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NFL 2017-2018 Season Discussion

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Oddly enough, the only 6-6 team that still has their star players on offense are the Chiefs.  And perhaps the Raiders and Chargers if they win as well.

 

Bears are officially eliminated from playoff contention as well, while the Bucs find themselves on the chopping block.  If the Seahawks win, the Bucs are officially eliminated.  Otherwise, we'll see more teams have their playoff hopes come to an end next week (looking at you, Denver, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Houston, and possibly Arizona).  The Jets and Dolphins both won, so they get a stay of execution and remain longshot contenders.

 

Right now, I'm projecting that in the AFC, the Patriots and Steelers will for sure win their divisions, while the Ravens, Jaguars and Titans will join in.  The 4th seed will go to either Kansas City, Oakland, or the Chargers.  I'll wait another week or so, but we'll probably get an idea of who it's going to be heading to the season finale.

 

For the NFC, the Eagles and Vikings are for sure going to secure first round playoff byes.  I'm gonna pick the Rams to be the third seed, while the NFC South will be in a three-way war between the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons.  All three teams look really, really good, but ultimately, the scheduling quirk is probably going to doom one or two of these teams.  For sure, I think the Saints are gonna get there and perhaps either the Panthers or the Falcons.  If anything, the remaining playoff spot is probably going to go to either Seattle, Green Bay, or Dallas, with Seattle being the team I'm leaning on.

 

I'm pretty sure that with injuries to Tyrod Taylor and Matthew Stafford, the Bills and Lions' seasons are pretty much done.  Looks like a torn ACL and a broken right hand respectively.  And alongside Zeke's suspension and Aaron Rodgers' healing broken collarbone, the 6-win club looks pretty bleak in the grand scheme of things.

 

In total, there appears to be 16-17 teams that still have tangible shots at making the playoffs.

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28 minutes ago, buck said:

Blaming Alex smith? Lol. Must not watched the game or looked at the stars.

 

i guess you football geniuses think Alex smith also plays defense.

 

Didn't watch the game. Was just trollin' the Chiefs. 

 

But I know the Chiefs D played well enough to beat the Giants and Bills (9 & 10 points against those shitty teams).  Ouch. 

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Looks like the Seahawks are gonna upset the Eagles.  Also, as of right now, only six teams have a shot at clinching a playoff berth next week.  And of those six, only four of them can clinch their division--the Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, and Vikings.  Here's the results thus far:

 

New England Patriots:  To clinch the AFC West for a ninth season in a row, the Patriots either need to defeat the Dolphins in Miami, or they'll need the Bills to lose to the Colts.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers:  Regardless of what happens tomorrow night against the Bengals, the Steelers need to defeat the Ravens to clinch the division.  That is it.

 

Philadelphia Eagles:  The Eagles either need to defeat the Rams, or they need the Cowboys to lose to the Giants.

 

Minnesota Vikings:  A Vikings victory will only ensure them a playoff spot at the very least.  Losses to the Packers and Lions next week, however, ensures them the division crown.

 

Meanwhile, the following five teams have officially been eliminated from playoff contention:  Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The following teams, however, are barely hanging on by a thread:

 

Denver Broncos:  Because the Chiefs have fallen apart as well, the Broncos, shockingly enough, have yet to officially been eliminated from playoff contention yet (per se), but their chances are so nonexistent at this point that all it takes is for either the Raiders and Chargers to both win, or for the Broncos to lose.  Just for the Broncos to make the playoffs, not only are they going to need to win out, but they need the Chiefs to beat the Raiders next week, the Chargers to lose, and then for the Chargers and Chiefs to tie, and for the Chargers and Raiders to tie at the season finale, all while the Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders fail to win another game the rest of the year.

 

Indianapolis Colts:  The only reason why the Colts are still in contention for a playoff spot is because they still have to play the Bills and Ravens.  All it really takes, however, for the Colts to be eliminated is for them to either lose or for either of them to win.  Unlike the Broncos, the Colts can no longer compete for a division title due to the Jaguars and Titans having both won this week (Colts are 3-9; Jags and Titans are both 8-4).

 

Houston Texans:  The Texans can no longer compete for a division crown since the best record they can possibly finish is 8-8, while the worst the Jaguars and Titans do is 8-7-1 (which, even then, would mean the Titans would win the division crown).  However, a loss and/or a Ravens win (I don't remember who won between these two teams when they played early on in the season) automatically eliminates them from playoff contention altogether.

 

Arizona Cardinals:  As I said last week, no 5-win team can possibly be eliminated after this week.  However, any NFC team that finds themselves at 5-7 will automatically find themselves on the chopping block, which is exactly where the Cardinals find themselves.  The Cardinals will officially find themselves eliminated from playoff contention either with another loss or wins from both the Seahawks and Panthers.

 

Washington Redskins:  The Redskins loss to the Cowboys on Thursday Night was a shocking upset given just how bad the Cowboys have been without Ezekiel Elliot, and now they are on high alert.  The Redskins will officially be eliminated from playoff contention with another loss as well as wins from the Seahawks and Panthers next week, just like the Cardinals.

 

As for the Dolphins, Jets, and Bungles, they cannot possibly face elimination next week.  Especially not the Jets or Bungles, even if the latter team loses tomorrow (which, if anything, will simply eliminate them from contention for a division crown).  This is because if the Bungles win out and the Steelers completely collapse, the Bungles can still win the division.  Neither the Jets nor the Dolphins, however, can win the division because the Patriots had won.  But the Jets can make the playoffs if they win out and the Ravens only win two more games after this week.  This is due to the Jets having a slightly better conference record, which was assured when the Ravens defeated the Lions.  The Jets were swept by the NFC South, which account for 3 of the Jets' 7 losses (they have yet to play the Saints).  However, the Ravens have split their NFC games, winning against the Packers and Lions but losing to the Bears and Vikings in the process.  This means the Jets can still secure a division tie-breaker over the Ravens by virtue of conference record instead!

 

That's pretty much it on the matter.  I personally think that the Patriots, Steelers, Jaguars, Chargers, Titans, and Ravens will ultimately represent the AFC, while the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, Rams, Seahawks, and then either the Panthers or Packers will represent the NFC.  Though If the Packers win out, and the Panthers lose to the Vikings next week, then for sure the Packers will make the playoffs.  Though that's only possible if Aaron Rodgers comes back by the time the two teams clash with one another.

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You guys hear those early 90s grunge songs during the interludes of the SEA PHI game last night?

 

the rooster, and some Pearl Jam song. Seems like there was another that I can't remember.

 

but the PHI does not look as strong as their record would suggest. The game was lost when Wentz lost the fumble at the goal line and SEA took it down and scored.

 

PHI had a lot of trouble with Russell Wilson's antics. And PHI / Wentz seemed to have trouble with all of SEAs blitzes.

 

RE: KC chiefs

fuck em.

 

Edited by buck

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I think they do that anytime they're in Seattle, 'cause clearly they're hip to the Seattle grunge scene of the 90s.

Yo, Philly is a good team, but they're also somewhat pretenders. They've played mostly inferior teams, and if not out-and-out inferior; the teams have been inferior at positions specific to PHI's talents.

I said this a week ago or so, but Wentz is going to have no idea what to do with complicated NFL blitz packages. He's been able to get away from 3 or 4 man rushes at the line, but more complicated LB / CB blitz packages are over that dude's head. And I don't blame him: dude is a second-year player, after all.

Last night's game is going to serve as a model for all other teams to pick apart PHI moving forward. Seattle's defense being somewhat in shambles right now doesn't help the narrative that PHI is going to be able to stand up against proven NFL commodities. We shall soon see!

So far, I have reason to believe that if Seattle and New Orleans make it to the playoffs, that they're the teams in the NFC to beat. I am not getting on the PHI and MIN hype trains. I have no reason to believe either team is ready to handle the spotlight pressure.

Edited by Maynard_G_Krebs

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Peace out, Ben McADon't. Literally, no one is going to miss you.

 

Related-but-unrelated: Marvin Lewis has to be the luckiest motherf*cker on the planet to still have his job.

Edited by Maynard_G_Krebs

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4 hours ago, Maynard_G_Krebs said:

Marvin Lewis has to be the luckiest motherf*cker on the planet to still have his job.

Because he's black.

 

And because at least he gets to play the Cleveland Browns twice a year.  And because they played the Broncos.  And the Bills.  And the Colts.  And because if they win out, they can make the playoffs, if not flat-out steal the division title from the Steelers (only if they lose out, however).  Or at the very least, get in before the Ravens based on divisional records.

 

Naw, it's because he's black, and the NFL has been politicized beyond all recognition.  Mark my words; even if the Bungles fail to win another game again the rest of the year, Marvin Lewis will still keep his job.  I think the only way he'll lose his job is if he either is forced to retire, quits his job, or starts an 0-16 season.

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Power Rankings:

 

32.  Cleveland Browns (0-12):  Back-to-back seasons with an 0-12 start.  Sad.  Anyways, they're dead now, so bye, bye!

 

31.  New York Giants (2-10):  The Eli Manning benching, and the firing of pretty much the entire coaching and front-office staff would make the Giants the most pathetic organization right now, if not for the fact that the Browns are still winless, and may appear to be utterly incapable of so much as winning two games, if one at all.  They're dead!

 

30.  San Francisco 49ers (2-10):  Good win, Jimmy.  But you're still dead!

 

29.  Denver Broncos (3-9):  You should be dead, but you are not.  You can make the playoffs if you manage to win out, and the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders tie every time they face off with one another, and then lose all the rest.  Because apparently, 7-9 trumps 6-8-2.  This is so insanely stupid and improbable that I might as well give the Broncos a mercy killing.

 

28.  Chicago Bears (3-9):  John Fox refused to let the 49ers score in spite being in the red zone during the 2-minute warning, and not having any time outs.  Even if John Fox did something smart for once and his efforts were to pay off, the Bears would still be dead because the Eagles lost last night's game to the NFL's SJW's.  Not only are they now officially dead; they got double-tapped!

 

27.  Indianapolis Colts (3-9):  Going through the NFL schedule, the Colts have a much more realistic--albeit still insane shot at making the playoffs.  Not only do they need to win out just to secure the 6th seed, but the Chiefs must be the ones that win AFC West by winning out; the Ravens cannot afford a single, solitary win the rest of the season or else the Colts are dead; the Bills and Dolphins must split their regular season matchups but otherwise lose out; the Chargers and Raiders must lose out heading into the season finale, only to end in a tie; and the only wins that can possibly be afforded to the Jets and Bungles are against the Chargers in Week 16 and the Ravens in Week 17 respectively--they literally have to lose every other game outside of their respective exceptions.  This means the Colts would win head-to-head tie-breakers against the Bills and Ravens, and be half a game up on the Chargers and Raiders (if either of these two teams win in the season finale, or at any time leading up to it, it pretty much renders the head-to-head matchups worthless), and a whole game up on everybody else.  I didn't mention the Texans because winning out means the Colts would also get the head-to-head division sweep over the Texans, regardless of how well the Texans play down the stretch.  Ergo, it's time to send this limp horse to the glue factory.

 

26.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8):  Because of their overtime loss to the Packers, combined with wins from Carolina and Seattle, the Bucs are now officially dead.  One of Johnny's victims in one of the Home Alone movies.  Merry Christmas you filthy animal!

 

25.  Houston Texans (4-8):  Another team on the chopping block, though at least their shot at making the playoffs is somewhat realistic compared to the Broncos or Colts; they don't need any tie's in order to help them out for one thing.  In fact, not only do they need to win out, but because they also happen to have the tie-breaker over Cincinnati, the Bengals are required to lose only one more game (they get the Vikings so that's not too hard a scenario to imagine happening).  In addition, the Jets and Dolphins must lose half their remaining games (also realistic); the Bills can only be allowed to win one more game (preferably a season split with the Dolphins); the Chargers must win the AFC West; the Chiefs must beat the Dolphins and nobody else; the Raiders must beat the Chiefs and nobody else; and finally, the Ravens must lose out.  Boy, that was a lot to cover.  However, of all of these conditions, the least likely to happen by far is the Baltimore Ravens tanking their season.  What is, however, likely to happen this week, is a Texans loss to the 49ers.  The Texans do technically have the potential to survive Week 14 though, but if one single, solitary thing goes wrong--particularly where the details happen to be so precise, their season is officially over.

 

24.  Miami Dolphins (5-7):  You see the remaining schedule for the Dolphins?  Two games against the Bills, a rematch with the Patriots, and a battle against the flailing Chiefs.  Still, in spite of a slightly easier schedule than the Bungles and a much easier schedule than the Jets, the Dolphins have two things working against them.  The first is the wild unpredictability of QB Jay Cutler; and even if they somehow feasibly pull away a major home upset against the Patriots next week, the Ravens still own the tie-breaker over them, as well as a 2-game lead over the Dolphins.  Meaning if they were to so much as lose to the Patriots (or to anybody else for that matter), all it would take to eliminate the Dolphins from playoff contention is a Ravens win.  This is something that neither the Jets nor Bungles need worry about.  Still, this is the only 5-7 AFC team that is officially on the chopping block; one loss, plus a Ravens win, and they are officially eliminated.  Right alongside other teams like the Colts and Texans.  It's also a much easier and much more likely scenario to occur than the next two teams on the list.  Hence, why the Dolphins dropped so low in spite having humiliated the Broncos.

 

23.  Arizona Cardinals (5-7):  Welp!  Without Adrien Peterson, the Cardinals no longer have much of an offense capable of keeping them in games.  They may not be as bad as any of the teams ranked in the bottom 8, but they run the risk of facing elimination this week; either another loss or wins from both the Seahawks and Panthers will eliminate them from playoff contention.  As far as a believable shot at playoff contention goes, they absolutely must win out.  In addition, the Panthers and Falcons must battle out the remainder of the month to an 8-8 record between them.  In addition, the Packers, Lions, and Cowboys can not close out the season with a record better than 8-8.  Especially not the Cowboys.  It is semi-plausible, but there's just one problem:  The impending return of Aaron Rodgers and Ezekiel Elliot.  Even if these two do not become a factor, all it takes is either one mere loss (and all I have to say about the Cardinals' remaining schedule is that they have to go to Seattle for their season finale), or a win from Carolina to all but eliminate them from playoff contention.  Actually, I spoke too soon; if they lose, and then the Panthers win after that, the Cardinals are officially eliminated from playoff contention (the Cardinals would own a better conference record over the Panthers, who, mind you, have swept the AFC East; the Cardinals, on the other hand, had lost to the Texans).  Considering that the Titans are unspectacular, and the Panthers still play the Vikings this week, they may very well survive another week in spite being on the chopping block!

 

22.  Washington Redskins (5-7):  That Cowboys loss alone guarantees that this team must drop, and not only did they drop; they plummeted.  Even though they are technically better than the Jets, Dolphins, and perhaps even the Bungles.  This is because in the NFC, any team that's 5-7 at this point have next to no shot at making the playoffs.  I've checked, and not only would the Redskins need to win out in order to make the playoffs, but they need an awful lot to go their way.  They need to make sure neither the Packers, Lions, Cowboys, Panthers, or Falcons finish with a better record than 8-8 for one thing.  It might also help their chances if the Redskins finish ahead of the Seahawks in terms of tie-breaker scenario, but since the Redskins are three games back on the Seahawks, that's kind of unrealistic.  Still, that upset win in Seattle, combined with a marginally easier remaining schedule (the Chargers and Cardinals are about as difficult as they come for them, while the Broncos and Giants are as easy as they can possibly get) makes their chances that much more likely than Arizona's.  It's just a shame that the Redskins are so beat up at this point that right alongside teams like the Jets, Texans and Giants, I have no idea who anybody is on either team anymore.  The only possible exceptions might be the quarterbacks as far as Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning are concerned, but what can one even say here?

 

21.  New York Jets (5-7):  The Jets' remaining schedule only really permits one or two more wins; they get to play the Broncos next week, which is a gimme.  But then they have to play the Saints, and Chargers before closing out their season with a rematch with the Patriots in Foxborough.  And if anything, I'd project the second possible win being from either the Chargers, or from a Patriots squad with nothing left to play for.  Just for them to make the playoffs, they would need to win out; the Chiefs to win the division; the Raiders and Ravens to lose twice (the Jets would own the conference record over the Ravens); and the Bungles to lose once more.

 

20.  Cincinnati Bengals (5-7):  As I said, the three AFC teams that are currently at 5-7 are pretty much being ranked based on who is most likely to make a run for a playoff spot.  That means how difficult their remaining schedule is going to be.  For the Bungles, they pretty much are getting dogpiled by a slew of NFC North teams which, if conference tie-breakers are of any indication, isn't going to be helping their cause all that much.  It doesn't help matter much that, while the Bears should be an easy win for them, they still have to play the Vikings and Lions.  And this is before they have their season finale against the Baltimore Ravens, who happen to look really, really good, by the by.  Had they won last night, I could have simply said, "well, all they really need to do is run the table to make the playoffs."  This was because by winning out and making it to 10-6, they would secure a divisional tie-breaker over the Ravens (4-2 versus 3-3), as well as a head-to-head victory over the Bills earlier on in the year.  But no; like so many teams ranked below them, they pretty much need an endless well of miracles and must overcome the near-impossible anyways (then again, just look at the Chargers).  Still, based on raw talent alone, the Bungals are definitely the best 5-7 team alongside the Redskins.

 

19.  Dallas Cowboys (6-6):  Yeah, I'm actually kind of surprised, actually.  Only two weeks to go before Ezekiel Elliot's return.  Fortunately, those two games are against the Giants and Raiders.  Unfortunately, even if they beat them both, they still have to play Seattle and Philadelphia during their season finale (and they got killed by Philly when they had Zeke in their team already).  What do I think's going to happen?  I honestly think the Cowboys will only get one, maybe two wins.  I think the Giants game is going to be a gimme, but that's about it.

 

18.  Detroit Lions (6-6):  Their remaining schedule is against the Bucs, Bears, Bungles, and Packers.  So in spite a very easy scenario where the Lions could realistically make it to 8-8 or 9-7 easy, why do I not have any confidence in the Lions winning?  Maybe it has to do with the fact that they are notorious for being quite terrible in the month of December.  On top of that, Matthew Stafford's throwing hand isn't exactly in good shape (thank goodness it wasn't broken).  Maybe it's the fact that they do not have any meaningful tie breakers to speak of; if they were to win out, their only tie breaker would be against the Packers.  They've already faced off and lost to the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers already.  And even if the Falcons and Panthers successfully kill each other, the Seahawks and Rams would each own conference tie breakers over the Lions anyways--not that they would factor in at all since both teams are very likely to run the table all the way down to 11-12 wins on the season anyways.  That means for the Lions to make the playoffs, they have to win out; then they would need both the Falcons and the Panthers to fail to secure ten wins; and just to make sure, the Cowboys need to lose one more game as well.  The path is very much there, except for one problem--if Aaron Rodgers returns from injury, the Lions are fucked.  And besides all that, I somehow doubt the Lions will win more than one--maybe two games down the stretch.  Just a hunch.

 

17.  Buffalo Bills (6-6):  Speaking of a team that gave us a really good scare with its QB.  Unfortunately, the Bills are having their own version of the Chiefs' midseason collapse; they started out 5-2 and looked poised to make serious noise heading into the playoffs.  Then they lost 4 of 5.  Their remaining schedule is manageable though; they get the Colts, Dolphins twice, and sandwiched inbetween, a rematch with the Patriots.  Maybe the Dolphins end up playing like shit; the Bills get their heads out of their asses; and run the table.  It would help them a great deal if the Ravens were to lose half their remaining games.  Either that, or the Jaguars/Titans start fumbling down the stretch and either or both teams end up going 9-6 heading into the season finale only to get eliminated outright (I'm picking the Titans as the team most likely to falter).  What do I think?  I think I'm looking at an 8-8 team!

 

16.  Green Bay Packers (6-6):  Of the 6-6 teams so far, I honestly think the Packers have the best shot by far at making the playoffs.  Why?  Because their very next game is going to be against the lowly Browns.  If they win that, and Aaron Rodgers is healthy enough to return, we might see his return in time to combat the Panthers and make a serious playoff push.  They still need a bit of help, but by winning out, the Lions would be eliminated, and the Packers would own tie-breakers against both the Panthers and Cowboys, even if they win out as well!  The only real threat then to the Packers' postseason aspirations would then come from the Atlanta Falcons.  And even then, the Falcons have to play the Saints twice, and the Panthers again for the season finale.  Don't be surprise to see the Packers doing their best impersonation of the 2010 season.

 

15.  Kansas City Chiefs (6-6):  The Chiefs are in freefall now, having lost four in a row, as well as 6 of their last 7 games to boot!  That's one measly win against the lowly Broncos over the span of the last two months!  Luckily for them, their remaining schedule could indeed help the Chiefs all but clinch the division crown--in addition to a throwaway game against the Dolphins, they also have rematches against all three of their division rivals.  9-7 could very well be all that it takes to clinch the division.  The only question is, are they even remotely good enough to so much as get that much done at all?

 

14.  Oakland Raiders (6-6):  The Raiders have a much harder remaining schedule than the Chiefs do; for one thing, they still have to play the Eagles, as well as quite debatably, the Cowboys as well.  They still look very unspectacular, but they are winning, and I suppose that's all that matters.  The season finale against the Chargers could very well determine the AFC West Champion.

 

13.  LA Chargers (6-6):  It can't be stated enough--this team started the season out 0-4.  Imagine if those field goals during their first two games of the season were good?  We'd be seeing a much more dominant 8-4 Chargers squad compared to this three-way race to be the best of the worst division in football.  And considering what consist of their remaining schedule, if they beat the Chiefs, then I'm pretty certain that they'll make the playoffs.  Between these three AFC West teams, whoever does the best job at running the table is going to be the one that wins the division.  Simple as that (and for the record, the only team to start the season 0-4 and make the playoffs?  The same franchise all the way back in 1992 when they were in San Diego).

 

12.  Atlanta Falcons (7-5):  The NFC South as surprisingly demonstrated itself as a divisional force to be reckoned with, as all three teams still in playoff contention still have a shot at winning the division!  The problem is, due to a scheduling quirk, they all pretty much have to face each other in this month, which if anything, pretty much suggests that one of these teams is going to be left behind.  The Falcons remaining schedule has them battling the Saints twice, as well as the Bucs, and then the Panthers during the season finale.  The Falcons best shot at rubber-stamping a possible playoff ticket has to come Thursday Night when they play the Saints; if they cannot beat the Saints on a short week, odds are, they're not going to be able to make the playoffs.  They need to win three out of four to guarantee themselves a playoff seat.

 

11.  Baltimore Ravens (7-5):  You can debate who between the Ravens and Falcons are a superior team, but the Ravens definitely look like a team with the hottest shot at a playoff berth.  Why?  Because after Sunday Night's game with the Steelers, their remaining schedule is very favorable; they get to play the Browns, Colts, and Bungles.  And keep in mind that the Bungles are the only other team that could possibly derail their playoff aspirations.  And even then, they would still have a wide array of tie breakers giving them the advantage.

 

10.  Carolina Panthers (8-4):  And here's where things start to get complicated.  But here's the rub; for the Panthers to make the playoffs, they need to win two more games.  And more specifically, they need to beat the Packers, and then one more team (either the Bucs or the Falcons especially would do).  It would also help if the Cowboys lost one more game as well.  Because between the Falcons and Panthers, a 10-win season will almost certainly clinch a playoff berth.  Their remaining schedule?  Well, they have the fewest matchups against NFC South adversaries in the War for the NFC South.  Unfortunately, those two games happen to be against the Vikings and Packers--and if Aaron Rodgers were to come back, watch out.  Then, we'd see a scenario where the Panthers and Falcons battle it out in the season finale for a winner-take-all scenario.  That's why they are docked so low.

 

9.  Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4):  So long as Blake Bortles doesn't kill his own team, the Jaguars are for sure making the playoffs.  Unfortunately, their very next game is against a red hot Seahawks squad.  Luckily for them, that pretty much means their next couple of games are against the 49ers and Texans with a possible winner-take-all situation occurring during the season finale against our next team....

 

8.  Tennessee Titans (8-4):  While the Titans are currently ranked higher by virtue of their current tie-breaker scenario, the Titans are far more likely to miss the playoffs.  Granted, both teams get the 49ers during the next month.  But in addition to this, the Titans also have to play the Cardinals and the Rams.  And while the Cardinals are not exactly the most dangerous of football teams, they most certainly can pull away with an upset victory.  Why?  Because the Titans do not really do anything spectacular in any way.  The closest thing they do really well is shove it in their opponents faces by needlessly running up the score on the opponent when all it would really take is a single kneel-down.  Karma's kind of a bitch, you know?  At least when the Seahawks and Cardinals were pulling this kind of crap a few years back, they were really good.  Speaking of which....

 

7.  Seattle Seahawks (8-4):  Yes, by virtue of their victory against the Eagles, the Seahawks not only skyrocket well ahead of the Titans, Jaguars and Panthers in the power rankings, but all but validate themselves as playoff contenders yet again.  In fact, the path is pretty clear for them to run the table and win the entire division.  Their remaining schedule--the Jaguars, Rams, Cowboys, and Cardinals--while tough, is definitely manageable.  Worse yet, a 12-4 record also opens up the road to a first round playoff bye.  If that happens, one must officially recognize them as Super Bowl contenders.  They're not there yet, but they're getting there.  Which is a shame because nobody outside of die-hard Seahawks fans, bandwagoners, and SJW's want to see the Seahawks succeed under any circumstances.

 

6.  New Orleans Saints (9-3):  For the Saints to clinch a playoff berth, not only would they need to win, but they would also need the Cowboys to lose as well.  They won't be able to clinch their division though.  That may take another week or two to sort out, what with how good the Falcons and Panthers have been.  On the bright side, however, if they win this week, and then the Panthers lose; then all they'd need to clinch the division is one more win the week after.  Just so you know, their next two games are against the Falcons and Jets.  If they lose, however, then things will begin to get REALLY complicated.

 

5.  LA Rams (9-3):  If the Seahawks can shut down Carson Wentz, then why can't the Rams in turn take down the Eagles?  After that though, they would still need to go to Seattle where they'll definitely be tougher (in spite the Seahawks no longer having Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor available).  But after that difficult stretch, they get to play the overrated Tennessee Titans and Jimmy G!  Yeah, the Rams are definitely making the playoffs this year!  Speaking of which, in order to clinch a playoff berth, they will need to win, and for both the Packers and Lions to lose.  Doesn't seem terribly likely--if nothing else but because the Packers and Lions are both playing dead football teams.  Either way, the lurking Seahawks are the reason the Rams cannot clinch the division at all, and probably never will until the season's over, provided that they win out, that is.

 

4.  Philadelphia Eagles (10-2):  This will probably make Maynard and other Patriots happy, seeing the Eagles lose as badly as they did.  Now what looked like an easy cruise to homefield advantage throughout the playoffs have suddenly opened up a bit.  I mean, their next slate of games includes the Rams, Giants, Raiders, and Cowboys.  Of that group of teams, the Giants look like the most certain of victories.  As for all you Eagle fantards out there, do not fret; all they really need to clinch the NFC East is a win or a Cowboys loss.  And given their remaining schedule, that makes the Eagles' playoff berth all but a dead lock at this point anyways.

 

3.  Minnesota Vikings (10-2):  For the Vikings to clinch the NFC North, they will either need to win, or for the Packers and Lions to lose.  The Vikings play the Panthers this week.  And with the defensive juggernaut the Vikings possess, I think it's all but certain.  I'm having a hard time figuring out though, between the Bungles, Packers, and Bears who could possibly defeat the Vikings before the season's out.  The closest thing hypothetically might be the Green Bay Packers, but that's only if Aaron Rodgers comes back.  Either way, it probably won't be too much of a threat to them.  A first round playoff bye is all but guaranteed at this point, if not homefield advantage.

 

2.  Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2):  I probably should not be ranking the Steelers this high consistently, especially given all the times they've been playing from behind against massively inferior football teams.  But until it costs them big time, I cannot dock them for how they win.  And their first major challenge is going to be their rematch with the Ravens on Sunday Night Football.  And either a win or a tie in that game will win them the division guaranteed.  After that, they get the New England Patriots.  And if they somehow manage to win that game, then they will become a true Super Bowl contender.

 

1.  New England Patriots (10-2):  It took an awful long time, but the Patriots are finally at the very top.  All they need to do to clinch the division is one more win (or a Bills loss; that works too).  Against the Dolphins, that shouldn't be too tough.  After that, we'll get a matchup between them and the Steelers in a game that will ultimately have serious playoff ramifications on the line as far as homefield advantage is concerned--not that it matters, anyways.  The Patriots could get their asses handed to them in that game, forcing them to go to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship, and they'd still end up going to the Super Bowl.

 

Yeah, I'm gonna make a gutsy call here and now.  Super Bowl LII is going to be the Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots.  The only other team that is likely to play spoiler to the Vikings might be the Seahawks (if they win out, that is).  But I digress.

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I don't think that hit was dirty at all. Could he have blocked Burflict with less impact? Sure. But both players were practically running chest forward at each other. It's not JuJu's fault that Burflict kept his eyes entirely on the ball-carrier.

 

Now, the Gronk hit? THAT was dirty. And I loved it. ;)

Edited by Maynard_G_Krebs

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Gronk's hit wasn't dirty.  If you look closely he tripped over the dildo that was thrown onto the field (again... nice work Bills fans) and happened to land on the Buffalo player.

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Something else I keep noticing is that Tom Brady keeps turning up on the injury list every week, even though he seems totally fine every week.  Maybe Brady is so dedicated to his craft and to his longevity that he is constantly getting medical checkups in spite not needing them?  I suppose that would be the best-case scenario for him, especially since to my knowledge, nobody else does this other than those who are either possibly or definitely injured.

 

Eh, until we see any clear signs that something is seriously wrong, I suppose there's no use worrying yet.

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