It will not be long before I am crying over the NFL season being over. Not actual crying….I am not an emotional train wreck generally. But I will be missing the sport once the season wraps and I try to entertain myself with the off season combine, draft, and of course knuckle headed players making news off the field.
We head into Thursday night’s game between the Rams and Cardinals with only three weeks left in the regular season. Time flies when you are having a ball, especially when it’s of the pigskin variety. I can remember the preseason just like it was yesterday and how all my predictions for the Super Bowl would come true. Reality has set in and it is apparent that betting on my Falcons in the preseason when the odds would have paid me like 30-1, would have been money poorly spent.
Lots of narratives have changed since the beginning of the 2014 season. Each week has been a roller coaster ride with most teams turning out to be pretenders after a couple of great performances leads their fans on. Here are the five top story lines that will play out over the last three weeks of what has been another awesome NFL regular season.
5. Cleveland fans hoping for a mini miracle will get their wish as Johny Manziel will get the start this week. ESPN and the like will finally get their wish as well, since they have been begging for this storyline all year. I am shocked that some low level ESPN reporter was not tasked with planting drugs on Brian Hoyer to get him locked up, thus forcing a J-Football appearance.
4. The Patriots keep finding ways to stay in the mix every year. Early in the year it looked like Tom Brady had run out of magic, but it was simply due to his lackluster receivers. Once he whipped them into shape, the Pats have been on fire. The playoffs have exposed the Patriots’ weaknesses the past few years so we shall see if this year is any different.
3. The NFC South has become a laughing stock as none of the four teams involved has done anything to pause the laughter. The Saints were preseason favorites to get to the Super Bowl but have been dismal. The Bucs at 2-10 were only mathematically eliminated from winning the division just last week! That tells you all the info needed to determine this division as the worst in a decade. As I type, the title is still up for grabs.
2. Jim Harbaugh is the most successful young NFL coach, not named Jimmy Johnson, that has ever been run off by ownership. The separation of the two parties hasn’t happened yet, but it is coming. Harbaugh took the 49ers to three Title games in a row, in his first three seasons. Even if I hated the guy, as an owner I would put up with him. This year his team has fallen on harder times, but this guy is a great leader and coach. The team that lands him will be super lucky that the Niners didn’t appreciate him.
1. Aaron Rodgers has cemented himself as the best in the game. True experts of the game have known this to be an absolute for a couple of seasons. But now every pundit’s knee is bowing and every talking head’s tongue is confessing. I will go on record right now and take Green Bay to win it all. Seattle is playing much better than their mid season drift and could be a roadblock to Rodger’s second Super Bowl. An NFC Title game in Lambeau, I will give the edge to the Packers however.