|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
How about this for an ultimate rematch three years in the making. We all remember the day the undefeated season died, when the Giants beat the Patriots in a game in which New England could have tried harder. But they’re the best team in the league again this year, even without Randy Moss. It remains to be seen whether or not the rematch will materialize, but here’s hoping. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of teams with questions, and the Randy Moss sweepstakes is on, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, November 2:
The Giants are still riding high behind their unbeaten conference record, but they did give up 35 points to a crippled Cowboys team before their bye week. Maybe it’s that lapse, maybe it’s my predisposed hatred for all things New York, but we’ll see how long the Giants can keep things going.
Speaking of teams on their bye, the Falcons are riding in a playoff bye spot thanks to their unbeaten (1-0, though) division record. They did give up 32 points to Cincinnati, but came through in the end. With a better defense than New York, I still like Atlanta, provided that New Orleans hasn’t shaped up for good.
Shutting out the Jets in their own house? Green Bay is back. But then again, so is New Orleans. The Saints recovered from an embarrassing loss to Cleveland by defeating the much better Pittsburgh Steelers. Each team still has their issues to work out, but they’re both well on their way, and it’s hard to tell at this point who would win.
Granted, Oakland’s more explosive lately, but only getting three points against them? That’s not the way for Seattle to get ahead. But even though the Bucs won in Arizona, and even though they scored 38, giving up 35 points to a team without a decent and/or healthy quarterback isn’t a good thing to do either. Seattle may have the home field edge, for now, but “The best team in the NFC” is known for 4th quarter heroics.
New England is the best team in football for a reason. They’re a well-oiled machine, and Randy Moss, good as he was, was just a cog in that machine, and a new cog could easily be fitted into said machine. After the Jets lost, New England is now the team to beat in the NFL. Plus, they added yet another injury to the old (and I do mean old) gunslinger’s horny body.
Thanks to Pittsburgh, the Ravens are now back on top of their division. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice lead a potent offense, and the defense is good too. They may have shown their stuff against Pittsburgh, but with a more recent near-loss to Buffalo, Baltimore will have to pick up their game to even make it back to Gillette Stadium.
Kansas City became the latest team to hand Buffalo a heartbreaking OT loss, while Pittsburgh came up short in the Big Easy. At least KC held Buffalo to a measly 10 points. This would be a game between two good offenses and two better defenses. Kansas City may have less playoff experience, but their fans will be hungry for some success in the post-season, and will make life difficult on Pittsburgh.
It’s the AFC Championship all over again. Indy‘s getting better, and the Jets had a pretty good sized bump in the road they couldn’t get over. Will the Jets be able to move on? With Peyton Manning playing to maximize his next contract in the off-season, and with the Colts’ depth stepping up, the Colts have suddenly gained a lot of momentum that will be extremely difficult for the Jets to overcome.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers