There are two types of NFL playoff teams.
1. NFL Playoff teams that are serious contenders for the title and can get to the Super Bowl and …
2. N-Not/F-For/L-Long playoff teams that got in, but are not serious contenders.
Real NFL playoff teams: Steelers, Packers, Saints
Not For Long Teams and why:
Lions: I like the Lions offensively but don’t like their character. Their coach and QB are emotional and can fall apart when times are tough and in the playoffs, times are tough.
Falcons: This team lacks toughness. I am going to give you a fantasy football tidbit right now that you won’’t remember next year when you draft: RB Michael Turner has 43 yard rushing games against great defenses. Great overall stats, but he sucks in big games. As does QB Matt Ryan, who can’t win away from home or in the playoffs.
Giants: This team is too up and down. They can look great one game and look like the Buccaneers the next. People say they are peaking now, but they aren’t playing that great, so if they are peaking, that’s not saying much.
Broncos: I have said for years when either your Kick Returner or your Tight End is your best player, you are screwed. The Broncos have decided to make it a trifecta, but if GOD is your best player, you’re even worse off.
Bengals: Nice season against the mediocre teams. Not good against the league’s best teams. Guess what? Playoffs feature the good teams.
Texans: Starting their third-string, rookie QB Should I continue?
Niners: Nice story, but in the playoffs, QB Alex Smith can’t match up against two teams in the Saints and Packers that can score with a nun.
There is a team every year that sneaks in with a gaudy record and loses and everyone says “now I see their weaknesses.” The Niners are that team.
Ravens: The Ravens’ Super Bowl is when they play the Steelers. Newsflash: You have to beat more than one team to win a Super Bowl. And they won’t beat the Steelers in the playoffs anyway. Plus, QB Joe Flacco is a bum.
Patriots: READ MY KEYBOARD. THEY CAN’T PLAY DEFENSE. Coach Bill Belichick will finally take some heat after this postseason for not fixing this perennial problem.
This week’s picks
Steelers 16, Broncos 9. The Steelers will win, but I don’t get the experts or Vegas oddsmakers picking the Steelers to win by more than 7.5. The Steelers play every game to win by 1 point. They don’t blow away teams they should annihilate. And Big Ben is reading his press this week, talking about his injury being “aggravated” and loving all the attention. Media whore.
But the Broncos “QB” Tim Tebow will give the Steelers a TD on some stupid play. The Steelers will win, but it won’t be a blowout.
Now onto Tebow … the mania has diominished considerably. Even he has doubt in his own ability. Last week, he was begging for penalties and yelling at the officials. He was looking around like he was waiting for the other team to make a mistake and looked utterly lost when it didn’t happen. And when the Denver defense realizes it is a lost cause, they’ll start getting blown out next year.
Tebow’s only saving grace this week is Steeler Safety Ryan Clark has a problem with playing at altitude and won’t be there to smash his ass this week. But fellow Safety Troy Polamalu and Linebacker James Harrison will be there … and he will get hit. Repeatedly.
Bengals 23, Texans 20. The Texans have their 3rd string QB going and the Bengals have a good, opportunistic defense.
Saints 40, Lions 27. The Lions are abysmal on defense and are mentally unfit to hang with a true Super Bowl contender.
Giants 30, Falcons 23. This is a toss-up. But two things tip the scales. The Giants can rush the passer and Matty “Ice” Ryan will fall apart under pressure. But whoever wins will lose the next week.
Next week’s picks
Patriots 24, Bengals 16. Bengals not well-coached enough or good enough on offense to beat the Pats in New England.
Steelers 20, Ravens 13. The Steelers put Flacco in his usual position in the playoffs. Clueless, on his back, arms spread praying for a pass interference call after another incomplete long pass.
Packers 30, Giants 26. Pack win but it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. Awful defense.
Saints 27, Niners 16. The Saints score too much for QB Alex Smith to keep up. When he tries too hard, the Saints get a defensive TD.
Steelers 23, Patriots 17. The Steelers go to New England and pound them with the running game.
HERE COMES THE TWIST. As you know, every year I pick the Super Bowl teams before the season and stick to it til the end. But this time I have to change it up. I picked Steelers vs. Packers in a rematch in August, but I think the Packers lose this week. Their arrogance and their terrible defense will do them in. Saints win 40-30. This will be a high-scoring game and the Packers’ inability to play defense will have everyone wondering how they finished at 15-1.
You know it’s coming. And you know it’s true. Steelers 30, Saints 24.
Odds and ends
Packers backup QB Matt Flynn had a tremendous game against the Lions to finish the regular season. Based on that one game, he is going to get paid handsomely. Because teams love to throw money at other teams’ backups based upon scant game film. Does anyone remember Scott Mitchell? Rob Johnson? The major mistake the Pack made was in showcasing him without reworking his contract. He’ll be a free agent after the season and can walk for nothing. Major error.
Mark Sanchez has played his last game as starting QB for the Jets. When you watched that bum last week, you could see on the coach’s face and the rest of the Jets’ players faces they know he is done. Sanchez last week threw 4 passes that were completed within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Big problem is one of them was completed to an offensive lineman and the other 3 were completed to the Dolphins’ defensive linemen and linebackers.
More Jets. The captain of the team, WR Santonio Holmes got benched during a game then had to win to make the playoffs.
The Jets self-destructed all season and during the last game. Then their rookie QB who didn’t play a game all year and was on the IR list all year came out and blasted the team to the press. He said the Jet locker room was a zoo and added, “It’s the first time I’ve ever been around extremely selfish individuals, and I think that’s maybe the nature of the NFL. But there were people within our locker room that didn’t care whether we won or lost, as long as they got (theirs).”
There was a great NFL expert that told you the Jets would crash and burn in an UGLY way and he should be rewarded for his NFL genius. That great NFL expert is me. I am tired of being right about this stuff and not getting compensated. Which is why I am going to start an NFL consulting firm. I’ll call it I F’ING TOLD YOU SO, LLC. Why my company will be a success – no shortage of clients!
1. Chargers. They are so stupid I would have to resist their offers to be a full-time employee after showing them how their GM has depleted their roster and what they’ve gotten in return for Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, et. al.
And to hear them say they’re keeping Norv ‘cause the players love him is laughable. I am tired of hearing that crap about being a player’s coach. The player’s coach hasn’t won anything, and the players love himfor a reason, They can walk all over his spineless ass.
2. Any team looking to hire Jeff Fisher. My unparalleled ability to manipulate the new-fangled internet technology and find his actual coaching record and develop a highly stylized Excel spreadsheet will show how he ISN’T THAT GOOD A COACH.
3. Dolphins. How they can keep their GM through even this year’s disaster is worth about a year’s worth of consulting fees.
4. ‘Skins. Can you imagine the billable hours from this fiasco of a team? Step one: Enact a coaching ShanaBan.
5. Cowboys. It would take me years of to convince that dumbass owner he can’t be the GM, too. Why can’t Jerry Jones realize that since he has been the de facto GM without the aid of a great talent evaluator like Jimmy Johnson that he will never succeed.
6. Steelers. I would bring them into the new football era by convincing them it is not illegal to throw the ball on first down or beat a team by more than 3 points.
7. Any team with the intention of hiring a Ryan. Step one. Show clips of Ryans on the sidelines with those images photoshopped into situations where you would want your coach to represent your team – particularly at corporate- sponsored events. Done.
8. Patriots. I would define the word genius for them, then display their playoff and defensive statistics the last 6 years, once again in that newfangled Excel technology, and dare them not to pay me.
Peyton Manning got paid $26 million this year when everyone knew he wouldn’t play and now people are saying the Colts owe it to him not to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck … get out of here. Keep in mind they won ONE super bowl with him. Not 2 or 3 or 4. ONE. Trade his ass while you can. For people to talk about what the Colts owe him is silly. Manning is milking their money right now.
I have watched Andrew Luck play and I … just don’t get it. Everyone talks like he is the second coming of John Elway. He looked good, but not as good as the hype. I saw a bunch of 4 and 8 yard passes. Very accurate … how inaccurate can you be on 5 and 8 yard passes unless you are named Tebow or Sanchez? I heard all the complaints: he has no deep threat – that is why he doesn’t throw the ball deep. C’mon. You may not have a deep threat, but they’re not covering your WRs with Champ Bailey, either.
Then I read the comparisons of Luck to Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. Luck has played in an NFL-style offense; Griffin played in a spread offense. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does make it harder to evaluate a guy. You just don’t know if he’ll be the same in a pro-style set. So Luck plays in a pro offense, but they never throw the ball deep at all? While Griffin throws the ball downfield all the time and is the most effiicient QB in the NCAA and completes an insane percentage of passes over 30 yards … but Luck is more prepared?
Finally, the College Bowl season is a microcosm of our society – an acceptance of mediocrity and lack of competition. People say “what is wrong with 35 teams winning bowl games and getting to end the season as winners?” In my mind, that’s the equivalent of giving every kid a participation ribbon.