NFL Snark Rankings: Week 5
Week 5 in the NFL allowed for some truly horrible teams to take a breather and reassess their season -- or even their very place in this world, at this stage -- and regroup for Week 6.
Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Washington and Minnesota all had the week off, and judging by how the Buccaneers handled the Josh Freeman situation, they should have used it to take an organizational retreat. I mean, who's the managerial role model on that ship? Captain Bligh?
Since Tampa Bay isn’t an actual city, rather a harbor and estuary comprised of other cities, eg- St Petersburg and Clearwater, this leads to a terrific trivia question: name the teams from the four major North American sports leagues that aren’t named after a real city or state?
We begin our weekly Snark Rankings with a familiar face -- and don’t expect a change at the top, errrr, bottom -- after Week 6 as Jacksonville travels to Denver. The Broncos are already a 27-point favorite, which could be the largest spread ever in NFL history. And it still may not be enough. Be sure to stock up your Bovada account! That spread's not a gamble; that's an addition to the retirement fund!
- Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags got a boost this week by getting star WR Justin Blackmon back from a drug suspension, and he paid immediate dividends by hauling in a 67-yard TD pass from QB Blaine Gabbert. Jacksonville fans probably thought these two were the building blocks of the future when they were taken in back-to-back drafts. So far, not even Legoland considers them building blocks. Then there was taking punter Brian Anger in Round 3 in 2012. Really? They could’ve had Russell Wilson! My advice for their immediate future: Just try to keep the game in Denver from being a complete disaster and start Chad Henne the rest of the year. He gives you the best chance to win, or not get destoryed each week in the Jaguars case.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I’m trying to cut them some slack since this was their bye week, but until they make even one iota of improvement, they are competing with the Jaguars for the No 1 pick in the next draft. Now that they've cut Josh Freeman and are going with rookie Mike Glennon, the season just got a whole lot longer in Tampa Bay. Fortunately, the Rays' Game 3 heroics against the Red Sox will dominate the headlines for at least another day. And the Lightning did earn a shootout win over defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. It's good to have a 6-7 goalie block out the net! But he can only block the Bucs bad publicity out of the headlines for so long.
- New York Giants – Listening to the talking heads this week, most of the experts thought the Giants would win their first game of the season at home against the Eagles. In fact, their 36-21 loss set the franchise back at least five more years, and they made Nick Foles look like the second coming of Ron Jaworski! The only bright spot in the Giants season is they get to host the Super Bowl in February 2014 and watch someone else freeze their patooties off. Once again, Eli Manning had more INT’s than TD passes, but he was forced to throw because they were behind so quickly, it seemed like they were playing the Oregon Ducks. True, this allowed Hakeem Nicks and Reuben Randle to have really nice games. Perhaps Giants' wideouts will be good fantasy options the rest of the year. That'll sure make their fans feel better! The G-men have a short week as they travel to Chicago for Thursday night football. How’s does 0-6 feel?
- Buffalo Bills – You lost to the Cleveland Browns by 13 and ended Brian Hoyer’s fine season. Thanks a lot! I needed to pick up a QB for an upcoming bye week by Matt Stafford and had my sights set on Hoyer. Not content to botch their own year, they had to go and ruin my fantasy football season! Well, Buffalo, turnabout is fair play, as EJ Manuel will be out a couple weeks with a knee injury.Word is you’re starting QB Thad Lewis off the practice squad against the Bengals. Good luck with that! I was hoping to see them go with Jeff Tuel, just to see if it's possible to Coug It without wearing a Washington State jersey.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Only a bye week saved them from being ranked even higher -- lower? -- and until they get into the win column, they'll remain on this list. It's quite strange to see how quickly the Terrible Towels devolved into Reeking Rags as the Steelers rank 31st overall in rushing yards. With the likes of the Jets, Raiders, Bills, and both games against the Browns left, don’t expect them to be winless for very long. The triumvirate of Felix Jones, Isaac Redman, and Le’Veon Bell would be a solid group … for the scout team!
The disparity between the haves and the have-nots in the NFL seems to be greater this season than any other in recent history. Week 6 has the potential to get butt ugly for some teams, starting first and foremost with Jacksonville. But with matches like Giants at Bears, Raiders at Chiefs, Titans at Seahawks, Rams at Texans, and Eagles at Buccaneers, there could be some serious musical chairs in the Snark Rankings next week!
One thing's for certain. There will not be a change at the top, even if Jacksonville pulls off the miracle upset. And by that, I mean if Denver doesn’t cover!