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Every week it feels like we’re getting a little closer to truly discovering which teams are for real, and which ones are slowly falling apart.
We still don’t know what’s going on in New Orleans, and quite frankly, it’s possible we never will.
We have no idea what to make of the AFC East. We know the Jets, Patriots, and Dolphins are good, but how good? And more importantly, are any of those teams great?
The Patriots are the team that is supposed to win the division, a favorite to hold home-field advantage, and a good bet to reach the Super Bowl. Even without Tom Brady, a trophy-less end to their season will leave every head in the house hanging.
The Jets don’t have it much better. The anointed one, Brett Favre, was landed in a block buster trade, and is supposed to save the day. The same can be said for Jets’ management and their other pricey off-season additions. At 8-5, they’ve already made huge strides, but what would a collapse do to this team? And would reaching the playoffs, only to lose in the AFC championship game, somehow be worse?
Then you have Miami, a former winless season candidate, with seemingly no chance of being in this equation at the beginning of the season, yet here they are. Some Miami fan who dropped 10 grand on them reaching the playoffs is trying his damndest to not wet his pants in his parents basement, while he kicks his ankles together in his race car bed. Yeah, it’s that serious.
When you’ve got big names, big contracts, and big expectations, the worst fear in the back of your mind (If you’re the Jets or Patriots) is not losing-it’s the Miami Dolphins.
These Dolphins are not your dad’s Dolphins. They couldn’t have done what they’re doing with Jason Taylor or Zach Thomas, or heck, even Dan Marino.
This is the no-name squad, the relentless bastards that won’t go away even if you waive a million dollar check in their face. No sir, they’re here to stay. Well, at least until the final game of the season, when the Jets beat them 31-10.
Like usual, until the season ends and we see our collection of 12 teams who DO have a chance at completing this puzzle, it will remain a guessing game. One that, for now, I will step away from.
Here’s a look at this week’s power rankings:
Just when you think you have it all figured out, the surging Jets lose, the Packers blow another chance, and the Panthers and Buccaneers keep winning.
Just what exactly, in this ridiculous NFL season makes sense anymore?
The Chiefs are as competitive as any other team, yet have two wins, and the Lions, much the same, are still looking for their first.
The truth is, last season we had two 10-1 teams (Dallas and Green Bay) in the NFC, with neither representing their conference in the Super Bowl. And in the AFC, the team that went undefeated couldn’t take home the crown, either.
What does this tell us?
Probably nothing. But if we’re going on pure speculation, (which we kind of have to by now) then we can start betting against the Titans and Giants right now.
If the gods were as good to us as we’d love them to be, we’d see the Packers emerge from their division to face the Jets. And maybe it will happen.
But that’s not where my money is.
If I had to dumb this season down to a crazy prediction right now, I’d go with Pittsburgh against Dallas. And in a warped season like this one, that just might be what’s going to happen.
Oh, how the might have fallen. With the undefeated Titans joining the Giants as the only teams with one loss, they fall to second this week, as the Giants prove once again that they just might be the team to beat.
However, if the Jets can do this much damage to the previously assumed “best” team in the league, what does that mean for them? And more importantly, what does this mean for the rest of the league?
As much as I hate to say it, my guess is it means nothing. Not right now, anyways.
Sure, Brett Favre is playing good football, the Jets are solid on both side of the ball, and the Giants and Titans both can clearly be had. But that doesn’t mean the Browns are headed for a turn around, or that the Packers are going to the post-season, simply because they took Tennessee to over time.
In fact, their embarrassing loss to the Saints this Monday night showed us they’re not quite ready for playoffs without Favre, and they’re likely headed to a finish no better than 9-7.
So, then, what do we know? Again, I firmly stand on the guessing game plateau, shouting to the top of lungs; Nothing!
Until the Jets have more than a one game lead in their division, or anyone other than the Giants truly scares me in the NFC, we’re still looking at a Tennessee vs. New York title game. Well, probably.
That doesn’t mean a little Favre magic can’t mix things up in the playoffs though, does it?
Another week is in the books, and outside of the Titans and Giants, we’re still unsure of how this season will play out.
Most analysts are positive we’ll be seeing the Titans and Giants square off in the final game of the season, and maybe I’m just seeing things differently, but I’m not completely sold on either team.
The Jets win over New England proves their relevancy, and a win over Tennessee would definitely garner some more national attention. And how about the Giants? Well, with two 6-4 teams in their division, as well as the Buccaneers and Panthers in their conference, they aren’t as safe as a lock as we once thought.
Ok, so where do we go from here?
I think the winner of the NFC North might do some damage in the post-season, but who that will be might not be decided until the final week of the season (the same could be said for the AFC East, as well).
But the most important thing to look at this season is the teams (other than Tennessee) that have come out of nowhere to request to be listed among the contenders.
Yes, whether we like it or not, we may have to start realizing the potential of the Cardinals and Dolphins, and possibly even the Falcons.
One thing is for sure, even after 11 weeks, we still have no idea how this will unfold. That is, unless you’re Merril Hoge, who is still backing the Steelers (and always will), or unless you’re Mike Ditka, who still believes it’s 1985 and the Bears will realize how good they really are.
But it’s too early for predictions, folks. So, for now, here’s where the teams stand. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks before I unleash my post-season predictions. But judging by the way the season has gone, I’m sure I will fall short.
Finally, we’re seeing some consistency in the NFL.
In the bottom five this week, all the teams have issues at the quarterback position, which is a perfect reason why their offenses are so ineffective.
In the top half, most of the teams have solid defenses, and know how to pound the ball at the end of games, and most importantly, know how to win.
The real question is, which team is best, and which team is worst?
While a lot of people would like to get technical and crunch the numbers, or read into the rest of each team’s schedule, I prefer to point out the obvious, and run with it.
The Titans and Lions are mirror images of each other. The Titans have stability at the quarterback position, can run the ball effectively, and can stop anyone when they have to.
The Lions, not so much.
After that, we’ve got the Steelers and Giants, who are the only other truly dominant teams. Everyone else is stuck together, as we await another week that hopefully provides answers.
Still not convinced your team is finished, or if the Colts or Patriots can get back to the top ten? Read on to see where your team rests.
“We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” -Will Rogers
About 50 blocks south of me the New York Giants are holding court in the Canyon of Heroes. Thousands are flooding lower Manhattan in an overwhelming parade of gratitude. Thank you, Big Blue. For doing for your fans what the Red Sox did for Boston in 2004. We needed more than just a Super Bowl, and somehow the Giants gave it to us.
“That’s why we took the damn field! Now, if you want to crown them, then crown their ass!” -Dennis Green on playing the Bears, MNF 10/16/06
I’m surprised management splurged and actually flew the New York Giants to Arizona. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just come to terms with the foregone conclusion of the Patriots’ perfect season? Big Blue is overmatched, and Tom Brady is clearly Christ himself. Hell, New England already has applied for a trademark patent on “19-0.” (I’m not making this up.) Does it matter who they’re playing? The Giants are merely slated to be another blip of road kill on the Patriots’ road to perfection.
Which means the Patriots go down in history no matter what. As perfect or as chokers. And the Giants? Only a catalyst to either.
Barry Bonds is the new home run king. He has hit 758 home runs in his career and hasn’t stopped. Hank Aaron hit 755. 755 is less than 758 thus Bonds is the home run king. Of course, we all know Bonds cheated to get there so that means his home runs don’t count. Right?
For a stretch of years I have been picking the Eagles to win the NFC East. Is it blind loyalty or is it the fact that the Eagles have been playing the role of the top dog in the division for almost as long as Andy Reid has been in town? Call me a homer but the fact is the Eagles have been the best team year in and year out every year in the NFC East, even the disastrous post Super Bowl year they probably had the best talent top to bottom but injuries (and personal conflicts) derailed that season form the start. This year will be no different.