'Nother different format today, as the column will be much shorter and won't necessarily cover every game. It'll be heavier on the major goings-on of the week, and I'll try to express a few opinions without sounding like a total moron.
Feedback on this in comparison to the other review I did would be appreciated.
Onto Week 16...
First off, though I don't like him, I gotta give Peyton Manning props for breaking the single-season TD mark. I was happy that he broke it with an important pass, and also that it wasn't with a shovel-pass. However, I think the more impressive record is that all 3 of Manning's top WR's got 10 TD's this year. To me, that's absolutely incredible and is being largely overlooked. Coming out of this game, however, I thought the Chargers made a statement, because even though they got conservative and lost the game, they dominated for a good deal of it. As a Steeler fan, they're the only team not named New England that scares me.
The Steelers wrapped up homefield throughout, and though Big Ben got hurt, he'll likely be at or close to 100% by the time they actually have to play another meaningful game. They look pretty tough, and I honestly think they'll do no worse than make the AFC title game, and probably win it. Take that for what it's worth.
New England came back impressively, smacking the Jets in the mouth and further legitimizing the claim that the Jets haven't beaten any good teams this year. Even though I said I thought the Steelers would probably win the AFC, I'd have to agree with anyone that says that they should be the favorites going into the playoffs.
On the NFC side, the playoff picture isn't all that clear. The Eagles and Falcons are in and have byes, the Packers have another division title, and the Seahawks backed into a playoff spot. It seems like the Panthers and Vikes will make the playoffs as well, which makes for a very bad playoff picture. I honestly look at a Panthers (provided they make the playoffs) vs. Falcons NFC title game as being highly likely. Not only are the Eagles not the best team w/o T.O., they aren't even one of the two best.
That's really all of the reviewing I'm going to do for this week, now onto a few quick opinions:
--The Browns are fighting the 49ers for the title of "team furthest from being a contender" and possibly in part because I haven't seen the Niners this year, I'm going to have to give the Browns the title in my mind. They are HORRIBLE. On the other hand, IMO, the Dolphins are not nearly as far from contention as people might think. I think they have a decent chance to be 10-6 or 11-5 next year, no joke.
--If the Bills make the playoffs this year (and I think they will), the AFC had better watch out, because they could easily win the AFC with the way they're playing.
--The Panthers will win the NFC. They needed a win in a big way, they got a win. This team just reeks of "special", even if they are playing in the NFL's jayvee league.
--The Jaguars laid arguably the biggest egg of the season against the Texans. I thought they'd win and make the AFC wild-card race even more interesting, but they were a huge disappointment.
--The Vikings might never overtake the Packers at this point. Mike Tice might not be the guy for them, yet in true Vikings fashion, the exercised their option on him anyway. These guys are one of the more snake-bitten teams in the league.
--The NFL (and the fans) shouldn't be making a big stink about top teams resting players and maybe providing an easier task for certain teams on the fringe of the playoff picture. Any team with nothing to play for come Week 17 because of their excellent play all year shouldn't be criticized for looking out for their best interests at this point in the year.
That about does it for tonight, any feedback on this format would be appreciated.
Super Bowl Prediction:
Steelers 24 Panthers 13
(Way too early) Super Bowl Prediction: Steelers 27, Eagles 17
Seven years ago there was a lively debate about if a playoff is need in NCAA D1. Many said it would lessen the importance of a regular season. Did this season feel less than any of the BCS seasons? My favorite team plays in the Big 12.