Talk amongst yourselves
01 Jan 2012
This is it, kids! Let's decide the playoff teams! Discuss all Week 17 games here.
Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Jan 2012
142 replies , Last at
02 Jan 2012, 11:52pm by
Not a whole lotta decisions left to make on who gets in, with 9/12 slots already filled. The seeding, however, is much more interesting.
I predict we end up with:
Any other takers? One point for each team in the right seed, except GB and HOU. Best out of ten wins bragging rights until the Wildcard Weekend discussion thread is posted.
In addition to keeping up with the open thread, join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for IRC football chat! Point your favorite IRC client to bendenweyr.dyndns.org, channel #fo
Or for a web-based solution, just use this mibbit link: http://chat.mibbit.com/?channel=%23fo&server=bendenweyr.dyndns.org
Does anyone have some sort of flowchart where i can read what who has to play for?
Preferably with seeding-scenarios as well?
I'll see if I can throw one together...
NFL has these two pages up:
Which at least list all the results and possibilities.
Neat - just what i was looking for.
Alternately, someone smarter than me can find one first.
FINALLY! The Colts go for it on 4th and 1 for a change. They don't get it, but still, at least it looks like they're trying.
I know I should root for them to lose and get the first pick, but watching the game online, I can't. If I were not watching, I think I could hope they lose, but when you watch your favorite team, you have to root for them to excel.
Nice running by the Pats on that drive. Green-Ellis over the top for the TD! I haven't seen a guy leap over the top in ages. Why don't more do that? Seems like an easy yard or two.
If Fitzpatrick were an elite QB, that's a late hit call. As he's from Harvard, let them play!
Jake Delhomme now in the game and turning the ball over for the Texans. I don't know who they'll end up playing in the playoffs, but can anyone see the Texans actually winning a playoff game with this level of quarterback play? It really makes me sorry for what could have been considering that Schaub finally has a defense that could back him up and he was promptly taken out for the season.
I think the Texans with TJ Yates are good enough to beat both the Raiders and Titans. They'll be about a coinflip against Cincy and the Jets.
...I am still kicking myself for not picking Graham Gano for my Loser League team. I just couldn't conceive of how someone so awful could be kept all the way through the season performing as badly as he has. Yet he hasn't gotten any better and he still has a job.
Saddest QB rushing attempt of the day: Tom Brady.
Buffalo is handing the Patriots a free win by not putting Steve Johnson back on the field.
I'm fine with that, even as a Colts fan. Johnson's an idiot for pulling out the shirt. It didn't even say anything meaningful.
Glad to see him sit. Can't get rid of a guy like that soon enough.
Scored on a TD pass on the Bills' second drive, then went to the back of the end zone, lifted up the front of his jersey to show "Happy New Year!" on an undershirt, and was penalized 15 yards on the kickoff for an obvious celebration no-no. Then, the Bills sat him the rest of the game.
- I find it weird that wishing everyone a happy new year is not allowed.
- I find it weird that IF it's not allowed, someone still does it, knowing it's a 15 yard penalty (and if he didn't know it, then that's even worse).
- I find it good that a coach finally steps up against guys who get 15 yard penalties for no reason.
Preplanned TD celebrations using props of any sort is an automatic penalty. Not sure if it goes back to the TO signing the football for the girl or some of the Ochocinco stuff, but the rule does go back a few years.
If BUF fans want to consider Johnson's benching the reason for losing, so be it. I really don't care but I do know that he negatively effected two BUF games this year with these stupid celebrations of his. Gailey is right.
My feeling is that Gailey is a pretty good coach who simply doesn't handle team discipline issues very well. Obviously the loss didn't matter and helps draft stock, but on the face of it it seems a sort of petty slap on the wrist rather than actually dealing with the issue. Hard to say for sure since I don't follow Buffalo that closely.
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel
Disagree. Obviously it wasn't the only reason for the loss. But ALL the message said was "Happy New Year." The NFL's dumb celebration rules seems pettier and pettier each year. I'd certainly be fine with Steve Johnson on my favorite team - I can put up with some silliness in exchange for good production. The Buffalo offense went from great to nothing when he was benched. That's not all coincidence.
Man, I hate the silly over-celebration in the NFL, but even I question whether wishing others a happy new year is celebration, pre-planned and using a prop or not. Maybe he did it in a self-congratulatory or taunting manner.
Weird that the niners go with a cute fake FG in week 17. That element of surprise wouldn't be useful in their first playoff game? Crazy.
Opponents having to plan for a fake might help their FGs not get blocked in the playoffs. There are advantages to pulling off plays like that. it makes your enemies special teamer's dilute their practice time.
(can Kerley be our QB?)
If anyone cares, New England is not playing well and winning. Fitzpatrick's latest INT bounces off another receiver who isn't Steve Johnson.
Must be playing ok on offence surely?
Took a drive or two to get in gear, but after that the Patriots offense just started chugging along. The defense is, well, the Patriots defense, but the offense is fine.
They finally got it in gear in the second half. The defense looks like the first competent passing offense--not great, comepetent--is going to absolutely shred them. The Bills totally gave up in the second half.
I kinda wonder if Chan Gailey might now be on the hot seat, but it's probably more likely that they'll just blame it all on Stevie Johnson's TD dances.
The good news for Patriots fans is that unless Rothlisberger returns from his injury unhurt, they won't actually have to face a competent passing offense until the Super Bowl. Unlike in the NFC, where the Packers, Saints, Lions, Falcons, and the DAL/NYG winner can all air it out quite effectively, and even SF definitely qualifies as competent.
The Ravens have a good chance to beat them too, if it's one of Flacco's good days. Steelers for sure. Actually, it's really just any AFC North teams. The rest of the AFC field is pretty weak.
Matt Flynn is earning himself a nice 2012 contract today.
What does this performance mean for the context of Rodgers' season? I don't follow the Pack that closely, what do y'all think?
It means the Packers had a better backup than the Texans, Colts, Bears, and several other teams whose starters went out. I'd guess teams like the Jets and Seahawks are looking at him real close to see if he'd be better than their current starter. (He probably is.) Orton will probably be the bridesmaid in this sweepstakes. Not that Orton is any worse but he doesn't have the upside Flynn currently does. My guess is Flynn will have a similar career path as Matt Hasselback and that's not a bad thing. Remember, teams really don't have much film on Flynn either, so they haven't had a chance to pick apart his game.
#1 key to success in the NFL: be a quarterback who lucked into being named Matthew?
To be fair, the Texans' back-up was Matt Leinart. Not a world beater but he was a back-up with two seasons of work with the team and an adequate starting QB on a team with a less talented offense than the Texans. The Texans' back-up QB situation was nowhere near as bad as the Colts or Bears.
You are correct. I had forgotten about Leinart, since he was injured not long after Schaub went down. And more evidence for the need for QBs named Matt.
Congrats to Jason Taylor.
Good way to finish the career--a win over the hated Jets, which serves to keep said Jets out of the playoffs. Though I do wish his TD fumble return hadn't been overturned on replay, but the win is darned good.
I wonder what the odds were of the Packers losing two of their last three games...
Game isn't over, but the Packers currently aren't losing. :P
Packers win 45-41.
So looking backwards, like opening the box to look in on Schrodinger's Cat, the odds of the Packers losing their last two games is 0.0.
AFC 6 seed update: With the Jets losing and Tennessee winning there are two scenarios
1. Oakland and Denver win, CIncinnati loses: Tennessee is the sixth seed.
2. Anything else: Cincinnati is the sixth seed.
Assuming all games are 50-50, playoff odds for the AFC are roughly
Denver: 75% (all AFC West)
Oakland: 25% (all AFC West)
What if Denver loses, Oakland wins, and Cincy loses? Doesn't that leave Tennessee in?
No. The Bengals have the tiebreaker over the Titans.
Gotcha, forgot that the head-to-head is Cincy's.
Another week, another hose job by the refs against the Lions.
If I'm the Lions GM, I hand deliver the game tape to the Commish this week.
/not a Lions fan
Detroit scored a td, but it was called no td on the field, therefore the people upstairs aren't allowed to review it and Detroit couldn't (out of challenges?)
That is called homefield advantage. The Packers suffered from it in the Wildcard loss against the Cardinals, and will probably benefit from it this year.
With that said, it was the Packers' backups. Rodgers, Matthews, Woodson, Jennings, Bulaga, Starks, all were innactive. TD or no TD (it was clearly a TD), this game should've never been close in the first place, not if the Lions are serious about contending in the playoffs.
And also, with their coach acting like a spoiled little girl and their players more interested in acting like thugs (lead the league in personal faults), I don't think the Lions have any credit to do any kind of complaining to Goodell. Maybe they should focus on their play instead of the officiating, that would help.
Lucky for them, they're not gonna face Flynn again...
Have to agree with this. That game was Detroit's to win, so blaming the loss on ref's is weak.
Denver looks awful early against the Chiefs. On their only good drive, Tebow lost the ball on a third down scramble. Orton hasn't been great, but he's been better than Tebow.
So is Matt Flynn the next Kevin Kolb?
Or the next Matt Schaub. *dramatic music*
Flynn will likely be a UFA. They still haven't signed Finley and he's more likely to be franchised.
Awful Tebow is awful.
Whilst Kyle Orton is playing like a decent NFL Quarterback. Who knew?
I'm watching this game too. Don't know what annoys me more, the repetitive ESPN America commercials (THE BIKINI!) or watching Tebow pretend to be a QB. Sure, it's still close and all, but please.
Is anyone going to take the AFC West?
If both lose, Broncos are in.
If there was any doubt before...the "effort" today by Tampa Bay ensures
Raheem Morris' exit.
I don't like that unnecessary roughness call in the BAL-CIN game. Ravens WR Ed Dickson caught the ball running across the middle of the field, and was immediately hit hard and slammed to the ground. He held onto the ball, and the Ravens got another 15 yards from the flag. There was no leading with the helmet, no contact to Dickson's head or neck, and no launching into the hit.
So, does Matt Flynn's performance (Packers single-game records for yards passing and touchdown passes) weaken the case for Rodgers as MVP? Doesn't it suggest that he's merely a product of the system?
(No, I don't really believe that, but after all of the "look what Cassel did when Brady got hurt" talk, it seems obligatory to mention it...)
I was considering posting the same question.
I'm interested to see whether anybody actually makes the argument that it does weaken Rodgers' case, or whether we end up with another of those bizarre situations where a whole bunch of journalists argue against a position that nobody's taking in the first place.
It shows that Rodgers isn't the sole reason for the Packer passing success. He isn't even necessary.
So it puts to rest the idea that he carried the team, doesn't it? He still had a great season. As did Brees. Take your pick.
I pick the guy with the most wins and TDs, fewest INTs, and highest QB Rating.
Unfortunately, that guy does not exist...
Keep in mind that Flynn had 2 turnovers, which is more than Rodgers had in any game this season. As great as Flynn played today, he made more mistakes than Rodgers probably does. Having watched the game I can tell you that Flynn also benefited from Finley not dropping passes (he's dropped a bunch of Rodgers' passes this season) and Grant having a career long 80 yard reception on a screen pass.
Flynn is a very good backup, and GB has some great depth at the skill positions. But these shouldn't detract from Rodgers season, unless you think Brady and Manning should have some MVPs removed retroactively for playing with the likes of Moss, Welker, Harrison, Wayne, Clark, etc., etc. The idea that any QB can really carry a team is a myth, and all MVP QBs had strong supporting casts.
with all due respect I am thinking you are missing the obvious point. Flynn played one game last year-- on the road against the #1 seed in the AFC, and it came down to the last play. Packers never lost again. Flynn plays one game this year-- with a depleted roster-- and the Packers playing a WINTER game at Lambeau go nuts on offense.
The Saints will challenge for a while, but I truly believe now the Packers will not have a close game in these playoffs. At least 2 TD margin vs. Atlanta or NFC East winner; 41-31 or in that neighborhood vs Saints; and very likely an old style 21 pt win (45-24 or thereabouts) or better in the Super Bowl. Given the age of all the key participants, we are very likely looking at the greatest offensive team in the history of the sport in an offensive eara about to put their stamp on the league just as Lobardi's Packers did a half century ago.
I think you may have responded to the wrong post here.
Should it? Probably not. Will it? I think between this and Brees smashing Marino's record, Brees will win the MVP and win it handily.
LOL-- I'll bet my house, first born, and all my earthly possessions against that-- what a joke. Put Rodgers in a dome 8 weeks out of the year and watch Marino and Brees' record go up in flames.
truth of the matter is that Matt Flynn is already in the top 15 of Qbs in the league (remember Hasselbeck, Brunell and Warner as GB backups that would go on to star in the league?) and with a full season of experience under his belt could easily reach the top 10. Sanchez is out of a job.
What did I just read?
What the hell do Hasselbeck, Brunell, Warner and Sanchez have to do with it?
"Kurt Warner: Green Bay Back-up QB" is a bit of a stretch.
The thing that has somehow been lost in the Brees passing yards record as it pertains to the MVP race is that Rodgers has just set a season record for passer rating.
Now, the MVP voters may not pay much attention to some of the advanced stats we'd prefer, such as DVOA, DYAR, Y/A, or ANY/A, but I I'd think that breaking the passer rating record would be seen as more significant than the yardage record. Especially since Brees is only one of 3 QBs this season to pass for 5000 yards, one of which, Stafford, didn't even make the Bro Bowl (though he probably should have), while no one besides Rodgers has really threatened the passer rating mark this season.
And, while this may be some of my GB bias showing, I think some voters will be pro-rating Brees stats for the fact that he threw a LOT more than Rodgers did this season, much of it unnecessary stat padding in these last two games, throwing while far ahead in the 4th quarter. Rodgers was pulled from the game last week after throwing 5 TDs in barely over 3 quarters of work, and even if he didn't match Flynn's performance today an "average" 3 TD, 0 INT performance would have given him the passing TD title over Brees.
Manning has won MVPs despite having his numbers depressed by sitting out late games, so I don't see Rodgers losing much ground in the eyes of voters by not playing in one game.
Agreed. If you vote for Brees, you're basically saying that next time, Rodgers should play the meaningless game and pad his stats.
NFL INDIVIDUAL RECORDS SET
Passing yards, season: Drew Brees, 5,467
Seasons, 400 completions: Brees, 4, 2007-2008, 2010-2011.
300-yard passing games, season: Brees, 13.
350-yard passing games, season: Brees, 8.
Games with 30 completions, season: Brees, 9.
Consecutive games, 20 or more completions: Brees, 36.
Consecutive seasons, 350 completions: Brees, 6, 2006-2011
Games with 20 completions, season: Brees, 16.
Highest completion percentage, season: Brees, (468/657) 71.23%
Completions, season: Brees, 468.
Consecutive games, 300 or more yards passing: Brees, 7.
All-purpose yards, season: Darren Sproles, 2,696
Number of seasons throwing over 5,000 yards: Brees 2 (2008 and 2011)
NFL TEAM RECORDS SET
Touchbacks, season: 68.
Yards gained, season: 7,474.
First downs, season: 417.
First downs passing, season: 280.
Passing completions, season: 472.
Net passing yards gained, season: 5,347.
Completion percentage, season: 71.3% (482/662).
Most points scored at home: 329
Fewest fumbles in a season: 6
3rd down conversion: 56.7%
But, yeah, that passer rating record sure seems to indicate that GB is the greatest offensive team ever.
Wow. This team LOST TO TAMPA BAY!!!?!
You left out one stat: Points: GB 560, NO 547. And GB did not get to play GB.
I agree with you completely. Including the points scored by the defense makes the point that the GB offense is the GOAT much more convincing.
Even more stats padding. Number of Touchbacks? What does that have to do with offense? Brees had the most 300+ yd games and 350+ yard games. Drew would be proud.
Yards 5476 4643
YPC 8.3 9.2
TD 46 45 (in one fewer game)
INT 14 6
TPR 110.6 122.5
Along with That Passer Rating (TPR) (I'd guess the Packers also set the team record as the team's rating is 122.6), the Packers tied the NFL team record for most TD passes in a season, 51. They also had the second highest number of points ever (35 per game). Last I knew, in comparing offenses, scoring points was considered pretty important.
Not saying Brees isn't great. Just saying Rodgers and the Packers had a better offensive season.
You aren't really disputing anything I've said. You've basically found 10 different ways to say "Brees threw more than Rodgers this year". Rodgers could have accomplished most of those same things if the coaches had just had him throw more in blowout wins. However, Rodgers didn't need to throw as much as Brees to win games, in some part due to the fact that he threw less than half as many INTs.
Besides a bunch of yards, Brees also had a slightly higher completion percentage, worth about 1 more completion per game (at Rodgers typical number of attempts). Rodgers' additional full yard per attempt is more significant.
We can do this all day. Rodgers set an NFL record for number of games with 100+ passer rating.
Bottom line, as flawed a stat as passer rating is, it's a hell of a lot more meaningful than total yardage. High yardage totals mean that either a QB has to pass to compensate for turnovers or poor defense (witness Matt Flynn today, who had to throw for a bajillion yards and TDs because his D couldn't hold any lead without Woodson or Matthews playing), or is padding his stats with garbage time offense, while a slightly more efficient QB can put the game away early and take the rest of the game off. Rodgers didn't put up ridiculous yardage because he didn't need to and his coaches decided that protecting his health was more important than accumulating individual stats.
Both Rodgers and Brees were undefeated and had ridiculous stats at home, even though Brees had inflated numbers in the dome. If you think Rodgers could not match what Brees has done in a dome, go back and watch Rodgers play at Atlanta in the playoffs on the road or against Pittsburgh on a neutral field.
Big time QB's earn their money on the road - here are the splits for Rodgers and Brees:
Rodgers - 7-1 record, 2500 yards, 9.0 ypa, 21 TD, 2 INT, 117.5 rating
Brees - 5-3 record, 2850 yards, 8.0 ypa, 17 TD, 8 INT, 100.7 rating
It is not close folks, Rodgers wins more and does so much more efficiently on the road, and is at least as dominant at home in conditions not as condusive to big numbers
Correct. I have no dispute with you. Rodgers coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Oh my god. If that was Brady, Hali would've been ejected. Now that it's Tebow blatant grasping of the facemask goes uncalled in the redzone.
As long as I've followed the Broncos closely (5 years or so) i think they've been in 8 or 9 win-and-in games, and they've lost 'em all. This one feels like all the others, though this time the Chargers may HELP.
Yep, that definitely gets called on your classic pocket passer QB.
The Broncos beat the Pats in the 2005 playoffs by virtue of a number of blown calls by the refs which went against the Pats (The Pats were horrible in that game, but the Broncos were worse).
But I agree ... at least two missed facemask calls against Tebow. Hali almost ripped Tim's head off. I wonder how the zebras can miss that when nobody is allowed to touch a QB's helmet.
Really? You're going back 7 years to find a game where NE got jobbed by the refs?
To the OP: I completely agree. All you had to do to witness the ref's variation of calls based on the reputation of a QB was to watch the Buf/NE game today. Fitzgerald got hit hard right as he scrambled out of bounds, and no call. Brady gets knocked off balance with a push of the hands and the ref, I kid you not, said this in calling a personal foul: "Driving the quarterback into the ground." No way can the NFL claim to make calls based on the plays and not on the players making the plays (or being hit).
Now, NE fans don't get in an uproar. The same calls would have applied and been wrong for any of the elite (Brady, Brees, Rodgers, etc.) versus average (Fitzgerald, Tebow, Moore, Stafford) QB's. And, that is what gets Vick so mad, is that he only gets the "average QB" calls, not the "elite" QB calls.
It would help Vick's case if first he became an elite QB.
Tebow is having a really poor game here
When it matters most Tebow always seems to come up short.
No way, Tebow worked his stealth magic and willed the Chargers to victory!
Wee. Thats as bad an offensive showing imaginable.
Lets go Chargers.
EDIT: Yay Malcolm Floyd!
What FO writer wrote in the pre season that the Colts would lose, take Andrew Luck and have another 10 year playoff run?
 hmmm maybe my memory is off. All I could find is Vince Verhei talking about NE getting luck... Nevermind. Nothing to see here.
Next-to-last play in the CIN-BAL game - how is that not pass interference?
It clearly was pass interference -- the real question is how could the refs miss that?
There was a healthy stiff-arm from the Bengal before the pass interference, and that was half-way to a hail mary throw. With those factors, I think you'll usually get a no call, even though there was clearly pass interference there.
I thought the Bengals WR was grabbing the Ravens DB as much as the Ravens DB was grabbing the Bengals WR. Both were playing the ball, and both had an equal right to it. I thought it was a good no call.
+1, couldn't believe the talking heads were so mad about it. The Bengal initiated the contact, Raven pushed back harder, and no call either way. Seemed fine to me.
There is a 100% chance that Romo is injected with a hand that looks like that. I cannot believe they are even pretending he wouldn't.
Over under on Romo INTs before he gets pulled, 3?
I wonder if you can throw any half decent pass with a hand that doesn't feel anything.
If I had to choose between playing with pain or feeling nothing, I'd go with pain. (if it's the throwing hand)
didn't see anyone trying to describe the angle of kupiers(?) foot when he blew up his shin/ankle early in the bronco's game. I would say it was easily 90* off center, and the saucer-sized eyeballs in his head described exactly the situation as the trainers rang in and surrounded him. CBS never cut back to that replay, but you know they have the footage. yuk.
Great block by the WR on that Cruz TD.
It was Nicks. Manningham also just made a great block on the preceding third down play to the hurdling tight end Pascoe. Pascoe got all the credit, when he only deserved about 70%. Similar on the Cruz TD. Great play by Cruz and they don't even mention the block that sprang him. They did mention some WR blocking later in the game, but it's been terrific by the Giants all day.
Raiders gell short this season. Going to win it sll next yeat. Seeds planted 2011. Will bloom 2012. Broncos goijg to get destroyed by syeelers.
I certainly agree about the Broncos-Steelers.
And the Raiders did get both records they were going for!
I certainly don't disagree that Denver will get destroyed by the Steelers next week; I can't fathom how Tebow gets any yards passing, and won't be surprised it he's knocked out of the game by Harrison or someone. They may well be the worst team in the history of the playoffs, and that whole first round next week looks like one terrible game after another ( ATL/NY could be okay ).
However, the fact that Oakland, at home, couldn't even beat a team that was manhandled by Detroit last week when it was still playoff relevant indicates that they are really a crappy team, too. It's pretty clear that, for all of their foibles, San Diego was the best team in the West this season. Admittedly, that's like being the prettiest hog in the pen, but I think they'd have given Pittsburgh much more of a game next week than either Denver or Oakland would have.
I'm a lifelong Broncos fan, and this game today was a disgrace. I'll be fascinated to see what the local hacks who cream their jeans over Tebow ( Woody Paige isn't just some clown ESPN found on the streets; he still gets paid for this crap in Denver, believe it or not )will say, and how they'll defend him. I like Tebow, despise the Tebow Derangement Syndrome on both sides of the aisle, but it's games like today when I wonder how Elway & Fox can sleep at night knowing they have to do this all again next year. I guess a 4-12 season, without all the luck the Broncos had this year during their long winning streak, may make it easier to cut the ties, but the loons will still froth at the mouth because Tebow says grace before every meal. What a mess this team is going to be.
I give the Broncos a chance next week, because Pittsburgh is really banged up right now. Ben's ankle might be a bit better by Sunday, but he'll still be nowhere near 100% fit. And the O-line is a wreck.
Pittsburgh could really have used the first round bye to rest up. They still ought to win in Denver, but then in Baltimore....not so sure.
Oh, there's always a chance, I suppose, and I think that defensively the Broncos can probably keep Pittsburgh within range, but offensively, aside from some McGahee runs, I don't see anything that the Broncos can do that will be in any way productive. Tebow has looked completely lost the last couple of weeks as a passer ( not that he was ever particularly good, but could occasionally be competent ) as I think his much-vaunted confidence is completely shot. The passing targets aren't the best anyway, as Decker has totally vanished as a threat ( just running fly patterns ), the tight ends are mediocre, and Thomas only occasionally gets open. I would predict something like 23-3 Steelers, in a game that will never even be that close. I can't say enough how much this Chiefs game today has soured me on this whole thing; I don't miss Orton, but there has to be accountability for how awful this offense is. I'm just tired of the local heads making excuses for Tebow. Sure, he's a nice guy. There's a lot of nice guys on the Broncos. It'd be really nice if one of them could complete an actual pass.
I'm not trying to defend Tebow - he was undeniably awful yesterday - but I would be interested to see this Broncos offence with a genuinely explosive RB rather than old Willis McGahee and replacement player Lance Ball. It was obvious yesterday that the Chiefs were completely keying in on preventing Tebow designed runs/scrambling and were leaving holes there for the running backs. Whilst McGahee was able to pick up some consistent gains, I was left with the impression that a running back with more shiftiness, or more ability to break tackles would have ripped off a couple of long ones.
Denver at home with their excellent defense playing a very beat-up Steelers team has a decent shot. I think Pittsburgh is better and should be favored and win, but Denver has a realistic chance.
I will go so far as to say I favor Denver over Pittsburgh. The Denver defense is capable of playing very well, Big Ben is playing terribly due to his injury, and Mendenhall is out for the year injured. For all his many, many flaws, Tebow is really good at avoiding interceptions, while an injured Big Ben...isn't.
I can easily see a 10-7 game with the Broncos generating three turnovers, one of them deep in Pittsburgh territory, and just winning when neither team can generate any offense.
Problem with the QB sneak call there was that Dallas needed more than just a few inches - it was more like 1.5 yards.
Ny 21, dallas 14. Dallaas voming back. This exciting
I stopped watching. As soon as I turned it on again, the Giants scored 10 points and closed the deal.
(This is true, even if it sounds totally narcissistic. And I'm a Packers fan living in Giants country ... not a bad place to be. Watched the first half with my Giants fan friends; had a blast.)
I can't decide if I think the Giants will be a threat in the playoffs or not. I can certainly see them beating Atlanta. Then, it's likely on to Green Bay. That, to me, is an interesting matchup, because NY could get a real pass rush on Rodgers. I would still favor the Pack ( and hope they win, as I always enjoy watching them play, and am a big Rodgers fan ), but that's no gimme.
On the other hand, I could see NY losing next week to the Falcons. I don't buy Atlanta at all, but it only takes a few plays going their way to get the win. Then, I see GB beating them about as badly as they did last season.
NFC playoffs should be a lot of fun. AFC should stink on ice, unless you're a New England fan.
I'll only enjoy the NFC playoffs after we find out how much of a beatdown New Orleans lays on my Lions this time around. I sincerely hope that's the first game shown, for my own peace of mind.
If Detroit somehow wins...
The NFC playoffs look great. Particularly (I'm sorry to say) the prospect of New Orleans going to San Francisco, then probably Green Bay. As a neutral, all that could have made it better would maybe have been Philly sneaking in because they are the type of team that might have got really hot. But there are no lame ducks in there.
The AFC on the other hand is a really tough sell. There are three average, or below average teams in there (Houston through no fault of their own) along with three perennial powerhouses, one of whom will reach the Super Bowl in spite of having a less than vintage squad this time.
I also just read that Mendenhall may have torn his ACL today. I can't see anybody in the AFC beating the Pats; I'm not buying into Baltimore at all, because I don't think Flacco can keep up with Brady.
New England-New Orleans Super Bowl? That could be fun. ( I certainly think that the Pack could go, too, but I just have a hunch about the Saints. )
Ravens-Patriots would be close, still, I think. If Boldin is healthy, Flacco can impersonate a great QB sometimes. xD Ravens pass rush could really screw up Brady, and they're one of the few teams in the league that might have the personnel to cover Gronkowski.
I think it's a pats win, but it's a close game - don't forget that the Pats' defense makes some pretty crappy offense look good.
Fungible. Pittsburgh and Baltimore would both have a good shot against the Patriots were they to meet in the playoffs. Might not be favorites, but we're not talking about AGS territory here.
Playoff team records against playoff teams:
Cincinnati beat all the non-playoff teams and lost to all the playoff teams on their schedule. Four of these were BAL and PIT. Four of BAL's six wins were PIT and CIN (2 each). The only playoff team NE beat all year was DEN. The Pats lost to the Giants (the only playoff team the Giants beat) and Pittsburgh (the only playoff team PIT beat except for CIN). SF beat no division winners; they couldn't have ... they didn't PLAY any division winners.
SF played and lost to division winner Baltimore. GB beat every playoff team in the NFC except SF (who they didn't play).
Um, SF beat the Giants and lost to the Ravens. And I count SF as 4-1 (Giants, Steelers, Bengals, Lions vs. Ravens) vs. playoff teams.
Every team plays at least two division winners each year, outside of their own division.
You're right about SF ... 4-1, split with two division winners. It's was very late when I wrote that, and I did it too fast.
Thank you, Matt Stafford -- the Packers managed to just edge out New England and finish #32 in total yards given up and also in passing yards given up.
I'd love to see NE and GB meet up in the SB, if only to stick it in the face of the "you have to have a good defense and run the ball to win championships" mediots.
When exactly did Patriots fans become Colts fans circa 2005? Teams have won championships following a myriad of blueprints, but I'd thiink the last five years would've convinced Patriots fans almost more than any other team that, while they might be able to string together a couple of shootouts, there are easier, softer ways to postseason success. Haven't the Patriots lost to better defensive teams almost every year since 2004? And weren't they heavy favorites almost every time? Since the AFC is lousy, I think they've got a good chance to get to the Super Bowl, and, should they get there, they'll have a puncher's chance, but they're trying to do it the hard way, without question.
I don't know that it's that much easier to get yor hands on the only thing it really takes; a HoF QB (Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning) or to assemble a top-10 offense AND a top-10 defense and then make a push. So I don't think you can call the Pats/GB way the harder way.
Part of the problem is that defense is so inconsistent - for all teams not Ravens or Steelers it seems. Last ear the GB defense was pretty good. Pair the 2010 GB defense with the 2011 GB offense and you have one of the best teams in history. Those two units just missed eachother by one year.
This. The "defense wins championships" nonsense has to stop if NE or GB wins it all.
I think our resident Packer-faithful have already queued up the retort to that. It has to do with the GB defense actually being awesome, but constantly sacrificing yardage and even points in an effort to intercept passes. Their defense can do that though because the offense will always outscore the opponent (except when it doesn't).
If you're a baseball fan then you already know this choice of action as the "Jack Morris pitched to the score!!!!" fallacy.
I'm a resident Packer faithful. If the Packers win the Super Bowl, it will be despite the defense, not because of it. Their best defense is Aaron Rodgers and Company putting up 45 points.
Regarding the "need to run" bit, one of the funniest parts of the GB/DET game yesterday was listening to Billick (who I like pretty well) talked about what teams would be able to run the ball effectively in Lambeau in January.
And I was like, are you watching this game with passing records being set, in Lambeau, in January? Sure, it will get colder, and maybe a bit windier (it was fairly breezy yesterday), but even in the 2007 season's NFC Championship GB's main problem was not being able to defend Plaxico Burress, not anything to do with the run game.
Running is critical in rain, mud, and high winds. The modern passing game has largely transcended cold and snow.
Would have pixked houstob vs no SB if m. Schaub ztill playomg. Now going with sInts vs ravens SB. Kind of wishing for 49ers va ravens SB becausee like nfl bettter when defensd mrant sonething.
I remarked to my friends during the games yesterday that Albert Haynesworth had as much impact on the shape of the AFC playoff picture as any individual player.
More information about formatting options
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // site design by B:COMPLEX Creative :: site architecture by Grossmont Designs // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties