Florida’s NFL Problem

If you are a fan of an NFL team in the state of Florida, there’s a one in three chance you’re actually happy, and it’s probably not by much.

While the Miami Dolphins are 3-2, thanks to a Ravens field goal that cost them a game in Week 5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t won a game yet. And it’s not even close.

The Jaguars, to most observers, look every bit like the team tanking the season in order to get a top draft pick. But even if that happens, who’s going to be selected first? After all, the Jags really need everything from a quarterback to a defense. Only running back Maurice Jones-Drew is the real player out of the lot of them, and it’s only a matter of time before Mo-Jo starts screaming for a ticket out of there.

It’s pretty clear that this isn’t the train wreck that Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan signed up for when he took control of the team. Speculation continues to run wild about an eventual move of the team to Los Angeles.

At this point, if you’re in Jacksonville, are you about ready to tell them, “Hey, you’re leaving? Can we help you pack?”

On the other side of the state lies the Buccaneers, who not only share their northern brethren’s futility, but are doing it at a level of incompetence and carelessness not seen in a while. The Josh Freeman debacle, for one thing, already had a lot of people scratching their heads about the organization.

Now, the Bucs have a far more dangerous problem on their hands. With two players already diagnosed with the superbug MRSA, a third player has now received the same diagnosis, making playing in Tampa Bay both literally and figuratively toxic.

For all of the dysfunction with the Buccaneers, they still may have a chance to at least salvage a couple of wins this season. The Jaguars are so awful, most oddsmakers have already doled out the largest spread in league history for their “game” against the Denver Broncos, which will most likely just be a nice warm-up for Peyton Manning so he can get ready for actual teams like the Kansas City Chiefs.

There are no do-overs in sports, but in the case of two-thirds of the NFL’s teams in Florida, maybe they should just power down until 2014.



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