NFL Snark Rankings: Week 17
The close of the NFL regular season brought about big changes, with five head coaches and a GM getting fired immediately the following day.
Not a lot of surprises there, other than Dennis Allen still having a job in Oakland. That may not last much longer, although former Raiders coach John Gruden proclaimed he is not interested in any of the job openings.
In the real estate world, the saying "location, location, location" apparently also applies for head coaching vacancies in the NFL. You’re telling me Cleveland and Detroit aint your idea of ideal places to live and work? I can’t blame you, Chucky.
It took a full 17 weeks to determine wild card teams, division winners, No 1 overall seeds, home field advantage throughout the playoffs -- Seattle in January is beautiful if you like 42º, cloudy with drizzle -- and draft order. That’s right, the Texans' loss solidified their position with the No 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Washington’s dismal season gave the Rams the No 2 overall pick. Still like that Robert Griffin III trade, Redskins fans?
As the overall Snark Rankings are finalized one last time, it's clear these teams have lots of work to do in the New Year, starting with the head coaching job search. Do you sense a theme here?
- Houston Texans – Once again, theirr main offensive weapon was K Randy Bullock. Never a good sign unless he kicks a game-winning field goal that sends them to the playoffs. Before the start of the season, the Texans were picked by many to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The toilet bowl is more like it. The wheels came off quickly in Houston and that was that. The Texans will likely choose a QB with the first pick, as Matt Schaub may never be the same after this abysmal season. The only hope for next year is they happen to play in the AFC South, which is one of the weakest divisions in football. Cheers to the New Year and don’t screw up your cherry draft pick.
- Washington Redskins – They finally managed to fire their head coach. Congratulations, Redskins, and good luck to whomever takes the reigns in 2014. That job's not exactly a coveted position these days, with owner Daniel Snyder meddling more than a mother-in-law over newlyweds' living room arrangements. The only hope DC has in 2014 is QB Robert Griffin III comes back completely healthy. Maybe he can get some bionic knee operation in Europe or some sort of alternative medicine to cure what ails him. RG3-13 is the franchise, and the No 2 pick would have really helped out a team that ranked as one of the worst defensive units in football. Clowney would've looked good on this team. Maybe you can work out a trade with the Rams for the No 2 pick!
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bruce's Boys also managed to get their head coach fired on Monday. The real surprise was coach Greg Schiano actually lasting the entire season. Rumor has it, he was about to get fired after Week 7. Well, getting the sack after Week 17 doesn’t really make a difference for Tampa Bay, as they play in one of the toughest divisions in football. Only the disappointing Atlanta Falcons kept the Bucs out of the basement. With Carolina and New Orleans dominating the NFC South, it’s going to take a couple years to return to the playoffs. Holding the seventh pick in the draft, Tampa Bay has a chance to draft an impact player, and they could always trade up. Biggest question: Do they need a QB? Or does David Price get traded? And will Steven Stamkos be back in time for the Olympics?
- Oakland Raiders – Not that anybody gave them a prayer of beating the Broncos at home, but congrats on helping Denver QB Peyton Manning setting all sorts of records in what will go down as the greatest single season in NFL history. The final score of 34-14 doesn’t reflect how dominant Denver was, as backup QB Brock Osweiler took all the snaps for Denver in the second half and Oakland managed two late TDs in garbage time. Oakland will pick fifth in the draft, and they need so much help it’s not even funny. For the sake of Bay Area fans everywhere, please get this draft right for once, as Oakland has passed on the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson in past drafts. Ouch!
- Cleveland Browns – The Brownies had a chance to knock the rival Steelers out of the playoffs. Instead, they laid another egg, and it was not of the golden variety. Only a missed call by the refs in the Chargers-Chiefs game knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs, which is fine by me. Ever since Super Bowl XL, us Seahawks fans have rooted against Pittsburgh in every facet of the game. Even the Pirates and Penguins suffer the wrath of Seattle sports fans. Cleveland needs a head coach and a QB, so it’s going to be a busy offseason for the Browns. They still need a RB since trading Trent Richardson, but thankfully, WR Josh Gordon had a breakout year to give them at least one weapon on offense. With the No 4 overall pick, expect the Browns to get an impact player, but I don’t think they have player-managers like the old days of baseball. Might be time to bring Lebron James back home, eh, Cleveland?
The most surprising thing about our final Snark Rankings is the absence of Jacksonville. Yes, the Jags lost soundly to the Colts in the final week, but Indianapolis has beaten some truly good teams this year and won the AFC South by default.
Jacksonville still needs a franchise QB. Backup Chad Henne played fairly well filling in for the injured Blaine Gabbert. However, it’s clear that Gabbert isn't the answer at QB, either. Jacksonville picks third in the draft, so look for them to take an impact player as opposed to filling out the depth chart. Is that guy Teddy Bridgewater? Stay tuned until May.
So there you have it, football fanatics, the Snark Rankings are set for 2013, and as we move into 2014, look for one last update once the playoffs are complete. We'll actually talk about good teams for once.
Believe me, analyzing ineptitude and incompetence is mind numbingly tedious. Now I know how the folks at the Government Accountability Office feel.