NFL Snark Rankings: Week 3
Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun! The autumnal equinox has finally brought on the fall season, so football can now officially get under way.
Sure, three full weeks are in the books, but now it feels like football season. Proof? Some contenders think this is a perfect time to panic. Take Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who saw fit to tell the Cheeseheads to “R-E-L-A-X!”
Green Bay isn’t the only team that’s off to a sluggish start. Fans in San Francisco must be wondering if Levi’s Stadium is a curse or a blessing.
Enough about the contenders. Let’s shift our focus to the Sunshine State, where things are not looking bright.
It all started with an NFC South Thursday night divisional rivalry game in Atlanta and quickly spiraled out of control from there.
Unfortunately, there are no bye weeks for any of the Snark teams. Two of them play in London this weekend. It could be enough for the Pommies to wonder why we Yanks ever messed with the rules of rugby in the first place, like allowing forward passes and prevent defenses.
Dudes, it's too late now.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-3 – Things fell apart quickly for the Jax in their home opener against division rival Indianapolis. The Jags have now allowed 34, 41, and 44 points in their first three games, good for the worst defense in the league. Keep in mind, the reason they hired former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley at their coach was they thought he could do something about serial gashes like those. The only silver lining from this game was their rookie first round pick, QB Blake Bortles, relieved Chad Henne and looked sharp throwing two long TD passes. Otherwise, it got so bad that the Colts decided to let QB Andrew Luck rest and brought in backup Matt Hasselbeck. Wow! There’s a blast from the past.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-3 – Hiring former Bears head coach Lovie Smith was supposed to bring a return to hard-nosed defense. Not yet. The Bucs were so bad against the Falcons that Atlanta is now the chic defense for fantasy leagues around the football world. Bruce’s Boys were beaten in every facet of the game. That included Falcons WR Devin Hester returning a punt for a 62-yard TD in the second quarter, breaking Deion Sanders all-time record. Bruce’s Boys also allowed 56 points in three quarters, and like their Sunshine State amigos, brought in backup QB Mike Glennon for the injured Josh McCown. Again, that's about the only silver lining, as they're dead last in passing yards per game. Traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers should put them squarely at 0-4.
3. Oakland Raiders 0-3 – The most surprising game of the week saw the Oaktown Outlaws take on the Patriots in the 'burbs. Can’t they just say Boston and make it easy on everybody not from the Bay State and leave Foxboro for Green Day and their buddies? Anyway, Oakland only lost by a touchdown, 16-9, in a game of field goals. It actually raised more questions about the Patriots' offense than how bad the Raiders are. NT Vince Wolfork did have an interception, which was about as likely as the Raiders making the playoffs this year. Now Oakland travels to jolly Ole England to take on the Dolphins in the NFL’s annual dog and pony show abroad. When will the NFL bail on its pipe dream to globalize gridiron? How many times have they drowned in red ink over there? Apparently, not enough. They've got their football, mate, and the rest of the world agrees with them.
Here's another bit of Cockney rhyming slang: the British don't really give a Donald Duck about the NFL.
4. Minnesota Vikings 0-3 – It’s abundantly clear that this team misses RB Adrian Peterson desperately and will struggle to score points until he returns, if he returns. Like the Raiders, the Vikings played a lopsided favorite very close, losing 20-9 to the Saints in the Superdome. Uff da, Norsemen! Like the Raiders, they only managed three field goals, and like the Jaguars and Buccaneers, they made a QB change halfway through the game. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater will take the reins from Matt Cassel, who was put on IR, effectively ending his season. I’m sure Cassel’s sad he won’t have to watch this train wreck unfold. Time to see what they have in Bridgewater? The Vikes have nothing to lose, except more games.
5. Miami Dolphins 1-2 – This was a tough selection process. The No 5 spot in the Snark Rankings could’ve gone to about five different teams, and it'd be tough to argue against any of them. Tennessee, St Louis, New York Jets, and Cleveland all made strong cases that they belong with this bunch, but it took a special effort from the Dolphins to shoot up the rankings faster than a line up Liam Gallagher’s nose. Is Oasis playing at halftime of the game at Wembley Stadium this weekend? Why doesn’t the league send an East Coast team to play in London instead of making the Raiders fly across the country and the Atlantic? Chances are good this klutzfest on the national pitch will knock one of these teams out of the Week 4 Snark Rankings.
This week is already off to a rocky start as Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin irked starting QB Ryan Tannehill by not fully endorsing him as the main man moving forward. In fact, Philbin totally dissed him. Well, Ryan, you’re likely going to be playing for a new coach next season or possibly even early October, depending on how it goes against the Raiders. Let Philbin dig his own grave and hope your new coach doesn’t trade up to draft Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota. That would not be a ringing endorsement of your talent, either.
So it took all of three weeks before the Florida teams reached the top. That's called hitting a trifecta, folks, and it is very likely that the Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Dolphins finish the season in the Top Five. However, the Dolphins still get to play the Jets twice, and circle your calendar, Floridians, as Jacksonville hosts Miami in Week 8. That should be riveting.