03 January 2008

2007 Post-season Preview

In which our heroine considers the success (or lack thereof) of her pre-season playoff picks, and offers her equally-likely-to-be-dead-wrong thoughts on the teams who’ve successfully advanced to the post-season.

Back in August, before an agonizingly slow recovery from an ACL tear and a distracted head coach led to an 8-8 season, I blithely posted my best guesses for divisional winners for all the world to see – and mock me about now, 4 months later.

(pre-season 2007) AFC Picks
East – Jets
North – Steelers
South – Titans
West – Chargers

(pre-season 2007) NFC Picks
East – Eagles
North – Bears
South – Saints
West – 49ers

A few comments are in order. Jets? Was I on crack? Given the rest of my picks, the answer seems clear: Yes. Yes, I must’ve been enjoying a variety of controlled substances and/or been heavily medicated when I picked these teams. I was right about the Steelers and the Chargers, and at least the Titans are in the playoffs, although by that logic, I hardly could’ve gotten the AFC South wrong, since 3 of the 4 teams are still in it. But wow. I did not get a single pick in the NFC correct. Not only did I muff all my NFC picks, none of my picks even made it as wildcards. Good thing I didn’t put any money on this…

On to the teams who are actually still playing.

AFC

Titans – The Titans are clearly outclassed in this group. There’s a reason that wildcard teams usually don’t survive the first week of the playoffs.

Jaguars – Move along, nothing to see here. Return to your regularly scheduled obsession with the Pats. In the meantime, the Jags are the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs. And they go into the playoffs SMOKIN’ hot. Look out, y’all.

Steelers – The Steelers, on the other hand, do no go into the playoffs smokin’ hot. They’re not even pleasantly warm. Still, good on Mike Tomlin winning the division as a really young (really cute) rookie head coach. I think their ride is going to end this weekend, but that’s probably OK – Tomlin doesn’t want to peak too soon.

Chargers – The Chargers were, by the end of the season, the team I though I’d see at the beginning of the season. But they have a major handicap heading into the playoffs – Norv!

Colts – Move along, nothing to see here. Return to your regularly scheduled obsession with the Pats. In the meantime, Marvin Harrison is finally feeling better, and the Colts just might manage to pull off a repeat.

Patriots – The thing about the Pats is that they never take a single series off. You could see it mostly clearly in the close games they had: Colts, Eagles, Ravens and Giants. The margin of victory in all four games was 3 points or less, and all four could have gone either way. The difference maker? The Pats never check out for even a minute. But evil has to pay the piper eventually, right? RIGHT?

NFC

Redskins – Speaking of going into the post-season on a hot streak, check out Todd Collins’ numbers. The Skins have fire in the belly, which has been missing since long before Ole Joe showed back up. I’m not sure how long it’s going to last, but at least they have momentum going in.

Giants – I can’t help it. Even after their strong season ender showing against the Patriots, I keep expecting the Giants to fall apart at any moment. And they have a history of poor playoff performance under Coughlin and Lil’ Eli. I suspect they just delayed their typical second half of the season collapse, and it’ll show up any second now.

Buccaneers – The Bucs squeaked into the post-season on the backs of a very weak division. I do love me some Jeff Garcia, but I don’t see them getting very far. I wonder what’s next for Jeff? I hope good things, whatever he decides.

Seahawks – You know, I never think the Seahawks are going to be any good, and they always manage to surprise me. This year’s no exception. But I think the big fish in a weak division thing is going to bite them, too.

Packers – Wouldn’t it be nice for the Pack to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl? I mean, there’s no way an NFC team wins, but after breaking every QB record known to football history, that would be a nice way for Vicodin Boy to end it. HINT. HINT.

Cowboys – Speaking of teams that look likely to collapse, I know the game against the Skins on Sunday was meaningless for the Cowboys and critical for the Skins, but it is still the case that the Cowboys first team looked pretty damn pathetic. And they lost two out of the last three. And one of those losses was to an Eagles team everyone had pretty much given up for dead. And the win was over the Panthers, who, let me remind you, spent a good chunk of the season starting Vinny Testaverde at QB. Short version? They may be the top seed in the NFC, but I don’t think that’s going to matter.


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