Saturday, January 07, 2012

NFL week 17: Let the playoffs begin

So ... yeah. 45 points. But hey, Stafford broke the 5000-yard mark this season ... and was third in the NFL. Take that, Danny boy.
  • Green Bay rested starters and still knocked the Lions into the #6 seed. As a result, Matt Flynn will get a Scott Mitchell-sized contract. Maybe he can do stupid State Farm commercials, too.
  • San Francisco did clinch the #2 seed, although St. Louis did make a game of it late. 
  • The Giants did sweep the Cowboys to win the division. I didn't check, but I'm sure Romo got blamed for it somehow (although he did play – amazing things they can do these days to keep swelling down).
  • The Patriots did crush the Bills (after spotting them a 21-point lead, showoffs) to clinch the #1 seed. 
  • Baltimore did not lose to Cincinnati, but they and Pittsburgh both get byes. (Because really, you think Tebow is going to move the ball against the Steelers' defense?)
  • Kyle Orton did "lead" the Chiefs to victory over the Broncos, but the Raiders lost to the Chargers and missed the playoffs. 
  • Cincinnati did get the #6 seed, but only because everyone else (including the Jets) lost.
So I got three of the four wild-card matchups right. It's Pittsburgh at Denver instead of Baltimore at Oakland. Of course it didn't take much to hit some of those predictions ... although wouldn't it have been wild if St. Louis had knocked New Orleans into the #3 seed by beating them, then bumped them back to the #2 by beating San Francisco?
  • The Colts did get the #1 pick, and apparently they will draft Andrew Luck. This is not a good sign, because Indianapolis doesn't have a GM yet. (The Polians were fired as soon as the season ended. Note: If you're an asshole, you can keep your job as long as you perform well. If you're an asshole, and you promote your asshole son to do your job, and he sucks at it, you'll both get fired. I never met the Polians, but from what I read, Bill did nothing to endear himself to anyone, and Chris was even less likable.) That means Jim Irsay is going to look for someone who'll do what he wants, and given that sometimes he doesn't even know what that is, we may well have found Al Davis' spiritual successor.
  • Raheem Morris did not fire himself; he didn't have to. The Bucs were down 42-0 in the first half, and if the Glazers actually paid attention to the team, he probably would have been fired then.
  • We ended up with 7 non-playoff teams at 8-8. This is why the draft order uses only strength of schedule and a coin flip as tiebreakers! 
  • Minnesota couldn't even beat Bad Chicago. It wasn't enough to get Frazier fired, though he did have to cut an assistant or two. 
  • Steve Spagnuolo did get fired, probably deservedly so (how about that Josh McDaniels hire? sure helped Bradford), even if he never had enough talent to work with. (The GM was let go as well.) 
  • Andy Reid did not get fired, and I agree with that as well. It took a while to get all the free agents on the same page, and once they were playing together and Vick was healthy, the Eagles looked pretty good. No team in this division looks that good, so Philadelphia should contend for a playoff spot next year too. 
  • The Chiefs may keep Romeo Crennel on as head coach, replacing the fired Todd Haley. Good luck with that.
  • The NFL continues to take measures to address player safety and how teams attend to injured players, but they continue to refuse to punish the Browns for the way they mishandled Colt McCoy's injury. I wonder how much of that is because of Mike Holmgren's presence ... one of the old guard, with his buddies looking out for him? (And why isn't the NFLPA filing complaints about it?)
OK, enough about last week. New Orleans, New York, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh will win this weekend.

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