Playoff time

Yeah, I know I haven’t blogged about Football in a while, but then, the collapse of the Giants, the end of the Fossel era, etc, has stilled my tongue.
Time to make up for it…


What a wild weekend!
Playoff scenarios are always fun. “Team X gets in if Teams Y and Z lose, but Team K must win. Or Teams Y wins, Z loses, and K loses.”
The improbability of such scenarios is compounded when weird things happen in games.
Thanks to a concatenation of events, the last playoff spot came down to Minnesota and Green Bay. Only the division title winner was going to get in, because the Seahawks won, and Dallas Lost.
Green Bay won its game, but then had to look at Minnesota. If Minnesota could hold a 17-6 lead with 3 minutes left to the Cardinals (the wimpy Cardinals), they and not Green Bay, would go to the playoffs.
Somehow, the Cardinals scored a touchdown. Kicked and recovered an onside kick. Drove somehow down the field, but it was 4th down, only a couple of seconds left, 25 yards to the end zone.
An unheralded QB managed to just get the ball to an unheralded receiver…and the Cardinals won. And so the Minnesota Vikings, starting the season 6-0, finish 9-7…and out of the playoffs.
The Playoff Teams look like this:
NFC:
Philadelphia
St. Louis
Carolina
Green Bay
Seattle
Dallas
AFC:
New England
Kansas City
Indianapolis
Baltimore
Denver
Tennessee.
And, let’s look back, people, at the beginning of the season, and my Predictions:

2003 NFL Predictions
Although the season technically started last night with the Jets’ loss, herein lies my picks for the NFL 2003 season…
Tampa Bay will not repeat.
TRUE
I proposed my theory of Franchise Quarterbacks and Repeats earlier. Brad Johnson is good enough to get the Bucs a Super Bowl Ring. He’s not good enough to get them a consecutive second.
NFC:
East:
The Giants never put two good years in a row anymore, so by default, the Eagles will take the division. I think it’s their time anyway.
TRUE
North:
Besides the Packers, who else is there? Green Bay will pad their win total with games against the Bears and Lions. It will help them get fairly deep into the playoffs.
No one, really, although the Pack squeezed in. TRUE
South:
Until Vick went down, Atlanta was a “sexy” pick to unseat the Bucs. I don’t think the Saints have enough horses, although they’ll get a wildcard out of the deal. Bucs take the division, but definitely not homefield advantage. If Atlanta comes back from Vick’s injury, they could take the second wildcard.
Wrong. Carolina took it in a walk.
West:
San Francisco makes the playoffs, upsets the Giants…and the coach gets fired. Imagine what would have happened if Mariucci had gone 3-13 instead? With such turmoil, the Niners will slip. If Warner can stay healthy, the Rams have a good chance to take this division back for themselves. Seattle is not a factor, and Arizona is a perpetual joke.
Right on the Rams, wrong on Seattle. The Niners did slip.
Conference Championship: Eagles stop the high octane Rams on a cold January day in Philadelphia.
This could still happen!!
AFC:
East:
Until Pennington went down, ANY of these teams were a legitimate threat to win the division. Now, its just the other three in contention. I am going to roll the dice and say…New England. Miami takes a wildcard.
Miami just missed the wildcard. New England took the division
North:
The Bruiser division. Are the Steelers better now that the Kordell experiment is finally over, and is the Bus out of gas? I think, scarily enough, that the Browns are going to squeak out a division title over the Steelers and Ravens. The Bengals are doormats, as usual.
Wrong on the brownies. Ravens squeaked out a title over the Bengals!
South:
A much stronger division, with the Titans and the Colts, and possibly the aging Jaguars. Of course there are the Texans, too. Patched up and hopefully not as beat up, McNair and Eddie George outrun the Colts and take the division, and homefield advantage. Colts take a wildcard.
Reversed this. Colts squeaked out over Tennessee
West:
Last year it was the “aging heroes” ride of the Raiders? Can they do it again this year? Denver has the hot-and-cold Plummer as QB, Kansas City is tantalizingly close to respectability (if only they could play defense!) and the Chargers always fold after a good start. I am going to pick Kansas City, figuring they can outscore their way to at least a Division title.
Dead on correct!
Conference Championship: The Titans get a home conference championship for a change, and the magic of Tom Brady is not enough for the Pats to overcome McNair.
Well, New England has Home field advantage, and the Titans are only a Wildcard team…
Superbowl XXXVIII: Tennessee 27, Philadelphia 17
We shall see. I was pretty accurate this time around, but let’s see what happens in the playoffs…