The 2014 season has produced its share of weird, up-and-down performances, but the playoff picture is beginning to blur into focus. In the NFC, seven teams are in the hunt (Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, Packers, Cardinals, 49ers, and Seahawks) and one other team will represent the NFC South, probably the Saints. The AFC is quite a bit messier. Everybody is in the race except the Jets, Titans, Jaguars, and Raiders.
So, 20 teams are still viable and 12 are toast. I’m considering the entire NFC South as one viability and three schmoes.
I’ve had a hard time taking the Cardinals seriously as a dominant team, but maybe they are. Their defense allows them to play with anybody, and each week they manage to find a way to score just enough points to win. They escaped the Eagles Sunday and go on the road against Dallas next week. If they win that one, too, only a game left with the 49ers and two with the Seahawks will be standing in the way of their winning the NFC West.
The Colts are as unpredictable as the Cardinals are not. One week they shut out the Bengals, then the next week Pittsburgh lays 51 points on them. At the same time, the Bengals turn around and beat Baltimore. These are not reliable teams. But, like with the 2012 Ravens, any of them can get smoking hot during the playoffs and, with a generous dose of luck, run the table. Maybe not the Bengals. After all, Andy Dalton is their QB. The playoffs are too big for him. It’s the red hair. No red headed QB has ever won a Super Bowl.
Last week’s blockbuster Seattle trade of Percy Harvin to the Jets for a bag of peanuts was an admission of a monumental front office blunder. One that, if Trent Baalke had perpetrated it, would have brought howls from many of us, and one or two in particular. Not having to cover Harvin in our two games this year is a real blessing and so is not having to prepare for covering him. I imagine with the weakened state of the Seahawk’s defense, those northern fellows are wringing their hands at the offseason loss of D-line guys that occurred mainly to accommodate Harvin’s bloated salary. All is not well in that locker room, either. Tsk, tsk.
Jets General Manager John Idzik admitted Monday his performance was unsatisfactory. Ha ha ha ha. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeew, Baby! Welcome to the real world, John. You’re inching up on it. How about atrocious? Laughable? Absurd? Pathetic?
This afternoon is the NFL deadline for making trades, so there will be rumors flying today. There’s never much action attached to the rumors, but it spices up the news for a day or two. There’s speculation that the Niners are shopping a D-line guy and maybe an OLB, but Jim Harbaugh assures us the Niners aren’t trading anyone, and he never fibs to us.