For once, Andrew Luck is not the toast of the college quarterback world.
Combine Stanford’s loss to Oregon two weekend ago with Luck’s pedestrian numbers against Cal on Saturday (20-30, 257 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT in a 31-28 win), and then mix in superlative performances by Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and USC’s Matt Barkley this past Saturday, and Luck doesn’t seem luck such a clear-cut #1 prospect any more, now does he?
Don’t get me wrong, Luck’s still the guy. If the NFL draft were held today, the Indianapolis Colts would snatch Luck up quicker than you can say “Peyton” and then deal with the ramifications later. Plus, we don’t even know if RG3 or Barkley are going to turn pro after this year.
Griffin surely won’t get the respect his performances and athletic ability deserve once NFL scouts start picking apart the simplicity of the offense he operates in, so he is unlikely to be a surefire top 10 pick. That, plus a desire to to win the Heisman (if he doesn’t this year) and take Baylor to even greater heights may compel him to stay in school.
As for Barkley, he has persevered through so much at USC while the school serves its punishment for crimes that happened before he got there. The Trojans have loads of talent and will be bowl eligible again next year. It seems reasonable to think he may want to stay for his senior year and finish what he started, though he’ll likely be projected as a higher pick than Griffin, making such a decision that much harder.
(Side note: remember when Landry Jones was discussed in the same sentence with these three guys? About that…)
Back to Luck.
Even with Griffin and Barkley seemingly closing the gap this weekend, Luck is still the guy I’d want my team taking if they had the chance. It’s become clear as the season has gone along that Luck simply doesn’t have great weapons to work with on offense, and that is depressing his still great numbers. For the season, Luck is still completing over 70% of his passes and has thrown 31 TDs against only 8 INTs.
So though some fans may be tempted to implore their teams to “stiffen for Griffin” or “keep missing the mark(ley) to get Barkley” (wow, that one sucks), Colts fans should still be hopeful that their team will maintain its “suck for Luck” trajectory. He still has franchise QB written all over him.
And now onto this week’s Suck for Luck Power Rankings, where not being #1 no longer looks quite so awful.NFL Suck For Luck Power Rankings: Week 12
—1. Indianapolis Colts (0-10)
This is the first Monday that the Colts haven’t had to lament a loss all season. Score!
In celebration of the Colts not losing, here is a picture of Colts Jim Irsay and his smiling daughter Casey.
Image credit: Charlie Nye via The Indianapolis Star2. St. Louis Rams (2-8)
That’s it. I’m done with the Rams.
I’ve supported this team all year, always ranking them lower in these rankings than their record or performance suggested. Why? I don’t know why. I guess because I foolishly keeping believing that Sam Bradford and Josh McDaniels will get this crappy offense going.
Well, when you get trounced at home by Tarvaris Jackson, Pete Carrol, and the Seahawks, you lose my support.
Sam Bradford “can’t believe how bad this season has been“? Join the club.3. Carolina Panthers (2-8)
Here is another team that I’ve lost faith in. The Panthers were really playing well despite their 2-6 record before their bye came. Since then, they’ve gotten trounced by the Titans, and yesterday they gave up 49 points to Detroit in the process of blowing a big early lead.
Cam Newton is outstanding, and he continues to make the Panthers’ offense fun to watch, but you have to stop someone every now and again to win games. Considering new head coach Ron Rivera is a defensive-minded guy, hopefully he can get their defensive woes turned around. Maybe a high draft pick will help?4. Washington Redskins (3-7)
The Redskins actually turned in an inspired performance yesterday in taking the Cowboys to overtime. They even had a chance to win, but Graham Gano’s field goal sailed wide and the Redskins once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Redskins’ loss also included this bizarre play call from one of Mike Shanahan’s henchman…which really is a perfect visual representation for what Redskins football has become: inexplicable.
GIF source: Imgur via Reddit5. Arizona Cardinals (3-7)
I am ranking Arizona below the Rams, Panthers, and Redskins out of respect for Larry Fitzgerald, because he continues to be amazing. But my goodness is their QB situation awful. I know the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL, but that performance yesterday by John Skelton made Derek Anderson look like a Pro Bowler (again…remember when that happened?).
It’s not good when you’re longing for Kevin Kolb to be under center, but that’s what it has come to for Arizona.6. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)
Congratulations, you lost to the Cleveland Browns. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
On the bright side, Blaine Gabbert threw for more than 100 yards! He actually tossed for 210 yards. But once again he did not throw a TD, and his yards per attempt was an anemic 5.1.
Is there anyone who wouldn’t take Luck, Barkley, or Griffin (hell, even Landry Jones) over Gabbert? I don’t think so. The Jags are going to regret this pick for a long time.7. Cleveland Browns (4-6)
Has a team ever had an emptier four wins than Cleveland? They’ve beaten Indy, Miami back when the Dolphins were just giving games away, Seattle in a 6-3 barnburner, and the woeful Jags last week.
Bill Parcells famously said “you are what your record says you are” and I usually believe it. But come on. The Browns being “a 4-win team” is terribly false advertising. Yes, it’s technically true, but it implies some level of football competence. And those two words really never should be next to eachother when the subject is the Browns.8. Minnesota Vikings (2-8)
Yeah, I probably have the Vikings too high, but consider this a continued show of respect for Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. I think yesterday’s game against Oakland goes much differently if Peterson played the whole game, and I think the Vikings have actually found a QB they can build around, unlike everyone on this list except for Carolina (and maybe the Rams…maybe).
Also, I didn’t want to put the Vikings any higher on this list and make Drew Lange cry like a little girl. That would have been tragic.9. San Diego Chargers (4-6)
As I perused the rest of the 4-6 teams, the Chargers stood out as the team playing the worst. They’ve dropped five straight and Philip Rivers is playing like absolute horsecrap. It’s shocking that a team that seemingly has so much talent could be so bad, but we’ve seen it from these Chargers year after year, with this recent five-game skid perhaps being the nadir.
A 14-2 season from Marty Schottenheimer doesn’t look so bad anymore, now does it?
In honor of one of the most unnecessarily disrespected good coaches in NFL history, here is Marty taking a Gatorade bath like an absolute boss.10. Buffalo Bills (5-5)
I know that the Bills have a better record than Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Philadelphia, and that they’re even with Tennessee, the Jets, and Denver, but when you lose three straight games by a combined score of 106-26, and you’re having buyer’s remorse just a few weeks after signing your QB to a long-term contract extension, you get included in the Suck For Luck Rankings.
As for the honorable mentions, which I just mentioned, Kansas City better not get too comfortable. I’m keeping my eye on them, especially with Matt Cassel out and Tyler Palko not in. They face New England tonight on Monday Night Football, which very well could turn into a massacre. But hey, at least for this week, they’re better than the Bills!
Got any gripes? That’s what the comment section is for. Have at it.
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