Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NFL Visions, Part 1


Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, 13-0
It may never again be this easy to peg the teams for which things are looking up this late in the season. Two undefeated teams through Week 14? Seriously?

Only four NFL teams have finished the regular season undefeated: The Bears went 13-0 in 1934 and 11-0 in 1942; the Dolphins are the only team ever to run the table in both the regular season and postseason, going 17-0 in 1972; and the Patriots went 16-0 two years ago. And now, we could be just three weeks away from two teams accomplishing the feat in the same season.

I'll tell you what I'm hoping for: the undefeated Saints vs. the undefeated Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Not only would it pit the two best quarterbacks and two of the NFL's best offenses against one another, it would also guarantee that we would never again have to hear from Mercury Morris and those stuck up '72 Dolphins. Do they have a right to be proud of what they accomplished? Hell yes. But they don't have a right to annoy the hell out of me with their disrespectful diatribes about how no one else could ever possibly be as good as they were (okay, technically, they do have that right). I submit Exhibit A:

So keep up the good work, Colts and Saints. I hope to see one of you doing a champagne toast to an undefeated season, as opposed to once again hearing the rumors of Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese and Dick Anderson raising a glass to celebrate the last remaining undefeated team losing its first game of the season.

San Diego Chargers, 10-3
Through Week 6, the Chargers were being very Charger-like--unpredictable and underachieving. They were 2-3 and 3.5 games behind the Broncos in the NFC West. But since then, they've been charging upward in the standings. Having ripped off eight straight wins, they now have a two-game lead in the division and have pounded their way to the second-best record in the AFC. If they can finish strong, they can secure a first-round bye for just the second time since 1995.

Philadelphia Eagles, 9-4
First, the Giants were 5-0 and were going to roll to an easy division title. Then, the Cowboys were 8-3 and were finally going to put it all together to win the East.

But after four straight victories, it's the Eagles who have soared to the top of the division. They've scored at least 23 points in their last five games, DeSean Jackson is ridiculous, Michael Vick is starting to contribute a bit, and they appear primed to make yet another playoff run.

Green Bay Packers, 9-4
Winning streaks galore! The Packers' streak stands at five after they beat the punchless Bears. Though their offensive line could be their downfall if they make the playoffs, a combination of Aaron Rodgers living up to the preseason hype and a defense allowing the second-fewest yards in the league has Green Bay in the playoff pack. If the season ended today, they would be the 5 seed.

I know this is somewhat sacrilegious coming from a Bears fan, but I'm rooting for an eventual Packers-Vikings playoff match-up and a revenge victory for the Packers. I'm still a Packers-hater, no doubt. But I would pay a decent sum of money just to see the shot of Brett Favre on the sideline, his head hanging low as time winds down and his season comes to a painful end at the hands of his former team. Can you imagine how elated Packer Nation would be? Okay, actually, I don't want to imagine that. I do still hate the Packers. But this season, I hate Favre more. And I can't think of a better way for his season--and, one can only hope, his career--to end than with a three-interception game against the team he so royally and selfishly screwed over.


Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-7
That looks weird, doesn't it? A losing record for one of the few teams we've become accustomed to seeing in the playoffs every year. They saw postseason action in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. Interestingly, their disappointing 2006 season came on the heels of a Super Bowl victory the year prior. They're apparently suffering from a Super Bowl hangover once again as they have lost five straight and lost earlier this season to the Bears. Really, we should have known it was over for them right then. With the two teams who currently hold Wild Card spots (Broncos and Jaguars) losing this week, the Steelers still have an outside chance. But things are certainly looking down for Mike Tomlin's team.

Houston Texans, 6-7
A blowout victory against the Seahawks on Sunday put an end to a four-game losing streak, but this will likely mark the fourth consecutive season of between six and eight wins for the franchise. Head Coach Gary Kubiak has been at the helm each of those years, and many believe this will be the end of the road for him. His Texans always seem to tease their fans and show potential early in the season, but it always amounts to nothing.

Dallas Cowboys, 8-5

If you're a Cowboys fan, you probably just twitched. Or perhaps you involuntarily slammed your head into the nearest hard surface. Just when it looked like the Cowboys were hitting their stride, they lost to the reeling Giants and then to the surging Chargers. With the Saints, Redskins and Eagles remaining on their schedule, Cowboys fans have a lot to fear. For now, they remain in the playoff picture. For now.

1 comment:

  1. I'll chip in some of that "decent amount of money" to see that too. It would be a beautiful thing to behold.