A few days ago, Andrew Luck said it was “stupid” for fans of NFL teams to wish losses upon their favorite franchises in the hopes that it would possibly position them to draft the Stanford signal-caller. As Pro Football Talk accurately predicted, “Luck might not like it, but the ‘Suck for Luck’ campaigns aren’t going away.”
No, they most certainly are not; not when quarterback is by far the most important position on the field, in a sport where it is virtually impossible to win consistently without at least above average play from the position.
So even though this post series’ namesake likely thinks I’m an idiot for continuing to post it, post I will. Because while it may be “stupid” from his view, no one who has a franchise QB is lamenting the losses it likely took to get them. Neither will whoever grabs Luck, as close to a “can’t miss” quarterback prospect as we’ve seen in a long while.
1. Indianapolis Colts (0-6)
It’s not often that a player’s legend can grow without taking a snap, but that is exactly what is happening with Peyton Manning this season. Though it may hard to remember right now, as the Colts bungle their way to loss after loss, but coming into this season the Colts had won at least 10 games every year since 2001. In all but two of those seasons they won 12 games.
I think the Colts would have struggled this year even with Manning, as they did last year en route to 10 hard-fought victories, but certainly they would be at or near the top of the AFC South and poised for another playoff berth. Without Manning, they are the worst team in football. Is it possible we have been underestimating Manning’s brilliance all along?
Oh, and just to reiterate: the Colts would and should take Luck #1 if they get the chance. You don’t pass on a franchise quarterback when your current franchise QB is in his mid-30s and inactive because of a neck injury. You don’t. And there is no argument that will me convince me or any reasonable-minded NFL observer otherwise.
2. Miami Dolphins (0-5)
I am posting this on Monday morning, so we do not know yet if the Dolphins will beat the Jets in New York tonight. Except that we do. They won’t. Even with Miami coming off of their bye, they aren’t marching into hostile territory with Matt Moore at a QB and a potentially unhinged Brandon Marshall and winning. Won’t happen.
And I say this as someone who has rooted for the Dolphins my whole life, so I’d love to be wrong…except that I wouldn’t, because a win would screw the Dolphins over in the only standings that matter to Dolfans this year: these standings. The journey to Marino’s heir has been a long, lonely, and losing one for the Dolphins. But if they suck for Luck, the journey could finally end.
Update: Via Larry Brown Sports, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross seems to agree.
3. Denver Broncos (1-4)
The Broncos are a total wild card in these sweepstakes. No one really knows what to expect when Tim Tebow takes over as starter next week. Sure, we all expect to see a low completion percentage and a passing game that functions at about a high school level. But we also might see wins, because Tebow just seems like one of those rare breeds who can completely break the mold and win unconventionally through running, will, and leadership.
So why does Denver remain ahead of the other one-win teams in these standings? Because it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how desperately John Elway would love to get Andrew Luck. It’s so obvious, the reasons don’t even need to be explained. But Tim Tebow could ruin it all by being himself, a winner. It’ll be fascinating to see if he can do it.
4. St. Louis Rams (0-5)
Awful. Just awful. That’s what the Rams are. And if they didn’t have a second half schedule that seems forgiving, and a young QB who I still think can be built around, I’d think about moving them above Miami.
But make no mistake: even with a franchise QB already in tow, the Rams would still win the Suck 4 Luck Sweepstakes by finishing with the worst record. What they could get in return for the #1 pick would be astounding. A part of me hopes it happens just to see what teams are willing to trade. If the Saints traded their entire draft to pick Ricky Williams, imagine what a team might trade for Luck.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: I’m not sold on Blaine Gabbert as the QB of the future in Jacksonville – at least if the Jags have any intention of that future including consistent winning. And though Jacksonville has a solid defense, they only have one player on offense: Maurice Jones-Drew. Jacksonville simply won’t be able to score enough to win, and they are a definite darkhorse in this race.
6. Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
I still think Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen alone are good enough to get this team three or four more wins, but with Christian Ponder possibly taking over as soon as this week, I cannot keep thinking wishfully that Minnesota will turn it around. They suck. And Leslie Frazier might not be the answer at coach. It’s a shame, because I hate to see so much talent in Adrian Peterson go to waste on a crappy team.
7. Carolina Panthers (1-5)
Carolina finally couldn’t hang in Week 6, losing by double-digits to Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Cam Newton was his usually dynamic self, but it’s quite clear that this Carolina D just cannot stop teams enough for them to get wins. Like St. Louis, winning the Suck 4 Luck Sweepstakes would be a big boon to Newton and the franchise because of what they could get in return for the first pick, but I think Cam can get them to a few more wins this season, which will give them no chance of sucking enough for Luck.
8. Arizona Cardinals (1-4)
I guess I think Kevin Kolb will play a little better in the season’s second half once he’s more comfortable in his new surroundings, even though his performance so far this year is exactly what we should have expected based on his performance in Philadelphia. So we’ll see.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
10. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
I know he’s wearing the wrong jersey here, and is currently injured, but I love this picture of Tarvaris Jackson.
Just missed: Cleveland Browns (2-3), Washington Redskins (3-2)
Stay tuned Tuesday or Wednesday when we post our complete NFL Power Rankings, of which I can make one guarantee: Green Bay will be #1. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.