Thursday, December 12, 2013

Post NFL Week 12-13-14 Predictions

Predictions based on the results of Week 12-13-14

The Giants will do something very un-Giant-esque. Instead of stringing along their fans by making them thing their team has a chance at the playoffs before failing to reach the playoffs in a spectacularly painful fashion, they will get knocked out of playoff contention with three weeks to play.

I supposed kudos are in order for trying something different this year.

Remember that team that was 1-3 and then 3-5, that went two weeks with a grand total of three points, that started the season 0-4 at home? That team will be in first-place in the NFC East standings with three weeks remaining. E A G L E S Eagles!

NOTE: You know what makes Philly a dark horse in the playoffs, if they get there? They’re playing well late (have won five-straight, best current streak in the NFL), they’re excellent on the road (NFC-best 5-1 mark, tied with KC for best road record in the NFL), and they have Nick Foles. Wait, what was that last one?

“It’s not you, it’s us. We just don’t think you’re good enough.”
--How Mike Shanahan will tell RGIII that the team is breaking up with their Subway eating quarterback (at least for the rest of the season), as rumors swirl about Shanahan’s future with the team and the general douchiness of owner Dan Snyder.

All of a sudden, the NFC East will no longer be the division where the team in first-place has the worst record of all division leaders…that honor falls to the NFC North! Congrats, Detroit and Chicago!

Remember when Tampa Bay and Jacksonville were both 0-fer and in the lead for Downey for Clowney? Both teams will screw up their chances at landing the speedying star Clowney by winning, thus disappointing their fans. Good job, Bucs and Jags. Way to play hard even though there’s nothing to play for. Losers.

The team currently in first place for Clowney…everyone’s favorite darkhorse Super Bowl pick, the Houston Texans! Clowney will love playing for Cowher/Lovie/Harbaugh/Phillips/Whisenhunt/Shaw.

Not even I can predict which coach will get the Texans gig.

Houston has its work cut out, as it will have to lose to Indy, Denver and Tennessee to hold off Atlanta and Washington in the first overall pick sweepstakes.

I take that back – Atlanta and Washington are screwed. Houston’s getting the first overall pick.

In Week 12, in one of many chapters in the Manning v Brady storybook, the Patriots will come back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Broncos in overtime.

If the Football gods don’t give us Denver-New England II in the playoffs, they will not be doing their job.

Despite losing to the Patriots, the Broncos will still have the inside track to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. All they will need to do is defeat San Diego, Houston and Oakland (combined record: 12-27) to clinch the first overall seed. Might as well start making those January travel plans to Denver now, boys…

The Saints will defeat Carolina in week 15 to become just the third team to win the week after playing the Seahawks. Teams that play Seattle will improve to 3-8-1 in the week following their game against the Seahawks.

After Week 14, all four teams in the AFC South will have a negative point differential. The division clinching Colts will be the only division leader with a negative point differential.

These are things I now know.


Dear Anti-College Football Playoff People,

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how the implementation of the college football playoff next year will make the regular season pointless, and I can’t tell you how much that sentiment grinds my gears. “Games like this year’s Iron Bowl won’t have as much meaning,” you say. “Regular season games won’t mean as much,” you argue.

What the what?!

Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, the Florida Gators men’s basketball team won back-to-back national championships. You might have heard about it. It was kind of a big deal. Despite solid, if unspectacular, seasons following the second national championship, the Gators missed out on the NCAA Tournament and were relegated to the NIT. Head coach Billy Donovan realized that the biggest reason his team wasn’t being given more NCAA Tournament consideration was the fact that his non-conference slate wasn’t as strong as other teams. So he changed his scheduling philosophy, and the team has made the NCAAs ever since. This season, already Florida has traveled to face Wisconsin (No. 4) and UConn (No. 9) on the road and hosted Kansas (No. 13).

Why do I bring this up? Because this year, Florida State’s non-conference matchups were Nevada, Bethune Cookman, Idaho and Florida. Auburn’s non-conference games were Washington State, Arkansas State, Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic. Real stellar stuff.

Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which an early regular season loss does not knock a team out of national championship considerations. Imagine that college football teams, worried not of an early regular season defeat but instead of the lack of a tough non-conference schedule, playing other college football teams that share that same concern. Suddenly those Auburn-Arkansas State games become Auburn-Ohio State. Florida State against Florida becomes...Florida State vs. Florida (ok, bad example).

Those regular season games later in the season become even MORE important than they are now. Suddenly, Auburn and Alabama are not competing with two or three other teams for national championship consideration, they’re competing with four, five, six or even more teams for playoff consideration. Plus, they might be playing for SEC Championship berth. So on multiple levels, the regular season becomes absolutely vital. Big games at the beginning of the season, big games at the end of the season, win-win for the fans.

The only group that suffers with the incoming playoff is the FCS schools who won’t be getting that big payday to be beaten by 80 points. Certainly those games won’t disappear – Homecomings have to be played, after all – but the idea is that they will not be played with such regularity.

The change won’t happen overnight. The first year of the playoffs will feature more BCS-FCS matchups than we would want, but it won’t take away the importance of regular season games, beginning to end. And those last three weeks of the season, as teams jockey for conference championships and playoff consideration will be a beautiful, wonderful thing.

I’m excited. You should be too.

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