Well, my big takeaway from the week 17 was, if I was still alive in Fantasy Football I would have gotten credit for a David Akers TD pass. That would have been awesome. But, in all seriousness yesterday kind of felt like the day that all the disappointment was really hammered home for a lot of teams. It started here in Philly where the 8-8 Eagles closed the season with another convincing win. Hard to believe that ridiculous scenario from a month ago came just one Jets win shy of playing out. Makes the Niners, Cardinals, and other hideous losses all that more unbearable. And, I imagine similar feelings in Chicago, San Diego, New York, Washington, Minnesota, etc. For a lot of fan bases now it becomes the time to wonder about your coaching staff, the state of your franchise QB, what will happen in the draft…it’s a long way to training camp. For the lucky 12 squads moving forward….
Who will Play Playoff spoiler this Year?
Where are the Jets? We spent the last two post-seasons trashing the Jets and then they won 4 road games and nearly ruined the Super Bowl. Their playoff runs always seemed to belie their real talent level and now there are big question marks hanging over the head of Sanchize and Rex Ryan. I imagine Ryan’s act isn’t as endearing to Jets fans right about now. He’s obviously safe, but this terrible finish probably took away most of his breathing room. And, when will the Jets draft a QB? Will it be this year? It’s certainly coming soon. Sanchez could be 10-2 in the post-season–right now he can’t win regular season games so it doesn’t matter. With the Jets off the radar, there doesn’t appear to be a team to fill their role. I know a few people who are high on the Giants, but I don’t see a shutdown defense or a real match-up problem from any of the lesser playoff teams. The NFL might get the to form bracket they always dream of.
Will the Saints Benefit from playing this Weekend?
If I’m the Saints right now, I don’t want to break the routine. You go out on Sunday, put up 45 points, take Monday off and then get ready to do it again the next weekend. Why would you want to have a bye-week right now? Don’t mess with the rhythm. And, by getting Detroit in the wild-card round they’re facing a team that will be more than happy to get into another shootout. I’m just thinking of overall confidence level here and about how the hot teams seem to have a bigger advantage than ever in the post-season. The Saints should want to and will keep rolling this weekend. Bad news for the rest of the NFC.
How Bad are these AFC games?
Oh my goodness. Pittsburgh at Denver and Cincy at Houston? Tebow, Delhomme(?) and the Scarlet Lobber? This is the playoffs, right? I guess this is a testament to defense? Denver, Cincy and Houston will all fight you to the death on that side of the ball, but are we talking ratings suicide with Cincy/Houston? There are enough Steelers fans and Tebow fans to perhaps set some records in that puke fest, but my goodness who is going to watch this other game? The NFC is only better by default. The NFC East probably didn’t deserve to send a team to the playoffs this year and the Lions can’t even beat the Packers’ 2nd string. It looks like a lot of fodder clogging up the tournament, but you know what that means. Upsets galore.
Which Defense will Submarine their QB?
Brady, Brees and Rodgers. If you want, you can even throw Eli in there, Matt Stafford too. These are 5 teams that give up a ton of points. They make up almost half the post-season teams. Plenty of experts will pick these squads to make the Super Bowl, but any and all could come up short. I think you can definitely score your way to a title right now, but it’s a risky proposition. I think back to a few years ago when Baltimore went into New England and jumped them early. The Pats got startled at the opening bell and the big offensive guns never caught up. The Packers defense tanked their chances two years ago. The Saints couldn’t stop the Seahawks last year–that’s a problem. People assume these stud QBs are going to meet in the conference championship games, but will their defenses allow that to happen?
Winter Classic Interlude:
All right, I’m heading out to the Winter Classic. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. There are no other truths. I’m expecting the Flyers to maintain the momentum of the Alumni game and pick up a win. In truth, they’ve been struggling with the Rangers and Lundquist all year. I’m pretty nervous. The Flyers, in true Philly fashion, are giving “Bob” the start. This officially starts the goalie controversy of 2012. Why wait? Anyway, should be a cold, thrilling spectacle down at CBP. I’ll offer a full summary tomorrow if one is warranted.