The joke running through Jacksonville these days carries the same punch line as the one in Kansas City:
“Our team is so bad it can’t even stink in the right year.”
The Chiefs and Jaguars will vie for the top pick in the NFL draft in separate games Sunday. But the value of “winning” the race to the NFL’s worst record is debatable in a year without a clear, franchise-changing prospect.
Matt Barkley, USC – Barkley was once considered the slam-dunk choice to be the first overall pick in next year’s draft, but now that’s far from a certainty. However, even after a senior year that has been far from the dream season he had in mind when he decided to return to school, Barkley might still be the best available quarterback.
The Chiefs will definitely be taking a good long look at him and it’s possible if they like what they see they could make him their first-round pick. Of course, the Chiefs may be wise to consider the track record of former USC quarterbacks in the NFL – a list that includes one of their current quarterbacks.
Geno Smith, West Virginia – Smith was the Heisman frontrunner in September, but his accuracy wasn’t particularly impeccable during his team’s five-game losing streak in the middle of the season, and he quickly fell out of contention.
While the AFC’s other top teams have stumbled recently, the Denver Broncos look to keep rolling into the postseason.
By earning an 11th straight victory in Sunday’s regular-season finale, the Broncos can wrap up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs and ensure the visiting Kansas City Chiefs land the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
After passing New England for the No. 2 seed on Dec. 16, Denver (12-3) beat Cleveland 34-12 last week to put itself in position to earn a week off during the league’s wild-card weekend. While a win against the Chiefs will be enough to do that, a victory plus a Houston loss at Indianapolis would give the Broncos home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
“I think it’s real important that we win this week against Kansas City – all our focus will be on that,” coach John Fox said. “Whatever that brings, we’ll react to.”
“I think I’ve done pretty good being consistent, not having really good games, not having really had games,” Johnson said. “I’ve been injured a little bit this year but I’ve fought through it a few times just to try to help my team win.
“I think I’ve done OK this year. My standards are through the roof when it comes to my play on the football field.”
Crennel said, “Derrick Johnson is a very productive player for us. Has been the last couple of years and very productive this year. But on a losing team, sometimes you get overlooked.”