NFL Snark Rankings: Week 15
Even the losers get lucky sometimes
~ Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
The football world finally got to witness the debut of Johnny Football in Week 15, as he was thrust upon us like a drunk employee from accounting on an unassuming secretary at the company Christmas party.
Week 15 also marks the first time we get a Mad Men reference, so I spared you this long.
Manziel had a disastrous debut for Cleveland -- tossing two ugly picks -- and the Bengals shut out their Buckeye State rivals, 30-0.
Since they're going nowhere, the Browns will stick with Johnny the rest of the season, because what difference does it make? Reverting back to Brian Hoyer would draw ire from the Dawg Pound, and that’s a sleeping pooch you don’t want to poke.
Not much change in the Snark Rankings, since it was business as usual for the regulars. Except for the Jets, that is, who managed to pull out a thrilling 16-11 victory over the Tuxedos. The game was marred by a huge brawl when Geno Smith was bitch-slapped by Tennessee DT Jurrell Casey. At least that provided some excitement in the game for fans who were naïve enough to purchase tickets.
Dudes, leave that stuff to the hockey players. At least they have a clue what they're doing! You're embarrassing yourselves.
Let’s travel to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where the Chiefs exacted revenge on the Raiders. Does that make it sound like the Silver & Black pose some sort of threat? Only to public safety.
1. Oakland Raiders (2-12) – Kansas City played a prototypical Chiefs game, scoring first on a punt return, and then with backup RB Knile Davis scoring on a 70-yard TD pass. Alex Smith has yet to throw a paydirt pass to a WR, but he did hit TE Travis Kelce on a 20-yarder. Raiders QB Derek Carr completed just under half of his 56 passes for 222 yards and 1 TD. Luckily for Oakland, they have Sebastian Janikowski. And luckily for him, the Chiefs don’t share a stadium with the Royals. Heaven forbid that Janikowski has to kick off from the infield. The Commitment to Fecklessness gets to host the Bills next week, and they're hot off the heels of shutting down Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers in back-to-back weeks. Good luck Derek, you’re going to need it.
2. Tennesee Tuxedoes (2-12) – Hey, when they start playing like Titans, I'll start calling them Titans. Not holding my breath. And I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t the Jaguars supposed to occupy this spot? That’s true pretty much any other week of the season, but the Tuxes lost to the Jets. Yes, those same New York Jets that have been near the top of the Snark Rankings all year, and they caused a huge fight, which is never good unless you’re playing the Winnipeg Jets.
Tennessee also allowed Geno Smith to throw a TD pass, which is even more remarkable. Tux QB Jake Locker was injured, again, and no, that isn’t a misprint; his season is over as he was placed on IR today, meaning they’re going to ride Charlie Whitehurst the rest of the way. The Tuxes travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars this Thursday night in a game that must have TV executives just cringing and sneaking egg nog shots at their desk before, during, and after the game. Tennessee could be in position to draft Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariotta from the Oregon Ducks, and they may not have to trade up to do so. The Tuxes have the worst-run defense in the league, so look for them to address that in the off-season. Where’s Stompin' Albert Haynesworth when you need him?
3. Washington Redskins (3-11) – In a weird twist of fate, the Redskins were forced to play RGIII when starter Colt McCoy was removed from the game with a neck injury. What happened to Kirk Cousins? Just asking. 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden must’ve been thrilled to give Griffin playing time during a regular season game that counts. Gruden is not only seeing RGIII and Dan Snyder in his nightmares, but Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr has got to be making an appearance, too. The Rookie of the Year favorite had 12 catches for 123 yards and three TD’s. Gruden was so averse to the play on the field, he had no idea that WR Santana Moss was ejected for cussing out a couple of referees after Griffin's rushing TD was overturned.
That fight in practice? Somewhere, the Capitals are laughing.
What’s next for the Skins? The Eagles and Cowboys, that’s who.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12) – The Buccos were in contention for a division title just two weeks ago. However, I don’t believe that's the case anymore. The Saints have taken a commanding division lead at 6-8. Yes, 6-8. Tampa Bay had their sights set on an upset, as Panthers QB Cam Newton was involved in a vehicular accident during the week, and backup QB Derek Anderson got the start. A narrow 19-17 loss on the road this late in the season to a division foe is not the most humiliating thing in the world, unless you happen to reside in the NFC South. Then, any interdivision loss looks deflating. Tampa Bay finishes up with Green Bay and New Orleans, so a 2-14 finish is likely, which would mark their fifth two-win season in franchise history. I’m sure expectations were raised when they hired Lovey Smith to coach Bruce’s Boys. After all, when you finish 4-12 the previous season, how much lower can you get? Unfortunately for the Buccos, a 2-12 record might only be good enough for the fourth pick in the draft, depending on tiebreakers. Time to change things up for this franchise. Bring back the creamsicle uniforms and feathered pirate helmets. It’s better than the throwback Arena League uniforms they're forced trot out.
Dudes, you're not intimidating anyone. Buccaneer Bruce misses you. And what were those historians intimating about him?
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) – Nobody gave Jax any chance of beating the Ravens in Baltimore, but they earned one of those moral victories which are akin to a head coach getting a vote of confidence from ownership. Haven’t heard that vote of confidence for Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley yet, but he does have the defense playing well, which is why he was hired away from the Seahawks. A lot of work lies ahead for the Jags, including finding a permanent home, because simply being the largest city in Florida just aint’ gonna cut it. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, a victory against Tennessee Thursday night would drastically hurt their draft position. This team needs a RB, so Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon should be available for them. According to the team website, 860 tickets remain for the weeknight game against Tennessee. Does the stadium only hold 5,000?
There are plenty of playoff implications next week, with the Colts at Cowboys, Seahawks at Cardinals, and Monday Night Football features a doozy: Broncos at Bengals.
Let’s not forget about the Falcons at the Saints with the NFC South division crown on the line. The loser may end up in the Week 16 Snark Rankings.