NFL Snark Rankings: Week 4
We’ve reached the quarter mark in the 2014 NFL season, and some paths have been cemented while dominoes have already fallen.
Like Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and Redskins QB Kirk Cousins.
And are we still allowed to call the Washington DC football franchise the Redskins? Not according to the FCC.
It’s going to get ugly in DC real fast as they next host the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. What was touted as Russell Wilson vs RGIII when the schedule was released is now receiving an NC-17 rating for gratuitous violence and other *wink wink* element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children. The aberrational behavior takes place after the game.
After four weeks, there are only two winless teams left in the league -- not counting the Commish's office -- which is very surprising. How do the Bucs and Jets have a W? Betting on NFL games has to be one of the most difficult things to do in the world, besides being a fan of the Snark teams.
1. Oakland Raiders (0-4) – A trip across the pond to play the Dolphins in England resulted in another dreadful loss for the Commitment to Excellence cause. They actually had a lead after the first quarter and then didn’t score until eight minutes left in the fourth. Way to build on momentum. The firing of Dennis Allen marks the eighth coaching change since they went to the Super Bowl in 2002. Having ex-head coach John Gruden beat you as the head coach of the Buccaneers that year had to be a kick in the teeth. Any chance they can lure him from the broadcast booth? I feel for interim head coach Tony Sparano, as he's the dictionary definition of lame duck. Oakland gets the week off to recover from jet lag, flying out of Heathrow before hosting the Chargers in Week 6. Could this be the second 0-16 team in history?
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) – Speaking of the San Diego Supe- Chargers, they had the luxury of hosting the Jags at home. Although they won, 33-14, nobody thought it would be that close. The WV utterly spoiled the debut of first-round draft pick QB Blake Bortles. Somehow, Jax had a lead halfway through the second quarter, but then reality kicked in.
Perspective is everything.
Anyway, the Jags got blanked the rest of the game, sitting idly by and watching Philip Rivers put on a show. Well, actually, Eddie Royal and Nick Novak put on a show, and this genius has both players on his fantasy team! Jacksonville hosts Pittsburgh at home this week, so don’t expect them to get in the win column anytime soon, especially since the 'Burgh was embarrassed in Steel City by Tampa Bay. Upcoming games against the Browns, Titans, and Dolphins should provide opportunity for a win soon. Maybe.
3. Washington Redskins (1-3) – What was supposed to be the coming out party for QB Kirk Cousins turned into a disaster as they lost a Thursday night game to the Giants, 45-14. When will the NFL realize these Thursday night games are stinkers? I’m sure that’s what CBS wanted when they paid a gazillion dollars for the TV rights. Four interceptions later, and Redskins fans are clamoring for RGIII to comeback, like immediately. Good luck with the Seahawks on Monday night. Four INT’s might look like a good performance after that game.
4. Tennessee Titans (1-3) – With a division rivalry matchup against the Colts in Indy, many fantasy owners quickly ran to the waiver wire and picked up the Colts defense, especially when it was announced that Titans QB Jake Locker was out, and backup QB Charlie Whitehurst got the nod to start. Whoa! Whitehurst is the best they could do for a second-string QB? I hear Jeff George is still looking for a job. Whitehurst was so bad, he was pulled for rookie Zach Mettenberger halfway through the 4th quarter. What took so long for head coach Ken Whisenhunt to make that decision? Did he see something in Whitehurst that made him go: Let’s see how this plays out.
Trust me. That was better. You're welcome.
Anyway, when much maligned Colts RB Trent Richardson scores the game's first TD, you know it’s going to be a long day. It’s also going to be a very long year in Nashville, as it’s unlikely the Titans will learn whether QB Jake Locker is the answer under center if he’s out for an extended period of time. Good thing the upcoming draft class is loaded with QB’s since they’ll likely have a top five pick. The QB merry-go-round doesn’t stop in Nashville. And the Preds' season can't start soon enough.
5. New York Jets (1-3) – Finally! The Jets join the ranks! It only took four weeks. Speaking of a quarterback merry-go-round, Geno Smith keeps the carousel churning by making puzzling decisions like cussing at a fan while walking off the field after a tough loss. Give the Jets credit; they only lost by a touchdown to the Lions, 24-17. The Jets do have some things working for them, like being the No 1-ranked defense against the run, and eleventh against the pass. Their offense is ranked second in the league with 151.3 rushing yards per game. The two-headed monster of Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson is working well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Rex Ryan. Heck, have Smith run more until he figures out how to not throw passes to the other team.
Smith just needs to hang onto the ball as he lost another fumble on Sunday. The Jets have a tough stretch of games starting in Week 5 at San Diego, home against Denver, at New England, home against Buffalo, at Kansas City, and then home against Pittsburgh before getting a bye to either rest or run squealing home with their tail between their legs. WR Eric Decker is likely to be out with a recurring hamstring injury, so the Jets have a great chance to move up the rankings. Watch with unfettered anticipation.
With the matchups scheduled in Week 5, expect more shuffling in the Snark Rankings, especially if the Titans lose at home to the Browns. Depending how ugly the MNF game gets, we may have a new No 1, since the Raiders get the day off.
One question. How did the Chargers get such an easy schedule? They were a playoff team last year. Oh right, they’re in the same division as Oakland. Duh!