As we usually say, another week has passed in the sportsgasm that is the NFL season, but this week is a bit different, because this is Week 10. As our resident medical expert will point out, this is now the time where every team has played at least halfway through it’s schedule, and it is time to start taking a hard look at playoff contenders, pretenders, and those who just might rise from the grave.
Your Comprehensive Dr. Kelly Brackett NFL Team Health Rundown
Now that we are at Week 10, this is really the middle of the season for everybody, bye weeks inclusive. Ever since Week Five, I have been on SBM offering my diagnoses of NFL teams. Now that we are past the midway point for everybody, it is time for me to break down all the teams and whether or not they can survive the rest of the season.
Already Pronounced Dead:
- New York Giants
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Atlanta Falcons
- Oakland Raiders
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Minnesota Vikings
- Washington Redskins
- Philadelphia Eagles**
Time to “Pull the Plug:”
- Houston Texans
- Buffalo Bills
Teams On The Critical List:
- Baltimore Ravens
- San Diego Chargers
- Arizona Cardinals
- St. Louis Rams
Teams Not Sick Enough To Die, Not Healthy Enough To Live:
- Cleveland Browns
J-Dub has been on this kick since Day One that the Browns don’t suck, and in a lot of ways, he’s right. But we also must not forget that this team is coming back from depths not seen since “The Abyss.” Eventually, this great collection of role players will need a play-maker.
- Miami Dolphins
It’s way too easy to say this team is in trouble because of the whole Martin/Incognito saga. That’s just a mask for the reality that this team, while talented, is young, and Joe Philbin just isn’t the coach to grow such young talent. General manager Jeff Ireland has a long history of being a world-class idiot as well. But the reality is that neither of teams in front of the Dolphins really have the ability to pull away from the pack.
The reality is that even before this mess, Richie Incognito was injured, and Jonathan Martin had lost the starting left tackle job when the Dolphins had traded for Bryant McKinnie. So, not only was the left side of the Dolphin line beat up and/or not playing well to start with, now it’s pretty clear neither Martin or Incognito will play for Miami again.
But since we brought it up, here’s our latest thought on this mess: For better or worse, Jay Glazer is now the “Go To” guy for NFL players when they need a soft landing place in the to connect with the media, which leaves a taste in our mouths like sardines marinating in expired cottage cheese. We had been fearing this was the case for a while, but no there’s no point in trying to repress it any longer. Glazer couldn’t be more of a buffoon if we gave him a fully-automated, hydraulically -powered buffooning machine, there’s a shitload of players trust him for reasons we understand about as much as the theory of cold fusion written in Sanskrit and read by Bobcat Goldthwait.
Boil it all down and what you get is when a guy like Richie Incognito needs to give the obligatory “nobody understands me” interview, Glazer is going to get it first and it’s going to be extremely unfortunate for us. Not to mention, if you would like recreate our popular Sports Doppelgangers feature at home, pull down your pants, draw a mustache on the tip of your dick (or any available dick if you happen to be female), then look at a picture of Jay Glazer. We won’t do this one for you because we would rather not be web-searching pictures of dicks.
- Tennessee Titans
At one point, Tennessee Titans were legitimately in the discussion to be a playoff contender, but as of Monday morning, that is no longer the case. Not only did they lose to the worst team in the league, that team had just lost their best player in Justin Blackmon. On top of that, the Titans offensive line is making Jake Locker look like the 2011 version of Jay Cutler; that kid is a six-point buck with a laser scope honed in between its antlers. It’s a minor miracle he lasted this long.
Teams That Have One or Two Major Problems:
- Green Bay Packers
The New England Patriots need to take a hard look at the Green Bay Packers. What is happening right now in Green Bay could very easily be the future in Foxborough. Like the Packers, the Patriots have already been wrecked with injuries, and all it would take is for Tom Brady to be sidelined for a significant period for the Patriots to be sinking like Green Bay is now.
In other words, both the Packers and the Patriots are really teams dependent on their quarterback, and the Packers just found out that Seneca Wallace hasn’t been good since Miley Cyrus was too young to have sex with. Not to mention, Wallace got hurt on Sunday, so Miley Cyrus just might be the Packers next quarterback.
- Chicago Bears
This team needs Jay Cutler on the field to win. Like it or not, the guy can be a big-time quarterback when the Bears can keep him from being prison-raped on the field. They started out doing a fair job of that, but lately, Jay is feeling the relief offered by a doughnut pad and those cooling medicated wipes.
- Denver Broncos
See the Chicago Bears, and replace the words “Jay Cutler” with the words “Peyton Manning.” Oh, and don’t forget their defense couldn’t stop a paper airplane with a shotgun.
Honest-to-Goodness Playoff Contenders
- East: Dallas Cowboys*, Philadelphia Eagles**
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Both these teams suck bilge water through a leaky straw, but one of them is going to be in the play-offs. Deal with it. Worse yet, they will get a home game as a division winner. The Seahawks blazed this trail a few years back…We’re just saying…
- North: Detroit Lions
Don’t look now, but it’s time to talk about If’s likely time that we start discussing how good the Detroit Lions could really be. Sunday’s win over the Bears moved them to 6-3, it was a win that showed they can win in close games against solid competition.
From a personnel standpoint, the Lions have a stat-whore quarterback who can hang with any of the so-called “elite quarterbacks.” If we had to choose a quarterback to lead a game winning drive, and the only choices were Tony “Hyper-Gag Reflex” Romo and Matthew Stafford, we’d take Stafford 115% of the time.
To go with that, they have two monster weapons in the passing game (Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew) who create bigger match-up problems for defenses than Andrew Dice Clay at Lillith Fair. Then there’s the matter of the defense, led by a line which creates more havoc than the 1975 Philadelphia Flyers and a prison riot combined.
The trouble as we all know (and they showed this again on Sunday) is that they are still really dirty on defense, and they will continue to produce more flags than a Guatemalan sweatshop. That will likely be their undoing come January But overall, it’s probably time to sit the kids down and have “the talk” about Detroit. We’ll tell you this much…
- South: New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers
Nobody is going to beat the Saints in New Orleans, even if their defense looks softer than the Sta-Puf marshmallow guy on a heavy dose of saltpeter.
Carolina will not go away quietly. Over the past few years, the Panthers have looked more like a 19-year old house cat who spends 29 hours a day eating, sleeping and hacking up the occasional hairball. Carolina has a history of struggling to finish 6-10., and as good as they have looked lately, they still could do just that, but they promise to claw the shit out of everybody in their path. The Panther defense is playing like the dude who’s so jacked up on PCP that using the Tazer on him is just going to re-charge the stolen Iphone in his pocket.
- West: Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco
Seattle finally got their shit together. They got ahead early in a road game where they were looking to go back home and face Minnesota fresh off a hearty win. And most importantly – it was Russell Wilson who did it. In a quarterback driven league, you can only have your man-beast defense carry you so far, and Wilson finally looked like he was playing some serious “big boy” football.
So, the 49ers lost to the Panthers. Big fucking deal. The Panthers are tough, San Francisco was on the road, and the 49ers will rebound and continue to be a contender no matter what.
- East: New York Jets, New England Patriots
If you put these two teams together, you could have a beast of a squad. Separately, they both are a collection of injuries, strengths, and weaknesses, which could limp either one of these teams into the post-season. It’s really a race to see who stays the healthiest.
- North: Cincinnati Bengals
The loss to the Ravens means nothing. This is a talented team with no real competition in its division.
- South: Indianapolis Colts
See what we said about the Bengals, and replace the word “Ravens” with the word “Rams.”
- West: Kansas City Chiefs
Two of the next three games for the Chiefs are against the Broncos. It’s pretty obvious at this point that the Broncos should be an underdog, but the Chiefs really need to win both to establish their dominance over the AFC.
Other Notes of Import:
Get ready for a whole lot of games that won’t mean a goddamn thing, other than as a race to see who gets the first draft pick next May. Sunday’s Steelers-Bills tilt was just such an example, and more importantly, it was last week’s best example that statistics really do tell the truth. In what was really an afternoon badminton match followed by a boxed wine tasting shabbily disguised as an NFL game, neither quarterback had a passer rating of over 78. Both of these guys were painfully average at best, and Le’Veon Bell was the game’s leading rusher with 57 yards, and that “hockey helmet on the short bus” performance came in a game that wasn’t the slop-fest you would expect from those numbers. The kickers were perfect and only there was only one turnover in the whole game. Simply stated, these teams suck more than Jenna Jameson with the motor from a Hoover vacuum cleaner surgically implanted in her throat.
There were three losses this week that really don’t mean a goddamn thing. The Panthers over the 49ers, the Rams over the Colts, and least of all, the Buccaneers over the Dolphins are nothing for anybody to freak out about. Neither of those wins are going to change anything for any of the team involved; the 49ers and the Colts are still heavy-duty contenders, the Dolphins and the Panthers are still fair-to-middling, the Rams are still the perennially “better than people are giving them credit for” Blu-Ray Director’s Cut of mediocre, and the Buccaneers are still arguably the worst team in football. We could really say the same thing about the Jaguars beating the Titans, but that game really had about as much impact on the NFL play-off picture as Ed Hochuli does on that Afghani game where they race around on horses carrying a dead goat.
Will The Playoff Representative From the NFC East Be The Next NFL Entity To Show Up On The Walking Dead?
Hines Ward blazed this trail last year, but let’s face facts. Much like a lot of stuff about the Walking Dead doesn’t make sense, we declared the Philadelphia Eagles dead quite some time ago, and one could easily be putting lilies on the chest of the Dallas Cowboys after yet another tough loss featuring another key injury. But like we said, as dead as these teams might be, one of them will live in January. This can only mean the zombie virus has finally infected the NFL, which may help explain yet another resurrection of Matt Flynn.
Who knew that Nick Foles would be the miracle cure for Vick-Barkley Syndrome?