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Handicapping the Suck for Luck Derby

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We are at the quarter pole of the NFL season. That means that one terrible lucky team is 25% of the way to winning the Andrew Luck derby. Judging by the play from some teams in the league, it will be a pretty tight race all the way through. Let’s take a look at the top contenders at this point.

On the cusp: Kansas City Chiefs (1-3), Seattle Seahawks (1-3)

Contenders:

#5: Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3): Through 4 games the Jags have scored 39 points, really. They would be higher on this list if they didn’t sneak out a week 1 win. Their defense is pedestrian, but paired with Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jags still could turn this into a 5 win season, which may be too much to win the derby. In addition, they just drafted their “Franchise” QB in Blaine Gabbert so they don’t have a whole lot of reason to tank on purpose… well aside from the 75 number 1 picks that might be the return for the #1 overall pick.

#4: Minnesota Vikings (0-4): The Vikings are too talented of a team to be as bad as their record. They have the best running back in football and stars like Jared Allen on defense. .Granted they have a ton of holes, but their point differential isn’t that bad at -19. This has the look of a 6 win team, but with that start, 5 wins may be a success. They also have their perceived franchise QB in Christian Ponder and a very proud and capable starter in Donovan McNabb, so again, no real point in tanking the season.

#3: Indianapolis Colts (0-4): This is where things start getting interesting. All-world QB Peyton Manning is out for at least six more weeks, but probably the season. What would be the point of bringing him back with a 2-8 record? That said, the Colts are a proud team of veterans that aren’t used to losing. They have a lot of fight in them, but with Manning out, times are tough in Indy. If Manning is out the whole year, they do have a real shot at this thing, but I think they will eventually come together and win a few too many games.

#2: St. Louis Rams (0-4): This would probably be the dream scenario for the Rams. Not from a Luck prospective, with Sam Bradford (despite his struggles), they are set at QB for the foreseeable future. However, the bounty that team will be willing to pay for the #1 pick will make the Herschel Walker trade look like a run-of-the-mill September MLB waiver trade. Luck is the real deal. You would have to be blind not to see that and with the number of old or awful QBs currently starting in the league, teams would be dumb not to angle for the pick. As for the Rams chances? They are legit. I expected the Rams to contend for, if not win the CFL South this year, but they are just plain terrible so far. They have been outscored 113-46 so far this season and are 0-3 at home. Best case scenario, win the Luck derby and trade the pick for a bevy of first round picks. Worst case scenario, win the Luck derby, trade the pick for a bevy of first round picks, then let  offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels make waste those picks or trade first round picks for second round picks before alienating the team and setting them back 5 years.

#1: Miami Dolphins (0-4): The Dolphins were a bad team with Chad Henne at QB… now that he’s done for the season and will be replaced by Matt Moore or Sage Rosenfels, this team is the odds-on favorite to wrap this title up early. They have actually been competitive in games this season, but the future looks bleak the rest of the way. They have no games against Suck for Luck teams left and barring a miracle, they won’t be less than a 6 point underdog in any game on their schedule. They have some pretty decent weapons on offense and 3/5 of a very good offensive line, but here’s a quick trivia question for you: Name 3 starters on the Dolphin defense… check that, name 1 (no cheating and no Jason Taylor doesn’t start). As of now, they are the clubhouse leaders in the Luck derby but their next 4 games will go a long way into determining if they can maintain the true level of suckitude necessary to bring it home.

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