The 2011 NFL season enters its second half this weekend and the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes are kicking into high gear. As Luck prepares for arguably the biggest game of his collegiate career, NFL teams are falling by the wayside in their attempts to secure his services in the 2012 NFL Draft. And for the teams already thinking they are set at quarterback (I'm looking at you, St. Louis Rams), the number one overall pick could pull in a huge bounty of draft picks.
Through the course of seeing which teams are truly prepared to Suck For Luck, we have not discussed the player at the center of this whirlwind of awful football. QB Andrew Luck and his Stanford Cardinal face off against the Oregon Ducks in a game with huge BCS implications.
For Luck, each game raises the question of how it will impact his draft profile. He threw an ugly pick-six against the USC Trojans a couple weeks ago, but bounced back to help guide his team to a triple-overtime victory. He struggled early against the Oregon State Beavers but closed out strong as has often been the case. At this point, it would likely take a Shane Falco-level Sugar Bowl performance to hurt his status. He seems untouchable at this point.
And so, NFL teams continue to imagine the possibilities. Every team in the running firmly states they are trying to win and looking to improve this season. However, for teams like the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins, among others, sometimes you just aren't any good. The teams may not be tanking on purpose, but at times it would be hard to tell the difference for some of them.
Here are your current win-less and one-win teams:
1. Indianapolis Colts - 0-9
2. Miami Dolphins - 1-7
3. St. Louis Rams - 1-7
Honorary two-win team: Jacksonville Jaguars - 2-6
Given how tight things are getting with the Colts and the two one-win teams, the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes have cleared out the pretenders to the top pick. When you have a team as bad as Indianapolis has been this season, two wins basically knocks you out of contention. I am tempted to say one win would even be enough, but the any given Sunday rule likely belongs in this discussion.
I have included an honorary two-win team this week because that two-win team takes on the leaders of this race. The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts in what most consider the most winnable game left on the Colts schedule. They have one game at Jacksonville as well, but this really could be where they avoid joining the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in history, or where they get in the express lane towards ignominious history.
Projected 2012 NFL Draft Top Five Picks
1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
5. St. Louis Rams
Week 8 Andrew Luck Sweepstakes Schedule
Game of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts - If the Colts lose this game, I really don't see them winning a game this season. Anything is possible after this, but this is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. A Colts win throws the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes back into a modest amount of disarray.
St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns
Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins