NFL Snark Rankings: Week 9
Week 9 in the NFL seemingly had more action off the field than on, and with three of the highest-scoring teams in the league having byes -- Denver, Detroit, and San Francisco -- it was rather obvious that there weren’t going to be many marquée matchups.
Another team, Jacksonville, also had a bye in Week 9, and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveling to Seattle to take on the Seahawks, there was a real possibility that a new No 1 might emerge. But thanks to Justin Blackmon’s indefinite suspension and the Seahawks porous run defense, no dice!
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Your team gets the week off and the biggest news is that your star WR will be suspended indefinitely and will be eligible to apply for reinstatement before the 2014 season. Wow! 'Way to make news, Jags. Just think if you do bring Tim Tebow in for the rest of the season and the media circus that will cause in an area where he's still up for sainthood. At least that talk will focus on what's happening on the field, as there's not a snowball’s chance in hell Tim Tebow would have any off-field distractions. 0-16 seems all but assured now.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Well, well, well, wasn’t that a nice surprise! You march into the loudest stadium in the NFL -- OK, Chiefs fans have the record, but that's a minor detail -- the home of the 12th Man -- OK, OK, we get it, Texas A&M; we're the pro version -- and lead the Seahawks 21-7 at half time. It took a historic comeback by Seattle and a massive punt return by Golden Tate to set up a Steven Hauschka field goal in OT that sent Seattle's record to 8-1. Don’t worry, Bucs fans, you have the Seattle talk radio channels on fire this week about how the sky is falling, the Seahawks suck, Russell Wilson is taking too many hits, the Mariners still need a manager, and the Sonics still need an arena. Meanwhile, you get the Richie Incognito-less Dolphins at home Monday night. With the drama surrounding the bullying in South Beach, this is an excellent opportunity to steal that elusive W. Make Bruce proud!
- Minnesota Vikings – All right, Vikings fans, you hung with the Cowboys in Big D and only lost 27-23. Well done! I also see by the box score Vikings coaches allowed Christian Ponder to throw the ball 37 times while also giving the rock to AP 25 times for 140 yards. One step forward. Two steps back. Next week you get the Redskins at home on Thursday Night Football. This is your last chance at a W the rest of the season. After that, it’s at Seattle, at Green Bay, vs Chicago, at Baltimore, vs Philadelphia, at Cincinnati, and vs Detroit. Minnesota could finish 1-15 and only get the third overall draft pick. Yikes!
- Oakland Raiders – Now there’s a familiar face. The Men in Black made Nick Foles look like the second coming of Dan Marino. The longer this season wears on, the more Johnny Manziel would look good in a silver Raiders helmet. He's certainly got the mindset for Raider culture! Oakland is picking in the Top 5; write that down! Move Pryor to H-back or just move him along in a poorly-thought-out trade. No matter where the Raiders end up slotted in the draft, they can use any player on the board at that time. Not many winnable games left on the schedule, and the Oakland finishes the season against the terrific AFC West, culminating with a finale at home against Denver. Good luck. See you in the war room.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – If this were the 1970s, people would be squinting through their trifocals at the newsprint left to ponder: The Steelers/Vikings/Raiders aren’t good? Fast forward to 2013, and they’ve already answered their own question. After giving up a franchise-record 55 points to New England -- and almost causing my fantasy football teams to go 0-2 this week, thanks to Julian Edelman’s performance -- the Steelers clearly need to retool. Pittsburgh fans, your run of dominance is over, in football, anyway. Be thankful the refs gave you Super Bowl XL gift wrapped like a present on Christmas Eve, and Santonio Holmes made one of the most spectacular grabs in Super Bowl history. Other than those two recent championships, Steelers fans are forced to relive the four titles in the 70s. What? Do you think they want to relive the Bubby Brister era?
Besides the fact the Seahawks nearly gave me a coronary listening to that game on the radio, my survivor pool remains perfect at 9-0. I’m taking the Titans over the Jaguars this week, and I may just pick every team playing Jacksonville from here on out. Kansas City gets the week off, so they can prepare to meet a team with a winning record for the first time this season in the 16 Nov home game with Denver. That’ll shake up the true power rankings, but we’ll be more focused on that Vikings-Redskins matchup for our Snark Rankings.
Heck, even the Raiders at Giants game could have massive implications on the analysis of futility that has become this column. Hope you enjoy it as much as the next guy, if that guy is taking counsel from the late, great John Belushi in his definitive role as Bluto Blutarski in Animal House: