Monday Morning Hangover


1 New York Giants win + 1 Washington Redskins loss = 2 Digits off the magic number

And with that the New York Giants magic number sits at 4.

So once again, any combination of Giants win and Redskins losses that equals four will officially make the New York Football Giants the 2008 NFC East Champions. Though you can already call them that. I have.

On to Week 11.

The best run defense in the game? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If that is the biggest challenge that Earth, Wind, and Fire is going to see all season, then the front office should start booking hotel rooms for the first Sunday in February.

Today’s game was never really a game. Except for couple seconds where the game score was tied 0-0, before the Giants forced the Ravens to punt the ball. But only a few minutes later, Brandon Jacobs was rushing into the end zone for his first of two touchdowns on the day. And after the Giants took a 7-0 lead they never looked back.

The defense did an excellent job today allowing only 10 points, but could have possibly allowed zero. Joey Flacco did nothing with the passing game and was only able to make a few runs that should have been prevented but when you beat the 6-3 Ravens by 20, you can’t be too upset.

All around a great game for the G-Men today on all accounts and I think they drove home the point once again that tehy are the only elite team in the NFL. Sure the Titans are 10-0, but in reality they are a Tier 2 team when compared to the Giants.

Usually I can find something in the game to rant about on the blogs, but today’s game was really just an incredibly well played football game by the New York Giants.

I guess you can say something about that pick Eli Manning threw at the end of the first half, but it didn’t lead to anything for Baltimore and just took away a few points from the Giants that wouldn’t have really mattered after all was said and done.

So with the Giants sitting at 9-1 and already in the playoffs, it’s time to take a look around the league in the Week 11 version of the Monday Morning Hangover.

In the words of Michael Kay, I would like to say the following to Philadelphia, Dallas, and San Diego…


Today put an end to the season of those three teams and they are officially done. So put a fork in them because the three most overrated teams in the National Football League will be watching the postseason from their homes.

So, let’s take a minute to reflect on the 2008 seasons of each team. And we start in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

Where did it go wrong for the Eagles? I think about the time that the football media universe jumped on the bandwagon that was certain the Eagles were playoff bound and possibly XLIII bound. Ever since I can remember the world has been riding the Eagles’ jock and as long as they have Donovan McNabb they will be considered a contender. But really as long as they have Mr. McNabb they should be considered a pretender.

Under McNabb the Eagles are 7-5 in the playoffs and have made it to three NFC Championships, winning one, which was also their eventual Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. The Eagles made the playoffs in 2006, but Jeff Garcia was playing for the injured McNabb and therefore since the Super Bowl loss, McNabb has yet to return to the playoffs.

Maybe McNabb isn’t the problem in Philly, but there is a problem. The team appears to have too many weapons and good players to fail as often as they do. Maybe it’s Andy Reid, but there is a problem.

There is a problem when you are playing for your season against the 1-8 Cincinnati Bengals who are using a backup quarterback and you tie. And there is a problem when your roster has the names it does and you don’t make the playoffs for four straight seasons. There is a problem in Philadelphia and it won’t be resolved until at least the fall of 2009.

Oh the San Diego Chargers, my favorite subject. There isn’t enough space on the internet to cover how bad a team the Chargers are and how overly hyped they are. But I will do my best to summarize it here.

They lost to the Panthers as time expired. They lost to the Broncos on a two-point conversion. They smoked the overrated Jets. They beat the worst team of the century in the Raiders. They lost to the Dolphins and their wildcat offense. They demolished a Tom Brady-less Patriots team. They lost to a poor Bills team.  They lost to their mirror image NFC team, the Saints. They squeaked by the one-win Chiefs. They lost the first 11-10 game in NFL history to the Steelers.

Last week Mike Francesa said that he could see the Chargers (who were at the time 3-5) going 6-1 to finish the season at 10-6 and making the playoffs. Now Mike does have the habit to say something just ridiculous now and then (and by now and then I mean once a day), but this was beyond belief. So, according to his prediction the Chargers will now go 5-0 to finish 2008. And they are somehow going to find five wins in five games that include Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Denver (who they already lost to).

So not only a “Seeeeeeeeeee Ya” to the 2008 San Diego Chargers, but also to Norv Turner as head coach. Because if you are going to fire Marty Schottenheimer because of a loss to the Patriots on an interception, then Norv better be standing in the unemployment line the Monday after Week 17.

And I saved the best for last. The Dallas Cowboys. The Big D. Closing out Texas Stadium with another disappointing year, and there is no better way to have it.

Now I said the Cowboys were done last week, but I didn’t give them a goodbye like the Eagles and Chargers, so I thought I had to include them here. Even though they are 6-4 and think they are going places, they aren’t. And even though they won last night against the Redskins, all they really did was help the Giants towards clinching the NFC East.

They came into the season as the NFC favorite and once the Patriots (the Super Bowl favorite, cue a nice LOL to that) went down, the Cowboys were the Super Bowl XLIII Champions, and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who has a major media outlet to voice their opinion. But here we are in Week 11 and the Cowboys have ended their season, even though I eliminated them last week.

There will be no Tony Romo rumors this postseason on which Hilton he was staying at, in which tropical city, with what celebrity bombshell. Instead the rumors will be about what athlete in trouble with the law will join the Cowboys training camp next summer.

It is kind of upsetting to think that the Week 15 match-up with the Giants will be as meaningful as a pre-season game. Because by then the Giants could be about 12-1 (let’s say 11-2 to be nice, though I believe it will be 12-1) and the Cowboys will be playing out their schedule as a formality. Oh, how quickly things have changed in the NFL.

So here’s to a valiant effort by the Dallas Cowboys to try to break their 12-year playoff win drought. Better luck next year.

And now onto the day’s other big stories.

It appears that my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl will be in the postseason and it will be in the Super Bowl. And that team is the Indianpolis Colts.

If the Titans are right below the Giants, then I believe that the Colts are somewhere between Giants and the Colts, and that is the truth.

The Colts might be 6-4, but they are beginning to look like the Colts of the old days. And by the old days I mean every game since Peyton Manning arrived on the scene minus the first few weeks of this season. The Colts are still a solid team and ranking them on the scale of NFL teams I would categorize them as a 4.

5 – Elite team, Super Bowl favorite (ex. New York Giants)
4 – Definite contender, but not elite (ex. Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers)
3 – One week will look unreal, next week not so much (ex. New York Jets, New England Patriots)
2 – Bad team, but can pull off occasional suprise win (ex. 
1 – Doormat for the league (ex. Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams)

Going by my scale, 3 is average, and therefore there are more 3’s in the league than anything else.

Here is how I would rank all 32 teams of right now.

New York Giants – 5
Washington Redskins – 4
Dallas Cowboys – 3
Philadelphia Eagles – 3

Green Bay Packers – 3
Chicago Bears – 3
Minnesota Vikings – 3
Detroit Lions – 1

Carolina Panthers – 4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3
Atlanta Falcons – 3
New Orleans Saints – 3

Arizona Cardinals – 3
San Francisco 49ers – 2
Seattle Seahawks – 1
St. Louis Rams – 1

New York Jets – 3
Miami Dolphins – 3
New England Patriots – 3
Buffalo Bills – 3

Pittsburgh Steelers – 4
Baltimore Ravens – 4
Cleveland Browns – 3
Cincinnati Bengals – 1

Tennessee Titans – 4
Indianapolis Colts – 4
Jacksonville Jaguars – 3
Houston Texans – 2

Denver Broncos – 3
San Diego Chargers – 3
Oakland Raiders – 1
Kansas City Chiefs – 1

This season is a lot different than last season. There were a lot more elite teams and a lot less doormat type teams. But this season the NFL has evened up a lot and a lot of the bad teams from last year have rebuilt and evolved (Falcons, Jets, Dolphins) and have turned into pretty good teams in the league.

But back to the Colts. The Colts are now 6-4 and have a solid conference record, which is what will get them one of the two wild card spots. As of now it looks like they will be facing the Broncos, Jets, or Steelers in the first round of the playoffs and considering the fact that they have already beaten Pittsburgh (Week 10) on the road, you have to like their chances to advance into the divisional playoff in the second week of the postseason.

The Packers seemed like they were slowing dying and at 4-5 they were getting close to being done and joining the Eagles and Chargers with a long off-season. But the Packers went to work today and just embarrassed the Bears 37-3 and sent a message to the wide open NFC North that Brett Favre or no Brett Favre, the Packers are very much alive.

I still question the Packers on the road and I am not sold on Aaron Rodgers, though the rest of the world is, but the Packers have a lot of questions. Like which Ryan Grant will show up and which defense will show up? But when they have it all together they are a pretty good football team. We’ll see what they’re made of these last few weeks.

The Panthers have played the worst two teams in the NFL the last two weeks and have just come away with wins. So even though I ranked them a 4, I had a hard time doing so. The Panthers are a tricky team to follow. They look unbeatable on one day and the next day you question how they have such a good record. They fit the exact description of a 3 ranking, but I will keep them a 4 for now. They are going to the postseason, no doubt about it and they could be dangerous once there. And while a win is a win, they need to show more consistency over the final six games.

The picks took a beating this week and hopefully it can be turned around tonight with the Browns and Bills. I took a lot of +’s this week because it seemed as though not as may -‘s were hitting, but that was not the case this week. So far this week the picks are 5-10, and the season records sit at 84-75 (.528). Browns +5 tonight.