NFL Week 10 Hangover


With Week 10 behind us, all 32 teams have had a bye week and are even in games played.  As the weather turns cold (in other places, not so much here in Southern California), the playoff races will start to heat up.  Here’s a look at where they stand today and, in brackets, a prediction of where they’ll be next week:

AFC 1: Indianapolis Colts (9-0) [1]

AFC 2: Cincinnati Bengals (7-2) [2]

AFC 3: Denver Broncos (6-3) [6]

AFC 4: New England Patriots (6-3) [3]

AFC 5: San Diego Chargers (6-3) [4]

AFC 6: Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) [5]

The Colts have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye because they hold the best record.  The Bengals have home field advantage throughout the playoffs aginst everyone but the Colts, and a first round bye because they hold the second best record.  Denver wins the tie-breaker over San Diego because of their head-to-head win, so they get the division champ-spot, and they beat New England head-to-head, so they win that tie breaker and get the 3 seed.  They host Jacksonville and the winner plays at Cincinnati.  New England hosts San Diego with the winner playing at Indianapolis. Jacksonville wins the tie-breaker with Houston because of a head-to-head win.  They win the tie-breaker with Baltimore because their winning percentage against AFC opponents is better.

NFC 1: New Oleans Saints (9-0) [1]

NFC 2: Minnesota Vikings (8-1) [2]

NFC 3: Dallas Cowboys (6-3) [3]

NFC 4: Arizona Cardinals (6-3) [4]

NFC 5: Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) [-]

NFC 6: Green Bay Packers (5-4) [5]

The Saints have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye because they hold the best record. The Vikings have home field advantage throughout the playoffs aginst everyone but the Saints, and a first round bye because they hold the second best record. Dallas wins the tie-breaker over Arizona because they have a better record against NFC opponents and gets the 3 seed. They host Green Bay and the winner plays at Minnesota. Arizona hosts Philadelphia with the winner playing at New Orleans. Philadelphia wins the tie-breaker the Giants because of a head-to-head win, and they also win the tie-breaker with the Packers and Falcons because of a better record against NFC opponents.  The Packers win the tie-breaker with the Giants because of a better record against NFC opponents, and they also win the tie-breaker with Atlanta because of a better record against common opponents.  

Big Winners in Week 10

Cincinnati Bengals – For those who still said that the Bengals weren’t for real even after sweeping the Ravens and beating the Steelers once en route to an AFC North lead (and there were many), they did a lot to silence them with yet another win over the Steelers, this time in Pittsburgh.

New York Giants – The Giants had played themselves out of a first round bye and into missing the playoffs with four straight losses.  Then in Week 10 they pulled into a tie with Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Green Bay for a Wild Card spot, and are just one game behind Dallas (who they beat in Dallas already) for the NFC East lead.  And they did it all while resting their injured players and getting a starting cornerback and a starting linebacker back during a bye week.

Anti-Patriots Fans – Whether it is because they cheated, or because they’ve dominated, or because coach Belichick is not exactly lovable, a lot of people do not like the Patriots, and those people got an early Christmas present when the Greatest Mind in Football made a boneheaded play call that would have been dumb on Madden to cost the Pats the game and hand the Colts their 9th win against 0 losses this season.

Indianapolis Colts – See above

LaDainian Tomlinson – Two touchdowns, nearly 100 yards rushing, and one pregnant wife say that LDT is not done delivering the goods quite yet.

Tennessee Titans – Just pretend that the first six weeks didn’t count and Vince Young was the starter all along…then you’re undefeated!

Big Losers in Week 10

Maurice Jones-Drew Fantasy Owners – MJD actually apologized after the game for taking a knee on the 2-yard line rather than scoring late in the game against the Jets.  Crazy as the play was considering he was losing at the time, it set up the game-winning field goal and bled off too much time for the Jets to come back.

Bills Fans – A loss, Terrell Owens blew up and blamed everyone for it (except himself despite that it was a pass that went through his hands that got picked off and returned for a touchdown, startign the late romp), an 86-year-old man made headlines for taunting you over the loss, and Dick Jauron got fired.

Belichick Apologizers – Folks, I don’t care if it is JaMarcus Russell on the other sideline.  You don’t risk giving anyone over 2 minutes to go only 28 yards for a win.  Bad decision to go for it, bad play selection, bad, bad, bad.

New York Jets – Stopping Maurice Jones-Drew is not easy, but the Jets got torched on a last minute drive to lose a game that they had just won with a late drive of their own.  They’ve lost 5 of 6 and still could have been just a game out of the playoffs if they could have held the very average Jags down late.

NFL Network – Nice season opener on Thursday between the 49ers and the Bears.  Despite the marquee time slot, it might have been the worst game of the year…until Monday night’s snoozer.  Maybe Time Warner customers are the lucky ones since they didn’t have to watch that 49ers-Bears game.

Denver Broncos – 6-0 start…poof! Huge division lead…poof!  First round bye…poof!  Self-respect…poof!  Losing three in-a-row is bad, but losing to the Redskins?  It’s gotta be hard to look in the mirror right now.

JaMarcus Russell – 8 for 23, 64 yards.  Those are bad numbers.  Getting benched because you’re losing to the Chiefs?  Wow.  Russell, the worst draft pick in the history of the NFL, has two touchdowns on the season, despite having started nine games.

Cleveland Browns – The Browns ran on the Ravens’ half of the field all night.  And it was an interception returned for a touchdown.  Who’s the third string quarterback?

Front Seven

1 Indianapolis Colts (9-0)

2 New Orleans Saints (9-0)

3 Minnesota Vikings (8-1)

4 Cincinnati Bengals (7-2)

5 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)

6 New England Patriots (6-3)

7 Arizona Cardinals (6-3)