When I first started reading Filler’s Rant, he created a beautiful term that we swore we would promote whenever possible. He called it “ringwalled,” aptly named after Molly Ringwald. It was a term used that applied to the hot chick that everyone has just always accepted was the hot chick; maybe a girl you’re thinking about right now from high school that you saw at your reunion a few years ago and were like… “Really?” You know someone that peaked early but now that you let some time pass, maybe a freshman fifteen sets in and takes its toll, or maybe it’s just that all the other girls have had some time to catch up to her. But yea, that girl who was always the hottest so everyone always went on thinking she was hot but then you look at her picture and you’re like, “Holy crap, that’s Molly Ringwald.”
So in sports terms, if someone who is supposed to be a favorite to win something, but then we as the general public or maybe a front office just say, “Ehh, you know what? Maybe that dude/team/coach isn’t that hot after all,” and we start hyping in a different direction, guess what? Ringwalled!
Side Note: SERIOUSLY though? Molly Ringwald played like, an epicly hot chick in Breakfast Club. She was snotty, spoiled, super popular, the whole bit. We all just accepted it but I mean, look at her. She’s OK…
– Pat Riley and the 2014-2015 Miami Heat (Legendary Ringwalling here, epic proportions)
– The 2014-2015 Houston Rockets (No way Bosh turns us down!)
– The New York Yankees (quite often, actually)
– The Lakers coaching vacancy (EVERYONE wants to coach for US!)
– Johnny Manziel (late first round???)
– The Dallas Cowboys (every year)
– The Knicks
– Phil Jackson (EVERYONE wants to coach/play for ME!)
But for our AFC South Preview, we need a new term entirely. This is a term for the chick that you try to pick up when you first walk into a party at 9:30, but you know it’s not really starting until 11:30, so you’re keeping an open mind. Then you see all these other girls you think are hotter so you keep latching on to reasons to chase after them. Before you know it, its 2 AM, people are getting tired and you’re at a crossroads. Do I play it safe and admit that my best shot may be with 9:30 girl – Old Faithful – or do I go for it and try for one of the 11:30 girls I probably don’t have a shot with?
Side Note: I am so glad my wife could care less about sports and doesn’t read this blog.
That’s right, the 2014 Indianapolis Colts are my “band camp girl.” They’re my only option for a prom date, and if nothing better comes along I guess you gotta settle.
Your Vegas odds…
4th Place Tennessee Titans (4-12) (Divisional Record: 2-4)
Before we go into some exhilarating Titans analysis, let’s give the Jacksonville Jaguars a hand for climbing out of the AFC South gutter (even though it hasn’t actually happened yet).
Several things alarm me about the Tennessee Titans and the football totem pole. In the NFL, I’m a firm believer that you have to do everything in your power to get better every offseason just to break even. In my opinion, the Titans did very little to get better. I started to post a picture of their depth chart right now and it’s just crazy sad. Sorry I’m not jazzed about that Jack Locker-Charlie Whitehurst, 1-2 punch, Titans’ fan. Sorry I don’t think Shonne Greene is an upgrade from one of the few 2000-yard rushers we’ve ever seen, Titans fan. However, here is Charlie Whitehurst in all his glory… “Clipboard Jesus”
Side Note: I am excited about Bishop Sankey in that backfield. The Titans have an above-average O-line in my opinion and we could see some real production out of him if the Titans feed him the ball.
Fantasy gurus keep trying to sell me on Kendall Wright, and he’s just that interesting possible fantasy sleeper for your 7th-round. He doesn’t tangibly represent multiple wins to me. The Titans are a team that will match up evenly or below any team that faces them this year. They simply don’t have a distinguishable competitive advantage in any area. Their greatest strength is their pass defense. I see them winning a game or two with some defensive turnovers and a good day upfront in the trenches.
I honestly should have just posted this link and been done with it http://deadspin.com/why-your-team-sucks-2014-tennessee-titans-1615667727
3rd Place: Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) (Divisional Record: 3-3)
Stealing a Tosh.O techinique, let’s put 60 seconds on the clock and see how many Jaguars jokes we can make:
– The fact that I think the Jags have a shot to go 3-3 in this division again is a testament to just how shitty it truly is.
– The fact that I think starting the rookie quarterback I hated on in my draft preview is the best option for the Jags is a testament to just how shitty a quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been
– The Jags want to convince you they upgraded from Maurice Jones-Drew to Toby Gerhart
– This, and the fact that Jacksonville is a two-hour drive for me are the only reasons I would ever go to a game http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11055495/jacksonville-jaguars-poolside-cabanas-stadium
– When you go on the Jags’ website, the featured “theme” pic (usually reserved to feature one’s best player) is Paul Posluzny… Am I spelling that right? Oh wait, literally no one cares because Jaguars fans don’t exist
– Marcedes Lewis cap hit for 2014 is $8,250,000
15 seconds left, running out of time, quick hitters!!
– Justin Blackmon
– Chad Henne
– Byron Leftwitch
– Blaine Gabbert
Side Note: I would sell all my possessions to hear Dick Vitale shout “JAG RAG BABY!!!!”
I don’t know why I picked the Jags to be a game better this year. I’m actually already hating myself for doing that. They might have the worst O-line in football, they could possibly have the worst QB situation in football outside of Tennessee (see above), their only significant acquisition was Chris Clemons, they were bad at literally everything they did last year, including having the worst point differential in the league. I guess I’m latching onto that 4-4 finish for some stupid reason and I’m going to hate myself for picking them ahead of the Titans. Ugh. It’s just a Catch-22 of shit with these two.
2nd Place: Houston Texans (8-8) (Divisional Record: 3-3)
Shit, did I say the Jags and/or Titans had the worst QB situation in football? I totally forgot about the Texans.
Side Note: The “Ryan Fitzpatrick went to an Ivy League school so he must be a really smart quarterback” argument is so so so bad. Don’t be that guy. You’re better than that guy.
Ok, so why the hell do I like the Texans to go 8-8 after having such a bad year last year (the worst, actually)?
Let’s start with that defense. Yes, the Texans had a very good defense last year. Only two teams were better against the pass (say it with me now, “the NFL is a PASSING league”), and the rush defense was below-average but not terrible. Plus, the Texans now feature a defensive line with Jadeveon Clowney on one end and JJ Watt on the other (or maybe not… early reports out of Texas have Clowney playing ROLB/LOLB on the same side as JJ Watt). That line is nasty. I repeat, that line is nasty. Hate him or love him, JD Clowney is not going to be a bust. He’ll be a Pro-Bowler by 2017 – take it to the bank. Because he has been injured, easily lost in all this is Brian Cushing (he should start practice this week, folks). Again, that front seven is nasty.
Offensively I’m a bit concerned, but no more concerned than I was last year. We joke, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will be an upgrade from that hot garbage Schaub was slewing around last year. I’m actually not down on Schaub, I think that city kind of just gave up on him and the coach and it annihilated his confidence. I’m surprised Case Keenum hasn’t been cut yet and it actually says more about Tom Savage not exactly shining this offseason. But with Fitzpatrick, you know what you’re getting. Below-average quarterback play with less big mistakes and hopefully a winning turnover margin. (He’s like a poor man’s Alex Smith??)
Andre Johnson, who basically was the entire offense last year, is back and is actually cooperating. His motivation can’t be too high but maybe he’s feeling invigorated by Bill O’Brien. Time will tell. Offensively, the Texans were 15th in passing (average) and 20th in rushing (not terrible) – and they’ll get a fully healthy Arian Foster back this year. It could be a lot worse. I think the Texans are primed to make the biggest jump from 2013 to 2014.
I mentioned before that the Texans had the worst league record but not the worst point differential. Let’s dig a little deeper into that 2-14 record.
– They won their first two games
– Before the Week 8 BYE, they had a 1 pt. loss and an OT loss
– After the BYE, the Texans lost two close game heartbreakers by a field goal
What’s my point? You see a 2-14 team that quit. I see a 4-12 team actually played pretty hard in a lost season and some reasons for encouragement.
First Place: Band Camp Girl (10-6) (Divisional Record: 4-2)
If you don’t fall asleep when I start yammering about advanced metrics, this is a very good read about Andrew Luck by a dude who is way smarter than me. http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-good-is-andrew-luck/
The Colts are a mixed bag
– On the one hand, they get my boy – Reggie Wayne – back. God I freaking love Reggie Wayne.
– On the other, the Colts may have had the worst draft I’ve ever seen. And I mean ever. Worse than the Jags 2012 Draft http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2012/story/_/id/7864908/2012-nfl-draft-jacksonville-jaguars-draft-punter-bryan-anger-third-round No. No, no, no I take that back that was the worst thing ever.
– On the one hand, the Colts got Trent Richardson
– On the other hand, the Colts got Trent Richardson
– On the one hand, T.Y. Hilton broke out the way I thought he was capable of
– On the other hand, the Colts’ next-best receiver was Coby Fleener (not a receiver… not a receiver)
– On the one hand, the Colts put together the 2nd-largest comeback playoff win in NFL history last year
– On the other hand, how does your defense give up 31 points in one half of football to Alex freaking Smith and Playoff Andy Reid?
– On the one hand, no rookie quarterback has led a 2-12 team to two consecutive 11-5 seasons and even won a playoff game in his first two years like Andrew Luck has.
– On the other hand, Luck threw seven picks in the 2014 postseason. In two games. Seven. 7. Two games
All in all, the Colts did nothing to get better this offseason. In fact, they got one of their best players suspended for the first four games. I think they’re a game worse than last year unless Andrew Luck does indeed morph into the Joe Montana we all expect him to be.
They’re the hottest chick at the party at 9:30 and I think they’ll be the hottest chick at midnight. You knew Houston had some potential. Maybe they’d do something sexy and draft Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater and you’d see how that could pan out. But they didn’t. She’s not the prettiest gal. She throws a lot of interceptions, even drools sometimes, but when the chips are down you know she’s gonna give it all she’s got and that’s enough for you to play it safe and settle.