1. Carolina Panthers (1) – The Panthers came out on fire on O and D and Special teams. They couldn’t have scripted it better. Caaaaaaaam gets them to the end zone. The D nails a golden turnover and it’s 14-0. A few moments later and another child in the end zone seating has a football and a smile and it’s 21-0. The Panther D dominated every aspect and got another pick and the Panthers added FG and another TD and it was 31-0 at the half. Carolina then rolled out their prevent D that they used facing New Orleans during the regular season. They played soft zone with no rush and no coverage and guess what? They allowed 3 TDs. They made the odd stop here and there and allowed just one more FG and finally recovered the onside and won. They were superb when trying and when they quit trying they were pushed about. My recommendation for next week is try hard for 60 minutes against Arizona. A win but it should have been easier.
2. Arizona Cardinals (5) – The Cards found a tougher matchup then they had before. They managed an early TD but then couldn’t get any pressure and fell behind. The O drove for the lead and the Card D just had to make a stop and win. They didn’t make a key stop and then they did knock a hail mary to the ground but that was allowed. In OT they won both a coin flop and flip and then Carson Palmer hit Larry Fitz for 2 passes that went about 85 yards total and the game winning TD. They await a tough Carolina in the NFC Championship game. Good win.
3. New England Patriots (6) – The Pats came out with their standard game plan. New England was able to somehow hold the intense pressure of a strong KC pass rush off totally with a non-descript O line. Brady hit every throw and The Pat D was able to shut down the KC O. By the time this game got to the 4th quarter I was very bored and New England moves on. There is little excitement in watching a team that has cheated for 15 years continue to win by any means necessary. If anyone wants a Super Bowl of at least more interest than sleeping time, let’s have New England eliminated next week somehow. It was another zzzzzz New England home playoff win zzzzzzz.
4. Denver Broncos (4) – Denver struggled to get points for most of the game. They held Pittsburgh to very few points. It was a brutal slugfest with no turnovers, few penalties and just a lot of back and forth battling. Denver found themselves down by 1. Peyton Manning, who looked poor most of the day, got the team finally into the end zone and then a 2 pointer. A super defensive stop and a late FG and Denver has iced the game. If they can play beyond the pale D next week they might have a slim chance against New England and it’s cheating. Good win.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (3) – The Chiefs were unable to do anything that brought them to this point of the season. There was a glimmer of ok special teams but the D was unable to make any plays, the O was unable to make many plays until it was too late. Was Reid out coached? Maybe. Was the D overmatched? Laughable maybe. Was the O unable to beat that D? Very laughable maybe. Did KC lose because it was pre-ordained and no team can beat NE at home because it isn’t fair? That explains this mess. Sad way for a good season to end but not unexpected.
6. Green Bay Packers (7) – The Packers D came out and played better than it can but kept the score low. The Packer O line played like an NFL O line and it’s not one. The Pack kept it close and then even took a short lead. The Pack fell behind and trailed late. Rodgers made a miracle 4th and 20 toss to mid-field and then threw a hail mary that seemed to be knocked to the ground during the catch but was allowed. Then there was OT and a coin toss that didn’t flip and caused Aaron to react as he did below. The 2nd coin toss went against GB. The Pack D reverted to form and couldn’t tackle and lost the game. Go home Green Bay. Learn how to play D.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (8) – The Steelers showed a ton of heart from the git-go. Big Ben showed he could battle with only one arm. The receivers stepped up and did the job with many big splash plays. The Steeler D flew all over the field and really made the difference early. They held a small lead and finally there was a key play. Their rookie RB fumbled and that golden turnover was the difference maker. The D couldn’t make those next stops and the lead was gone. They never were able to score again but for a late desperation FG and down go a spirited Steeler team. A heck of a try by half of a team. It was a good effort and a nice classy way to end the season.
8. Seattle Seahawks (2) – The Seahawks came out and found themselves on the receiving end of a buzz saw. They couldn’t stop the run; Wilson threw 2 golden picks. The D couldn’t stop the pass or the run and their offense couldn’t get anything done and when the clock struck zero at the half they were down 31 and clearly the team that didn’t belong on the same field. Lucky for hapless Seattle they faced only weak prevent and Seattle was able to move the ball and make Troy and Joe think they were good. They put up 3 quick TDs. The D stopped a Carolina team that stopped trying to do anything. They got to within 7 and then tried and failed an onside kick. While their opponent took knees to end the game the Seahawks, in a gutless and childish way, dove over the line. That is beyond unsportsmanlike and immature. They were defeated, it was over, lose like men not like kids. What a humiliating way for what had been a proud franchise to lose. Shameful and they should all apologize.
9. Minnesota Vikings.
10. Washington Redskins.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Adam Jones barely apologized on Instagram. He should have his right to play in the NFL removed from him.
12. Houston Texans – Short definition of JaDaveon Clowney? Draft Bust.
13. New York Jets.
14. Indianapolis Colts.
15. Detroit Lions – The Lions are keeping Caldwell. It must be important to lose lots of games with a very placid head coach on the sideline.
16. Buffalo Bills/
17. Philadelphia Eagles – Eagles hired Doug Pederson *sp* as their new coach. Interesting is that the odds for them to win the Super Bowl in 2017 went from 40 to 1 to 50 to 1 with this hire.
18. New Orleans Saints
19. Miami Dolphins.
20. Oakland Raiders.
21. New York Giants.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars.
24. San Diego Chargers.
25. Baltimore Ravens.
26. Atlanta Falcons.
27. Los Angeles Rams – the new stadium in L.A. will make the Jerry Dome look like a flea market.
28. San Francisco 49ers – Chip Kelly is their man and now you can’t find a Kap jersey on the discount rack anymore.
29. Chicago BEARS.
30. Cleveland Browns.
31. Tennessee Titans.
32. Dallas Cowboys.
As always, I love all thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements. I appreciate someone reading my views. I would also offer my analysis work to ESPN as some of theirs need help or I will take cash, preferably tens and twenties!