Week 3 is almost over… We have Green Bay and the Kansas City Chiefs tonight and then a week of speculation and horrible predictions. Parity is rife this season, apparently. With teams everyone thought were “sure things” bottoming out and up and coming squads popping up out of nowhere…
This is the perfect time to look at the rest of the season, as we have a general idea of what teams identities are, and how each division will shake out. The NFC North, for example, predicted to be a 1 to 3 team race betwixt the Superbowl Favorite/Injury bug acquiring Packers, the Vikings and the Lions.
The Lions are awful. Record wise. They try though. So, they get a medal and a pizza party. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. That’s it. They really don’t look as intimidating as a team like New England, over on the AFC side of things. If we keep going on the arc that we are (terrible, good with mistakes, great with limited mistakes) we could actually compete for the NFC North and make the last game of the season one for the ages…
NSFW BY THE WAY. Not just because Buck is a tool, either.
We play the Broncos next. These aren’t your toddlers Broncos (2013). This team does have a punishing defense, and arguably the best 1-2 punch at CB. But it all begins and ends with Peyton. He has looked AWFUL early. And that’s a bad sign.
Last season the Broncos faltered as the season progressed and the wear and tear, wore and tore on Peyton’s neck. He’s already looking like it’s February, based on the articles I’ve read (he literally cannot untie his own shoes). Most articles that praise him have titles like “Manning Defies Weakening Body”. That’s not a good sign for a QB going up against a Vikings defense that has rattled QB’s thus far this season.
It will be a great test to see our young squad go down to one of the hardest fields to play in, and go against arguably the best QB of all time. They are still a talented squad, and have large WR’s. Hopefully Rhodes will be back to cover Thomas, and basically remove him from the equation (with the help of Smith), Megatron style.
We can win that one. Then we get an early bye. Which sucks. This season has had more injuries than any in recent memory, and getting a later bye would help us recoup from any injuries we will inevitably acquire. But, we’ll take it at 3-1, and probably get as much ESPN coverage during the bye as we get in general.
After that we enter the meaty part of the season. Before the season started this schedule looked A LOT easier than it does now. We get the Chiefs at home, thankfully. As Arrow Head is about as rough as whatever they call Mile High these days. Medicinal Marijuana field? Puff Puff, Pass Auditorium?
Thankfully we have the Lions one more time and the Bears, who may go winless, twice. That’s 3 wins, in the division. We play the Rams next, who have a stout defense and are putting a scare into teams week in and week out. That’s no easy task, but we can take them.
The Raiders look good, also. It’ll be interesting to see the best QB’s from the 2014 draft go head to head. Amari Cooper is emerging as a top WR in the league, and they have a well balanced squad in general. They will have the homefield advantage. This could be a rough one, but I can see us winning that one as well, just like we did in the pre-season.
We get our first game against the Packers, at around 7-2, 6-3ish. It’s at home. I have said since August that we can split the Packers games and go 5-1 in the division. We win this one. It’s at home, they’re sans Nelson and our defense is going to be ON FIRE. Rodgers will get hit early and often, and our defense, headed up by Lindval Joseph, will focus on stuffing Lacy.
We then go to Atlanta, that is a much improved squad that has one of the best WR’s in the league in Julio Jones. We seem to specialize in shutting down WR1’s, losing out to WR2’s (see Keenan Allen). So, if they drain Roddy White’s knee in time, he could have a big game. They also have the 1-2 punch in the backfield of rookie from Indiana Tevin Coleman, and Sunday’s fantasy stud Davanta Freeman.
Teddy did put up 4 TD’s on Atlanta last year. It is basically the same team, so hopefully he can find that rhythm with a MUCH improved supporting cast to take that game. We’re going to need it. That would bring us to around 8-3, 7-4. Solidly in the Wild Card spot.
We then face Seattle at home (man, we’re dodging a lot of hard road games this year). Seattle snatched a win on Sunday, but look like their window has closed. They could be in the midst of the wild card battle as well, with Arizona taking that division handily. So, this will be an essential playoff game, with home-field advantage. That’s 9-3, 8-4.
We then play Arizona AT Arizona. Arizona is my NFC Super Bowl pick. As much as I love our squad, I don’t think we have the MATURITY that they do. If they can stay healthy, they’re going to be hard to beat. And we will give them our best shot, but I can’t see us winning this game. That’s 9-4. 8-5.
We get some relief the next week when playing the Bears. Granted, division games are always rough, and they have a top 10 coach in John Fox. But, we will sweep them in glorious fashion… That’s an easy 10-4 or 9-5. We follow that up with the squad we always seem to play at the end of the season, the Giants. AT HOME?!? I like our chances, even with the 1-2 punch of Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz.
Manning Jr. and Coughlin, the poor man’s Brady and Belichick, always do seem to start out slow. But, they have no identity. No run game. When we shut down Becks, it’s over. That’s a nice 11-4 or 10-5 going into the last game of the season. For all the marbles…
This game will decide the NFC North. It will decide if we get a home game, or even a bye. Or if we have to go on the road. I will be extremely nervous, and sober for the first time during a deciding game since 2002.
Either way, after what we’ve seen thus far this season, our squad IS going to make the playoffs. The NFC is going to be a bit more muddled than the AFC, but our path is clear. The Packers are fallible. They are still subconsciously reeling from their NFC Championship embarrassment. We still have the spirit of Bostick in us.
I like our chances.