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Are the Chargers the worst team in the NFL?

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Matt Barkley might not have to move far if this week's No. 1 runs the table


We're well past the quarter point of the 2012 season and some teams are in serious danger of completely falling out of the race for No. 1, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft that is.

And yes, there might be something disingenuous about looking at the standings "if the season ended today." But as sports fans, rationality often goes out the window. Unless you can come up with a reasonable explanation why the Angels' 2012 performance still depresses me to this day.

But if the season ended today, three teams from the NFC West would be in the playoffs. A lot can change and will change from right now and Week 17. We might even laugh at the end of the year as we reminisce about the hot start of three NFC West teams. But can I at least have that? I don't get a team in Los Angeles (for now), let me enjoy the moment.

Also give me that because the bottom six of the NFL is dominated by the AFC West.

And it should be noted we probably need to start working on new artwork to include Geno Smith, who continues to kill it for West Virginia with 25 touchdowns and no interceptions.

And without further ado ...

Others receiving votes: Cleveland Browns (1-5); Tennessee Titans (2-4); Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3).

RANK

6

OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-4)

Just almost win, baby, clearly doesn't have the same ring. But the Raiders should be lauded for the effort on the road, in the Georgia Dome, in one of the dreaded 10 a.m. games out here on the West Coast. But give credit to the Raiders for doing the little things as they found a way to lose. But they are still a ways away from being the class of their division in blowing games.

RANK

5

CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-5)

The Browns are finally in the win column, and thus must take a tumble down the list. I've long stated the Browns just don't have what it takes to stay on this list for ever, as they will now start to string together wins and become competitive in the AFC North. To be honest, I'm not sure the Steelers are better than the Browns at this point.

RANK

4

CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-4)

The Panthers benefit from those teams ahead of them winning some games. The Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and the Browns were all victorious on Sunday, so the Panthers were able to move up without even breaking a sweat or their quarterback looking unnerved in a postgame press conference. The Panthers have a tough matchup against the Cowboys this week, and if they aren't careful, could end up winning the game if they don't focus.

RANK

3

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-4)

The Jaguars also benefitted from the teams above them winning. A huge game against the Raiders should really separate the winners from the losers. And really, if this was baseball, the Jags would be shopping Maurice Jones-Drew for some 2013 NFL Draft picks. Actually, they should be doing that anyway.

RANK

2

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-5)

The Chiefs weren't even competitive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Man, if you ever wanted to make Matt Cassel look good just put Brady Quinn in at quarterback. Man, what kind of dope even thought this team had a chance to reach the Super Bowl? Oh yeah, my bad.

RANK

1

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (3-3)

Congratulations, San Diego, our team is finally No. 1 in something. There have been some tough losses in Chargers' history (just fall down, Marlon), but this might be the worst in the regular-season. When long-time Chargers' punching bag Peyton Manning is walking off the field with his fist raised, it's time to take a look in the proverbial mirror. The Chargers had six second-half possessions, and five turnovers. The one time they didn't turn the ball over, they lost yards. This is unacceptable.

There are a couple of takeaways from that game. Norv Turner isn't a good head coach. He's had six winning seasons during his 15-year career (not counting his 7-6 record when he was fired). A.J. Smith has done a great job of providing great talent for the rest of the league with Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Michael Turner, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Cromartie doing well (imagine if those players with Larry Fitzgerald, who the Chargers passed on to draft Eli Manning). And it looks like Philip Rivers' arm is damaged, if you look at the lack of velocity on his throws. Again, all of this is unacceptable.

Got a comment or a question? Don't waste your brilliant, biting flame in the comment section, hit Rank up via Twitter or via Facebook. Also be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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