With four games left in the season, there are still so many questions left that this might as well be week 5. Will the Jets actually make the playoffs? How good is Vince Young? What’s the deal with Rob Bironas’s hairline? What on earth is going on in Dallas? What the hell were the Giants thinking hiring Tom Coughlin in the first place? It goes on and on.
By the way, why is anyone surprised by the mess in the Giants’ locker room? Tom Coughlin creates problems wherever he goes. He did it in Jacksonville and he’s doing it again in New Jersey. Why would a team hire this guy again? He simply does not understand how to run a modern NFL team. It also doesn’t help that the Giants have about 5 dozen personnel issues. Yeah, real surprising that Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress are questionable locker room guys. It’s time to blow it up. Get Eli a real quarterbacks coach instead of Ryan Leaf-assassin Kevin Gilbride. Get a new head coach who knows what team chemistry is. Get some guys in there that want to win instead of make the back page of the New York Post. Then, come complain about how Eli sucks.
1. San Diego Chargers (10-2)
It’s a bonanza for Bolts fans this year. The team is great, no one really cared that much when Shawne Merriman tested positive for steroids, and they’re even the best team in a good AFC conference. Yep, good times. So why the hollow feeling? Because the Chargers did this same thing two years ago. They went 12-4, made the playoffs, and lost to the Jets in their first game. Since it’s playoff time, we Chargers fans are starting to have flashbacks of Marty coaching playoff games with both hands around his neck. And the season isn’t over just yet either. The Chargers still have home games against Denver and Kansas City and a roadie to Seattle before finishing at home against the Cardinals. The Bolts could go 1-3 in that sequence as easily as they could go 4-0. It’s nice to be the best team in the NFL, but it’s also time to focus on getting ready for winning the big one. Which is in San Diego this week against Denver. One game at at time, people. One game at at time.
(And if you think putting the Bolts no.1 is a homer-ish call, check this out. ESPN agrees with us. Normally we wouldn’t be too proud of that fact but hey we like their thinking.)
2. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)
The Cowboys are officially the team the press has adopted for the year. Everyone loves the Tony Romo story and the fact that lately, T.O. has shut up and played football for the most part. Yes, Romo is good and yes, Parcells is happy again. But the media has been awfully kind to Drew Bledsoe. Look how much worse the team was with Bledsoe at the helm. It isn’t even that Romo has set the world on fire, though he has been good. Romo’s simply has been good enough to get out of the the rest of the team’s way. They’re no longer held back by bad quarterback play and a lack of continuity on offense. It’s also amazing that this has happened twice to Bledsoe in the last five years. First, Tom Brady, now Tony Romo. Anyway, can this Cowboys team win the Super Bowl? Who knows? But they have definitely emerged as the team most likely to beat the Bears in the playoffs.
3. Indianapolis Colts (10-2)
Since we’re nearing the playoffs again, it’s time to mention how Tony Dungy tends to get outcoached in post-season games. He’s even getting some practice in after getting embarrassed by Jeff Fisher at the end of Sunday’s Titans win. How could he fall for the “we’re going to pretend to punt just to get you to use your last timeout so you don’t screw us” move? No one is even sure if Jeff Fisher is a genius or not, that move could have totally been an accident. But he got Tony Dungy this week and Tom Coughlin last week. Hey look, those are two coaches with really bad track records in important games. Weird. Don’t get too comfortable, Colts fans. That whole “no defense” thing may catch up with you too. Bad coaching already has.
4. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
What’s there to say about the Ravens? We were going to put them above the Colts because we’d rather be them than Indy when it comes to the playoffs, but we just can’t trust Jamal Lewis’s reanimated corpse or the return of Brian Billick’s “genius.” No one knows how this team will come out when the games matter. Especially because they crapped the bed against Cincy last Thursday with a playoff spot on the line.
5. Chicago Bears (10-2)
Rex Grossman is bad. Really bad. But is he solely to blame for the Bears’ mess on offense? Not enough people are talking about how consistently bad the Bears’ offensive coaching has been. Not just this year, but the last few years. They have clearly established a pattern: a good defense that makes plays, and less than no offense. Why isn’t anyone blaming the front office and offensive coordinator Ron Turner? It’s not like they took a good thing and made it bad, the Bears haven’t been good on offense for a long, long time. Luckily, Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson are good. Oh, right.
This team is a shambles on offense, and it’s not all Rex’s fault. To a certain extent, he’s a product of the crappiness that surrounds him. That said, MAN is he awful this year. Wow.
Honorable Mention: New England Patriots (9-3), New Orleans Saints (8-4), Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
Tom Brady had another Tom Brady game on Sunday. One where he plays almmost flawlessly and leads the team to victory despite their not really being that good. How many more Tom Brady games does he have left? This team keeps losing players and still wins games, but they really aren’t a threat to win it all anymore.
We have only one question of Drew Brees and it is this: where the hell was this when he was a Charger? Sure, he won a few games, and went to a Pro Bowl, but this is ridiculous. We hate you Drew Brees. You left us with nothing but a smile and Philip Rivers. Oh, wait, I guess we’re good.
Finally, Jessica Alba-errr, the Seahawks. We told you not to sleep on them. We didn’t mean it in the sense that they’d get healthy and start winning ugly, but whatever. They’re still playoff bound and still dangerous. If you want to find yourself an NFC underdog this post-season, look no further. Plus she’s hot. We mean good. Yeah, good. And hot.