|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Something’s going on in the NFL. The AFC West is completely flopped from last season, New Orleans lost at home to Cleveland, and the Cowboys and Vikings are still not too good, and Green Bay is borderline. At least we still have one winless team in Buffalo to root for to fail. The Colts are in 3rd, the Giants are in 1st, and the Seahawks are once again leading the weakest division in football (well, maybe the AFC West is worse). So much is different this season, it’s hard to keep heads or tails of it all, which is why you don’t call the coin toss in the air anymore. Anything could happen before season’s end, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 26:
The Giants dropped the Cowboys in Dallas, but it wasn’t pretty. When Tony Romo goes down with a collar bone injury, you really have to take it to them, but some interceptions and special team lapses stopped that from happening, as well as two almost converted onside kicks by the Cowboys. New York is #1 for now, but I don’t see them keeping it up for long.
In see-saw fashion, Atlanta managed to hold off Cincinnati. They’ve got a good passing game, rushing attack, defense, and even kicker. When you’re in the same division as the defending Super Bowl champions, and you can take control like the Falcons have, you’re doing something right.
This would be a rematch from the same round with the same seeds from three years ago. Seattle has been looking surprisingly good this year considering the expectations. Washington took Chicago back down a few pegs, and has also been looking much better than people thought. When it’s close like this, you go with the home team, but don’t be surprised if Shanahan still has some tricks up his sleeve.
Tampa Bay only beat St. Louis by one, and now their coach has the cajones to say they’re the best team in the NFC when they’re not even the best team in their division. Good, but not great. Chicago is the same way after starting 4-1. But they still have a better quarterback situation come playoff time, and they now have Julius Peppers. Good luck, Tampa quarterbacks I’ve never heard of.
Never before has an idle team look so dominant. The Jets have a good quarterback that was supposed to be mediocre, and Darrelle Revis will be completely healthy again; the bye week helps. Sure, Shonne Green isn’t what fantasy owners though he’d be, but the rushing game is still there. Here’s your current Super Bowl favorite.
Never before has a team had such a great looking loss that was called a win. Pittsburgh had to rely on referees overruling a fumble to beat the Dolphins. But the fact of the matter is the Steelers are still a very dangerous team, especially with their rapist (unproven, technically) back at quarterback. They’ll be right up there contesting with the Jets for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The Titans once again ritualistically murdered the NFC, this time claiming the Eagles as victims. They’re making the AFC South a very interesting three-team race, which could very well be a four-team race by the end of the season. Baltimore, on the other hand, lost to the Bills, but were handed a dead ball (stoppage of forward progress) by the referees to get the win. Don’t get me wrong; I still like Baltimore to advance based on offensive strength, but not far enough for their liking.
Against San Diego, New England showed why their defense is highly suspect. Not to mention they keep *bleeping* up 4th down by calling the wrong play, not to mention not pounding it forward on 3rd down beforehand. Kansas City, meanwhile, layethed the smacketh down on Jacksonville’s candy ass. Despite the defensive troubles (which only looked non-existent due to San Diego’s offensive troubles), New England still has an extremely potent offense. Kansas City hasn’t been a real noticeable threat since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, so Matt Cassel and Co. should still have problems when faced with an experienced team.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins