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Wild-card weekend Monday 10-pack

Aaron Curry

Though the regular season has ended, the Monday 10-pack will continue.

And even though only four games were played this weekend, they entailed enough intrigue to easily generate 10 takes.

That’s nearly as many takes as Saints who had a crack at tackling Marshawn Lynch on Sunday.

1.  Mike Mayock is a genius.

Mike Mayock is best known as NFL Network’s answer to Mel Kiper.  Plenty of people think that Mayock, a coach’s son who played defensive back at Boston College, understands the process of rating and scouting players even better than Kiper.

We think Mayock has found an even better skill.

Mayock, who worked as an analyst for the Saints-Seahawks game on NBC, was one of the few national voices to give the Seattle Seahawks a “fighter’s chance” against the Saints.  Double-digit underdogs that had won seven games and lost nine during the regular season, no one expected Seattle to be competitive against the defending Super Bowl champions.  But in his visit to PFT Live on Friday, Mayock made a sufficiently compelling case to prompt Rosenthal and yours truly to second-guess our mutual decision to pick the Saints to win.

Apart from the travel and the hostile outdoor crowd and the injuries, Mayock explained that the first game between the Seahawks and Saints was far more competitive than most realize.  The Seahawks had been able to move the ball against the New Orleans defense, and Seattle was keeping it close until the Saints uncorked a typical (for 2009) Drew Brees-led touchdown drive at the end of the first half.

Mayock believed when others scoffed.  Appearing on a St. Louis radio station, Mike Ditka’s analysis of the game consisted entirely of “you’ve gotta be kidding me,” or words to that effect.

So from this point forward we will regard Mayock as a genius.  Which means that whenever he appears with me on PFT Live in the future the genius average will be 0.5.

2.  Seattle’s win makes the reseeding argument stronger, not weaker.

Plenty of people argued in the aftermath of Saturday night’s win by the Seahawks that talk over reseeding the playoff teams had been rendered moot because the supposedly lesser team was the better team in the game at hand.  But the fact that Seattle won the game only makes the case for reseeding stronger.

Did playing at home help the Seahawks win?  Of course.  Would it have been harder for the Seahawks to play that game on the road?  Absolutely.

The fact that they took advantage of home-field advantage doesn’t make the Seahawks more worthy of advancing to the division round of the playoffs.  And though we previously were firm believers in each division winner not only securing a playoff berth but also playing at least one game at home, we’re (or at least I’m) now thinking that no 7-9 division winner has any business hosting a playoff game, ever.

3.  Reseeding looms over NFC title game, too.

Two years ago, the 9-7 Cardinals hosted the 11-5 Falcons in the first round of the playoffs.  And the Cardinals won the game.  The following week, the Cardinals upended the Panthers in Charlotte and the sixth-seeded Eagles shocked the Giants, the top seed at the time.

Thus, even though the Eagles finished the season with a better record than the Cardinals, including a Thanksgiving-night thrashing in Philly, the Eagles were forced to hit the road, and Arizona advanced to the Super Bowl.

Apart from being guaranteed a home game in the playoffs, the division winner with the worst record still receives a seed higher than two other teams, setting the stage for a team like the Seahawks hosting the conference title game.

What’s that, you say?  The Seahawks will never advance to the next level of the playoffs?  Well, they go to Chicago, where the Seahawks won during the regular season.  And the Packers now return to Atlanta, where the Falcons are good but not invincible.

It would be a surprise but not a shock for the road teams to win next weekend, setting the stage for Seattle to host the NFC championship.  And possibly opening the door for the Seahawks to steal a berth in the Super Bowl.  Where the AFC representative would be a 22-point favorite.

So even if a division winner with a record worse than the wild-card teams deserves to host a playoff game, it should be only one playoff game that the division winner with a bad record hosts.

4.  Patriots have to be puckering.

In early December, when the Ravens and Steelers and Jets and Patriots got together for prime-time games on consecutive nights, we suspected that the second game of the season between these division rivals would merely determine the location for the third game.

But when the Patriots dismantled the Jets, running up the score to finish the night with a 45-3 win, we feared that the Pats were given the Jets fodder to fire themselves up for a playoff meeting — until we realized that the Pats were hoping to induce a tailspin that would wash the Jets right out of the postseason altogether.

If that was the objective, it didn’t work.  After losing six days later to the Dolphins, the Jets pulled together a win in Pittsburgh and gained plenty of confidence by beating the Colts in Indianapolis.  Now, the Jets are heading back to Foxboro, and they’ll surely find extra motivation in the trouncing they endured.

Of course, the Jets have a bad habit of talking too much, and there’s a decent chance they’ll squander the moral high ground by talking tough and otherwise riling up a Patriots team that otherwise has to be thinking that there’s no guarantee that they’ll do in January what they managed to do in December.

So with the Pats having everything to lose and the Jets having everything to gain, there’s a chance that the Jets could shock the team that everyone assumes will advance to the Super Bowl and win it.

5.  Caldwell could be on the hot seat next year.

When Jim Caldwell was named the Colts’ coach in waiting three years ago, the most common reaction was, “Who’s Jim Caldwell?”

Hardly a short-list candidate for head-coaching jobs in any other city, Caldwell assumed the position once Tony Dungy retired.  Last year, Caldwell basically kept out of the way and rode the existing team and coaching staff to a Super Bowl appearance.

This year, change and injuries and at times ineffectiveness dropped the Colts to 6-6 through 12 games.  They pulled things together down the stretch, but inexplicably lost at home to the Jets in the wild-card round.  To make matters worse, Caldwell made a bizarre decision to take a late time out — something he’d done late in a regular-season loss to the Jaguars.

Though we’ve seen coaches fired after a playoff loss, there’s no reason to think that Caldwell currently occupies a spot on the hot seat, especially with the uncertain labor situation potentially wiping out the offseason training program, and possibly all of training camp.  Come 2011, however, whispers will commence regarding Caldwell’s job status.  If the Colts fail to qualify for the postseason or otherwise lose in the wild-card round next season, the Colts could be looking for a new coach to preside over the final seasons of Peyton Manning’s career.

6.  Humble pie could help Todd Haley.

Jason Whitlock of FOXSports.com recently penned (does anyone actually use pens anymore?) a damning indictment of Chiefs coach Todd Haley, who is developing a reputation for being a real jerk.  Like most people, Haley thinks a lot of himself.  Unlike most people, Haley apparently lacks the ability to make his self-love anything other than obvious.

The departure of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who’s leaving for the same job with a college program, tends to confirm the concern that Haley thinks he can become the next Bill Parcells by simply acting like him.  And the thinking in league circles is that Haley’s insecurities will keep him from making the no-brainer hire to replace Weis — hiring former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels.

The good news?  Today’s 30-7 spanking by the Ravens could possibly humble Haley, forcing him to look in the mirror in the hopes of making the kinds of changes that will be critical to getting to the next level, and beyond.

If he doesn’t, he may not last long in Kansas City.

7.  Rubber match in the ‘Burgh.

For the second time in three years and the third time ever, the Ravens and Steelers will rendezvous in the postseason.  In 2001, the two teams split their postseason series and the Steelers won in the division round at Pittsburgh, 27-10.  Two years ago, the Steelers completed a three-game sweep with a 23-14 win in the conference title game.

This year, it’s another rubber match, with the Steelers winning in Baltimore and the Ravens winning in Pittsburgh.  And they’ll meet once again in Pittsburgh.

If recent history holds, the score will be close, and the outcome could go either way.  Though it’s hard not to favor the home team, the Ravens could be ready to finally knock off their biggest division rival in a game that couldn’t get much bigger.

8.  Ravens are true road warriors.

On Saturday, the Ravens will play their seventh playoff game in three seasons.  Making the accomplishment even more impressive is that they’ve played none of them at home.

The Ravens are 4-2 in road playoff games under coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco.  They can push that mark to 5-2 by winning in Pittsburgh, the site of a regular-season victory against the Steelers.

Maybe next year, they’ll finally play a playoff game at home.  But with sixth-seeded Jets having a better shot than most would admit to beat the Patriots, the Ravens could get that home playoff game this year, with a rematch of the Week One Monday nighter.

9.  Packers finally exorcise the Favre demon.

Since nudging Brett Favre out of Green Bay three years ago in the weeks after an overtime loss to the Giants in the NFC title game, the Packers hadn’t won a single playoff game.  And in the three seasons that Favre played elsewhere, he had won, well, a single playoff game.

The Packers have now matched Favre’s feat, finally winning a postseason contest without him.

Against the Eagles, quarterback Aaron Rodgers delivered, the defense stepped up, and rookie running back James Starks provided a performance that could relegate Ryan Grant to backup status come the 2011 season.

Before then, these Packers have a chance to do that which Favre’s Packers did only once — win a Super Bowl.  Based on how they played against the Pats in Foxboro with Aaron Rodgers on the bench, it’s not that really that crazy of a possibility.

10.  Struggles against NFC North doomed the Eagles.

For Philadelphia, the season began just as it ended, with a home loss to the Packers.  In all, the Eagles won only one of five games against teams of the NFC North, losing to the Bears, Vikings, twice to the Packers, and nearly to the Lions.

Slightly better luck against the teams of the black-and-blue division would have allowed Philly to avoid wild-card weekend altogether, waiting instead to play in the division round after a bye.

Instead, the team that only three weeks ago seemed destined to parlay the Miracle in the New Meadowlands into a return visit to Cowboys Stadium lost three in a row to finish the season, ending a promising campaign far earlier than anyone thought it would.

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49 Responses to “Wild-card weekend Monday 10-pack”
  1. kom2k10 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:08 PM

    Caldwell is on the Hot Seat now! There are only a few ways that coaches are soley responsible for losing games for a team, and he’s done it several times! Two Horrible time-out calls this year soley cost him two games including the one against the Jets. He always runs out the clock w/ 1 minute to go at half time. Not to mention the horrible challenges…

    Manning needs to put his foot down and make the proposition to the Colts: I’ll only sign if you bring in a competent and aggressive coach that actually knows what he’s doing and that can get this team motivated! Bring in Cowher!!! Caldwell needs to be working at the local library!

  2. FinFan68 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:11 PM

    Mayock has been one of the best judges of talent for a while. His analysis ability in the booth during games is not so bad or annoying either…unlike many who have held similar positions. Why isn’t this guy a highly paid GM?

  3. omegaichiban says: Jan 9, 2011 11:18 PM

    I’m pretty sure you can’t split a post-season series in a single season. The Pat(es) are probably licking their chops to get at the Jets. The NFL ought to open up the postseason best 12 teams make it, 1 – 4 byes. 5 plays 12 and so on and so on. Exciting no? Jes!!

  4. realitypolice says: Jan 9, 2011 11:20 PM

    I don’t think a coach who took a team from worst to first in one year, as Todd Haley did, needs to worry about “lasting long in KC” just quite yet.

    Only coaches who lose have to worry about being too arrogant.

  5. emperorzero says: Jan 9, 2011 11:22 PM

    1. I enjoy listening to Mayock’s color commentary during Notre Dame games. He actually brings football analysis that you just don’t see outside of Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil when he called games.

    2&3. I think division winners should get to host playoff games – even if it helps them go on to the Super Bowl. It makes winning the division that much more meanigful. Does anyone remember the 1993 San Francisco Giants? They won like 103 games, but the Braves still won the division. Braves got to go to the playoffs while the Giants went home while an inferior NL East team got to go to the playoffs.

    4. I can’t imagine a team with Tom Brady is puckering much. I’m sure they won’t under estimate the Jets, but puckering? Doubt it.

    5. Let’s see what a healthy Colts team does next year before putting Caldwell in front of the firing line.

    6. I’m sure Haley is blaming Weis for today and learned nothing from it.

    7&8. I’m neither a Ravens or Steelrs fan, but this is always my favorite game of the year to watch. I usually pull for the Ravens, but the Steelers seem to make a play when they need it most.

    9. If anyone exorcised demons it was TT and McCarthy since they were the ones – not Rodgers or the players – that sent Favre off to New York wth his cell phone. Now if the Packers could exorcise the demons of a lousy OL…

    10. I don’t think there is any shame in the Eagles losing to Chicago or Green Bay, but that Vikings game was a killer. You can’t lose to a team starting its third string quarterbac k – though I know Drew Stanton would beg to differ.

  6. snowpea84 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:24 PM

    The Eagles season ending far earlier than anyone thought it would??? Im pretty sure there were plenty of people who bet on the Packers. It seemed obvious to me at least, but that’s just because I think highly of myself.

  7. tdk24 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:24 PM

    I don’t get it. The reseeding talk. The 49ers dominated a weak a$$ 4 team division for for 16 years, and nothing was ever said about reseeding. You could say that 6 of their wins every year came against high school level teams and that gave them an unfair advantage by getting a bye week in the playoffs. Same thing really. I say good for the Seahags. I would pay a million bucks to see the Seahags beat the Pats in the superbowl this year.

  8. johnnyshore says: Jan 9, 2011 11:26 PM

    the fact that you think the seachickens W is more evidence for reseeding is utterly appalling. the seahawks did WHAT THEY HAD TO DO in the regular season, which is win the division. they then beat a team that had previously beat them,(the world champs, no less), to move on. the seahawks victory is proof that there is no flaw whatsoever in the current playoff system. almost every national media analyst had the chickens losing, yet they pulled off a victory, which correlates with the cliche phrase of “any given sunday.” if a team earns it’s way into the playoffs, they are there no matter what seed they have or whether or not they have home field advantage. it is what it is, and the hasselchickens proved that point.

  9. bigbear12 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:27 PM

    Saints have had a bad defense all year and the Seahawks molested them. Bears, Packers or Falcons will have Whitehurst in by halftime.
    Lucky for us the Bears drew the short straw and should bring this Cinderella story to it’s proper ending soon enough and spare us the sight of a team with a losing record in the playoffs.

  10. tialen says: Jan 9, 2011 11:37 PM

    (To think I had to register an account just to tell you that you’re an idiot.)

    This is Division play, and it is what makes the NFL great. Teams that get into the post season via a wildcard get the gift of the post season.

    If you don’t like Division Play, then kill the Divisions, and see the NFL disappear as America’s favorite sport.

    If the Seahawks manage to go into Chicago and beat the Bears, and if Green Bay manages to go into Atlanta to beat the Falcons, then the Seahawks damn well deserve to host the final game as they won their Division, and didn’t LOSE their Division.

    Not only that, but the Seahawks will have gone in and beaten the team that beat out Green Bay for the division title (twice, on the road, I might add, as the seahawks have already beaten Chicago once this year).
    You don’t seed a wildcard team above a Division Champ, period.

    Hopefully the NFL has more brains that PFT.

  11. vahawker says: Jan 9, 2011 11:41 PM

    12-4 Ravens went into KC and whooped up on the 10-6 Chiefs. Maybe the Saints should have taken care of business and all you idiots could stop your boo hooing.

  12. edrappaport says: Jan 9, 2011 11:53 PM

    Mayock is the best color guy in the NFL even though he only gets a game or 2 a year.

    Somebody get this guy doing NFL color on a weekly basis. He’s a great combination of explainer of what happened and provider of insight as to what will happen.

  13. seattlepackerfan says: Jan 10, 2011 12:04 AM

    “2. Seattle’s win makes the reseeding argument stronger, not weaker.”

    Not counting shortened seasons, there’s been one team with a losing record in the playoffs. Changing the format would just be another knee-jerk reaction by the league to something that’s probably not going to happen again.

    And home-field advantage didn’t exactly give the Eagles, Chiefs or Colts an edge this weekend.

  14. canadianvikingfaniii says: Jan 10, 2011 12:28 AM

    I love Mike Mayock. He does the commentary for the Vikings preseason games, I’d love to see him replace some of these goofball commentators there are now.

  15. albanyhawker says: Jan 10, 2011 12:36 AM

    If the Seahawks make it to the Superbowl, they wouldn’t have STOLEN anything. They will have beaten the competition that is put in front of them, just like the AFC representative.

    If this was the Giants or the Cowboys or the Steelers making this kind of improbable noise in the playoffs, it would be touted as the best thing since canned beer, and there’d be no talk of reseeding.

  16. albanyhawker says: Jan 10, 2011 12:39 AM

    P.S. how come there was no mention of the other 3 Divisional winners, who were supposedly so much stronger and worthier of their playoff berth, not being able to win a home game, especially since two of them also had lesser records than their visiting counterparts?

    It’s not like the 67,000 Qwest faithful actually came down on the field to play, although the Saints could have used them to help try and tackle Marshawn Lynch!

  17. effthaeffinjetsgofins says: Jan 10, 2011 1:09 AM

    Re: Point 2.

    A Super Bowl team should be able to win anywhere against anyone. If you got to Seattle and lose, you don’t deserve to play a home game, either.

    Second, the 1972 Miami Dolphins at 15-0 had to go to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game. Their was no such thing as home field throughout. and the Dolphins won anyway. Like true Champions.

    Do you think the Pats would complain? Take anyone on, anywhere. Like men.

  18. robertveit says: Jan 10, 2011 1:47 AM

    I assume then that Keyshawn Johnson is a super genius for actually picking the Seahawks.

  19. discosucs2005 says: Jan 10, 2011 3:45 AM

    “The fact that they took advantage of home-field advantage doesn’t make the Seahawks more worthy of advancing to the division round of the playoffs.”

    Perhaps. But it certainly makes the Saints less deserving if they can’t beat a 7-9 team on the road.

    Personally I like the idea that even a 7-9 team gets a home game if they make the postseason. It makes an upset more likely. Furthermore, I would say winning your division is more impressive, regardless of the records, than being a wildcard team. If you win your division that means you can win the games that matter, which, one could argue, would make you better suited for the playoffs. One could also argue that Seattle’s win proves that point.

  20. crunchyclam says: Jan 10, 2011 4:09 AM

    “Of course, the Jets have a bad habit of talking too much, and there’s a decent chance they’ll squander the moral high ground by talking tough and otherwise riling up a Patriots team that otherwise has to be thinking that there’s no guarantee that they’ll do in January what they managed to do in December.”

    Moral high ground? This is football, not a mock trial. The last Pats game is what it is, a straight-up butt kicking. The Jets or their fans haven’t been pondering the ‘morality’ of their defeat so I have no idea why you would choose to run with this angle.

    Everyone and their mother knows Rex Ryan and the Jets are going to do some talking this week. But how can you turn this weekly occurrence into something with more bite? Easy, make up some BS about the Jets having ‘moral high ground’ so you can later kill them for ‘squandering’ it when they end up doing the same stuff they do every week. Manufactured journalism is fun, isn’t it Mike?

  21. davidtrout says: Jan 10, 2011 5:09 AM

    @seattlepackerfan

    “And home-field advantage didn’t exactly give the Eagles, Chiefs or Colts an edge this weekend.”
    ——————————————————-

    That is a very good point!

    @tdk24

    “I don’t get it. The reseeding talk. The 49ers dominated a weak a$$ 4 team division for for 16 years, and nothing was ever said about reseeding. You could say that 6 of their wins every year came against high school level teams and that gave them an unfair advantage by getting a bye week in the playoffs. Same thing really. I say good for the Seahags. I would pay a million bucks to see the Seahags beat the Pats in the superbowl this year.”
    —————————————————-

    Not so much!

    That team kind of won 5 championships making your point, well………………

  22. byteme999 says: Jan 10, 2011 5:50 AM

    I was going to comment on the re-seeding nonsense, but there isnt much need, you folks have said it all!

    Personally I would find it hilarious if the Seahawks went to SB XLV, were installed as 22pt dogs and won the dammed thing..

    It likely wont happen, but it would be funny as all get out..

    2 Mannings down, a Brady and a RapistBuger to go!

  23. gregbeau says: Jan 10, 2011 6:25 AM

    I like what Mike Mayock has to say. I just don’t like the way he says it. Every line is delivered with an excess of emphasis, as in the old “Voice of Doom” style used in old newsreels. Not every play on which you wish to comment needs to made to sound like it was the most significant play of the entire game. He just needs to throttle back on the emotion during his delivery and he could be really good.

  24. countyk66ers says: Jan 10, 2011 6:46 AM

    Keep the current seeding system. It makes the playoffs more interesting and gives more meaning to winning your division during the regular season.

  25. faulkana says: Jan 10, 2011 6:49 AM

    The Pats are “puckered”?
    Of all of the AFC teams in the playoffs, the Jets are the easiest pickins’. By a long shot.
    As Brady enjoyed his bye-week, Rex can soon enjoy his “bi”-week. Take a little time off, and have someone show Michelle a really nice time.

  26. hscorpio says: Jan 10, 2011 7:23 AM

    So because the Seahawks had the good fortune of playing in an awful division, the team that lost more than they won “deserves” to play at home in the playoffs against teams that won more than they lost?

    That’s like saying the Bears deserved to win in week 1 when a rule quirk negated an obvious GW TD. A lot of people think *that* rule should (and will) be changed, too.

  27. tim1999 says: Jan 10, 2011 7:32 AM

    Mark Sanchez, in a climate controlled dome and facing an injury riddled defense with a 4th string secondary had a passer rating of what against the Colts?? He threw for how many yards against that defense??
    It’s the Patriots who are puckering?? ha ha ha ha
    The Patriots are thrilled to have this playoff shake out this way. They get the softer opponent in the Jets as the Ravens and Steelers kill each other.
    The Patriots are going to score points against the Jets. The Jets don’t have the QB who can overcome that.
    The Patriots will not score in the 40′s this time around.
    They will score in the 30′s and will win comfortably.

  28. jacksrants says: Jan 10, 2011 7:40 AM

    I also like Mayock . Hes one of the few I can tolerate .
    However I am waiting for him to backtrack on Darren McFadden .

    Mayock bashed him into the ground up to and on draft day . For the 1st 2 years it appeared he was right .
    Then this year McFadden ran like a man possessed getting those though yards Mayock said he couldn’t at the next level .

    He turned out to be wrong on McFadden . I’d like to hear him say this instead of acting like the rest of the idiots on TV who ignore all the BS they throw out there . He seems like the type that would admit when he is wrong but I haven’t heard it yet .

  29. robbbov says: Jan 10, 2011 7:48 AM

    I had to reregister to make this comment. I also want to make it clear that I support the Seahawks.

    Your analysis in regards to the Seahawks game is not thought through. Not that many things that you write are nowadays. In the beggining of your website you actually did some thinking now you are just summarising what the traditional media is reporting.

    The fact of the matter is that the Hawks beat the Saints fair and square.

    The fact of the matter is that the crowd had nothing to do with the victory. Yes, the noise is there but If you are a good team and plan well the crowd does not matter. Look at Colts, Chiefs or Philly. The crowd was there and they could not pull of the victory.

    The fact of the matter is that the NFL, during the playoffs, is a one game at a time league . Nothing else nothing more. Some teams have better players for sure but talent alone has never gotten anyone far on its own. On any given day the score of a game will be uncorrelated to talent and more correlated to effort.

    The fact of the matter is that teams like the Hawks, beeing lesser teams historically, will not get the credit they deserve in media terms. If you look at where these ex player media guys have played its more likely that they have played in teams with a lot more history than teams like Seahawks, Bucs, Texans, Jaguars etc. These teams will therefore automatically be disregarded by these so called experts.

  30. PCa Survivor says: Jan 10, 2011 8:18 AM

    emperorzero says:

    “…Does anyone remember the 1993 San Francisco Giants? They won like 103 games, but the Braves still won the division. Braves got to go to the playoffs while the Giants went home while an inferior NL East team got to go to the playoffs.
    ______

    Brilliant! Please suggest that the winning conference of the Pro Bowl game should host the Super Bowl too.

  31. 1historian says: Jan 10, 2011 8:35 AM

    Coach Belichik is fond of saying that the real season begins on Thanksgiving Day.

    Average score since then? 38-13. 6 games 6 wins – 5 blowouts, one ugly. Ugly games are GOOD. 2 games since then – 36-5 average score.

    Jets come to town this weekend. Ryan shoots his mouth off. Old news.

    The team will be ready on Sunday. We should win and I for one would be very (unpleasantly) surprised if we don’t.

    Still – Any given Sunday …..

    Chips’nDips will be in place.

    Sufficient brew for the occasion will be in place. (One of the MANY bennies of being a hick is the simple fact that when I gotta pee I just step outside on the driveway and pee)

    Let the games begin

  32. PFTiswhatitis says: Jan 10, 2011 8:40 AM

    ” until we realized that the Pats were hoping to induce a tailspin that would wash the Jets right out of the postseason altogether”

    It was the media that had thoughts of a tailspin, the Pats just went out there and handled business. I hate when the media starts rumors and then attaches them to others.

  33. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 10, 2011 8:42 AM

    Perhaps the worst 10 pack you’ve ever written.

    The drivel on reseeding is ridiculous. The league is all about division play and it should stay that way. If you can’t win your division you go on the road in the playoffs and that’s how its supposed to be.

    And the comments on the Pat may be the most ridiculous things you’ve ever written. If you honestly think the BB and company are “puckering” because the Jets managed to win by playing a mediocre game against a team that played even worse on that given day you need to put the crack pipe down and step back.

    And the comments on the Jets having moral high ground are you f’ing kidding me ? They have shot their mouths off from day one, a dozen of them have already made negative public comments about the Pats just since the Colts game was over 2 nights ago. Including Stonehands Edwards who has already proclaimed the “better team lost the last game”.

    Ridiculous.

  34. barneyrumble says: Jan 10, 2011 8:54 AM

    There is a big difference between an anomoly and a trend. You change with trends not a single anomoly. The Seahawks are not a trend so relax, and the Seahawks won so let them alone and let My Bears end the story.

  35. giablommi says: Jan 10, 2011 9:49 AM

    “So with the Pats having everything to lose and the Jets having everything to gain, there’s a chance that the Jets could shock the team that everyone assumes will advance to the Super Bowl and win it.”
    ^^^^^
    You are 100% off base in your analysis of Jets-Pats The Pats basically flew under the radar most of the year, hell it’s pretty easy to forget the the Jets held first place in the AFC East for much of the season until the 45-3 debacle a month ago.

    The Jets have talked themselves into the Super Bowl since training camp, and as such they have thrust themselves into the all or nothing position of win the Super Bowl or the season is a failure. Meanwhile, this is a rebuilding year for New England, and nobody had the pegged as the best team in the AFC until, again, the 45-3 debacle in which many “experts” were sure the Jets would win. You won’t hear a peep from the Patriots about the Super Bowl unless/until they win the AFC Championship.

    This isn’t 2007, when the Pats eally did have everything to lose. That’s not the case this year.

    By the way, I don’t know offhand, but does anybody know the last time the Patriots lost coming off a bye week? I’m pretty sure it has been a long time.

  36. youboettcha says: Jan 10, 2011 9:53 AM

    “In 2001, the two teams split their postseason series…”

    Ha ha. I though NFL was one of the only sports that didn’t have postseason series.

  37. coleton1 says: Jan 10, 2011 10:01 AM

    “James Starks provided a performance that could relegate Ryan Grant to backup status come the 2011 season.”

    Come on… Lets not go that far yet!!!

  38. umrguy42 says: Jan 10, 2011 10:13 AM

    In regards to reseeding: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

    “Deserve” only matters if you’re trying to fix the games. Tough sh** for NO, but at this stage of the game, they didn’t “deserve” to advance any more than SEA did. NObody “deserves” to advance except the folks who win their games IN THE POSTSEASON.

  39. The James Harrison Foundation says: Jan 10, 2011 10:23 AM

    Funny that you failed to mention, twice, that the Ravens win vs the Steelers this year was against CHARLIE BATCH

  40. calloustongue says: Jan 10, 2011 10:44 AM

    Packers will trade Grant before making him a back up.

    TT refuses to have two capable running backs on the roster.

  41. bunkmcnulty says: Jan 10, 2011 10:47 AM

    Ok, its Pittsburgh week #3. I can’t wait! Let the blog fest back and forth begin!!!!

    Before any of you “Stiller” fans start we didn’t have Ben in Game 1. And your local writer (Cook) today points to the Ravens losing Todd Heap on the 1st play of the second game in December. The most important Raven missing for that second game was LeRon McClain. McClain? Yes McClain. He is instrumental in run blocking and protection schemes. When McClain was out, the person picking up that slack would have been Heap or Rice. When Heap went down, there were definitely protection issues.

    We lost the second game fair and square. Troy made a great play off the edge that changed the game. With McClain back, our chances improve significantly.

    Hey I know Ben has our number. But these are always close games. It’s time for the “tide” to turn. With McClain back, our chances are much better.

  42. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 10, 2011 10:48 AM

    Funny that you failed to mention, twice, that the Ravens win vs the Steelers this year was against CHARLIE BATCH

    So?

    the Stealers winning percentage this year is better without Roethlessburger than with him.

  43. bunkmcnulty says: Jan 10, 2011 11:24 AM

    @Peytonwantsaflag

    “the Stealers winning percentage this year is better without Roethlessburger than with him.”
    ______________________________

    Help my math?

    Without 3-1 .750 winning %
    With 9-3 .750 winng %

    I think it’s the same. I will give credit…looks more impressive now with the week 1 win over Atlanta without him.

  44. ddavid1966 says: Jan 10, 2011 11:28 AM

    Re-seeding is a dumb idea. If the Saints were the overall better team homefield advantage would mean absolutely nothing at all. Ala 2005 Steeler & 2008 Giants. Leave it alone and work on preventing a lock out.

  45. cull1224 says: Jan 10, 2011 11:46 AM

    A few points on the 10-pack:
    1) When Mike Mayock was speaking, I was interested in what he was saying, as opposed to ,let’s say Phil Simms, whose difficulty with the English language makes him tough to listen to
    2) Pats puckering — give me a break! Jets might win the game, but it won’t be cause the Pats underestimated them. Pats have a much better running game than did the Colts, so if the Jets drop 6 or 7 , Brady will be happy to hand off to Woodhead and BJGE. If the Jets blitz Brady, he will enjoy that too.
    3) Reseeding? Nonsense. If a 10-pt favorite cannot win that game on the road, the home team deserves to win. Should Seattle win in Chic. this week, credit to them.
    4) Don’t know whether Balt. was that good or KC that bad. DBowe double-teamed and Cassel still can’t find open receivers???

  46. cowboycjn says: Jan 10, 2011 12:13 PM

    Ah why don’t you guys stop your belly-aching. I am a Saints fan from South La. and they loss. Sure it would have been nice for N.O. to win but they simply were out-played. The system does not need changing, the way it is, it applies the same to all teams, it does not favor one team over the other.
    The Saints had no running game, (can’t pass ever play and expect the other team to not know what you are doing). The saints defense didn’t show up and they sure as heck need to learn how to tackle.
    That given day the best team won – its over and will have to wait until next season to do better. END OF STORY.

  47. dwhitehurst says: Jan 10, 2011 2:17 PM

    @ cowboycjn says:
    Jan 10, 2011 12:13 PM

    Ah why don’t you guys stop your belly-aching. I am a Saints fan from South La. and they loss. Sure it would have been nice for N.O. to win but they simply were out-played…..That given day the best team won – its over and will have to wait until next season to do better. END OF STORY.
    —————————

    Cowboycjn,
    It’s good to read stuff like this from an honest-yet-diehard fan of a team. Then again, a ‘true’ fan of a team would be as realistic/honest about their current team as they would remain diehard and ever-hopeful in following them nonetheless! What helps to enable such a good psyche is if a fan’s team has won at least one Lombardi Trophy in their history, as your Saints finally have this last Super Bowl…and given the Saints history, it was a welcome sight to many fans of other teams including myself. (And as a diehard Packer fan myself, it what especially sweet given whom you beat along the way!) In some ways, it’s much easier to be a fan of a team in their downtimes, given the size of their tropy case (e.g., Steelers or Patriots). The rest talk a big talk, as if they had a big trophy case, when in reality their team has no past glory of success (=Lombardi Trophy or bust) to fall back on. The epitome of this would be the Vikings fan in our division. I’d curious to know who you think it would be in your division? Anyways, good post. Good luck next year, except when you’re playing us of course ;)

  48. trollhammer20 says: Jan 10, 2011 2:26 PM

    The reason Mayock comes across as a genius is he actually watched the first Seattle-NO game, while many other “experts” only looked at team records and the fact NO was defending champions.
    In that first game, Seattle moved the ball well from the first drive, but settled for four FGs, two of them after moving inside the 10 yard line, and turned the ball over twice in NO territory. The difference in the wild-card is Seattle converted twice in the red zone, and didn’t give up opportunities with turnovers. As a result, the game remained competitive until Lynch put it away.
    Had Seattle gone to Atlanta this weekend (or if they play them in the NFC Championship), everyone would point to the previous game as a case for Atlanta domination. However, Seattle started that game with a nearly 8-minute drive that resulted in a TD. It was 17-10 at halftime, and wasn’t a “blowout” until Seattle committed turnovers on 3 consecutive drives (Hass fumble in end zone, 2 picks) that led to 17 Atlanta points and a 34-10 lead.

  49. geezohman says: Jan 10, 2011 5:29 PM

    comment on #1

    I can’t believe you even give Ditka a sentence. Go look up his year end win loss NFL PREDICTIONS… loser just like his fake NFL players health fund ‘golf events’.

    I used you guys predictions along with Tom Jackson to get me through my football pool and I was tied for first

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