At the conclusion of the NFL’s last week of its regular season the end immediately comes for all but a dozen teams. Of course the aspirations for success in 2015 among the twenty finishing up finished up quite some time ago for most…just this past week for others.
I projected who would make the post-season prior to Week 13 and was correct in the NFC on all but the New York Giants, who should have fired way-too-cozy Head Coach Tom Coughlin long before now. Those two Super Bowl rings from the past don’t quite shine as brightly now against missing the playoffs four consecutive years. In twelve seasons as the Giants’ HC he’s only had six winning seasons with the team. New York’s co-owner John Mara said 2015 would essentially be a make-or-break season. Consider it broken.
And “Hail” to those Washington Redskins who instead walked in the front door of the NFC East title by walking all over the Philadelphia Eagles…in Philadelphia no less. I’ll have more on the demise of the hometown Birds in a future post but let’s just say that even while being humiliated once again way-too-cozy HC Chip Kelly continues to imply he’s the man for the job…
“Anybody in my situation, if they’re worried about getting fired they probably already should have been fired. It’s not good enough but I’m going to continue to work.”
He’s essentially challenging Owner Jeff Lurie to fire him because as we all know Chip is always the smartest guy in the room…even when the room is on fire and he’s the only one still standing in it.
Meanwhile out in Kansas City the guy the Eagles jettisoned for Kelly – Andy Reid – has fashioned just about the hottest team in football. Especially on defense. I saw a stat that was eye-popping…since the start of Week 5 the KC D has allowed a total of 145 points, an average of 13.2 over 11 games. No other team is within three points of that. And here’s the exclamation point on that…just five defenses have been better in that regard from the fifth through their fifteenth games since 2001.
I did project the Chiefs a few weeks ago to make the playoffs. I also had Indianapolis and Pittsburgh making the cut. Oops. In the “battle” for the AFC South title between the Houston Texans and those Colts the Houston D has been the difference maker between two teams trying to win with any quarterbacks they can find in the stands at this point. The Indianapolis offensive line should be fined for being so offensive knowing they had a banged-up 40-year old QB Matt Hasselbeck at the helm…getting not only him but his backup hurt against the Miami Dolphins of all folks.
Which brings us to the sad state of affairs in Pittsburgh. We don’t get many earthquakes in Pennsylvania so that rumbling around 4:30 pm Sunday afternoon was quite unsettling as the western part of our state was in quite a state over their beloved Steelers losing to a Baltimore Ravens team led by QB Ryan Mallett…a guy the Texans of all teams cut earlier this season when they were as thin at the position as a team could be.
My sources tell me chat rooms and message boards in the Steel City are filled with something far less than the joy of the Holidays. They were simply not ready to play against Baltimore. That starts with way-too-cozy HC Mike Tomlin…and doesn’t end with QB Ben Roethlisberger…but it was indeed an embarrassment for all Pittsburgh fans.
The post-season door has now swung open for the New York Jets…let’s see what I said about their chances before Week 13…
“The Jets and Bills appear to have some “want” and I think it is possible…possible…one makes the post-season.”
“Oh…and the last week of the season it’s Jets at Bills. That might mean something extra than the usual between these two franchises.”
And here we are. After New England HC Bill Belichick decided for whatever reason he’d like to see New York have the football to start their overtime game Sunday and Tom Brady wound up having to wait until practice later today to get his hands back on the football…we will now have the Jets former HC Rex Ryan standing across the field from the biggest game they’ve played in some time.
Rex might just sell out his soul to Satan to ruin New York’s miracle campaign. Jets HC Todd Bowles took over Ryan’s 4-12 mess from 2014 and now they have a chance to determine their own playoff fate…against Ryan. In Buffalo. And the Bills won in New York earlier this season. I’m looking forward to this one. You should also.
And just in case someone didn’t show a lot of smarts at your Holiday gathering over the weekend let me give you an example of how money and fame doesn’t make you smart either…
After the St. Louis Rams went into Seattle and defeated the allegedly red-hot Seahawks, sweeping both games this season, their defensive end Michael Bennett decided to take a couple of verbal shots at both the player who factored greatly in their defeat and the team that just beat them. In essence…making him look more ridiculous in the locker room than his favored team had just done on the field.
On Rams Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley…who ranks third in rushing this season (despite missing the team’s first two games…including the Seattle loss in St. Louis) and had 85 yards with the winning TD…“He’s average to me, personally. I’ve seen better running backs.” On St. Louis as a team…“The Rams, they play good football against us. They just don’t play good football against everybody else.”
Thank you Michael Bennett. You just made everyone who was “off their game” at their Yuletide parties feel just a little more cozy about themselves.