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Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Great NFL Pigskin Pick 'Em: The Closing Bell

It's the last weekend of the NFL season and I'm feeling very conflicted.

On the one hand, I'm excited for some playoff football. I'm eager to see if there is a chance at redemption for the Denver Broncos or a statement to be made from either the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Lions. Also, what on earth are the Cardinals going to look like come January? 

On the other hand, I'm disappointed in my own team (the Browns, in case you've never read this column before) and how hard and fast they plummeted from playoff contention to last in the division. There are stories being leaked everywhere about the team's dissatisfaction with some of its high-profile players, head coaching change rumors again, quarterback controversies and blah blah blah. Late season swoons and divisive stories from anonymous sources are the hallmark of bad teams. Never mind, I'm glad this Browns season is coming to an end. 

A lot of things happen over the course of four months plus a preason and training camp, too much to detail here, but as usual the storylines that began to take shape over the summer unfolded in many surpising ways.

Enough preamble, let's get to the pics.

Last Week: 8-8 (Lester* 0-1)
Season: 146-100-1 (5-10)

*No Lester this week, holiday travel and commitments made filming nearly impossible this week. And that was just on Lester's end. He's very popular.

  • The Browns yearly tradition: Starting your third quarterback to close the season. The Hundred Years War continues.
  • The new good-in-December-Cowboys are growing on me a little.
  • I remember during middle school football when a kid congratulated me for laying him on a counter play. It was really strange. I can imagine Andrew Luck probably throws off at least one defensive lineman every game.
  • Hard to believe this game doesn't mean something in the NFC South.

  • How tempted is Chip Kelly to find a way to get a "Chip Kelly" quarterback? I think the Eagles are going to be an intriguing team this offseason.
  • I vote that this is the most under-the-radar great season the Patriots have ever had.
  • I hope they empty out the JJ Watt playbook today.
  • What is it going to take to get the Chargers over that hump? They're good enough to compete for the playoffs every year but is anyone really afraid of them?

  • Whoa! This particular box of picks is very bleak looking. I only need one line to tell you that 5 of the 8 teams pictured here will have new head coaches next year. Yikes.

Game of the weekend! Battle for the division on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Now that is December football.

So the Seahawks are rounding into form again. That does not bode well for the NFC.

As much crap as I give the NFC South, this is what we want as football fans: a battle for the division on the last weekend of the season. 

I hope Heinz Field gets swallowed up by a rogue black hole. 


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