Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thoughts: The NFL Race

The NFC East is so weak, and so open, the New York Giants can still make the playoffs. And, that will be a tragedy for several other teams in the NFC.

Already two of the six playoff spots are filled, those being the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. They are two of the very best in the NFL right now and both should finish with 11 wins, at least.
That's how we do!
The Back-door Giants
That means bad news for a few other teams in the NFC who will likely finish with good winning records such as the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions or my team, the Carolina Panthers, who are starting to gel under a quarterback who is beginning to show why he is Superman.

Cam Newton is the quarterback that can define this generation of dual-threat quarterbacks – fast, big, and when at his best, surgical, cold and controlled in the pocket.

Anyway, back to subject.

The Panthers may finish with nine wins, or even 10, this season but that may not suffice because 8-8, as many predicted, will be enough to win the NFC East.

It’s not a scandal, just a pity. It’s how the system is, everyone knows it.

In fact, funnily, whichever team qualifies from the NFC East may go furthest in the playoffs because they’ll be battled hardened and gelling. That’s what these Giants always do, that’s when they are most dangerous – winning two Super Bowls (in 2007 and 2011) and one (2011) with a 9-7 regular season record.

It’s moggy.

The Green Bay Packers are starting to be dangerous. They have the best quarterback in the game in Aaron Rodgers, and with Eddy Lacy they have elevated to a higher plane because they have a double-threat – a good running game added to magic of quarterback game of Rodgers. And, a good run-game is always the basis of a great NFL offence. Always.

If the Packers can keep improving on defence, they are a top three, top four contender for the championship. That is to say: they are going to the Super Bowl!

The AFC is a bit weird this year. But, the Kansas City Chiefs are the real deal.

It looks like the best teams in the AFC are Kansas, the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals who are still underrated because somehow quarterback Andy Dalton is underrated. The boy is a star. And AJ Green is a superstar.

But, Kansas. An 8-0 start? Brilliant. They have an identity; they have a defence; which is the most important building block in all sports – rugby to football.

The Colts still have Andrew Luck, even though they have lost Reggie Wayne for the season. Luck, really is as good as people claimed – ESPN quarterback guru Jon Gruden said Luck was the greatest prospect he’d ever studied before last year’s draft.
Cam Newton
New England, of course, have Tom Brady. Not much more needed to say there.

The one team that has to prove something to me is Denver. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback. However, he still only has one Super Bowl appearance (which he won, to be fair) and he still has to prove, to me, he can consistently lead a team over the hump, like Brady.

Denver look exciting and explosive; maybe too exciting and explosive, forgetting the fundamentals, like New Orleans did three years ago, or Green Bay two years ago, or Brazil at the ‘82 World Cup.

Overall, I’d love the Panther to win the Super Bowl, of course. That’s my team! Never say never. Cam Newton is Superman.

But, top four teams, gun to my head: Seahawks, 49ers, Packers, New Orleans Saints.

The NFL champion is coming from there.


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