There is something very cool going on in the NFL right now, and nobody is talking about it.
Our distractions are understandable but unfortunate.
Apparently sexual harassment in America has reached dangerous epidemic stages, and I for one had no idea there were near as many sick degenerates in positions of power in this country.
Sure, I knew it existed — and obviously, just one misogynistic jerk anywhere is far too many. But did you know we had this many dirtbags in all walks of our lives? A pox on all their houses — including those who own NFL teams!
Congress comes up with a tax bill that more than half of America doesn’t like and two thirds think is completely unnecessary, and they pass it anyway and then celebrate their accomplishment?
Obviously, those two examples are just the tip of the iceberg of frustrating and in some cases embarrassing goings on in America today.
And that’s before we even stick a toe in the waters roiling around the NFL today with TV ratings down, player protests, officiating at times reaching new lows while dangerous injuries feel like they might be approaching new highs, idiotic rules changing the outcomes of games, an owner(s) in open warfare with the commissioner and on and on and on ...
How do we focus on the games right now?
Here’s a place to start. In just two weeks the NFL may be kicking off the most competitive and exciting playoffs we’ve seen in years.
For too long now analysts, media and fans alike have been arguing whether the competitive balance in today’s NFL brought on mostly from the truest hard salary cap and most restrictive college draft rules in major sports generates a byproduct of parity, mediocrity or indifference.
The majority opinion in recent years has been mediocrity borne of a couple of quality teams at the top, a few stinkers at the bottom and a whole bunch of who cares in the middle.
But lo and behold, while most of us have been trying to figure out if the world is blowing up around us, the NFL has been brewing up the strongest playoff field we’ve seen in ...
The AFC isn’t as strong as the NFC; in fact, it isn’t in the same area code, but a potential Round 2 involving the Patriots and Steelers already has us salivating.
However, one of those clubs must get by the Jaguars — which would be Pittsburgh today, and they were hammered by the Jags 30-9 in Pittsburgh week five — to get to the AFC title game.
And who are the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that dropped five of six from weeks six thru 13, the club that started by trashing the Pats in Foxboro in the season opener and got better the next four weeks to get to 5-0, or the club that has been dominant again in its last two wins knocking out Oakland and San Diego when all the marbles were on the table?
The AFC wild cards won’t be a threat, but the AFC will field its strongest top four seeds in some time.
And that’s the soft side of the bracket.
You tell me — among the Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints, Panthers and Falcons — which is the best club in the NFC?
My gut and my eyes are telling me it’s the Vikings whose only losses are at Pittsburgh, at Carolina and Week 4 at home to the now 8-6 Lions, a 14-7 game when the Vikings were transitioning from Sam Bradford to Case Keenum.
But my brain keeps screaming: How can you count any of the other five out?
There are clear cases to be made for New England and/or Pittsburgh in the AFC, much like we all have strong preferences for either chocolate or vanilla, but neither is a lock.
In the NFC if any of you see a lock to even get to the conference title game let alone win it, please explain it to me because I can make a case for anyone of the six likely contestants – because they’re all really good teams, not just because somebody has to!
If ever we all needed a break from reality it’s now, and the 2017 NFL playoffs are shaping up to be just what the doctor ordered.