The Tanking Power Rankings
The one thing the 2019 season is proving is this is the season to tank. Tis the season to be tanking and so many teams around the league are trying their best to not win games, whether intentionally or not, that I thought we couldn’t let it slide. So with that in mind lets rank the efforts of each team in the NFL vying to get the number one pick in April.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – 0-9
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you tank. Over a number of years you fail to bring in any talent what so ever. Draft pick after draft pick doesn’t pan out. You have an entrenched coach who once upon a time rose your franchise up to the level of relevancy but recently became more bereft of ideas as the talent around him reduced. After you fire him you structure your wages in such a way that you reduce the pool of coaches that are likely to take the job, immediately reducing the chance of finding the next Kyle Shanahan. After that you have a draft where your number one pick gets put on IR in preseason. It’s a textbook case of how to tank and it has echoes of the famed 2008 Detroit Lions.
2. Washington Redskins – 1-8
The Redskins have taken a less traditional route to tanking. They appear to be employing a “fornicate all you female dogs” approach to roster construction and player health. The story coming out about Trent Williams is pretty shameful. They appear to be looking across the pond to the oft complaint of dysfunctional premier league teams where their chairman picks the team over the manager. Converting that to American Football the owner appeared to be making the play calls. Sacking your head coach five games into the season is a pretty good level of dysfunction as well. Most of this appears to stem from the incompetent tag team of general manager Bruce Allen (who has form in reducing rosters to rubble) and owner Dan Snyder. As long as they can share a beer at the end of the day after a hard days tanking then they’re a happy pair.
3. New York Jets – 2-7
Hand out mega contracts which hamstring your ability to sign guys going forward? Check. Hire a coach with a proven track record in raising a team to the top of the draft board? Check. Take a promising young quarterback and make him see spectres of the afterlife in the opponent’s defensive front seven? Check. Annoy the face of the franchise by shopping him around for draft picks? Check. The Jets are doing a fine job of setting the team up for failure, not just this year but in years to come. However, they shot themselves in the foot by beating a playoff team in the Dallas Cowboys. You can’t let that sort of mishap happen when you’re vying for the top draft pick.
4. Miami Dolphins – 2-7
The big problem the Dolphins have is the front office is not working with the coaching staff to achieve the dream of attaining the number one draft pick. The front office has put a shift in. Trading away assets in the middle of the season with little time to find adequate replacements has been a masterstroke of tanking. There is a very real talent drain going on in Miami. However, the coach and quarterback don’t appear to have got the message. They’re playing competitive football and have even won two games in a row. The Dolphins need to get their house in order otherwise they’re going to miss out on this number one pick.
5. New York Giants – 2-8
Like with most things, I don’t feel the Giants hearts are really into this tanking effort. They had the perfect tanking quarterback when they started the season, but by week 3 he was benched. Fortunately for them, the jury is still out on the 6th overall draft pick despite having one good game against the league’s worst passing defence. The young rookie and terrible defence might just be enough to snatch the number one pick away from others, however they’re going to have to do a better job when playing fellow tankers Washington.
6. Atlanta Falcons – 2-7
Getting your former MVP candidate quarterback injured and putting in a player who was considered ‘broken’ last time he set foot on a gridiron over three years ago is a master stroke of tanking. However unfortunately for the Falcons, they have just stacked up too much talent on their offense. Despite all the ineptitude on a defence still reeling from surrendering a 28 to 3 lead in the superbowl, this Falcons team still manages to look competitive thanks to their offense. They tried their best to hamper that offense by providing an offensive co-ordinator that is the antithesis of ‘putting your players in positions to succeed’.
7. Denver Broncos – 3-6
I’m not sure what sort of team the Broncos are. They can’t decide if they’re tanking or not as their defence is actually playing some pretty good football. Bringing in Joe Flacco to play quarterback is a big boy tanking move, however they need to make similar moves if they want to be taken seriously as a tanking team.
8. Detroit Lions – 3-5-1
I’m not sure if the Lions are trying their best to tank properly. Its good to see the NFL step in and prevent them from winning too many games to assist in their tanking efforts.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3-6
Two receivers in the top 5 in yards? Leagues sack leader? Number one rushing defence? Sixth best offense by points scored? This is a poor effort at tanking fellas.
10. Cleveland Browns – 4-6
This team really shouldn’t be in the tanking race. They have talent all over the field in positions not on the offensive line. They have an outstanding defence and a talented receiver corps. Discipline however has been a visitor to the browns rather than a resident, and it appears that same discipline no longer frequents the browns facility. Myles Garrett appeared to have lost his mind and is suspended indefinitely alongside a litany of other players ejected or suspended in the last few weeks. This complete lack of discipline might give these plucky outsiders a chance at the number one spot.