“And there the past was having its sunset.”
We’re gonna save the playoff preview until Friday, where we’ll introduce “Prior to the Snap, Playoff Edition.” So for today, before we look forward, let’s look back at the infinite wisdom of my pre-season picks:
Teams Whose Records I Accurately Predicted, Likely for Inaccurate, Coincidental Reasons
- Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9)
- San Diego Chargers (13-3)
- Oakland Raiders (5-11)
- Carolina Panthers (8-8)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
Teams Whose Records I Practically Got Right, You Know, If You Add or Subtract One (What I Said Is in Parentheses)
- New England Patriots (11-5)
- Miami Dolphins (6-10)
- Buffalo Bills (7-9)
- Houston Texans (10-6)
- Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
- Chicago Bears (8-8)
- Atlanta Falcons (8-8)
- Arizona Cardinals (9-7)
Teams Whose Records I Inverted, Completely By Accident
- New York Jets (I meant 9-7, not 7-9)
- Cincinnati Bengals (who predicts 6-10 for these guys?)
Teams I Wasn’t Even Close
- The Colts were better than 9-7 (turns out this wasn’t the year it all fell apart for them)
- Denver doubled my 4-12 prognosis.
- Kansas City only fell FIVE short of the prescribed nine wins.
- So maybe Brett Favre did make the Vikings a Super Bowl contender, and not a 7-9 team.
- The Seahawks only had like half their players, hence half the wins I thought.
Team That Won Only 14.7% of the Games I Thought It Would Win
- Wanna come back and be the Giants’ defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo? To be fair, Football Outsiders was also high on the Rams.
Other Rambling Week 17 Thoughts
- The answer to this whole resting players issue is simple: SBCS!
- The real answer: What are you gonna do about it? The Colts have been resting players for years and no one cared until they insulted the idea of perfection and handed the Jets a playoff spot. If you mandate that guys play, you’re gonna get injuries like the one to Wes Welker and uninspired, show-them-nothing performances like you did from Cincinnati and Arizona. Were the Jets lucky to get into the playoffs? Of course. But no sport relies more on the luck of the schedule than the NFL anyway. It’s just too bad for the Texans that one of their two games with Indy didn’t land in the final two weeks of the year.
- Who else had the Broncos and Titans finishing with the same record back in Week 7? Anybody?
- Did Chris Johnson just have the least publicized great season in NFL history? He broke the record for yards from scrimmage, ran for over 2,000 yards, and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. Out of the six backs with 2,000 yards, only Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson reached the mark with fewer than Johnson’s 358 carries (Sanders got there with 335, which just highlights how absurdly good Barry Sanders was, especially in 1997). And yet, I remember there being a lot more pub when Jamal Lewis went for 2,000 in 2004, and he wasn’t remotely as exciting as Johnson is.
- If you take away their six-game losing streak, the Steelers would be 9-1.
- If you take away their five-game winning streak, the Giants would be 3-8.
- All I can say about the Giants is that at least now they’ll realize they need to make wholesale changes (like firing Sheridan and getting a new corps of linebackers). And that I agree with John Mara: This felt a lot worse than 8-8.
- Who’s gonna go nuts and draft Jonathan Stewart in the first round of his Fantasy Draft next year? Me!
- Is it possible to go into the playoffs with less momentum than the Bengals? Oh, that’s right: the Saints showed us how!
- Sad to see Isaac Bruce hang ‘em up this year…and not three years ago.
- To win games in December, all Eric Mangini needed was to lose games in every other month.
- Isn’t what happened to Pat White—and I mean both the incompletions and the gruesome injury—teach us that strong passing performances by predominantly running quarterbacks don’t merit the consideration of a second-round pick even if you have the most creative offense in the league? You know who I’m talking about.
- Final SBCS Standings, btw: Indy, San Diego, New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas. That means the title game would be Colts-Chargers, and other BCS games would be something like Cowboys-Cardinals, Vikings-Patriots, Saints-Eagles, and Packers-Bengals. Yeah, soooooo much better than the playoffs, right?