NFL Snark Rankings: Week 6
Week 6 of the NFL season produced a bunch of duds and blowouts, which is perfect for this column.
A writer constantly needs new and fresh material to work with, and boy, did we get more than we could handle!
There wasn’t a better example of this than the Eagles dominating the Giants, 27-0, and it wasn’t really that close. Unfortunately for Giants fans, they'll not be featured this week; there just isn’t enough room. Maybe next week, when the G-Men travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys and a possible Ebola outbreak.
I really wanted to find a way to get the Steelers into the Snark Rankings this week, as they got destroyed by the Browns in Cleveland. Perhaps it’s time to rank the top ten Snark teams each week.
For the rest of the Snark teams, it was just another day at the office. All of last week's top teams lost, with the exception of the Titans, who escaped with their lives against the Jaguars. In fact, it was such an inspiring win that head coach Ken Whisenhunt delivered an emotional, passionate speech to his team afterwards. The Whizzer made it sound like they were going to the Super Bowl.
This shows how few opportunities these teams have for victories when they’re celebrating beating Jacksonville by two points in the sixth week of the season.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) – Let’s give the Jags some credit; they scored first and held a lead after one quarter. It’s really down to moral victories at this point. Rookie QB Blake Bortles did put them in position to win and looks like the real deal. The downside to his performance is he led his team in rushing with precisely 38 yards. It’s never a good sign when a QB is your team’s leading rusher unless that QB is Russell Wilson. Hosting the Browns suddenly looks like a tough game, and the Dolphins come to town the following week. Those are their best chances at a W this season, unless they can exact revenge on the Titans the next-to-last week of the campaign. Does anybody give them a chance against the Cowboys, Colts, Bengals, Giants, Ravens, or Texans? No. The answer is no.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5) – Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! What a disastrous home game against the Ravens! If you were so desperate for a fill in QB this week in your fantasy league and you picked up Joe Flacco, give yourself a round of applause. And just think what you could've done at FanDuel! Flacco threw five TD passes before halftime, as the Ravens cruised to a 38-0 lead. That enthralled the Tamp Bay crowd so extensively, hardly anybody stayed for the second half. Luckily for Buccaneers fans, they don’t have to don paper bags over their heads this week, as Tampa Bay gets the week off to really think about what they’ve done. They host the Vikings in Week 8, which they'd better win, because that's their best chance the rest of the way. I’m sure when the schedule was released, Bruce's Boys circled that date against Cleveland and thought it was an automatic victory since rookie QB Johnny Manziel would be at the helm. Don’t sleep on Brian Hoyer; he has the Browns playing great football and there could be two feet of snow on the ground by early November. Not exactly conditions Buccaneers players are used to. Good luck with those games against the Bengals, Lions, Panthers, Packers, and Saints to close out the season.
3. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) – How could a team with two wins be ranked so high, you ask? Well, it happens when you lay an absolute turd in front of your home crowd. It’s clear this team misses Adrian Peterson immensely. Heck, they miss Matt Cassel immensely. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater showed why he slipped to the end of the first round, throwing three INT’s, and getting sacked eight times. Minnesota traded up with Seattle to draft this guy. What happened to this version of Teddy Touchdown:
All of a sudden, the Lions are a defensive juggernaut. They miss Calvin Johnson as much as the Vikings miss Peterson. These are two of the best players in football, and it’s disappointing they couldn’t face off against one another. Traveling to Buffalo to face the Bills is no easy task, as the Bills D-line is on par with the Lions. I really feel for Vikings fans. They’ve lost their best player to a tragic situation, they're like nomads playing in the University of Minnesota’s stadium while their new pad is getting built, and they have delusional owners. It’s going to be a long season in Minneapolis. Thankfully, the Wild are off to a hot start.
4. Oakland Raiders (0-5) – In what was the most surprising game of the week -- the Cowboys' victory over the Seahawks a close second -- the Raiders almost shocked the world by nearly beating the Lightning Bolts. Only a Branden Oliver TD run with just under two minutes to play prevented Oakland from getting in the win column. Oliver looks like the real deal, and if the Chargers develop a running game, watch out! Rookie QB Derek Carr had a great game, throwing four TD passes and perhaps a new offensive threat emerged in WR André Holmes. Hopefully for Raiders fans, this brings hope and a sense of optimism for a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2002 and are currently on a streak of back-to-back 4-12 seasons. For the immediate future, however, it’s bleak. The Commitments -- to, ahem, Excellence -- host the Arizona Cardinals this week and then get to travel to Cleveland and Seattle. Those are two bleak-ass destinations this time of year, and the Seasonal Affective Disorder will certainly grip Raiders players when they arrive in the Pacific Northwest. Still, SAD has been gripping Raiders fans for years. In some sort of quirky scheduling, the Raiders get to play the Broncos and Chiefs twice in the last half of the year. Then there’s that cross-Bay rivalry game with the 49ers left on the schedule. How many people have bought tickets for that Raiders at Rams game on 30 November? Hurry, they’re going to sell fast.
5. New York Jets (1-6) – Congratulations to the Jets for holding the Broncos to only 31 points and to QB Geno Smith for throwing more TD passes than INT’s! And if the Stripes weren't Pats fans, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! might've even been any-given-Sunday poster boys on a Thursday night. It does feel like ground breaking progress is being made, starting with the coach's toes, of course. In a vast display of how quickly luck can turn, Broncos CB Aqib Talib made some gamblers rich and Las Vegas sports book executives jumped off balconies.
We’re still awaiting word on collateral damage at Bovada and perhaps some job openings.
The Jets' schedule is not conducive to winning. We saw what happened in Foxboro last night. The resurgent Tom Brady is looked like the vintage model and downright pissed. I’m sure he was thrilled to hear all the talk that he was done and the Patriots wanted to trade him. Like Brady is going to be sad going home to Gisele each night!
At the dawn of another week, change is inevitable, and results are as unpredictable as the upcoming elections. There's certain to be a shake-up in the Snark Rankings next week, what with Seahawks vs Rams Monday Night Football between the Texans and Steelers possibily having huge ramifications.
Incidentally, what's going on in the Steel City?
We’ll find out Monday night.