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November 06, 2018

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 10 edition

It has been over a month since we last sent a team to the graveyard, but this week we have one new obituary. That would be the no longer Jameis Winston-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers.



The Buccaneers reportedly had a number of suitors interested in trading for DeSean Jackson at the deadline, but they refused to deal him, instead holding onto the idea that they were in "win now" mode. That's what happens when a general manager and a head coach are very clearly on the hot seat. They make short-term decisions just to try to make their win-loss record a little better even when they can't realistically contend for the playoffs, much less a Super Bowl.

Ultimately, it won't matter. After a blazing 2-0 start in which they beat the powerhouse Saints and Super Bowl champion Eagles, the Bucs have since gone 1-5 and made two quarterback changes. In the short term, they're done, and heads are almost certainly going to roll this offseason.

In the long-term, the new regime will have to decide what they're going to do with Jameis Winston, who is set to earn just under $21 million next year on a fifth-year option. It feels pretty clear that any new regime with an objective eye will understand that he's not the answer, and they'll cut bait, which will of course mean that Tampa will have to start over in search of a new QB once again.

And really, a season that resulted in a house-cleaning of the GM, head coach, and quarterback was probably the best outcome from Day 1. 





12) Lions (3-5): The Lions rightfully looked to gain assets for players unlikely to be on their roster next year (i.e., Golden Tate), knowing that they are far from being Super Bowl contenders, unlike, you know, the...


11) Cowboys (3-5): Imagine taking an internal look at this roster as a general manager (or an owner, or whoever), and thinking, "We're an Amari Cooper away from winning this whole thing." And then imagine that you personally had previously made two of the dumbest trades of the last two decades, also for wide receivers no less (Joey Galloway and Roy Williams), and thought, "Hey, maybe this time it'll all work out."

Jerry Jones, please live to be 150.


10) Seahawks (4-4): The Seahawks have admirably stayed competitive despite losing almost the entire core of their defense, but they're just not good enough anymore to compete with the big boys. This past Sunday started a four-game stretch against the Chargers, Rams, Packers, and Panthers. They started that off with an L, and more will follow.


9) Packers (3-4-1): While I don't think Green Bay's roster is any good outside of Aaron Rodgers, I wouldn't count them out just yet. They still have the two teams ahead of them in the NFC North (the Vikings and Bears) on their schedule, and otherwise face a group of teams with a point differential of -138.


8) WASTEAM (5-3): WASTEAM is screwed.

That would be both starting guards and their No. 1 wide receiver. Meanwhile, LT Trent Williams is already going to be out a month with a thumb injury, and RT Morgan Moses hurt his knee during their loss on Sunday. Moses did return to the game after leaving for a bit, but he didn't look right.

It's not often you see a team sign three offensive linemen off the street in one shot, especially in freaking Week 10, but that's where Washington is right now.

I have no idea how or where they'll even line all these guys up, and they probably don't either.


7) Falcons (4-4): After starting 1-4, the Falcons have climbed back into contention by winning three straight, and their next two opponents are the crappy Browns and Cowboys. They could soon be 6-4 with their best defensive player potentially coming back to the lineup.


6) Eagles (4-4): Let's recap the Eagles' bye week:

  1. WASTEAM lost.
  2. The Cowboys lost.
  3. The Rams no longer look unbeatable.
  4. Timmy Jernigan started practicing again.
  5. They added a legit No. 2 WR in Golden Tate.

Is that good?


5) Vikings (5-3-1): Yes, yes, you can only play who's on your schedule, but the Vikings have yet to beat a team so far this season that has a winning record. Despite their easy schedule to date, they're only +17 on the season.


4) Bears (5-3): The Bears have the best turnover differential in the NFC, at +10, as well as the most takeaways, with 21 (14 INTs, 7 fumbles). Part of that is because they've faced three rookie quarterbacks, plus Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford.


3) Panthers (6-2): The Panthers have to be one of the most surprising teams in the NFL at 6-2, considering they've played almost the entire season without both starting offensive tackles.


2) Rams (8-1): The Rams have to be alarmed about the play of CB Marcus Peters, who Drew Brees and the Saints picked on all day. Over the last two games, has Peters allowing 19 catches on 26 targets for 360 yards and a TD. Jalen Mills hasn't ever had a two-game stretch like that.

Maybe Peters is the thermal exhaust port in the Rams' Death Star.


1) Saints (7-1): The Saints have scored at least 40 points in half of their games so far this season. 

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