Pop the Champagne!
It’s 2 weeks before New Years, but the Champagne was flowing last weekend for the 1972 Dolphins and 2008 Lions. In Week 15, the Packers lost their first game of the season, and the Colts won their first game, keeping those 2 records safe for at least one more year. More on both later…
The FMQB Curse:
The Madden cover has it’s curse, the Sports Illustrated Cover has it’s curse, but I’m beginning to notice a trend on stories I talk about. After Week 3, FMQB picked up on how lights out Cam Newton had been in his first 3 starts, since then he has yet to have another 400 yd game. FMQB was all about the Lions and Bills, and predicting the most unlikely of Super Bowls between them. Since then the Lions have struggled mightily and are barely hanging on to the #6 seed, let alone the #1 seed. While the Bills are off the radar altogether. As soon as FMQB jumps on the Texans train, their players start dropping like flies, even their Defensive coordinator is out! Call TJ Yates the next Tom Brady? He comes out with a flat 56 passer rating and first loss. But last week when I ran my drooling exposé about the Packers, I felt that I had nothing to worry about. So I would like to officially apologize to every Packer fan and any NFL fan who wanted to witness history this year. To be honest, with my team doing so poorly, the only thing I had left to root for was to witness NFL history, and I’m mighty disappointed that it will not happen this year.
Making a Play to be the next Head Coach:
If there was one game anybody said should be a sure-win for the Packers this year, it was the Chiefs. This 5-8 team had just fired their head coach, just benched their backup QB for a guy they picked up 2 weeks earlier, and had already lost their star RB for the season. But that’s why they play the game! To be honest, I was never really a fan of Romeo Crennel, he’s not really that motivating guy in my opinion, plus he coached for the Patriots. I thought he did an atrocious job in Cleveland. But seeing him get the Gatorade bath and the entire team rally around him honestly made me smile a little bit. From reading other articles, he seems like a stand-up guy; a players coach who told his team that they could beat anybody, even the undefeated Packers. And you know what? They did! And Crennel made a huge play to become the permanent head coach starting next season.
“Don’t Worry, I got your back”
The Nevermores have made the playoffs in their first 3 seasons with John Harbaugh at the helm. But failing to wrap up the AFC North has meant they have played 7 road playoff games in a row. A tough task indeed. This year, they finally swept their rival Steelers to essentially take a 1 game lead on them for the rest of the year. But this being the Nevermores we’re talking about, they lost to a team with a 6 game losing streak. All of a sudden they were in prime position to take the #5 seed once again (if the Steelers could pull off a win), instead of the #1 seed and homefield advantage. But obviously John has played the Steelers 7 times and knows exactly how to beat them now; case in point, 2 wins over them this season. Here is my take on probably what happened: Panic struck John after their loss to the Chargers, so on the flight home, he called brother Jim to chat. He gave Jim all of the Steelers weaknesses and tendencies, and a solid gameplan to beat the potential #1 seed. And that’s exactly what the 49ers did on Monday night, holding them to a measly 3 points while seeming to effectively manage their offense against one of the best defenses in the league. What’s the first thing you do if you ever need help in life? You go to your family!
Just Throwing It Out There:
A lot of people think that Denver is a team in question, and only by divine intervention are they in the playoff hunt this year. And after a 1-4 start, critics have claimed this was a rebuilding year. But take a look at the teams Denver has losses to. Oakland, Tennessee, Green Bay, San Diego, Detroit, and New England. Each team is over .500 and all of them are still in the playoff hunt with 2 games to play. I don’t foresee the Secretariats making a strong move in the playoffs, but they’re beating teams they’re supposed to beat (ahem, pay attention Nevermores), and sticking with some of the better teams in the league.
Drew Brees Scouting Report:
This week, FMQB and FFMQB attended the Vikings vs. Saints game in order to watch one of the elite QB’s in the league do his work. And man, did we pick a game for us to go to! Despite early Saints’ mistakes, Brees had 265 yards and 4 TD’s by HALFTIME! The Saints 28 points by halftime were more than both the Rams and Redskins put up in the entire game we went to in St. Louis! To say that Drew Brees was on fire is literally an understatement. He completed 32-40 passes, and honestly 8 incompletions sounds like more than he had, and it was tough to see one that was actually his fault. Drew Brees became the first player in league history to throw for more than 400 with five TDs, and complete 80 percent of his passes with no interceptions in a game. Well at least I got to witness some NFL history this year.
FMQB said it first! Look at this story run by FoxSports.
Stat of the Week #1:
Drew Brees had 5 TD passes before Christian Ponder had 5 completions.
Stat of the Week #2:
At 6-8, statistically the Eagles and Chiefs are still mathematically alive to make the playoffs and host a playoff game.
Stat of the Week #3:
Even with a 6 game losing streak, the Chargers are only 1 game behind a chance to host a Home playoff game.
Stat of the Week #4:
Kyle Orton has played for two AFC teams this year, and has had 2 chances to beat the NFC Packers. The second time he was successful.
Stat of the Week #5:
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 330 yards, yet the Steelers only scored 3 points.
Stat of the Week #6:
Pittsburgh is 0-3 against the Harbaugh brothers, and 10-1 against the rest of the league.
Stat of the Week #7:
It’s Week 16, and yet only 10 teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. In 2 weeks that number will be 20.
Newton’s Trick Play, inspired by Little Giants.
With the #1 pick seeming to be locked up since Week 9, columnists have been debating on whether the Colts should take Luck with the #1 overall pick next April, and essentially ruin Peyton Manning’s swan song as a Colt. This discussion has literally been going on for WEEKS as they kept losing game after game. It wasn’t even a race in people’s minds. But wait a second! Colts have scored 24 points their last 3 games, face the battered Texans and Jaguars to end season. Rams play Steelers and 49ers. If Colts win 1 game (and they did last night!!!!!!), and get some help with Strength of Schedule, the Rams would have the #1 pick. For Gods sakes, even if it’s not the best move, lets win 1 more game for Peyton!!! TNF update: If the Colts win against the Jaguars next week, the Rams will have the #1 pick.
Quote of the Week:
“Dang, Tebow is actually looking pretty sharp all of a sudden” FMQB
“That’s because it’s the 4th quarter” FFMQB
Thou Shalt Be Humble before God:
Did anybody else find it funny that during the post-game hand shake, Tom Brady looked a little star-struck to be in the presence of Tim Tebow? A 3 time Super Bowl winning QB in front of a guy who hasn’t even started a full season at QB yet.
The last team to beat the Saints were the Rams…just saying.
Haters Say What?
For all you Romo haters out there, take a look at these stats. And to set the record straight, I’m not a Romo hater, I just give him crap when he falters! Personally I am a fan of his abilities as a quarterback and the way he handles the press…Tony Romo started his 75th game on Sunday, all for the Cowboys. Let’s compare him to Troy Aikman, considered a God in Dallas. In 75 Starts, Romo has 3 more wins than Aikman, and 66 more TD’s!!! Also in 75 starts, he is in third place all time for passing yards, behind only Dan Marino and Kurt Warner! This is incredibly impressive for a guy who gets as much flack as Romo does. But of course there is a silver lining. Among the top 3 passers after 75 starts, there’s only 1 Super Bowl ring between them. And 66 more TD’s doesn’t make up for the 3 rings Aikman had by then. Championships will always be the deciding factor on QB greatness (Brady over Manning, Bradshaw over Tarkenton, Aikman over Kelly), but you can’t look away from QB greatness.
The reason this time of year is so fun is due to the fact that so many teams are still vying for a playoff spot. The Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, Cardinals, and Seahawks were all foregone conclusions for bad seasons 4 weeks ago. Yet here we are, Week 16, and they are all mathematically still alive for the hunt.
Game of NEXT week!
In Week 17, Kyle Orton will play against Tim Tebow (the man who stole his job). If the cards fall right in Week 16, this game would be the deciding factor of which AFC West team makes the playoffs. Would Tebow prove his coaches and fans right, or would Orton have sweet redemption?
Game of 3 weeks from now!
Predicting the first playoff matchup right now! In the divisional round, after the Steelers defeat the Texans to advance, they will have to travel to their Rival Ravens and play them for the 3rd time of the season. This will be a repeat of last year’s divisional matchup (which the Steelers won), but for a second straight year it will happen again! I think the Ravens pull of the rare 3 game sweep and make it to the AFC Championship game, but I cannot wait to watch this matchup.
Game of This Week:
Giants vs Jets- New York teams are falling apart towards the end of the season, which team can hold onto their playoff hopes.
Super Bowl Predictions:
After Week 14, the Packers, Texans, and Broncos held the top 3 winning streaks in the league (with 19, 7, and 6 game winning streaks respectively)…all three teams lost last week. Now the two leaders are the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints, each with 6 game streaks. There’s only one thing that’s worse than playing the #1 seed in the playoffs, and that is playing a team that is coming into the playoffs HOT. I have 2 predictions for Super Bowl matchups right now. It will either be Saints vs Patriots, or else I’m sticking with my earlier prediction of Packers vs Ravens. (A rematch of 49ers vs Steelers with a healthy Big Ben would be super interesting).