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After the New England Patriots’ disappointing 24-20 loss yesterday to the Miami Dolphins, I’m seeing a lot of negativity from Pats fans on the Facebook machine. While I understand and totally get where this negativity is coming from, everyone needs to chill out. Yea, the Patriots are a whole lot of what they are right now. But the good news is, outside of the Seattle Seahawks the NFL is the definition of mediocrity this year.
The Seahawks are easily the most complete team in the NFL right now and it’s not even really close. Yes, they have the most complete all around team. They’re led by a second year quarterback who doesn’t make mistakes (Russell Wilson), a throwback bruising running back (Marshawn Lynch), and a shutdown defense that includes probably the best secondary in the game.
Here’s the thing though – they have two real wins. They smashed the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year at home, and two weeks ago they facialized the New Orleans Saints, also at home. Their stadium is 1-2 with the Kansas City Chiefs for the most hostile place to play, and thus has one of the biggest home field advantage in the NFL. That’s all fine and dandy to GET to the Super Bowl. The problem will come when they have to play in the magical Kingdom of New Jersey in the Super Bowl. The other problem is of course that they are still coached by Pete Carroll, who will always be a complete joke until he wins a Super Bowl. The dude’s never won anything significant in his life. Even his “championships” at USC have been abandoned because it turns out the entire time he was cheating.
It’s pretty much a guarantee you’re going to see the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, since you can’t beat them at home and they have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But who will they face? That’s a GFQ right there. In any other year I’d say the Patriots had no shot of making it to Jersey, but as the good folks Patspropoganda reiterate, this is no ordinary year. Every other team in the AFC has serious flaws. Here’s a quick rundown of why you don’t have to worry about these teams…..
San Diego Chargers (150/1)
This is easily the team that should scare you the most. If there was one team I actually would fear in the playoffs it’s the Bolts. Phil Rivers is just a big enough loud mouth to lead this team to Jersey (where he will fit right in). Yes, they have some terrible losses this year (Houston, Tennessee, Oakland, Washington), but nobody has bigger wins than them. They’ve won at home against the Cowboys and Colts, and won on the road against the Eagles, Chiefs, and Broncos. Those might be three of the hardest places to play (after Seattle) in the NFL. If they make the playoffs (which is still a long shot) then they’d have to win all their games on the road in order to get to the promised land. But considering who they’ve beaten, that’s obviously incredibly possible.
Miami Dolphins (35/1)
As we saw on Sunday, this team has clearly moved past “bully-gate”. Ryan Tannehill could be the next Joe Flacco, and I mean that as a good thing. They’ve got some big wins this year, at home against the Bengals and Chargers, and on the road against the Colts and Patriots. Luckily though, they are still the Dolphins. The Fins are always good to beat us at the end of the year in a game that it turns out didn’t really matter that much, but do you honestly think this team is doing squat in the playoffs? Patriots almost beat this team without any red zone threat, and with their second stringers running the defense. They’re still a joke and you don’t have to be worried about them.
Baltimore Ravens (30/1)
This team should scare me, but at the end of the day they are what they are. They won it all last year, and as weird as it feels to say this in a positive way…..they have Joe Flacco. Yea, the dude is the definition of mediocrity, but after last year’s Super Bowl run I will never doubt him again. He could be the next Eli Manning, and again, I mean that in a good way. They still have John Harbaugh coaching too. But ultimately they lost their best
murderer linebacker, Ray Lewis, who basically willed them to their Super Bowl last year through the divine intervention of God. Their best wins this year are an overtime win at home against the Bengals, and a road win against the Dolphins early in the year. Ultimately I’m not really that worried about them.
Indianapolis Colts (20/1)
No team in the NFL is more unpredictable than this group of rag tags. One week they’re winning AT San Francisco by 20, the next week they’re losing to the Rams by 30! I don’t get this team at all. Are they the team that beat the Seahawks in week six, or are they the team that lost by 30 to the Cardinals in week 12. I suppose you could say that this team could beat anyone, and you’d be right. But ultimately, I don’t trust any team that loses by a combined 60 points to the Rams and Cardinals. Andrew Luck will win a lot of games in this league, but he’s not ready to do that this year.
Cincinnati Bengals (5/1)
This is probably the team I’m worried the least about going into the playoffs. Close your eyes and imagine the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl….
Yea, I really struggled to imagine that too. I mean, it’s the Bengals. They’re just this perpetually good but not great team. They’re still coached by Marvin Lewis, who gets them to the same place every year and then doesn’t improve. Before this team can start thinking about making a Super Bowl, they should try to at least win a playoff game. Last night they could’ve jumped into the driver’s seat for a first round bye after the Pats choked in Miami. Instead they put themselves in a 30-8 hole that was impossible to get out of against a team (Pittsburgh Steelers) that isn’t going anywhere. That’s Bengals football right there.
Kansas City Chiefs (15/1)
Remember when this team was 9-0? Yea, turns out that was the fakest 9-0 in the history of the NFL. During that span their best win was at Philadelphia. Beating the Eagles doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, especially when they’re you’re only team you’ve beaten that has a wining record. They’re lucky a computer doesn’t choose who makes the championship like it does in college, because their BCS would be garbage. Most recently they’ve beaten up on the Raiders and Redskins. Cool story bro. They got tossed around by the Broncos twice, and the Chargers before that. The biggest reason this team isn’t going to the Super Bowl though? They’re lead by a running back. Teams that are led by running backs don’t win in this league. That and the fact that they’ll likely have to win three straight road games at Indianapolis, Denver, and New England in order to make to Jersey. Yea, I’m sure Alex Smith is up for that. This team has no shot whatsoever if they don’t get to play at Arrowhead.
Denver Broncos (5/11)
This team is by far the biggest favorite to make it there. The odds are ridiculous though. Five to eleven?? This isn’t some gravy train that can’t be stopped. I can think of a million reasons why the Broncos won’t make the Super Bowl. For starters they’re led by Peyton Manning. Not only does he have a proven track record of defecating in his pants when the stage is the biggest, he also turtles in cold weather. The problem for him is that it gets cold in Denver during January. They’ve become the 2007 Patriots (except they’ve lost three times), and are clearly more set on breaking records than winning Super Bowls. Would anyone be surprised if they lost to the Colts, Chargers, Ravens, or Chiefs in their first playoff game? Not unless you haven’t been following Peyton’s entire career. He’s a professional choke artist, and he will choke again this year.
New England Patriots (5/1)
I had so much more confidence in the 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, and 2006 Patriots than I do with this squad. Without Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and Jerrod Mayo they can’t stop anyone from running the ball. Without a healthy Aqib Talib and a non-incarcerated Alfonzo Dennard they won’t be able to stop the pass. God knows that Donte Hightower is the biggest disgrace in a Patriots uniform in years. He’s so bad that Nick Saban tells people that he went to Auburn. Additionally on offense their offensive line is injury raddled, and have been below average most of the season. We’ve seen what happens when Tom Brady doesn’t get protection. Their best running back has more turnover than the New York Public Schools, and all of their wide receivers are short and white, and none of them is named Rob Gronkowski. Oh yea, and Aaron Hernandez would probably come in handy right about now too.
Other than that I like this team a lot because of a few reasons. For starters they still have the Chosen One (Tom Brady) and the Hooded One (Bill Belichick). As long as you have have those two you can play with anyone. The biggest reason I believe in this team this year though is the way they’ve won and lost games. Ten of their 14 games this year have come down to the final drive. That’s an insane stat right there. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as we would’ve liked (Dolphins, Bengals, Panthers, Jets). Other times the Brady magic just carries us through (New Orleans, Cleveland, Buffalo, Jets, Broncos, Texans). All of their losses this year have been controversial. Gronk was molested in Carolina, Oh-Oh-Man was fondled yesterday, and of course “push gate” screwed us against the Jets.
This has taught them a lot though. I’d much rather go into the playoffs with this kind of resume than they did in ought seven. This team doesn’t have the talent or the personnel to play with teams like the Broncos, or even the Colts. But as long as they have Belichick and Brady, they’ll keep the score close. This team knows how to win close games, and could get home field throughout the playoffs if Peyton Manning acts like…..well, Peyton Manning. And if they get to the Super Bowl, does anyone in their right mind think that Belichick will be out coached by PT Carroll? Yea, right. That’ll be the day. Pats 5/1 to make the Super Bowl is the biggest gift Vegas has ever given. Get on that now.
So what do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.
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