Update: Boo. Oh, well, I really didn’t think they’d win. Too bad it wasn’t closer. Didn’t see anything that would dissuade me from thinking Lock is the future, though. They just got beat by a way better team. It happens. Also, the Pats toyed with the Bengals, the Texans knock off the Titans, the Bears fell just a bit short to the Packers, and Eli won what might be his last home start against the Dolphins.
So, I don’t watch much college football because I live in Colorado. It’s been a wasteland for the last couple of decades (with some exceptions here and there). But for some reason I end up listening to the Army-Navy game on the radio every year, because I’m always either on a long road trip (like yesterday) or I’m working (I’m a driver). Navy won, with their quarterback Malcolm Perry going for 304 yards and a couple touchdowns. Sounds about right, yes? It was ALL RUSHING YARDS. He didn’t attempt a single pass. Navy completed their only pass attempt, and it was thrown by a wide receiver. For one yard. They did call pass plays, he just kept taking off because Army couldn’t stop him at all.
There are only 14 teams with a winning record at this point in the season. That’s nuts. It’s possible the winner of the NFC East will have a losing or .500 record. It’s also probably likely, since the Eagles and Cowboys are pretty much hot garbage right now. For the record, I have absolutely no problem with the playoff format occasionally allowing this to happen. Why? Since 2000, 6 teams have made the playoffs with a .500 or worse record. Only one had an actual sub-.500 record. All but one team won their Wild Card game. The one that lost, the 2006 Giants, only lost by 3 points. But let’s specifically look back at the last two, the 2011 Broncos and the 2010 Seattle Seahawks. Both of their games were not only competitive, they were exciting and you could even say they were classics. Both games contained plays that made the NFL’s lists of the top 100 plays. In fact, the play that is considered the #1 rushing play of all time came from the only Wild Card game to involve a team with a losing record, AND they won. Who cares if it keeps a team out of the playoffs that had a winning record? The 2014 Broncos not only had a winning record but also a bye, and they played like shit against the Colts and the game was terrible to watch. The teams that come out flat in the playoffs are usually teams with a winning record. The ones that clawed their way in at the last possible second are hungrier and it nearly always results in better, more entertaining playoff games. NFL, please don’t tinker with this.
I am a fan of a bad (but improving) football team. The next paragraph is about them, so feel free to skip it.
Holy shit, I think the Broncos stumbled onto a QB. That game against the Texans was awesome. Look, I’m not going to put Drew Lock in Canton yet, but this is a marked difference from every other scrub we’ve put behind center since Peyton Manning left. He looks confident, he has a personality, and he has the arm. He needs to work on his footwork, and he’s still got a way to go in recognizing defenses and learning how to call his plays. The Broncos having to call a time out because he was still looking at his wrist play card was both infuriating and 100% hilarious. But it was like watching a totally different team. They ALL want to play for him. Brandon Allen was ok, but they still looked a little flat and lifeless in the games he played. I do think they should keep Allen as the backup, he looked adequate in his games and I think that’s a good role for him. They have to play the Chiefs at Arrowhead today, and I can’t remember ever feeling so excited for a game that I know the Broncos will still probably lose. I want to see how Lock handles the toughest place to play in the AFC. I actually feel like they have a chance at an upset. Or at least they will be competitive in the game, unlike how they couldn’t do anything to stop a Matt Moore-led Chiefs team at home earlier in the year. Joe Flacco will probably be sacked at least once today, even though he’ll be in street clothes on the sideline.
Our early CBS game is Broncos-Chiefs, and after that is fishing. In the next TV deal, I wish the NFL would make it so that both CBS and Fox have double-headers every Sunday. Then again, in seasons like this where more than half the teams are losers, we’d just have more crap. Anyway, Fox has the Bears-Packers game early. I know the Bears are on an inexplicable hot streak, but I don’t see how they win this one. After that we get the Rams-Cowboys. Oh Rams, PLEASE win today. I want to see Jerrah have another meltdown. SNF is Bills-Steelers. I would be rooting for the Bills anyway, but the less than 1% chance for the Broncos to steal the last wild card spot requires the Steelers to lose out. GO BILLS! MNF plays into that too, as we need the Colts to lose at least one game. They play the Saints, so that looks doable.
Patriots-Bengals: The Pats deserve to lose this game since they won’t stop with their bullshit. I don’t even care that Belichick is probably telling the truth, it was so utterly stupid for them to do it in the first place. They won’t lose, but they deserve to.
Seahawks-Panthers: I have a feeling it might be rough sailing for the Panthers the next couple of years. Good luck.
Buccaneers-Lions: No thanks, I’m good.
Dolphins-Giants: I SAID NO THANKS.
Texans-Titans: Our insane playoff path requires one of these two teams to lose out. That said, I don’t think that will happen. I’m sad I won’t see this one, it’ll probably be good. No idea who will win.
Eagles-Redskins: THAT’S IT, YOU’RE NOT GETTING A TIP NOW.
Browns-Cardinals: The Browns have to lose too. Go birds!
Jags-Raiders: I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER.
Vikings-Chargers: Hmm. This could be interesting. I mean, the Vikings should win, but you never know which Philip Rivers will show up.
Falcons-49ers: Pray for the Falcons, they are in danger.
I still have Christmas shopping to finish so I’ll probably miss the late games. Hopefully the rest of you are done with it. Enjoy!