The Suck for Luck Derby: Who's in the Lead After Week 5?
Before the season even started, Andrew Luck was called the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, with some saying Luck might even be better. This led to speculation that the teams who start off on the wrong foot may let the season tank. This race to the bottom has been referred to as "Suck for Luck."
One more of the bottom dwellers got their first win of the season this week when the Chiefs beat the still winless Vikings. There are now only four teams without a win: the Dolphins, the Rams, the Vikings and the Colts.
Even though only four teams are winless, there are, realistically, seven teams still in the hunt for the best quarterback prospect in over a decade. Along with those still looking for that first win, there is the Seahawks, the Chiefs, the Broncos and the Jaguars, who each have only one win.
So where do these teams place in the race to the bottom? Read on to see:
No. 8: Seattle Seahawks
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A couple of weeks ago, I would've thought that the Seahawks were the worst team in the league. Now, I still think they're pretty bad, but they're definitely better than some other teams on this list.
While how good they are may be up for debate, they nearly beat the Falcons last Sunday, so they are clearly capable of getting in a few more wins.
They also have an easy schedule. They have road games against the Browns, the Cardinals (who they've beaten already) and the Rams. Their home schedule also has some potential W's on it, with home games against the Rams, the 49ers and the Bengals.
Between all these opponents, the Seahawks will come away with three or four total wins. That will be too many for Andrew Luck.
No. 7: Jacksonville Jaguars
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The Jaguars look terrible, but so do the other teams on this list. One reason I'm willing to put the Jaguars in seventh place in the Suck for Luck campaign is that they'd probably be the least likely to want Andrew Luck.
Blaine Gabbert may not be the most exciting quarterback to be your franchise guy, but the front office traded up six spots to get him for a reason.
If everything is going bad for any of these other teams, they might be willing to let a few games slide for that better draft spot. Not the Jags. Not only do they have their quarterback of the future, their coach is also playing for his job.
Beyond that, the Jaguars have two games against the Colts, a game against the Browns, one against the Bengals and one against the surprisingly bad Falcons. The Jaguars could end up with as many as four wins. That's two too many to hope for Luck.
No. 6: Denver Broncos
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The Broncos might be worse than a few of the teams above them on this list, but they have one of the easiest schedules in the league. They get to play the Chiefs twice, the Vikings and the Dolphins.
Those teams are a combined 1-11 right now.
While the Broncos are in hot water right now, they already have one win, which means all it takes is two more to knock them out of the race for Luck. With two games against winless teams and two games against a team whose only win was against a winless team, it seems likely they'll get those two wins.
They've probably already lost the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
No. 5: St. Louis Rams
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The Rams are a team that is set at the quarterback spot, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind having an auction for the Andrew Luck pick. They could make out like bandits and finally give Sam Bradford some weapons.
Still, since it is Sam Bradford, I expect the Rams will eventually find a way to win. They play in the NFC West with the Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers, so there are a lot of games against weak opponents.
Sam Bradford nearly led this team to the playoffs last year and I don't see them staying at the bottom for very long, especially since they play in the weakest division in the NFL.
No. 4: Kansas City Chiefs
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I thought the Vikings would beat the Chiefs because I thought the Chiefs were one of the worst teams in the league before they lost Jamaal Charles for the season. However, they surprised me on Sunday by beating the Vikings.
Next week, they play the 0-4 Indianapolis Colts and three weeks after than they host the winless Miami Dolphins.
If the Chiefs win against the Colts, they will likely remove themselves from the Andrew Luck race. However, it's quite possible that they won't. After all, they're the visiting team and the Colts nearly beat both the Steelers and the Buccaneers.
If the Colts come out on top, then the Chiefs will likely be 1-7 when they play their next winnable game. They may have decided by that point to let the season sink to at least get the best quarterback they can in the draft (that'd be Luck by the way).
No. 3: Minnesota Vikings
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With the way Donovan McNabb is playing, the Vikings are likely to find out very soon just what they have in Christian Ponder.
However, since he's a noodle armed quarterback made of glass playing in the same division as Ndamukong Suh, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, I don't see them putting the future in his hands if Luck is available.
Right now, the Vikings have zero wins and they just played the Chiefs. Their division also boasts two unbeaten teams and last year's NFC runner-up. In short, I don't see the season playing out well for the Vikings.
On the other hand, they have Adrian Peterson and the Lions had to beat them in overtime to stay perfect. Still, they will be the underdog in every single game this season and may end up with the first overall pick.
The Vikings might be willing to trade the first pick to the highest bidder and place their trust in Christian Ponder, but as good as Andrew Luck is, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to take him anyway and trade away Ponder.
No. 2: Indianapolis Colts
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I once believed that Tom Brady was bar-none the best quarterback of the last 10 years. Now that I see how terrible the Colts are without Peyton Manning, I'm not so sure anymore.
The Colts have their most winnable game this season next week against the visiting Chiefs. If they don't come out on top in that matchup, they may not win more than one game this season.
Of course, there is the Peyton Manning problem. The Colts want to give Manning another shot at extending his career a little bit, so they may trade down if they end up with the first overall pick.
By the time the actual draft rolls around, they'll have a much better idea of how well Manning's neck injury is healing and they'll know if he has a few more years in him or not. As of right now, they seem to be leaning towards trusting Manning.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Colts trade out of the first overall pick for several additional picks to stock up their team and give Manning and the other older players on the team one more shot at a Super Bowl.
No. 1: Miami Dolphins
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In the season opener, before everyone realized just how bad the Patriots defense was this year, I thought that maybe the Dolphins were not that bad. Boy was I ever wrong.
The Dolphins may not be the worst team in the league, but they're definitely in the bottom five. To make things worse for them, all three of the other teams in their division will be shooting for the playoffs and will not let the Dolphins sneak away with an upset win.
The Dolphins do get to play the Broncos at home and travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs a little later, but beyond those two, the worst team they play is the Eagles.
Unlike the Colts, Vikings, Rams and Jaguars, the Dolphins are already watering at the mouth for a shiny new quarterback; they were rumored to want one last season.
If the Dolphins finish up with the worst record in the NFL, they will take Andrew Luck before you can say "Chad Henne," and right now, they look pretty capable of doing just that.