Thursday, October 17, 2013

Post NFL Week 6 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 6

The good news for the NFC East: two teams – TWO – will be at .500 after week 6!

The bad news for the NFC East: those two teams will be tied for first place.

The NFC East will be the only division in the NFL whereby the first place teams are not better than .500. On the bright side, the NFC East will finally have more combined wins (seven) than the teams with the best record in the NFL (six)!

The bad news: two teams – TWO – will fall to 0-6.

The good news for the Giants: they will only be three games back of the division leaders.

The good news for the Jaguars: they will totally beat the ridiculous and NFL record-tying 28-point spread that Las Vegas favored the Broncos to win by.

The bad news for the Jaguars: they will still lose by more than two touchdowns.

The good news for the Jaguars: Tim Tebow is avaiiilablllle!

The bad news for the Jaguars: Tim Tebow is available.

In what may be a sign that things they are a-changing in Cincinnati, the Bengals will blow a 14-point fourth-quarter lead to the Bills but still win in overtime.

In what may be a sign that things are not a-changing, the Buccaneers will fall to 0-5 with a loss to the Eagles.

For the third-straight game, the Eagles will have three drives of over three minutes, including their second-longest drive of the season, taking 5:29 in the fourth quarter en route to a field goal. Their longest drive this season: 6:32 against Denver (that also led to a field goal).

Could Chip Kelly finally be learning how to win in the NFL?

Thinking….

Thinking….

After week 6, the combined record of the three teams the Eagles’ will have defeated will be 1-15. But that one win came against Oakland (by Washington), and the Raiders will be 2-4…yeah I wouldn’t hold my breath, Eagles fans.

The Jets will come into week 6 tied for second in the AFC East. The Steelers will come into week 6 dead last in the AFC North. So of course Pittsburgh will defeat New York handily.

Remember when Matt Flynn had that great game with the Packers in 2011, throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns against Detroit? Since that time, he went to Seattle (where he threw for 68 yards OVER THE ENTIRE 2012 SEASON) and then Oakland (where he threw for 246 yards over two games this season). In fact, he’s been so impressive for the Raiders that they will make the decision to play a concussed* Terrelle Pryor against the Chiefs.

*I’m sure he passed every single concussion test the Raiders gave him with flying colors and was completely and 100-percent healthy for the game.

Pryor will throw three second-half interceptions** as the Chiefs will improve to 6-0.

**I’m sure he passed every single concussion test the Raiders gave him with flying colors and was completely and 100-percent healthy for the game.

The Raiders will cut Flynn, but all is not lost, as he will sign with the Bills, who have a long history of giving fading quarterbacks one more chance (see Leinart, Matt).

The Chiefs’ six wins means they will have already TRIPLED their wins total from a year ago.

In a battle of kinda sorta Super Bowl contenders, the Packers will hold off the Ravens by….and this is crazy…running the ball! Eddie Lacy will become the third GB running back to break the 100-yard plateau this season. It will give the Packers three more 100-yard rushers this season than they had all of 2012. And 2011. And 2010. COMBINED.

In fact, the last time the Packers had three 100-yard rushing games in a season was 2009.

Running the ball! Who knew?!

The Texans will lose their kinda sorts Super Bowl contender status with a home loss to the Rams. Surprisingly, there will be very few “Houston, we have a problem” jokes, even though Houston really does have a problem. In fact, many.

The Patriots, without Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski or Danny Amendola, will defeat the Saints in what will so far be the game of the season, scoring a touchdown with seconds remaining in the game.

The reason? Tom Brady’s short hair, of course. “He looks so much better with short hair,” my wife will say.

The 49ers and Seahawks will improve to 4-2 and 5-1, respectively. The Colts, who defeated both San Fran and Seattle, will go into San Diego…and of course lose.

These aren’t your Norv Turner San Diego Chargers anymore.

MOMENT THAT GRINDED MY GEARS ENOUGH TO WRITE ABOUT IT (in letter form)
Dear College Football Playoff…um, people,

Archie Manning. Condoleezza Rice. Ty Willingham.

What do these three people have in common? A week ago, not a whole lot. I mean, Archie Manning played college football, and Ty Willingham coached college football, including the school that Condoleezza Rice attended, and Manning…well maybe Manning voted for Dubya.

Now, however, the three will be a part of the selection committee for the upcoming football playoff, which will begin next season.

Most college football fans have been waiting for a playoff for YEARS, and I think we’re all very excited to see it come to fruition. March Madness is filled with drama and excitement and Adam Morrison’s tears and is probably the greatest three-plus weeks of the sporting year (outside of a year that includes the World Cup). So for college football, arguably the most popular sport this side of the NFL, to have a playoff…well suffice to say it’s going to be a fun couple of weeks.

But before we get to the actual games, we have to pick the four teams to compete. Manning, Rice and Willingham will be a part of that group.

The rest of the group includes Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, Wisconsin AD and former head coach Barry Alvarez, former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Southern Cal AD Pat Haden, former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt, Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, former Nebraska coach and AD Tom Osborne, former BIG EAST commissioner Mike Tranghese and former USA Today college football reporter Steve Wieberg.

Most of these names I don’t mind. You have the big five conferences represented with Long (SEC), Alvarez and Osborne (Big Ten), Haden (Pac 12), Luck (Big 12) and Radakovich (ACC); you have smaller conferences represented in Gould (Mountain West) and Tranghese (American née BIG EAST (and yes I know the BIG EAST is still around but how many times do you really get to use née?)); you have current and former ADs (Alvarez, Long, Osborne and Radakovich); former coaches (Alvarez, Osborne and Willingham) and former players (Haden, Luck and Manning); you have media (Wieberg); you have NCAA (Jernstedt).

My issues are with Manning and Rice. Manning you could make the argument because he played at Ole Miss and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame. But that doesn’t hold a lot of water to me because what has been his involvement with college football since he graduated? He’s been as an analyst on TV and he’s served on the board of the National Football Foundation since 1993, but neither of those qualifications necessarily mean that he’s following all the college football teams closely.

And Rice has minimal qualifications when it comes to college football. Certainly she held an impressive job as Secretary of State, which I’m sure gave her good negotiating skills, so maybe that’s why they picked her? Is it because she’s a fan? I know a lot of fans (I happen to be one), and I don’t think loving college football makes one qualified to pick the four teams that will play for a national championship. Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS, said of Rice that “[she] knows this game, she is a student of this game.” I don’t even know what that means.

Plus, doesn’t it seem strange that Stanford has three representatives on the committee? Rice went to school there and worked there, Willingham coached there and Luck had a son who played there. On the plus side it’s not Notre Dame that college football is over involving.

I guess my issue with picking Manning and Rice to serve on the committee is that it reeks of PR to me. Remember, the BCS is the same organization that in 2005 decided to replace the AP Poll (filled with media members who cover college football for a living) with the Harris Interactive Poll (which has included such college football stalwarts as Terry Bradshaw and Boomer Esiason, guys who talk about the NFL for a living). Sure, Bradshaw and Esiason had name value, sure, but nothing much else when it comes to college football.

But those were the names that the BCS presented to us as proof that the Harris Poll was a viable replacement for the AP Poll. How did the Harris Poll fare, you ask? Well next year college football will have a playoff to replace the BCS. So I guess you could say the Harris Poll fared perfectly well, at least with regards to the destination (just not so much with the journey).

I don’t think, as some have suggested, that one needs to have played college football to serve on the committee. But I do think that one needs to have worked in a college football setting where you’re involved with the day-to-day operations, either as a player or coach, school athletic administrator or conference representative, or media.  Manning has the player part but not much else. Rice has school administrator but not much else.

But what they do have is name recognition, and that sets off the warning bells in my head. Because it reminds me of the Harris Poll, which reminds me of all the issues with the BCS, which reminds me how we finally got to this Playoff in the first place.

Although, if my worries are proved correct, and history is any indication, the College Football Committee will screw up the final four badly enough such that in a few years, we’ll have an eight- or 16-team playoff. Which is what most of the fans want anyway. Viva la BCS!

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