Hell, Bill Bellichik actually smiled.
I thought this would be an opportune time to review my predictions from the beginning of the year.
So this is what I thought the season would look like on day one:
Well, I was right on the winner, just not how many wins. I'm still amazed by the Pats performance this year. I was one game off for the bills, they went 7-9. I don't think ANYONE predicted how bad the Jets and Dolphins would be, at 4-12 and 1-15 respectively.
New England Patriots - While I'm not exactly an objective observer here; I still think the pats are the best team in football. I'm honestly not optimistic about Moss's performance; but even when he's bad, he's still better than 90% out there. Pats are a clear division winner, and I'm calling it 12-4, maybe 13-3
Buffalo Bills - No offense... where's the offense? NOt only that, but they've got a pretty tough schedule. 6-10, maybe 5-11.
Miami Dolphins - See above, only worse. 4-12
New York Jets - No running game, iffy QB followthrough... I just don't think they've got it this year. 8-8
Again, I called the winner. The Browns did a bit better than I expected, the Bengals a bit worse; but I totally blew it on the Ravens. I don't know what happened, they just completely fell apart on the field all year.
Baltimore Ravens - Moderately good offense with some holes, and I question their defense. Not bad, probably a 9-7 team.
Cincinnati Bengals - They can score, but they cant stop the run. Lots of high scoring losses. I'd give them 8-8.
Cleveland Browns - Despite their excellent pre-season, I think they're the worst team in the division, and would be the worst in the AFC except the Raiders and the Texans are sooooo bad. Thing is, they've got a pretty easy schedule. Call it 6-10 or 7-9.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Honestly, after a mediocre performance last year, Pittsburgh looks really good this year and I'm expecting a solid season. Give me 11-5.
This whole picking the winner thing is getting monotonous; and I got their record spot on at 13-3. The AFC south though was the surprise division of the year; with no team going lower than 8-8. I got the order right; but the Texans and Titans actually managed a decent year throwing me of completely. I was one off on the Jags, they went 11-5; and way off on the Titans, who went 10-6.
Indianapolis Colts - Division winner, no question. 12-4 seems a strong possiblity. Second best team in the AFC, and more consistent than the Pats the last three seasons. 12-4 or 13-3.
Houston Texans - Ahh, the sacrificial lamb of the AFC. 4-12 maybe 5-11.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Solid performers, but inconsistent. QB performance is critical here. I'd put them in as a 9-7 or 10-6 team.
Tennessee Titans - A quarterback without a team to support him.... 7-9 or 8-8 maybe?
Well... I didn't quite muff it here, but I could've done better that's for sure. The Chargers managed to pull one better than I expected at 11-5, but the entire rest of the division just tanked it. I called the Raiders at 4-12; but I expected much better performances from Denver and KC.
Kansas City Chiefs - Last year was a bit of a fluke; I'd give them 8-8, or 7-9, especially after their miserable pre-season.
Denver Broncos - Strong contention with San Diego for top slot in the division. I figure both are going to the playoffs one way or the other. Call it 10-6, maybe 11-5 with their schedule
Oakland Raiders - Possibly the worst team in football this year; I give them 4-12 at best.
San Diego Chargers - I'm expecting a solid performance this year; I'm just not sure who will be better between them and Denver. San Diego has the harder schedule, so I'm giving them 9-7, maybe 10-6
Uhhhh.... the less said about my NFC predictions, the better. Of the 16 NFC teams, I only got the final records right for 3 of them, or within one to 4 more. That's worse than random chance.
What can I say; I'm a pats fan, and I just don't pay much attention to the NFC.
Well, I got everything right except Denver. Their tanking this season just threw me off completely. Tennessee ended up pulling the second wildcard; and made the AFC south the best division in football this year... though to my chagrin (I called it as one of the worst divisions) the NFC east was very close.
Division winners: Patriots, Steelers, Colts, San Diego
Wildcards: Jacksonville and Denver
The wildcards on the AFC are pretty hard to pick again this year. Honestly, I can see either Jacksonville or Denver winning their divisions... but I think the group of five here is a pretty solid pick
Championship game: I gotta think its Pats Colts again; though San Diego is a solid contender. I won't even try to call the game if it comes down to pats and Colts, but I think New England can beat San Diego.
Well, I said I was having a hard time predicting right... uhhhh....
Division winners: Philly, Chicago, Carolina, St. Louis
Wildcards: New Orleans, San Francisco
Honestly, I'm not so sure about my pick on the NFC side. Theres too many close calls, and unpredictable factors to come out in high percentages for the NFC. Also, SF really has to pull it together. I think they can do it, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Giants in that spot.
Championship game: Philly Chicago looks like a decent bet
So, I got every division winner, and all but one of the playoff teams right in the AFC; and none of the division winners or playoff teams right for the NFC.
Maybe next year I should get one of my MANY Cowboy fan readers to make my NFC predictions next year...
As to the Giants Packers... I can't see the Packers not winning this one.
Favre want’s another win; and if it’s against the Patriots he wants it even more. Whether the packers win or lose on a given day really depends on the performance Favre puts in, and this is one motivated cat.
He’s had to listen to his own (admittedly mediocre) performance over the past four seasons get panned; while Brady is talked up as a wonder boy.
I’ll tell you this, and I’m saying it as a diehard patriots fan: Favre IS the best full career quarterback of all time. He holds every major career QB record, and has started every single game since September of 1992. There are certainly quarterbacks who’ve had better years, and better streaks, but no-one has ever managed a 17 season record like Favre.
For a man with a record like that, to hear himself and his performance dismissed in favor of comparative newcomers like Manning and Brady (both are within months of 31 compared to Favre's 38)… Well you can tell this year was his response.
I tell you what; I think the Giants would be an easier Superbowl for my Pats... but I can't wait to see a Pats Pack rematch of '95/'96... Of course, with the scores reversed.