Blog Entry

Lucky Losers: Take One

Posted on: September 13, 2011 10:16 am
It's never too soon to handicap the field for Stanford's Andrew Luck, a slam-dunk as the first pick in next year's draft, so let's get started. Essentially, this season goes this: You lose, and you win. That's right, the lucky loser gets a parting gift, and that gift is Luck, the most promising collegiate quarterback in years. The question, of course, is: Who is the Lucky Loser? Ah, that's why I'm here. Each week I'll rank the field, dissecting the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be last, and let the roll call begin.

5. Cleveland-- That's five straight losses dating back to last season, including two to Cincinnati. The Browns aren't all that bad. In fact, I'll be surprised if they hang around our Bottom Five long. But that season-opening defeat does make you realize how intoxicating Atlanta's offer of five draft choices for Julio Jones was. Cleveland needs playmakers like McDonald's needs hamburger buns ... yet it passed on Jones. Oh, well, it could be another long year, Cleveland, and you know the drill. But look at this way: At least you have a quarterback. Now he needs help.

Next loss: Good news, Browns fans, your team just drew Indianapolis. You may pick up a "Get out of jail" card next Sunday.
4. Seattle -- OK, so the Seahawks lost their fifth straight road game, including the playoffs. Big deal. They lost to San Francisco last season, too, yet won the division ... then beat the defending Super Bowl champions. But there is something wrong in Emerald City, and that something is defense. There isn't one. In fact, there hasn't been for some time. Sunday's loss marked the eighth time in the last 10 starts that Seattle hemorrhaged 30 or more points, with opponents averaging 31.4 points in that span. That puts your quarterback at a disadvantage, and Seattle's quarterback is Tarvaris Jackson. Check, please.

Next loss: at Pittsburgh
3. Tennessee -- When the Titans made Vince Young the third pick of the 2006 draft they waited until the fourth game to swtich quarterbacks, sitting down Kerry Collins and sending Young on to the field. The same scenario could play out here, with Jake Locker getting the call, and maybe it should. There is talent, but without Chris Johnson doing much of anything -- and he had 24 yards rushing the other day -- the Titans are toast. I like Matt Hasselbeck, and he's a solid veteran who can win you games. But he keeps the position warm until Locker is ready. Locker is the future, and at some point, maybe soon, fans won't tolerate another lost season. They'll want a glimpse of the future.

Next loss: Baltimore

2. Kansas City -- This one's a little tough to digest. Eight months ago the Chiefs were a playoff team, coming off a sensational 10-6 season that earned them a division championship. But that was then, and this is now, and now they're in disarray. They just lost safety Eric Berry for the season. They lost tight end Tony Moeaki for the season. They lost to Buffalo ... at home, no less, where they were 7-1 a year ago. And it wasn't just a defeat; it was a blowout. Worse, it was to ...Buffalo. Obviously, they can right themselves quickly because they did a year ago. But there are disturbing signs that make me wonder if that's possible. I already pegged them as a team that would slide. I didn't think it would be this far.

Next loss:: at Detroit

1. INDIANAPOLIS -- Someone asked me if team vice chairman Bill Polian was so brilliant that he chose this year to tank the season. Preposterious. Unthikable. Ridiculous. I mean, they're not down here with Peyton Manning, right? Except they don't have Manning and may not for the season. So where does that put them? At the back of the class, that's where. The Colts aren't just hapless without Manning; they look pretty hopeless, too. Sad, huh? Not if you're interested in the long-term future of the franchise. I see where coach Jim Caldwell said the mistakes they committed vs. Houston are "all correctable". For the long-term health of the franchise, I hope not. If you're going to stink, this is the year to bottom out. Don't just be 5-11 bad or 4-12. Go for the gold. Make it 2-14 or 1-15. Heck, take no chances and pull a Detroit Lions. So you sacrifice a year. You gain a franchise quarterback for the next 10. People tell me the Colts should start looking for another quarterback, and maybe they're right. Start Curtis Painter, and hope for the worst.

Next loss: Cleveland.

Category: NFL

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: September 15, 2011 1:28 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Frankly Im not as enamored with Luck as I maybe even have been with QBs in recent history based on performance in game but I understand why hes a greater NFL prospect then a Moore or maybe another QB whos had greater success at the collegiate level. Luck has the size, the education, the maturity of staying in school, comes from a pro style offense and so many other so called meaningful measureables. Thing is the NFL is becoming a passing league more and more, a league that teams run spread offenses and shotguns and gimmick offenses that require a field general with an adequate arm and quick decision making abilities and frankly someone like Kellen Moore is far more suited for the job in half the offenses in this league then Luck. 

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Its really just from watching the games, the best way to evaluate college athletes. Luck makes the kinds of throws that many good NFL QBs only wish they could. He demonstrates an arm which I've never seen at his level since Peyton played at Tennessee. Sometimes when the pass rush gets to him, he uncorks balls which look like waste throws out of bounds...only to be completed in the back of the end zone. He's obviously a smart, mature kid, going to Stanford and not rushing to the nfl, that shows a real appreciation for that education. He shows confidence-he doesn't strive for eye-popping yardage totals, just wins. I really just think that this is the perfect storm of creating an NFL star. And I'm not about to knock on Moore's game, he's a hell of a QB who definately plays better teams with worse players, but at this point, he just hasn't proven himself as much as Luck has

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:36 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Why Luck?  The only thing he leads the country in is hype.  Kellen Moore does twice as much and has twice as much talent with half as much talent surrounding him.  I would LOVE to see Stanford play Georgia and TCU.  I know, they have to play Oregon, but Kellen Moore has spanked them back to back home and away with LeGarrette Blount on their team, that isn't really a selling point.  Washington is better, I will give you that, but I would put them below Georgia.  The next toughest team in the Pac 12 is Arizona State?  I would agressively argue that Boise State with their two and three star athletes have a MUCH tougher schedule than Stanford.  I think I would pick Toledo to beat Duke.  Point is, what has Luck done that Moore hasn't done better with less?  EXACTLY.  Luck is popular but VERY overrated.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: September 14, 2011 3:53 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Taking Kellen Moore over Andrew Luck would be like taking Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers...OH WAIT, that happened!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 1:02 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

What he means to say is that the lucky losers get first pick of Kellen Moore, not Andrew Luck...that would be like taking Christian Ponder before Cam Newton...

Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:30 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Let's not forget the very forgetable performance by the Minnesota Vikings last weekend.  They could easily end up in the sweepstakes for Andrew Luck.  Then Wiggy can pick Luck and move the team to Los Angeles because Minnesota will not build him his new stadium.

Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:00 pm

Lucky Losers: Take One

Defense is the one thing that seattle does (kinda) have.  SF didn't do much of anything outside of two special teams kick/punt returns for TD's.  He definitely didn't do his research on this one.  Seahawks O is aweful and the O-line is too young to do much of anything right.  They'll win somewhere between 0-3 games and the ones they win will be because of the D, not the O.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:57 am

Lucky Losers: Take One

Uh...Luck IS a redshirt Junior, guys.  He has one more year of eligibility after this.  It's extremely unlikely, but if he doesn't like the teams in the running for him, he can go back to college for one more year.

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:52 am

Lucky Losers: Take One

I like how the only people in here saying Judge doesnt know what hes talking about are Seahawks fans trying to convince themselves it wasnt pathetic the way they lost and that its going to be a trend they should get used to throughout the season.

Judge is merely speculating on which teams are needing and available for Luck and hes mostly right in concept. Seattle is actually a perfect fit for Luck and frankly the only reason they may not finish dead last running away with it is because theyre in such an easy division, even though they already dropped one of their 6 chances to win this season. 

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:33 am

Lucky Losers: Take One

It would be crazy if Indy ended up with Luck but stranger things ...

My money is on Indy this year. The whole team is built around one guy, and it really showed in the opener.  They can recover if they start to protect Kerry Collins better, but deep down they must know they have no chance at a title this year w/o Manning.  I think they fold this year and quit on their head coach (who by the way is not anywhere near a good coach and should have never gotten the job when Dungy retired).  My prediction is 4-12 for the Colts this year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or