The Atlanta Falcons may be heading to the coveted number one seed placing in the NFC playoffs, but the smart money is going elsewhere as to who will represent the conference in this season’s Super Bowl.
For most of this season the Falcons have been at the top of the NFL in terms of actual record, indeed a 12-2 mark is not to be sniffed at, only one other team matches them. The Houston Texans over in the rival AFC. The unofficial power rankings which most media circles push out every week, never seem to have them down as number one though. Yes they have been at the top but a team that has the best record in football should surely be consistently the power team.
After this week’s huge shutout victory over the (surely to be soon dethroned) champion New York Giants, will elevate them back to the top of these lists. The win certainly deserves the highest praise. Somehow you feel that even though this was a landmark win, critics will see it as a game against a team that is currently streakier than the local coffee house bacon.
One short week after manhandling their AFC rivals the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots have another potential playoff team in their sights.
Not having won a Super Bowl for seven long seasons has been a constant thorn in Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichicks side. His studious view on the game has won him many plaudits, and at times angered others. No doubting though the relationship and understanding he has with his quarterback Tom Brady is nothing short of a winning one. They are arguably the best Head Coach/QB tandem the game has seen.
In that seven year span, New England have of course come close. Twice being out=though and out=played by the pair of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning of the New York Giants. These losses do nothing more than spur the Patriots duo on.
They’ve hit a tremendous roll at present, dominating teams by scoring big. Over 50 points twice, and 40+ on four other occasions. Some say they have to score huge as they are a little suspect on defense, but when called upon that part of their game has stood up well in close games.
One pretender to their AFC crown this season is the Texans.
Four teams steeped in history.
Recent history however shows that only one has reached the heights that all of them once took for granted. Are the glory days about to return to this once powerful division? If this past weekend is anything to go by, then yes is the answer.
The New York Giants are the current champions of the National Football League. This season has all the traits of their last two Super Bowl winning years, a yo-yo year that peaks at the right time. They have a knack of doing what is right at the best time of year. Coming out of an indifferent November, they put together a performance worthy of champions this past Sunday, beating the New Orleans Saints 52-27. During the game they had moments of brilliance, but there was also signs of a team that was still a little unsure of itself. Nonetheless they fought off a mini revival by the Saints, and scored 17 unanswered points in putting the game away.
Where did it all go wrong for Alex Smith?
Well it would seem that his concussion suffered in the tied game against St.Louis Rams a month ago, was the beginning of the end. Or is it?
He is ready to play now, in fact he was medically cleared ready the week after his enforced absence. But San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh decided to run, quite literally, with second year QB Colin Kaepernick.
Harbaughs decision seemed to be the right one as the new face in the huddle ran out impressive wins against the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. This past week however, the wheels come off a little as the Niners offense stuttered somewhat and the Rams once again held them and this time ran out winners late in overtime. The brief look between the two passers as they left the field in the Edward Jones Dome, was almost one of “What happens now?”
Fortune, they say, favours the brave. The question is as we hit December, are the Washington Redskins brave enough for the run-in?
They are exciting enough that’s for sure. Anyone who has seen the energy and enthusiasm of their play this year cant help but feel that this is a team on the up again.
Under the guidance of a been-there-and-done-it veteran head coach, they have every reason to be optimistic about the future and of course they have the kind of marquee player that doesn't’t come around too often.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III has been exactly what everyone thought he would be. Fun.
We all knew he was a talent, his years in Baylor showcased his athletic ability. The fact that he has carried that into the NFL is not really that much of a surprise, but the way he has handled it all, maybe is. Every week we see something a little different that makes the fans of the Redskins believe they have a shot at the playoffs this year. And who knows what beyond.