The REAL List: Five In, Five Out of the NFL Playoffs

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The other two football-interested parties on this here newsmagazine breezed through with their picks for the five-in, five-out parity machine that is the NFL Playoffs, and that was good. However, they were both wrong.

Here, now, I share with you the definitive list of the 2012-13 Playoff Ins and Outs for the NFL. You’re welcome in advance.

In: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a much-improved squad, and should they happen to miss the AFC West title — which you might think is likely, since they finished last in the division last season — they could still finish 9-7 and grab a wild card slot. That’s exactly what I think will happen, with the Peyton Manning-led Broncos grabbing the AFCW crown for the second straight year, and the Chiefs sliding in (barely) in a weakened AFC field at the expense of…

Out: Pittsburgh Steelers
I know it’s become the trendy pick to say the Yinzburghers will be left out of this year’s playoff picture, but the facts behind everyone picking this to happen are pretty sound. Ben Roethlisberger’s best efforts come when he’s allowed to improvise, move in the pocket, and throw deep down field, which are three things that new Yinzers OC Re-Todd “Handshake” Haley isn’t comfortable with in his quarterbacks. Their offensive line, already the subject of many derisive posts from bloggers in their mom’s basements got worse with the season-ending injury to David DeCastro. And their defense is getting old and ineffective quickly. It wouldn’t surprise this reporter if Marvin James Harrison missed several games due to a combination of old age, karma and gaping asshole-ism. [Read more…]

Five In, Five Out: Casablancas Style

The NFL has achieved the dream of every professional sports league – unbridled parity. If the NBA had it, the Sacramento Kings would not be looking up and down both coasts for a new home. Should Major League Baseball ever achieve parity, the Pittsburgh Pirates wouldn’t be pursuing their first playoff berth since Andrew McCutchen’s fifth birthday, and if the NHL had it, people would watch. I will leave college football alone.

In honor to the well-conceived dreams of Peter Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue, and Roger Goodell, my five-in, five-out predictions: [Read more…]

The Hangover, Part 2: So, Now What?

VIA UPIIn the end, it wasn’t faith or a lack thereof that led those who don’t like Tim Tebow the Quarterback to dislike Tim Tebow the Quarterback.

Maybe it was a lack of ability. 34% passing against the 31st ranked defense in the league displayed it for all to see.

Or maybe it was Tebow’s inability to do anything other than run the option which, once figured out, was dead in the water.

Maybe it was the 10 points. 10. 10 of them. | | | | | | | | | | < That many. Against a team that had put up 14 points after only one Bronco possession.

Of course the defense deserves blame. They were playing against one of the best offenses in the league, knew they had to reach the quarterback, knew they had to play lights out. And they didn't. And it was awful to watch.

But for right now, we're looking at one place and one place only. The Offense.

[Read more…]

The Broncos CAN Win This Weekend — Here’s How

I just ran a simulation of this week’s Broncos-Patriots Divisional Playoff matchup at, and I am sure my eyes deceived me. While I expected something along the lines of a 49 – 21 Patriots victory, I was shocked to find my simulation result in a 34 – 17 Broncos victory behind 175 yards from Willis McGahee and an error-free game from Tim Tebow. It only took one try, and I didn’t bench Tom Brady for the simulation. I guess that means that there is more than a 0% chance that the Broncos will win on Saturday night. Shocking.

If the Broncos are to find sweet victory against the evil New England Patriots and their new cheating spy offensive assistant Josh McDaniels, all of the following MUST occur:

1. The Broncos must pressure Brady. Not two sacks and three quarterback hurries, but rather something like five sacks, seven hurries, and a couple of knockdowns. Gloom and Doom will need to meet at the quarterback at least twice in order for this lofty goal to be met. Von Miller had his best performance since breaking his thumb last week, and the Broncos will need even more from him and his fellow pass rushers Saturday night.

2. The Broncos must win the turnover battle. In the Week 15 loss to the Patriots, the Broncos set up the recipe for success in the first quarter. They ran the ball, kept it off the turf, and were moving up and down the field. Then the second quarter arrived. Three turnovers and a grand total of four offensive players later, the Broncos 16 – 7 lead became a 24 – 16 deficit. This cannot happen on the road against the cream of the AFC crop. If the Broncos avoid turnovers and cause at least two, I like their chances.

3. The Broncos must limit the offensive explosion to one of New England’s big three. With a steady pass rush, sound run defense, and adequate pass defense, there may be a chance for the Broncos to pull their biggest upset in franchise playoff history. By neutralizing two of the big three (Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez) and Patriots running attack, the Broncos defense may keep the score within reach.

As I said, if one of these doesn’t occur — just one slip on this list — The Broncos will be on the losing end of the equation. However, if they manage all three, they’ve got a shot.

We may well see the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game.

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