It’s that time of year again. I don’t think I’ll finish this one before midnight so I might cheat and post it at 11:55 and then edit it later.
It’s Christmas time! Which means it’s also the end of the NFL regular season. So it’s a great time of year.
I’ve been wanting to write this post on the NFL playoff picture for a while so here are my opinions about the current state of the league (and a possible Super Bowl prediction).
The Seattle Seahawks are clearly the strongest team in the conference even considering their loss to Arizona on Sunday. I think they’re a strong contender to make it to the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is a budding Tom Brady* so he’s fun to watch. Richard Sherman is annoying but he’s also one of the best cornerbacks in the league. But speaking of the Cardinals, it would be nice to see them make it into the playoffs. I haven’t been able to catch any of their regular season games but I don’t have anything against their squad and I think they could shake up the playoffs a little bit.
The San Francisco 49ers are not my favorite team, so I’m hoping they get kicked out of the playoffs early (if they even make it in). It’s hard to ignore their hot streak though leading up to the playoffs. The same goes for the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton is great to watch and Carolina’s defense is pretty baller but I don’t know if they can make it far in the playoffs. Still, now that they’ve beaten their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints they may just be on a roll.
Between Green Bay and Chicago, I’m rooting for those Bears. Even though they played so horribly last Sunday, I think they can get back on track. Still, if they do make it to the playoffs, they’ll be a one and done team. Too many problems. If Green Bay makes it though, I could see Mr. Rodgers staging a few upsets and possibly making it to the NFC Championship game. Crazier things have happened.
How about them Eagles? After the Giants humiliated themselves this season and Washington started a quarterback controversy, Philadelphia was faced with only one real hurdle: the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys did attempt to self-destruct last week but Romo (Mr. Clutch)** saved them. It all comes down to week 17 but with Romo questionable to play, the Eagles may have the easiest road to the NFC East title ever.
I’ll get the Denver Broncos out of the way. They will probably make it to the conference title, but I just can’t bring myself to believe they’ll win. Peyton Manning isn’t really a clutch quarterback. He’s definitely a hall of famer and he’s having the best season of a quarterback in recent memory but he’s afraid of cold weather. Like a baby. That’s not a good quality to have. Plus, the Broncos don’t have a great defense. Peyton bails them out but eventually, that won’t be enough. In all honesty, I like the two other AFC West contenders.
Kansas City is such a different team than they were a year ago and they just keep getting better. Granted their loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday was rough but they’re still learning. I could easily see them winning a playoff game. Speaking of the Colts, they’re a sneaky bunch. They’ve beaten the best (Seattle, Denver, Kansas City) but they’ve lost to some of the other playoff contenders (Arizona, Cincinnati). I could see them being one and done or sneaking through to the AFC Championship game, it could go either way. Cincinnati is another sneaky team but I would be really surprised if they made it to the AFC match. They’re good, but not that good.
Ravens, Steelers, Dolphins, Chargers. These teams all have a chance to grab the final wildcard spot. I hope the Ravens don’t make it, because they’re a pretty scary team. The Steelers have the toughest road since they need the other 3 teams to lose. The Dolphins could do it, but would I really want to see an AFC East rival in the playoffs (the answer is no). I’m hoping the Chargers make it because they’re so legit. They’re a good football team, they just need a little push sometimes. They’ve also beaten the Colts and the Broncos. It would also be nice to see Big Ben make it only because this season started off so badly for Pittsburgh. Realistically, I don’t think they’ll make it and even if they do, I don’t think they’ll stay around for too long.
And finally, the New England Patriots. I won’t pretend like the Patriots are the best team in the AFC, because they aren’t (I give that award to Kansas City). But I do think New England has something they haven’t had in a while: the perspective of the underdog. It may be hard to believe, but few serious NFL analysts think New England can make it to the Super Bowl. Even I think that would be a long shot. But I’ve also watched numerous games this season where the Pats were down and everyone thought they would lose and they came back to win it in such a glorious fashion. I’m a Patriots fan so I’m obviously biased but I always think it could happen. The Patriots have proven to be mentally tough, something necessary to make it to the Super Bowl. And they want it. Tom Brady wants it so bad. Peyton wants it too but I don’t know if that will be enough.
Plus, if Tom Brady makes it to his sixth Super Bowl we’d finally be able to end the Manning vs. Brady discussion and just give Brady the recognition he deserves. I mean, c’mon!
Now, without further ado, a quote that perfectly sums up how I feel about this and every Christmas:
“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward is that you shall have everlasting life.”
—Corrie Ten Boom
*Not in terms of mobility (Tom Brady is not a runner) but more in terms of poise.
**That was sarcasm.
My ideal Super Bowl match-up: New England vs. Seattle
My actual Super Bowl prediction: New England vs. Seattle (although Kansas City vs. San Francisco would be really fun to watch) – It’ll be either New England or Denver and it’s honestly a coin toss between the two teams. It’s also a little hard to figure out the NFC. Seattle is a great team but they definitely have some weaknesses. I picked New England because I finally got that Patriots jersey I’ve been asking for a.k.a I’m a fan!