NFL Thoughts on the Morning After.


Kind of Like a Walk of Shame for the NFL Season.


So, how embarrassing is this 7-9 thing?

Has parity in the league gone too far?  They flashed the stat last night.  Almost 400 division winners, and Seattle became the first to pull off the feat at 7-9.  I think in the NBA this can occasionally happen….40-42 gets you in or something, but the NFL is more selective than that.  Also, it is the nature of the 7-9.  It isn’t like the Seahawks were burdened by a brutal schedule.  They didn’t lose a single close game all year.  They have the 3rd worst point differential in the entire conference.  If this were the Raiders (8-8) or a team like that, maybe you could talk yourself into them giving the Saints a game this weekend, but that isn’t the case here.

In the end, it probably doesn’t make a difference.  I don’t think anyone thinks the Bucs, or the Giants were going to win the Super Bowl if they got in, but it robs the fans of a decent first round game at the very least.  I think it is a little bit of a black eye for the league and they’ll be doing their best to drum up some interest in the unfortunate match-up, most likely centered around Seattle’s home field advantage, but in the end by the time the divisional round comes along we’ll have forgotten about the Seahawks and moved on.  You can’t overreact to one horrible year for a single division.

The Young Quarterback Movement:

There was a time when quarterbacks in the NFL were recycled like head coaches.  Guys would stick around forever.  They are still out there.  We saw Mark Brunell yesterday, but a lot of teams this year put faith in young and/or unproven back up quarterbacks.  Matt Flynn, Troy Smith, Colt McCoy, Whitehurst, Skelton, Hall, Joe Webb, Tebow. The list goes on and on.  Part of this was because of injuries, and there are still the Grossmans and Kitnas out there, but it also seems like plenty of teams are willing to take a chance on a young guy and see if they can strike gold.

Is this the Romo effect?  The Fitzy effect?  Even the Vick effect?  Seems like teams realize you might not know what you have in a QB until you toss him out there under center when it matters.  The answer at QB could be buried on a depth chart, and you won’t know until the guy plays.  Now, most of these guys failed spectacularly, but not all of them.  And, I can’t help but think if this was 5 or 10 years ago we’d have seen a lot more Kitnas than Webbs.

Lost in the Parity?

I know the Greatriots engine will be gaining steam with each passing day, but for now it seems like the Pats managed a slightly under the radar 14-2.  For a team that hasn’t come close to losing and hasn’t scored less than 31 points in two months I would expect more Super Bowl lock talk.  Were there too many other stories this year?  Favre, Vick, the coaching turnover?  The Pats have gotten plenty of attention, but it feels like it has been for individual accomplishments.  Brady’s year, the love affair with Woodhead, those types of stories.  Do you get the feeling that the Pats are untouchable right now?  I’m not sure what to think.  The numbers say they are, but it doesn’t feel that way in the old gut.

More quickly now…

Surprises of the Year:

Clearly Vick, who will need to win Sunday to really cap things off.  Arian Foster went from mid-round fantasy flier to the league’s leading rusher.  Great division to run against, or a stud for the next 5 years?  From a team standpoint, I guess we’re talking Tampa despite their missing out on the playoffs.  The other surprises were of the disappointing nature, Dallas, Minnesota, Washington, Denver….

Saddest Duo of the Year (Non-Favre Division):

Donovan McNabb and Larry Fitzgerald, obviously for vastly different reasons.  McNabb saw his career completely dissolve over the span of a couple of months in Washington.  If anyone saw the shot of McNabb on the sideline yesterday, bundled in a jacket, not a teammate within 30 yards of him, you know exactly the kind of sadness I am talking about.  It wasn’t only a failure in D.C., but you wonder if there is any landing spot left for Don now.  For Fitzgerald, he had a very fine year statistically, but he’s the poster boy for what was a sorry, sorry offensive show in Arizona.  Aside from his measly six touchdowns, what stands out is that he set a career high for targets, but posted his worst statistical full season.  That’s on the QBs.

Worst Coaching Job:

Mike Shanahan.  Several guys were fired, and probably rightfully so.  Brad Childress and Wade Phillips were replaced by guys who did much better with 2nd and 3rd string QBs.  But, there is something about the whole Shanahan package that makes me want to single him out.  This guy is supposed to be elite and all he can put together is one of the ugliest 6-10 seasons of all-time?  Just when you thought Snyder might have gotten the right guy, Shanny comes in and sets the franchise back another couple of years.


Tom Brady.  I’m not aware that there is even a race here.  If you have someone else in mind, let me know, but I don’t see it.  I guess I’d put Vick second, but his slow finish and missed time make this a no-brainer.

Preferred (and objective-ish) Super Bowl Matchups:

  1. Patriots vs. Eagles
  2. Patriots vs. Saints
  3. Eagles vs. Colts

84.  Bears vs. Jets



30 thoughts on “NFL Thoughts on the Morning After.

  1. What about Seattle vs. KC in the Bowl?

    I certainly think that 7-9 is pretty laughable, but as you mentioned, to have it happen 1 time in almost 400 opportunities is ridiculous odds- something like .003 %…I don’t like the backlash and the whole ‘reseeding’ argument either. So what if NO has to go on the road to Seattle? If they are that much better, then they shouldn’t have any problems winning that game. Seattle won their division so they get a home game.

  2. Oh man, an old AFC west clash. I am just not admitting Seattle is a possibility, so I didn’t include any of those.

    I think Seattle winning a game or two would be the absolute worst thing that could happen.
    I agree, no need to make a drastic change regarding the playoffs.

    This is an extreme case, and I think there are or have been cases where a 9-7 division winner could be more deserving than a 10-6 team. It just happens this year was a bad team winning a bad division.

  3. hahahahaha….maybe if we called the GV Patriots the Greatriots, their football might have better reflected the ideal.

    TOM BRADY. all i have to say.


    we’re going all the way this year, again.


      • I’m just saying the flowery ESPN love fests that make it seem like the Pats are the only team that doesn’t have a stable of 6’5″ receivers is the kind of thing that turns them into the football Yankees.

        i think real pats fans could do without all the faux underdog b.s.

  4. you just accused me of being a non-real pat’s fan?

    go ask my father who i cheered for in 1985.


    i bleed Brady. and i was born a son of a Patriots coach.

    i have a tatoo to prove it.


    • yeah, that’s not at all what I meant.

      what I’m saying is, the Patriots stunk forever. As the die-hard that you allegedly are you’ll remember that.

      In the last 8 years or whatever, they’ve completely flipped into this perennial power.

      With that has been this swell of bandwagon fans, and this treatment of the team by national media as the darlings of the NFL, which just brings in more fringe fans…

      that annoys a lot of people, turns them off, and if I was a tried and true Pats fan, I wouldn’t have any interest in this manufactured garbage about woodhead and everything else.

      • I think it’s more that they’ve had a ton of success and still try and pitch themselves as the underdog. They have arguably the best QB in the NFL (this yr MVP), one of the best coaches in the history of the NFL and they’ve run roughshod over teams-yet they want to whine about how they do it with small players, with underdogs, with overachievers. Stop telling people how you’re succeeding with less talent. KSK does a great job of exploiting this mind set when they do the patriot fan articles.

        Shut up. At least the Yanks for all their faults embrace having more money and using it than other teams. Not defending it nor the arrogance of the yankee fans, just pointing out you won’t hear “We’re the underdogs winning!” from them.

  5. okay. i see.
    well, to be honest…you know i am the half-heartedest fan ever. i wish everyone could feel like a winner on any given day of the week.

    but, i have been a fan of the pats since infancy. lil girls can’t really make sense, often, of their dad’s Pat’s squad and the New England one…

    so, maybe i’m a quasi die hard. i remember the tough times.

    i remember not expecting much. it wasn’t really a OH MAYBE THIS IS OUR YEAR red sox thing. cause, i went into most seasons (barely, though more than any other teams beside the Stoyanovich Dolphins) caring..but not expecting anything but a couple pretty games in the snow.

    boom the 2000’s….i move to Boston. find it no small coincidence that my proximity to Brady spawned greatness and boom…

    i still can’t get enough of these feel good stories.

    i hope you get to feel them someday…well, pitchers and catchers in one month right? this could be your year to pat yourself on the back for proximity to greatness.

    blog hug, bring it in. Q

  6. Pats will win the Super Bowl and are by far the best team in the NFL. No Cinderella story. They just are really effing good.

    • They’ll lose to the dirty mexican or the steelers, then Brady will cry b/c Gisele will take away his toys and not let him hang out with Nick Lachey or whoever for two weeks.

      I wouldn’t be shocked it TB showed up with Bieber on his lap for a press conference a la michael jackson and emannuel lewis (or however you spell that).

  7. 14-2, i’ve liked you a lot, despite everything.
    but the dirty mexican thing, q cannot digest.

    go take a time out. walk around your smoggy block.


  8. That you’ll lose to him or how i referenced him wasn’t “digestable”?

    We don’t have smog, that’s the west coast. Isn’t there some bandwagon you have to jump on or off?

  9. i do like to partake in many aerobic activities, daily…so yes, i do like to jump.

    sure, i don’t mind teasing about wins, losing, and my bandwagon tail…

    but, as a social worker and person with only skin deep integrity…i draw the line at ethnic slurs and disability references…lame and retarded are primary ticks, as well.

    sorry, personal preference…and sorry, i do mix up LA and NYC on a regular basis.

    all in fun. Q

  10. Where is there an ethnic slur? I didn’t realize calling someone of mexican decent”mexican” was a slur. The fact that he is dirty (please google “Mark Sanchez, sexual assault”) is just an opinion, but the fact that you connected it with his nationality is the slur. It’s a shame, here i was thinking social workers were open minded and valiant defenders of not seeing race or disability as defining.

  11. i see race and disability all the time. social workers, in mindset and duty, don’t shy away.

    and unconsciously, i fear the combo of those words can often read as alarmist.

    i concede, and understand your point. now that you explained the assault of which i had no idea.

    i’ve just been referred to as a cheap jew one too many times.

    thanks, q

  12. what i meant is that… stereotypes can define people, whether we acknowledge the unconscious or unconscious experience of them. and the alarmist thing is that unfortunately i have had friends and clients and family hurt by accidental combos…just like that… a few hispanic friends have been victim of that very stereotype. sorry to get heavy on the blog.

    but to me, words to matter sometimes, especially when taken out of context.


  13. finally, above all else…the issue if that you referred to him by his ethnicity.

    not even named.

    dirty Sanchez, better than…just summing him up by his minority status.

    final word, i swear 3-Putt.

    and i appreciate that i can have this convo and debate with Bk and on this blog.

    i think it’s important to have these conversations.
    so do Vai and Gonzo.

    thanks for reading. Q

    • Dirty Sanchez is legitimately an offensive, degrading, deviant sex act. I disagree with your stance on one key point, i believe it’s a cardinal sin to stake claim to having pride in your ethnicity and being different, and then claim racism when someone refers to you as your ethnicity. Isn’t the point of equality to not take everything as offensive? Pointing out the obvious has become dangerous, PC has evolved into something more offensive than what it was meant to protect. So we can have a puerto rican pride day, but can’t refer to people as puerto ricans?

      Additionally, and this will sound offensive, but most stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, they don’t just appear out of thin air. “White men can’t jump.” Yeah….that’s pretty much a fact. Do you also get as offended when people single out Chris “Birdman” Anderson b/c he’s white and can jump out of the gym? Or is your delicate nature and thin skin only punctured when the stereotype used is deemed “offensive” to a non-caucasion?

  14. well, i’d recommend an excellent book by beverly tatum, author and recent president at spellman; “why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?”

    she does an excellent job discussing multiple identities and the bind when people within groups call themselves labels as a form of “internalized oppression.” for instance, i would not appreciate if someone combine adjectives who was also jewish and called me a cheap jew. nor do i value when woman call one another stupid b&*^*^.

    i am sorry to have gotten political here, but there are many moments when sports can be a vehicle for social discourse. i believe in this type of work. from time to time, thanks 3-Putt for allowing some of these discussions. like DV, locker-room chatter and Erin whatever her name is.

    it is my opinion, only, today. i understand people do not agree with me, but i am devoted to work with oppressed populations for both personal and meaningful-work-altruistic reasons.

    it would be out of my character to say that i do try to speak up when it strikes a sensitive cord with me when adjectives and ethnicities are combined, and yes – unfortunately by someone outside that minority culture. though i just assume that, because i have never met you. but even within the group, it hurts me, too.

    i give you a lot of credit for discussing this with me, and i enjoy our discussions on this blog, a lot. you are a bright, witty person.


    • finally – all i am asking, and saying – because i reread your well thought out thoughts, um – and i tend to overanalyze stuff that is important to me…

      so, all i wish is that people thought through the stereotypes…especially when there are negative connotations (though positive stereotypes can have a hurtful undertones…)…ie, please, think, maybe about the origins of that stereotype…before saying it, because someday, a subtle joke could really really hurt someone. more than how i acted today.

      thanks, jessica q

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