Idle thought: It seems only fitting the name Harpo was Oprah spelled backwards. One never talked and the other never shuts up.
This was a very strange week in the NFL. Few would have foreseen the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers getting beat in Atlanta. Just a few weeks ago Cam and company had clobbered the Falcons 38-0. And the surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team get to hoist yet another glass of champagne. Their one and only perfect season remains unequaled.
Green Bay got waxed @ Arizona. Maybe a surprise, maybe not. The Cards are really good in all phases of the game. After a quick start to the season, the Packers are starting to look mighty vulnerable. Wide receiver supreme Jordy Nelson going down early for the entire year was a terrible blow. The odds of the Cheesers making it to the Super Bowl? Long.
New England has been decimated in several ways. Injuries to their offensive line, a bunch of receivers going down, their #1 and 2 running backs getting hurt, and they had already lost run stuffing nose tackle Vince Wilfork to free agency. Yep, they're back in the playoffs again, but just got beat by the NY Jets. The JETS!!. Despite the genius of Brady and Belichick, the Patriots look very vulnerable as well. Super Bowl chances? Never count them out, but....
The KC Chiefs have been coming on like gangbusters. After a slow start, they've won nine in a row. They're in. But few really think they're Super Bowl caliber.
Seattle is a hard team to figure. Just when they had begun to seemingly round back into whup-ass mode, they got beat at home by the lowly St. Louis Rams. But don't sleep on the Seahawks. If these guys play up to their capabilities, they can beat anybody -- anywhere. Consider them a very dangerous dark horse.
Denver's been without Peyton for a while, but the Broncos are the best defensive team in the league. Thing is, even if the Omaha man is healthy enough for the post-season, these guys look shaky. On top of that, Manning's productivity on the field had already take a serious nosedive. The man's pushing 40, and Father Time seems to have beat him with the reality stick of late. It's time for him to get out before something truly bad happens. And it just might, if he continues to hang on in name only. Those young studs in the other jerseys don't give a rat's behind about Peyton and his legacy. They'd just as soon bust his chops as look at him.
Somebody had to win the NFC East and it turned out to be the Redskins. It's a pitiful division and Washington has no -- repeat NO shot of advancing far in the playoffs. The only good things that came out of this year was the "brain trust" of the Skins finally realized Robert Griffith III was a bust, and maybe the NY Giants will finally get around to bouncing the clueless Tom Coughlin as their head coach.
The always respectable Pittsburgh Steelers were on a roll, but then got beat by the lowly Baltimore Ravens. That wasn't supposed to happen. Mike Tomlin's boys rebounding to make a Super Bowl run? First, they have to make the playoffs as a wild card -- no given. But if they sneak in, they just might be the AFC's version of Seattle. You never know with those guys.
Some say the Cincinnati Bengals are the most "complete" team. Perhaps, but they always fold in the playoffs. And losing starting QB Andy Dalton to injury doesn't exactly help their cause. The Super Bowl? Nah.
How about Minnesota? They've got YO Adrian running wild again, but no way is Teddy ready for prime time just yet. Not a chance.
So add it all up and what do you have? Beats the hell out of me. Only one thing is for sure. The game announcers will hyperventilate while screaming into their microphones next week, and the talking heads on TV will be wall to wall with more possibilities and stats from hell than those pollsters following the current Presidential race.
On to Week 17. Mercifully, we'll all finally find out which teams make it into the playoffs. But then the hype will get ramped up even more. Countless droning on for hours of pre-game chatter, halftime chatter, post-game chatter, and "analysts/experts" telling us what we're about to see -- or have already seen. Evidently we, the public, are too stupid to comprehend how any particular football game turns out. This must be explained to us in excruciating detail. Hey, here's a thought. When it's over, we pretty much get it that one team will move on, while the other goes home. We don't care about stats from hell. At the end of the contest, whichever team has the most points on the scoreboard is usually the winner. Pretty simple. All the rest is just drivel coming from yappy heads that think they're smarter than we are. Like the above-mentioned politicos, these are the sort of people that aren't qualified, willing, or able to go get a REAL job as productive members of society. They just talk, while basically accomplishing nothing.
Nevertheless, here's an early Super Bowl prediction. Arizona meets New England.
And the Cardinals win.