Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Dec 2006

Week 16 Rundown: Xmas in Dallas

This week, Mike Tanier introduces Hermey the Football Outsiders Playoff Scenario Elf, looks for swagger in Seattle, smells onions in Detroit, pays respect to Run-Run, and decks the halls with boughs of holly (15-yard penalty for excessive celebration).

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 21 Dec 2006

24 comments, Last at 22 Dec 2006, 9:13pm by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 12:28pm

Orange you glad I didn't say "banana"?

Gee, Mike, I haven't heard that in years. In fact, I don't think my kids have ever heard it, which means over thirty years. After the next
two weekends, they will probably hate you.

2
by PackMan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 12:40pm

Just as a side note, the Packers are not that much of a long shot to make the playoffs. If Philly can get one wild card by splitting thier next 2 games, we have a good shot. Only NYG, STL, and SEA would have the tiebreaker over us at 8-8, but it is likely that SEA wins the division, taking them out of contention, and I don't see STL winning thier next 2. If we can beat a rookie QB tonight, and a bears team with nothing to play for, we have a shot. I don't think it will happen, and I would actually rather see a team that can do somehting in the playoffs make it, but we do have a shot.

3
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 12:57pm

The next lyric of the "Misfit Song" is very appropriate for Mora, Jr., right now:

"I am not such a nit-wit.
Everyone just makes fun of me.
Why don't I fit in?"

And, with a 7-year-old and 5-year-old in the house, thanks for getting Hermie's name right. Dentistry didn't work out, or is he just getting inside info from players as he works on their grills?

4
by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 1:03pm

The NFC should turn over its two wildcard allotments to the AFC. It's a disgrace that -- with two weekd left in the season -- a 6-8 team has a chance to get into the playoffs.

5
by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 1:08pm

It’s a disgrace that...a 6-8 team has a chance to get into the playoffs.

That's not so much the problem, after all the AFC has four 7-7 teams that are competing. The issue is that the NFC teams are bad, have been bad most of the year and are now playing badly.

Of the four 7-7 teams in the AFC, three are playing well right now.

6
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 1:39pm

The issue is that the NFC teams are bad, have been bad most of the year and are now playing badly.

That's not true. The two NFC teams most in playoff contention are Philly and New York. New York is playing poorly compared to how they could be playing, but they're not playing "poorly" overall. Ditto with Philly.

And New York and Philly definitely haven't been bad most of the year. Hard to argue that considering Philly's had one of the league's top offenses for most of the year.

Now, if one of the 6-8 teams gets in, sure, but I don't actually see that happening. It's nice to consider it and all, but I think that the NFC playoff contenders, with the exception of Seattle, will all be teams in the top half of the NFL.

This isn't 2004. There you could say that all of the NFC teams (with the exception of one) were playing poorly, and had been playing poorly all year.

7
by pcs (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 2:18pm

Jake Delhomme suddenly is not the answer in Carolina — Fox denied that Delhomme is through in Carolina, and he sounded almost as sincere as Mora did — but Basanez and Chris Weinke aren't suitable substitutes.

Hey, does anyone know why Carolina cut Stefan LeFors? He played well at Louisville, the Panthers spent a fourth-rounder on him, PFP 2006 was pretty optimistic about him, yet he was cut in camp. Now he's with the Edmonton Eskimos(!)

8
by Sam! (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 2:43pm

I'm in-de-pen-dent!

9
by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 2:44pm

"New York is playing poorly compared to how they could be playing, but they’re not playing “poorly� overall"

Not playing poorly? In their last 7 games, they've lost 5, and the 2 wins were a struggle at home against Houston, and against the Weinke-led Panthers.

10
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 2:57pm

And the 5 losses also included 2 losses by 3 points, a better-than-average game versus the Bears, and a bad loss to Jacksonville.

They aren't playing poorly. They're losing games, but they aren't playing poorly. Playing poorly is what the Seahawks are doing.

11
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 3:29pm

Is Mike talking about the same Saints team that scored 10 points at home last week? Or the one that has 4 wins outdoors this season... CLE, GB, TB, and the half dome in DAL.

I know the Giants aren't playing well, but they've blown two 4th quarter leads, were tied in the 4th quarter, trailed by 6 and 4 points. No one has blown them away. Since I'm going to the game, I choose to be optimistic.

12
by Ferg (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 3:37pm

11: Only 4 wins outdoors? Gee, that sounds pretty crappy. I didn't realise they were only 4-2 outdoors. If only they could play this one in a dome, where they are an amazing 5-2.

13
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 3:37pm

It isn't outrageous at all to think that the winner of tonight's game will also win it's final game, and then have the tiebreakers work in it's favor. This is about as interesting a game between two 6-8 teams that one is ever going to get.

14
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 3:50pm

Also, if anybody thinks an 8-8 qualifier in the NFC has no chance in their first playoff game, they are mistaken, especially if they draw the Seahawks. After that, and as outrageous as it may sound, an 8-8 qualifier would have a much better chance in Soldier Field come January than many imagine. Even the Vikings could beat the current Bears come January, especially if legal or league action sidelines Tank Johnson.

The NFC just isn't impressive, even at the very top, which means anything could happen, until the nearly inevitable seal-clubbing come February.

15
by Criswell (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 4:01pm

I predict that the Jaguars will make it to the playoffs and to the Superbowl. Once there, they will promptly lose to the Seahawks.

16
by PackMan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 4:25pm

14.
If you were referring to my comment, I think an 8-8 team could do something in the playoffs, just not this year's Packers at 8-8.

17
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 4:40pm

Somebody might want to tell Mangini that I convicted a punch-drunk, drug-addled Aaron "the Hawk" Pryor of DUI about two years ago. Maybe not the best role model for your team, unless you're the Bears or Bengals.

18
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 5:22pm

Re 17:
Sigh, it's the Chargers and Bengals. The Bears have had one legal incident this season and two during the last offseason (technically one since Manning hadn't signed the offer sheet yet).

19
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 6:34pm

I don't mean on rip on the Bears in general, but I did think it was ridiculous that Manning could feloniously assault a member of the general public, the same general public the the NFL is in the business of attracting, and only get a one game suspension. I mean, Ricky Williams is unfit for the NFL because he smokes marajuana, but Manning only gets one game for beating up a potential fan, while insulting all the NFL customers who are Jewish?! How patently absurd.

20
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 8:56pm

Re 19:
As much as I don't like the decision - you're right it should be much longer - he pled No Contest. That is different than being found guilty. Plus, for some reason even though he was already on probation he just got more probation. I hope that the NFL and the courts had more information than us and ruled accordingly.

21
by James C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 9:17pm

That would be Lance Briggs, with an R.

22
by Luke (not verified) :: Fri, 12/22/2006 - 2:20am

The Seahawks are not playing badly. They are just bringing out the best in their opposition is all.

23
by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Fri, 12/22/2006 - 12:19pm

I think a lot of us have an Eagles victory on our Christmas lists, definitely above that fruit cake from Aunt Martha or the reindeer sweater from Mom.

24
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 12/22/2006 - 9:13pm

Mactbone, Manning did not contest that he feloniously assaulted a citizen. You don't get any points for deciding to avoid a trial, while not fully admitting to guilt. He is a violent felon, no qualifiers, and it is ridiculous that he only got a one-game suspension.