Blog Entry

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:11 pm
The untold story behind the Brandon Lloyd deal is this: By hiring a legitimate big-play threat the St. Louis Rams are risking their pole position here.

That's right, the team that didn't have a wide receiver of consequence may have one now. In fact, it may have two. Mark Clayton is eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list, which means Sam Bradford may finally discover what it's like to play catch with someone or something other than backboards.

Bottom line: As we near the midway point of the season Miami is positioning itself as the Lucky Loser favorite, and if you're skeptical you didn't watch them Monday night. People have told me, "Aw, they're not that bad." I'm sorry, yes, they are. They couldn't find the end zone with a divining rod, and Tony Sparano coaches as if he's playing for his job.

You're not, Tony. You're toast. So live a little. Take some chances. Try something extraordinary.

On the other hand, you run the risk of winning, and that's the last thing Miami needs now. The more I watch these guys the more I see that 1-15 team from 2007. The Dolphins made a mistake that year and passed the best quarterback in the draft, Matt Ryan. They won't make the same mistake again.

Granted, that means St. Louis and Indianapolis have to break from the field, but opponents who play the Colts tell me they're going to win one here sooner or later. And the Rams ... well, the schedule gets easier after Game 7, and the wide receivers should be better. Looks like their stay at the Lucky Hotel will be coming to an end.

But Miami? Forget it. The Dolphins are dug in. Help is on the way ... next April.

5. Jacksonville. Here's another team that can't find the end zone, but give the Jaguars this: At least they moved on with the future. They know who their next quarterback is because they're playing Blaine Gabbert. That will help them next year, but it won't help the beleagured Jack Del Rio. After his latest defeat, he insisted that "we're not that far away," but I don't know if he was talking about a win or his dismissal.

Next loss: Baltimore. The Ravens aren't just the best team in their division; they're one of the best teams in the NFL. Nobody can run on them, which means moving the Jacksonville offense is solely up to Gabbert ... and this might be a good week to call in sick, Blaine. The Ravens don't attack the pocket; they destroy it ... and everything in it.

4. Arizona. Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt spent the bye week confessing that he wasn't as calm as he seemed; that he was really "angry" and "upset" with a ballclub that has been sloppy and careless in too many games. Hey, these guys got drilled by Minnesota, and that would uspet and anger me. I don't know what's going on with quarterback Kevin Kolb, but he hasn't been right since the second game of the year. He's thrown one interception and four interceptions in his last three starts, and his completion percentage dropped to 57.3. Worse, he's missing open receivers. Kolb isn't Kurt Warner, but he doesn't have to be. He just can't be Derek Anderson. Look at those numbers. He's getting close.

Next loss: Pittsburgh. I cut these guys slack, basically because I believe in Whisenhunt. This is an emotional game for him and his coachinig staff (it's all about the Steeler connection), so there's a chance for the upset. Plus, Arizona is coming off a bye. All I know is that, since leaving Pittsburgh, Whisenhunt met these guys once in the regular season, and he pulled off a 21-14 upset ... in Arizona. It could be deja vu all over again.

3. Indianapolis. Owner Jim Irsay insists that when Peyton Manning is 100 percent he returns to the field. For the sake of the franchise, here's hoping Manning isn't 100 percent until the season ends. If the Colts don't make a stretch run for Andrew Luck, there's still Oklahoma's Landry Jones -- provided, of course, he declares himself eligible for the draft. In either case, there's a successor to Manning out there waiting on the Colts. But there's only one road to the bottom, people: Dare to be dreadful.

Next loss: At New Orleans. This is where it will dawn on people that it really doesn't matter who coaches the Saints from the sidelines.

2. Miami. I see where Jake Long on Monday lifted a finger for the Jets' Aaron Maybin, if you know what I mean. I guess Long knows who's No. 1 among the Lucky Losers. Except the Dolphins aren't ... not until St. Louis vacates the ground floor. Look, the Dolphins deserve to be there. They drop touchdown passes. They can't find wide-open receivers. They fumble. They can't tackle. They stink. Maybe the most appalling number of all is 7, as in quarterback sacks. This is a team with Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor, and it averages little more than a sack per game? Now I know why Brandon Marshall wanted to be kicked out in the second quarter. He can't bear watching this mess, either.

Next loss: Denver. The Dolphins are so screwed up they're honoring the 2008 University of Florida national championship team when former Florida icon and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is on the schedule. Worse, they're honoring the Gators at the University of Miami's home field. "I think they're going to boo us," said former Gator Mike Pouncey. I'm not sure whom he was talking about -- Florida or the Dolphins. My guess is that it's both.

1. St. Louis. I already covered these guys at the top. The Lloyd deal and the return of Clayton may accomplish what nothing else this season has ... namely, give these guys a pulse. Basically, they're short-timers here, only they first must get through that high-ankle sprain to Bradford. Yeah, they're awful, but look what happens after their Oct. 30 date with New Orleans: Their next four opponents have losing records, and that includes Arizona twice. Listen closely, people. They're already beginning to assemble for the parade in South Beach.

Next loss: At Dallas. The Cowboys are beating themselves up for that last-minute loss in New England. It's the coach's fault. Nope, it's the quarterback's fault. Nope, it's the defense's fault. All I know is the Cowboys are steamed, and ready to take it out on the next guy in line. Let me introduce you to Steve Spagnuolo and the St. Louis Rams.

Category: NFL

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:51 am

Lucky Losers: Take Six

You media fools are crazy.  First you claim Kolb is a great QB prospect and the Cardinals made the right trade, then you turn around and say the Raiders made a bad trade (even though Palmer is way better than Kolb). 

Now you still haven't learned your lesson and think Luck is

A) Guaranteed to come out this year (he has 1 more year of eligibility left); AND
B) Guaranteed to quickly be a great QB.

Both are uncertain.  Luck's a good prospect but I sincerely doubt he's any better a prospect than Cam Newton, Matt Leinart and JeMarcus Russell were.  I remember the Leinart hype, how did that turn out?  I remember the Newton bashing, how did that turn out?

Since: Oct 4, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:51 am

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Andrew Luck is the Dolphins' to lose. The Florida Panthers Hockey team scored 7 points monday, the Dolphins scored 6 points. 

This is a very deep QB class though. I expect 2 or 3 of these "Luck Bowl" teams to make the playoffs next season. It happens EVERY year. 

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:46 pm

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Let's not forget the opposite.  The Broncos trading Lloyd away.  Maybe setting Tebow up to fail.  One less weapon.  This is the Andrew Luck Game of the Week.  A win and the Broncos are all but eliminated.  They'll be two behind Miami and down a tie breaker.  Lose and they have the potential to run the table while taking out teams like Minnesota and Kansas City along the way and have the tie breaker on Miami.  It seems Indy is only standing in their way.  Come on Jaguars.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Have you WATCHED the Lambs er ah Rams play? If Bradford comes back into the lineup THIS YEAR; he's a LOT dumber than I ever thought! Kolb at least gets SOME blocking and has Fitzgerald to throw to and Wells to hand it off to. The Rams Oline can't block ANYBODY, Steven Jackson has been injured much of the time and "Cadillac" Williams has looked like a TukTuk with a failing engine! Yes, the Rams just got Llyod and Clayton will be coming back; with Feely throwing to them (taking bets on how long THEY stay healthy?) Last, but FAR from least their OC is Josh McDaniels, go ask the Broncos fans about him... and DUCK! FAST!

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:07 pm

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Yes, the Lambs will have TWO count'em a whole TWO WR's and MAYBE a SEMI healthy Steven Jackson, but for NOW Bradford IS injured; and even when he DOES come back (if he's stupid enough to put his carreer at risk by doing that THIS season) His Oline STILL can't block and his OC is STILL? Josh "Watch Me Destroy THIS Offense" McDaniels! Besides which, who can foresee  HOW LONG Clayton and/or Llyod will be able to STAY healthy. One crossing route too many is all it takes. So, I wouldn't be counting them out of the #1 pick next year just yet. YES, the Cartds REEK; but did you watch what happened to the Redskins AFTER they BARELY beat the Lambs? I'd say they're on a par with the Cards.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:32 am

Lucky Losers: Take Six

Kolb isn't Kurt Warner, but he doesn't have to be.
Seriously, have you seen the Cardinals roster?  For that team to win, yes, he has to be (and arguably even better than Warner; that team is worse top-to-bottom than the Warner Cards).  They've degraded more than some people seem to realize.

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