NFL Snark Rankings: Week 8
The storylines leading up to week eight of the NFL season were abundant with dissension, dysfunction, and disinterest as in Commissioner Roger Goodell refusing to testify in the Ray Rice hearing, claiming he was too busy or something like that.
Disinterest would be a better excuse.
And leave it to the Barkmeister to tell it like it is:
But that's the corporate world of insulated 1%ers, isn't it? They just spin their obliviousness into a PR opportunity. Let's just hope the audience takes this issue more seriously than they do. Much more seriously.
Speaking of image, Seattle Seahawks players found themselves mired in the muck of tabloid journalism, as unnamed sources told reporters the locker room was divided over QB Russell Wilson’s leadership and that he wasn’t black enough. As if looking like Ol’ Dirty Bastard from Wu Tang Clan would make him a better quarterback? This man won a Super Bowl last year! That should be black enough for ya'll haters.
Ex-Seahawk Percy Harvin made his Jets debut and returned a kickoff three yards. That trade sure was a coup for the Jets. QB Geno Smith seemed to blame Harvin for one of his three INTs in the first quarter against the Bills. He didn’t think Harvin ran the proper route. Like Harvin was supposed to know that the proper route would be one directly into the hands of a Bills defender.
Off-the-field chatter seems to be affecting the SeaChickens on the field. They barely skated by the Panthers -- no, not Florida, because they skate better -- 13-9 in Carolina. Not sure if Seattle won the game or Carolina lost it. How about both?
Scoreboard operators were busy this week, as the Patriots and Steelers each scored 51 points, the Saints put up 44 on the Packers, the Broncos won 35-21 on Thursday night, and the Bills demolished the Jets 43-23. More on that game later. Even the Colts scored 34 points in their loss to the Steelers. Who says defense wins championships?
Points from the Snark teams were tough to come by as the Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Raiders each scored 13. How’s that for hitting a trifecta?
A former Snark team -- spoiler alert -- the St. Louis Rams, put up a measly seven points against their Show Me State rival Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Rams scored that TD on the first possession. This was the consolation game for Missouri sports fans missing out on that Royals-Cardinals 1985 World Series rematch.
That’s right folks, we welcome a new team to the club this week, as the Bears performance in Foxboro was epic.
1. Oakland Raiders (0-7) – Three years ago, a Raiders vs Browns game would’ve been completely unwatchable. Fast forward to 2014, and the song remains the same, even though Cleveland has shown glimpses of being competitive. But competitive and Raiders don’t belong in the same sentence.
It’s never a good sign when your starting center records a tackle. Somehow, backup QB Matt Schaub was allowed into the game and threw one pass that was picked off but not returned for a touchdown, which would’ve set off flashbacks not seen since the hippie movement. RB Darren McFadden was also allowed to throw a pass, which was not received by anybody, so he’s got a leg up on Schaub. The Raiders real chucker, Derek Carr, threw 54 times for 328 yards and one TD pass, with no INTs so it’s his job to lose. That is, unless the Raiders take a QB with the No 1 overall pick in 2015. It’s possible with this franchise. Oakland travels to Seattle next week, where they get to take on the 12th Man, daylight savings time, flood warnings for all of Western Washington, Alaska Airlines spokesman Russell Wilson, and where Raiders jerseys are certainly black enough. Weather forecast calls for 54 degrees, gray skies, and drizzle, which describes the mentality of any given Raiders fan.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) – Jax keeps finding new ways to lose each week. This time, it was by allowing two picks to be returned for Dolphins TDs, which makes this writer look smart for picking up Miami’s defense in his fantasy football league. FanDuel, anyone? Miami really set the tone for the entire game when they blocked a field goal attempt in Jacksonville’s first series. Rookie QB Blake Bortles' first pass of the second half was also returned for a TD by Dolphins DB Brent Grimes. Needless to say, Miami never got their offense going. But let’s face it, they didn’t have to. Bortles provided all the offense the Dolphins needed. I feel bad for the Jags, as they could go 1-15 and only get the second pick in the draft. When you’re competing with Oakland, you gotta bring your D- game. There's no margin for error. Over the next six weeks, they get to face the Bengals, Cowboys, Colts, Giants, Texans, and Ravens. You read the part about going 1-15 right?
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) – This game featured two perennial Snark contenders, with the Minnesota Vikings storming into town looking to loot and pillage. Even though the Vikes won, 19-13, they didn’t do so in a convincing, dominating fashion, as women and children were spared. Bucs fans, though, were not spared another embarrassing home loss. The locals have now dropped to 0-4 at Raymond James Stadium. They should just rename it Bruce's Boys Stadium, because what difference would it make? At 1-6, the 'Neers are only 2½ games behind the Panthers for first place, so it’s safe to say they’re in playoff contention in the worst division in football. With games against the Browns, Falcons, Redskins, and Bears over the next month, now is the time to fire the cannons or walk the plank in true Pirate fashion. The gallows are too good for this squad.
4. New York Jets (1-7) – Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! What a disaster! If you found the courage to look away from this train wreck, congratulations, you’re a stronger human being than most of north Jersey. Check out this stat line posted by QB Geno Smith in the first quarter: 2-of-8 completions, 5 yards, 3 picks, QB Rating 0.00. That's right ...
... and toss in another 0 for accuracy.
This proves that the formula for QB Rating cannot produce a negative number, because this performance was so in the red, the ghost of Joe McCarthy was calling for an investigation. Smith was pulled after the first quarter for rejuvenated felon Michael Vick. So the state of your franchise rests on a trouble-making WR, a first-round bust, and a convicted felon? Please tell me the marketing department hasn’t picked up on this. Moving forward, the Jets should be rushing for about 300 yards per game. I don’t care if they’re down 30 points at halftime, Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson give them the best chance to win. Switch to the Wishbone offense if necessary. Vick should be getting about 12-15 rushing attempts per game instead of 12-15 pass attempts per game. It’s worth a shot, since playing the Chiefs in Kansas City on Week 9 isn’t going to improve morale, confidence, or aptitude. In fact, I’m looking at the waiver wire in another fantasy league for the Chiefs' defense as you read this.
5. Chicago Bears (3-5) – The fifth spot was supposed to go to the Rams -- who got beat down by the Chiefs, 34-7 -- until I turned on the Patriots-Bears game. I had a strong inclination that Tom Brady was going to go off after the media talked smack about him over his first few games, and boy, has he paid dividends, capped off by his stellar performance Sunday against Chicago. Tom Terrific was nearly perfect, posting a QB Rating of 148.4 on 30-35 passing for 5 TDs and, of course, no picks because this was Da Bears he was playing. What made matters even worse for Chicago was they put backup QB Jimmy Claussen on the field; that’s how bad Jay Cutler looked. Scratch that, it wasn’t the actual lowlight for Chicago. Bears DE Lamarr Houston tore his ACL celebrating a sack of backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter.