts over the o's, but the discerning among us would protest that they change the pronunciation.) Congrats on your recent three-game winning streak, though. That has to be one of the major accomplishments in the NFL this year.
With only two weeks left in the regular season, some of these races are going to go down to the wire, just as Pete Rozelle intended. Why else would he have developed strong-vs-strong and weak-vs-weak scheduling? Anything to fit the NFL ideal of a sexy-hot team or two, a tomato can or two, and a bunch of 8-8 or so teams in the middle. That's about as WWE as a league can get, isn' t it?
All of the games in Week 16 featuring Snark teams are one-sided affairs, such as Denver at Houston. However, the Titans-Jaguars game could get Tennesse back in the Top 5 if they lose to the Jaguars twice in the same season. That's a feat matched only by our No 1 team, the Houston Texans.
At least Tennessee paid homage to their country music roots and hosted Julie Roberts to sing the National Anthem for their game against the Cardinals yesterday. More of her, please …