Picking winners is crazier than ever. How about being a Jags fan? Get destroyed in week 1. Destroy what is supposed to be a good Titans team in week 2. Destroy an unbeaten Ravens squad in week 3. Lose to the barely-good-enough-to-get-a-bowl-invite Jets in week 4. Being a Panthers fan forces me to stock up on Maalox. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the Jags fans.
This doesn’t look like tanking to me. No, I’m not talking about the Jets. When the Bills cleaned house after the draft, firing the GM and most of the scouts, then raiding the Panthers for a coach and front office, and finally trading 2 starters for a backup and draft picks, everyone penciled them in for 4 wins and said they were tanking. In Carolina, we knew better. Sean McDermott has been ready to be a head coach for a while. We knew they would have a monster defense. The only question was could the staff make the best use of Tyrod Taylor. Looks like they can. By the end of the year, that Panthers win over the Bills is going to look like a very good win.
Is it too early to judge Moneyball? The Browns look as bad as they ever have. Is 1.25 years too soon to pass judgment on this approach, or do they just not have enough players to fit the system yet? Since this is so new to football, it probably needs 3 full years before we know for sure. It’s absolutely certain that the fans don’t have that kind of patience. They will want the house cleaned at the end of the year if they go 1-15 again. The question is if the owner has the patience. Personally, I think they panicked too quickly in trading up to get Kizer. They should have stuck with Kessler and rode out one more bad year until they could get one of the 2018 QBs.
1. Kansas City – This is the Super Bowl favorite.
2. Green Bay – It’s not that they’re second-best, but that they’ve had a better loss than the others.
3. Denver – Tough team to rank due to inconsistency.
4. Seattle – See #3 above.
5. Buffalo – I’m all in. Super defense. They beat Atlanta, so I love them.
6. Atlanta – Lots of super-studs but no depth. Once a couple of studs got hurt, no one could pick up the slack.
7. Detroit – Only an idiotic rule prevents them from having a perfect record.
8. New England – Yeah, we ALL had the Jets and Pats tied for second in the AFC East after 4 games, right?
9. Pittsburgh – Very sluggish, but able to make plays when needed.
10. LA Rams – OK, so they beat a good team.
11. Carolina – BIG recovery in Boston. Detroit is a good test.
12. Minnesota – Look very good on defense. Desperately need Teddy.
13. Dallas – Coaching & play-calling are the issues here. They stop doing what works.
14. Houston – Well, they have a QB. He will crash to Earth as soon as I start him in my fantasy lineup.
15. Tennessee – This team is horrible if its QB is not 100% healthy.
16. Tampa Bay – Another squad that is hard to figure out. Doubt a weary team playing on Thursday will answer any questions.
17. Jacksonville – OK, which is the real one, the weeks 1 & 4 team or the weeks 2 & 3 team?
18. Philadelphia – Looking pretty average overall.
19. Washington – Norman injury is a big one.
20. Baltimore – What happened to that super-defense thingy?
21. Oakland – See #15 above.
22. NY Jets – Not only are they not going 0-16, they might not pick any higher than 5th in the draft.
23. Arizona – Team ownership HAS to realize their coach isn’t awesome by now, don’t they?
24. New Orleans – OK, so they’re much less terrible than I thought.
25. Indianapolis – They may be able to put up points once Neck Beard is back, but what about defense?
26. Cincinnati – Better, but… who did they beat?
27. Chicago – Not winless only because Pittsburgh was too focused on anthem protests.
28. Miami – Cutler should have stuck with broadcasting.
29. San Francisco – Golden opportunity (see what I did there?) to steal a road win slipped away.
30. LA Clippers/Chargers – Get a chance to not lose vs. another 0-4 team this week.
31. NY Giants – See #30 above.
32. Cleveland – Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.