Dec 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; An NFL logo is seen on the field after a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
One thing you could always count on in professional sports was the certainty that good teams win, bad teams don’t, and when pitted against each other the good team probably isn’t going down. Apparently NFL teams did not get that memo this season. Yes there are teams in the playoffs that we all knew would be there, but game to game if you can pick who is going to win successfully then place your bets.
There are a few glaring cases this season where you watch the TV scratching your head and trying to figure out what happened. We can go ahead an discard the Seahawks-Packers game from that list because although it was an upset it also shouldn’t have gone down the way it did.
The Patriots watched the Texans march into Foxboro as the best team in football and subsequently leave as the punchline of a good joke. The following week the 49ers went up 31-3 deep into the second half and yet somehow the Patriots still gave them a game. Then this past week the Pats can barely defeat the Jaguars whom many believe couldn’t beat Alabama.
The Dolphins lose tough games to the Jets, Bills, Cardinals, and that debacle against the Titans; they also find a way to beat the Bengals and Seahawks. The former a serious playoff team and the latter just flat out scary especially at home. At times the Dolphins have looked as good as any playoff team and others they looked like a 1-15 team.
The Seahawks started the first quarter of the season as a team with a decent rookie quarterback who could manage a game but would never score more than 20 points. Has anyone seen their last three games? If Russell Wilson isn’t in your rookie of the year conversation then you are too caught up in the hype of either RGIII or Andrew Luck (both of whom have had very good rookie seasons, great even for RGIII).
My final example is the Giants. What has happened in the Meadowlands? With every team you can point to injuries, but that is no explanation of what has occurred. The Giants destroyed the 49ers, Packers, and Saints all of whom have explosive offenses. They also got blown out by the Falcons, and Ravens which isn’t such a bad statement until you add losses to Redskins, Steelers, Eagles, and Cowboys. The favorite in the NFC East now has an outside chance of not making the playoffs at all.
It has certainly been a very entertaining season to see so many teams in the mix. If the current standings play out it will be fun to watch teams like the Redskins, Seahawks, Vikings, and Colts in the playoffs. I’d like to say that after this week you’ll be able to better predict the outcome of games, but that doesn’t necessarily stand true.