Is Russell Wilson The Greatest Dual-Threat Quarterback Of All Time?

The first thing we have to ask is: what constitutes a true Dual-Threat Quarterback? I think it’s pretty easy to whittle things down on the Eye Test alone. For starters, we’re talking about quarterbacks who can also run with the football. So, we’re not talking about the greatest Running Quarterback, because if you looked at just the 2018 season, you’d have to say Lamar Jackson was the best Running Quarterback in the league. But, Dual-Threat means he can beat you with his legs AND his arm, and it’s pretty safe to say Jackson hasn’t built up that arm half of his game just yet.

So, I went into Pro Football Reference and played around with the numbers. First, I separated all the quarterbacks into a list of those who’ve run for 1,000 yards in their careers. But, that’s not quite good enough, because Tom Brady has 1,003 rushing yards in his career, and he is NOBODY’S idea of a Dual-Threat. So, I went ahead and bumped it up to 1,500 career rushing yards (mostly to knock him the hell off of a GOAT list, because he has enough GOATs in his life).

When you list them by rushing yards, you’ll find someone by the name of Tom Matte, who is listed as a quarterback and a running back. Among all quote-unquote Quarterbacks in NFL history, Matte has the 4th highest rushing yards total with 4,646. But, he only threw for 246 yards, so he’s obviously got to go. To be considered as the Greatest Dual-Threat Quarterback Of All Time, I figure at a minimum you need 20,000 passing yards. That drops our total from 53 to 38, which is a number I can get behind.

Such a list includes favorites like Jim Zorn, Andrew Luck, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Archie Manning, and even Ryan Fitzpatrick! But, it also includes such stiffs as Vinny Testaverde, Boomer Esiason, Jay Cutler, Johnny Unitas, and Brett Favre. While they’re all pretty good-to-great, I don’t think you’d ever fear for your life if they were running with the football. Those guys mostly just hung around long enough to qualify for my arbitrary cutting-off point.

So, to whittle it down further, I had to put a limit on Yards Per Game. Yards Per Attempt isn’t worth a damn for a quarterback, because most guys scramble once or twice per game, and with the defense not expecting it, they tend to rack up a lot of garbage yards in the process. We need to focus on guys opposing defenses are specifically game-planning for. Setting it at 10 yards per game gets us down to 30 guys, and just barely keeps Jim Zorn on the list. But, it also keeps Jay Cutler on the list, and I just can’t have that. So, I increased it to a minimum of 13 yards per game, which also managed to cut off Joe Theismann, Ken Anderson, and Mark Brunell (who had 12.5 yards per game). While I like Brunell an awful lot, I don’t mind lopping him off because I don’t think he belongs in the conversation.

1,500 career rushing yards, 20,000 career passing yards, and 13 rushing yards per game put us at 25 quarterbacks. But, a couple of names still bothered me, because mediocre quarterbacks like Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks were still hanging around. So, I made the cutoff 22,000 passing yards, and we’re left with a Top 23. This fits better with my idea of a Dual-Threat Quarterback.

For what it’s worth, I was going to be more strict with the Rushing Yards Per Game, and set it at 20, to really separate the wheat from the chaff, but that ended up cutting off guys like John Elway, Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach, and Aaron Rodgers. While I don’t consider A-Rod to be a “running quarterback” per se, he’s still lumped into that Dual-Threat mold, even though his arm is VASTLY superior to his running ability (I’d put it at somewhere like 90/10, or 80/20 at the very most). And, while Elway certainly slowed down on running in his old age, you just can’t have this conversation without him.

There are a number of ways to go about ranking these guys, but I’m just going to go by Who I Would Most Want On My Football Team, at the beginning of their careers, for the duration of their careers.

I’m also going to split them up even further, because ultimately I have a Top 4 REAL Dual-Threat Quarterbacks.

There’s no perfect way to rank these guys, because all of the ones in the aforementioned Top 23 are much more passers than runners. But, I would argue that the vast majority of them are more “scramblers” than actual threats to run downfield with the football. So, if I had to pick a Top 10, I would definitely include guys like Andrew Luck (10), Donovan McNabb (9), Steve McNair (8), Fran Tarkenton (7), John Elway (6), and Aaron Rodgers (5). Those guys have a ton of rushing yards, pretty solid Yards Per Game averages, and a ton of passing yards. But, to me, they’re not REAL Dual-Threat Quarterbacks in the sense I’m defining here.

Just outside my Top 10, I might add, we have Alex Smith, who I wouldn’t have expected to show up here, except he has over 34,000 passing yards, over 2,600 rushing yards, and averages over 15 rushing yards per game. I’m also leaving out Michael Vick, because his passing game was far too weak to be considered, even though he leads all QBs in total and per game rushing yards.

My Top 4 includes Randall Cunningham (4) and Cam Newton (3). I LOVE me some QB Eagles, and if their careers both ended today, he’d actually rank ahead of Cam. But, given Cam’s age and the fact that he has so much left in the tank, he’s easily the superior option. Even though I don’t love the way he reacts in losing situations, it would be idiotic to keep Newton outside of the Top 3.

My Top 2 should come as no surprise. In some order, it’s Russell Wilson and Steve Young. Young has over 33,000 passing yards, over 4,200 rushing yards, and over 25 yards per game. He’s right in that sweet spot of elite passer and elite runner, and if you just count his prime (from 1991-1998), you’re talking about eight Hall of Fame seasons where he averaged nearly 4,000 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns, with an average of over 400 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. I mean, just unstoppable production, and his total career could’ve been so much better if he A) wasn’t saddled behind Joe Montana for so long, and B) didn’t succumb to head injuries (among other maladies) late in his career.

So, if we’re just talking about today, I have Steve Young at #1 and Russell Wilson #2, but it won’t be too much longer before Russell Wilson is the All Time Greatest Dual-Threat Quarterback, with Cam Newton coming in at #2 (in other words, we’re watching the two greatest Dual-Threat Quarterbacks while they’re in their primes, and that’s pretty amazing).

Not for nothing, but if you compare Young’s best 7 years to Wilson’s only 7 years, you can see what I’m talking about:

  • Steve Young 1992-1998: 24,266 passing yards, 178 TDs, 68 INTs, 66.9% completions; 2,450 rushing yards, 29 TDs, 5.8 yards per attempt
  • Russell Wilson 2012-2018: 25,624 passing yards, 196 TDs, 63 INTs, 64.2% completions; 3,651 rushing yards, 16 TDs, 5.7 yards per attempt

As I said, it’s only a matter of time before Wilson surpasses him in all career numbers. And, considering Wilson’s best statistical years might still be ahead of him, it could be sooner than we think.

Finally, I know nobody likes talking about superficial things QB Winzzz or Pro Bowl/Playoff appearances, but I’m sorry, you just can’t have this discussion without bringing those into the mix. Young’s record as a 49ers quarterback was 91-33 over 13 years; Wilson is 75-36-1. Young was in 7 Pro Bowls to Wilson’s 5, and he was on 3 First All Pro Teams to Wilson’s 0. Young has 14 Playoff Games Started to Wilson’s 13, with an 8-6 record to Wilson’s 8-5. Young, of course, has 3 rings to Wilson’s 1, but two of Young’s were as a backup to Montana. Finally, Young has 2 MVPs to Wilson’s 0, and 1 Super Bowl MVP to Wilson’s 0. Wilson is RIGHT THERE in so many areas, but just not quite over the hump.

Not yet, that is.

I’m A Worrier: The Carolina Panthers

That’s why my friends call me Whiskers.

I more-or-less think the Seahawks are going to be the best team in football in 2013.  They’re young, talented, hungry, and they enjoyed playoff success as recently as last year.  They also tasted playoff defeat, which may not sound like a good thing (when is it ever?), but I would argue it makes them even hungrier.  Not just the fact that they lost, but the WAY that they lost.  The most notable trait of this team is that it’s led by a smart quarterback with the will to be the best.  I have no concern about the offense.  But, this defense will be the linchpin.  This team goes as far as its defense takes it.  Games like that Atlanta game can’t happen again (in the playoffs).

Anyway, I’m getting off topic.  Yes, I think this team is going to win the Super Bowl, but just because I think what I think doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.  I tend to think a lot of things.  And I tend to be moronic, short-sighted, and homerific more often than not.  It’s like playing a strategic board game like Chess.  I get so focused on my own plan, I’m blinded to what my opponent is doing, and before I know it, I’ve been king-fucked.  I believe that’s the technical term.  King-fucked.

There are other good teams too.  Right in our own back yard!  The NFC is riddled with quality football teams to the point that I envy good teams in the AFC.  Mostly because there aren’t many, and all of them have flaws.  If the Seahawks were in the AFC West, yeah, they’d have to worry about the Denver Broncos, but they’re not as good as the 49ers!  Their defense is kind of a joke, and I think our secondary could slow down Manning’s receivers just enough to whup his ass.  Houston’s a good team, but they’re mighty flawed.  They say you can’t count out Baltimore, but look at what I’m doing right now!  I’m counting out Baltimore!  And good luck to New England, because you’re going to need it with your total lack of weapons on offense and your joke of a defense.  If the Seahawks were in the AFC, I could guarantee a 14-2 record, home field advantage, and a Super Bowl appearance and it would most likely happen.  In the NFC, I’m looking a lot more foolish.

Even the non-elite NFC teams are pretty good.  For the record, the elite teams are the Seahawks, 49ers, Falcons, and Packers.  The next-level teams are better than MOST AFC teams:  Saints, Rams, Redskins (with RGIII), Bears, Vikings, Lions, Giants, Cowboys, Bucs & Panthers.  These are all teams the Seahawks should consistently beat, but they do just enough to scare the bejesus out of me.

The Panthers were 7-9 last year, but they were the “good” kind of 7-9.  You know, that “good” kind of 7-9 where they won 5 of their last 6 games to close out the season, including wins over Atlanta and New Orleans.  Essentially, they did just enough to save their head coach’s job, which absolutely blew my mind.

A lot of football experts like the Panthers to make a leap this year.  That seems like a tall order for them to fill, considering the talent in their division.  Still, they fared quite well in games within their own division in 2012, going 3-3 with their three losses all within one score.  In fact, they were one fumble (and one bone-headed coaching decision) from going 4-2 and beating the Falcons twice.

If there’s one thing that doesn’t scare me, it’s the Panthers’ coaching staff.  They’re too conservative and I don’t think they get the best out of the talent around them.  If you’re at mid-field, it’s 4th & 1, you’ve been averaging over 5 yards per carry on the ground, and you’re one first down away from winning the game, you do NOT punt and put the game in the hands of your defense with its non-existent secondary.

I still don’t think their defense is all that good, but they don’t have to be the best defense around.  They just have to be good enough.  And on any given Sunday, they CAN be good enough.

I begrudgingly like Cam Newton.  I don’t think he’ll ever be one of the elite passers in the game, but I think he can top out as a Donovan McNabb-type passer, which is certainly good enough to compete in this league year-in and year-out.  When you tack on his ability to run and his ability to stay healthy, that puts Newton into an entirely different class.  He strikes me as a younger LeBron James – a mental head-case who every so often can completely take over a game and win it by himself.  Their overall running game is as strong as can be, and they’ve got just enough weapons in the passing game to keep defenses honest.

The Seahawks play the Panthers in Week 1.  I know there are plenty of other, scarier opponents on our schedule in 2013, but for some reason I can’t shake this feeling that this Panthers game is a must-win.  It’s a road game, and if the Seahawks are going to contend for a playoff BYE, they’re going to need a good road record.  Anything less than 5-3 is unacceptable.  So, it would be good to not be in a hole right out of the gate.

This Panthers game also comes immediately before our huge showdown at home against the 49ers.  I would argue it’s impossible to overlook your first opponent of a regular season, but if it’s even remotely possible, it’s because those 49ers loom large the following week.  You really want to go into that game 1-0, with the opportunity to go 2-0 and run wire-to-wire in the NFC West.

Truth be told, there isn’t an easy road game in the bunch.  After the Panthers, we head out to Houston and Indianapolis in weeks 4 & 5.  Then, it’s off to Arizona and St. Louis (two tough divisional foes) in weeks 7 & 8.  Then, we go to the Falcons in week 10, followed by our final two road games in San Francisco and New York (against the Giants) in weeks 14 & 15.  If I had to rank these games on the toughness scale, quite honestly the game against the Panthers would be pretty low on that list.  But, that doesn’t make them any less difficult of an opponent.

My nerves are going to be on edge throughout the 2013 season, but they’re going to be at an all-time high going into that first game.  Until we’re able to hold a comfortable lead, I’m just going to have to live with this tightness in my chest.  And this numbness of my arms and legs.  And this profuse sweating and panicked breathing … heart attack.  I’m having a heart attack.  LASSIE, GO GET HELP GIRL!

Seahawks Death Week: The Hangover Continues

What is Seahawks Death Week?  It’s an annual tradition ’round these parts where we mourn (and usually belabor) the fact that the Seahawks have been eliminated from Playoff Contention.  This can happen as early as the week in the regular season where the Seahawks’ record is so poor they’re mathemetically eliminated from the playoffs, or as late as the week following the Super Bowl when they’ve lost their playoff game and have returned to Seattle as Not-Champions once again.  In their 37 years of existence, there has always been a Seahawks Death Week.  This year is no different.

The further along the Seahawks make it, the worse the hangover.  A 7-9 team that’s eliminated in week 13 is fairly demoralizing, but it’s a helluva lot worse when the Seahawks are eliminated in the final week of the regular season.  If they happen to make the playoffs (which has happened in 12 of their 37 seasons), then the further along they make it, the worse we all feel after they inevitably lose.  When they made it all the way to the Super Bowl only to have it ripped from their clutches, I could hardly function for a solid month.  But, eventually, you get by.

I knew the overarching take-away from losing in Atlanta would be, “This is the start of something amazing.”  “It’s not an end, it’s only a beginning.”  “Just wait until next year, this team is going to be ELITE.”  However you want to phrase it, there’s more optimism than there is dejection.  But, you know why the hangover persists?  Because while all of that is true, I can’t help shake the feeling that:  I DON’T WANT THIS SEASON TO END!

I may be alone in this line of thinking, but I’m of the opinion that this is the greatest Seahawks team we’ve ever seen; even better than the Super Bowl team in 2005.  Pound for pound, this team was better on defense, and by the end of the regular season on into the post-season, this team was better on offense too.  This team was only getting BETTER as the season progressed.  You can’t say that about too many teams.  In fact, you can’t really say that about ANY team still remaining in the post-season.  Of course, that’s neither here nor there since they continue to play while the Seahawks, Broncos, and Redskins all have to watch from home, but it’s still pretty damned impressive to see a team playing its best in December and January.

This Seahawks team would’ve had no problem shutting down the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers.  That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

You also know why the hangover continues?  Because we should’ve WON that game!

It sucks, because objectively, that was probably one of the top five best football games I’ve ever seen.  It’s rotten to say that, because I can’t be objective about it; my team was on the losing-end of a disastrous finish.  But, everything leading up to that moment in the 4th quarter where their kicker nailed the game-winner was absolute brilliance.

It was the single greatest road comeback in playoff history!  The Seahawks didn’t just come back only to fall short at the end; the Seahawks came ALL THE WAY BACK to take the lead!  In 16:40, the Seahawks turned a 27-7 deficit into a 28-27 lead and seemingly had the win in the bag.  They were on to the NFC Championship game with a rubber match against the 49ers.

And in the blink of an eye, it was all taken away.  Not from refs, but from their own poor defensive play.  The Seahawks fell short because the Seahawks weren’t good enough when it mattered most.  Even the BEST Seahawks team of all time still wasn’t good enough to advance beyond the Divisional Round of the playoffs.  That’s the most depressing thing of all.

So, the greatest road playoff comeback is for naught.  It doesn’t matter for shit when you end up blowing your lead less than 30 seconds later.

I know we’re supposed to be upbeat about the future, and I will be in due time.  But, right now, I can’t help but feel a bubbling disgust.  Seattle fans are always the fans that look on the bright side.  “Well, it was fun while it lasted,” and all that.  Real hardcore fans accept nothing less than championships.  Losing isn’t fun, ever.  The Seahawks have done nothing BUT lose in their 37 years.  It’s time to stop being those panty-waisted West Coast fair-weather fans and it’s time to start expecting more.

2013 is Super Bowl or Bust.  No, scratch that, 2013 is World Champions or Bust.  Anything less is a complete and utter failure.  The time is now.

You know why the whole, “they’ll be great for a decade because now they’ve got their quarterback of the future” thing is full of shit?  Because it’s SUPER FUCKING HARD to win a Super Bowl!  It takes talent, it takes health, it takes unbelievable luck, it takes getting the right playoff matchups along the way … even the best teams have other teams they just don’t match up well against.

And you know what else?  It’s fucking hard to be a dynasty.  Who’s the big Dynasty right now, New England?  They’ve won three Super Bowls and lost two others with their current head coach and quarterback combo, so I guess that’s a Dynasty.  And yet, they haven’t won it all since the 2004 season.  For the biggest NFL Dyansty going right now, they’ve still gone 7 consecutive seasons without winning it all.  That’s 7 consecutive seasons that have ended in utter heartbreak.

I know as a Seahawks fan, I’d be ecstatic just to win ONE Super Bowl in my lifetime, but who knows if that’s even going to happen?  How many elite teams have there been throughout the decades that haven’t won a fucking thing?  Jim Kelly’s Bills spring instantly to mind.  Dan Marino’s Dolphins are another.  Boomer Esiason’s Bengals never won shit.  McNabb/Reid’s Eagles ditto.  How long were the Titans good under Jeff Fisher?  Or the guy everyone compares Russell Wilson to:  Fran Tarkenton and his winless Vikings teams of the 70s.

That’s my worst nightmare, you understand that, right?  Those dynastic teams I just mentioned, they were ALL – at one point or another – capable of winning the Super Bowl.  The Bills came to within a botched field goal in 1991 of beating the Giants in Super Bowl XXV.  What if these Seahawks find themselves perennially in the playoffs, but for one reason or another can’t get it up when it counts to win the Big Game?

That’s why you can’t take any season for granted.  I don’t care if this is the second-youngest team in the NFL.  I don’t care if this is the start of “something great”.  I’d rather win the Super Bowl THIS year and have everything fall apart for the next decade than be consistently good every year, but not quite good enough to go all the way.

There’s no joy in being the Atlanta Braves (and even they won a World Championship one year).  Don’t forget, the Seahawks just wrapped up a pseudo-elite streak from 2003 through 2007; what do we have to show for all of Holmgren’s hard work?  Four division championships, five trips to the playoffs, one Super Bowl defeat, with the rest ending in defeat in either the Wild Card or Divisional Rounds.  In other words, not a whole lot on which to hang one’s hat.

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. VII

And then there were two.  Two totally-defeated teams in the NFL. And since they don’t play each other, these two teams could conceivably BOTH end up 0-16.  I’m not gonna lie to you, I might need to start boning up on tie-breakers.

  1. Indianapolis (0-8) – One of these weeks, the Colts are going to have a BYE week.  SURELY they won’t be able to lose during the BYE week!
  2. Miami (0-7) – These frisky fishes almost accomplished the thinkable last weekend in their narrow defeat to the Giants.  God Eli Manning is single-handedly ruining my life and I don’t know why!
  3. Arizona (1-6) – Just in case anyone tabbed Baltimore as a serious contender for the Super Bowl, you can forget that shit!  On the flipside, HUGE game this week with the Rams and Cards.  Rumors are swirling that Kevin Kolb might be sat for injury concerns.  If that’s the case, let’s just go ahead and cement Arizona’s status as Tankers Extraordinaire.  The loser of this game is going to have quite the inside track to be the worst team in the NFC.
  4. Jacksonville (2-6) – So they beat Baltimore, big fuckin’ deal!  Who COULDN’T beat Baltimore at this point?  Put them up against the Vikings right now and I guarantee the Vikings come away with the victory!
  5. Minnesota (2-6) – Yeah, they won because Olindo Mare missed a gimme, but they also looked fairly decent against the Packers the week before.  “Addition By Subtraction Of McNabb” is, I believe, what the mathematical theorem is called.  So dubbed by genius thinker of our times Rush Limbaugh.
  6. Denver (2-5) – Tebow!  TEEEEE-BOOOWWWWWWWW!
  7. Seattle (2-5) – I feel like when the Seahawks were 2-3 heading into the BYE, that’s the scene in Rocky after his first fight when he’s all cocky, saying things like, “Yo, I gots!” and not really training or fighting all that tenaciously.  Then he gets his clocked cleaned, Mickey says things like, “You’re a bum, ya bum!” and Rocky goes into dark seclusion to contemplate the meaning of life and whether it’s all worth it anymore.  Followed by Rocky regaining his focus ten times over, driving out to some mountain in the Alps, and training like he’s never trained before.  The Seahawks are currently in that training montage portion of their season.  They got cocky, thinking to themselves, “Andrew Luck is as good as ours!” and then they were knocked down a peg by winning games against Arizona and the Giants.  However, two straight losses against two kinda sucky teams they probably should’ve beaten leaves us here.  On the comeback trail!  With “You’re The Worst … AROUND” playing in the background as the montage of punts, fumbles, and kick returns against us plays for anxious fans in the Seattle area.  Will the Seahawks succeed against all odds???  Not if the evil Colts (Clubber Lang) and Dolphins (Russian Guy) have anything to say about it.
  8. St. Louis (1-6) – Because they’re just better than all of these 2-win teams.  Because they have the most impressive win of all of these teams.  And because they did it with A.J. Feeley!  They can lose in Arizona this weekend and STILL be considered the least likely of the bunch to win the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes!  I just gotta keep ’em on here until they get to within, like, AH win of the Washington Redskins, who so desperately deserve to be on this list it’s not even funny.

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. VI

Very interesting shake-up in my rankings this week!  Actually, not really.  The winners move down, the losers continue to move up, GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE JACKSONVILLE WON THAT FOOTBALL GAME.

Let’s get right to it before I blow my brains out:

  1. Indianapolis (0-7) – All right, you got me!  Indy is a terrible team, Jacksonville somehow isn’t worse (yet), and here we are!  They’re either going to keep Andrew Luck and be great for the NEXT 15 years, or they’re going to trade him away, get a million draft picks and players, have Peyton Manning back to full strength, and be good for the next 5-8 years.  Either way, FUCK this team!  What did THEY do to deserve this kind of bullshit good fortune?  Two one-in-a-million quarterbacks in back-to-back tenures?  What are they, the fucking Green Bay Packers?  (P.S.  you have no idea how much I hate being a Seattle fan right now; I’m this close to hearing Satan speak to me through random dogs on the street).
  2. Miami (0-6) – All I can say is, “Wow.”  I mean, that’s a new form of sucking!  You’ve got Tebow being Tebow for 57 minutes, and you can’t get more than a 15-point lead?  Who are you, the Cleveland Browns?
  3. Minnesota (1-6) – Yeah, they put up a good fight against the Packers, but you know what?  They’re a division rival; they’re SUPPOSED to get up for the big games!  Plus, they still have AP and AP can almost single-handedly take a team to the playoffs.  Just ask Tarvaris Jackson.
  4. Arizona (1-5) – ONLY because of the division they’re in do they continue to reside below Minnesota on my rankings.  Let’s face it, the Vikings are just one bad injury away from Donovan McNabb!  That’s a HUGE step down for them!  Arizona suffers one bad injury, what are they left with?  A guy who’s probably just as good as Kevin Kolb.
  5. St. Louis (0-6) – I haven’t seen injuries cripple a team this bad since I watched every Seahawks season under Mike Holmgren after the Super Bowl year.  Had I only known Bradford was going to be DEFINITELY out before I locked my picks in last week, I would’ve made Dallas my Eliminator pick instead of Baltimore.  Speaking of which …
  6. Jacksonville (2-5) – FUCK YOU JACKSONVILLE!  But, actually I mean, FUCK YOU BALTIMORE.  What kind of horseshit team are you, Ravens?  You think YOU can get Super Bowl with that kind of play?  Come back, one year!  Next!
  7. Denver (2-4) – I’m keeping the Broncos on here because I’m not ready to reduce the list to 6 teams yet.  And also, seriously, Tebow.  I can’t wait for everyone to jump on his bandwagon because he pulls out a couple of miraculously ugly wins out of his ass.  That guy, is TERRIBLE!
  8. Seattle (2-4) – Because you deserve to be on this list, Seahawks.  Because you only scored 3 points against THAT team.  Because you’re at home this week, in the loudest stadium in the NFL, and you’re UNDERDOGS to the BUNGLES!  Because you broke my heart.  I know it was you, Fredo!

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. IV

A little late posting the rankings this week, but what can I say?  A little postmortem for my Seahawks in this Suck For Luckstravaganza was definitely in order (plus, you know, I had shit to do).

First of all, we’re cutting the teams down to an even 8 this week (from 12).  Any team with two wins henceforth doesn’t deserve standing on this list (subject to change at my own whim).  As the season progresses, and teams start to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack, I’ll continue to shorten the list.

Without further ado:  your final eight!

  1. Jacksonville (1-4) – I’m sticking to my guns!  From here on out, I plan to pick against Jacksonville each and every week.  Blaine Gabbert might not be the worst quarterback in the world – he’s not being picked apart with tons of interceptions every week – but he’s doing next to nothing to help the team actually, you know, WIN ballgames.  I still don’t know how they ever won a game.
  2. Indianapolis (0-5) – This Indy team, I’m telling you, ONE OF THESE WEEKS!  I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life:  this team will end up with a better record than the Jags!  They almost shocked the Steelers.  They almost shocked the Bucs.  They SHOULD have won that game against the Chefs last week … it’s only a matter of time when they finally DON’T blow a game in the fourth quarter.  You’ll see.  You’ll ALL see!
  3. Miami (0-4) – They had a BYE week and moved up one spot; funny how that happens.  Partially, we can attribute that to Minnesota winning a football game.  Mostly, we can attribute that to the fact that they DIDN’T fire Tony Sparano.  You gotta figure, a mid-season coaching change is going to light enough of a fire to at LEAST get your team a couple of inspired wins (that is, before they inevitably fade once again down the stretch when they realize – as does everyone else – that they’re indeed terrible).  Retaining what is essentially a Lame Duck head coach (*COUGH* *cough* Jack Del Rio) will only serve in the loss of respect from his players.  Let’s face it, everyone in the city thought Sparano was going to be fired during the BYE week.  Meaning, everyone had resigned themselves to a new coach.  I’m sure the players were no different.
  4. Denver (1-4) – Well, before they were terrible.  Then, John Fox benched Kyle Orton during last week’s game and opted to hand the ball to Tebow.  While it should be exciting (at the very least) for Broncos fans to get to watch something remarkably different than what they’ve gotten used to over the last couple years, I can’t imagine Tebow makes them remarkably BETTER just by being under center.  We’ll see.  I’ve been dogging this guy since he was picked in the first round.  If he turns out performances like Cam Newton has thus far, I might have myself a big ol’ second helping of crow on my plate.
  5. Arizona (1-4) – Huge jump up for the Cards this week.  Because they’re fucking DREADFUL.  They’re in a pisspoor division and they’re by far the pisspoorest.  The way they were spanked last week against a pretty hapless Vikings team should get everyone on that team fired!  I’m mostly upset because they let Adrian Peterson score a ton of points which directly affected my fantasy game, but STILL!  Screw Arizona!
  6. Minnesota (1-4) – Tick tock, Donovan McNabb.  Your time is coming.  But, before that time comes, could you give my fantasy team ONE week of dominance against the Bears?  It’s not too much to ask!  Then, I won’t have any more quarterback BYE weeks to worry about and I can drop your sorry ass once and for all!
  7. St. Louis (0-4) – Another BYE week team rising in the rankings.  It’s going to be interesting to see how high the Rams make it up this list before they’re knocked back down thanks to their easy late-season schedule.  I’m STILL not counting them out of winning the division.  Those 4-1 49ers are FRAUDS I tell you!
  8. Carolina (1-4) – They’re the team of a thousand gambling covers!  In fact, they might be the BEST team at covering the spread!  If there was a Super Bowl for gamblers’ darling teams, the Panthers would receive a BYE all the way through the playoffs.  Only a matter of time until these backdoor covers start turning into late-game heroic victories.

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. III

For those of you who missed my rankings last week, click HERE.

So, I’ve noticed that I’ve had a new Number 1 every week.  Either I have no idea what in the fuck I’m doing, or I’ve been REALLY unlucky!

Either way, Cincy won this week, against Buffalo, so no matter how bad I think they are, they surely don’t deserve the #1 spot.  In fact, they fell quite a way, but still hung in there.  Here we go.

  1. Jacksonville (1-3) – ESPN has 6 teams ranked lower than Jacksonville on their Power Rankings.  I obviously don’t buy it and I think by season’s end my opinion will be vindicated.  I can’t imagine Jacksonville leaving the top 3 of my list the rest of the season.  Like I said last week, though, their next game will be huge.  They host the Bengals; so it would be good for pretty much everyone else on this list if the Jags found a way to win a sloppy one at home.  With the way Cincy’s defense is playing (adequately adequate), that might be a too-tall order.
  2. Indianapolis (0-4) – Unlike the Jags, I DON’T see Indy sticking in the top 3.  Unfortunately, the Colts keep finding ways to lose, therefore they attain the closest spot to the top they’ll likely ever see.  Their schedule is too mediocre, and even without Peyton Manning they’re still putting up a monster fight (losing by single digits to both the Steelers and the Bucs in consecutive weeks).  I dunno; they host the Chefs this week.  Could be their time to get out of the 0-fer trap.
  3. Minnesota (0-4) – Finding ways to lose, week-in and week-out!  That’s the name of the game in the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes.  McNabb has been leading this charge like a man possessed.  I think he just wants to be beloved by a city’s fanbase for once in his life.  If he single-handedly brought Minnesota the best college quarterback since Peyton Manning graduated to the NFL, the entire state of Minnesota would forever be in his debt.  Who’s got two thumbs and has a brain that’s always thinkin’?  THIS GUY!!!
  4. Miami (0-4) – My GOD is this team a mess!  That’s what you get for putting your eggs in Chad Henne’s basket.  One thing Miami has going for them:  they can’t lose this week.  (cue rimshot).
  5. Denver (1-3) – I pretty much have the next three teams in a dead-heat, but I have to rank them in some fucking order, so I’m putting Denver at this spot because they looked the worst this past weekend.  Granted, it was the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers they had to face, but still.  Denver pretty much rolled over and died.  I know they’re better than this, but still, they look pretty pathetic and the more they lose early, the better their chance of giving Tebow a shot.  And that’s when they’ll REALLY start to lose some serious ballgames!
  6. Kansas City (1-3) – I told you the Chefs were better than their record!  Yes, they’re still bad, yes, it’s likely they’ll draft in the top 10.  But, it won’t be the top 5, I assure you.  Also, they go to Indy this week; what a crap fest that’ll be!  For as many surprisingly good teams and games we’ve seen so far this season, there sure have been a lot of BS matchups like these!
  7. Seattle (1-3) – I’m kind of going against my rationale for these rankings by placing Seattle this low (when I’m still convinced they’ll end the season with a worse record than both the Broncos and the Chefs).  Nevertheless, I can’t be SURE of that, especially given the way they battled against the Falcons in the 2nd half.  For the Suck For Luckers out there like myself, Sunday afternoon was a frightening proposition.  Fortunately, they didn’t let me down when it mattered most, and this week they go into New York to play the Football Giants.  1-4 here we come!
  8. Cincinnati (2-2) – One might think Cincy deserves to be even lower than 8th (after all, ESPN practically has them in their top 20), but I’m still not a believer.  They beat an over-achieving Buffalo team whose defense is spotty at best.  Remember, this is still the team who lost to the 49ers 13-8.
  9. St. Louis (0-4) – The odds of the Rams starting out 0-9 is still really fucking high; but blame that shit on their schedule.  Not only will they be 0-9 (or 1-8 as their best-case scenario), but they will STILL have a chance to win the NFC West by the time the Seahawks come to town!  In the meantime, like I said, 0-9 is probably happening; 4 of their next 5 are on the road (with the only win-able game being at Arizona).  Even if they do lose their first nine, I could still see them finishing 7-9; that’s how good their schedule ends up.
  10. Carolina (1-3) – Tough schedule in their next four games; three of them are at home though.  Hard to believe they lose all four with the way their offense is going.
  11. Arizona (1-3) – Only ranked lower than Carolina because they figured out a way to BEAT Carolina.  They’re still pretty bad, though.  Nevertheless, they gave the Giants a run for their money last week.  If they find a way to beat Minny this week, they could still take this NFC West.
  12. Chicago (2-2) – I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a 12th team this week.  On the flipside, they figured out that their O-Line sucks, so why not run the ball more?  If they stick with that plan, they might actually be at .500 by season’s end!

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings Vol. II

For those of you who missed my rankings last week, click HERE.

Minor shakeup this week.  Couldn’t justify having San Francisco on this list any longer, not with their 2-1 record.  Oddly enough, even though they were a few plays from being 3-0, I CAN justify having Washington on this list.

The Seahawks, of course, let me down, but I’m still a believer!  Nevertheless, they took the biggest fall, dropping from 1 to 5.  We’ve also got a couple new additions to the list who I think have some real staying power.  Let’s get to it.

  1. Cincinnati (1-2) – There’s a lot to not like about this team!  In what HAD to have been the worst game of the week last week, Cincy was at home and still managed to find a way to lose to the lowly 49ers.  A better bad team (like the Seahawks) probably would’ve found a way to win this.  For the Bengals, the floor is the limit.  The only question is, will some of these winless teams find a way to squeeze out a victory or two?  Right now, I’m banking on yes.  In the ever-volatile world of NFL Team Ranking, the Bungles are my choice du jour.
  2. Jacksonville (1-2) – HUGE game two weeks from now when the Jags host Cincy.  Not only will the loser of that game have a worse record, but they will ALSO have the tiebreaking advantage over the winner!  I may have to saddle up to a sports bar and watch this grudge match of two titans of the gridway.  That game is sandwiched around 4 highly lose-able games (vs. NO, @ Pit, vs. Bal, @ Hou) before a BYE week and then another grudge match (@ Indy, week 10).  You’re the worst … AROUND!  Nothing’s ever gonna keep you up!
  3. Indianapolis (0-3) – Jacksonville leapfrogged Indy for one simple reason:  I picked Pittsburgh in my suicide pool last week and Indy almost dashed my dreams prematurely.  Quarterback or no quarterback, Indy looked frisky on Sunday night!  They still have enough talented fringe players (their DE’s, their WR’s, their starting RB & TE) that I still think they’re going to be better than their current record would dictate.  In two weeks, they host KC, then they go to Cincy and they have that aforementioned game vs. Jacksonville.  Top that off with a home game against Carolina and a week 17 game in Jax.  I’m not counting Indy out of the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes, but I am kinda counting Indy out of the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes.
  4. Kansas City (0-3) – They picked off Rivers twice.  They only lost by 3 points to a team, on the road, they are clearly inferior to.  Plus, I’ll reiterate what I said last week:  they started out playing Buffalo and Detroit.  Buffalo and Detroit are REALLY fucking good, especially on offense!  You don’t go from being a playoff team to being the worst team in the NFL after one offseason; I don’t care how banged up you are.  KC is better than this.
  5. Seattle (1-2) – After that game on Sunday, I couldn’t justify putting them any higher on this list than fifth, no matter how much of a homer I am.  Likewise, after that game on Sunday, I couldn’t justify putting them any lower either!  Arizona is a shitty, shitty team and is one more poor performance from storming the barn of these Rankings next week.  Meanwhile, Seattle is still bad, and they host the Falcons next week whose egos are bruised and whose pride is deflated.  Seattle WILL be 1-3, and I will start to calm down a little bit.
  6. Minnesota (0-3) – I was going to put them a spot lower, but honestly?  They deserve being 6th.  They’ve blown THREE double-digit leads in three games!  They were up 10 in San Diego before losing by 7 (being shut out in the 2nd half in the process); they were up 17 vs. Tampa Bay at halftime before losing by 4 (getting a measly 3 points in the 2nd half); and they were up by a mind-boggling 20 points at half vs. Detroit last week before losing by 3 in overtime (scoring 3 points in the entire 2nd half & overtime).  I mean, WHAT is going ON???  Remember back when you had Tarvaris Jackson and you ran the ball 90 times a game?  Go back to doing that!  Throwing the ball is NOT your friend right now!  ESPECIALLY in the second halves of football games!
  7. Miami (0-3) – I had the Dolphins beating the Browns last week and they almost pulled it out for me.  Fortunately for the Suck For Luck crowd, “finding a way to lose” is a great quality to have in a football team.  Two more road games around a BYE week give the ‘Phins a great chance of being 0-5 (@ SD & @ NYJ).  Another great sign:  Tony Sparano got the kiss of death by management.  The ever-dismal Vote of Confidence.  That sound you hear is the Jaws theme song.
  8. Carolina (1-2) – Honestly, it’s for the best that Carolina is looking strikingly better than they did last season.  It wouldn’t be fair if they got the first overall pick two years in a row.  Could you imagine?  First of all, they could sell that pick to the highest bidder, meaning all their draft picks, some draft picks next year, and probably a player or two.  No no, we can’t have that.  Carolina needs to win just enough against the dreck to keep them out of the top spot.  That Cam Newton fella, what a find!
  9. Denver (1-2) – Nothing makes me happier than to keep Denver on this list and move them up.  I hate the fucking Broncos; I always have!  You know, considering the fact that Kyle Orton isn’t as bad as people make him out to be, and considering the fact they have some real talent at wide receiver; this team is AWFUL on offense!  I don’t get it.  They couldn’t muster any more than 14 points against Tennessee?  Are the Titans on defense REALLY that good?  Denver goes to Green Bay next week, then hosts the Chargers before the BYE.  1-4 anyone?
  10. Washington (2-1) – That’s right!  A winning record and STILL in the top 10!  That’s what happens when you BARELY beat the Cardinals and you lose to the Cowboys while giving up 6 field goals.  Pathetic!  I’m not just saying that because I picked them as my Week 3 Upset and they screwed me, either.  When you have Rex Grossman as your quarterback, literally anything is possible (as long as “anything” means sucking dick … “sucking dick is possible”).
  11. St. Louis (0-3) – This is another one of those teams where it wouldn’t be fair if they got the #1 overall pick; they HAVE their quarterback of the future.  It’s just too bad (for them) that he’s an overrated pile of shit.  How they couldn’t, at the very least, cover in that Monday night game against the Giants, I have no clue.  Probably because they don’t have any receivers, but you know what?  The Seahawks for the longest time with Matt Hasselbeck “didn’t have any receivers” and look at what he was able to do!  Suck it up, Rams!  No more excuses; your quarterback is a bum!  Also, as I’ve alluded to before, their schedule is hard as SHIT in the first ten weeks.  All the teams they play up until the Seahawks in Week 11 currently have winning records (except Arizona, but that game is IN Arizona, so it’ll be at least a little tougher).  Like I said before, don’t be surprised if they’re 0-9 by the time they host the Seahawks.
  12. Chicago (1-2) – Another new entry.  Don’t ask ME how they killed the Falcons in week 1, because this team is dreadful!  How many millions of sacks are they going to give up this year?  Not that Jay Cutler would be much better WITHOUT all the sacks.  Fuck the Bears, I’m glad they’re terrible (but not SO terrible that they will ever get close to drafting Andrew Luck).

Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings

To take the title one step further (HO-HO, it’s funny because most people do power rankings, but this … this is the opposite of that …), I was going to rank all the teams on a scale of 0 to 500 million sperms.  But, that seemed to be a bit … gross.

I don’t know why, but one of my favorite moments of every week during football season is when ESPN comes out with their Power Rankings.  It’s a pointless exercise:  what do a bunch of eggheads over at ESPN think is the order of NFL teams from best to worst?  But, whatever, I find it entertaining.  I like lists!  Something so inconsequential can make people so batshit crazy with rage (unlike the BCS rankings – which actually does have an effect on a team and where it finishes in relation to the National Championship – and which deserves all the batshit crazy rage foisted upon it).

For instance, I find this week’s list interesting.  They have the Seahawks as the very worst team in the NFL.  I guess I’m a little surprised, but I also find it somewhat encouraging.  Who knows; maybe all this negativity surrounding the team will lead to a black cloud of despair, which will in turn lead to more and more losses!  (I also find their list interesting because I don’t trust Green Bay’s defense as far as I can throw it; I don’t think they’re long for the ranks of the undefeated).

The following is a list of the teams I feel have the best chance of getting Andrew Luck.  Unlike the ESPN poll, this will be a list steeped in futility, with the Number 1 team being the very worst of the worst.  Also, unlike ESPN, I’m not just going to look at what happened in the previous week and make a snap judgment.  I mean, all of a sudden Buffalo rises 11 spots just because they got a last-second touchdown in their win over Oakland?  What does THAT mean?  That one touchdown makes them 11 spots better than if they hadn’t scored at all on that drive?

Also, I’m not in the business of ranking ALL the teams here.  Because who cares if Green Bay or New England have the lowest odds of drafting Andrew Luck?  My list is only going to include the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) ten or so teams.

Finally, for the record, I decided to wait until after Week 2 because it would be idiotic to rank the teams beforehand.  You don’t REALLY know how well most teams are going to play in the preseason.  And after one week, all you know is that half the teams won and half the teams lost.

So, here we go.  The Week 3 Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings:

  1. Seattle (0-2) – A real test is coming up this weekend.  Seattle’s home opener is going to be one of their most important games of the season.  Losing games like these to teams like Arizona is what separates the bad from the real suck-asses.  A loss this week makes 0-5 a veritable lock before the BYE.  A win here and the Seahawks are thrown into a tizzy.
  2. Cincinnati (1-1) – Yeah, okay, so they beat Cleveland in Cleveland.  I still refuse to buy this offense!  The only thing they’ve got going for them (which ultimately will send them tumbling down my list if I’m wrong) is their creampuffy schedule.  Cincy’s next five games:  vs. SF, vs. Buf, @ Jax, vs. Ind, @ Sea.  We’ll see how off-base I am if they lay the lumber to the 49ers this weekend.
  3. Indianapolis (0-2) – You could make the argument that Indy has played the worst overall football of anyone in the league through their first two games.  I’m not gonna argue with you too much, but I will say that Houston looks pretty damn good this year.  And as for Cleveland, they shocked some teams last year and I expect that to continue this year.  Nevertheless, Kerry Collins is awful.  BUT, the main reason I won’t put them lower on the list is:  while Collins is awful, he’s still a veteran.  These veteran types, if they stay healthy, always tend to squeak out a victory here and there that nobody expects.  Granted, it probably won’t happen this week against the Steelers; I’m telling you, it’s gonna happen.  And, if Peyton Manning doesn’t get shut down for the entire season, I’d be on the lookout for some cheap wins at the end to take them out of the Suck For Luck Sweepstakes.  Until Manning is officially put on IR, I’m going to be hard-pressed to put Indy at the top of my list.
  4. Jacksonville (1-1) – ESPN has the Jags ranked 21st.  That’s INSANE!  They cut David Garrard, they barely beat the Titans in week 1 at home, and now they’ve got themselves an official Quarterback Controversy.  Pick your poison:  Mr. 4-Interception Luke McCown, or Rookie Blaine Gabbert.  Don’t sleep on Jacksonville; they may have started out 1-0, but they might end up 1-15.
  5. Kansas City (0-2) – KC scares me right now.  They’ve been outscored 89-10 in the first two games.  They lost Jamaal Charles for the season (among many other injuries).  Matt Cassel has 4 picks to his lone TD.  AND, their first place schedule isn’t doing them any favors (well, I take that back, they do go to Indy in week five).  What I’m hanging my hat on right now is this:  they’ve played two of the best offenses in the NFL.  Detroit and Buffalo have been shot out of a cannon and are keeping pace quite well with the likes of New England, Green Bay, and New Orleans.  Plus, in spite of the injuries, KC isn’t THIS bad.  They’re not going to continue to get blown out by 40 points every game!  Cassel will pick his game up and KC will end up with 4 or 5 wins probably.  Don’t forget, the AFC West isn’t THAT good.
  6. Carolina (0-2) – The Panthers are CERTAINLY a much better team than I gave them credit for, and that comes all the way down to Cam Newton being the second coming of Johnny Unitas.  Back-to-back 400-yard passing games, back-to-back 1-score defeats to the likes of Arizona (on the road) and the NFL champion Green Bay Packers (at home).  And guess what!  This week they host their expansion sisters Jacksonville.  If that doesn’t spell 1-2, I don’t know what does.  Mark my words, Carolina will beat at least one playoff-bound team this year (to go along with a handful of non-playoff bound teams).  I fully expect Carolina to drop on my Suck for Luck rankings as the season progresses.
  7. Cleveland (1-1) – I have to put the Browns on here because they lost to the Bengals at home.  That’s pretty much my only reason.  They have a ton of winnable games this year and will likely be the 2011 version of the 2010 Oakland Raiders (except, they already lost a game in their division, so I guess scratch that).
  8. Miami (0-2) – Tough start for the Dolphins.  Two home games, two home losses.  It’s not getting ANY easier with three road games against Cleveland, San Diego, and the Jets.  In fact, the more I look at this thing, the less I’m liking the looks of the Dolphins.  They play the NFC East (which appears strong across the board), and the AFC West (which is bad, but is it any worse than the Dolphins?).  I have to hold onto my belief that the Dolphins are better than this and will gut out some victories here and there.  But, I’m definitely keeping them on my radar after they lose their next three games.  Unless they don’t (which, you know, they HAVE proven to be a better road team the last couple years).
  9. Minnesota (0-2) – First of all, McNabb is done.  He’s done-er than done!  That having been said, they’ve still got AP, and just because McNabb is done doesn’t mean he’s not going to look a little frisky every now and then.  The only concern for Seattle Suck For Luckers is:  will McNabb get injured before leading them to a few victories?  Because if Ponder is pushed into the fire too soon, it could be a long Vikings season.
  10. Washington (2-0) – These chickenfuckers are terrible, and yet they’re 2-0!  How about THAT.  I fully expect the ‘Skins to come crashing down to Earth in the coming weeks, but those 2 wins might be more than enough to prevent them from the top spot in my rankings (and from the top spot in next year’s NFL Draft).
  11. San Francisco (1-1) – Here’s a team that should be 2-0 (and if they were, they wouldn’t be on my radar right now).  But, look at their short body of work so far.  It took two special teams return touchdowns for them to beat the lowly Seahawks; then they gagged one away in overtime against the Cowboys and Tony Romo’s punctured lung!  They play 8 of their next 14 games on the road (which is just a stupid way of saying their first two games were at home), but I fully expect them to win enough games to keep them away from the top spot.  Nevertheless, this would be the PERFECT place for Luck to land.  49er nation would eat him up a la mode.
  12. Denver (1-1) – I can see the Broncos getting bumped off this list in favor of someone like Arizona (ESPECIALLY if they lose in Seattle this weekend), but just look at them right now.  They got beat on Monday night at home against the hated Raiders, then it took all of their might to hold off the Bengals (again, at home).  Denver would be another perfect spot for Luck to land.  Oh, what am I saying, they have The Tebow!  They couldn’t POSSIBLY need another quarterback!

Where Might Hasselbeck End Up?

I’ve been holding off on writing this one because, let’s be honest, what’s the point when the CBA is months away?  However, now that it’s official, it’s time for Hot Speculation Madness!

The easy answer is the most simple.  Just look at all the teams at the end of last season who needed a quarterback.  This includes all teams who drafted a quarterback high in this year’s draft and need a veteran presence to ease the transition.  The list includes the following:

  • Carolina
  • Arizona
  • Seattle
  • Minnesota
  • Miami
  • Tennessee
  • San Francisco
  • Washington
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland

I would argue maybe even Oakland is on that list, but I both doubt that they’d want Hasselbeck and that Hasselbeck would want to go to Oakland (aside from the fact that it’s pretty close to his home in Seattle).

Not counting Oakland, you’ve still got ten teams.  Let’s take a look at them one by one, ordering them by likelihood.

Not Bloody Likely

Cincinnati is interesting because Carson Palmer has said he’d rather retire than play another down for the orange and black.  They’ll certainly be without T.O. and maybe even without OchoCinco?  I thought I heard/read somewhere that they were thinking about cutting him.  Either way, there’s still talent on this team, but something tells me they’re not going to pony up the cash required for Hasselbeck’s services.  Also, not for nothing, but the cold weather there would likely be murder on Matt’s aging bones come December.

Washington already has an elderly erstwhile Pro Bowler in Donovan McNabb and all signs are pointing to his imminent release.  I don’t know how well signing Hasselbeck would go over for their fanbase, especially considering Matt’s 28th-ranked passer rating in 2010, four spots lower than McNabb.  The Redskins seem to be cursed at the quarterback position (much like the Mariners and their Designated Hitter position since Edgar retired); they might be best served going younger right away and taking their lumps now.

I heard about this Miami rumor today and I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it.  If they really wanted to go outside the organization for their next starter, why wouldn’t they just jump into the Kevin Kolb fray?  Miami needs an up-and-comer to contend in that AFC East; they don’t need a guy on the downside of his career.  They’re not exactly one player away from contending anyway.

As for Carolina, I just get the feeling they’re dumb enough to start Cam Newton from Day 1.

Intriguing Outside Shot

I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about Cleveland as a possible destination!  Hello, Mike Holmgren!  Hello, Jake Delhomme!  They have just about the biggest need of anyone out there at the quarterback position and I can’t imagine they’re totally sold on Colt McCoy.  Hell, they could probably offer Matt a 2-year guaranteed contract with an option for a third with the way that team is settled at quarterback.  Of course, as with any team, they’d have to worry about Hasselbeck’s health, but if he WAS healthy for the next two years, Cleveland could present quite the imposing front.  They already have a pretty solid defense; they’ve got some exciting skill-position players, and they’ve been building up their O-Line for a while now.  Is it just me, or does Cleveland make too much sense?

In The Hunt, But For Some Reason Not Desperate Enough

San Francisco strikes me as a perfect fit, but I don’t know if that’s going to be good enough.  They’ve still got Alex Smith and they still seem to be willing to give him a chance even though he’s God-awful.  I have a feeling, if Matt is truly determined to leave, this would be his preferred option.  I just don’t think they’re going to offer him what it’s going to take to get him.

If I were Arizona, instead of mortgaging your draft for next year on Kolb, I’d just continue on the path you’ve started on:  build a solid team all around, then implement some other team’s cast-off quarterback as your starter for 1-2 years at a time.  Worked with Kurt Warner, and it would likely pay off with Hasselbeck as well.  Your warm weather is a sure bet to keep elderly quarterbacks playing well into the wee hours of football seasons, your proximity to Seattle (relative to most of the rest of the NFL) would likely ease Matt’s transition, and your team full of stars not getting any younger (Larry Fitzgerald) would surely appreciate the addition of a guy who’s not only “Been There”, but is as desperate for a Super Bowl Ring as they are.  Let’s face it, Kolb is just starting out, so trading for him is pretty much going to ensure this season is a bust (what with it being his first full year as a starter).  And I wouldn’t bank on any Super Bowl appearances next year either.  These things take time to build; Kolb – even if he IS the guy – likely won’t be at that elite level where he’s carrying your team to the title game until his third or fourth year in your system.  By that time, all your quality vets will be past their prime and you’ll likely have to start all over again.

The Sure Contenders

Everyone’s talking about Tennessee, so we might as well get them out of the way now.  What makes this team so interesting – aside from the fact they have Jake Locker, a local product – is they’re chock full of ex-Seahawks executives.  Obviously, with Vince Young ousted, and with Kerry Collins likely retired, they’d like to grab a guy like Hasselbeck for a year or two; because without a doubt Locker won’t be ready to start in the NFL this year.  At this point, I have to think just because it’s Tennessee – so far from Seattle – isn’t enough to prevent Hasselbeck from giving them a shot.  You have to think, if the Seahawks aren’t going to seriously go after Matt, he’ll have to be super-flattered by a team like the Titans that would truly embrace him for his personality, his work ethic, and his winning track record.  Yes, they’re serious contenders, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they won the sweepstakes.

Minnesota is also a contender and it would make me physically ill if they got him over us.  Not only would they be ready to win it all right now, but it would just be another player they could lord over us as having stolen.  How perfect would it be for Hasselbeck to retire a Viking right after Favre did the same thing?  Has the world gone CRAZY???

The Safe Bet

I still say Seattle is the best bet.  I know all these ESPN guys are going out of their minds with rumors that Hasselbeck is done in Seattle, but I’m just not buying it!  We’re the only team on this whole list who doesn’t have a young quarterback waiting in the wings (I’m not saying those young quarterbacks are all good football players; I’m just saying they’re young and waiting), so not only would Hasselbeck be guaranteed to start this year, but he’d likely be our starter next year even if we draft our next QB in 2012’s draft.  Mark my words, Matt Hasselbeck will wear a Seahawks uniform in the fall of 2011.

By the way, how weird is it that our very own Matt Hasselbeck is the NFL’s most-coveted free agent quarterback?  Really???  HE’S the guy that’s got to fall into place before these other quarterbacks get snapped up by desperate teams?  I like him, he’s been a great Seahawk, but the thought of that is just too mind-blowing.