Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Lil'

  • The New England Patriots lost!!!
Stats Weightloss GIF

  • Even if no one cares about the Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl Lil’ was a very entertaining game. The teams combined for 1,151 yards, 74 points, and one punt, and averaged over eight yards a play!

  • HAH! You can imagine my schadenfreude when Tom Brady dropped that pass … little did I know!

  • I thought for sure the Eagles’ missed extra point and failed two-point conversion would come back to haunt them. It would have been just so … Patrioty of Tom Brady to lead some improbable, last-second comeback and win because the Eagles screwed up a PAT. Luckily, the Patriots themselves missed a PAT of their own, and Philadelphia’s little rookie kicker came back to make a HUGE, pressure-laden, 46-yard field goal with a minute left in the game to extend Philly’s lead to eight.

  • The playcalling by head coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles was impressively aggressive all game. But how about that fourth-and-goal conversion that led to the Nick Foles’ touchdown reception right before the half?

  • I mean, going for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal is pretty gutsy, but to dial up a trick play, too? And to dial up the same trick play that your opponents’ five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback just messed up?? I mean….
Star Trek Applause GIF

  • How cool for undrafted tight end Trey Burton to have a Super Bowl touchdown throw on his resume! Foles also is now the only player to have both a passing and receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl. 

  • And for you Patriots fans crying about the refs missing a supposed illegal formation call on the Nick Foles’ touchdown reception, sorry, no. Alshon Jeffery checks with the official when he lines up to get the okay. Deal with it.
Super Bowl Eagles GIF by NFL

  • I do feel for the Patriots (well, not really, but I’m sorta trying) in that they played very, very well and still lost. They had more yards, more average yards per play, more first downs, fewer penalties, the same number of turnovers, no punts, and were 50% on third- and fourth-down conversions. But it’s still way more fun to watch a team win its first-ever Super Bowl than to watch the nefarious New Englanders win yet another.

  • Nick Foles really did win me over. I did not have any faith in him going into the postseason, but he was crazy impressive as far as not ever appearing to get rattled or caring that no one thought Philadelphia had a chance after Wentz went down. Plus, he’s had an interesting road from having one of the best seasons with Philadelphia, then getting traded, then being released, then thinking about retirement, before making his way back to Philadelphia. And he seems very sweet and got all choked up about talking about his wife and daughter earlier in the week.
Super Bowl Football GIF by NFL

  • Also, I really appreciate a starting quarterback showing up to Super Bowl Media Day like this: 

  • Compare to:

  • If I were a thin-skinned Eagles fan and prone to paranoia about being underrated, this article from Bill Barnwell would tick me off! Barnwell drools over the Patriots’ amazing game, citing stat after stat as “the best ever,” then spends a portion of the article tacitly acknowledging that the Eagles played well, but Foles sure got a lot of help from his receivers and the system, but also Pederson shouldn’t get too much credit. Barnwell also finds time to backhandedly suggest that Zach Ertz’s touchdown (where he was clearly a runner) should have been called an incomplete catch, and to point out that the Eagles were lucky to even be in the Super Bowl because they squeaked out a tight win in the divisional round.

  • The Eagles should be used to it, though. The #1 seed in the NFC was an underdog in every one of their postseason games. I guess that’s fair considering they were playing their backup QB. As happy as I am for Foles, I feel so sad for Carson Wentz! I hope he comes back as good as before. 

  • I’m happy for Foles winning the MVP, but I would have given it to Brandon Graham. Late in the fourth. The Eagles with a fragile five-point lead. Tom Brady with 2:16, a timeout and the two-minute warning, and 67 yards to go to his sixth ring. His offensive line has kept him clean all game. Brady takes the snap, drops back, spots his running back open along the sideline, steps up, and….

  • Now, do I feel a little bad for Tom Brady? No. Not at all. I was trying to explain to my sister why he’s so vastly unlikable, when my mom jumped in and pointed out that Tom Brady is the male version of Gwyneth Paltrow. Exactly. And a note to media: telling stories in which people refer to Tom Brady as “Tommy” does not make him any more likable. Everyone still finds him, his hair, his diet, his weird way of talking, and his outerwear choices insufferable.

  • Something weird was going on with Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. Despite being a starter, he did not play a single defensive snap in the Super Bowl (and only one snap on special teams). The Patriots’ coaches say it was simply an issue of matchups and not disciplinary, but that’s a guy who played 98% of regular season snaps and then suddenly is riding the bench in the Super Bowl?? It must have been a decision made on short notice -- Butler could be seen crying before the game, and his backup said starting “wasn’t the plan.” Butler was obviously bitterly disappointed, and said after the game that he “could have changed the game,” and that the Patriots “gave up” on him.

  • Hey, I found a single, solitary reason to like JT. 

  • I said I would watch the Pro Bowl, but it turns out that I didn’t even know when it was on, so I missed it, and I’m not sorry. The highlight appears to have been Drew Brees’ kids getting into fights on the sideline.

  • Normally I think it’s weird how much men pay attention to athletes' shoes, but in the case of Delanie Walker’s custom Pro Bowl cleats, I’ll allow for a lot of fascination.

  • Sooo the Washington Redskins traded for a 34-year-old Alex Smith who was going to be leaving Kansas City in the offseason anyway, and gave up a third-round draft pick and their best up-and-coming defender? And then promptly signed Smith to a four-year deal with $71 million guaranteed? Okay. Kinda feel for Kirk Cousins, who couldn’t manage to pry a long-term deal out of them the last couple of seasons.

  • I don’t want to end on a down-note, but it just struck me that we’ve probably truly seen the last Jay Cutler interception and the last Jay Cutler sack. This year was just a small bonus, a short reprieve that we all enjoyed immensely. We'll always have Jay Cutler in the Wildcat:

  • And the most disinterested introductory press conference ever:

  • One more time, everybody; say it with me: Jay! Cutler! Sucks!

  • See you and Aaron Rodgers’ shiny, strong, healthy collarbone next season!! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Uber-Lame Conference Championship Round that No One Cares About

  • Uggggghhhhh everything about this weekend was terrible! 
Sad Tim Curry GIF

  • The awful, stupid, annoying, obnoxious New England Patriots are going to Super Bowl for the eighth time in Tom Brady’s 16 seasons as a starter. A 50% Super Bowl rate?? Come on.
Angry No Way GIF

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped out to an early and were up by 10 when New England came storming back. As always, the Patriots’ got a little help from the officials (she said bitterly). Tell me more about how an offensive play can give a forearm to the head of the defender and it’s defensive pass interference.

  • Despite what Patriot fans and lazy sportswriters thinks, no human person “counted out” the Patriots after the first half. No one. Everyone knew they'd make it competitive. Don't try to play the “nobody believed in us” card while simultaneously crowing about all your records. 

  • I haven’t watched the Jaguars much this season, but every time I have, Myles Jack is doing something amazing. This strip/fumble recovery is incredible -- all in one smooth move. (I was so mad that Jacksonville didn’t score any points off this play.)

  • And when I say they didn’t score any points off of this, I mean that they ended up punting on their following drive. I’m not even addressing the fact that Jack doesn’t appear to have been touched after recovering the fumble and had a clear path to the endzone, but the refs blew the play dead.

    • Also:

    • Also:

    • But ho-hum, whatever. 

    • It’s painful for me to talk about the absolutely gorgeous defensive play that all but sealed the victory for New England. Corner Stephon Gilmore laid out (up?) to break up the Jaguars’ fourth-down prayer, but one can’t help but admire the beauty of the play.

    • Oh, look, Tom Brady is concerned with appearing arrogant. How cute. Brady said he wouldn’t complain about his hand pain during the game because he didn’t want to sound arrogant saying he was injured when he still had “a pretty good game.”

    • Bill Belichick, always so classy. Here’s him casually tossing aside his AFC Championship trophy. “Eh, another one of these dumb things?”
    Animated GIF

    • One corollary annoyance every time the Patriots win are the annoying talking heads who trot out the tired “See? Experience matters!!!!” line as if Tom Brady’s success is predicated on his experience (ya know, the guy who went to the Super Bowl three of his first four years playing?). It's not experience; it's just stupid Tom Brady.

    • Okay, normally people talking about commercials that play during big football games really annoys me, but this Taco Bell fake conspiracy action movie trailer is a pretty spot-on parody.

    • I cannot believe the Minnesota Vikings went 55 minutes without scoring in the booty-whipping they received from the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the season’s worst performance by far for one of the top defenses in the league. The gave up more points than they have all season; they gave up more yards than they have all season; and after setting a league record of holding opponents to a 25% third-down conversion rate (!) during the season, they allowed Philly to convert 71% of their third downs!! What happened??
    Philadelphia Eagles Shrug GIF by NFL

    • I was seriously stunned at the 38-7 outcome. It got out of hand quick. Honestly, the most interesting part of the game after the first quarter was watching Carson Wentz on the sidelines (as above). His swagger might even compete with the Pete Carroll robber baron strut because Wentz actually had a real cane.
    Doug Pederson Fist Bump GIF by NFL

    • I’m positively despondent because I can’t have the insufferable, cheating New England Patriots win their 54th Super Bowl. I just can’t. And hey, crazy things have been happening this postseason, but I really can’t work up a lot of optimism. I don't want to have to trust in Nick Foles! He doesn't even look like a quarterback.

    • Gah! He’s somehow even less convincing *in* uniform.

    • I don't have anything against Philly except their fans, city, and team, but it's hard to feel anything for the Eagles this year. I guess I like Zach Ertz and his superstar US Women’s Soccer wife. And I mean, I gueeeeess Foles being the starter in Philadelphia for three years, then getting traded, then coming back and leading them to the Super Bowl is mildly interesting. But that’s all I got for trying to force myself to care about the Eagles.
    Serious Cat GIF

    • That's a lot of emotions for the poor Vikings in the last seven days. And now they get to welcome the Eagles and Patriots to their city to watch them play the Super Bowl in their stadium. But hey, they’re the Vikings, so it’s still a little bit funny.

    • Remember our old pal James Jones? I always did like him.

    • James was also laying it down on Tony Romo, whom he picked as his “Comeback Player of the Year” because Tony went to the NFC Championship on Sunday for the first time in his career. Brutal.

    • Don’t worry, everybody, I’ll watch the dreadful Pro Bowl activities and NFL Honors show so you don’t have to.

    • This Super Bowl is going to be so lame. Do you know who would make it so much better?

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Divisional Round

    • The Atlanta Falcons, in the most predictable event of the season, underperformed when it mattered. They were terribly disappointing in their 15-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. You have Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Mohamed Sanu, et al. -- how do you only score 10 points?!? 
    Unimpressed Dance Moms GIF by Lifetime Telly

    • In Atlanta’s defense, the Eagles seemed to have some mysterious force at work for them that turned sure interceptions into catches.

    • WHY won't I learn? What is it about the Falcons that I can't accept? THEY'RE NOT PLAYOFF MATERIAL. Every year, I swear I won't fall for their regular season mirage, but I always do! This year is the last year I ever put any faith in Atlanta in the postseason. I'm done with them forever. For real this time.
    Over It Im Done GIF

    • I thought after their humiliation in the Super Bowl last year, the Falcons would be zeroed in on redemption, like when the San Antonio Spurs got their hearts broken in the 2013 NBA Finals and stewed on it all through 2014 to come back and dominate the rematch for the championship. But they didn't. 

    • The field conditions in Philly looked absolutely dreadful. The poor Falcons were slipping all over the place.

    • If you want to make an Atlanta fan cry, here's how close the Falcons were to winning the game on their last play. 

    • Look, the New England Patriots were going to beat the Tennessee Titans. We all knew it. They didn't need help from the refs … but they got it anyway. Why is it that controversial calls always, always, always break in New England's favor? Here's an atrocious offensive pass interference on the Titans that forced them to punt, even though the Titans player is clearly within the five yards of the line of scrimmage where interference is allowed. New England scored on the following drive to take a 14-7 lead. 

    • A few drives later, the Patriots false started on a 4th-and-5 punt. One official originally called it a false start, but another overruled him and called it defensive encroachment. Instead of punting, New England got a fresh set of downs and scored on the drive to increase their lead to 21-7.

    • And THEN, down 21-7, Tennessee has to go for it on fourth-and-1. The Titans had a terrible play call and were stopped, but should have been given an automatic first down for this face mask penalty. But no. Because Patriots.

    • If those calls get called correctly, it might have been 14-10 or 14-14 at halftime instead of 21-7. New England probably would have still won, but it would have been nice (and actually entertaining) to see how that game would have played out. Harumph.

    • Jacksonville coming out of Pittsburgh alive was the biggest surprise of the weekend. It sounds cliched, but it really does seem like this was a trap game for the Steelers, despite the Jaguars beating them 30-9 earlier in the season. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell, and safety Mike Mitchell all referenced their presumed rematch with New England in the AFC Championship Game ... before they even made it there. Even Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro called the pre-game talk "stupid" and "embarrassing."

    Note to self: save the trash talking for your current opponent next time.

    • One of these quarterbacks won the game, and it’s not the one with five touchdown passes.

    • Myles Jack -- who is a linebacker!! -- had one of the prettiest interceptions I’ve seen in a while. Jacksonville's offense outside of Leonard Fournette is suspect, but their defense is formidable. 

    • Despite Jacksonville’s 21-0 early lead, the Steelers didn’t give up. They clawed their way back and put on a pretty spectacular performance outside of the first quarter. I hated the Pittsburgh call to go for it on 4th-and-5 early in the fourth quarter … until Antonio Brown caught this touchdown! What a throw! What a catch!

    • There were some inexplicable calls by the Steelers, especially going for the onside kick late in the game. WHY do you go for the onside when you have 2:18 left, two timeouts, and the two minute warning, and you’re only down by seven, and you’re facing a Blake Bortles-led offense?? On top of that, it was a pitiful attempt that only went about six yards. Terrible decision.

    • This is absolutely wild. Jacksonville defensive end Calais Campbell actually called the 45-42 final score last week!! 

    • The announcers kept saying things like “Jacksonville not going away,” and “Jacksonville’s hanging around.” It’s kinda sad but also funny talking about a team that way when they led the entire game. 

    • So Jacksonville was very affronted by the Steelers' Patriots talk and understandably so. After the game, the Jaguars were gloating and talking trash about Steelers and crowing about disrespect and so forth. And then....
    Maybe don't do what the Steelers just did to you.

    • Alright, so we’re going to have to cheer for the Jacksonville Jaguars against the New England Patriots next week. It could happen. Crazy things happen in this world. Anything’s possible. Any given Sunday. We just have to believe, no matter what all logic and experience tells us. Sigh. I guess I better climb aboard the Blake Bortles train.
    Yay. Let's go, Blake.

    • Okay, so that Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints game. Wow. And I thought Willie Snead missing a wide open Alvin Kamara for a touchdown was going to be New Orleans' most heartbreaking moment of the game. But no.

    • What a crazy ending! With 25 seconds, one timeout, and down two points, it seemed like the Vikings would need a miracle just to get a chance at a long, last-second field goal. They got their miracle and ended up with a walk-off winning touchdown. 

    • It was kinda adorable watching the faces of all the Vikings. They’re all so conditioned to disappointment that none of them can quite believe that they actually won. Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs were so cute in the locker room: “Hey, I don’t know what happened!” “I don’t know what happened either!’

    • As with all epic sports moments, you should listen to the local radio call. To quantify how unlikely that ending was, MInnesota's win percentage with 10 seconds left was 2.6%!

    • I feel just terrible for Marcus Williams, the rookie safety whose whiffed tackle gave Minnesota the game, but the Saints wouldn’t have even been in the game at the end without Williams’ third-quarter interception. Luckily most people are being nice to him, like two little girls who wrote him letters and went to the Saints' facility the next day to drop them off.
    And the fans who greeted the Saints at the
    airport in the middle of the night.

    "Flew" like paid for their flights, I'm assuming. I don't think
    he actually piloted them all himself.

    • After his firing, my old-man crush Chuck Pagano took out a full-page ad in the local paper thanking Indianapolis fans for his six years there.  

    • Just a little reminder for Dallas Cowboys fans. I wouldn’t want them feeling left out this weekend.

    • Joe Buck looks more ridiculous each week. Why is he bleaching his hair like a 1990s boy band member?
    Just embrace it, dude, and go all grey.

    • The Vikings will play the Philadelphia Eagles, and the two quarterbacks are former teammates with an odd history.

    • Now, like all good Americans, I will be cheering for anyone but New England to win it all. Any of the other three teams would be A-okay by me. As far as my preference, I hate to say it, and I feel terribly guilty feeling this way, but … I think I like the Vikings the best. Ugh not only are they a despised division foe, but they’re also the team that took out poor Aaron Rodgers this season. I should hate them extra hard this year.
    The Force Awakens Traitor GIF by Star Wars

    • Once my Packers are back in their rightful place atop the NFC North, however, I’ll go back to despising the Vikings, I promise. 

    Monday, January 8, 2018

    Wild Card Round

    Image result for aaron rodgers
    • I’ll dispense with my bitter grumblings about the Green Bay Packers not being in the playoffs, but just assume my attitude throughout this and all future 2017 playoffs posts.

    • If I was only going to watch one half of the a Kansas City Chiefs-Tennessee Titans game, I wish I would have chosen the second half. I turned it off at halftime, when the Chiefs held a 21-3 lead. But…

    • I will say that Chiefs fans have very good reason to be angry at the refs. It was a terribly officiated game and several big, game-changing calls went against Kansas City. Chief (heh) among the head-scratchers: the Chiefs sacked Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota while he was standing in the pocket, forced a fumble, and recovered -- but the refs blew the play dead because of “forward progress.” Huh??
    Confused The Lion King GIF

    • Then, in the fourth quarter, the Titans were down 21-16 when they scored a touchdown, making it 21-22, and they went for two. The Chiefs again sacked Mariota, forced the fumble, recovered the ball, and returned it for their own two-point score!! Except that the refs CALLED THE EXACT SAME THING, saying that Mariota’s “forward progress” was stopped. Oh, and like the previous call, it’s not reviewable (though far, far less egregious). So instead of 23-22 Chiefs, the game ended at 22-21 Titans. In both instances, the refs blowing the whistle too early took two legitimate fumbles away from the Chiefs. Normally with bad calls you say you don’t really know how the game would have turned out if if they had been called correctly, etc., but I think it’s pretty fair to say that the Chiefs definitely would have won if both -- or even one! -- of these calls have been correct.

    • Normally, I’d rub it in because the Chiefs are such an easy target, but I do actually feel bad for them because they got robbed, so I won’t. 
    Andy Luck GIF

    • I doubt Marcus Peters was feeling this way toward the refs by the end of the game.

    • Kansas City deserves some of the blame in that they gave Kareem Hunt, the league’s leading rusher on the season, only five carries the entire second half!!

    • Oh well! One of the weirdest and coolest highlights from Tennessee’s comeback was Mariota’s touchdown throw to … himself. How weird is that?! (Interesting rule detail that I didn’t know before: the passer's "entire body" has to be past the line of scrimmage for it to be an illegal forward pass, which is why Mariota's pass to himself counted.)

    • With starting running back DeMarco Murray out with a knee injury, Titans’ backup Derek Henry did more than okay -- he rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown!

    • The Atlanta Falcons dispatched the young whippersnapper Los Angeles Rams 26-13. Julio Jones was just six yards shy of having a triple-digit receiving day. Did you know that his name is not Julio?? His name is actually Quintorris Lopez Jones. Huh. He’s a very good receiver, as you can see here when he catches Todd Gurley.

    • Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman really wanted this touchdown, but his offensive lineman Alex Mack wanted it more, and he made sure Freeman got in.

    • (I’m going to say something stupid: I think the Falcons are going to win the Super Bowl. Because I never learn.)

    • I was really happy for the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars making the playoffs, but not so much when I had to watch a game that featured both of them. Jacksonville knocked out Buffalo 10-3, and the game wasn’t as interesting as the score makes it sound. 
    I think I deserve credit for working a second Gone with the Wind gif
    into a football blog in the same season.

    • Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had more rushing yards (88) than passing yards (87)!! IN A PLAYOFF GAME. 
    But, hey, he's making $19 million next year, so I guess the joke's on us.
    Or, more accurately, on the Jaguars.

    • Also, have we discussed that there ain’t no way in hell this guy is 25 years old?

    • Listening to Tony Romo trying to be nice while watching Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles quarterbacking was probably the most entertaining part of the game. 

    • The single, lone highlight of the game came on Aaron Colvin’s interception. What concentration!

    • I so wanted the Cinderella story for the Bills, but maybe they can try again in another 17 years.

    • The New Orleans Saints won, but I am so wildly impressive with the Carolina Panthers’ defense holding them to just 41 yards rushing! (Sure, sure, the 376 passing yards by Drew Brees sorta offsets that, but still… they held a team that has Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to 1.9 yards a carry.)

    • Why wasn’t the late Carolina interception reviewed?? Aren’t all turnovers reviewed? Wasn’t that a big thing a few years ago when they said all scores and turnovers would be reviewed? I thought it was incomplete. The Saints, up 31-26, decided to go for it on 4th-and-2, and Drew Brees threw an interception. It would have been better for the Panthers if they had not intercepted, because it set them back about 16 yards from where they would have been if the Saints had turned the ball over on downs. BUT it looked to me like the Carolina player might not have had possession on the interception (it was ruled an interception and then a fumble), but who knows because they didn't review it!! No one know what the hell a catch is anymore, but the refs are definitely sure that's an interception?

    • The refs didn’t improve on the Panthers’ final drive, calling a controversial intentional grounding penalty when Cam Newton may or may not have been outside the pocket. The call meant a 10-second runoff AND a loss of downs. Ouch.

    • I am very bummed that Carolina’s exit means that I won’t get to watch dreamy Luke Kuechly until next season. I don’t know, Luke, maybe with your newfound free time we could, like, hang out or something?

    • Not a great week for the NFL fans who have weak stomachs when it comes to watching men’s brains get churned into mush. Travis Kelce, Tyrod Taylor, and Cam Newton all took big, big hits (none dirty) that had them stumbling unawares on national television. Mercifully, neither Kelce nor Taylor was allowed back in the game. (Though Taylor’s injury came on the last Bills drive of the game, so who knows if they would have tried to get him back in.) Newton, however, conveniently "cleared" the concussion protocol before the Panthers' next drive. Despite what the announcers tried to say, that wasn't an eye injury. 

    • Seattle recently was fined $100,000 for violating the concussion protocol. Cam Newton came back in, threw a touchdown, and brought the Panthers to within five seconds of winning a playoff game -- I’m sure Carolina would be more than happy to pay $100k for a postseason victory. You want teams to take care of their players, but the Newton situation is a perfect example of why they don’t. They wouldn’t have had a chance at the win with Derek Anderson. 

    • I don’t really have any feelings on Jon Gruden’s 10-year, $100 million coaching contract with the Raiders. I will say no other announcer would ever pull up a highlight clip on his cell phone and then hold the phone up to the camera, though, so I can appreciate his flair.

    • My other thought is that, with Gruden gone, who could we get to take his place on the Monday Night Football broadcast????

    • There are so many changes going on with the Green Bay Packers, and I don’t know if I can handle it!! I like stability!! Ted Thompson has moved to an advising role, and they’ve promoted Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst to GM and promoted Russ Ball to Executive Vice President/Director of Football Operations. We still need a DC though!

    • The Packers lost Senior Personnel  Executive Alonzo Highsmith to the Cleveland Browns, where he’ll reunite with former Green Bay scouting director John Dorsey. Highsmith enjoys a respected reputation with both players and other NFL executives. He was viewed as one of the possible options to replace Ted Thompson as GM, but Highsmith apparently didn’t think that was likely, saying of Cleveland: “It feels good to go somewhere that you feel like you're trusted.”
    Uh Oh Oops GIF

    • There are a lot of shake-ups going on around the league. The Chicago Bears have hired the man behind that smoking Alex Smith offense in Kansas City, and the Detroit Lions beat out other teams to hire the defensive coordinator of a team known for having a dreadful defense. Thank God for the NFC North!

    • 8 new playoff teams usually would mean 'wow, there’s a lot of parity in the league!' But really it means, 'wow, a lot of stars got injured this year.'

    • Here's every team's playoff chances through the season. Hmm, what happened after Week 5 for the Packers??

    • This year, it’s Super Bowl LII, but I think we should call it Super Bowl Lil’ and see if it catches on. 

    • I still haven’t decided which team to lend my considerable support to this postseason. Let’s roll through the remaining options:
    Minnesota Vikings
    • FOR: The Super Bowl is being held in their hometown, which is pretty neat; they’re really, really talented. 
    • AGAINST: It’s the Vikes, so lol obvs no.

    Atlanta Falcons
    • FOR: I love Julio Jones; I like Matt Ryan, despite his weird ostrich neck; they’ve never won anything; people keeping on being mean to them about last year.
    • AGAINST: Are you kidding me? After what the way they choked last year? Hell no!

    Philadelphia Eagles
    • FOR: Carson Wentz seems really great.
    • AGAINST: Carson Wentz will not be involved.

    Tennessee Titans
    • FOR: Did you see Marcus Mariota’s adorable apology to the media because he was in a bad mood after losing?? Tennessee is a cool state, I imagine; Titans haven’t had anything nice happen to them in a while.
    • AGAINST: They’re obviously going to lose at the first opportunity when the refs aren’t constantly screwing over their opponent.

    Pittsburgh Steelers
    • FOR: My grandfather’s favorite team; Antonio Brown is really good; I’m becoming a JuJu Smith-Schuster fan; Le’Veon Bell is good; I trust them in playoff games.
    • AGAINST: I’ve always hated their colors -- who thought yellow and black would look good? The AFC North just kinda bothers me; I still haven’t quite gotten over the Ben Roethlisberger-being-a-rapist thing.

    Jacksonville Jaguars
    • FOR: Aww, so happy for them! Glad they’re not a joke anymore; their defense is very good and fun to watch; the half-matte helmets are cool and should become a thing.
    • AGAINST: They are still a joke with Bortles; Jalen Ramsey is as obnoxious as he is talented; their offense is honestly painful to watch.

    New Orleans Saints
    • FOR: Alvin Kamara + Mark Ingram.
    • AGAINST: I think the whole come-back-from-a-devastating-hurricane-to-win-the-Super-Bowl-and-everybody-loves-Drew-Brees Cinderella plot story has kind of played out; head coach Sean Payton seems like a real jerk. 

    New England Patriots
    • FOR: GTFO
    • AGAINST: Literally every reason that exists in the universe.

    • If we were to have a Super Bowl of Looking Good in Tuxedos, there would be a three-way tie.