Some final thoughts on Wild-Card Weekend, a ranking of the remaining teams, and initial thoughts on the divisional round match-ups —
- If you would have told me I would pick 3 of the 4 games right for the past weekend and the one I got wrong would be Seattle/New Orleans, I would have never believed you. Who could have seen that coming? Seattle grabbed the momentum and took advantage of a terrific game by Matt Hassleback. The funny thing now is that Seattle has already won in Chicago this year and has a decent shot at doing it again this weekend. Could you imagine the Seahawks actually hosting the NFC Championship Game as a 9-9 team?
- It was a great weekend of games, outside of the complete dud laid by the Cheifs at home. Baltimore was the superior team but Kansas City could have put up more of a fight. How do you not target Dwayne Bowe once? It isn’t like the Ravens have Darrelle Revis out there.
- The Packers are peeking at the right time, which is incredibly impressive considering all the injuries they sustained. It felt like Mike Vick was taking Philly in for a touchdown on that final drive but a few inches underthrown and a great play by Tramon Williams ended it.
Divisional Weekend Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots – They are the unquestioned favorite. Let’s see if the Jets can make Belichick and Brady look human again, like they did way way back in week 2.
2. Atlanta Falcons – Would anybody be surprised if Green Bay went into Atlanta and won this weekend? The Falcons don’t have the same clout as most number one seeds normally do.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Let’s see how their offensive line holds up in round III vs. the Ravens.
4. Baltimore Ravens – You can’t love football and not be beyond excited for Ravens/Steelers this weekend.
5. Green Bay Packers – The Packers have the feel of a team who is hot at the right time and with enough talent to win it all.
6. Chicago Bears – If Jay Cutler has his head on straight, the Bears should roll to the NFC Championship Game. However, I have a feeling Seahawks/Bears is going to be a tight one.
7. New York Jets – Nobody will give them a chance this weekend. Let’s see if they can shock the world.
8. Seattle Seahawks – Well they shut us up last weekend.
Initial Thoughts on Divisional Weekend
Ravens at Steelers – Tape the knuckles up and get ready for old-school, smashmouth, defensive football between a couple of teams who couldn’t know each other any better and couldn’t hate each other more. Take the under and look forward to one hell of a football game.
Packers at Falcons – Their regular season game a few weeks back was terrific and this one should be even better. A couple of great young quarterbacks and high powered offenses at work in the prime-time game.
Seahawks at Bears – I can’t help but have an early feeling Seattle is going to build off last week and take this game. This is coming from somebody who spent the entire year bashing the Seahawks as one of the five worst teams in the league. However, they did beat Chicago earlier in the year and I am not fully sold on the Bears yet. Remember the playoffs are about who is hot at the right time.
Jets at Patriots – Do I expect the Jets to win? No. Will I spend the whole week coming up with every possible way for them to win and talking myself into it happening? Yes.
Wild-Card Weekend Highlights
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Finally, the NFL playoffs are here…here is how TOJ sees the 12 teams ranking heading into Wild-Card Weekend, along a few more thoughts on Jets/Colts and the other match-ups –
1. New England Patriots – The unquestioned favorite to win the Super Bowl, New England couldn’t be any hotter at the moment. I have to think the Patriots would love to see the Jets coming back into their building and will be hoping to avoid the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.
2. Atlanta Falcons – The other number one seed will have a tough road to reach the Super Bowl, likely starting with either New Orleans or Green Bay.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – A much needed week off for them to rest injured players. You have to wonder if their offensive line can hold up for a Super Bowl run.
4. Chicago Bears – The least talked about team with a bye as a serious Super Bowl contender. However, Chicago will be tough to beat in their building if Jay Cutler is on his game and their pass rush remains active.
5. Baltimore Ravens – Ray Rice has picked it up over the last month and they will need him leading the way on offense, if they want to win the road games necessary to reach the Super Bowl.
6. New Orleans Saints – The defending champs won’t have their home field advantage from a year ago but are still a team nobody in the NFC wants to see coming into their building.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – Everybody is a little down on the Eagles from the previous few weeks but they are too explosive on offense to ignore as a very legitimate Super Bowl contender.
8. Green Bay Packers – They are playing well at the right time and are going to be a handful for any team they face. Yet, being so one dimensional on offense could haunt them this time of the year.
9. Indianapolis Colts – Nobody in the AFC South took advantage of a down year from the Colts who still found a way to 10 wins and a division title.
10. New York Jets – They actually are a lower seed than they were a year before despite having 2 more wins.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – All the makings of a one and done team.
12. Seattle Seahawks – 7-9, yuck.
New Orleans at Seattle – You could talk about the long trip New Orleans has to take and how loud Seattle’s crowd is all you want but at the end of the day, the Saints are a significantly better team in every way imaginable. It is honestly hard to see this game even being entertaining into the second half. However, this is the NFL and crazier things have happened than a 7-9 team potentially led by Charlie Whitehurst knocking off Drew Brees and the defending champs.
Jets at Indianapolis – It is nice to see the early overwhelming confidence of the football world in the Colts. The Jets fit better into the underdog role anyway. This match-up isn’t sitting as badly with me as it did a few weeks ago, especially after watching the Colts against the Titans yesterday. It would be a big step in Rex Ryan’s coaching career if he could knock off Peyton Manning in playoff game. I do know this, one and done is absolutely considered a failure for the Jets season with all the hype around the team.
Baltimore at Kansas City – I have a very tough time seeing the Chiefs being ready to knock off an experienced team like Ravens, despite being at home. It is too easy to picture Ray Rice having a big day and Baltimore’s defense rising to the occasion to limit Jamal Charles and Dwayne Bowe’s production.
Green Bay at Philadelphia – It is between this and Jets/Colts as the best game of the weekend. This should be a fun one, where there won’t be a shortage of points. I could really see this going either way, especially if Green Bay’s blitz gets after Mike Vick early and often.
First a few updates:
1. Rich Cimini wrote an article today discussing Chad Pennington returning to the Jets next season as a backup. He discussed it with Pennington, who admitted it would be tough but said it was a move he would definitely consider. I am all for Pennington coming back. First off, I can get some use out of his jersey that I still own in the pre-season and when he is playing mop-up duty against the Dolphins and Bills next years. Did I just say mop-up duty against teams the Jets went 1-3 against last year? Yes, I did. There isn’t going to be anymore 5 interception games or fluke Ted Ginn Jr touchdowns. Second, Pennington is an upgrade over Kellen Clemens.
2. When Leon Washington was talking about playing next season with the Jets, he discussed going back to returning kicks. Personally, I’d rather just leave Brad Smith back there and let Leon worry about offense. One thing the Jets offense missed in a big way last season was a screen game and running backs catching the ball out of the backfield in general (8 receptions for Thomas Jones or 0 for Shonn Greene during the regular season).
3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…everybody is doing it…well, 183 people now are. (I told you I was putting this up with every post).
4. The Game Highlights section has been somewhat ripped apart by videos being taken down on youtube. I will be revamping that into something different next week.
Super Bowl Friday Thoughts
First off…let’s look back at the 2010 Playoffs. Personally, my two favorite weekends of the year are wild-card weekend and divisional weekend. I consider them holidays. Unfortunately, outside of our Jets most of the games were letdowns. Jets/Bengals got things started off right with an exciting 24-14 game, in which I got to watch a bunch of bitter Giants sulk in their recently purchased Chad Ochocino Johnson jerseys. I was expecting a great Saturday night game between Dallas and Philly but my Super Bowl pick decided to get completely blown out. Clearly, Andy Reid made zero adjustments from the two previous losses his team had to the Cowboys. Beyond that, nobody ever wants to see Cowboys fans happy…Maganellis.
Outside of anything Jets related, there was nothing I enjoyed more this NFL season than the first quarter of the Ravens/Patriots wild-card game. Nothing beats watching Bill Belichick be completely out-coached and standing there gawking on the side-line while Tom Brady throws interception after interception and keeps fumbling…great stuff. After the Belichick/Brady meltdown this year in a home playoff game, can we say the Pats dynasty is on the way out? I think you can, their defense isn’t good. They don’t have a running back. Wes Welker might not be back for the start of the next season and Randy Moss is a slouch. The Packers/Cardinals game was obviously very exciting, although it was pathetic how bad both defenses were. It was also frustrating to watch “Fake Defensive Player of the Year” Charles Woodson and the rest of his secondary get torched for 51 points, 379 passing yards, and 5 passing touchdowns. One last time, it was a complete joke that Darrelle Revis didn’t win that award this year.
Divisional weekend? Saints vs. Cardinals was a complete beatdown. On top of that, I had to watch Reggie Bush have a monster game, after ripping him all off-season and saying Leon Washington was better. One thing you have to say about Bush, is that there is a reason everybody was so “shocked” to see him play so well and run so hard…because he hasn’t been doing it his entire of NFL career. You shouldn’t decide to run hard one day, you should be doing it every game, especially when you are the #2 pick in the draft. Colts/Ravens was a disappointing game because I was obviously routing for the Ravens since I wanted a home AFC Championship Game.
On Sunday, it was nice to see Dallas remember they can’t win a big game and get blown out by the Vikings. To top it off, we got to see Keith Brooking and his stupid pre-game chant (we gonna hit them in nose, we gonna hit them in face….give me a break) leave a river of tears on the field. Of course, the late game on Sunday was just terrific and turned out to be the best overall game of the weekend. You can’t beat the defensive beatdown the Jets put on the Chargers in the second half and Shonn Greene rumbling through the Chargers secondary.
Everything about Championship Sunday was great right up until Peyton Manning got the ball back down 17-6. Fortunately, I got a little joy later that night watching Brett Favre choke away the NFC Championship Game…which brings us to Colts/Saints.
1. I think this game goes one of two ways: 1) We have an all-time game, an absolute shootout where the team with the ball last wins…something like 45-42 or 2) the Colts fall behind a little early, Manning reacts and then the Colts roll in the second half to a double-digit victory.
2. The only way the Saints are winning this game is if they find a way to out-score Manning because they aren’t stopping him.
3. My predictions:
- Super Bowl MVP – Peyton Manning (A real stretch, I know)
- First touchdown – Pierre Thomas
- Final Score: Colts – 41 Saints – 30
Another Jets Highlight Tape
First a few updates:
Note: This terrific picture above was created by JetsFan_MD and posted on www.jetsinsider.com. Considering my two favorite things in the world are the Jets and the TV show LOST…this is about as good as it gets for me.
1. Rex Ryan didn’t sound too confident about David Harris practicing this week with his sprained ankle. He may end up being a game time decision. Ryan Fowler would step in, although he had a head injury apparently so he could be replaced by Kenwin Cummings…ut-oh.
2. Ryan didn’t say anything else too notable in his press conference. He was pretty low key and respectful of the Bengals, which is the right approach to take. However, he did affirm that the Jets goal is to make the Super Bowl and that they aren’t just happy to be in the playoffs.
3. Not too much love from Mike Francesa on WFAN today, who didn’t give the Jets much credit for last night. He did say he thought they had a decent shot to win on Saturday but he seemed more anxious to talk about Jason Bay or John Mara…you have to love how salty Giants fans are today.
4. Yes, of course there will be a playoff edition of TOJ TV coming this week. I am also trying to set up a question exchange with the Bengals FanBall blogger.
5. In case you are curious, I have insane amounts of free time on my hands this week since I am on winter break and all my friends work full time (you know because they enjoy having money, unlike me who would rather accumulate student loan debt), so yes this web-site and the facebook page will be updated so much that you will be fully convinced I have no life…oh well.
Final TOJ NFL Rankings & Other Thoughts on Regular Season/Wild-Card Weekend
Long title, right? Now, I am not one to pat myself on the back but check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/2009-nfl-predictions/):
- I picked 5 out of 6 AFC playoff teams right, my only miss was on the Bengals winning the North (I picked Pittsburgh). My wild-card picks? Jets and Ravens.
- I picked the Dolphins (7-9), Titans (8-8), Browns (5-11), and Jacksonville (7-9) record correctly and missed by one game on Denver, Buffalo, Chiefs, and Chargers.
- I picked 4 out of 6 NFC playoff teams right, my only misses were on the Saints (yikes) and Cowboys. I had the G-Men (ha) and Falcons in the playoffs.
- I picked the Cardinals (10-6) record correctly and missed by one game on the Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Lions.
- Just for reference I picked a San Diego/Philly Super Bowl.
Just call me young Nostradamus. Better pay attention to my playoff picks.
And then check out (http://turnonthejets.com/2009/09/07/40-predictions-for-2009-new-york-jets-season/) and see how many Jets specific things I missed including gems on Mark Sanchez’s stats, Lito Sheppard’s INT total, Vernon Gholston’s sack total, and plenty more.
Final TOJ NFL Rankings
- Indianapolis Peyton Mannings (14-2) Going into the playoffs on a 2 game losing streak (by their backups).
- San Diego Chargers (13-3) Going into the playoffs on a 11 game winning streak…watch out.
- New Orleans Saints (13-3) Going into playoffs on a 3 game losing streak…ut oh.
- Minnesota Vikings (12-4) You can bet I will be rooting against them.
- Dallas Cowboys (11-5) Need a playoff win in the worst way.
- Green Bay Packers (11-5) Very dangerous team.
- Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) They are better than they showed last week.
- Arizona Cardinals (10-6) Risky to sleep on them after last year.
- New England Patriots (10-6) Too bad about Wes Welker’s injury (and I am being serious, no matter how much I hate him and New England you never want to see anyone get hurt, especially somebody as good as him).
- Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) Well at least they are going in with some momentum, right?
- Baltimore Ravens (9-7) They can run and play defense, which means they are dangerous.
- New York Jets (9-7) They can run and play defense better than anybody in the NFL, which means they are dangerous.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) Too little, too late for the defending champs.
- Houston Texans (9-7) They can thank Kris Brown for missing the playoffs.
- Tennessee Titans (8-8) 8-2 over their last 10 games.
- Atlanta Falcons (9-7) Two straight winning seasons for the dirty birds.
- Miami Dolphins (7-9) Have fun sitting at home.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) Not a bad year for a young team.
- Denver Broncos (8-8) They should be embarrassed.
- Carolina Panthers (8-8) Strong finish with Matt Moore at QB.
- New York Giants (8-8) Embarrassed themselves the past two weeks and final 11 games for that matter.
- San Francisco 49ers (8-8) Only .500 because they get to play the Seahawks or Rams 4 games a year.
- Chicago Bears (7-9) They felt worse than 7-9. Jay Cutler stunk the joint up.
- Cleveland Browns (5-11) Finished the season on a 4 game winning streak…go Mangini.
- Oakland Raiders (5-11) All they do is beat playoff teams…and lose to everyone else.
- Buffalo Bills (6-10) Consistently mediocre.
- Washington Redskins (4-12) And so ends the Jim Zorn era.
- Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) I guess Matt Cassell isn’t a franchise quarterback.
- Seattle Seahawks (5-11) The most irrelevant team in the NFL this year.
- Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) Showed some fight occasionally.
- Detroit Lions (2-14) A two game improvement from last year.
- St. Louis Rams (1-15) Well then…
Some final Regular Season Observations
Do you think Jim Zorn just had Bruce Springsteen playing into his headset during the second half of the season?…I know the Giants fired their defensive coordinator today but when you allowed 40+ points every week, the problem goes beyond the coaching…Denver was 8-4 the past two years and both times lost out to miss the playoffs, cough cough…At least Jason Taylor can now get an early jump on next season of Dancing With the Stars…The 49ers are Texans are between 7-9 and 9-7 every year and then picked to make the jump by all the experts for the following season, only they just go 8-8 again and miss the playoffs, I look forward to this repeating again next year…My favorite non-Jets regular season games – Steelers vs. Titans opening night, Colts vs. Patriots on Sunday night, Saints vs. Patriots on Monday night, Dallas vs. Giants on Sunday night in week two, Saints vs. Redskins, Denver vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Chargers, Titans vs. Texans on Monday night, Titans vs. Cardinals.
Bye Bye Miami