Sunday, January 01, 2012

NFL Week 17 Early Thoughts

A few notes for the final Sunday of regular season action in the NFL....

* Here are your playoff seeds - AFC: 1)Patriots 2)Ravens 3)Texans 4)Broncos 5)Steelers 6)Bengals
NFC: 1)Packers 2)49ers 3)Saints 4)NFC East winner - Giants or Cowboys 5)Falcons 6)Lions

* For Wild Card Weekend, we'll get Bengals at Texans and Steelers at Broncos in the AFC.  In the NFC, we'll get Falcons at Giants/Cowboys and Lions at Saints.

* So, after back-to-back weeks of getting down 17-0 (to Miami) and 21-0 (to Buffalo), at what point do start talking about the preparation for New England's defense. Against the Dolphins, the Patriots "D" gave up just 7 points the rest of the way and shut out the Bills for the final three quarters. So, which defense shows up in the playoffs?

* The Ravens finally get a home playoff game as a division champ! Well done as Ray Rice sinks the Bengals.

* They might have backed in to the playoffs, but I'm sure the Bengals and Broncos couldn't care less, they're in.

* Somewhere in Denver tonight, Chiefs QB Kyle Orton is smiling.

* The Saints may have missed out on getting the second seed in the NFC (that went to SF), but the Saints probably aren't too discouraged about getting a second crack at the Lions, a team they thoroughly outplayed last month.

* Give Gary Kubiak credit, playing with 4th string QB Jake Delhomme, he went for the victory against the Titans. It didn't work out for him, but the Titans still got shut out of the second season.

* Think about it San Diego, if not for the Phillip Rivers' fumble back on Halloween in KC, your team would be in the playoffs.

* There's something delicious about the NY Jets and Rex Ryan being eliminated, don't you think? Now, we get the grumblings that WR Santonio Holmes, a self-appointed captain by Ryan, quit on the team weeks ago.  The off-season will be a beauty in NYC.

* Talk about your tough Sunday's - the Steelers beat Cleveland, but lost out on winning the AFC North when the Ravens won, leaving them to be a fifth seed and heading to Denver next weekend. They'll do it without starting RB Rasheed Mendenhall, who may have a torn ACL and cornerback Ryan Clark, who might be unavailable due to the altitude in Denver and how it affects his sickle cell condition.

* Not to be a cynic, but how much of an MVP can Aaron Rodgers be if backup QB Matt Flynn can step right in and throw for 480 yards and 5 TD's against Detroit, a fellow playoff team? Just sayin'....

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