So much for Moneyball. I know some say this hasn’t had enough time to play out. But not only is the record not getting better in Cleveland, the quality of play is worse than in year 1. The play-calling is questionable. Maybe the whole idea is crazy, maybe they just don’t have the right coaching staff. Whatever you feel, it seems pretty clear the Browns are headed for another 1 or 2-win season and the #1 draft pick. The good thing with that is that they have another legion of picks and since they seem to have lost faith in Kizer, there’s a gaggle of choices at #1 to try once again to find the franchise QB.
There’s just no figuring the Jaguars. Is there any team that has ever gone from one extreme to the other this many times in one season? And we’re only one-third of the way through. The Pittsburgh game was the defense they were supposed to have after signing all those big-name defensive free agents. And you have to hope they now fully understand that the way they win with Fake Bortles is to keep the ball out of his hands. I don’t know if Fournette is going to do that every week, but he’s a better bet for scoring points than Bortles. At this rate, they will end up as the most exciting 8-8 team ever.
Announcers think they know everything. And of course they don’t. The announcers for the Lions-Panthers were convinced, after the Panthers piled up 6 penalties in the game’s first 20 minutes, that none of the players were thinking about football, they were only thinking about everyone hating Cam for his talking down to a female reporter last week. Yeah, sure. You’re lining up to block for a play and all you can think about is the Facebook posts and Tweets screaming about Cam Newton being the most evil human being that ever walked the Earth because of that whole thing. In reality, of course, every football player knows that once the ball is kicked off, what is going on in that game is the only thing they think about. The arrogance of announcers, and reporters for that matter, is quite nauseating.
Nice work if you can get it. I’ve always said the best job in the world is TV weather reporter. Where else can you be a completely incompetent dork, absolutely NEVER produce accurate work, and still get to keep working? Well, in some respects, NFL head coach has some similarities. Once you get a rep as a good coach, you will stay employed forever. The Carolina Panthers went 1-15 in 2001. The last game was a home blowout loss to New England on a cold, rainy day. By halfway through the 4th quarter, there were maybe 2,000 fans in the stands, every one of them Patriots fans. Head coach George Seifort was fired the next day, and John Fox was hired. Two years later, the Panthers were in the Super Bowl. Fox’s reputation was forever cemented. By the time the 2010 season arrived, we had made the playoffs only 3 times in 8 seasons, never 2 in a row, and Fox’s routine had become background noise to the players. His contract was not extended, and we went 2-14 in 2010. Fox was let go. He was unemployed for about 5 minutes before Denver hired him. One year later, Peyton Manning fell in his lap and they made the Super Bowl. But after 4 years, his act was tired and he was let go again. Yet again, he was quickly snapped up by the Bears. They have been awful ever since. This week they hit bottom. They were disorganized, undisciplined, and generally inept. They will be lucky to win 4 games, and Fox will probably be fired. But he’ll be coaching somewhere in 2018. He has 4 playoff appearances in 13 years without Peyton Manning as his QB. But he’s a good coach! He turned the Panthers around! Yeah, good luck with that, whoever is dumb enough to hire him.
1. Kansas City – Only undefeated team, so they will stay here until they lose.
2. Green Bay – Erin Rodgers media slobbering at an all-time high after another miracle comeback.
3. Denver – Not spectacular, but they’ve won all their games except against KC.
4. Atlanta – See #3 above, except it’s Buffalo instead of KC.
5. Carolina – Still have flaws (run defense), but the Saints game appears to be an aberration.
6. Philadelphia – Taken advantage of a soft schedule. Thursday will tell us a lot.
7. New England – Had a couple of hiccups, but still the best team in the AFC East.
8. Dallas – They just don’t run Zeke enough.
9. Seattle – Still have offensive line issues. Weak division will help them get to 10-11 wins.
10. Buffalo – Should be higher, but losing to Cinci-nasty costs you.
11. Detroit – Definitely a good team, but need to get & keep first-half leads.
12. LA Rams – Certainly improved, but probably just short of playoffs.
13. Minnesota – Specializing in ugly wins.
14. Houston – Hey, I started Watson in fantasy and he still went off! Injuries will keep them from winning some games.
15. New Orleans – Win in Carolina looking better all the time.
16. Jacksonville – Will stay in the middle until they play the same way for 2 consecutive games.
17. Pittsburgh – Ugh. Is Big Ben’s mind fully engaged?
18. Baltimore – Got fortunate to get the Raiders with no QB.
19. Tampa Bay – The trendy NFC South pick is falling on its face.
20. NY Jets – I think Bowles has earned a contract extension, even if they finish 3-13.
21. Washington – Hard to figure out if YOU LIKE THAT or not with this bunch.
22. Indianapolis – If Pegano keeps his job, somebody check Irsay’s medicine cabinet.
23. Cincinnati – Slightly better grade of lousy than the start of the year.
24. Arizona – Old and Pathetic. And that’s just the coach.
25. Chicago – I was right – that Bears-Vikings game was the best cure for insomnia since Z-quil.
26. Miami – Sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiif!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
27. Oakland – Rotten team without their QB.
28. Tennessee – See #27 above.
29. LA Clippers/Chargers – Their only hope of more wins are the Raiders games.
30. San Francisco – Maybe they get a win over some other pathetic AFC South team.
31. NY Giants – Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
32. Cleveland – See #31 above.