We Made It!!!

YESH!!! (Marv Albert voice).  The NFL is officially here!  Of course that brings a whole bunch of excitement, and for some Packer fans, it led off with the painful announcement of the Chicago Bears acquiring the best defender in the game to shore up an already top 10 defense.  Khalil Mack could’ve possibly have been the Reggie White-type acquisition this team seems to require in order to win another Lombardi trophy.  However, he’s down in Chicago, hopefully wasting his career and never winning a ring.

With that, let’s get onto the season.  As you may recall, the Philadelphia Eagles turned around from 7-9 in 2016 to earn the 1 seed at 13-3 and win the Super Bowl.  Is there a team capable of that this year??? (see where I’m going with this?).  Let’s find out!

Again, I actually nerd-out and take the time to go through every game of every team and mark the W/L for each accordingly, here’s what we have.

AFC North       NFC North    
3Baltimore 10 6 1Green Bay 11 5
5Pittsburgh 10 6 5Minnesota 11 5
Cincinnati 6 10 Chicago 8 8
Cleveland 5 11 Detroit 6 10
       
AFC South   NFC South  
4Houston 10 6 3Atlanta 10 6
6Jacksonville 10 6 6New Orleans 10 6
Tennessee 7 9 Carolina 9 7
Indianapolis 4 12 Tampa Bay 6 10
       
AFC East   NFC East  
1New England 13 3 4Philadelphia 9 7
Buffalo 9 7 Dallas 8 8
Miami 5 11 Washington 8 8
NY Jets 4 12 NY Giants 4 12
       
AFC West   NFC West  
2LA Chargers 11 5 2LA Rams 10 6
Oakland 9 7 San Francisco 9 7
Kansas City 8 8 Seattle 6 10
Denver 8 8   Arizona 4 12

While I feel realistic about Green bay going 11-5, I don’t think 11-5 will net the 1 seed.  However, in this case, that’s what happened.  So let’s go!  With these standings there were some tiebreakers that would go to the 3rd or even 4th line, without figuring the score for each game of each team I just gave the div titles to Bal, Hou, and Atl.  Is it important? Absolutely, but we carry on.

Wildcard round—

  • Min @ Phi—rematch of the NFC title game, and I think it’s much closer than that game, however I believe the result is the same: the Eagles fly to Green Bay winning 24-20.
  • NO @ Atl—a divisional rival match, which I believe home field is so important…Atlanta triumphs with their opportunistic defense and bests Brees and the Saints, 27-21.
  • Jax @ Bal—yawn, for us NFC fans, however this could be a defensive battle and while rookie QB Lamar Jackson provides a shot in the arm, it’s too little too late vs the Jaguars great defense, Jags move on: 21-17.
  • Pit @ Hou—this has Saturday night written all over it, and it could be fun! The Watt bros. battle it out, along with all the dynamic playmakers on both teams on both sides of the ball…this could be fun! It might resemble the 2016 divisional playoff game when a savvy vet (Rodgers) in this case, Big Ben, comes into the young, inexperienced QB (Dak) Watson and we have a shootout!  I tip my cap to the vet, Steelers win a nail-bitter: 34-31.

Divisional Round—

  • Phi @ GB—better take care of home field! The defending champs come to Lambeau in a Saturday night battle at Lambeau in a “warm” January night (30 degrees), Rodgers and the offense, littered with rookies that have hit the proverbial wall, but warm up in the 2nd half and pull out a sloppy game: 29-24.
  • Atl @ LAR—a wild card rematch, however this one is a bit more fun than last year’s…Jared Goff and Gurley III light up the scoreboard, but they’re done in by one of their many big offseason acquisitions, Marcus Peters. He gets beat late in the 4th, twice by Julio Jones and the Falcons win: 28-24.
  • Jax @ NE—what’s the point of breaking this down? Tom at home, in the playoffs…they win: 31-14.
  • Pit @ LAC—is this Philip Rivers’ last hoorah?   This generation’s version of Dan Marino continues to carry that torch and doesn’t win when the lights are bright.  While the Chargers may have the most-balanced team of talent spread out in the NFL, the lack of experience is just too much…Steel city prevails: 27-14.

Championship Sunday—(one of the best days of the year)

  • Pit @ NE—while this is the 2nd game of the day, let’s save the best for last. Big Ben vs Tommy Boy.  What a great final 4 on Champ Sunday.  The Steelers lead late, by 3, with the ball and they’re driving, but are held to a field goal.  The Pats get the ball back on the 25 after a touchback with 1:47 left….you know how this ends—Brady hits some no-name WR for a TD with 0:06 left and the Pats go to their 9th Super Bowl in the Brady/Belicheck era: 28-27.
  • Atl @ GB—a 2016 rematch of the boat race in Atlanta. This is a back & forth match up, but the Packers’ lack of OL depth does them in when Bulaga exits early with an injury, and while the musical chairs OL holds up for most of the game, a key 3rd and 7 late in the 4th with Green Bay leading, allows quick pressure and Rodgers dumps it off to Monty for a 5-yard gain to their own 40.  The Packers punt and pin Atlanta deep, but the rookie Corners I mentioned earlier give way to the best WR in the game, Julio, for 2 big 4th down conversions and Matty Ice dumps off a 4th and goal with 0:20 left to Coleman for a TD…Atlanta is victorious, in Lambeau, in the title game (ugh, god that would suck so hard b/c I’d probably pay to go): 27-24.

Super Bowl LIII—

  • Atl vs NE—version 2.0. As much as it would blow for the Packers to be at home in the title game, to have what every NFL fan deserves (Brady v Rodgers super bowl), we would be treated to a rematch of the best Super Bowl ever.
    • Could Matt Ryan choke any harder than 28-3? That’s actually impossible…I think…but if anyone could???
  • Tom comes through to Gronk for 2 scores early 14-0 in the 1st, but don’t score entering the 4th, with Atlanta up 17-14. They trade TDs with Tom getting the ball with 5 minutes left down 24-21…Brady hands it off to rookie Sony Michel for a score to regain the lead, 28-24.  Matt Ryan has a chance to redeem himself and lead a 2 minute drill for 6 to best the GOAT, on the biggest stage.  (Enter choke artist)…they come up short on 4th & 8 on the Pats’ 25.  Brady hoists his 6th Lombardi trophy and everyone outside of Boston is pissed.

The main question is, if this happens, Green Bay losing a home NFC title game, again, under Mike McCarthy, is that enough to move the Big Guy out of town?  I don’t know, but regardless, I’d feel a LOT better going into 2019 as those rookies, whom I believe are going to be good, at least 3 of them, will get a ton of great experience…If you’re still reading, you’re likely Ruth 🙂

 

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