NFL’s Terrible Twosome

Austin Cowan

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are historically bad. With a combined 0-16 record, the two teams keep each other company in the cellar of the NFL. Halfway through the season, with any legitimate chance of postseason success long gone, it is time for both teams to look forward to next year and see where they can improve.

The 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst NFL team of all time. They may not finish 0-16 like the Detroit Lions did in 2008, but no roster has ever been more devoid of talent than this year’s edition of the Jags. To put things in perspective, 31 players in the NFL have scored more touchdowns than the entire Jaguars offense this year. Offensively, the Jags are second to last in the league in rushing, averaging 66.2 yards per game. This ineptitude stems from the combination of an aging Maurice Jones-Drew and a pathetic offensive line. Defensively, the Jags are last in the league in stopping the run due to their inability to get any penetration from the defensive line. It is hard to compete on a weekly basis when a team has no more than ten players who could make another NFL roster.

Looking ahead to next year, the only place to go is up for this beleaguered Jacksonville squad. They will have the first pick in the 2014 draft and use it on Teddy Bridgewater, the Heisman hopeful from Louisville. After securing a franchise QB, Jacksonville needs a player at almost every position except for WR. Look for the Jags to target a proven pass rusher in the second round (James Gayle, Virginia Tech) and an RB in the middle rounds (Silas Redd, USC) to replace Jones-Drew.

The Buccaneers are also an atrocious football team. With bad press and bad play surrounding the team, the only good thing Bucs fans can take away from their season is that at least they are not Jacksonville. With the addition of Pro Bowlers Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis to the secondary and the emergence of second-year player Doug Martin as a top-five running back, the Bucs were supposed to contend in 2013. Nothing has gone according to plan. Josh Freeman, the former franchise quarterback in Tampa Bay, is now sitting on the bench in Minnesota after one too many inconsistent performances. With rookie Mike Glennon now under center in Tampa, the Bucs need to rid the team of the cancer that is head coach Greg Schiano. Win or lose this week against Miami, Schiano should be sacked due to his gross misuse of the talent on his roster. A team cannot expect to win unless it is behind its head coach. However, not all the blame can be shouldered on Schiano and inconsistent QB play. Tampa has been decimated by injuries, losing Martin, wide receiver Mike Williams and guard Carl Nicks. While Martin and Nicks could potentially return, there is no need to rush them back considering the dire state of their season.

Additionally, Tampa has gotten next to nothing from the TE position. If the Bucs are to improve their team in 2014, they need to consider adding a franchise QB (Marcus Mariota, Oregon) and a capable TE (Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington). Mike Glennon, while producing a few promising performances, is not athletic enough and too inconsistent throwing downfield to be the long-term option at QB.

Contact Austin Cowan at [email protected]edu.