Chargers find a way to stay on top in race for No. 1

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

There is a lot of parity in the NFL right now (though, some like Dave Dameshek like to refer to it as mediocrity), but there are clearly some teams who are in it for the long-haul to No. 1 and others who are merely pretenders. The Ravens, for instance, looked pretty bad against the Texans and there were some on Twitter who thought they did enough to make it into the top six. But be serious for a moment. The Ravens would have to show a lot more to be included in the hunt for No. 1. More consistency for starters. The Ravens are a threat to win every time they take the field and can't be a serious contender for the No. 1 spot in the 2013 NFL Draft. So let's take a look at those teams who are truly giving it a go.

And without further ado ...

Dropped out: Oakland Raiders (2-4)




One year after they made the playoffs, the Lions have fallen back into the same losing rut which plagued the franchise for well, save a few years, the better part of all of our lives. The picture of Matthew Stafford on the ground, big clump of grass sticking out of his facemask was the perfect illustration of a season which has started to unravel. Oh well, at least your Tigers are in the World Series and Buick makes awesome cars. Let's think of the positives.




Ah man, Browns. You had the win in your hands. Well, Josh Gordon's hands anyway. Yet, it all slipped away. But if this team could get Trent Richardson healthy, there is a nice mix of young (save your Brandon Weeden jokes) talent on offense. So you can't count on the Browns to compete for the No. 1 spot. I still feel a long winning streak in this team.




About twelve months ago, the NFL celebrated quarterback Cam Newton similarly to the way we have enjoyed Robert Griffin, III. Now Newton is being compared to Jay Cutler. And not in a good way (as if there is one, but I believe it's cool just to say that). The firings have begun in earnest in Carolina and coach Ron Riveria has already stated he is coaching for his job. This team could be a real contender.




The Jaguars recent history could be illustrated in one play on Sunday. The Jags faced a fourth-and-one, backup quarterback Chad Henne rolled to his right and threw the ball away. Just threw it away. It was almost like the effort of trying to get the first down was so futile, the best option was to simply give up. Something tells me this team already has.




Matt Cassel will never be confused with Tom Brady, even though the Chiefs' signal caller did one time win 11 games in his absence. (It's true, Google it.) The point being, Cassel has shown he can be a credible quarterback at times. But now he's given way to Brady Quinn. You know, the guy who couldn't lead this team on a touchdown drive against the Buccaneers. Yes, the same Buccaneers which just surrendered 500 yards of offense on Sunday. The Chiefs are going to start the guy who couldn't move on that defense. Well played, Chiefs. You're serious contenders. Scott Pioli, though, don't worry about scouting for next year; somebody will take it from here, soon.




The Chargers might have received the benefit of the doubt because the bye week gave us some space between the stink of their Monday night meltdown. But the Chargers being investigated for a possible rules violation as their receivers were allegedly caught using a sticky substance on their hands. In other words, the Chargers are suspected of cheating and they still found a way to suffer one of the most brutal collapses in NFL history. Wow, how far are we away from Norv Turner driving around the Chargers team complex with Dan Fouts' bust tied to his bumper?

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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