Monday, November 26, 2007

Week 12 Playoff Picture- NFC



1. DALLAS COWBOYS 10-1
Week 11 WON v. Redskins 28-23
Week 12 WON v. Jets 34-3
Week 13 v. Packers (10-1)

You know who should have felt a little squeamish watching this Thanksgiving Day turkey basting? No, not the Packers, who face the Cowboys in a battle of 10-1 teams this Thursday. The team that should feel bad is the Steelers, who just a week ago lost to the kelly green suck squad that is the NY Jets.

This wasn't the greatest we've seen the Dallas offense look. Tony Romo had a pedestrian outing and TO had a mere one touchdown. However, they did give the Packers something to think about in the form of Marion the Barbarian Barber, who tore thru the Jets 30th ranked run defense like a Ginsu knife thru a turkey leg for 103 yards on 18 carries.

The Cowboys are in top form right now. So are the Packers. The Cowboys have twice the talent though, and I think they'll be the ones at 11-1 on Friday morning.



2. GREEN BAY PACKERS 10-1
Week 11 WON v. Panthers 31-17
Week 12 WON at Lions 37-26
Week 13 at Cowboys (10-1)


There's a perception about the Packers that they aren't as good as their 10-1 record would indicate. The perception is that they've played a weak schedule. The perception is that the Cowboys, who are favored by 7 in their game against the Packers on Thursday, will give a failing grade to the Pack in their first real test of the season.


But I don't think it's true to say the Pack has not been tested this year. The tone for their season was set in the first three games of the season, when they opened with wins over Philly, the Giants, and San Diego, all teams that could be in the playoffs this year. They've beaten Adrian Peterson and the Vikings twice, and they've won at Arrowhead and Mile High, which is still impressive even though the teams that play at those places are having down seasons. They've passed some tests, and they do so more impressively every week.


Funny as it may sound, the team that plays closest to the way that the be all end all New England Patriots play are these Packers. They spread the ball around, have a great quarterback, and talented receivers. There's no other shoe waiting to drop here, this team is for real.






3. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 7-4
Week 11 WON v. Bears 30-23
Week 12 WON at Rams 24-19
Week 13 at Eagles (5-6)


From this point on, I don't see how any sane person could think any of these teams have a real shot at doing anything of any significance in the postseason.

The Seahawks began their game against the 2-8 Rams by having Mo Morris get tackled in the end zone for a safety. Then a few minutes later they were getting gashed for a 50 some yard TD run by Steven Jackson. They probably wouldn't have come back to win if Marc Bulger didn't leave the game in the second quarter to be replaced by the increasingly incompetent Gus Frerotte.

In the last minute of the game the Rams had first and goal on the five, and were stopped the next three plays. They then called a timeout to talk things over and come up with a really great play that would punch it in on 4th down and give the Rams the win. Then they fumbled the snap. That's six wins in a row for the Seahawks over the Rams, and therein lies the secret of the Seahawks making the playoffs every year.



4. TAMPA BAY BUCS 7-4

Week 11 WON at Falcons 31-7
Week 12 WON v. Redskins 19-13
Week 13 at Saints (5-6)

The Bucs kept rolling towards an NFC South title by beating the Redskins 19-13, and they did it with Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback and Earnest Graham as their running back. It didn't hurt that Washington could not stop turning the ball over, coughing it up six times including an interception that snuffed out the potential game winning drive in the final minute. In the NFL though, a win is a win is a win and if Jon Gruden keeps winning with this seemingly outmanned team, he just might get his genius badge back.


A big game looms for the Bucs this Sunday. If they go to the Superdome and beat the Saints, it pretty much salts away the division title and a playoff berth, an impressive feat for a team that went 4-12 last season. If they lose though, the Saints are only a game back and all of a sudden we've got ourselves a race in this division. The Bucs need Garcia back for this game. He's listed as day to day right now, but the tea leaves seem to be pointing toward him playing.



5. NY GIANTS 7-4

Week 11 WON at Lions 16-10
Week 12 LOST v. Vikings 17-41
Week 13 at Bears (5-6)

We've been waiting for years for Eli Manning to play like his big brother. He finally did against the Vikings. Unfortunately, he played like his brother played two weeks ago in his live action naked test taking dream where he threw 6 picks against the Chargers.

Eli took a run at that dubious family record, throwing 4, 3 of which were taken back for TDs and another which was taken to the Giants five yard line. The Giants were pounded by the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings 41-17.


The Giants are doing nothing to make anyone think that they aren't going to re-enact their annual late season collapse. Maybe getting Derrick Ward and/or Brandon Jacobs back will help, maybe not. All I know is I'm breaking out in hives thinking about the prospect of Eli and Rex on the same field this week when the Bears take on the Giants. I recommend only viewing this game thru two pieces of cardboard with a pinhole poked in one of them.




6. DETROIT LIONS 6-5

Week 11 LOST v. Giants 16-10
Week 12 LOST v. Packers 26-37
Week 13 at Vikings (5-6)

I'm not expecting to be writing about this team too much longer. They were supposed to be really good at home right? Well now they've lost back to back games at home. In the most recent one they were indistinguishable from the bad old Lions, and Favre did absolutely whatever he wanted to do to their defense. The Lions aren't forcing turnovers anymore, they aren't running the ball effectively any more, pretty much anything they did when they got out to their 6-2 start, they are not doing anymore.

Not only that, take a look at their schedule the rest of the way. They are at the red hot Vikings this week, who should have Purple Jesus back. Then they host Dallas, are on the road at SD, home against the Chiefs, and at Green Bay. They will be lucky to get 1 win out those last 5 and finish 7-9. This team is toast.



OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES

With the Lions in free fall and the Giants looking like they might be right behind them, there is an amorphous blob of 5-6 teams just waiting for their opportunity to sneak into the postseason.

- Washington Redskins

They've lost 3 in a row and their best player just died. On the plus side, they don't have Eli Manning on their team.


- Philadelphia Eagles

They almost took down the Patriots. Almost. We'll see how fast McNabb's ankle heals now that AJ Feeley played better against the unbeaten Pats than McNabb has played against anyone all year.


-Minnesota Vikings

It says here that this team is not going to lose again until the playoffs. By here I mean right in this sentence. The sentence I am writing right now.


-New Orleans Saints

They crushed the Panthers on the road, 31-6. So I guess this means they are good again now. They've won 5 out of their last 7, so I guess they've got as good a shot as anyone.


- Arizona Cardinals

Kurt Warner throws for almost 500 yards, and the Cardinals still lose because they can't stop Trent Dilfer, Frank Gore made them look silly, and Neal Rackers blew a 32 yard field goal in OT. No team finds more spectacular ways to blow games.


- Chicago Bears

The Bears rode 2 Devin Hester returns for TDs and an improbable surge of offensive competence on the final drive of regulation to come back from a 34-20 4th quarter deficit and stun the Broncos 37-34 in OT. They also lost Cedric Benson for the season. Not that Ced was any good, but now the Bears are down to The Other Adrian Peterson as their starting running back the rest of the year, and this is the team that according to their coach gets off the bus running the ball.



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Anonymous said...

lmfao like I don't wan tto laugh, but the line saying "their best player died, but they don't have Eli Manning is funny. I'm going to hell. -Patrick N