Joe to Greg
Well a lot has happened in the NFL since we last did one of these. Here are the current playoff standings through Week 11.
I think the NFC is going to go down to the wire. I think the Eagles control their own destiny in the NFC, with 4 of their last 5 games coming against divisional opponents (2 against Dallas). Between Arizona, Seattle, and San Fran, I think one of these teams misses out.
On the AFC side, I think New England and Denver will control the top two spots for the rest of the season, but there is going to be some serious movement with the lower seeds. I think Baltimore has a great chance to get the top spot in the AFC North, but need Cincinnati to falter down the stretch since the Ravens have lost to the Bengals twice this season.
What are you thoughts on these two playoff pictures? How much do you see them changing between now and the end of the season?
Greg to Joe
The NFC West is only going to have one playoff team and it’s the Cardinals. The Seahawks have lost their offensive line and do not have anything that resembles a passing game. The Percy Harvin trade may have helped settle down the locker room, but it did not help them on the field. I have no idea why they are 6.5 point favorites this week. It is shocking to me. I also don’t think the 49ers are any good. I think their offense is very erratic. Colin Kaepernick is the most unstable quarterback in the NFL. You never know if he is going to be a dud or stud. However, I do think these teams will be fun to watch on Thanksgiving. I think it will be fun game.
I think the Ravens will be division champions IF they win on Monday night. They are underdogs, but you never know what you are going to get from the Saints. It is going to be a fun game to watch. I think Kenny Stills is going to have a big game against the Ravens, but I think think Baltimore can win this one. The reason I think the Ravens are safe is they only have one division game left, which is the Browns. They also have the Jags, Texans and Chargers. The Chargers game should be a win because they have so many injuries and it is a cross-country 1:00 pm game for them. So if they beat the Saints and win 2 out of the 3 other games I mentioned, they will make the playoffs with a win at home against the Browns in Week 17. I feel pretty good about the Ravens.
As for any changes in the playoff picture, I see Green Bay winning the NFC North, Dallas winning the NFC East, and the Saints winning the NFC South. I think the Falcons and Panthers are REALLY bad. The Saints are bad too, but I can see them picking it up soon. They have to get a sense of urgency eventually. In terms of the AFC, I see Baltimore as the 4-seed. I think the Colts will end up in the 3 seed. I have no idea who the last wild card will be in the AFC. It could be anyone. My guess right now would be Steelers, but I don’t know for sure.
Any predictions for you? I’m sure you have the Pats going far…
Joe to Greg
As far as my predictions go, I agree with all of your NFC picks (Green Bay, Dallas, New Orleans). On the AFC side, I can’t deny how much I love what New England is doing right now. They are playing extremely well, but I am trying to keep my expectations to a minimum. For now I think they are an elite playoff team, but I’ll wait to see the final standings before I start thinking about a Super Bowl appearance. Remember, Gronk didn’t get injured until Week 14 last season so there is still a lot that can happen between now and the start of the playoffs. For your Ravens, I think you’re 100% correct when you say that Monday night is a defining moment for them. Especially with the way their schedule pans out the rest of the season. I think even if they lose on Monday night, they are still in the hunt for the playoffs so overall they are in a great position heading into the final weeks of the regular season. I think the Kansas City Chiefs are an interesting team to watch out for. Since they are in the same division as the Broncos they may fall to the 5th seed, but they are a tough first round match up for anyone.
What are your thoughts for the MVP race so far? I think Aaron Rodgers is an overwhelming favorite right now. This stat sort of puts his performance thus far in perspective:
Nick Foles 2013: 13 games played, 2,891 yards, 27 TD, 2 INT, 119.2 Rating
Aaron Rodgers 2014: 10 games played, 2,748 yards, 28 TD, 3 INT, 120.1 Rating
In no way am I trying to hate on Nick Foles. I think he had a terrific season last year, but Aaron Rodgers has been on another level since his R-E-L-A-X statement.
Greg to Joe
Yeah, every Patriots fan that I talk to at Bucknell is so afraid of Gronk getting hurt. They are just praying for him to get up after every hit. I bet he stays healthy and gives the Broncos hell in the AFC Championship. I think Kansas City will be tough out in the playoffs, even though they lost yesterday (which I made money off of). They have a great running game, and if they get out to a lead, they cannot be caught because of the steller ground game. They also have Travis Kelce, who they need to use more.
In terms of MVP, I think it has to be Luck. He has been dominating this league with a pretty bad supporting cast. The defense has Vontae Davis, and the offense has T.Y. Hilton and the tight ends. He has been carrying this team. He leads the league in in passing attempts and yards. He is also tied for 2nd in passing touchdowns. He also is able to move around the pocket. I would say that he or Rodgers should win the MVP, but in all honesty, I could see an argument for Gronk as well.
So you have any bold free agent predictions, Lester going back to Boston doesn’t count as bold.
Joe to Greg
You got me, Lester to Boston was on my mind. Although, the thought of Big Papi and The Big Panda sounds extremely nice too. I think if Sandoval was smart, he would stay in San Francisco with Buster Posey and company. They’ve built a great core of players and I hate seeing a group break up after the run they’ve had. On the other hand, a bold prediction of mine is Hanley Ramirez going to the Seattle Mariners. He may end up being to costly for the Mariners, but he would be a nice right-handed batter inbetween lefties Robinson Cano (batting in the 3-spot) and Kyle Seager (batting in the 5th spot).
Any bold predictions for the Orioles?
Greg to Joe
I think that Ramirez pick is a good one. He makes too much sense in Seattle. I think the Mariners will then be able to trade their two shortstops for some relievers. It would be a great move for the Mariners. I do like your line up positioning for them though.
I don’t think they are going to do anything crazy to shock people. I think they will resign Markakis for 4 years/40 million and Cruz for 3 years/45 million. I also think that they will trade Ubaldo to some team that is desperate for pitching. Hopefully they’ll be able to get some semblance of value for him. I would say the one crazy thing that I would love for them to do is trade Chris Davis. I think they should deal him for some more pitching prospects, a good utility player and I wouldn’t mind a good defense outfielder as well. I just think that they can only keep one of Wieters and Davis, and I would go with Wieters. We’ll see what they actually do, but that is my opinion.
Some other bold prediction…
Sandoval to the Padres
Cole Hamels to the Padres (Home Sweet Home)
Yoan Mancada to the Yankees
Yasmany Tomas to the Marlins (as they go on one of their mini-spending sprees)
Greg Danchik & Joe Meola