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Who's Hot going into the Playoffs?

  • DerekLarsson2
  • Five Star General
  • Rating: 2.7/5 this site
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Posted: 12/29/2012 11:35 PM

Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? Post Rating (2 votes)



      

Right now, the NFC looks stronger to me than the AFC does.

1. The Seattle Seahawks have a very fast, swarming, physical, aggressive Defense, and they looked totally dominant (unlike the Patriots) and unstoppable against San Francisco, the #1 Defensive team. Russell Wilson has been overlooked in "the year of the Rookie QB" (with most of the Media attention going to RGIII and Andrew Luck), but he has been every bit as impressive.  Expect this team to finish at 11 -5 in a competitive division (unlike the AFC East).  It is easy to imagine them now beating the 49ers or even Green Bay at this point with the way that they are playing.  This is a hot team, and the "sleeper" pick for the Super Bowl.

2. The Atlanta Falcons have had a totally dominant season (14 - 2). While they play in a relatively weak division, this team has been the model of consistency all season long.  No other team can really say that.

3. Green Bay struggled early, but is also now getting hot at just the right time. They were always a great team on paper, and they look like a very dangerous team to play right now.

4.  In the AFC, Denver is the hottest and most talented team right now.  And if Chad Henne can throw for 400 yards, and easily move the Jaguars up-and-down the field against The Patriots, what then will Peyton Manning (and the Broncos) do against that Defense?   Denver has to be the odds-on AFC favorite.

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And what about The Patriots?

I can see them handling Houston and Baltimore.  But this team still has some obvious big problems going into the Playoffs.  Their Defense still sucks.  There just is no way to suger coat it.  3rd-Rate QBs have no problem passing for 350-400+ yards on this Defense.  If they win the turn-over battle then they can cover that all up -- but no one in the NFL is afraid of a Bill Belichick Defense at this point (or has been for years).  They still fail to get any real pressure on the opposing QBs, and it is real hard to imagine their Secondary holding-up against a top-notch QB like Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers.  At some point this notion of Belichick = "Defensive Genius" must be reconsidered now as a thing of some older bygone era.  It's not Defense, or  (nonexistent) "ingeneous schemes" that carry the load for this team.
    
And so the pressure is always on Tom Brady to score 30+ points-per-game (or close to it) in order for this team to have even a chance to win.  No other QB in the NFL has to live with that uphill burden all the time.  Brady can do this of course, if he has the time to survey the field in the pocket.  But lately we have seen Brady taking many hard-hits, many hurries, knock-downs, hard-sacks, and the O-Line looks very inconsistent and fragile.  I don't know why people vote for Login Mankins as the "Pro-Bowl" guy every year when he is always injured each year, and then his play is always inconsistent. 

We also see no clear go-to guy for Brady to depend-upon when Wes Welker is covered.  Brandon Lloyd had two great games, but often fails to get any real separation at all, and also he fails to fight-the-defender for the ball if the window is tight.  Aaron Hernandez has been poor recently: He was targeted 6 times, and had just 1 catch in the Jacksonville game, and seems to still be held back by injury.  Branch can no longer get open or run.  Sometimes all that Brady really has is Danny Woodhead when he needs a "big play", and Welker is covered (which teams now do as part of their game plan). 

Yet Brady has carried this team, and made it the NFL's highest scoring team in the entire League.  This is amazing -- Imagine if he had a receiver that could really get separation downfield?  It's been a very underrated year for him.  He has to be perfect all the time for this team to win, no lead can be large enough, and every small imperfection then looms large (with this Defense), larger than it normally would.

Gronk coming back will help, but will he really be at 100%?  Will he be able to play with the reckless aggressiveness, and the physical power (and surehandedness) of last year?   So a lot of question marks still surround this team.  They will end up 12 -4 but in a very weak division, and with having an overall cream-puff  NFL Schedule.  Under 'normal' circumstances (tougher competition to face), this could easily be a 10 -6 team, with this Defense. 

Once again, it will most likely come down to the O-Line. We always hear how wonderful Dante Scarnecchia has done with the line.  But then Brady always gets mauled in the Playoffs.  That same scenario may play out once again.  I don't trust this O-Line as much as others do.   But if Brady does get the time, he can beat any team....even a hot one!
    
      
  
   
   

Last edited 12/30/2012 1:38 AM by DerekLarsson2

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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:00 AM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


To insure Brady's safety & prolong his career apparently there's only one thing to do, - trade him. - Even at his advanced age, we could still get something of value.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 8:38 AM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


The Pats clearly suck.. with the exception of Brady of course.. and maybe Welker. noidea
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“I don’t have a response. If I had a response to everything that people said about me or us, then I’d be busy all freaking day responding to things." -- Tom Brady, September 2007
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Posted: 12/30/2012 9:49 AM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


The weather had a lot to do with the SF game. It was great to see them comeback. Seattle definitely exposed them. My imression is if they play again the Pats get revenge.  I think GB would be a barn burner with a Pats W, and Seattle the most problematic

They clearly mixed people in vs JVille.  I think they will do they same today vs Miami and eak out a W.  But a bye will be less than 50%.

Denver has only had so-so NO & Baltimore and a bunch of twinkies since the Pats played them. Even with his dying quail throws Manning is concerning.  They will be tough to get around.

 

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Posted: 12/30/2012 1:50 PM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


I really like this pats team.The question is,can they get pressure on the QB.That has been missing the last couple of games.Chandler Jones hasnt been able to get that pressure for them.Its upsetting!I hope Dennard gets back because Arrington cant cover a paperbag.He stinks!I am just not a fan of these defensive coaches on BB's side.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 1:54 PM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


Jones has been hobbled with an injury the last few weeks. Ankle I think.

Dennard and Talib are banged up as well - I think BB is using the sparingly so they can recover.

Getting Cunningham back should help with the pass-rush, he was finally starting to look like he'd work out before his suspension.

If they can get healthy heading before their first playoff game, they'll get to the QB. Right now they have almost half the roster on the injury report.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 2:03 PM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


Dom i disagree about Jones.  I just watched the Jags game this morning.  Chandler was outstanding, at least in the 4th quarter.  He put the hit on Henne that caused the first Chung INT, then he put another hit on Henne that forced an incomplete on 3rd down later in the game, pressured him again to force a throw away, and basically terrorized the QB that whole quarter.  Not getting sacks doesn't mean he's not getting pressure.
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“I don’t have a response. If I had a response to everything that people said about me or us, then I’d be busy all freaking day responding to things." -- Tom Brady, September 2007
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Posted: 12/30/2012 4:17 PM

Re: Who's Hot going into the Playoffs? 


I think the Colts are 1 of the Hottest teams after today's win...
The time has come..... Here's to the 2014 Season.
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