Winless plight in the Sunshine State
Would you like to see Andy Reid take on Chris Christie in a 100-meter dash? How about a pushup contest between Sarah Jessica Parker and Steven Tyler?
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Some matchups are too scary to contemplate. But the calendar and recent events have conspired to make us think the unthinkable.
The calendar says Halloween is this week. The recent events are zero wins, 15 losses, one infectious disease, four ineffectual quarterbacks and no hope in sight. Put them together and you have the NFL’s version of the camp classic Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
Bucs vs. Jaguars.
May the best team score.
Or make a tackle. How about complete a pass? Anything to show there’s a glimmer of hope you might avoid serving up an unprecedented double bagel.
Only two teams -- the ’76 Bucs and ’08 Lions -- have had winless seasons in modern NFL history. Now we’re halfway through 2013 and we might have two in one season. And they’re 172 miles apart.
Yes, the state that brought you Slim Whitman and Carrot Top now brings you Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. They are not scheduled to play, so all we can do theorize what a Florida Flop Bowl would look like. The eyesore would actually serve a couple of purposes.
It's hard for teams to be this bad, so there's a perverse historical fascination in finding out who is the worst of the worst. Also, we could start wondering whether the loser would trade the No. 1 pick in the draft for Mark Sanchez.
Based on personnel, you'd bet on Tampa Bay. The Bucs spent a lot of money on proven NFL free agents, only to entrust them to unproven Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. That's how the game's best man-to-man defender has been largely lost in a zone defense.
That's also why when asked last week whether the players believed in the coaching staff, Darrelle Revis uttered three words that said it all.
“I don't know.”
That sprinkled lighter fluid to the smoldering question whether the dictatorial Schiano has “lost the locker room?” The Bucs season has turned into a reprise of "The Caine Mutiny." The only difference being crews in bacteria-resistant gear weren't called in to scrub the decks of the USS Caine for MRSA.
Gus Bradley's problem isn't the prospect of misplacing Jacksonville's locker room. It's what's in it.
The Jaguars don't have enough talent to win the Big East, much less the AFC South. But at least they have a long-range plan. Move to London before Parliament bans the importation of Blaine Gabbert.
San Francisco just beat the Jaguars, 42-10, at Wembley Stadium, where every fan found a sign on their seat proclaiming Jacksonville “London's Team.” Locals quickly realized the Jags usually score fewer points than Chelsea or West Ham United.
Their minus-178 point differential is the third-worst in NFL history through eight games. The Bucs are only at minus-63 through seven games. But it's easy to see them losing 116-0 at Seattle this weekend to overtake Jacksonville.
Tampa Bay has allowed 31 points in each of its past three games. The Jaguars haven't scored a touchdown all season in Jacksonville. They have three interceptions as a team. Twenty-one players have that many.
The Bucs have the 31st ranked offense in the NFL. The Jaguars are No. 32.
There are 32 teams in the NFL.
You get the picture. So what would happen if the thoroughly resistible Frankenstein met the incredibly movable Wolf Man at a neutral site in Game 17?
When they clashed in the 1943 movie, a tavern owner blew up the dam above Frankenstein castle, washing the monsters away in front of a relieved world. Barring a similar dam burst, some things would be predictable in this game.
Gabbert, Chad Henne and Mike Glennon would set an NFL record for errant passes. Luckily for the Bucs, Jacksonville's secondary would drop a dozen potential interceptions. Luckily for the Jaguars, Schiano would have Revis playing defensive tackle.
Maurice Jones-Drew would rush 29 times for 37 yards and then fire his agent for not getting him out of Jacksonville five years ago.
Jacksonville's mischievous mascot, Jaxson de Ville, would do something entertaining. Tampa Bay's mascot is a guy in a Hazmat suit.
At least three Jacksonville drives would be kept alive by late-hit penalties on the Bucs.
Schiano would be unable to find the locker room at halftime.
If the Jaguars are ahead by 47 points on the final play and just wanted to take a knee, Schiano would order a bull rush because “we play till the final whistle.”
The Jaguars will never be ahead of anybody by 47 points.
After going through eight left guards this season, the Bucs would start Evan Longoria at that position.
Somewhere, Josh Freeman would be laughing.
Midway through the fourth quarter, FOX's high-def cameras would catch Schiano rolling ball bearings around in his fist and muttering something about “strawberries.”
Despite that, the thought of losing to Jacksonville would be too humiliating for All-Pro tackle Gerald McCoy to stand. He would sack Henne and force a fumble in the final minute. Revis would scoop it up. Jones-Drew would pull a hamstring trying to catch him. Revis would hurdle a Hazmat crew at the 10-yard line and roll into the end zone for the game's only score.
“It's a shame either team had to win,” the announcer would say.
Roger Goodell awards Schiano the game ball and a straitjacket. He then declares that if winless teams ever meet again, it will be near a dam. Fans will be allowed to bring their own dynamite.