1. Seattle Seahawks (1) – on the post season bye and await the first victim to head into that home field. Barring something untoward occurring, they are still two easy wins from playing in the Super Bowl.
2. Green Bay Packers (2) – on the post-season bye and their home field of Lambeau will give them an almost undefeatable advantage in the Division round. They don’t have home field beyond that so I don’t see them as more than one bye, one win and done.
3. New England Patriots (3) – on the post season bye and their home field advantage will be the key to their success this year. I can’t see them losing until they get to Arizona and get spanked in the 49th Super Bowl by Seattle.
4. Dallas Cowboys (4) – Am I watching a rerun of Thanksgiving? Last time the Dallas O line played this bad the excuse was that they only had 2 days and just a walk through and weren’t ready. What is the excuse now? The beyond any reasonable explanation of bad tackling is mind boggling. So many times the Cowboys could have forced punts, stopped drives over and over by just tackling. If Dallas doesn’t pull their collective head out of their arses they will be going home and defeated by a not very good team. 2nd half will bear careful watching. Ok what a second half. Dallas stormed back and took a lead. They got some key turnovers and D stops but they also got the benefit of something never before seen. A Cowboy defender interfered with a Lion and was flagged…then they took up the flag???? I was also flabbergasted by a 2nd year Cowboy who forced a fumble and tried to run with it and fumbled it and lost it back to Detroit. They were lucky to win and should be easily dispatched next week. A not very good team.
5. Indianapolis Colts (6) – Superb opening drive with solid rush, good passing and good pass and run blocking. Nice start for Indy. Indy needs to get TY Hilton to realize this is the playoffs and he needs to step up. Dropping a TD pass and later not catching a key drive extender is not how a team performs in the playoffs. The holes in the secondary created the opportunity for a Cincy TD. They have to tighten up the D (at least today) if they want to win. The Colts managed only 13 points in the first half. They would have easily had 23 if TY Hilton could catch every pass thrown his way. The Colts should be well in front and need to keep it up and catch all of Luck’s throws or they may lose this game. The Colts played decent D in the second half and added a key FG and that was that. A good game by Indy. Uncharacteristically they actually played in the first 30 minutes. A full game and now they will be fully tested on the road against Denver.
6. Carolina Panthers (8) – The Panthers D is playing hard and are keeping the Cards off balance. Early good field position became only a FG. They need to get a 7 and that will put severe pressure on the Cards. Another drive, well led by Caaaaaaaaaaam and a TD and now if Carolina can just play D they have this and will be rewarded with getting publicly spanked in Seattle in a week. Carolina committed the first golden turnover on special teams and added a bad penalty to lead to them allowing a touchdown. They need to take advantage of good field position to get more points. Or they can throw a pick like Caaaaaaaam did and it lead directly to another TD. Now this struggling O is behind and needs to get it going or they are in severe trouble. They got great field position off another bad punt and terrible tackling let them walk into the endzone. Taking a turnover back put them now 13 over and this D should be able to hold this with just over 19 minutes left. If Carolina wins this just remember they only did this as they played a team who didn’t have a punter. The Key pick by Kuechly has almost ended the legit chances of Arizona and now the Panther D just have to hold on for 8 minutes. A good win but I doubt they can score seven against Seattle.
7. Denver Broncos (7) – on the post season bye and they are in the same spot as Green Bay. They are set up for a win in Division round and a bad loss on the road in the Conference Championship.
8. Baltimore Ravens (12) – The Ravens have had issues from the start keeping the rush off Flacco with a backup LT there. They had no luck getting anything going with the pass but were able to use the run game to perfection and that gave them a lead well in the second quarter. Their D has bent but not broken and that has kept them only allowing field goals early. A decent start for a team lacking discipline. The offense couldn’t do another thing in the first half and the D continues to bend not break. a one point lead is better than trailing but they need to get the O moving to get in control of this game. The Ravens got another FG and now with another TD the Ravens are almost too far up to be caught with just over a quarter left. Must wait to see. The Ravens were able to take advantage of the terrible pass D from Pittsburgh and with a late golden turnover recovery they sealed the deal. Not a great win and they will be spanked by the Patriots but they move on.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (5) – The Steelers are able to move the ball between the 20’s pretty well but lack the drive to get it into the end zone. They will find pretty quick that trading field goals for tds is the recipe for going home in the playoffs. Not off to a great start and need to tighten up their rush D and their offense and play from behind early. Yet another Field Goal puts the Steelers just down by one. They have to reach the end zone as their D isn’t made to keep another team down right now. The bad Steeler D let Flacco toss a TD and now the Steelers need two more touchdowns in 15 minutes or their season is done. And their season is done. Sometimes this year Pittsburgh’s D played terrible and they decided to return to that tonight. The late Pick tossed by Ben killed their chances. Disappointing but a team that lost badly to Tampa and the Jets had the capability of playing bad in the playoffs. This team needs to find a QB of the future as Ben will suddenly no longer be there at any point in the future.
10. Detroit Lions (9) – The Lions have gotten off to nice start. They haven’t really done anything amazing. I give them credit. They have simply used their O and D gameplans and Dallas has decided to do very little to disrupt them. They are getting great pressure on Romo, they are stuffing the run, they are getting large gains in the passing game and long runs. They will continue to lead and be successful until someone decides to either block them or tackle them. What a second half. The Detroit O was incompetent and their D was cheap shotting and playing dirty and they never got another point. Now to be totally fair they did get a first down on a pass interference that then was taken back after the flag was picked up. How that happened I do not know. Bottom line is a bad Detroit team is eliminated and that is fine. They were the worst 11-5 I have seen in a while and were no good at all. Suh should be banished by the way.
11. Arizona Cardinals (10) – The Cards didn’t get the start they hoped for with a 3 and out and a bad punt. Lucky to be down only 3 early. Really poor secondary play early compounded with bad tackling (the type not seen by Arizona ALL YEAR) has them now down double digits and this could be a long day for Arizona. Taking advantage of a key special teams turnover has got the Cardinals right back in the game but it’s close and the poor punts of Arizona may be the deciding factor. Taking the ball away from Carolina may be the difference now. An unlikely lead. Can the D hold it now? The answer is no. Poor punting continued and that lead to a poor tackling demonstration and a TD allowed. Then a golden special teams turnover and now down by nearly two TDs… this offense needs a miracle or they are done. Special teams mistakes have buried this squad and now they need two TDs in 15 minutes against a tough D or done. Good luck! They got a key late turnover to give them life and promptly turned over the ball to consider their offseason plans. Still need a huge miracle to even get it close. No miracle and the dream ends. Got pretty far with that many injuries. Need a QB and they can keep it rolling.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (11) – The Bengals will go as far as their D takes them today. The first drive gives indications that the Bengals D will take Cincy home after this game. What an empty D to start. The Bengals got their D working a little and then got a good drive to get a tying score. Cincy has to take advantage of the holes that are prevalent in the Colt Secondary. The Bengals find themselves lucky to be down by three at the half. They got one golden turnover that helped but they can’t rely on Indy dropping passes all game. They need to tighten up D and O. The Bengals O was totally flat and you can say what you will about no playmakers…the issue behind Cincy struggles is the man behind center. Cincy now has lost again. Do you cut Dalton and Fire Lewis? They have made the playoffs something like four straight years…some teams would love that kind of failure.
13. Houston Texans
14. Kansas City Chiefs
15. Buffalo Bills – with Marrone walking away one has to wonder now – who wants to coach here and what impact will this change have on EJ Manuel? Buffalo is not trending up with this happening.
16. San Diego Chargers
17. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan may be the ‘set’ QB but that D needs way more help than just a defensive minded coach. Not as rosy of a coaching opening as people see it.
18. Miami Dolphins
19. New York Giants – The G-men gave Coughlin another year but with a ‘warning’. With that team as it is (ODB and pray)…if they are only going to keep Coughlin if the Giants win…they might as well have canned him now.
20. Oakland Raiders – they are actively searching for a new coach instead of just hiring Sparano and if they do that they will set back a team that has a great chance to take the next step.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Kelly gets full control and this could work if he can get in the players that have the skills and attitude to play in his system.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
23. San Francisco 49ers – This coaching job may not be as exciting as people think, that D is going to get old fast and they have little or no receivers to speak of.
24. New Orleans Saints
25. Minnesota Vikings
26. New York Jets – Woody likes Marrone and he might be a good fit for the Jets.
27. St. Louis Rams
28. Cleveland Browns – I see Cleveland cutting Manziel and drafting a new franchise QB. Want the definition of a franchise that doesn’t have a plan or a clue? See Cleveland.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. Tennessee Titans
31. Chicago Bears – Rex Ryan would be a good fit here but knowing Chicago like I do they just want to give as little money as possible to a coach.
32. Washington Redskins
There you have it, as always I appreciate any thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements. I love it when people just read my work! As a rule I will be only commenting on teams still alive in the playoffs unless there is significant news (10 of 20 eliminated teams had news I commented on this week!). Enjoy the playoff views.
A question: What is your opinion of that picked up Pass Interference flag in the Det/Dall game? I want to hear from everyone!
I will also accept money, preferably tens and twenties J
RIP Stuart Scott
MR N the BEARS Fan