Brett the Jet left his team upset! Photo from the AP
I guess it’s time to focus on the NFL playoffs, seems like it’s been weeks since I thought about the NFL, but it’s only been a few days. I guess that’s what happens when you live blog college football for hours on end! But I’m still in love with the NFL, even if my moron team managed to choke their opportunity to participate in them away. I’ll start with predictions for this week and then bestow some special awards in celebration of the 2008 season after that.
Wow, we’ll work through this together but I honestly think I might be taking all road teams in the playoffs. This frightens me more than I can say, but let’s see how it works out, maybe I will talk myself out of somebody.
Atlanta over Arizona: I’m sorry but the Cardinals have not shown me anything to inspire me to consider picking them to win a playoff game, whether they’re at home or not. They’ve lost to just about every quality team they played; Dallas excepted but I could argue about the “quality” of that team anyway. Atlanta is a darn good team, much better than I gave them credit for most of the year. Matt Ryan was the deserving rookie of the year and he might well get some votes for MVP, I couldn’t argue against those who did vote for him. I expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner to wear down the Arizona defense, such as it is. If Warner makes mistakes, as he’s prone to do, Arizona is done.
Indianapolis over San Diego: The only team hotter than the Chargers in recent weeks was Indy. It’s like they came out of nowhere and Manning remembered he was Manning and the rest of the league just laid down before them. The team that looked old and lost suddenly wasn’t anymore. Amazing what a franchise QB can do for you, huh? As to the Chargers, they’ve been impressive in recent weeks but their defense still gives up way too many points for my taste. I look to Manning to carve them up and waltz out of SD with a victory.
Baltimore over Miami: Yes, this pick scares me. But Baltimore dominated Miami early in the year and they’re playing just as well as Miami is. The Dolphins have made me pay for picking against them every time, so I have no confidence in this pick, I just like what I’ve seen out of Flacco (some may remember that I wanted him to be a Buc, sob!). Pennington and the Fins are a great story but my gut tells me the end is here. Ugh…I know they’ll prove me wrong! Oh well, good luck Miami, perhaps I have brought it to you by not believing.
Philadelphia over Minnesota: After I watched Philly destroy Dallas last week, I knew there was no way on earth I was going to pick against them in round one of the playoffs. They got a favorable match up against Minny too, I don’t see Tavaris Jackson fairing any better against that blitzing D than Romo did. McNabb seems to be playing with new fire as well, no reason not to think that won’t carry over for another week. Things get different when Carolina and the Giants hit the mix next week, but for now I say Philly wins, easily.
So that’s where I see the playoffs going this week. All road wins. I am royally frightened, but at least I’m taking chances right? Sure…why not? Okay, on to the special awards I wanted to highlight.
Worst Performance By A Backup: Tie between the immortal Sage Rosenfels vs. Indy and JP Losman against the Jets. Both killed their teams with untimely turnovers and ultimately set the playoff stage down the road by sending Indy on it’s winning streak and costing the Pats a playoff spot down the road. Way to go Sage & JP, you did make an impact on the NFL this season!
Best Performance By a Backup: Kerry Collins, Tennessee. He took over the team and led them to the #1 seed in the playoffs. You really can’t ask for more than that.
Worst Drama: The Brett Favre Saga Part 1, retiring, unretiring, trade rumors and finally ending up on the Jets. I don’t think I went one day without hearing his name for a few months over the spring/summer. It was insane and annoying and I’m already bracing myself for this year’s version.
Best Drama: The Brett Favre Saga Part 2! This one hit yesterday, starting the year off on the hilarious note that the Jets players felt he should have been benched in their final game and that he held himself separate from the team all year. Doesn’t sound like Brett has any friends in that locker room! That makes Part 3 of the Sage, retire or return?, all the more compelling. Will Brett want to return to a team that doesn’t want him? Will we have yet another trade watch? For once I am actually intrigued by Brett’s off season doings.
Best Suspension: Adam “Pacman” Jones I love the new commish and his heavy handed approach to things. The fact that Adam was dumb enough to get drunk and get in a fight when he knew he was being watched like a hawk, well it shouldn’t surprise me but it did.
Biggest Collapse: So many to choose from but I’ll bestow this one upon my Bucs. They just needed one win in their last 4 games and they’d have been playoff bound, but no, couldn’t be bothered to do that. Kiffin’s departure, once a sign of doom to me, is now nothing but a shrug the way that defense played in those games. I don’t know what happened but I do know I didn’t like it.
Most Disappointing Team: This one kinda has to go to Dallas doesn’t it? I mean, I know I predicted them to go to the Super Bowl and I was sure not alone. Maybe instead of acquiring all stars Jerry Jones will work on forming an actual team, instead of a bunch of individual jerks? Eh, maybe not. Oh well, he can continue to not win then!
Best Moment: 0-16 baby!!! I know, other people would pick out some wonderful moment, but for me, it was seeing history made. I couldn’t love Detroit and Marinelli and Millen more if I tried. Thank you for giving me a little history!
MVP: Gotta go with Peyton Manning here. He took a team that was pretty much left for dead and drove them all the way to the playoffs. I gotta think that nobody really wants to play them either. Honorable mention to Adrian Peterson and Matt Ryan here as well.
LVP: How can you have an MVP without celebrating a least valuable player? After much thought, and a little help from Crunk, I decided to bestow this award on David Gerrard. The Jags were supposed to be a major postseason player but they floundered all year. Gerrard got his big contract and failed to produce at all. He did have a lot of injuries on O-line to contend with but the Jags should still have been better than they were.
Best Hands: Braylon Edwards. Every time I saw that guy, he was dropping something. Then he got snippy and claimed that Cleveland fans didn’t like him since he was from Michigan. Um, they liked you fine when you were earning your way into the Pro Bowl last year by actually catching the ball, jackass.
Best Benching: Has any team benefited more by losing their starting QB than Tennessee has? Vince Young losing his mind, or whatever it was he did, led to Tenn turning to Kerry Collins and earning the #1 seed in the playoffs. It really doesn’t get much better than that…it’s like Bledsoe to Brady without the injury. Plus we all got to watch Vince on the sidelines and wonder if he was going to do anything crazy. It was a win win situation.
And finally, it’s time to name my Douchetard of the Year Award. He’s been prominent on this listing, and I spoiled it in another blog, but the DT of the Year is Brett Favre. For holding us hostage with his will he or won’t he? retirement; to unretiring; to orchestrating a trade to the Jets; to losing several games down the stretch and missing the playoffs; to the locker room drama that is just emerging…Brett Favre is the most deserving player by far. The drama that swirls around this guy is just astounding to me, and as I said earlier, we’re not done yet. I would hope that it would drive him to retirement but then we’ll still be watching for the unretirement, so why bother? Brett Favre, congratulations, you are my first ever DoucheTard of the Year award. Keep it up and this award will bear your name for all future winners to admire and enjoy!
Well that’s my look at the playoffs and my look at the year that was. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and look forward to whatever 2009 brings!