I was 2 months late on my Super Bowl post, and strongly considered hanging up the keyboard after my team won last year. But the magic of football has brought me back for Year 12! If this isn’t too late to start.
Tons to talk about, tons that I’ll have missed, but we’ll do a season recap of Quick Hits, playoff predictions, and memes of the year so far.
* Tua was definitely a star this season, but with 2 (likely 3) concussions, questions on his health and durability will likely always be there.
* Mac Jones didn’t take a leap his sophmore year, tough to convince me he’s the long term thing in NE.
* The Jets were a surprise with a hot start. Zach Wilson had a huge postgame blunder that cost him his job, likely moving foward too.
* Mike Tomlin has still not had a losing season in Pittsburgh, just wow
* Jacksonville’s comeback in the AFC south after starting 3-7 should prove no team is out of it that late in the season.
* The Colts hiring of Jeff Saturday was rightfully scrutinized, he went 1-7 and gave up the largest lead in NFL history to the Vikings. 33 points!
* I can’t believe Houston had locked up the #1 overall pick, without a good QB, and then went for 2 to win the game (and lose the pick).
* The Chiefs literally gave up one of the best receivers in the league, and won 14 games and the top seed in the AFC.
* The AFC as a whole coming into this season looked like an absolute powerhouse, and that seemed to calm down a bit with the Raiders, Broncos, Titans and Patriots missing the playoffs. But coming in, you really felt like there were probably 13 teams that had a legitimate shot at the playoffs.
* The NFC East, long a division of mediocrity, was the only division with 3 playoff teams and the 4th was exactly .500.
* It’s not surprising the Eagles made the playoffs, but the dominiant way they did is. Hurts looks like a true dual threat runner and thrower, not your typical “great runner but inaccurate passer with a big arm who sometimes connects.”
* The Giants seemed doomed to a 5 win season, but may have actually found their coach. Still not sold on Daniel Jones yet.
* Dan Campbell likely saved his job with a nice win increase, 2nd in the division, and knocking out the Packers in Lambeau the final game of the season.
* The Vikings had a great year, but is a confusing team. They’ll either win all 4 games by a field goal, or get blown out by 40 points in the National Championship game.
* The NFC south was just ugly. Only 1 win separted 1st from 4th, and Brady barely hung on. That 16 point Buccaneers comeback against the Saints was the deciding game.
* San Francisco went on a 10 game win streak with their 2nd and 3rd string QB’s to end the season after starting 3-4.
* The Rams had the fewest wins by a Super Bowl champion ever.
* Even if Kyler Murray had stayed healthy, the Cardinals did not seem like a strong team.
Stats of the year:
Dak Prescott lead the league in INT’s, and he missed 5 games!
Tom Brady has over 100,000 total passing yards in the NFL. And for all time yards, is 16,000 ahead of 2nd place.
Brady was 3rd in the league for passing yards, with 4,694.
If you would have told me 3 RB’s would break 1500 yards rushing this year, I would have thought you were carzy. That’s the same number of WR’s who broke 1500 yards receiving.
The all time leading QB in Seattle history for passing yards? Geno Smith
Seems like a weird year with 7 of the 14 teams having QB’s who have never played in a playoff game, and 3 teams rolling in with backups. Here are my predictions for the Wild Card round, Championship round, and then Super Bowl.
Wild Card: I have the 49ers, Vikings and Cowboys winning in the NFC. And Bills, Bengals and Chargers in the AFC. That would put home teams at 4-2, with both 5 seeds advancing.
Championship level: Eagles take on the Vikings, and it’s another drubbing. 36-13. In the AFC, it’s Bills vs. Chiefs, and the Bills take it this year in another incredible game, 38-35.
Super Bowl: A shootout in the Super Bowl, final score 35-32 Bills finally win one!
Wild Card round
A few things to note about this weekend’s games.
The niners won both games during the season, and are on a 10 game winning streak. Still, they’re being lead by Mr. Irrevalent and a 3rd string QB. Christian McCaffrey has been a turning point in their offense, and he’ll explode on Sunday. 49ers 31, Seahawks 20.
Potentially the most exciting game this weekend, it’s the closest spread. The Chargers are a stronger team, but got beat by the Jags in Week 3 when Herbert was banged up. Expect lower scoring, but very close. Maybe coming down to a mistake, missed 2pt conversion, etc. I have the final being Chargers 23, Jaguars 21.
I think the Bills are playing with purpose this year, as if they weren’t a scary team as is. And with Tua out, this could be a rough game to watch. I expect it to be over by halftime. Final score, Bills 42, Dolpins 10.
The Giants are still a surprise to me, and the Vikes are 11-0 in one score games this year. I’d expect the same. The Giants got to rest last week, but that’s the only advantage I’d throw their way. It’s close but out of reach, 28-20 Vikings.
Another backup QB matchup that renders this game much lower than a division rivalry should have been. And another game that should be handily won by the Bengals. I’ll put it as 31-10 Cincy.
As bad as I think the Bucs are this year, this is one of the toughest games to judge. The Cowboys have looked like garbage their past few games. But it also seems like Brady can’t get the team to score more than 20 points in a game. The Cowboys are also 0-7 against Brady, already losing this year. But I have it as Cowboys 24, Bucs 17 as the final.
Story of the Year:
I think the Russell Wilson trade is this generations Herschel Walker trade. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team get fleeced as bad as the Broncos did with nothing to show for it. The Broncos traded away 2 first round picks (both being top 10 picks), TE Noah Fant who actually played fairly well this year, a 4th and a 5th round pick, and cap space for a $245M contract. The Seahawks gave up their Super Bowl winning QB, only to have their backup QB lead them to the playoffs and set a franchise record for passing yards.
Quote of the Year:
“Let’s Ride” Russell Wilson
Memes of the year: