December 28, 2006

Is This Really the Worst NFL Playoff Picture Ever?

This year's proverbial question - Is this year's NFL playoff picture the worst ever? I'm sure we've all heard this question posed a number of times in the recent few weeks, and I happened to hear it again this morning on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" so I'm going to throw my opinion into the ring because I can.

Maybe it's not the worst EVER, but it's pretty damn bad. Everyone is talking about the Giants. Well yeah, they're sort of the poster child of this whole debacle. A team that isn't even .500, that has lost six of their last seven games, and that has a QB (Read: "The Future") making some terrible decisions in crucial game situations (not that as a Steeler fan I have much room to talk...Big Ben season stats - 17 TDs, 22 INTs...still the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl though). I'd say they're a good example, but they're in the NFC, and well, we all know how strong that conference has been in recent years.

However, the flipside of this whole thing is - while teams with sub par records contending for a playoff spot is lackluster for those of us who are not fans of these teams, think about those who are fans. Prime example - Albeit borderline insane, up until last week I actually held out hope that the Steelers could secure a wild card spot. So while I will say this whole thing is a bit less than thrilling, maybe it is better for the game. Playoff berths are coming down to the wire. Isn't that the way it should be? Wouldn't we prefer that teams not clinch playoff spots in week 11? Either way, I'm picking the Saints and the Chargers for the Super Bowl. Mark my words.

By the way, does anyone remember the last time Shawn Springs was healthy for more than like three games??


magnificent66 said...

No comment on the Colts??? They were the most dominant team the past three year for the first ten weeks...then like every tom cruise movie - they bust. Manning is good but with one of the most comsuming defenses last year to have such gaping weakness in the end of the season this year. i think the drastic change from the best to the worst and such a change from the best to the worst teams is what really is causing this debacle we call the NFL playoffs.

Cotter said...

Well let's be fair, I can only hold people's attention for so long...

No really I just didn't want to write a novel about the subject.

The thing about the Colts is that they collapse every year. Maybe it isn't playoff time yet, but Indy losing is nothing new. Their Defense is better but yet still not strong enough against the run. It's probably partly because they play a 4-3. Regardless, you'd think with LBs like Gary Brackett and Cato June they'd have a better track record.

To your point that we're seeing a best to worst shift among team rankings - I think this is just testament to the NFL being a league where any given Sunday, any given year for that matter, any team can win. No game shall be taken for granted. With that, I'll take the Raiders on Sunday, thank you.