"I really don't know," Johnson said when asked if he's excited about the season's second half. "If it's going like it's been going, there's nothing to be excited about or look forward to."
Grim words by CJ268, but a sentiment we imagine other teams can relate to as we reach November. It's been a topsy-turvy season in the NFL, with the haves and have-nots particularly defined in the standings. Three teams have two wins. Three more claim but a single victory. One team buried a damn football and still has nothing to show for its clumsy symbolism.
The time has come for us to stick a fork in 10 teams who will not make the playoffs in 2014. We don't take joy in being the messenger here, but we also refuse to turn a blind eye to ineptitude ... or the cold hard truth.
I've listed the doomed in alphabetical order. I don't want it to appear that one team is forked harder than another. These teams are all equally forked. On with it.
Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Chicago Bears (3-5)
Lamarr Houston blew out his knee Sunday celebrating a sack of a Patriots quarterback not named Tom Brady in a game in which his team was trailing by 25 points. That's your 2014 Chicago Bears, a group with way too much talent -- particularly on offense -- to be this mediocre. The blame deserves to go beyond Jay Cutler (but it won't).
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)
Minnesota Vikings (3-5)
If the Vikings don't blow that game in Orchard Park a couple weeks ago, they're not on this list. But they did, so they are. Teddy Bridgewater has shown flashes of ability, but teams are blitzing him to "Bolivian," to borrow a Tyson-ism. If only Bridgewater had a ridiculously talented running back to help him shoulder the load. Alas.
New York Jets (1-7)
Oakland Raiders (0-7)
St. Louis Rams (2-5)
Rams fans can't really use the "We're trapped in the wrong division" excuse anymore. The Seahawks and 49ers are mortal (so far, anyway). The Cardinals are 6-1, but aren't anyone's definition of an unstoppable powerhouse. The Rams' final nine games will serve as an evaluation of quarterback Austin Davis, with a massively important draft day decision looming for Les Snead.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6)
A topic that came up on a recent edition of the Around The NFL Podcast: Is Lovie Smith's job safe? Smith is a respected guy with a proven track record, but what if the Bucs finish 3-13 with a couple more of those soul-destroying blowout losses like we saw against the Falcons and Ravens? It could get late early for Smith and general manager Jason Licht.