Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Jan 2006

2006 Divisional Round Rundown

Whoo-hoo! Mike Tanier signs up for the nasty Patriot fans e-mail list by predicting "Broncos vs. Colts III: Revenge of the Deep Fried Secondary." Mike also picks one road upset: Carolina.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 11 Jan 2006

52 comments, Last at 13 Jan 2006, 12:10pm by MCS

Comments

1
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:13pm

Not unreasonable picks. Link to Dr. Z prediction.

2
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:16pm

Well, I do think that Bears/Panthers has a decent chance of turning on which way an oblong ball erratically bounces, and I wouldn't be shocked if the Panthers won, but I am always curious when someone says that one set of athletes (Carolina offensive line), which was thoroughly physically dominated by another set of athletes (Chicago defensive front), will reverse that dynamic in the next contest, because they are playing better. Yes, they played well against a bad rushing defense (Atlanta), and against an NFL Europe-caliber linebacking corps (Giants), but that isn't who they are playing this week. They are playing guys who about eight weeks ago unmercifully kicked their fannies up and down the field for three hours.

Why would one suppose that the dynamic has changed greatly? Yes, it's certainly possible, but how likely is it? Also, Carolina did a poor job of pass protection against the Giants, a situation in which the linebackers did not come into play, which indicates to me that Carolina's entire offensive performance from last week is greatly overrated.

If Grossman avoids throws like Eli's Excellent Across the Field Adventure, which I think he is capable of, if the Bears don't allow the Panthers to run the ball as they did last week, and thus dominate the time of possession, then the Bears win along the lines of 12-6 or 13-10.

Of course, this may mean it all comes down to which field goal kicker screws up the least, which is a whole 'nother topic.

As to Pats/Broncos, taking any measure of a Pats defense without Seymour or Bruschi is almost like doing so with the Pittsburgh offense when Roethlisberger is off the field. It just isn't the same team, which renders the previous contest of limited value in terms of predicting the next contest. That said, I'd go with the Broncos home-field advantage here.

3
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:30pm

Awww...poor Mike. He's poking the Pats fans with a stick!

Just once I'd like to have the Bears be a team where the position I don't have to worry about is the QB position. Really, hasn't it been this way for the last 20 years? When the best QB you've had is Jim McMahon, something is terribly wrong.

4
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:32pm

DVOA says the Panthers have the best chance of any road team of winning, but I don't see it. On the other hand, I've learned that it's unwise to pick aginst the Panthers in the playoffs. However, I think the Redskins will prevail, and the other three road teams will go home.

5
by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:34pm

My office mate just said the Pats would win by at least 10. Should I take that bet?

6
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:37pm

Dr Z tries to remmeber the last time when all four divisonal games wer rematches. I wonder if he remembers last year.

7
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:38pm

Here's a Pet Peeve of mine:

The Broncos played their typical game against the Patriots in Week 6, earning a 28-20 win that wasn't that close.

Well, that's just wrong. It would be correct to say the Broncos seriously outplayed the Patriots. It would be correct to say that the Broncos were in control of the came for 2 1/2 quarters. It would be correct to say that it was a 28-20 game that shouldn't have been that close. But the game actually was that close.

It's not like the Pats scored a meaningless touchdown on the last play to cut a 17 point deficit to 10. The Pats got down early, and came back. If not for an egregious dropped pass on the part of Givens, New England is lining up for the tying 2-point conversion with less than three minutes left.

You could argue that the final score isn't indicative of the way the teams' played. You cannot argue that the game from a won-loss perspective wasn't every bit as close as the final score indicated. The game came down to Denver needing a defensive stop deep in their own territory, and then getting two first downs on their final drive to run the clock out. In my book, that's sweating out a win.

8
by zip (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:39pm

"Of course, my sudden transformation into a Patriots fan comes with a steep price. For one thing, my IQ just went down by roughly 75 points."

BURRRRRN!

9
by Carlos (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:43pm

Okay, this OT, but I saw Daryl "I played with a bunch of future HOF'ers and now I'm famous, too" Johnston's piece linked at the bottom.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5234124

I laughed almost as hard at his analysis as I did at Gallo's Page 2 piece yesterday.

Some selections:

"Team with the best home field advantage this weekend... #1 Colts... #2 Bears, #3 'Hawks, #4 BRONCOS."

"Most Balanced Team on Offense... [quoting Moose] The big thing to me is to define a "balanced attack" — and not necessarily solely by statistics. If one facet of their offense is shut down, can teams win it the other way?... #1 Steelers, #2 Broncos, #3 COLTS"

"Most Balanced Defense... #7 REDSKINS"

"Best Coaching Staffs (Staffs I wouldn't want to have to scheme against to win a playoff game)... #1 Pats, #2 Steelers, # Broncos, #4 Colts, #5 REDSKINS." Moose, let me introduce you to my little friend called JOE GIBBS, 17-5 lifetime in the playoffs, often times with less dominant teams than is remembered today. Too bad Joe isn't as good in the playoffs as the immortal Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy.

10
by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 6:46pm

I hope the Bears are reading every article that in some way or other ranks them below Carolina and it's pissing them off. I don't think the Bears are an all-time team, but some of these reasons I don't get.First, the lack of cold temperatures. So what? They gave up 61 points at home (best by a large margin, btw) and it wasn't freezing for all of them. Exclude the 24 points against Cincy and they averaged 5.3 points allowed at home!!! If you think Carolina is as explosive offensively as Cincy or that the DBs are likely to make the costly foolish mistakes they made back in the early weeks, I have to disagree strongly. Anything's possible, but I don't see it. Carolina's putting up 10-14 points max and probably fewer, barring turnovers, which I also don't see as likely.Second, common opinion is Grossman's the greenest QB and from a pure games-played perspective, he is. But, he's spent three years in the league. He knows the playbook. He knows defenses. He knows the speed. How many guys are thrown in too early and it hurts them more than helps? Orton anyone? He regressed, not improved, throughout the year. Palmer spent his entire rookie year just soaking in his offense and the NFL and when he finally stepped to the plate, he was prepared to succeed. Grossman's had three years to do that, plus played some games. I'm not saying he's Palmer. I'm not saying the playoffs are a great place to jump in. I'm just saying he's not Eli. Simms played ok. Roethlisberger as a rookie played adequately. Rex'll handle the offense just fine, making the right decisions and throwing accurately.The Bears have home field advantage, practically three weeks of rest and arguably an all-time defense at full health. Somehow, though, Rex and the lack of bad weather are enough to overcome all that? I don't think so. Foster's going nowhere and Smith will be limited again to a handful or more innocuous completions. Even if the Bears offense sputters, which I doubt, it'll still put up more than Carolina's single-digit output. Carolina didn't really rout New York until Eli started making stupid throws. It was only 10-0 in the third at that point. The Bears aren't likely to be in that position and even if they are, I doubt Rex will be as weakminded and desperate with his decisions as Eli was.I'm not saying the Bears are guaranteed a win, anything can happen, but the lopsidedness of coverage is ridiculous.

11
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:08pm

#9: My favorite part is that he uses the Chicago game against Minnesota where Grossman didn't play as an example of how QB troubles have hurt the Bears this season.

What?

12
by paytonrules (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:14pm

I was waiting for somebody to notice that article #9. I like that he even adds:But remove the 149 rushing yards allowed to Minnesota in a meaningless season finale (at least on defense), and the Bears' per-game average drops to 99.2.

He clearly has no idea Orton started week 16 and that the offensive scrubs were playing - yet uses it for analysis. No wonder he doesn't correct Dick "Scott Brunell drops back for the Redskins" Stockton - he doesn't know either!

13
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:24pm

The Kravitz "root for the Pats" article was quite good, and I am glad someone besides us long-suffering Colts partisans noticed it, but remember, he's writing for the folks of Indy, not the whole country, so the IQ line--while excellent--was not meant to be particularly inflammatory. I think.

If you follow Kravitz, he's usually pretty much Mr. Poison-pen-skeptic regarding the Colts... This year has been quite different right from the get-go. Maybe he's defense-lover. Anyway, he's not the only one to find many (by no means all) NE fans insufferable the past few years. (it's not like he had a headline of "patriots inadequate"! Which reminds me to call my wife and apologize for not being Tom Brady...)

Having lived in and around NYC for 30 years, I'd have to say the same thing about Met/Giant fans circa 1986, and Yankee fans from 1996-2001(disclosure: I had Yankee season tix in 1994 and 1995). The more a team wins, the more loudmouthed lunkheads jump on the wagon. I assume this distresses the hard core local fans as much as people from other burgs.... That's all Kravitz was referring to.

Great Winston Wolf reference. Never can have too many Pulp Fiction reminders. I think I saw Holmgren "on brain detail" over the summer and it looks like it worked wonders. The Space Needle (for those who don't know, Seattle's phallic landmark) has a giant "12" flag atop it today--I can see it from my office right now. Gotta be 50 feet across. I asked coworkers why? "12th man, dude." Oh, then why not 37? Or even better, Walter Jones's or Steve Hutchinson's numbers?

Regarding Moose Johnston's piece, I really liked his categories, but did find some of his rankings questionable. Sure, they're purely subjective, but.... I doubt he's getting paid for insane babbling, is he? Oh wait, that was a Fox site, no? (No offense to FO intended, just the rest of the Fox empire).

14
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:27pm

The reason the space needle has a giant #12 is because they're genuflecting to Tom Brady.

15
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:30pm

Re 6: I'd take that bet, if I were you.
re 8,13: I take no offense at Kravitz's article, as I'm too distracted by the bright, shiny things that are three superbowl rings to bother reading it.

16
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:35pm

Oooh, just read the Doctor Z column linked above... "Pats looked so ripe for an upset"...? Is Mike Vanderjagt now ghost-writing the column for him? Doesn't he watch the Pats very often? That IS their MO, right? Pats fans back me up on this.... I vaguely recall the root-canalesque Colt playoff game last year which was 6-3 at halftime, no? Colt fan that I am, I thought, hey, it shouldn't be this close, but it is and now we have a chance. Man, was I wrong then, and so is Dr. Z, at least about the Jax game. Pats were NOT ripe for the upset, and even if they lose this weekend, it won't be because they are ripe for the upset. A heavily favored team that had a lot of luck in getting their seed, THEY'RE ripe for the upset.

"Career reject Arturo Freeman" Ole Z. still has a way with the language, tho....

17
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:38pm

Kal,
How stupid of me (and my coworkers)! I'm running off to confession right now to purify my soul for such idiocy.

18
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:41pm

It's really funny to see in light of that column.

Another way to put it is that Seattle's giant phallus is apologizing for not being Tom Brady, but that seemed crude.

19
by Digit (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:53pm

Doesn’t he watch the Pats very often? That IS their MO, right? Pats fans back me up on this…. I vaguely recall the root-canalesque Colt playoff game last year which was 6-3 at halftime, no? Colt fan that I am, I thought, hey, it shouldn’t be this close, but it is and now we have a chance.

I'll back you up on this- the Patriots tend to play one way in the first half, and then a totally different way in the second half (because they actually make near-wholesale adjustments during halftime). Most teams make adjustments, but for some reason, the Colts in the prior playoffs and the Jaguars this year didn't.

I expect the Patriots vs Denver will be different because Shanahan will actually make quite a bit more adjustments- it'll look more like a "AHA!" followed by a "NUH-UH!" as each coach shuts down option after option. The key points, I think, will be how the QBs adjust, as well as *knocks on wood* injuries.

20
by stan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:17pm

19 - Digi,

I agree that the Pats made smart adjustments at the half of the Colts-Pats last year. They tried to move with the pass in the first half and failed. In the 2d half, they just ran the ball right down the Colts' throats. The Colts couldn't run at all and could only throw underneath -- in either half. Not sure what you think they should have changed at the half; other than sign a new offensive line.

21
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:22pm

AARGH! - am I the only one offended by the fact that post no. 12 (genuflect) did not offer praise or respect to the Big Dreamy, and even signed his post "paytonrules"? The Horror!

22
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:31pm

Well, since he spelled it "paytonrules", I imagine he's talking about Sweetness rather than Playoff Sourface Man.

:)

23
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:33pm

I figure that Tom Brady (genuflect) will schedule a press conference about it in a few minutes. I'll see if it's on NFL network.

24
by HLF (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:42pm

I agree with Will and Jason above -- for the life of me I can't find any plausible reasons to believe Carolina has any more than the "any given Sunday" chance this week in Chicago. I think, if one were a gambling sort, that the Seachickens and the Bears are both worthy of whatever passes for a large bet ATS this week. No one is ever (EVER) a sure thing, but these two bets seem to me to be as close as the NFL offers.

Also, inexperienced playoff QBs struggle and lose unless they don't struggle and / or win. Duh. Joe Montana had a first playoff start, as did Brady (genuflecting and apologizing), Delhomme, and many others. I don't recall Grossman stinking up any playoff games yet. And this is the same article that picks Jake "Big Mistake" Plummer to win this week over far better competition, presumably because of an outstanding surrounding cast, while disparaging Grossman for inexperience. Don't get me wrong, if I had to bet on the Den/NE game (I won't), I'd bet Denver, but I'd be far less surprised to see the Pats (no disrespect intended) win than the team with the Les-tastic cheerleaders.

I work right across the street from the Needle. They regularly have something on top of it. This #12 flag is pretty harmless and inoffensive as such things go.

One other aside for the non-Seattlites here -- they just got the Liquor Board here to shut down that nightclub where Hamlin got beaten earlier this season.

Hopeless Lions Fan,
Seattle

25
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:45pm

I thought it was Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe. Nice Pulp Fiction reference, though.

26
by CB (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:01pm

The Holmgren love-fest might want to keep the drinks on ice until he does something more note-worthy than finally beating the Rams. The Hawks played a softer schedule than Notre Dame. The only real improvement they made this year was beating the Rams and scheduling Houston. Oh yeah, they beat the scary third string of the Colts. I suppose going undefeated in your division is something… but wait, the Redskins went undefeated in the HeHawk’s division as well.

Covering 9 against a team that has lost only once by that margin this year, and has won its last 6 is as unlikely as Holmgren getting a ring without Favre in his prime. Neither of those things is going to happen this year.

27
by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:02pm

The thing about the NFL playoff that makes them generally uninteresting is the first two rounds are so useless. ~80 % of wild card teams die a horrible death in the division round. Making you wonder why you watch wild card weekend in the first place.

28
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:16pm

The Seahawks retired the number 12 in honor of the "12th Man," so I suppose it's reasonable to put it on the Space Needle.

I'm not sure I'd give Kravitz a free pass on the IQ comment. Columnists are regularly quoted in other papers these days, especially online. Besides, there are those who might suggest that it wouldn't be possible for his IQ to drop 75 points ...

So which one in Seattle is the righteous man, and which one is the shepherd?

29
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:23pm

Shaun Alexander is the righteous man, and Walter Jones is the shepherd.

30
by Matt Rauseo (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:36pm

Well come late saturday night, the FO will have to eat some crow.

No chance the Pats lose to the Broncos.

Twice now this week they are on record as saying they won't win.

Thankfully they play the games on the field and not in the spreadsheets.

31
by Ryan H (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:09pm

Re: 30

see: 8

32
by jason (not verified) :: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:55pm

I personally am rooting for an NFC Championship Matchup of Redskins-Bears. Why? To have the first real shot at a final score of 4-2 with an over/under of 10.

33
by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 12:22am

You guys are kidding right?
When is the last time a team scored 260 points and won a playoff game?

34
by Emily Litella (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 12:32am

I think the record for points in a game is 222, and that was Georgia Tech vs. Cumberland, not an NFL playoff game.

Oh. You meant in a season. Never mind.

35
by Digit (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 12:57am

re: 20

The one thing that puzzled me _all_ game that time was that not _once_ did Peyton Manning try and throw the ball deep to force the team to loosen up.

I don't know what he saw down the field, but not making ANY long bomb attempts at all made me shake my head--- wouldn't it have loosened up the mid-range passes a bit if the safety had to cheat more towards the middle?

The pass-rush balance was also a bit out of whack- it seemed like when the chips were down, Peyton started throwing a LOT, instead of running James often, even when the score was still close. Instead of chewing up the clock himself with James to give his defense, which had played _very_ well, time to rest, he started trying to force the ball, ended up doing a bunch of three-and-outs, and then the defense just wore out because they had to keep going back on the field and getting pounded on by Clock-Killin' Corey Dillon...

36
by HLF (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 2:49am

There are some coaches (Carr, I'm GLARING at you) that won't throw downfield regardless of the talent on the field on their behalf until the situation is dire and the defense is expecting it. In addition, they refuse to use the deep pass to open up the running game (CARR, front and CENTER!).

37
by Slippery Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 3:27am

And Tony Dungy is not that coach. (Think Dave Wannstedt)

38
by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 5:06am

Historically, at least one road dog will win.

Hawks and Colts look safe to me, leaving the question - Which is more likely:

1. DeShaun Foster comes through against the best defense in the league; or

2. Jake Plummer tanks in a pressure game against a well schemed, if second-string, secondary.

39
by lionel (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 5:24am

I'm also leaning toward the Panthers to pull off an upset against the Bears.

I figure that by the end of the first half, one of the Carolina players will have put a hard enough hit on Grossman to shatter him into gory chunks like in Mutant League Football.

From there on out it'll be all Ortonball and the Panthers will come out ahead in a tense defensive battle. Final score should be something like 4-3.

And on the AFC side, there's a nice Tecmo Super Bowl styled forecast of the Steelers/Colts matchup here:

http://exburgher.com/stories/January06/TecmoColtsPlayoff1.html

40
by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 8:09am

What amuses me most about #30 is that he was wrong - FO predicted the Pats to win against Jacksonville. But hey, that strawman won't build itself.

41
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 9:33am

Digit (#35 )--
The one thing that puzzled me _all_ game that time was that not _once_ did Peyton Manning try and throw the ball deep to force the team to loosen up.
My understanding of the Patriots' game plan in last season's divisional game against the Colts, was that they showed Cover 2 but played Cover 4, to defend against the deep pass.

In a post-game interview, someone asked Peyton Manning why they didn't throw deep, and he said (relying on my memory of what Ron Jaworski said afterward), "It was never there." It didn't help that the Patriots showed blitzes that they often didn't bring, which made the Colts think that they had less time that they did, for deep routes to open up.

So the Colts ran or threw underneath all day, because that was what they saw as avalable. Add in a few critical drops by Pollard and Clark early, while the game was still close, and the Colts' offense realy started to look anemic.

The rest of the story was that the Patriots' defense had a very good tackling game, so the Colts' runners and receivers got very little YAC (and lost the ball if they tried too hard).

42
by Pat on the Back (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 10:35am

So if that guy's IQ dropped 75 points, and he was already a sports writer, does that mean he would get a negative score?

43
by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 11:01am

Since 1990 no team has scored 260 points or less and won a playoff game.
13 teams have scored fewer tham 300 points and made the playoffs.
5 of them have won a game.
The only team to win a game in the second round was the 99 Bucs, barely beating the Redskins 14-13.
60 second round games, one of them was won by a team that scored fewer then 300 points. Yeah, go Bears!

44
by MRH (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 11:22am

Re #33: the last time the Redskins made the playoffs. Wjhich was also the last time such a woeful offense made the playoffs - because it was the last time such an offense was paired with an excellent defense. The '99 Bucs are a pretty reasonably approximation of the '05 Bears and they won 14-13 in the divisional round before losing 11-5 to the eventual champs, the Rams.

'99 Bucs 270 PF - 235 PA
'05 Bears 260 PF - 202 PA

If you prefer FO stats:
'99 Bucs 15th in DVOA, 5.1%
'05 Bears 12th in DVOA, 7.0%

'99 Bucs 26th in offense DVOA, -21.4%
'05 Bears 29th in offense DVOA, -18.0%

'99 Bucs 3rd in defense DVOA, -22.8%
'05 Bears 1st in defense DVOA, -24.6%

'99 Bucs 5th in ST DVOA, 3.6%
'05 Bears 18th in DVOA, 0.4%

45
by Ima Pseudonym (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 11:49am

Re 42: The negative score sounds about right - when he is in the room, everyone else actually becomes less intelligent.

Re 40: Matt Rauseo may have been in the room with Kravitz for too long, but he was talking about FO eating crow about their predictions for this weekend, not the Jags game. (Though anyone who claims that there is no chance the Pats will lose doesn't really deserve to be defended - that is just idiotic).

46
by Jon M (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 11:58am

Re: 38
As a faithful Pats, uh, cultmember I think the great mental stumbling block for us (and others) on the Road to Respecting Denver is really all about Plummer; it just feels like he would need thirty, not just three, quality seasons to absolve himself of the crimes against DVOA he committed in AZ. Kudos to Shanahan for realizing that a guy who was nowhere near as good as Shane Mathews in 2002 (according to FO) could be much better than he showed, and then figuring out how to use him.

47
by MRH (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 12:32pm

Re #43 - you got this up before I finished posting #44. The problem is that you're only looking at one side of the ball. If I run similar numbers to your for defenses, using 250 PA (48 more than the Bears gave up, you used 300 PF, 40 more than the Bears scored), it looks to me like the Bears are very likely to win.

1990-2004: I count 45 teams who allowed 250 pts or less (this was a manual count I may have missed one or two). I'll call these "Strong Defenses".

Six of those teams failed to make the playoffs, all in '90-'93 when 22 teams had Strong Defenses (almost half of the sample in those 4 years).

Of the remaining 39, 29 won at least one game. 29 to 10 looks pretty good for the Bears if we're just considering their defense. In fact it's even better than that, since 4 of those 10 losses came at the hands of other Strong Defenses, although since the Panthers gave up only 259 you could include those 4 if you like ('92 NO; '94 CLE - who coached that team - '00 TEN; '01 CHI).

The six losers: '92 MIN; '92 PIT; '93 HOU (lost to Montana and KC); '95 and '97 KC; '99 BUF (Music City Miracle). Note: Marty Schottenheimer was involved in 3 of the 6 games.

Of the 29 teams that won at least one game:

- 7 lost in the divisional round after winning in the wild card games (3 to other strong defenses)
- 10 lost in the conference championships (4 to Strong Defenses)
- 2 lost in the Super Bowl (both to Strong Defenses)
- 10 won the Super Bowl

I don't think the Bears are getting to the Super Bowl but I also don't think it's so unlikely that they win this weekend.

48
by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 1:33pm

I'm genuflecting four times in honor of the fact that 48 is 12 times four.

Nice rundown, as always.

49
by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 3:21pm

re #29

Would that make Joe Gibbs the tyranny of evil men?

50
by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 4:25pm

re 38, home teams are 16-4 since 2000 in the divisional round, so history suggests you're wrong. :-)

51
by Björn (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 9:58pm

The Patriots had some success, offensively, in their 28-20 loss in Denver in October, but when the ball turned around, it was a track meet. Jake Plummer to Rod Smith for 72 yards, Plummer to Ashley Lelie for 55, Tatum Bell off tackle for 68 yards. It was Farmer Brown trying to chase the thieves who had run off with his chickens. Hey, come back here and fight like men!" -Dr. Z

This is the only, ONLY, mention of the Denver Broncos in Z's NE vs. Den preview. Even this paragraph is about New England! Aside from this, Z doesn't mention any Bronco players, coaches, strategies, stadiums, or anything! Am I just retarded for thinking that a game preview should at least take a cursory glance at BOTH teams? Not that I expected much from that trashheap anyways...

52
by MCS (not verified) :: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 12:10pm

Side Question.

How do I find Football Outsiders content on foxsports.com? If I go directly to the foxsports.com site and search for FO, I can never find anything. Is there a clear link to use on their site?