Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/11/12
So, about this whole Geno Smith thing…does anybody have any questions? Anybody? No, didn’t think so.  Not after what Geno did to Texas on Saturday. Make no mistake, the Longhorns defense is no joke. Granted, I wouldn’t put them up there with the Alabama’s or the LSU’s of the world, but with four players currently projected as first or second round picks, they certainly have enough talent to present a formidable challenge. Not only did Geno decimate that challenge, he did so at DKR Memorial Stadium, an always difficult and hostile environment. So yeah, this guy is good and there’s almost no chance Matt Barkley or any other clown catches up to him in this race.

But while the drama is sapped from one half of the race, the drama in the other half is just starting to heat up. In fact, you could argue that the drama will only intensify now that Geno has clearly established himself as an elite prospect. Teams that were previously on the fence about tanking their seasons now have ample motivation to do crazy/fishy things such as put guys on IR when they clearly could return, call long passing plays on 4th and inches (a Pat Shurmur specialty), and make mysterious switches to players such as Terrelle Pryor (or mysteriously stick with players such as BADGABMAXULTRA). Game on, people!

Let’s see where things stand through five weeks:

This section is being chopped in half thanks to the clear emergence of three guys and the complete stink bomb submitted by former “elite” prospects like Tyler Wilson, Logan Thomas, and Landry Jones. That having been said, I still love Tyler Wilson and Landry Jones. As second round guys, I would scoop them up like I was Jacksonville eyeing a top punter.

The Prizes (QB’s only)

Third Prize:  E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Stats:  17-29, 218 YDS, TD, INT in 16-17 L to North Carolina State
Season Stats:  1365 YDS, 10 TD, 2 INT, 70.5%, 9.2 Y/A
Breakdown:  Oh, E.J., how could you do this to me? How could you do this after I built you up so tall? After I touted you and espoused your skills and abilities to tens of people? HOW?!?!?

Second Prize:  Matt Barkley, USC
Stats:  23-30, 303 YDS, 3 TD in 38-28 W over Utah
Season Stats:  1308 YDS, 15 TD, 5 INT, 64.2%, 7.6 Y/A
Breakdown:  Strong performance from the former Sweepstakes darling, who needed a strong showing to wash the poor taste left in our mouths from his previous ones. Not only did Barkley improve his decision making, he also flashed the elite accuracy he’s long been noted for while effectively driving the ball down the field. He’s clearly a second class citizen to Geno now, but he’s still right there as a top 5 guy.

Grand Prize:  Geno Smith, West Virginia
Stats:  25-35, 268 YDS, 4 TD in 48-45 W over Texas
Season Stats:  1996 YDS, 24 TD, 0 INT, 81.4%, 9.8 Y/A
Breakdown:  We’re running out of superlatives to describe him, at this point. Texas really did everything you’d want to try and slow Geno down, sacking him 4 times and giving him very few opportunities to stand comfortably in the pocket. Didn’t matter. No amount of pressure seemed to rattle him, as he easily escaped the pocket and made play after play. He’s got everything, man.

Now, onto the NFL side of the race:

Dropping Out

St. Louis Rams
Record:  3-2
Last Game:  Won 17-3 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Current Starter:  Sam BradfordSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1022



6



5



57.5



7.0



78.6


 

Breakdown:  I don’t really know how the Rams got it done last Thursday, or any other day for that matter, but they seem to keep doing so despite very uneven play from Sam Bradford. Of course, it would help if he had NFL caliber offensive lineman and wide receivers, but come on, how big a deal could that really be? Nevertheless, three wins and future games against the Dolphins, Bills, Jets, and Bucs is enough to end their glorious run. Yet another preseason favorite out of the picture.

Supposed to be dropping out, but then…

Washington Redskins
Record:  2-3
Last Game:  Lost 17-24 vs. Atlanta Falcons
Current Starter:  Robert Griffin IIISeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1161



4



1



69.1



8.4



101.0


 

Breakdown:  This is quickly becoming a parody of itself. The ‘Skins have now been “officially” dropped from the Sweepstakes twice now, only to re-emerge later. Last time, it was because of horrible back-to-back losses to the Rams and Bengals. This time, it’s because Robert Griffin’s head was nearly severed from his body. Look, bud, you can run and all, that’s cool. Go ahead and do your thing. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LEARN HOW TO SLIDE!!!

Latecomers

Detroit Lions
Record:  1-3
Last Game:  Bye
Current Starter:  Matthew StaffordSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1182



3



4



65.9



6.8



81.6


 

Breakdown:  The Lions have had an entire week to stew on their Sweepstakes inclusion, and you can bet they’re hopping mad about it. You know, because they’re huge fans of Boris Diaw Time and all. Seriously though, what else is there to do in Detroit besides shoot people and drive around in those stupid “old people” Chrysler’s?

Turns out our young guy isn’t so bad…

Indianapolis Colts
Record:  2-2
Last Game:  Won 30-27 vs. Green Bay Packers
Current Starter:  Andrew LuckSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1208



7



2



54.2



6.8



77.1


 

Breakdown:  I feel a little dirty moving the Colts all the way up here from “Outside Favorites” status. They’ve still got a lot of holes and they’re still going to lose a bunch of games, but apparently this Andrew Luck character isn’t so bad. Like I said before the season, he’s going to throw them into some games this year, and Sunday was one of those times. Also, Reggie Wayne is a robot sent from the future to destroy the NFL.

Miami Dolphins
Record:  2-3
Last Game:  Won 17-13 at Cincinnati Bengals
Current Starter:  Ryan TannehillSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1269



2



6



57.4



7.5



70.4


 

Breakdown:  For those of you counting at home, this makes three of the four preseason “Favorites” to make a significant move away from that status. In fact, the other two, Arizona and Minnesota, aren’t even part of the Sweepstakes anymore! The Dolphins are definitely heading in that direction as well thanks to a strong defense and drastically improved play from Ryan Tannehill. So improved, in fact, that I can no longer call him Tannesuck…which saddens me deeply. Anyways, the Dolphins have a ridiculously easy slate ahead of them, with games against the Rams, Jets, Colts, Titans, and Bills coming up. It’ll be a miracle if they’re still on this list by the end of that run.

Still here, but not for long...

New Orleans Saints
Record:  1-4
Last Game:  Won 31-24 vs. San Diego Chargers
Current Starter:  Drew BreesSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1720



14



6



58.9



7.3



90.7


 

Breakdown:  They finally got that first win out of the way, and you have to wonder if that won’t dramatically ease their nerves going forward. They have their bye this week to rest up and figure out what the heck has gone wrong, and then they get Tampa Bay to annihilate after that. We may be seeing the last of New Orleans on this list.

By the way, does Sean Payton get to come back every week since Drew Brees is technically “breaking the record” each and every week he throws a TD? Is that how this all works, because I sorta wonder if the NFL is dumb enough to go for this…you know, given that they completely reneged on their idiotic suspension to let Payton go witness an idiotic and worthless record being broken. OK, I’m done. Sorry.

Heading in the wrong direction…or are we?

Carolina Panthers
Record:  1-4
Last Game:  Lost 12-16 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Current Starter:  Cam NewtonSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1154



4



5



58.8



8.5



80.9


 

Breakdown:  No one in their right mind would dare argue the Panthers are any good, and while I’m not necessarily in my right mind, I’m right enough to agree with that. However, let me say just one thing in their defense. Look at who they’ve lost to. The Bucs loss is bad, yes, but their other three losses have come to the Giants, Falcons, and Seahawks. Those are all good football teams and it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that a thin and poorly constructed team like the Panthers would experience little success against them. Now, let me also say one thing not in their defense. Cam Newton, sucky sucky. They’re on a bye this week, though with Ron Rivera as the guy “figuring things out,” it’s dubious they’ll actually figure anything out.

New York Jets
Record:  2-3
Last Game:  Lost 17-23 vs. Houston Texans
Current Starter:  Mark SanchezSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1043



6



6



48.4



6.6



66.6


 

Breakdown:  Here’s the good news, Jets fans. You somehow have two wins and you technically had a shot to beat Houston in the fourth quarter. Here’s the bad news. Your QB just entered the ‘Stoney Case Club,’ your coach delusionally believes 14/31 passing qualifies as ‘accurate,’ your best offensive player gets a maximum of eight snaps a game, your running back is bad enough to make Chris Johnson snicker, you have CB’s playing WR, RB’s playing CB, and there is absolutely no hope in sight. And you have two completely unnecessary wins that will probably prevent you from landing Geno Smith. Other than that…

The Dark Horses

Tennessee Titans
Record:  1-4
Last Game:  Lost 7-30 at Minnesota Vikings
Current Starter:  Jake LockerSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



Dead



Dead



Dead



Dead



Dead



Dead


 

Breakdown:  OK, see, the Titans really shouldn’t be this bad. Like, not even close. I get some of the early losses given their schedule, but giving up 30 to the Vikings is pathetic. Then again, 30 is the fewest amount of points they’ve surrendered all year, so maybe they’re improving? No? OK, no they’re not. We’ll see what happens when Locker is back, but it kinda looks like the Titans are here to stay.

Buffalo Bills
Record:  2-3
Last Game:  Lost 3-45 at San Francisco 49ers
Current Starter:  Ryan FitzpatrickSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1057



12



8



58.3



7.0



84.2


 

Breakdown:  Doesn’t it feel like Buffalo is 0-5 or something? They’ve been savaged over the past two weeks, allowing 97 points, 1201 total yards, two 300 yard passers, three 100 yard rushers, four 100 yard receivers, and countless moments that left us all wondering why in the world this team is even allowed to suit up for an NFL game. Yet, they have 2 wins, which defies all logic. Could it be that they’re inconsistent…or could it be more? My friend Casey pointed the possibility of Buffalo finally taking my advice and getting serious about the Sweepstakes. Given the emerging dominance of Geno Smith, would it be all that far-fetched? Could the Bills franchise finally be headed in the right direction?

No. The answer is no. Buffalo cannot and will not ever make a smart decision. The end.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Record:  1-3
Last Game:  Bye
Current Starter:  Josh FreemanSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



790



5



4



54.6



6.6



75.3


 

Breakdown:  Since Tampa Bay had a bye this week and didn’t give me any new material for a snarky comment, I’ll just rerun what I wrote last week, mostly because it is extremely mean-spirited and depressing to Bucs fans.

They sure do have a way of losing close games to semi-incompetent teams, don’t they? You know what, maybe they didn’t quit on Raheem Morris last year. Maybe they really are that bad? But hey, cheer up, Bucs fan (just one left). At least your team didn’t spend themselves into oblivion and waste a valuable first round pick on a RB who’s averaging about 50 yards per game…

The (Outside) Favorites

Kansas City Chiefs
Record:  1-4
Last Game:  Lost 6-9 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Current Starter:  Matt CasselSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1150



5



9



58.5



6.5



66.2


 

Breakdown:  The Chiefs have done some pretty solid work this season, making the long and arduous journey from “If Andrew Luck was in this draft, we’d try harder…” status all the way to “Outside Favorite” status. That’s quite a move in such a short time, much like the rapid descent of Matt Cassel from Pro Bowl golden boy in 2010 to ‘object of public ridicule and scorn even when lying unconscious on the ground’ in 2012. Needless to say, the Chiefs could really use Geno Smith.

Oakland Raiders
Record:  1-3
Last Game:  Bye
Current Starter:  Carson PalmerSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1081



5



2



61.1



6.7



86.0


 

Breakdown:  If the Raiders annihilation against Denver was Mark Spitz, then Jacksonville’s destruction to Chicago was Michael Phelps. You’ve got some work to do, Oakland. Time to unleash the real Carson Palmer (i.e. minimum of one INT per quarter).

Jacksonville Jaguars
Record:  1-4
Last Game:  Lost 3-41 vs. Chicago Bears
Current Starter:  BADGABMAXULTRASeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



796



5



3



54.8



5.5



73.3


 

Breakdown:  You know what; I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about the Jaguars and their god-awful QB. If ever a professional sports league could prove tanking without a shadow of a doubt, it’s now, because there’s simply no other explanation for letting this guy throw a single pass in an NFL game.

The Favorite

Cleveland Browns
Record:  0-5
Last Game:  Lost 27-41 at New York Giants
Current Starter:  Brandon WeedenSeason Stats:


YDS



TD



INT



COMP%



Y/A



RATING



1288



5



9



55.4



6.4



64.5


 

Breakdown:  I guess, congrats on being the last winless team? That may not look so hot in the real standings, but in the Geno Smith Sweepstakes standings, having zero wins is solid gold.  And with Weeden continuing to play like an overmatched turd, the Browns could really use a dynamic playmaker like Geno. Also they could use some wide receivers who aren’t Greg Little. And approximately three new linemen. And about seven defenders. And a head coach. And…

Games Matt Barkley Might Want to Watch This Week

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns – Yes, yes, I know the Bengals are not in the Sweepstakes anymore. The reason I’m highlighting this is because it represents a realistic chance for the Browns to notch a (devastating) win.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets – Quite frankly, this game has to excite you if you’re into the Geno Smith Sweepstakes. The Jets have really thrust themselves into this race with their pathetic play and a home loss to the Colts would be a great way to announce to the world that they mean business.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Easily the Sweepstakes game of the week! Two pathetic offenses, two pathetic QB’s, two horribly inconsistent defenses…this should be good. The winner of this game will be at a severe disadvantage going forward.

 



Check out other great articles at It's Boris Diaw Time!.
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