Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.
Week fourteen of the 2006 NFL Season saw almost half of the playoff eligible
teams stumble when they had a chance to put some distance between themselves
and the rest of the pack. Seattle, Dallas, New England and Indianapolis all
blew opportunities to secure a ticket to the playoffs while Carolina, Kansas
City, Denver and the Jets, all with serious post season aspirations, failed
to keep up with the rest of the contenders.
The twelve spot in our rankings is the line of demarcation between "in" and "out" of the 2006 NFL Playoffs. With three weeks remaining in the regular season, only two teams, San Diego and Chicago, have clinched a playoff spot. On the other hand, Arizona, Washington, Cleveland, Houston and Tampa Bay were eliminated this week, bringing the total of teams playing for pride to seven. New Orleans, Seattle, Baltimore and Indianapolis can clinch a playoff spot with a win next week. New England and Dallas can earn a spot in the postseason next weekend with a win and some help.
Week 15 is shaping up to be the most important of the season in determining the makeup of the playoffs this year. In fact, only two games in the upcoming week (Detroit @ Green Bay and St. Louis @ Oakland) have no playoff implications. With games on Thursday (San Francisco @ Seattle), Saturday (Dallas @ Atlanta), Sunday (13 games) and Monday (Cincinnati @ Indianapolis) plus the kickoff of the NCAA Bowl season on Tuesday (TCU vs.. Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl), I hope your "Honey Do" list is done, your holiday shopping complete and fridge fully stocked with your favorite beverage 'cause Football Season is in high gear! Cheers!
The Chargers widened their lead in the power rankings this week by spanking Denver and claiming the AFC West crown.
Baltimore's win last week in Arrowhead was all the more impressive considering the last time the Chiefs lost at home in December, the Ravens were still known as the Cleveland Browns.
New Orleans thoroughly demolished the Cowboys on Sunday night -- be prepared Saints fans, all those pundits who'd hopped onto the Cowboys bandwagon are headed your way!
That was the single worst performance by a run defense that I can ever remember witnessing. The Colts have ZERO chance at beating L.T. and the Chargers this year. ZERO.
Chicago is still a little too reliant on special teams and defense to win games for them but Rex Grossman appears to have recovered from his last few games so maybe things are looking up.
Last week we said the Patriots' sloppy play was going to cost them, and, lo and behold, they got blanked by Miami thanks, in large part, to 9 penalties and 4 fumbles.
And there's the other shoe. Tony Romo is still effectively a rookie, and he's going to have games where he plays like it.
Seattle picked a bad time of the year to develop fumble-it is.
Jacksonville exposed the Colts run defense for the second time this season, this time to the tune of 375 yards. The Jags AVERAGED 8.9 yards per carry. How badly do the Jags want to see Indy again in the postseason?
The Bengals won again, putting them in the drivers seat for a Wildcard. Hopefully Marvin Lewis is driving and not any of the players.
Tom Coughlin showed a lot of faith in his team by going for it on fourth down twice last Sunday, including one 4th and 10 in the first quarter.
The Eagles were beaten on both sides of the ball but won the turnover battle to say alive in the postseason race.
The Falcons lose tie-breakers with both New York and Philly, so they absolutely must finish with a better record than those two teams in order to make the Playoffs.
With a 3-6 record in the AFC, the Chiefs can kiss any post-season dreams goodbye.
Jay Culter is 0-2 and the Broncos are circling the post-season bowl. Is this surprising anyone outside of Denver? I didn't think so.
The Jets reminded us last week that they're not quite playoff material yet.
Man, if this team had any kind of offense, they'd be scary.
Glass half empty: Tennessee needed overtime to beat one of the worst teams in the NFL. Glass half full: Tennessee won in spectacular fashion with their rookie QB leading the way.
Though mathematically alive, the Steelers 4-6 AFC record means they won't be winning any tiebreakers, and a tie is the closest they can get to the postseason this year.
Injuries have ended the Panthers slim chances at the post-season and, likewise, half of the pundits Super Bowl predictions.
If only the Bills could play the Jets every week.
The latest entry into the "Little Too Little, Little Too Late" poll.
Brett Farve has been magic against the 49ers and last week was no exception.
San Francisco has improved, but still is several pieces short of a Playoff run. Still, there's hope where previously there was none.
Spotting the other team 14 points on kickoffs is a sure-fire way to lose.
Washington gave away another game with turnovers and general sloppy play.
Where, oh where, has THIS team been all year. The Cardinals are playing like there's still a chance at saving the season, although there's little chance of saving their coaching staff from the offseason axe.
Will Houston ever be able to live down the 2006 Draft?
The Browns running defense is just damn lucky that the Colts are in the AFC or they'd be the worst.
The Bucs inability to finish drives with touchdowns has plagued them all season and it undid them again last week.
Detroit should be so much better than this.
At the beginning of next year, when the Raiders start a rookie QB, it will be a major upgrade over the clowns that take snaps in Oakland now.